Jones Act

Biden Administration Affirms Support for Protectionist Jones Act, Throwing Hawaiians, Puerto Ricans to the Sharks

Pandering to maritime unions means higher costs and harsher lives for coastal minority populations.


President Joe Biden may have said on the campaign trail that Puerto Rico should become a state, but that doesn't mean he supports laws that make it a viable, economically competitive state if doing so means angering maritime unions.

In an executive order signed Monday and in subsequent comments, Biden made it abundantly clear that he supports the Jones Act, a 1920 federal law that requires that cargo ships traveling between American ports be made in America and owned and crewed by American citizens:

The executive action I am taking also reiterates my strong support for the Jones Act and American vessels, you know, and our ports, especially those important for America's clean energy future and the development of offshore renewable energy.

The Jones Act is an absolutely terrible law, designed purely for protectionist measures, that shields maritime companies and unions in the United States from competition. The consequence of the Jones Act is that a foreign commerce ship that goes to states like Hawaii or Alaska or to territories like Puerto Rico can engage in domestic trade in only one American port. It can travel to other American ports but cannot take on or deliver goods unless it goes to a foreign port and then returns. A vessel from Japan that's heading to Los Angeles cannot also stop in Hawaii along the way and engage in commerce, despite the logical economic efficiencies in doing so.

Supporters of the Jones Act insist that these protections are necessary to sustain American jobs and to maintain a viable shipping industry. But those arguments are not supported by the data. In reality, as researchers with the Cato Institute have found, American shipyards have been in a long decline as a result, and most of the ships we build are almost entirely for use in our own waters. It's cheaper to build large vessels overseas than in America, but since they cannot operate in America due to the Jones Act's requirement, U.S. shipping companies can't buy them.

The end result for the shipping industry has been completely backward. America produces fewer ships, by weight, than much smaller countries like Italy and Germany. It also hamstrings American competitiveness in international shipping because it costs more to operate U.S. vessels than their foreign counterparts. U.S. ships engaged in international trade aren't bound by the Jones Act, but they're all also foreign built.

The end result of this restrictive law is that only two percent of U.S. freight is transported by sea, despite our long coasts, our many ports, and island states and territories. It's in part why we have to depend so much on trucks and trains for transporting goods, even along coastal regions. Cato notes that internal shipping is about half the volume it was in 1960, while rail and truck commerce both saw dramatic increases.

Nowhere are the burdens of the Jones Act more apparent than in places like Hawaii and Puerto Rico. These restrictions distort market forces and significantly drive up the costs to transport goods to these places. The New York Fed calculated that it can cost twice as much to ship something from the American mainland to Puerto Rico as it does to nearby island nations like Jamaica. Puerto Rico actually imports jet fuel from other countries rather than the Gulf Coast because it's just too expensive to get Jones Act-compliant vessels.

There's no need to exaggerate the impact of the Jones Act on domestic transport costs because whenever a disaster comes around, like Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico in 2017, the government will temporarily waive the Jones Act's requirements so that the costs of recovery aren't quite as back-breaking.

But even as the Jones Act actually punishes Americans, reducing our economic competitiveness in the world market and driving up the costs we pay for goods, the few people who gain from it have the government's ear, and, of course, are significant political donors. The citizens of Puerto Rico and Hawaii cannot compete with what the Cato Institute describes:

Among the obstacles to Jones Act reform is the complex web of special interests that benefit from preservation of the status quo. Among Jones Act supporters are U.S. shipbuilders, merchant mariners, various maritime unions, and those who actually believe the law is essential to national security. Meanwhile, there are no fewer than 6 federal agencies and 16 congressional committees with Jones Act enforcement and oversight authorities.

Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Biden's pick for Secretary of Transportation, has also affirmed that he supports the Jones Act, despite the law's role in pushing more and more commercial transportation onto highways, making a mockery of the alleged aims of the administration to focus on fighting climate change in its transportation policies.

