Free Markets

Vice President-Elect Mike Pence on the Carrier Deal: 'The Free Market Has Been Sorting It Out and America's Been Losing.'

The GOP drops the pretense of being a free-market party.

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Mark Lyons / Newscom

At the tail end of 2008, Mike Pence, then a Republican congressman from Indiana, appeared on Fox News to state his strong personal opposition to a bailout to the Detroit auto industry. "As the American people know," he said, "we can't borrow and spend and bail our way back to a growing economy or a healthy domestic automotive industry." At the same time, he also declared his opposition to the Troubled Asset Relief Program that came in the wake of the financial crisis, writing a letter to congressional colleagues insisting that government should not intervene to protect businesses from failure. "We now have a deal that promises to bring near-term stability to our financial turmoil, but at what price?" he wrote. "Economic freedom means the freedom to succeed and the freedom to fail." On Fox, Pence stressed not only his own opposition, but the large number of Republican legislators who stood unified in opposition to the deal. He was acting as a representative of the party's stance.

In the years since, Pence appears to have changed his mind.

At a press conference yesterday Pence, now the governor of Indiana and the Vice President elect, announced that he and President elect Trump had brokered a deal with air-conditioning maker Carrier to keep about 800 jobs in the United States that had previously been set to go to Mexico. In exchange for keeping some jobs in the U.S., Carrier would receive $7 million in incentives from the state of Indiana.

At the conference, Pence defended the arrangement by declaring that "the free market has been sorting it out and America's been losing." After which, according to The New York Times, President-elect Donald Trump cut in to agree, saying, "Every time, every time."

Trump's enthusiastic dismissal of free market mechanisms should come as little surprise. As a businessman, he built his real estate empire on crony capitalist dealmaking, repeatedly urging government officials to give him special treatment so that his own projects would succeed. On the presidential campaign trail, he was frequently disdainful of the free movement of goods and workers across borders.

But the statement from Pence, who is the Trump administration's closest link to conventional Republican politics, should be taken as a declaration of intent for the GOP as a political institution. Although Republicans have frequently and sometimes flagrantly acted in opposition to basic free market principles, the party has typically maintained a surface pretense of adhering to a pro-market understanding of the world. The GOP wasn't exactly a free-market party, but it often pretended to be.

Even President George W. Bush, when announcing his administration's response to the financial crisis, framed his lack of orthodoxy as an exception necessary to uphold the larger idea, saying that he has "abandoned free-market principles to save the free market system." Even a break from free-market ideas had to be framed as a defense of free-market philosophy.

In announcing the Carrier deal, Pence has made it clear that the party has abandoned free-market principles, period. Under Trump, the GOP has dropped the pretense.

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  1. I’d expect to hear that shit from Bernie Sanders.

    1. Or George W. Bush.

      1. Or Tricky Dick Nixon.

        -jcr

    2. That shit is exactly what Trump spent his whole campaign saying. Nobody who’s been paying attention should be surprised.

      1. I thought he was just trolling!

      2. It’s one of the few things he has been consistent on.

      3. Exactly.

        however, there was a moment there where I was a little surprised and impressed when he was talking to John Allison for Treasury and I like the Wilbur ross commerce thing and the education secretary.

        All of that optimism quickly disappeared and turned right back into sounding like Obama with the goldman pick for treasury and what sound like a bunch more of total neocons surrounding him now.

        He’s gonna suck like the rest of them.

        1. Trump voters wanted an “outsider” so they voted for a man whose spent a lifetime wheeling and dealing through the uber corrupt/cronyist world of development. Trump voters wanted someone willing to stand up to “the media” (whatever the hell that means) so they voted for a man with his own TV show whose closest advisors included Ailes & that knucklehead from Breitbart.

          You had to be a knuckle-dragging moron to think that Donald Trump would somehow resolve the conflicts of interest & selfdealing in the Washington Press Corps, or that Trump of all people would reduce the corruption in DC. What Trump will accomplish is the brief elimination of the fantasy that the Federal govt is anything more than an authoritarian kleptocracy, and he will accomplish that as a consequence of lacking any form of integrity as well as having no ability to conceal that fact.

      4. Agreed.

        What has been surprising to me is to see so many persons/commenters/commentators that I thought knew better choose to continue to be Trump fanatics, even as he is flipping on them or showing his true colors or both.

        Apparently these persons have invested too much of their ego into Trump, the cult of personality, and now they must defend that investment.

        I expected some people to be Trump apologists, but not so many.

    3. No kidding.

      The “free market” is apparently identical to the “crony capitalist market” a la Sanders.

      1. Government fucks shit up.
      2. The market adjusts as best it can.
      3. Government blames the “free” market for the predictable results.
      4. Government calls for action, and the action called for will fuck more shit up.
      5. Return to step 1.

      1. This

      2. You left out the part where government spends more money and raises taxes.

        1. I also left out breathing air for much the same reasons.

        2. I think that’s included in step 4.

      3. FFS we finally have a president that is just trying to level the playing field. Now we have a president that is not picking winners and losers.

        What a tangled web they weave when they over regulate, tax and deceive. Think of the $7 million as a rebate for being over charged. The problem is Carrier is being rewarded for running to another country and not even another state. Carrier deserves the economic extortion, I mean, incentives because it’s too big to fail.

        Someone here mentioned the cost benefit analysis making it worthwhile for gubmint to subsidize those jobs. Demonstrating once again that socialism begets more socialism.

    4. The Liberals ran unopposed.

    5. If you’ve paid attention to how Democrats and the GOP votes on things like the Export Import Bank or other crony schemes, you wouldn’t be surprised that ALL the Democrats vote for it, as well a a big majority of the GOP.

      As Suderman points out “The GOP wasn’t exactly a free-market party, but it often pretended to be.”

      Considering Indiana paid $8750 for each job that will remain in Indianapolis (at least for awhile), it’s going to take a long time for the state to recoup its spending via taxes those 800 people will pay.

      In the meantime, Trump/Pence have signaled that CEOs can shake down taxpayers for subsidies, by threatening to move.

      1. Considering the lost tax revenue, reduced economic activity and unemployment insurance that $8,750 is going to look like a bargain, unless you want to go back to paying the interest/penalties on Indiana borrowing 2 billion from the feds to pay for unemployment insurance.

      2. Considering the lost tax revenue, reduced economic activity and unemployment insurance that $8,750 is going to look like a bargain, unless you want to go back to paying the interest/penalties on Indiana borrowing 2 billion from the feds to pay for unemployment insurance.

      3. “Considering Indiana paid $8750 for each job that will remain in Indianapolis (at least for awhile), it’s going to take a long time for the state to recoup its spending via taxes those 800 people will pay.”

        Yeah, like, 4-8 months…

      4. A tax credit is now a taxpayer subsidy? One company keeping more of the value it creates to invest as it sees fit, rather than forking it over to the government that did nothing to earn it, is a step in the right direction.

        1. I agree with what you’re saying, but there are two levels at which this action should be considered.

          What you say is true when applied to all companies/taxpayers–taking less taxes is a good thing.

          BUT, Trump targeted Carrier specifically, so RELATIVE to other companies, Carrier is getting a subsidy.

          Think of it this way: if I run a prison camp and have scheduled 100 lashings of every prisoner every morning, and I take a liking to Prisoner 13455 and cut his lashings to 50, the other prisoners will rightfully think I’m playing favorites and treating 13455 well.

  2. Trump only does that stuff because that’s how business has to be done in an imperfect world. Pence is the same. This is a nonsense attack and the writer is a progressive leftist cultural marxist, and I’m not donating.

    I’m new to the GOP apologetics game…am I doing this right?

    1. Pretty much. You forgot “They Are The Enemy And Must Be Defeated At Any Cost Otherwise The Republic Is Lost”.

      1. He also would have received bonus points for suggesting, apropos of nothing, that the author is a fanatical Hillary Clinton supporter and his criticism of Trump is just bitterness over her losing the election.

        1. Shouldn’t he also call him a terrorist?

          I heard not one support the troops or grow the military in there either.

          1. Islamophobe seems to be more of a shocker lately with the left. They think it matters to people.

    2. Needs more cosmos

    3. No denunciations of the MSM or baseless consiparcy theories. Do you even Trump bro

    4. whoa, you left out a bunch of stuff; https://youtu.be/YlVDGmjz7eM?t=120s

      Rodney is just a slightly brighter version of Trump.

  3. Cronyist Is Elected, Continues Cronying Cronytastically

    1. A cronyist with weird hair.

  4. The Republican party has always been a mercantilist party. They took up that torch from the whigs. When the Republican party was getting its start, it was the Democratic party that was the party of free markets.

    The Democrats abandoned liberalism in the 1890’s and adopted socialist-lite ideas that were coming in vogue.

    And eventually the Republicans coopted the liberals by being less hostile to free markets than the democrats.

