Economic Nationalism

Elizabeth Warren's 'Economic Patriotism' Doubles Down on Bad Policy

Maybe Trump and Warren should team up for their 2020 run to make room on the ballot for better ideas.


Perhaps the only person who dislikes foreigners and free trade more than the economic ignoramus who occupies the White House is another economic ignoramus who wants to occupy the White House.

"A lot of giant companies refer to themselves as 'American,'" snipes Elizabeth Warren, Democratic presidential wannabe and U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, in a recent campaign advertisement. "But face it, they have no loyalty or allegiance to America."

Warren warns that pencils are mostly made in China and Mexico (boo hiss). And, she cautions, a third of corporate shareholders are foreign investors! When it comes to doing business across national borders, Warren has set her sights on the same sort of scheme President Donald Trump threatened in 2016, when he pledged punitive taxes on a company if it "leaves our country for another country, fires its employees, builds another factory or plant in another country."

To counter these actions, Warren proposes a scheme of "economic patriotism." She adds, "in a Warren administration, government policy will support American workers." I assume those are the same "American workers" to whom President Trump pledges devotion along with "great Patriot Farmers" in his trade war against China and the world beyond.

Warren's choice of a pencil manufacturer to include among her perp walk of economic villains who dare to operate outside the United States is especially ironic, given that the humble writing implement featured in Leonard R. Read's 1958 celebration of the free market, "I, Pencil." The essay explores the international sourcing of the materials required to make a pencil, as well as the diverse skills and knowledge necessary for its manufacture.

"My family tree begins with what in fact is a tree, a cedar of straight grain that grows in Northern California and Oregon…The graphite is mined in Ceylon [Sri Lanka]…," Read notes. The eraser "is a rubber-like product made by reacting rapeseed oil from the Dutch East Indies [Indonesia] with sulfur chloride."

The voluntary organization of these inputs—"millions of tiny know-hows configurating naturally and spontaneously in response to human necessity and desire"—produces much better results than a clumsy top-down effort to organize matters ever could, Read writes.

"The lesson I have to teach is this: Leave all creative energies uninhibited. Merely organize society to act in harmony with this lesson. Let society's legal apparatus remove all obstacles the best it can. Permit these creative know-hows freely to flow," the famous essay concludes.

Forget tiny know-hows configurating naturally and spontaneously; Sen. Warren wants her damned No. 2 pencils made in Worcester, Massachusetts (or at some other approved domestic location) by American workers under the auspices of a program of "economic patriotism" imposed through "aggressive intervention" by the state. "We will make clear that trade policy must defend and create American jobs," she elaborates elsewhere.

That's exactly the sort of thinking that gets well-informed economists all lathered up, because it invariably ends poorly for American jobs, as well as for everybody's prosperity.

"National Taxpayers Union is joined by more than 1,100 economists urging opposition to this new economic protectionism," the Washington-based organization announced last year in response to President Trump's nationalistic saber-rattling over trade. The missive was the same letter that over 1,000 economists sent in 1930 in opposition to the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act. "A higher level of protection would raise the cost of living and injure the great majority of our citizens… Such action would inevitably provoke other countries to pay us back in kind by levying retaliatory duties against our goods," economists noted then and restated in 2018.

The National Taxpayers Union should send a copy of the letter over to the Warren campaign, not that she and her cronies are likely to listen. As they do today, politicians ignored economists' warnings in 1930, and the world suffered the consequences.

"The tariff and retaliations against it destroyed the world trade system and demolished the integrated world financial structure," George Mason University's Prof. Thomas C. Rustici wrote for the Foundation for Economic Education in 2012. "The tariff dramatically lowered U.S. exports, from $7 billion in 1929 to $2.4 billion in 1932…U.S. iron and steel exports decreased 85.5 percent by 1932 due to retaliation by Canada."

President Trump's protectionist fulminating has already sparked retaliation by China, which cut off imports of American agricultural products. Tough luck for those "great Patriot Farmers."

The European Union also threatens more tit-for-tat tariffs against American goods in its continuing battle with the U.S. government.