As long as the Jones Act remains intact, all of this Democratic posturing toward making Puerto Rico a state and giving it more representation is all about entrenching the power of the Democratic Party by adding some seats to Congress that are likely to go to Democrats. By keeping the Jones Act intact, Biden, Buttigieg, and company show very little interest in actually improving the economic livelihoods of people in Puerto Rico.

Look at this tweet from Buttigieg in December:

How does that statement possibly square with support of the Jones Act, which hits the minority populations of Puerto Rico and Hawaii particularly hard and increases our dependency on highways for commercial transportation? It does not.

This post has been updated to correct how the Jones Act prohibits foreign ships from delivering and taking on goods in domestic ports.

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  1. The Jones Act harms millions in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Alaska, and a lot of poor American territories. But, it saves the jobs of a few thousand at companies like Matson and the one ship yard in Philadelphia that makes large commercial vessels.

    The largest impact might actually be to the Great Lakes region not having the opportunity to create international shipping ports over the last 100 years. That is tens of millions of people impacted over many years.

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    2. Aker Shipbuilding is the Philly company. And it’s foreign-owned, so the profit from their Jones-compliant ships goes overseas.

      Not that much shipbuilding is going on nowadays. There’s a glut of shipping vessels worldwide.

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      2. Note that the Philly Shipyard hasn’t delivered a commercial ship in two years and is currently 100% dependent on government contracts for survival. 70% of U.S. shipbuilding revenue comes from the government.

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  3. President Joe Biden may have said on the campaign trail that Puerto Rico should become a state, but that doesn’t mean he supports laws that make it a viable, economically competitive state if doing so means angering maritime unions……….USA TOP JOB.

  4. Biden was a half-wit before he went senile, and the progressives piloting his marionette don’t have a great history of thinking through the consequences of their actions or policies.

    This is the natural and expected outcome of such a situation.

    1. Correct, Sir!

      Is someone here keeping track of a list of the stupid that has been rolled out by the Biden puppetmasters?
      1. Paris accord re-entered
      2. XL Pipeline permission slip revoked
      3. People who identify as female permitted in any women’s activity or safe space
      4. Jones act retained
      5. Biden issues directive on national security threat of climate change (seriously!)

      1. 6. Profit???

        Or did that come before #1?


  5. Lot of ‘pandering to unions’ articles streaming out of the Era of Biden. What’s the over/under on eliminating Qualified Immunity for Public Sector workers?

    1. Of only this had been foreseeable.

      1. Who knew?

        1. I’m shocked…shocked I tell you.

  6. These early days are Democratic constituency and interest group payback days. They had a to-do list, and Biden’s doing them all, ASAP.

    No policy questions involved–it’s all to make political points.

    1. What’s he gonna do when he no longer needs to score points?

      1. Hopefully, play with his dog or go on a lot of bike rides, and refrain from further mucking around with policies.

        1. Yeah, “nothing” would be a great answer. Leave us the hell alone.

        2. And when you’re wrong and he doesn’t?

          1. Then he’ll muck things up.

            1. That was a stupid answer.

      2. Sniff and grope little girls. And suck more bankers’ c*ck.

        1. And China. Don’t forget they purchased Biden years ago.

      3. He is already there. He is never running again.

      4. do we really think any of the nearly three dozen executive orders and proclamations are his doing? the man is not that much of an ideologue…he is a career panderer. he has no core philosophy…BUT HIS HANDLERS DO!

  7. “If you can’t decide between me and the Republicans, you ain’t Latinx!”

    – Joe Something, upon being asked about his Puerto Rico policy

    1. We can call him “Siesta José” now, si?

      1. 😀

  8. When Trump didn’t abolish the Jones act, the world came to an end.

    1. Presidents can veto laws 100 years after they were passed, and Trump passed it up?

      That dog!

  9. Biden/Pelosi/Schumer have imposed a militarized police state in Washington DC for the past three weeks (which Pelosi plans to extend through March, or perhaps forever), but not one article by Reason criticizing it.