    The Republican loyalty to mercantilism has been remarkably constant through out its existence, and the belief that they somehow support economic liberty is like the belief that the most beautiful women you will meet are the first women you see after you leave England. The women wherever you land are likely not that pretty; just less ugly than their competition.

    1. “When the Republican party was getting its start, it was the Democratic party that was the party of free markets.”

      Sure, if you mean the right to purchase goods from abroad and buy booze.

      There was a slight, problematic exception to Dem free-market principles….

      1. Oh come on, in those days you could even buy labor on the free market. Now it’s got all these regulations, And you can only rent it.

      2. I gotta say Eddie, you’re right on with this one. Democrats weren’t always pro-market in those days, even after the war and slavery had been ended. There really wasn’t a lot of ideological cohesion in the two parties for a long time.

        1. You all talk about this as if there were some set of principles behind politics. It’s the power stupid.

          1. Love of power is too a principle, technically!

    2. Mercantilism- the protection of connected cronies by government force- has been the modus operandi of politics forever. It isn’t a GOP or Democrat thing. It has been a government thing since the first tribal chief claimed the tastiest cuts of meat for his family first. Feudalism, Colonialism, Communism, The New Deal, Democracy- no matter what moral imperative (Divine Right, Class Warfare, Social Darwinism, Enlightened Benevolence) these were all just ways to distribute political power. But whoever had that political power needed others to collect the power and those people then received the money.

      The difference with the GOP is that for 20 years they tried to at least pay lip service to continuing the historical trend of reduction of the state’s control over production of wealth. That they abandoned that is indeed noteworthy.

      1. Shorter Overt:

        Money and power always find each other.

  5. “Vice President-Elect Mike Pence…”

    Let’s not jump to conclusions here. First Day Of Wisconsin Recount Nets Hillary One Vote Only 21,999 to go!

    http://m.journaltimes.com/news…..0e0b3.html

    1. Yeah, but in just 75 years, Hillary will be declared winner in Wisconsin! *Progs display dancing banana gifs and like each other’s posts on Derpbook*.

  6. Ok, I get it. But just because Pence said something stupid does not mean the GOP have “dropped the pretense of being a free-market party”. I’m really not sure how to label such a claim. Reaching? Nonsensical? Unsubstantiated hyperbole?

    I fully expect the GOP to keep up the pretense of being a free-market party. The fact that they overall have not been that since… forever?, doesn’t mean they’ll stop pretending. If Trump doesn’t take Priebus and Pence and clang their noggins together like Mo every other day, that just means that Trump doesn’t even realize how dumb they are. And he probably doesn’t since he has his own problem with saying dumb stuff all of the time.

    1. No, they’ve been doing a pretty good job of pretending to be free market right up until the Bush bailouts. That was when the wheels finally came off the bus.

      1. The wheels came off the bus, and the bus was on fire, and it turned out the bus had been stolen and scrapped many years ago, and anyway, what bus? There was never a bus.

      2. But did they still go round and round for a little while?

    2. I disagree, Hyperion. Bush talked about the supremacy of Markets and apologized or justified when he departed from that line. Even TARP was sold as “We need to intervene in the free market to save the free market.”

      But Trump and his surrogates are on record specifically saying that free markets are bad because they are taking jobs away from Americans. There is no assumption that free markets are good and that we can manage any creative destruction out of kindness. Instead we have crossed the line where markets themselves are the cause of misery.

      I agree that this has been a long road to get here. But this is a line that has been crossed, and I foresee many, many years of costly mistakes before principled advocates of open markets are ascendant again.

      1. And W promised it was temporary and would be paid back by the people it helped.

        It actually worked out pretty damned well for a government job.

        That said, moral hazard and all that jazz.

    3. Pence and Trump are by far the two most prominent members of the Republican Party at this point (after I typed this, I realized that you can argue Ryan is as prominent or more than Pence, but other than that no one comes close). At this point, they are the GOP.

      1. But do they have pens and phones? And by that, I mean is Congress still irrelevant in the Age of Trumputin? January 1 it will be the year 1AT.

    4. Pence is VP and has some obligation to support the President’s talking points.

  7. GOOD ON THEM NOT TRUSDTING THAT CUCKY FREE MARKIT! MAKES AEMRICA CRONY AGAIN! YAHBOO!

    1. Again? Where have you been for the last 100 years?

      1. WRONG CUCK MUSHY HEADED ONE WORLD GLOBALSITS IN THE DEMOCRAP PARTYU BEEN SHOVIN G FREE TRADE DOWN AUR THROATS TIME TO TKAE AEMRICA BACK! YAHBOO!

        1. Please don’t.

          You’re not the hero Hit ‘n Run needs, but you are the one it deserves.

          1. Agreed. That’s some mighty fine authentic frontier gibberish all-caps yokeltarianese.

    2. Sure would like to give free trade a shot someday.

      1. Careful, it bleeds a lot, and the meat is kind of stringy. Be sure to use a lot of salt.

        1. At least three teaspoons.

      2. Agreed, but dispersed benefits don’t make themselves obvious to the beneficiaries.Someone losig their job to Hyderabad or Nogales is a lot more likely to be aware of it.

        1. Didn’t finish my thought – any politician who wants to seel free trade is going to have to address this.

      3. Go buy some weed. The black market seems to be the closest thing we have.

        1. Even then, black markets are heavily distorted by government actions. Trade that takes place not only without any legal recourse but under threat of violence from government agents isn’t exactly free either.

          1. You left out “under threat of violence from government agents and black marketeers“.

  8. Also, Pence is just another phony politician along for the ride. He’s never been anything else, why change now?

    1. I dunno, he seems like a pretty bog-standard RealPolitician? to me.

      1. Yes, that’s what I said.

    2. What is a “phony” politician? Is this as opposed to a “real” politician?

  9. Economic freedom means the freedom to succeed and the freedom to fail.

    Unless you vote for me!

    1. Exactly! We need a strong leader that can liberate us from all this terrible freedom!

      1. Burdened with glorious purpose.

  10. The big lie is that we’ve been living in a market economy. We haven’t for decades. We live in a socialist economy that for reasons I can’t fathom, we insist on calling it a capitalist economy. The command economy causes all sorts of problems due to the misallocation of resources inherent in a political economy. Out here in flyover country, keeping jobs in country sounds like music to their ears.

    With that said, the Trump administration should make the case that I just outlined to the country. Saying free markets haven’t worked for America is just wrong. Command economies don’t work.

    1. I don’t think “command economy” is much more accurate than calling it pure capitalism. It’s very much mixed. There is a lot of room between pure laissez-faire capitalism and command-economy socialism.

      1. I tend to think of free markets as wine, and command economies as shit.

        Add a little wine to shit, and its still shit. Add a little shit to wine and, guess what, now that’s shit, too.

        1. Of course, socialists says the same about markets, in reverse.

        2. That saying was what I thought of whenever I saw the Wine Commonsewer’s handle.

    2. Yeah I think you have a point.

      The flyover country Trump voters knew that the whole “free market” thing was a giant lie based on all the bailouts nonsense, and so they don’t mind ditching any allegiance for whatever free market principles they might have had for a guy who promises to deliver jobs and bennies to THEM.

      1. and so they don’t mind ditching any allegiance for whatever free market principles they might have had for a guy who promises to deliver jobs and bennies to THEM.

        They never had free market principles in the first place. They’re hard-hat Democrat carpetbaggers.

    3. Socialistic economics is the state ownership of the means of production. Fascistic economics keeps the veneer of private ownership but it’s still controlled by the state. So we’re closer to fascism than socialism as far as that goes. Nanny state welfare is common to both.

    4. It’s all a matter of degree.

  11. “the free market has been sorting it out and America’s been losing.”

    Awesome.

    1. Yep, that free market has really been sorting it out. No interference in that process by government. No sirree, we’re practically a libertarian paradise. But I do worry a little now that toddlers can buy heroin and AR-15s out of vending machines.

    2. Even if you let them argue that the “free market” has been failing, their solution is to try to change the natural order instead of adapting to it.

      The idea that America’s been losing should say more about America than about the system.

      By “Make America Great Again” Trump apparently means that he’s going to keep America exactly the way it is and just dick with the measuring stick.

  12. Surprise, surprise!
    Politico doesn’t understand the concept and trade-offs in “market”!

  13. In announcing the Carrier deal, Pence has made it clear that the party has abandoned free-market principles, period. Under Trump, the GOP has dropped the pretense.

    Yes, this single PR stunt by people not yet even in office signals a complete shift in the entire GOP’s ideological basis.

    That makes about as much fucking sense as Robby’s earlier argument that “Free Speech is doomed” … because: Trump Tweets.