The ultimate outcome of the current trade war depends on how nasty it gets, but we're already suffering the consequences.

"We find that the full incidence of the tariff falls on domestic consumers, with a reduction in U.S. real income of $1.4 billion per month by the end of 2018," cautions a paper issued earlier this year. "We also see similar patterns for foreign countries who have retaliated against the U.S., which indicates that the trade war also reduced real income for other countries."

And yes, it can get worse.

"If all tariffs announced thus far were fully imposed, U.S. GDP would fall by 0.68 percent ($170.83 billion) in the long run, effectively offsetting about 40 percent of the long-run impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Wages would fall by 0.43 percent and employment would fall 529,544." the Tax Foundation predicts.

There's no reason to believe other countries will be more receptive to a hypothetical President Warren's foreigner-bashing and trade-tinkering just because she sticks a different brand name on bad policy. Protectionism and nationalism would still draw retaliation. Warren could potentially spark an even nastier international conflict than the current president because of her militant hostility to free trade.

"Elizabeth Warren's trade policy is even more protectionist and unilateralist than Donald Trump's," marvels Tufts University's Daniel W. Drezner, a professor of international politics.

Perhaps a Trump/Warren or Warren/Trump ticket for 2020 makes good sense. That way, we could shovel most of the terrible economic ideas onto one ballot line and, just maybe, get an economically literate candidate to run against them.

NEXT: Federal Health Agency Engages in Baseless Scaremongering by Linking 'Severe Lung Illness' to 'E-Cigarette Aerosol'

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  1. “A lot of giant companies refer to themselves as ‘American,'” snipes Elizabeth Warren, Democratic presidential wannabe and U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, in a recent campaign advertisement. “But face it, they have no loyalty or allegiance to America.”

    Is she wrong?

    This seems like something that Warren and Libertarians should be able to agree on.

    1. You know who else wanted companies to be loyal to the homeland?

      1. Every government everywhere from forever?

    2. You make no sense. What does one have to do with the other? How can one be loyal to a country? The Constitution, sure; although it could be better. Some people are loyal to Trump, or Lizzie. How can one be loyal to a country? Should 1932 Germans have remained loyal to 1934 Germany, or 1916 Russians to 1918 Russia?

      1. How am I making no sense?

        Warren says companies aren’t loyal to America.

        Libertarians presumably agree, thinking that companies are loyal to their stockholders.

        1. This libertarian doesn’t think a “company” can be loyal. Individuals within that company, though, can be. And I’d say those individuals are about as likely to be loyal to government as they are to shareholders.

        2. Sure, we agree on that point.

          What we don’t agree on is whether or not that is a problem. Since we don’t consider it a problem, we’re not going to be onboard with Warren’s ‘solution’ to it.

          1. “…we’re not going to be onboard with Warren’s ‘solution’ to it.”

            A solution in search of a problem…

            1. Toon Hye es?

    3. She is not wrong in saying that good companies have no loyalty or allegiance to America. She is very wrong in implying that they should and astonishingly dangerous in her threat to enforce “loyalty” at the point of a gun.

    4. Maybe Warren and nationalists, sure. But libertarians? Why?

      1. Why? Because we ALL (libertarians included) are supposed to LOVE our nation! My country, right or wrong! America… Love it or leave it! My tribe GREAT! Your tribe SUCKS! Thus has it ever been… Thus must it ever be!

        If you don’t like it here… Even if you were born here… GO BACK WHERE YOU CAME FROM!

        (/sarc… It is a SAD commentary that I feel the need to add that tag right there)

    5. Seems to me that Libertarians support the idea that companies should be loyal to shareholders, with faith that the market will generally even things out. Are the shareholders mostly American – even if indirectly through pension funds, mutual funds, and 401(k) plans? Yes. Companies need to keep pleasing their customers too- in order to make the profits that shareholders expect, and those customers are American – and of course, for many companies, their are customers in many other countries – but that is okay, unless you don’t believe that all countries benefit from trading goods and services. The outsourcing of production to other countries certainly bothers protectionists like Warren and Trump, but I’m not sure it bothers Libertarians.