    1. So weird. They just decided one day to have heavy military presence guarding the capital with no triggering event leading them to do it.

      It’s not like, say, a violent crowd broke into the Capitol building in the middle of counting the electoral college votes, and even killed a police officer doing it.

      Maybe just maybe with all the complaining about the left, you right-wingers could acknowledge your own involvement and culpability in creating this situation.

      1. Perhaps we can have that response when an entire city block is burned down in the name of racial justice and four unarmed black teenagers are murdered by the peaceful protesters.

        1. I don’t know where you went to kindergarten, but in mine we learned that two wrongs don’t make right.

          1. Not sure, but it looks like kindergarten is about the extent of your education, no?

            1. And strange that his parents left that little bit of edumacation to the government schools instead of teaching it themselves beforehand.

              1. What parents? 😀

              2. Actually, I probably learned it where I learned a lot of my ethics: The Andy Griffith Show

                1. Yea, no parents, lol 😀

                  1. Hey, at least I learned that two wrongs don’t make a right, unlike a few other commenters on this thread.

                    1. Where did you learn that stealing handles as part of a moral crusade was right?

                    2. Yawn … ancient history. I explained my reasons at the time.

                    3. And it was bullshit, just like everything else you post, cunt.

          2. I don’t know where you learned to read, but according to the Biden supporters, burning down a city and murdering unarmed black teenagers isn’t a “wrong”. It’s “social justice”.

          3. BUT WE DID LEARN TO CALL A SPADE A SPADE. the riots were ridiculous theater for entitled kooks that think a trash can through a bank window or arson, or a scrawled graffiti of a lame slogan (silence is violence) are meaningful.

            we all watched and even those of us who are oppositional saw them as silly BS carried on by dickheads with stupid colored hair, skateboard dykes and other beta cucks and soy boys.

            the first wrongs were not reacted to as wrongs. a govt building is no more meaningful than my house, and we saw private stores looted, private property commandeered, persons beaten. those were simple torts and should be punished. we listen to righty jerkoffs cite federal bldg’s as sanctified? LOOK IT UP! are we fucking kidding? prosecute looters, thieves and arsonists. the theft of nancy pelosis podium (which is fucking hilarious but let’s remember it’s NOT hers) is WAY down on my list of wrongs to right. it’s a piece of furniture not a “sancitified” relic which we genuflect to

            kneel before your federal overlords? i’ll pass

      2. Fuck off with your Reichstag-Fire fomenting, you disgusting fascist clown.
        Go peddle your authoritarian agitprop somewhere where they will swallow your horseshit.

        1. So, you’ve gone full alt-right nutso and are now ascribing to the “false flag” narrative of what happened on January 6th.

          1. There really was a protest that got out of hand… but nowhere near as out of hand as five other protests in DC last year that you ignored.

            So you and your facist pals who are calling it sedition or an insurrection are a million times worse than any of those idiots who took selfies in the capitol. You and your pals are using this as an excuse to advocate pure authoritarianism, censorship, indoctrination, propaganda and imprisoning political enemies.

            In this you’re doing exactly what Adolph Hitler did with the Reichstag Fire in 1933. There’s a very good chance that Van der Lubbe actually did set fire to the Reichstag, but Hitler exploited the tragedy and used it to advance his fascist agenda and accumulate power, and that’s exactly what you and your Democrats are doing with the protest on the sixth.
            It is incontrovertibly your Reichstag fire.

            You, whoever you are behind that White Knight nickname, are evil. You’re 100% fucking evil, and I oppose every fascist thing that you are and that you stand for.
            When I tell you to go fuck yourself you lying fascist cunt, it’s not hyperbole. I really mean it.

            1. It’s a badge of honor to be subjected to a hateful screed from a right-wing extremist like yourself, and have you out words in my mouth.