    1. And lest this comment be straw-manned as Gojira’s “GOP apologetics” – here’s me last night arguing why Trump’s grandstanding over the deal was especially scummy even if the cronyist-behaviors weren’t particularly new or uncommon

      i think the problem here (*as with robby’s piece, and every shikha piece) is translating every example of especially-yucky political rhetoric into grand-conclusions about shifts in the underlying political reality

      its sort of reminiscent of the way that opposition to the TPP (or Brexit) was being translated as “Anti-Free-Trade”

      Neither of those things (TPP or the EU) were themselves particularly ‘free’ at all. Sure, “free(er)” is better than less-free. The mistake is in casting every discussion of trade in a some false “Black & White” dichotomy which ends up mischaracterizing both sides.

    2. Have you not been paying attention for the past year and a half? It’s not like this sort of rhetoric from Trump and his allies is coming out of left field. It seems that every time Trump says or does something stupid, he gets the “oh come on this isn’t a big deal, it’s just one statement/thing” and then gets ignored and forgotten the next time he does it. The statement from Pence, who will be VP in a month and a half, along with Trump’s agreement, doesn’t seem like it would ever come out of the mouth of leaders of a party that cares much about maintaining a pretense of being pro-free market.

      1. Who said it was coming out of left field? You seem to completely misunderstand my point – which was about taking rhetoric at face value as indicative of some significant change in the underlying political reality.

        The GOP were never particularly “free market” in the first place; while the superficial rhetoric has changed, this sort of behavior isn’t particular new or indicative of any underlying change in the entire M.O. of a political party.

        e.g. – “”The mistake is in casting every discussion of trade in a some false “Black & White” dichotomy which ends up mischaracterizing both sides.””

        Also – i think you and i have talked before about the problems with “taking limited evidence and making grand-conclusions”. Basically the same issue here.

        Its also a bit like the way people have treated Donald’s rhetoric about “deportations”. He basically promises to do exactly the same as what Obama has already done = and everyone freaks out as though what he just said is that “he’s going to radically transform the status quo”.

        That doesn’t mean I think (or that anyone should think) what he proposes is *good*. Its just that what he’s actually talking about isn’t the nightmare-scenario people are pretending – its a continuation of a shitty-reality, with the added dimension of ‘bragging about it’. Pretending some great-outrage as though the world is dramatically changing is silly and distorts reality.

        1. I’ve noticed the longer your comments are the less you say.

          Nightmare scenario? Who said that? Seems the consensus around here is “yep, pols gonna pol, ie fuck over liberty in the name of votes”

          1. Nightmare scenario? Who said that?

            Suderman = ” the party has abandoned free-market principles””
            Soave = “Donald Trump Is a Greater Threat to Free Speech Than the Campus Left”

            Don’t blame your illiteracy on others.

            1. Ah, people = the most hysterical reason writers. I’ve updated my HnR style guide accordingly.

              1. I specifically cited both in the very first “short” post. Should i use smaller words too?

    3. Um, Trump’s opposition to free trade was one of the biggest tenets of his campaign. If anything this realization that the GOP (certainly it’s base at least) has largely abandoned free market aspirations is belated.

      Sorry but Trump is not going to turn out to have been a crypto-capitalist all along.

  14. he free market has been sorting it out and America’s been losing

    Which is, of course, blatantly false if you talk about the American economy on the whole or the average American. What he is implicitly saying is that certain segments of the American population haven’t benefited as much as others from global competition and technological advances, and this segment of the population represents the “true” America.

    1. The preferred nomenclature is “Deplorable-Americans.”

  15. They are correct in a sense: Mexico and China actually do have freer economies, relatively speaking. Which is what the real American problem is.

    Of course the GOP has no interest in rolling back the regulatory state. Rand Paul has been fighting an uphill battle with his own party on that stuff and getting no traction.

    Minimum wage, prevailing wage, insane EPA regulations, licensure, etc. The GOP has had no interest in rolling ANY of that stuff to the scrap heap in my lifetime. They’ve only ever been interested in exchanging favors. The only difference between the GOP and Democrats is the Democrats come up with additional freedom-crushing schemes whereas the GOP just wants to expand the existing ones.

    1. “They are correct in a sense: Mexico and China actually do have freer economies, relatively speaking.”

      No, they don’t. No study or index that measures this would make that argument. The US is certainly far from a pure free market, but that doesn’t mean China and Mexico aren’t even further.

      1. No study or index that measures this would make that argument.

        I don’t think he means it that way, but that, say, while China or Mexico might have onerous regulations, thanks to the long standing culture of corruption in those countries, it is de facto easier to get around those regulations with some “tea money” and turn an entire river blue with textile dye than it is attempting to comply with the U.S.’s regulatory framework, which may be less on paper but much more strictly enforced.

        1. That may be true, but I don’t think that necessarily equates to a free market. Having to constantly bribe officials, regulations being enforced inconsistently and politically (to a significantly greater extent than in the US), and a lot of other controls Mexico and China have over their economies all reduce the freedom of the market and the welfare produced by it, even if the connected firms can operate with a free hand (as long as they pay the bribes).

          1. That may be true, but I don’t think that necessarily equates to a free market.

            That’s why, I assume, he purposefully used the term “freer economy” as opposed to “free market”. Again, one may have more freedom of economic action in a black market, like illegal drugs, but I wouldn’t classify a cartel-controlled market as a free market either.

            1. Close, HM.

              You could argue that the US has more respect for property rights than China and Mexico, but you also have to admit that property rights are dwindling in the US and that labor freedom is dwindling fast as well and may actually be worse than China now. Certainly we know the public education system in the US which ransacks every taxpayer does not produce graduates capable of anything above the lowest-skill quintile of workers.

              Mises Institute – love ’em or hate ’em – had an article today about federal regulatory costs now exceed tax costs. For example, do you ever hear about the onerous environmental regulations in China and Mexico? You think Carrier was required to do years of soil samples in Mexico before opening their factory there?

              The cronyism is horrible, but it expands because of regulation expanding. United Technologies knows it can’t negotiate “regulatory breaks” so it has to negotiate tax breaks and subsidies.

        2. That’s not what he said.

          And a corrupt government is always going to cause more problems for the market than it solves. Bribery that can get you around a regulation, can be used to kneecap your competition as well.

    2. If only Trump had kept Carrier in the US by promising “We’ll give you some tax incentives, something to point at for the shareholders, I know it won’t make up the difference in the long run. But I promise, come February, we will go through all the regulations like a hot knife through buttah. Whole government departments will fall, and you’ll be able to trim yuge amounts of people who are just pushing paper around now. Pure profit!”

      1. http://fortune.com/2016/11/30/…..deal-jobs/

        Maybe that is exactly what he said…

    3. Pence is right in this sense: low skill jobs have been moving to SE Asia etc due to their low labor costs competing freely with high US labor costs. Example: textiles.

      What solution can you offer that would sustain the low skill US workers’ standard of living? That is the source of anger, and the Trump/Pence response.

      1. What solution can you offer that would sustain the low skill US workers’ standard of living?

        Not get into a trade war with China?

        1. How does that help those who lose jobs to China?

          1. By maintaining the affordability of the staples they buy. The last thing you want in such a situation is to see WalMart forced to start weekly “Rollups“.

          2. So not only must I fund a stranger’s job at gun point, but his standard of living as well? I propose they go fuck themselves and get exactly as much help as their ancestors got.

      2. What solution can you offer that would sustain the low skill US workers’ standard of living?

        Drastically curtail all of the following:
        – Environmental regulations
        – Safety regulations
        – Labor regulations
        – Zoning

        i.e. much of what causes the difference in labor costs between the U.S. and developing countries.

        1. Clarification: restrictive zoning doesn’t generally drive up labor costs as much as drives up cost of living, which is an important factor for standard of living

        2. Two other things worth curtailing:

          – Banking regulations
          – Low/zero/negative interest rates

          Can’t keep your standard of living up if you are driven into debt rather than savings

    4. By no stretch of the imagination are either Mexico or China freer than the US. We’ve “only” dropped by 16 positions on the economic freedom scale in the last 16 years. Mexico and China are still far below us, but several countries that used to be a ways down are now rising fast as they shed a lot of their government control. New Zealand is one of the better examples of that. Even Canada and Australia are now freer than the US. Gives you pause to think. That is only economic freedom though. Social freedom is dropping just about everywhere.

    5. “The only difference between the GOP and Democrats is the Democrats come up with additional freedom-crushing schemes whereas the GOP just wants to expand the existing ones.”

      It’s been my contention for a long time that Democrats and Republicans are just dog shit with raisins and dog shit with nuts. I think the main difference is that Democrats are more skilled at marketing their policies as something to help the “common people” or “the little guy”. Both parties create a situation where businesses can only survive by kissing up to the insanely powerful government entities.

