Donald Trump: A Different Kind of Socialist

There’s danger ahead. And its name is Donald Trump.

In recent interviews, Trump has been claiming that there are two things wrong with government policy. The first, he says, is that the stimulus bill should have been used for roads, rather than “pork.” Apparently trillions of dollars in unsustainable debt and devaluation of the currency are acceptable when spent on roads, but not when it’s spent on anything else. The second is that businesses should be restricted or outright forbidden from doing business with China, Mexico, or other foreign nations. This, he says, will “keep jobs in America.” Ridiculous!

Businesses hire Chinese or other foreign workers because it’s cheaper. If they are no longer allowed to do business with foreign companies, then the jobs previously done by them will simply go away. Businesses owe it to their stockholders to make a profit. If that profit is restricted or eliminated by protectionist Big Government policies, then there will be fewer jobs. Slapping foreign trade restrictions on business is no different than taxing them or forcing them to pay for expensive health insurance plans. The expenses and losses created by government restrictions undermine profit, and in the process drive up unemployment — further deepening the recession.

Normally these facts are evaded by people who know nothing about business, like Democrats, liberals and socialists. Now we have someone who is successful at business (and supposedly a Republican) making the same kind of mistake. Trump may run for president as a Republican. If he got the nomination, he would be no more a friend of capitalism than Barack Obama. It would be a matter of ‘choose your poison.’ If Trump runs as an Independent, he’ll kill any chance of a Republican winning the presidency, even a good candidate, and Obama’s clearly socialist agenda will be around for another six years. Trump’s ideology of protectionism refers to government restrictions on business with foreign nations, on the premise that trade should exclusively take place within a country. Protectionism violates the moral and Constitutional right of individuals to freedom of trade, and it makes the world poorer than it otherwise would be.

The worst of the danger is not Trump himself. Hopefully, he’ll go away or simply shut up. But the false “appeal” of protectionism may grow as economic conditions continue to worsen under Obama’s disastrous policies and the Republicans’ inability to quickly reverse any or all of them. This variation of Big Government socialism is something even Bill Clinton was smart enough to oppose—but today’s Obama Democrats will blindly support it. “Sure, we’ll use government to block and restrict trade with China and other countries outside the U.S. But first give us socialized medicine, control over banking, control over the Internet — and then we’ll talk.” This is the kind of governing coalition you could expect if Trump became president, and Congress continued expanding the welfare state as it has done for the last hundred years.

Free market Republicans and Tea Party types are our last hope. If they mean it when they say that government should get out of the way of business, then they will fight protectionism as much as they fight ObamaCare and other socialist disasters. But Obama has already done his damage to our country, and the full effects are yet to be felt. People are going to become more fearful and angry as the economy worsens. If you think we have trouble now, think of what happens when Big Government gets even bigger and essentially shuts down international trade.

I recognize that China is a deeply corrupt government with no respect for individual rights. But shutting down trade will do nothing for individual rights. It will impoverish the United States and lead to even higher unemployment. Historically, protectionism usually leads to war. Government has to get out of the economy altogether and not continue to intensify its already massive role.

Mr. Trump: Mind your own business and please shut up.