              1. He took you apart, transparent knight. Youre done. No need to virtue signal anymore.

      3. If you had been following along, you might have noticed that they started planning the Inaugural back in May 2020, when we were starting to see months of violent mobs of leftist assholes vandalizing government buildings, looting stores, burning police cars, and assaulting and killing police. These preparations were made with the expectation that a Trump win would trigger their inner demons once again.

        The Jan 6th mini riot at the Capitol is getting blamed, but the plans were there right along. Just imagine how many violent incidents we would have witness had the Orange Man been re-elected. It boggles the mind.


    Biden/Pelosi/Schumer have imposed a militarized police state in Washington DC for the past three weeks (based upon lies), and not one article by Reason criticizing this very nonlibertarian action.

    1. You just said that. Why do you only list the Democrats behind the National Guard presence and leave, for example, McConnell off the list.

      1. Ah the old why are you hitting yourself routine.

        Good one lefty shit.

        1. Your comment would make sense if I were grabbing Bill Godshall’s hand and making him hit himself, perhaps in the back seat of our parents’ automobile. Otherwise, WTH are you talking about.

          1. Pettifogging again. Pretending a common analogy is some sort of physical impossibility so it can’t be true.
            What a dishonest piece of shit you are. Everything you say is in bad faith.

            1. Fine, the “common analogy” made no sense in this context. Total non-sequitir.

      2. Yes, tell us about what McConnell said, White Knight of the KKK.


          “I want to again thank all the National Guard, including more than 300 Kentucky Guardsmen, and local and federal law enforcement who have helped supplement our very own Capitol Police in the wake of January the 6th. Your Congress and your country appreciate all you’ve done to secure the Capitol and the inauguration.”

          1. And how is that McConnell “imposing a militarized police state in Washington DC” as Bill was talking about. Pelosi and Schumer brought them, not McConnell.

            Anyway, I wanted you to mention that speech because I knew you would deliberately omit it’s purpose:
            “Yesterday evening, we learned that some of the National Guard forces who have been helping protect the Capitol complex were being made to rest in parking garages between their shifts.
            “I don’t think a single Senator feels that was acceptable.”

            He wasn’t praising Schumer and Pelosi, in fact he argues against their Praetorian Guard:
            “Keeping the Capitol safe cannot and will not require huge numbers of uniformed troops and vast systems of emergency fencing to remain in place forever.”

            You’re so fucking predictable.

            1. You are typically disingenuous. Mitch is clearly OK with the National Guard presence. Not seeing it as an imposition of a police state at all.

              1. Damn Dee, you just embarrassed yourself again!

    2. other question who can call for the NG it wasn’t Trump and Pelosi didn’t have the authority so who over stepped their legal authority to call for the NG???
      inquiring minds want to know

    3. Reason supports the completely necessary protection of the representatives of the people from those nasty mobs that are assaulting the Capitol every day for the past 6 months!

      Oh, wait, that was Portland, Seattle, NYC, Chicago, Detroit, LA, last summer. Neve mind.

  11. Arrr, the only Jones I ever heard tell of were Davy.

  12. The reason Trump won in 2016 was because the Democrats had done so much to alienate the white, blue collar, middle class of the Midwest–through both economic policy and culture war issues.

    Biden is shoring up his support with the unions. From a political perspective, that is the smart thing to do. The white, blue collar, middle class has been the bread and butter of the Democratic party since the FDR administration.

    Abandoning middle America almost always ends in tears for the Democrats. Every once in a while, the Democrats do, however, let the social justice people take control of the party. When they alienate the white, blue collar, middle class, the Democrats become vulnerable. Trump took advantage of that, and that’s how Reagan came to power, too.

    “Reagan Democrats no longer saw the Democratic party as champions of their working class aspirations, but instead saw them as working primarily for the benefit of others: the very poor, feminists, the unemployed, African Americans, Latinos and other groups.”