  16. And this is why the GOP and the vast majority of Republicans can go f*** themselves.

  17. This whole article by Suderman is beside the point. Trump’s not even the president yet and he’s already doing what he promised to do. That’s what people will remember. No one cares if the deal is pro free-market or not, only that Trump saved jobs. These nit-picky and mostly irrelevant articles proves once again that Reason needs to upgrade their writing staff.

    1. Exactly that. No one gives a shit about some free market ideal. They just want a President who they feel like acts in their interests.

      1. No one gives a shit about some free market ideal

        Well except for the magazine where half of its motto includes “Free Markets”.

        I don’t get this complaint. A major tenet of Libertarianism is Free Markets. And so there is nothing wrong with a Libertarian Magazine complaining that the president elect is not Free Market. And it is noteworthy that the latest leader from the most “Market Oriented” party has won largely because he is fulfilling explicitly anti-market promises that were given as part of an explicitly anti-market message.

        If you want to argue that people shouldn’t be pro-free-market, fine, I guess. But it is bizarre that you complain about people who ARE pro-free-market lamenting the setback among our leaders and their electorate.

        1. Well except for the magazine where half of its motto includes “Free Markets”.

          Except the motto byline is “Free Minds And Free Markets” while the article proceeds to:
          1.) Conflate Trump, Pence, and the GOP at large *without* (one might even infer deliberate intent) conflating the GOP with Democrats contemporarily or historically.
          2.) Further *ignore* libertarian conflicts between Federalism and Republicanism.
          3.) In any meaningful way analyze or describe the breakdown of carrots and sticks involved and any wider economic ramifications.

          The phrase is Free Minds and Free Markets and the article is just anti-GOP rhetoric as viewed through the lens of Trump mesmerism. Seriously, what does the article say that couldn’t be summed up with the played out (and inaccurate statement) “Trump is a flip-flopper!”? IMO, the commnetariate exceedingly outshines the writing/article here. You might rightly say Reason provides the forum but then, they could just do a, “Pete Suderman over at The Post said Trump’s a flip-flopper, discuss.”-type articles and save on Suderman’s salary.

          1. So you don’t know what a byline is. Thanks for your input.

          2. The saddest part of the Trump era will be seeing people I respect and am ostensibly allied with fall over themselves in obfuscation and dissembling defenses of breaking their core principles.

    2. Apparently the Koch Brothers still delude themselves into thinking most of the GOP is pro-market. These guys must have been born in the 1930’s because the GOP hasn’t been that way for 45 years except perhaps for a 2-year hiccup when the un-elected Gerald Ford liked to veto (which was mostly because he knew he was unelected and not from any economic principles).

    3. Trump Pence saved jobs.

      As President-Elect, Trump had absolutely no power to affect anything. At this point in time, only Pence had the power to offer the tax incentive. That having been said, Pence seems cunning enough to be happy being the power behind the throne.

      1. That is a good point. What is funny about this is how Trump’s detractors continue to fall for the traps he sets for them. You are right. Trump isn’t even President yet let alone governor of Indiana. Trump didn’t really do anything. Pence and the state of Indiana did this, be it good or bad. But Trump takes credit for it and in doing so induces his critics to spend the next week attacking him over it all the while affirming to the public that he was responsible for it.

        And people like Suderman are not doubt completely puzzled why they can’t seem to stop Trump.

        1. I strongly suspect the division of labor will be similar after he takes office. Trump spends him time dealing with the media and glad-hands foreign diplomats, while Pence hands the donkey work.

          And there is nothing inherently wrong with that.

        2. This article is more about Pence than it is about Trump.

        3. And people like Suderman are not doubt completely puzzled why they can’t seem to stop Trump.

          I for one am not confused. It’s because the world is full of freeloading shithead parasites like yourself.

          1. I for one am not confused. It’s because the world is full of freeloading shithead parasites like yourself

            Speaking from experience?

            1. Yes, from years of experience paying John’s salary.

              1. Look at the bright side: there are dozens of chubby strippers that you’ve indirectly put through college.

              2. Yes, from years of experience paying John’s salary

                Don’t be bitter just because you can’t adapt to the current market conditions. If factory workers have to eat shit because they can’t find work when the factory closes, I guess you do too.

                1. Government diktat = market conditions?

                  I see the rationalization game among Trumpkins is already in full swing.

                  And if the only reason the factory worker had a job in the first place was because his union got the state to shake down people who try to by from his more efficient Asian competitors, then fuck him. He deserves to eat shit until it comes out his ears.

        4. I think the point is that Trump was supposed to be the guy that ended this kind of stuff and he is clearly not against it.

          I did not take trump long to betray a few of the things that got him elected.
          1. supporting cronyist protectionist, bs with support of the few with the resources of the many.
          2. neo con and establishment advisors – gingrich, guliani, and be-friending Romney
          3. what sounds like a war monger in the defense sec pick.
          4. treasury secretary coming from goldman. so far, he sound no different than bush, obma, Clinton.

          1. 3. what sounds like a war monger in the defense sec pick.

            There’s a reason most of the rank-and-file in the military are happy about Mattis being selected, and it’s not because he’s a warmonger; it’s because he’s a ball-buster when the situation calls for it. He’s of the “kick their ass and leave” school, not the “let’s occupy these places for decades to bring ‘democracy’ that never materializes” one.

        5. And people like Suderman are not doubt completely puzzled why they can’t seem to stop Trump.

          Because he got lucky to face a divided field and get loads free media coverage, and a lot of Dem crossover votes attempting to sabotage the GOP primaries, and in the general faced a terrible candidate who epically collapsed going into November.

          Not puzzled at all.

          And he still lost the popular vote. You Trumpists are acting like you won in a landslide.

          1. Worse; they’re acting like, in a race between to cripples, they’d cripple won, and that somehow means Gus handicap isn’t really a disability.

            1. His, not Gus. I don’t know who the fuck Gus is.

    4. No one cares if the deal is pro free-market or not

      Some people do. Like the people who come to reason.com, the audience for whom Suderman is addressing.

    5. He saved some jobs … at the expense of others. Those just aren’t as obvious and often impossible to directly trace. Concentrated benefits and dispersed losses.

  18. And to coin a phrase: Clinton would have been worse.

    She would let the air conditioners move to Mexico, she’d be handing out tax breaks to windmill companies.

  19. The judgement of the market is not the judgement of God. Yes, the free market gives you the most efficient result overall. It does not in every interest give a fair result. The market is unpredictable like life is isn’t always fair, however you define that.

    The article is a great example of the general decline in the intellectual quality of free market defenders. Suderman sounds like a religious fanatic here. It is one giant appeal to orthodoxy and authority. That isn’t going to convince anyone other than the converted.

    The fact is some people lose in the market. And worse, other countries don’t give a shit about the market and are happy to screw us to benefit themselves. There is not denying that. That is the way the world works. So the question is why should American taxpayers allow that to happen. That is the case that advocates for a free market have to make. And you can’t make that case by begging the question and saying ‘but the market’ the way Suderman does here.

    If this is a bad deal, then say why. Is it bad that the state of Indiana have to get its greedy paws on a little bit smaller cut of someone else’ earnings? Maybe since it only went to Carrier. But maybe they should cut everyone’s taxes instead of sticking it to everyone in the name of fairness?

    1. Shorter John: “Socialism works, we just need the right people in charge!”

      1. He is becoming the new Tony from what it looks like. Gotta support your home team!

      2. Shorter android “what John said went right over my head. I don’t like it but I can’t really explain why, so I will just say something about socialism and move on”. If you don’t understand what I am talking about, just tell me and I will explain it using smaller words and simpler sentences.

        1. …other countries don’t give a shit about the market and are happy to screw us to benefit themselves.

          ‘kay Jon, I’ll bite. Explain how other countries acting in a mercantilist manner hurts us, and benefits them.

      3. John has always been fairly pro-market. What he points out is that the market isn’t fair (and I believe in the past he has said that it shouldn’t be) and the vast majority of Americans expect it to be. So if you’re going to promote the free market, you need to understand that mentality and figure out a way to explain why it’s okay that the market isn’t fair.

    2. It does not in every interest give a fair result

      I am having a hard time figuring out where a free market doesn’t give a fair result. Certainly it doesn’t always give a merciful result. But in a market where I get to use my resources to make the decisions I want- where I am fully in control of how my property will be used- I don’t see how any outcome of my decisions could be anything but fair.

      1. And worse, other countries don’t give a shit about the market and are happy to screw us to benefit themselves. There is not denying that. That is the way the world works. So the question is why should American taxpayers allow that to happen.

        Which of course is not a free market.

        Nevertheless, nothing you have said justifies this mythical “fairness”. If I try to start a company selling something that people won’t buy isn’t it fair for my mistake to result in losing my investment? If people buy my product, but I ensure the cost of production exceeds the cost of goods sold, isn’t the fair result that I lose my money? How is it fair for my mis-management to be offset by taking EVEN A PENNY from someone who had no hand in my decisions? How is that fair?