  2. Well Reason’s seeming support for Amash , who said he is an independent because those with party labels (like libertarian) do not support everyone , is not my idea of a good selection for the ballot given he has already thrown the party under the bus to support his becoming an independent !

    But that apparently didn’t phase Reason at all in pushing him forward as a libertarian candidate.

    1. That word salad needs some dressing.

    2. “The party” (nice phrasing, comrade), if it has any value, exists to support the representative. The representative does not exist to support The Party.

      Get your priorities in order, you collectivist shitbag.

  3. Fauxahontas needs a better schtick: economic patriotism. Pfffft!

    She is about as patriotic as she is American Indian…

    1. Warren needs a better schtick.

      Right-wing bigots need to find another country.

      Everyone has needs.

      1. “Right-wing bigots need to find another country.”

        Left wing asshole bigots need a brain.

      2. Yeah, and useless leftist whiners need people to feed them, provide shelter and energy, etc. so they have plenty of time to activist.

    2. Nationalism is OK, as long as its the Cherokee Nation

      1. On the contrary, that nation has shown itself too exclusionary, ask Warren herself.

  4. It’s almost like Warren is reaching across the aisle and hoping that #AlwaysTrump Republicans will see her feminine version of their Lord and Savior. The only substantive difference between the two is that she doesn’t seem to have a wall fetish.

    1. The only substantive difference between the two is that she doesn’t seem to have a wall fetish.

      You’re 100% correct! I can *totally* picture Warren nominating Gorsuch and DeVos. And I always forget which one said America would never be socialist…

      1. b-b-b-b-b-But GORSUCH!!!!!!

        1. JoeJoetheIdiotCircusBoy
          August.29.2019 at 4:57 pm
          “b-b-b-b-b-But GORSUCH!!!!!!”

          Yes, among others.
          We get that you have no point or argument. Is simply repeating a valid point supposed to do something other than make your ignorance obvious?

        2. I agree, Gorsuch was a huge win.

          1. I agree, too. I keep waiting for another equally unambiguous win. Apparently the greatest libertarian president of our lifetime is having a difficult time winning more. Too many deals I guess.

      2. I can see her totally nominating someone who will cause the Republicans to shit their pants, but who ends up being not too bad and actually quite good an a few things. So yeah, the equivalent of nominating Gorsuch.

        1. “I can see her totally nominating someone who will cause the Republicans to shit their pants, but who ends up being not too bad and actually quite good an a few things. So yeah, the equivalent of nominating Gorsuch.”

          That’s FUNNY.

          1. Sotomayer turned out better than expected.

            1. “Sotomayer turned out better than expected.”

              Yeah, Khrushchev was better than Stalin, too.
              You’re as funny as Brandybuck.

          2. He has a point insofar as if you believe Gorsuch is panning out the way Trump expected, you really are blinded by partisanship, if not cult of personality.

        2. Umm… nope. She is too utterly stupid to nominate anyone except whom her handlers advise.

      3. Trump said America would never be socialist and then turned around and bailed out the already subsidized-and-regulated-to-the-hilt farmers, er farming corporations.

    2. Maybe not a wall fetish, but she has a wampum fetish. She wants to seize wampum from everyone that has it.

      I have nothing against fetishes as a rule, but keep they need to be kept private and between consenting adults. Both Trump and Stands With Her Hand Out Warren are shoving their fetishes in everyone’s faces.

  5. “Elizabeth Warren’s ‘Economic Patriotism'” = Our money into her bank account.
    As an added plus, she’ll produce more Big Government to ensure we peasants don’t rebel against her brave new world.

  6. Politics is all about convincing people that you are more qualified to run their life than they are without actually letting them know how low your opinion of them is. The people most adept at hiding their disgust and loathing at what a bunch of pathetic fat stupid fucks the American people are gets the privilege of calling himself our humble public servant.

