So...I inadvertently started a war on my Facebook page the other day. It was a simple post, really:
"Donald Trump is pro-life, pro-border security, and would like to impose a 25% tariff on all goods coming in from China. Is it to much to ask that he run for President in 2012?"
The responses were immediate and all over the map.
One comment voiced concern over entrusting the Federal Government to "the Donald" since he has had businesses go bankrupt in the past. In my mind, that's the beauty of the whole idea: the Federal Government is already bankrupt. Worse than bankrupt, actually. And even with a history of business troubles, Donald Trump has proven time and time again that he has the guts, determination and knowhow to doggedly soldier on and rebuild, from the ground up if necessary.
Another comment informed me that at that very moment he was on CNN live, making it clear that a run for the Presidency was definitely on the table and that a formal announcement would be made this coming June...
And then someone asked what was a good argument for imposing a tariff on China, suggesting that any limits on trade would be bad because according to a college macro economics class, trade was good for all parties involved.
The argument for a tariff is simple: other countries are already taxing their American imports. Our government thinks that if we do the same and tax imports from other countries (which would make it much more cost effective to buy American here in the States) those countries would respond by making their tariffs higher. Which is probably true. But if it once again becomes cost-effective to buy American, more people will. And that will return the need for a manufacturing base here as well, which would provide more private sector jobs. If America manufactures more, the cost of that manufacture will go down - because we now have a reason to manufacture in bulk, and because the one thing Obama got right in his State of the Union Address last month is that, when faced with a challenge, no one does innovation like Americans with a necessity to get things done. There really isn't a good argument for NOT imposing a tariff, especially on things from China.
The commentator then made the point that we shouldn't "force" people to buy American, and that the things we import from China, such as cheap t-shirts, are things that Americans don't really want to make anyway because they have better things to do.
It's not about forcing people to buy American. But if we can stimulate the American economy and provide jobs while not rewarding a nation that is building an empire on the breaking backs of its people, then maybe we should aim for that.
Also, with an unemployment rate hovering around 10%, I think it's quite safe to say that the number of jobs Americans don't want to do - like making t-shirts or making $4 an hour to pick fruit - is a lot smaller than you think.
And as for China in specific: You need to take into consideration that things made in China can be bought so cheaply because their workers are paid next to nothing and forced to work in horrific conditions. Those curly light bulbs that everyone is raving about - look up how many Chinese workers die every year from mercury poisoning as a result of their light bulb industry. All so that Americans can feel better about saving the ozone layer, one Chinese laborer at a time.
China is also taxing American goods so heavily that the workers (who are being paid a small fraction of their worth) cannot afford to buy American. Then they sell to Americans at a rate that they can only sustain by continuing the unethical treatment of their workers. By not placing a reciprocal tax on Chinese imports, the American government is making American businesses less viable and displaying tacit approval of a regime that shows no regard whatsoever for human rights.
So why Donald Trump? America needs a businessman - someone who understands how to make things work. But more than that, America needs someone who will take a risk in the UN "boardroom" or in an interview with Matt Lauer. Someone who realizes that promoting America's interests could possibly annoy people in other parts of the world. We need someone who realizes that fighting for a future that features a strong America is more important than making sure President Hu has a good time in Washington. (Even George W. Bush got that.)
Donald Trump does not expect everyone to like him; in fact he expects some people NOT to like him. He expects them instead to respect his ability to take actions that will be in the best interest of his business venture - in this case, possibly America. That kind of confidence has been missing from the Presidency for a long time. We caught a glimpse of it in George W. Bush, and a lot more of it in Reagan. And that's something we need to get back to. If Donald Trump can take us there, I say let him try.