        And even assuming that I am unfairly targeted by a foreign competitor who subsidizes his own companies, how is it FAIR for me to take money from someone who was no party to my decisions or the decisions of the foreign government? Those tax payers didn’t help the foreign competitor.

        You want to talk about fair, but I don’t see how you’ve proved your case at all.

      2. If I sell you widgets at $2.50 a barrel for 10 years and then paranoid android comes along and offers to sell you the same widgets at $1.50 a barrel so you take your business to them, in a sense that’s not fair to me.

        Or put another way, if I’ve been selling you my widgets at $2.50 a barrel for 10 years and the next time you go to buy them I tell you they’re $50 a barrel, that’s not necessarily fair to you (especially if I’m the only one selling the widgets).

        Of course most people here (John included) understand that the market will eventually correct itself in either of those scenarios (barring any interference from the government). But good luck explaining that to the economically illiterate, which is what I took as the thrust of John’s argument (not that the market necessarily had to be fair). Maybe I’m wrong.

    3. “The judgement of the market is not the judgement of God. Yes, the free market gives you the most efficient result overall. It does not in every interest give a fair result. The market is unpredictable like life is isn’t always fair, however you define that.”

      Fairness and judgement has nothing to do with it.

      A free market is the only thing that is compatible with the unconditional and absolute individual right to pure freedom of contract. The results are the aggregate outcome of all the people trading in it freely making their own decisions one at a time. There is no higher value outcome than NOT interfering in their right to do so.

      1. that is nice Glibert but you are just talking past me.

        A free market is the only thing that is compatible with the unconditional and absolute individual right to pure freedom of contract.

        Don’t you understand that you are making an assumption here and not everyone necessarily shares that assumption? All you are doing here is saying “I don’t agree” with a lot of words. You are missing the entire point. Who says pure freedom is the only value that should be pursued? You do, but you need to explain why every other value doesn’t matter instead of just assuming that is the case.

        1. “Who says pure freedom is the only value that should be pursued? You do, but you need to explain why every other value doesn’t matter instead of just assuming that is the case.”

          No it is those who wish to impose on my autonomy to explain by what right they have any legitimate authority to interfere in it. Or explain how their personal opinions on how I should conduct my affairs is in any way wiser than my own.

        2. It’s almost like you don’t share first principles with libertarians.

          1. It is almost I like I want Libertarians to do a better job explaining their principles and stop just appealing top them like they are handed down from God. You will never win until you understand why you lose.

            1. We lose because we have no interest in taking control of other peoples lives like you and AMSOC :P. No further details needed.

            2. First principles are just that.

            3. I think old Milt had a line that should be the basis for defending the market. Basically need to show how “the market” IS the people and nothing else, nothing more. It’s simply the word we use to describe free people’s free will in action. Moreover, Libertarians are doomed out of the gate because of universal socialist education that teaches everyone history from the fedgov view, in which people’s freedom is a dangerous beast from which only gov can save them.

              1. Milton Berle said that?

    4. “And worse, other countries don’t give a shit about the market and are happy to screw us to benefit themselves.”

      And who is “us”?

      The interests of consumers who benefit from cheaper goods is not the same as the interests of producers who want to restrict competition and prevent consumers from buying from someone else is not the same thing.

    5. The sad thing is, you probably think it’s unfair when people call you Red Tony.

      1. What is sad is that the people on here are such shallow thinkers they don’t even understand their own assumptions or why their appeals to those assumption might not be good enough. If you go back and reread what I wrote, I never anything about the actual deal. My comment was critique of Sudderman. You have to do better than appeal to the authority of the market. It is virtually impossible to have a serious conversation on this board anymore because it is filled with people like you who are too dimwitted to understand anything but the simplest appeals to authority and ideology. That and the adware is so bad you can’t get a brower that won’t crash.

      2. LOL. John is a master troll. LOL.

        1. Yes. It is fun to take a different view on here and kick around the faithful. People like Jordan and Android are unworthy of holding the views that they hold. In some ways they offend me more than Tony. They are right about some things but they are too dumb to know why they hold them or how to properly defend them. It actually offends my sensibilities more when they agree with me than when they don’t. I wish they would become socialists something so freedom could have better defenders.

    6. Trump said he plans on cutting everyone’s taxes. Cronyism is wrong on any account. If anyone gets a break, everyone should get the same break.

    7. The judgement of the market is not the judgement of God.

      Vox populi, vox Dei.

      “There being no natural or divine Law for any Form of Government, or that one Person rather than another should have the sovereign Administration of Affairs, or have Power over many thousand different Families, who are by Nature all equal, being of the same Rank, promiscuously born to the same Advantages of Nature, and to the Use of the same common Faculties; therefore Mankind is at Liberty to chuse what Form of Government they like best.”

      Extend that idea to personal governance and we are all Gods in our own little sphere and the market is just an amalgamation of all our own individual decisions. It’s not good or bad or fair or just or right or wrong, it’s only the outcome. It may be nobody likes the outcome but it’s what we’ve all been working toward, like a man waking up with a bad hangover the morning after. He can say all he wants that he didn’t want the headache and the nausea and the dehydration and the dead hooker in the bathroom, but yeah, that’s what comes from that kind of partying at your age and you did indeed do that kind of partying. You earned that hangover, buddy, you worked hard for it. It’s like we all want to buy cheap and sell dear and even God can’t solve that paradox. But we all try hard enough and this is what we wind up with.

    8. Fair is an emotional word that can mean whatever the speaker wants it to mean. As such it has no meaning.

      Other countries economic affairs don’t harm us. We only harm ourselves when we turn towards hurting our own people in an attempt to “get back” at what other countries are doing. A country that subsidizes their businesses is harming their own people, not those in other countries who get those goods for less than if they had to make them themselves.

      Free trade needs no treaties, no agreements, no international organizations. All it needs is to leave people alone to choose on their own who to buy what from.

    9. John, if you used the term ‘free market fundamentalist ‘ you’d sound just like every leftist ever.

      Christ, it’s not even January and the Trump apologists are already defending mercantilism. At this point, I expect John will be quoting Engels by Spring.

  20. At the end of the day, people are out of work because mis-regulation and execution has wrecked the financial sector. Not their success (They’ll make their 7% no matter what), but their ability to efficiently distribute capital. We have seen massive flight of investment out of goods and services and into stock trading because fucked up interest rates make REAL investment unpalatable. Regulations galore make it easier by stock and bonds in a public company than to start the next big innovator.

    It’s easy for populists like Trump or Sanders to win votes by focusing on the symptoms rather than the problem. The manufacturing sector has been changing since the 80s, but the real nut punch that has people hurting came in the last two decades as our Fed policy inflated bubbles in tech stocks and then the housing industry. It is only the screwed up economy that has prevented displaced industry workers from getting work in new industries. We have taken the country into a briar patch of financial mal-incentives and everything from Obamacare to minimum wage battles to the Carrier stunt is just politicians trying to bandaid the cuts as we continue to wade further into the thicket of brambles.

    1. Additionally, the law demanding that foreign subsidiaries of US companies have to have any repatriated profits taxed has to be the stupidest single piece of legislation ever written from an economic perspective. They’ve already paid taxes on the money in the country where it was earned. All that law does is ensure they don’t repatriate money to the US and create jobs here.

    2. Banks don’t “distribute” capital. The only way money is “distributed” is when it is given to people in exchange for nothing.

      Banks only make their 7% (or whatever number it is for a particular bank) if they meet the needs and desires of those who are using their services. They should have been allowed to go under when they royally screwed up, not been subsidized. Those subsidies are the only reason anyone can think that they, or any other business, can make any money no matter what.

      Income isn’t “distributed,” it is earned. The old manufacturing jobs are not coming back because of automation and the kinds of products that are being made. There is still plenty of manufacturing going on. It just doesn’t take as many people to do it as it used to. That’s why there aren’t new manufacturing jobs here. Granted, minimum wages and union power did and continues to price a lot of workers out of the market and led to automation implementation sooner than it would have otherwise, but that’s not the fault of the economy itself.

  21. The GOP wasn’t exactly a free-market party, but it often pretended to be.

    When a child ties a towel around his neck and runs around the house like he’s flying he’s pretending to be Superman. When grown-ass adults keep over and over and over saying one thing and doing another, that’s not called “pretending”, it’s called “lying”.

    1. Excellent analogy.

  22. Not really speculating on what Trumputin will do, but what if he really cuts the corporate tax rate from 35 to 15% like he’s claiming he wants to do, and the Carrier deal is only to stir up a little media attention?

  23. I have a question.

    The $7M incentive. Is that a cash outlay, or is that just a waiver of taxes they weren’t going to pay anyway? As in, does carrier pay these taxes if they move the jobs?

    If these taxes were conditional on keeping these jobs in Indiana, then maybe the argument is that we should offer these incentives to everyone.