    —-Reagan Democrats

    They could have written that about Democrat registered Trump voters in 2016. The Democrats can only let the social justice warriors tell the white, blue collar, middle class how much they hate them for being racist, homophobic, misogynistic, and xenophobic for so long before a fat chunk of the Democrats’ traditional voter base starts to believe them. That’s what happened in 1980 and 1984, and that’s what happened in 2016. It would have happened again in 2020 if it weren’t for the pandemic and the lock downs.

    Reagan cut his political teeth as a labor leader and then traveling around the country talking to GE’s union members.

    [Reagan] served as host of the General Electric Theater on television. His contract also called for him to spend a quarter of his eight years (1954-1962) with the company touring the forty states and 139 plants of GE’s far-flung decentralized corporate domain, addressing 250,000 employees and their neighbors.

    —-Link below

    Biden has always been a union man, too. He didn’t win because of the social justice warriors. He won in spite of them. The reaction to Biden and the Democrats will be massive in 2022 and 2024 after they pursue the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, and come after our gun rights, but it will be even worse for the Democrats if they don’t shore up their support with rank and file union members (and those who identify with them).

    Biden understands this.

    1. Biden has always been a union man, too. He didn’t win because of the social justice warriors.

      Agree to disagree. This election was different. The social justice league was willing to vote for him because 1) Trump, 2) He was their only choice, 3) He is perceived to be an immensely weak president with Social Justice League sitting in the background ready to manipulate the puppet strings.

      We’ve already seen evidence of this, and the fact that so many social justice rioters have gone home is more evidence of that. We’ve had a couple of unarmed black men killed by police in just the last few days and you can’t even find a peep about it on MSNBC and CNN. All Quiet on the Social Justice Front. They have their man, and they’re not going to do anything to fuck that up.

      1. I don’t disagree with much of what you’re saying, but the fact is that swing voters in the Midwest didn’t break for Biden because he’s so woke. Biden won the primaries because he was the least woke.

        Biden didn’t win in the general election because average voters in the Midwest liked his message about defunding the police. He never said any such thing. Biden was wise to bury himself in his bunker during the no-riot riots and breathe through his nose.

        Gay rights activists worked for the Obama campaign even as Obama was running on a campaign slogan of, “Marriage is between a man and a woman”. Obama certainly didn’t win in 2008 because everyone wanted him to back gay marriage–regardless of what the people in his political machine were doing and why.

        I’m not talking about Biden’s network of donors, NGO’s, activists, pundits, and campaign professionals. I’m talking about swing voters. If he has to suffer the results of whatever that bunch pushes through congress and gives him to sign, he better at least have the support the AFL-CIO, the UAW, the Teamsters, the Longshoremen, etc., etc., etc.

        Trump ran an end around the Democrats when they threw their bread and butter union members to the social justice wolves, and Biden is plugging that hole.

        1. Yea, take into account time. He won the primaries because he is the least woke. Between that and the general elections, there were a few days. I think Paul is not very far off in assuming that voters who would have gone for Bernie just puked out what little spine they had left and voted blue just to vote blue.

          1. I don’t disagree with the woke brigade voting for Biden.

            Biden didn’t win because he won in California and New York.

            He won because he took Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

            1. He “took” them (barely, close to 50/50) with the help of the sjw infused, antisocial media, smarty. They gave him a calculated edge.

    2. If he understood it so well, why did he block the Keystone Pipeline?

      1. He’s throwing the energy guys in the toilet. No doubt about that. The Green New Deal is coming. He’s also banned all new drilling permits on federal land. The primary qualification for the Secretary of Transportation, Secretary of Energy, Secretary of the Treasury, and others appears to be their support for his version of the Green New Deal.

        What I’m talking about is shoring up his support with union members–preparation for the political fallout after he implements things like the Green New Deal. Not all union members in all industries are created equal, and those who oppose the Green New Deal are far less equal than others. Meanwhile, expect the biggest recipients of his trillions of dollars in Green New Deal spending to benefit his favored unions the most.