    Now, do you really think the sort of people who think they’re qualified to run the lives of everybody around them are the sort of people who might have the humility to believe maybe they don’t know everything there is to know about taxes and tariffs and trade? No, if you disagree with them it’s just more proof of what an idiot you are that you can’t even see how smart they are. Running the world is child’s play for these people, they’re just sorry they’ve been burdened with fixing God’s mistakes just because God was too stupid to get their advice on how the world should work when He created the place.

    1. You certainly make a good case for politicians suffering from severe cases of the Dunning-Kreuger effect.

      In any case, their view of the regular folks may be projection. I consider them to be pathetic fat stupid fucks way more than most people.

      Dedicating one’s life to the goal of lording it over others in the guise of “helping” them because you believe you know better is certainly pathetic, stupid, and fucked up.

  7. Is she explicitly facist in that she directly stole all of Mussolini’s ideas on purpose or is it just accidental?

    1. Facist gets thrown around a bunch but Elizabeth Warrens brand of corporate socialism and protectionalism might be the closest to the actual platform of no kidding 1930’s by the book facism I can remember in modern politics.

      1. Both the modern Democratic and Republican parties are fascist in every way except for the adoption of Il Duce style militaristic uniforms.

        “American companies are hereby ordered to…” is the kind of tweet that can only come from a fascist. I don’t doubt for a minute that Warren wouldn’t issue similar proclamations if she had the chance.

        1. Brandybuck
          August.29.2019 at 5:10 pm
          “Both the modern Democratic and Republican parties are fascist in every way except for the adoption of Il Duce style militaristic uniforms.”

          ‘Oh, they all do it’, and therefore B is allowed to make no moral choices whatsoever.
          Fuck off, whiner.

          1. And here you are whining about his whining. Stay classy.

      2. So is Antifa going to start punching Warren supporters? I doubt it. Most of today’s idiots wouldn’t know fascism from fascia on a building. They think the term just means “my political opponents.”

      3. Yes she is totally facist I’m seeing her repellant face way too often.

  8. “But face it, they have no loyalty or allegiance to America.”

    That sounds very nationalistic coming from a socialist like Warren.

    Nationalist…socialist…..Hey, wait a minute!!!

  9. I’m confident a Warren Presidency would be much better for Reason’s billionaire benefactor Charles Koch than another term of Drumpf would be. Mr. Koch is down about $1.5 billion this year because Drumpf refuses to implement the Koch / Reason open borders agenda. And let’s face it, without all those highly skilled doctors and engineers crossing our border with Mexico, our economy will continue to stagnate.


    1. That’s more like it. Straightforward.

      1. The irony I see is that this article is about the similarities between Warren’s and Trump’s economics, meanwhile OBL is here inadvertently showing another similarity: the both hate the Kochs.

        1. That was stupid of me. It should have been more like “the supporters of both hate the Kochs.”

    1. Will watch later. I listen to his podcast during my commute most of the time. He’s really getting shaken up by the insanity and needs to take a break

  10. Americans care more about Americans than they do about others, whether Reason likes that or not. Feel free to continue to lift your noses at people who are happy watching their fellow countrymen succeed and wish to keep this a country and not part of a global liberaltopia you and your cocktail party friends whack eachother off about

    1. It’s a bit of a false dichotomy (that either we go full Argentina and close off our economy or have a global liberaltopia), but yeah, that’s true, most Americans are not globalists. It’s something libertarians have to deal with, since our ideology is fundamentally cosmopolitan.

  11. I noticed in the second debate that Senator Warren did not rule out multilateral trade pacts but rather took issue with the way they were negotiated. It is difficult to predict how such negotiations would turn out if workers pay, rights, and environmental impacts were pushed. I would say that I see Senator Warren more open to multilateral treaties and I think these are important. President Trump’s nation to nation approach seem behind the times. I also think Senator Warren would take a more serious, studied, and consistent approach. I have no problem giving my vote to Senator Warren. She may not be my first pick but she is well ahead of Trump.

    1. It’s bad if it forces many countries to obey transnational laws. Lower pay for workers in developing countries isn’t an inherently bad thing. The cost of living there is often lower, and the low pay gives them a competitive advantage.