    I would like to know the expected lifespan of these jobs. A good job is worth more than $9k. If it lasts.

    1. Trump has no real power to do anything right now across the board, so I’m waiting to see and not too worried about this Carrier thing right now.

    2. And who would be paying for those incentives? If Carrier moves, they wouldn’t be paying the taxes. Plus, if Carrier did move, remember Trump’s promise to throw a huge tariff on them? Carrot and stick. Between the additional costs, it is now cheaper overall for them to stay than to go.

      At least for now. Trump won’t be president forever, so who know what it will look like 4 or 8 years down the road.

  24. Put another way. Was this an example of taxes driving jobs to Mexico and Pence cut the taxes and saved the jobs?

    Should we be giving a standing ovation?

      1. Except these deals tend to be given out like candy to any company with leverage to bring or move jobs.

        1. I don’t see how that’s an exception.

        2. Yes, and its shitty. Its better simply to cut taxes and stop making politicians into a clergy who hands out indulgences to the business-class.

          1. ^This guy knows what’s up^

          2. GOP Apologist!!!!

          3. We should call it economic simony.

      2. Does cutting this firm’s taxes somehow make it less likely other taxes will be cut? Seems to me the other way around: that once people see the benefits to themselves & the economy from a tax break, everyone else will want it too.

    1. and Pence cut the taxes

      No, he handed out Government Credits.

      I debated the ickyness of this very point last night.

      The important distinction is that ‘tax cuts’ are done as a matter of law, and do not change on the whims of political favor. Tax “breaks” (subsidies/credits/etc) are things you lobby for, and depend on ‘relationships’.

      1. This is a very important distinction.

    2. Sure, after all you have been on your knees blowing Drumpf too long.

  25. The GOP wasn’t exactly a free-market party, but it often pretended to be.

    The GOP is a pro-business party. The problem is most Republicans think being pro-business and being pro-market are the same thing.

    1. Not pro-business in general. Just pro the businesses they like. No matter what their rhetoric has been about free markets (free means free to fail as well as free to succeed), their actions have never been truly free market.

    2. Knee-capping all the businesses but your favorite one so it gets a competitive advantage isn’t really pro business any more than extinguishing the natural predator of my favorite animal makes me a friend of the local wildlife.

  26. they are correct in a way, in modern America capitalism doesn’t work because its not allowed

  27. “The GOP drops the pretense of being a free-market party.”

    Three Points:

    1) Trump is not the GOP

    The establishment ran against him.

    The Tea Party candidates opposed him.

    Trump was effectively elected by an influx of disaffected Democrats–blue collar, anti-free trade.

    Who will be surprised if Trump faces a challenger for the nomination in 2020 and loses?

    2) The choice wasn’t between free-market Republicans and free-market Democrats.

    Obama was an abysmal failure–renegotiating trade agreements and only accepting them after they were expressly approved by the UAW. Hillary promised to be no better.

    I wish the choices were so clearly between central planning and free markets, but truly free markets have never been an either/or proposition in our lifetimes. In reality, some flavors of unfree markets taste better than others, and, so far, looks to me like Trump’s taste better than Obama’s. (Getting rid of ObamaCare and Frank-Dodd, anyone?)

    A bee sting isn’t just as bad as a cobra bite because they both contain venom.

    3) From other sources, the straw that kept Carrier in Indiana wasn’t just tax incentives from the state or Trump’s arm twisting. Trump made some big promises about reforming corporate taxation that will make it less attractive for companies like Carrier to flee our borders.

    If Trump plans to slash corporate tax rates because where they are now causes companies to flee our country, then I wouldn’t characterize that as anti-free market.

    1. If Trump plans to slash corporate tax rates because where they are now causes companies to flee our country, then I wouldn’t characterize that as anti-free market.

      “????”

      –The Spartan council to the Macedonians

      1. I don’t think the Republicans in Congress are entirely hostile to the idea of tax reform.

        Many of them might want to go further than Trump with that.

        1. Indeed.

          Still, we need to live in the present. And presently, we have a VP-Elect going on record saying something that could have easily come from Bernie Sander’s or Liz Warren’s lips.

          That should give you pause.

          1. Yes, but the important difference is that Trump wants to do cronyism his way while Bernie Bae and White Squaw want to do it their way. See how different that is?

            1. Yeah, Trump’s way is better.

              A bee sting isn’t just as bad as a cobra bite because they both contain venom.

    2. Trump is the GOP at this point. He has more power than the establishment or the Tea Party within the party and without it.

      1. What do you mean when you say he’s the GOP?

        You mean he’s their brand image?

        A majority of Republicans voted for someone else in the primary.

        The Republicans in Congress who support him now mostly only support him because he won.

        He is not in ideological harmony with the rest of the GOP.

        The establishment GOP is free trade like George H. W. Bush.

        The Tea Party is anti-stimulus for infrastructure like they were when Obama did it.

        The office of President having more power than Congress doesn’t mean Trump’s ideas on free trade are in any way indicative of how most of the elected politicians in the Republican Party feel about free trade.

        It isn’t even indicative of what most registered Republicans think about free trade. Last figure I saw showed that some 43% of union households voted for Trump? That Trump got a bunch of wannabe UAW workers to vote for him–in addition to traditional Republicans–does not mean that the UAW is now the ideological center of the Republican party.

        1. A majority of Republicans voted for someone else in the primary. etc.

          all true. one might argue that Trump is less-representative of the ‘party’ than any previous president.

          that said…

          That Trump got a bunch of wannabe UAW workers to vote for him–in addition to traditional Republicans–does not mean that the UAW is now the ideological center of the Republican party.

          i agree it doesn’t mean there’s any sea-change, nor that Trump will somehow transform GOP politics overnight by force of will.

          However (and i dont think this is what cali was saying)… i do think he may certainly influence things in a different direction. Republicans like winning just as much as democrats, and they’ll change their rhetorical-tune for convenience. I still don’t think its indicative of any major change in policy outcomes, but its certainly different.

          as a side note= Ron Paul opposed NAFTA, and spoke out against what Reason currently calls “Free Trade”

          A Reason piece from 2007 notes that “Sixty-one percent of Republicans said they favored “tougher regulations to limit imports of foreign goods.” Fifty-nine percent agreed that “foreign trade has been bad for the U.S. economy.”

          And we’re supposed to believe Trump somehow changed things?

          1. “He may certainly influence things in a different direction. Republicans like winning just as much as democrats, and they’ll change their rhetorical-tune for convenience.”

            We’ll have to wait and see what he does.

            If he gets rid of ObmaCare and Dodd-Frank in his first 100 days in office, the left will be decrying him as a free-market extremist for it and I’ll be cheering him on.

            And then we’ll have to wait and see what he does next.

      2. Trump is the GOP at this point.

        That doesn’t really make any sense. Political parties are just umbrellas under which multiple constituencies huddle. He’s not particularly representative of any one of them; he panders to all of them, selectively. Trump is mostly an empty vessel who is what certain groups want him to be at any given time. You can’t find any position trump has taken which he hasn’t reversed at least once in the past.

        Clinton, by contrast, was more-representative of a specific ‘wing’ of the Dems; she tried to pretend to be hip w/Obama’s progressive-side, but part of the reason she lost is because she failed at that. She was a centrist, 1990s Democrat.

        Trump doesn’t “change” the rest of the GOP merely by virtue of being in power. He may try and herd Republican congress in a given direction, but he doesn’t strike me as someone driven by internal ideology as much as “whatever works”.

      3. Trump is the GOP at this point

        How did Bush’s plan to reform Social Security work out, while the GOP held both houses of Congress?

        The President is not the party. Not that that fact makes anything better.

      4. Pretty much. Everyone else in the GOP is a rubber stamp.

        He won against Clinton, he broke through the rust belt with no real support from the GOP or donors.

        His mandates makes him the GOP. What he says, the GOP will do.

    3. Who will be surprised if Trump faces a challenger for the nomination in 2020 and loses?

      I don’t expect his 1st term to make him so unpopular as to make a serious challenge like that possible. I mean, I would be surprised if I found out about such a future now; once the time comes, if it happens, I won’t be surprised, because then I’ll see the reasons for it.

    4. I wish the choices were so clearly between central planning and free markets

      I’m not sure I’d want that to be the choice, unless I’m the only one choosing. I’m afraid that in a polity of large #s, I’d wind up with central planning. Ever think that a mixed economy is the best we can do in the current political climate anywhere in the world?

  28. If taxation is theft, then corporate taxation is being robbed twice.

  29. “The company is also betting that Mr. Trump will fulfill his promise for tax and regulatory reform to make U.S. manufacturing more competitive. United Technologies does about 61% of its sales outside the U.S., and it has some $6 billion in cash overseas that would be taxed at a 35% rate if it brought the money home today. Carrier currently pays a 28% effective tax rate, so a tax reform that cut the corporate rate to 20% and only taxed earnings in the country where they are earned would more than make up for the Indianapolis concession.”