        1. If you’re a coal miner for the United Mine Workers, Joe Biden is here to give you the finger.

          West Virginia is the second reddest state behind Wyoming.

          Biden has a message for coal miners–unionized or otherwise:

      2. he didn’t. his handlers did. i look forward to the green nude deal

    3. Except the unions aren’t primarily blue collar anymore — they are government employees in government office buildings. And protecting their pensions is Job One for Democrats.

      1. This is in addition to that.

        Biden has no fear of losing government employees.

  13. Looks like Hillary Clinton’s running mate Tim Kaine (D-VA) realizes another Senate Trump impeachment trial could harm Democrats.

  14. “How does that statement possibly square with support of the Jones Act, which hits the minority populations of Puerto Rico and Hawaii particularly hard and increases our dependency on highways for commercial transportation? It does not.”

    Why is Reason surprised that Biden lied through his fucking teeth about everything?

  15. Puerto Rico can vote to become their own country if they prefer. Hawaii should just decide to secede. Yes their are legal ramifications here but in all honestly why do they believe the federal government in DC will deal with them honestly.

  16. I’m going back to San Juaaaaannnn.

    I know some boats you can’t get on…

    1. Was always hopeful they’d make it a state so I could run for mayor of San Juan.

  17. “In an executive order signed Monday”

    “You can’t [legislate] by executive order unless you’re a dictator. We’re a democracy. We need consensus.” —Joe Biden, October, 2020.

    The old fucking fraud. By October they would have already had all of these EO’s planned out.

    1. …or, maybe he wasn’t lying. Maybe he was announcing his intention to become a dictator.

      1. >>Maybe he was announcing his intention to become a dictator.

        In the same October the dude copped to being coked up, and copped to the fraud machine … he was totes announcing his intention to become a dictator

    1. Wow, and the same people who voted for that insanity, think that’s superior to a douchebag real estate mogul who’s mean on Twitter.

      1. Who did you vote for, again? Oh, that’s right, you cannot vote in American elections because you are Canadian.

        1. LOL You got banned on reason 😀 😀 😀 LMAO

        2. I see your TDS is still driving your posts.
          Stuff it up your ass so you can talk to it.

          1. Yes, because one of the big symptoms of TDS is picking on Canadians.

            1. Why were you banned?

            2. “Yes, because one of the big symptoms of TDS is picking on Canadians.”

              Well, general assholishness is quite common, but more importantly whining about any possible issue regarding someone not afflicted with TDS is a good indicator, TDS-afflicted lefty shit.

            3. Getting picked on by you is about as devestating as having a retard with musclar dystrophy try and give me a punch.
              It’s not exactly threatening. It’s also funny when I kick over your wheelchair in basically every thread.
              You’re neither clever or witty enough to do anything other than make yourself look foolish.

              Also, I’m proud to be a Canadian. I love my country, despite the fact that blue state horseshit eventually often winds up here. You calling me a Canadian has about as big an impact as someone telling you you’re American.

              1. “It’s not exactly threatening.”

                Good, because it’s not meant to be threatening.

              2. devastating

                1. Hey Dee, you brought up my name the other day out of nowhere then wouldn’t answer my simple question in response. Why are you such a disingenuous cunt?

                  1. I guess. You may not be aware that these comment threads aren’t like real world conversations. It’s asynchronous comments, and people come and go.

                    I don’t know what you are referring to. Can up re-ask your question or link to the conversation.

                    1. You continued responding to others in the same thread, you dishonest cunt.

                    2. If you say so. You aren’t linking to the thread, or repeating the question so I can answer it now.

                      Good night. If you still care, ask me tomorrow on the Reason Roundup thread.