      1. Plus, the get to avoid staring at the ox’s ass all day.

      2. Clearly you could not insist on the same wages. But the bigger issue would likely be working conditions. Would it be acceptable to insist on laws that prohibit child labor, that set a reasonable length to work day and work week, and that set some standards for work place safety?

    2. A leftist prefers Warren over Trump….news at 11.

    3. That’s some hilarious shit right there. Pretending to be a person who actually believes there’s a brain attached to Warren’s mouth. Good stuff!!

  12. “…Leave all creative energies uninhibited. Merely organize society to act in harmony with this lesson. Let society’s legal apparatus remove all obstacles the best it can. Permit these creative know-hows freely to flow…”

    Too bad there doesn’t seem to be a gubmint in the world capable of taking this to heart, though some do pay lip-service to it.

    1. No government in the world could ever do this because the whole *point* of government is control. Government that doesn’t inhibit – at least a little bit – is a government that does nothing. A government that does nothing is not a government.

      1. Government could enforce laws against harming the life, liberty or property of others; enforce contracts; provide courts; and provide for national defense without being much of a hindrance to the economy.

        Not that any power seekers would be satisfied with only being able to fuck with someone’s day if that person fucked with someone else’s day first, but it is theoretically possible.

      2. The proper role of government is to protect the rights of the individual, provide for an accessible and affordable court system, policing, provide for a national defense, and … well… that’s ninety-nine percent of it.

        And you are correct, no government is going to stop at that unless the people rebel against its expansion. But minarchism, even if unobtainable in its pure form (and it is), should still be the goal of governed peoples.


    Lesbian couple share their dilemma after one transitions to a man, leaving people assuming they are a straight couple when they are proudly gay

    But – they are straight now. That’s how the system you set up – conflating sex and gender – works. If sex and gender are the same and you transition then you are now the new sex/gender. So she’s a he now. Now she’s married to a man. NOW YOU ARE CISHET SCUM!

    1. because she is a queer woman.

      Wait, I thought you said Kate was a lesbian. If ‘queer’ means ‘homosexual’ then what’s the point of the ‘Q’ in ‘LGBQT’? Honestly, what the point of separate ‘L’ and ‘G’s? They’re all saying the same thing. Should it just be ‘HBT’?

      Two years ago, Andy transitioned to male and it left Kate struggling to cope with how to express herself as a queer woman

      Wait, if ‘queer’ means ‘not heterosexual or are not cisgender’ (and shouldn’t that be ‘and are not cisgender’ – or means being *either* homosexual or transgender would fall under queer) wouldn’t that mean that its *Andy* who was queer? And doesn’t that just mean ‘gay transgender’?

      1. Look, even Everyday Feminism agrees

        For a while, I thought I was gay.
        . . .
        I thought I was gay because I thought I was a man, and I thought I was only and always attracted to other men.

        So, Andy’s straight.

      2. Another thing. Kate’s still a lesbian (not queer). So it seems she just wants everyone to know she’s a lesbian – which is difficult to do when you have a husband. Well, except that Andy doesn’t exactly pass. Anyone looking at him is not going to think ‘that’s a man, baby!’

        So, if that is what is important to her – letting everyone know she’s a lesbian – I suggest she put on a few more pounds and they both start wearing flannel. Cut her hair short. Look as stereotypical as possible.

        1. Well, except that Andy doesn’t exactly pass. Anyone looking at him is not going to think ‘that’s a man, baby!’

          That doesn’t matter. once you identify, you’re identified. The end. El Fin, El Punto Finale, Es Todo, no mas. We’re done here.

          They’re a vanilla straight white couple with all the privilege that entails.

          1. Sorry I’m late to this particular shitshow…

            On the off chance that anyone here reading this has friends or relatives considering tranny surgeries, please be advised that such folks have a higher suicide rate. It is NOT generally correlated with resulting happiness!!! There are other potential “fixes”!!!

            Speaking of such things, there are biochemical, often off-label, solutions to your urges towards becoming a tranny, which MIGHT actually lead to better results! To MORE happiness, for many potential trannies! To becoming happy with your body, as it already is! Imagine that!