    —Wall Street Journal

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/tr…..1480639199

    1. This. I only like this type of deal as a bridge to tax reform.

    2. This. I only like this type of deal as a bridge to tax reform.

  30. If this report is true, the real promise was to cut corporate taxes across the board. Pence was just icing.

    http://fortune.com/2016/11/30/…..deal-jobs/

    1. +1

      “If you leave now, you’re gonna regret it because I’m about to push for corporate tax reform that will make you wish you had stayed” isn’t exactly an anti-free trade argument.

      There were surely other promises and threats, too, but I don’t think this is what they’re making it out to be.

      If Trump were as anti-capitalist as Obama and following Obama’s example, a few days after being inaugurated, he’d use taxpayer money to nationalize GM and give the shares to the UAW.

      Then he’d forcibly bailout a series of investment banks and refuse to let them pay the money back as a pretense–for the primary purpose of being allowed to veto their executive pay decisions. They used to be the engines of creative destruction. Now they’re retail banks.

      If you want some great examples of a President who hates free trade and free market capitalism, don’t look to Trump jawboning someone into staying put in Indiana. We should look at the guy who’s presently in the White House.

  31. Vice President-Elect Mike Pence on the Carrier Deal: ‘The Free Market Has Been Sorting It Out and America’s Been Losing.’

    “We need Central Planning and making the trains run on time!”

    Can I start calling El Trumpo “Il Duce” now?

  32. Something about this quote bothers me. I have followed Pence for some time and while I don’t always agree with him, this statement really seems out of character. I wouldlike to see the full exchange so as to better understand the context, not the snippet that appears in the paragraph.

  33. Perhaps true, but it’s a little funny considering that nobody despises the free market more than Pete Macadoodle Suderweigel and his hero Obama.

  34. The dramatic declaration of “OH NO! GOP BETRAYAL” is unnecessary. Let’s just point out the bad policy without giving ourselves a hernia.

    But we certainly shouldn’t deny that this statement is anti-liberty. It is.

  35. If a “free market” requires equal treatment of all players under law (and the arguments against the Carrier deal suggest as much) then there is no such thing as “free markets” internationally, since by virtue of being under different jurisdictions with vastly different legal requirements, players are necessarily treated very differently under law.

    If the government gave Carrier, and only Carrier, license to pay its workers $1/hr and to dump their toxic waste in the local river, that would be a massive advantage over their competitors. It wouldn’t be a free market. How then can globalist libertarians argue that a market that includes both American businesses and third world nations with lax environmental and labor regulations are a “free market”?

    When it comes to the global economy, you can have free trade, or you can possibly have freeish domestic markets (e.g. by using tariffs to incentivize overseas companies to voluntarily comply with US law), but you certainly can’t have both without a single global government, and I’d rather lose both free trade and free markets than deal with that sort of abomination.

    1. The WTO definition of “free trade” as a “level playing field” is fucking Keynesian bullshit. The libertarian stance has always aligned with the original and true definition of free trade, that is the natural right of a sovereign individual to make purchases based on his or her own preference. The only position that is in agreement with libertarian principles is that any attempt by a government to restrict the right of the individual to purchase foreign goods is both a violation of the NAP and is beyond the proper function of government. Period.

      That this is even under debate in this fora has shown how debased the libertarian label has become. A label now to be thrown in the garbage heap of meaningless ideological terms along with its kin “neoconservative,” “neoliberal,” “fascist,” and “Belgian.”

      1. “The WTO definition of “free trade” as a “level playing field” is fucking Keynesian bullshit.”

        I think you misread my point. I was observing that the authors are suggesting that a free market requires that the players be equal under the law.

        If sovereign individuals make purchases based on their own preferences, that is indeed “free trade”. However, the market resulting from global free trade is not a free market, as defined above.

        1. I made the point up-thread that “free trade” and “free market” aren’t necessarily synonymous. However, arguments against the existence of an international free market entail certain restrictions against free trade. If I prefer the price point of electronics assembled by Shenzhen slave-laborers, then, from a libertarian perspective, your incentivizing tariff is an unjust impingement on my sovereignty as a consumer.

          1. Meaning that libertarians are opposed to free markets. To some extent, anyway. So Reason’s motto should be “Free minds and free trade”.

            1. WTO “free markets,” yes.

            2. That having been said, there is no reason we couldn’t level out the playing field by having the government get out of the way. Those 3rd World nations might remember something we don’t. So if we stopped hampering ourselves, told the AFL-CIO to get fucked, eliminated OSHA, and re-opened Ellis Island to recruit the (unentitled) labor that “sweatshops” (or as they call it outside of NA and EU, “working hard”) need. We’d have a much freer market without losing American sovereignty.

              But somehow I don’t think that’s what folks like Mike M. want.

          2. I didn’t bring it up in the original response, but I assume you’re being hyperbolic about the “slave-laborers” comment. Obviously, allowing people to reward and indirectly benefit from violations of the NAP would gut it, and would justify fences and contract killers.

            1. “Obviously, allowing people to reward and indirectly benefit from violations of the NAP would gut it, and would justify fences and contract killers”

              I don’t think so since that presumes symmetric knowledge. More importantly, allowing those who enslave others should be illegal.

      2. Trade policy at the level of nations is always going to be more mercantilist in character than laissez-faire. The people who make policy have their own sets of incentives, not the least of which being the need to reach agreement with their counterparts in other countries.

        That having been said, the WTO is a useless parasite.

    2. You can have free trade and free markets. You have to get rid of Marxism, Keynesianism, and corrupt scum.

      No one is waiting around for this stuff to happen, but it is simply fact that free markets and free trade are the only things that allows for the greater prosperity of all.

      All the united states needs to do is shrink the size of the feral government massively and terminate all of the regulations, stop spending, and lower all taxes drastically, and that alone would allow for economic growth, the likes of which would elevate the world.
      All of the other socialist, Keynesian shitholes would suffer under the weight of their own protectionist schemes eventually.
      American would simply have to have the stomach to handle the pain of the adjustment.

      American will not vote themselves into pain. Instead, they will vote for the squirrel head that says we’re going to win so much, we’re going to be tired of winning.

      1. “shrink the size of the feral government”

        This spelling still works, imo.

      2. “You have to get rid of Marxism, Keynesianism, and corrupt scum.”

        So you’re saying there’s a chance.

    3. @ant1sthenes: That’s pretty much what I was thinking. I’m convinced of the merits of a free market *within* a country and the general mutual benefit of free trade between countries with similar economic policies and standard of living, but free trade between countries with very different markets doesn’t seem like a “level playing field”.

      1. There’s also the practical element: Trading good American jobs (i.e. – impoverishing our fellow citizens and moving large amounts of capital out of the country) for cheap Chinese goods seems like a shit deal.

  36. How then can globalist libertarians argue that a market that includes both American businesses and third world nations with lax environmental and labor regulations are a “free market”?

    Wow, this is a truly outstanding point. A real libertarian can’t make this argument, but it’s critical to understand that Suderman and most of his fellows around here aren’t real libertarians.

    1. What is he talking about.

      Environmental regulations have nothing to do with free market economics. They are bureaucratic schemes.

      Labor regulations have no place in a free market.

      1. Free markets are a system with rules. The most fundamental rules deal with property rights, and to some extent establishing those rules with regard to natural resources is going to overlap with what we would term “environmental regulations”.

        1. Call it what you will.
          Unless you are talking simply only about private property rights and enforcement of contract law, then all other mandates are burdensome regulation.

          Private property rights, in a free market with rule of law, would cover you for your neighbor’s pollution if it damages your property.

    2. Precisely. Most are tea baggers who basically turn every conversation to go full RWNJ.

      This is about Pence, GOP and the Carrier bribe.

      Watch how many are NOT talking about Pence, GOP or the Carrier bribe

  37. How is this any different than what Governors all over the country already do?

    1. It’s not.
      I thought trump was supposed to drain the swamp though.

      Which, of course, would mean that he would denounce this type of stuff. call it tax breaks, incentives, credits, whatever.

      If it is not a uniform policy, the perks of which are afforded by all, then it is not free market based.
      If there is a benefit for a few with the slack being taken up by the many, than it is a protectionist, cronyist, whatever you want to call it sweetheart deal.

      1. Thinking a uniform free market policy is going to be applied in a nation of 50 different states, with different populations/cultures/geographies/regulatory environments, is sheer fantasy. Especially when you take into account that a lot of corporations simply offshore their production divisions and call centers. It’s simply easier to lure these companies and corporations with individualized tax breaks because you can target their specific needs. I guarantee you that if we lowered the corporate tax rate to 15% we’d still have companies offshoring jobs and bringing in H-1Bs because they’re all about the bucks, not whether their businesses practices are actually benefitting the communities they’re based in.