        3. According to your party, being a foreigner doesn’t preclude voting in a,American elections. So quit your bitching.

          1. lol petard, meet WK2

          2. My party? I’m registered non-partisan, used to be registered Libertarian, and usually vote for Libertatians.

            1. Nobody believes you Dee.

    2. that was crazy

  18. “We don’t know whether a vaccine stops transmissibility,” said Randi Weingarten, president of the powerful American Federation of Teachers

    1. Had Weingarten ever taken a course in Public Health, she would know that answer. Regardless, due to her self admitted ignorance, she should not publicly opine about important public health policy issues.

      1. Nor be in charge of teaching children.

        1. my first thought as well

  19. “higher costs and harsher lives for coastal minority populations”

    Yeah, well, even if that’s true, the Biden Administration will make meaningful improvements in minorities’ lives in other ways. For example by putting Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill.

    And don’t forget the primary objective of Koch / Reason libertarianism is to improve the life of elderly straight white cis-male billionaire Charles Koch. Biden’s Presidency is already a smashing success by that metric.


    1. So when a cup of coffee costs 20 bucks thanks to the runaway spending, everyone will at least be reminded of a great American freedom fighter.

    2. that was sarcasm..right? if not, you need to learn what the rest of the world considers meaningful improvements. the image on any piece of currency is positively inconsequential on any level, and in no circumstance improves anyone’s anything

      this libertarian knows the federal govt could wreck a wet dream or fuck up a train wreck…they have proved again and again that they start with the germ of a good idea and turn even the best ideas into steaming shitpies. the jones act is a PERFECT example. maybe one of the best

  20. Biden’s policies are driven by this:
    Let’s not do anything Trump might have done.
    Other than that, he’s tacking back and forth with no direction at all; sort of like all he’s capable of doing in person.

    1. Now do Trump. What drove his policies?

      1. Making America great again. Goddamn, are you really this confused?

        1. And then it was Making America Great Again, Again in 2020.

          1. Your TDS becomes more amusing by the day, Dee.

      2. >>What drove his policies?

        literally hurting your feelz. daily.

      3. “Now do Trump. What drove his policies?”

        Some decent goals, some not so much. I know that’s a revelation to TDS-afflicted lefty shits.

  21. This is who Nick and Matt voted for and lobbied for. Now there is shock over on Jefferson Blvd that Biden sucks?

    Trump is too abrasive and lies too much, they said. But hey, moar protectionism, crashing markets, undermining of Abraham accords, killing pipelines and energy exploration, 2 trillion in moar spending, Iranian appeasement, unfettered immigration and free citizenship to all, and elimination of stepped up basis and capital gain treatments among other things as coming attractions.

    But Orange Man Bad.

    1. Nick Gillespie said that he was voting Libertarian. I believe Matt Welch said the same.

      Furthermore, Gillespie said, more than once on the Reason Roundtable podcast that he would prefer a Trump win to a Biden win.

      1. Apparently Sikkim, Boehm, etc. didn’t get the group text on that one.

        1. Reason allows their staff to have diversity of thought. I have a hard time seeing that as a bad thing.

          1. You really need a hobby you dumb cunt.

  22. B held a girl’s hand, looked her dead in the eye, and literally said “I will not ban fracking”

  23. Silver lining; if it’s bad for HI, there has to be something good about it. Let them suffer the consequences of their choices. I’m sure Crazy Mazie will come to their rescue.

    1. that’s funny. mazie really is a fucking dunce. their governor has clobbered their economy with his lockdowns. their tax burden is currently crippling…wait until the budget director issues his recommendations. here’s one example for you. i keep a 99 jeep cherokee there. the YEARLY registration fee last year was $450. that’s not a typo. 4 5 0. they pay sales tax (G.E.T.) on EVERYTHING…including medical bills, food, prescriptions, lawyers bills, rent…RENT! and those dumbfuck locals still cannot say “stop it already”. the national motto of hawaii is “Please Tread On Me”

  24. Italy builds more ships per capita for a reason, the government heavily subsidizes shipbuilding. It is why a lot of cruise ships are built there.