            See for “Off Label” uses of drugs for suppressing “gender dysphoria”… 6 drugs listed in web link above, to include (pretty obviously) testosterone…

            Also use below as search-string…
            “Transgender woman, who claims pills for male hair-loss sparked gender change, opens up about ‘life and death struggle’”

            Concerns male-hair-loss “…drug Propecia, called finasteride, to halt the onset of hereditary baldness”, which feminized his / her body, and brought around the desire for a sex change, according to him-now-her.

            So then Propecia AKA (generic) finasteride sounds like a darned-good choice for an off-label drug use, if you are female, contemplating sex-change to male, and worrying that your marriage might not survive such a sex change… Which is a strong possibility! Try this first, to see if maybe you’d like to stay female, before you make drastic changes…

      3. Why in hell does the choice of two people you will never meet concern you?
        Like turd, do you have some daddy issues?

        1. They’re the ones putting themselves in the newspaper over her ‘problem’.

    2. Yeah, if we accept the trans-activist dogma, she is now a man, full stop.

    3. Easy Peazy. The now Lesbian transitions and their both queer again. They’ll get their own float at the parade next year.

  14. It is truly amazing that Democrats can keep finding candidates who make Trump look like the lesser evil.

    1. I really don’t understand the strategy here. Either they believe Trump is so hated they will win no matter what (easy to believe in some circles, I guess) — or they aren’t even trying to win — and they figure they might as well use the time to push the party to the extreme left? Seems idiotic to me.

  15. “tiny know-how” was my nickname in debate club.

  16. ‘Economic Patriotism’

    Leave it to Comrade Warren to come up with a policy more commie/fascist than the crap that even Bernie proposes.

    Bad news, sweetie, chicks don’t fair so well when the state controls or owns the means of production. Protecting the unborn generation of indoctrinable labor is number one on their list. All those young impressionable minds are needed to replace the prols who have tasted freedom and might push back at some point.

  17. Comrade Bernie has said plenty of the same stuff about “what about the workers,” the “shrinking middle class” and all the other catchphrases that we used to associate with old Labor Democrats like Dick Gephardt and Fritz Mondale in the eighties before Bill Clinton hijacked the party and moved it to just slightly left of center (as far as Eurotrash are concerned they see him as center-right).

    The Democrats are desperate to “get back” the votes of Rust Belt union guys that Donald Trump “stole” in ’16. According to NPR reports this afternoon Joe Biden is promising that any future trade deals will include “workers’ rights” (read “protectionism”, also Carl Sandburg’s Chicago), Bernie is promising the federalization of a huge range of employment law (the part that wasn’t already grabbed by New Deal legislation like the Wagner Act and the Squaw is travelling to union conventions and telling “the guys” she’s one of them, walking picket lines, getting beat up by Pinkertons (OK that last one was a lie but then what does Elizabeth Warren do best).

  18. Christ, what a cunt.

    1. Amen.

  19. I am certain Liz has not revealed her complete economic plan yet. Beyond “made by American workers”, she will tell us about how to obtain resources and energy without any environmental impact, how the workers will be paid more than managers (and certainly more than they get paid in those evil foreign countries), how the workplace will be fun and friendly and multi-genderish, and everything will run like clockwork with CENTRAL PLANNING.

  20. Maybe Trump and Warren should team up for their 2020 run

    If Trump ran for the Democrat nomination at this point, he’d probably win it.

  21. Perhaps a Trump/Warren or Warren/Trump ticket for 2020 makes good sense.

    Or, perhaps, one should vote for the least bad candidate who has any possibility of winning, as voters in most states did in 2016. Else right now we’d be stuck with:

  22. Warren’s claim that her protectionist ideas have anything to do with being “loyal” to America is total BS to begin with.

    She simple wants to favor certain selected Americans over all other Americans, that’s all – and it isn’t “loyal” or “patriotic” to do so. Her policies would simply act as government forced transfers to certain selected companies and their employees from everyone else who would be better served by free trade.

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