        1. They should be all about the bucks. That is what business is for.

          And all should have that choice with absolutely no commentary from scumbag politicians.

          1. They should be all about the bucks. That is what business is for.

            No, that’s a corporate view of what a business is for. Try running a small business sometime and let me know how the “show me the money” mission statement works for you.

            And all should have that choice with absolutely no commentary from scumbag politicians

            Yeah, well, that’s not how real life has worked for the entire history of human civilization. It certainly would never apply to a country that was founded by “scumbag politicians”.

            1. Re: Red Rocks Dickin Bimbos,

              No, that’s a corporate view of what a business is for.

              It is the rational view.

              Try running a small business sometime and let me know how the “show me the money” mission statement works for you.

              It actually works very well as long as the owner also understands that the consumer is sovereign and that a company is not supposed to be a charity. If you think it should, good luck to you.

              1. It is the rational view.

                Begging the question.

                It actually works very well as long as the owner also understands that the consumer is sovereign and that a company is not supposed to be a charity. If you think it should, good luck to you.

                False dilemma.

        2. because they’re all about the bucks, not whether their businesses practices are actually benefitting the communities they’re based in.

          You forgot, “And a corporation’s primary fiduciary duty being to its shareholders is a good thing.”

          Right?

          1. You forgot, “And a corporation’s primary fiduciary duty being to its shareholders is a good thing.”

            Well, I’m sure the efforts of various mass media organizations to push SJW cultural issues has benefitted their shareholders in many ways, although I don’t really see how it’s benefitted society at large.

            1. I’m sure the efforts of various mass media organizations to push SJW cultural issues has benefitted their shareholders in many ways

              I’m pretty sure the boycotts of certain companies by gamers during GamerGate is evidence that isn’t necessarily so.

              1. And how much influence has GamerGate actually had on the gaming companies or corporate bottom line in the long run?

                1. Hey Bernie bro, it IS all about profit, since that’s the fuel of enterprise. Yes, companies that treat their employees or customers like shit don’t make it, which is why the market is a stern taskmaster. I didn’t think we’d have to cover Free Markets 101 in this forum.

                  1. Hey Bernie bro, it IS all about profit, since that’s the fuel of enterprise.

                    That’s an autistic view of how businesses operate, especially on the lower scale.

                    1. That’s the true view of how and why businesses operate, your semester of intro to economics at Sarah Lawrence notwithstanding. Here’s a lesson for you:

                      ” It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages. “

                      But I guess I shouldn’t waste my time on someone who uses autism as a generic insult.

        3. And there is nothing uniform about a free market economy. And yet, somehow it can work simply by people collaborating via mutual exchange of value for benefit.
          The invisible hand is smarter than any prognosticator has ever been.

      1. Is that sigh because the dreaded Trump is taking credit for it? My understanding is the this is mostly a Pence deal, what with him being the sitting governor of Indiana.

        Or is it because I didn’t call it out for being a bad deal while pointing out that it’s pretty normal (sadly).

        1. Its because you’re right, and there are no free market politicians, and the next four years will be filled with small government types defending cronyism because of it.

          1. Ah. Sorry if that came off a bit angry.

            For what it’s worth, I wasn’t trying to defend it, just not sure why the outrage is suddenly different.

  38. I must say it is rich to see some of my proggie derpbook friends complaining now about how Indiana taxpayers are getting ripped off.

    1. No kidding. I swear I heard a dipshit democrat say something about how protectionism is a departure from free markets principles the other day.

      Where am I?

      1. Of course, when they do it, its for the “common good”…

  39. “‘The Free Market Has Been Sorting It Out and America’s Been Losing.'”

    Seriously!? Why is it when individuals are free to engage in transactions with one another free of force, theft, coercion, and violence (aka the state) do products and services flourish without crisis and chaos?

    When was the last garbage pail crisis and how long did it last? Cb radios, cd players, ipods, IPads, tampons, clothing, boots, sneakers, computers…… Where there is either little or no political involvement whatsoever (to include regulations to benefit political donors) these (and many more) things flourish.

    Yet this douchebag believes that the free market needs MOAR gov’t help. Seriously, gov’t is the problem. While there is plenty of evidence to show the free market has positive effects on individuals, their property, and their liberty.

    When are they going to include “NO GOVT” when individuals go to the polls? Voter turnout would probably be at a record high. These douchebags represent themselves and their hunger for power over others.

  40. I like Mike Pence (more than Donald) but he was incredibly ignorant in that statement.

    Saying that “America lost under free market” implies that there was bonanza of free market under Obama. There wasn’t. The last 8 years were a bailout era in which the government picked winners and losers even beyond the economy. Just look at Obamacare.

    Team Trump is high on the election victory, but the middle parts of America depend on exports and there are some foreign manufacturing plants there. Careful now.

  41. Trumpkin fascism.

  42. Are people too stupid to deserve information?
    Obama turned the ‘Job Council’ over to the Fortune 500, headed up by General Electric.. no small enterprise was invited.
    Bush turned over the war prepairers to group of companies,,
    Bill Clinton had his favorite HHS servicing companies..

    Anything.. ANYTHING a President doers favors some, and not others, it is unavoidable..
    so far, one difference is that Trump says he works FOR AMERICA.. for free..

    The Previous mentioned Presidents earned hundreds of millions in tax free foundations…
    So look closely, before deciding Trump is interfering with ‘Free Markets’.. after all.. rebuilding infrastructure has always, just like 50 cents out of every dollar, has gone to companies with offices within 50 miles of the White House,
    Every policy enactment has 80% of regulatory legislation framework written by big enterprise/lobbyists to help the corrupt morons in Congress..
    So far, Trump is doing a swell job.

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  44. What free market? Governments have been medaling with the market for many years. Fiat currency is a prime force of government interference. I’m new to Reason. So, what was Reason’s stand on the 430 million Solyndra received? Now, for the auto maker bailouts. Ford refused, Chrysler paid back by Fiat, by the way could have happened with out government interference. Leaving GM. GM used the funds to sure up UAW pension fund. The UAW now controls the pension fund. So, in the end the only organization to get bailed out was the UAW.

    As far as the 7 million Indiana contribution, was probably tax cuts property and/or income taxes. States do this kind of thing all the time to incentivize businesses to locate in their state. So, what’s the big deal?

    1. Reason mocked and decried Solyndra and other similar deals, as well as the automaker bailouts, TARP, cash for clunkers, etc.

      1. And now, like all the baggers have their kneepads acting as if this is something that was not known about the GOP.

        Libertarians? BWAHAHAHAHAHA

        Tea baggers. The whole lot

  45. LOL, so long to the notion of Pence being the safety valve for Trump’s antics on such issues. Repub voters done goofed.

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  47. Germany has bent over backwards to keep its skilled and semi-skilled workers employed. Unlike Germany America hasn’t done anything to keep its skilled workers employed. It allows H-2s in do skilled trades, and Illegals to do semi-skilled trades. STEMS H-1s are a big obstacle to the college educated. Alot of IT, and Tech off-shored because it’s cheaper. If America is going to survive thins have to change.

    1. Germany is a rancid sewer of nationalsocialism. Herbert Hoover–Prussian-descended like Trump–saved them from retribution and starvation in 1919, then from being stripped of all assets as reparations payments in the 1931 Moratorium on Brains. Bert Hoover also propped up demand for German heroin by keeping light beer a felony–thus enabling Germany to rearm and wreak killing-fields genocide a second time. But there is no denying German politicians like labor: Arbeit Macht Frei over the gate at Auschwitz proudly proclaims that “Freedom is Slavery.”

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  49. Finally. The baggers at reason admit what has been known about the GOP.

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  51. God’s Own Prohibitionists wrote, what… 36000 words in their platform making it clear they want the Wall, to preserve national socialist asset forfeiture and IRS confiscations, the Transport Sozialist Arbeiterpartei, The Troubled Altruist Relief Program, NSA wiretaps and mail-opening, shoot-first bans against Burning Bush shrubbery (cannibal saliva, erythroxylum, viridis, catha) and throttles and manacles on the stock market to disguise whenever these policies trigger a flash crash. Everything El Presidente offered to do–except torture mohammedans and murder their families–is in that platform. The Libertarian Platform contains 2700 words–two Declarations of Independence’s worth–readable in 15 minutes. Our 4 million spoiler votes are not something the looters’ dupes will forget–especially after their homes are confiscated, their pets and children shot by Special Waffen And Terrorist teams, and they themselves are stripped of property and rights.

  52. Pence quote taken out of context: Pence said free market punishing America because of our regulatory and tax burdens, which Trump will fix.

    C’mon Reason – you gotta do better that that.

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  58. I despise the term ‘crony capitalism’. It’s a contradiction, or rather an oxymoron.

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