    1. That’s a spicy meat-a-ball!

    2. Not to mention that the biggest shipbuilder, Fincantieri, is 58% owned by the Italian government.

  25. I forgot to mention that, basically, the US is apparently not a competitive player in any non-military industry, worldwide.

  26. Why make it about preferred and high profile minorities? That Alaskans are mostly white and native does not reduce the harm done to them by the Jones Act nonsense. Protectionism is not damaging, only, because its discriminates against today’s favored minority(ies).

    “For thousands of years, the tireless effort of productive men and women has been spent trying to reduce the distance between communities of the world by reducing the costs of commerce and trade. Over the same span of history, the slothful and incompetent protectionist has endlessly sought to erect barriers in order to prohibit competition—thus, effectively moving communities farther apart. When trade is cut off entirely, the real producers may as well be on different planets. The protectionist represents the worst in humanity: fear of change, fear of challenge, and the jealous envy of genius. The protectionist is not against the use of every kind of force, even warfare, to crush his rival. If mankind is to survive, then these primeval fears must be defeated.”
    ~ Ken Schoolland

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  28. There were two Wesley Livsey Jones laws, both rabidly prohibitionist. The predatory law coercing coastwise shipping was bad enough. But the second one, the Increased Penalties Act with the sentencing guideline of 5 years on a chain gang for weak beer, adding a fine in gold now worth $600,000 was the berries. It was this law, signed 2 days before Bert Hoover’s inauguration, that sparked the Crashes (in March & Oct 1929) harbingers of the Great Depression. Not even Milton Friedman mentioned asset forfeiture draining bank accounts.

    1. Meet the old boss, same as the new boss.

  29. “Is Biden’s Trade Policy Just Warmed‐​Over Trumpism? ”

    No, Trumpism is just warmed over Democrat policy. Most of Trump’s bombast was an attempt to create a distinction where there was no difference. Democrats have always been protectionists. What did we expect from two Democrat geezers? Trump is a old unreconstructed Democrat, that tries to lie about being a Republican. Biden is an old Democrat, that tries to lie about being a modern Democrat.

    The libertarian complaint of the two big, old parties being too alike has never been more true – Geriatric Democrats that lie.

    1. But as compensation, we will get amnesty for millions of migrants and millions more will be allowed to cross the border. Caravans are forming as we speak. And Joe Biden and family loves them some China.

      Jeez, Reason, you can’t have everything all at once.

      1. with compensation like that who needs a proctologist?

  30. This is sad, but it’s not like Fat Donnie was any better. Trump brought protectionism not seen since Hoover back to the GOP. Biden is just keeping the law the same, not adding more protectionist policies

  31. You should tell progressives about this so that someone with any credibility on worker or minority rights can formulate an opinion thus worth listening to.

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  34. The Jones Act is simply Protectionism from the 1920’s. Protectionism is largely supported by Far-Left and Far-Right, and should be considered as a tax.

  35. All reasons why Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Samoa, etc. should secede from the US. Maybe Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, too.

  36. It would be cheaper to allow the Chinese to run our transportation industry. We could close all the shipyards and maritime academies. Perhaps we could even have the Chinese build and crew the USN ships. It would save money.
    Of course it would also give them an unprecedented power over us. Once those industries and trades disappear completely from the US, it will not be easy to bring them back, even in an emergency.
    A world of completely free trade and open borders sounds great to some, but it threatens to transform developed nations from an industrial to a service economy.

    1. Right. Free trade and open borders means one thing to people who love it for its own sake. It means something else to people whose first priority is their own group being powerful.
      Container ships used to be some of the most ridiculously polluting inventions ever. Not sure if it is much better now. One ship emissions equivalent to fifty million cars.
      There should be room in environmental legislation to onshore some manufacturing in exchange for fewer trips of those things around the world.

      1. can you direct us to that pollution factoid? seems a tad overstated. 50 million is a lot of cars and certainly the low emission stuff we make now

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