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October 26, 2012

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"Page 1"4 ' " " P'O'T;AZETTE, OCT0Ef2, :1" .... Res Publica (Continued from Page 2) man tax, while the producer in Germany who ships to the U.S. pays no tax. This is a trade distortion of consider- ably magnitude, but if you propose, as I do, to impose a U.S. tax to offset it {thus cre- ating the "roughly equal partners playing under the same rules" world assumed by comparative advantage theory) I'll be branded a "pro- tectionist" and lectured at on the theories of Adam Smith and David Ricardo. 2. Social legislation. In the U.S., through our demo- cratic process, we enact laws and regulations that distort trade by forcing employers to abide by certain standards regarding labor conditions, environmental protection, and consumer safety. These are constraints that a profit- maximizing firm might, absent government interfer- ence, eschew. Whatever one thinks of any particular regulation -- too lax or too rigid -- collectively they express what Americans believe is the minimum acceptable level of conduct and forbid trade in domestic goods or services violating those standards. However, under WTO rules, the U.S. is severely circumscribed as to imposing any limitations on imports from other coun- tries that have lower stan- dards. It is true that some of our free trade agreements contain labor, environmen- tal and sanitary provisions, but even they are slight in many cases compared to U.S. rules. And such inter national standards as there are, are denounced by "free traders" as trade distorting policies, rather than being recognized for what they are, attempts to create at least somewhat similar rules for the different players, again, a basic assumption of, not a derogation from, "compara- tive advantage" theory: In theory one could calculate the advantage lax rules con- fer on a trader and impose a countervailing "social" tariff. To the extent that we believe that our laws implement minimum humane stan- dards, a good case could be made that we should do so. However, I admit that any such calculation of social tariff could be abused in a trade distorting way. Never- theless, the recognition that a nation, such as the U.S., which bans slavery, is highly censorable when it imports the products of forced labor, ought to be something we can discuss. But, alas, we cannot, or at least without being called a "protectionist" who wants to take us back to the days of Smoot-Hawley (the high tar- iff of the 1930s). 3. Currency manipula- tion, government sub- sidies and other trade dis- torting government ac- tions. Mitt Romney has said, repeatedly, that as Presi- dent, he will, on day one, label China a currency manipulator. "Sticks and stones" aside, the determi- nation that China underval- ues its currency to promote exports in a market distort- ing way will be meaningful only ff followed up by imposi- tion of a trade remedy, in the form of countervailing duty or quantative limits, to "level the playing field." But con- sider the case of vehicle tires. The U.S. International Trade Commission (hardly a protectionist body) found market disruption due to undervalued tires of Chi- nese origin and President Obama responded with tem- porarily increased tariffs. It was an action explicitly per- mitted under WTO rules and China's WTO accession agreement as a mechanism to counter China's trade dis- torting policies. Free trad- ers, including some I other- wise respect, cried "protec- tionist!" Classical econom- ics teaches that, over time, government manipulation of the market will be too costly to maintain, but in the meantime such policies, while they increase our imports from China, do not promote "free trade." Quite the opposite, they are anti- free trade, if you under- stand "free trade" as freeing markets to compete in the absence of government- imposed distortions. And that leads to my con- clusion: Today's "free trad- ers" do not believe in free trade. They believe in maxi- mizing imports. They dis- agree with America's social legislation, but not having a majority to overturn our child labor laws, anti-pollu- tion laws and product safety laws, they seek to get around them by having us import everything from nations that lack such regulations. That's why for all their talk about the benefit to the American consumer of more cheap stuff, they say very little about foreign market openings for American goods. True free trade would be reciprocal. In fact, there are many world markets that U.S. companies would love to get into, but cannot due to tariff and non-tariff barriers. Free traders, if they really were free traders, would be complaining about those real foreign barriers to free trade. Instead all their complaints are about the U.S. imposing, or even con- templating imposing, some trade remedy, recognized under international law as an appropriate free trade- consistent, response to an- other nation's anti-free trade actions. "Free trade," as practiced in Washington, is one of the biggest frauds on the American people. It distresses me that many otherwise thoughtful con- servatives have embraced this flawed ideology. The _  by 0ur ts and contributors are not necess  .same as those of  Post-tte, its publtsher or edltor, Photo submtsslons are accepted bg Post- :pmvfded they are clear, original photos. There a serf, s envelope. News Briefs (Continued from Page 1) and Capuano doesn't even come close to him as a mem- ber of the U.S. House. It is Time for Obama to Get off Sesame Street and, Back to Main Street Since President Obama's horrible showing in his first debate with Mitt Romney he has mentioned Big Bird and Elmo at least 13 times in a 7 day period. He thinks do- ing this will make Romney look bad for his idea of end- ing support for both PBS and NPR. Meanwhile, the Chil- dren's Television Workshop which produces "Sesame Street" has demanded that folks behind pro-Obama TV commercials stop using im- ages of Big Bird in their negative Romney ads. Appareqtly, liberals will go to no limi in baslIlg Rom- ney while never mentioning how the President plans to revive the economy or Libya or gas pump prices. Just treat voters like children. How about making Big Bird the next Secretary of Educa- tion? How about Cookie Mon- ster at Agriculture? Kermit at the EPA? How about Miss Piggy as Secretary of State? How about Thomas to run AMTRAK? Oh, I better stop with this; I could go on for- ever. Starbucks can make millions selling coffee but PBS can't do without a por- tion of the $444 million they get every year? Recently, while campaign- ing out in California, Obama said, "What we don't need is four more years of the same policies that got us into this mess in the first place." Lis- ten, I am no pinhead but there must be bigger minds than mind who can trans- lates what the above quote means in plain English. The quote sounds like some- thing back from 2008 when President Bush had been blamed for everything under the sun. What policies is he talking about recently? Whose policies? His? Some- body else's? It makes no sense but then again he seems stuck in political traf- fic on Sesame Street at the moment. If he thinks this is going to work, he hasn't seen the "Dead End" up ahead. By the way, I wonder if the policy he is talking about is the fact that unemployment remains nearly the same today as back on January 20, 2009 when he came into office? If that's true, I want to also know where I can get my $1.84 per gallon gas too. I read a great letter to the editor in the Merrimack Jour- nal, a New Hampshire news- paper, from Ernie Jeffrey who opined, "If President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are put back in the White House, this coun- try in less than two years will go the route of Weimar, Ger- many, where we will need a wheelbarrow full of money to buy a loaf of bread...Is this what America wants?" Boston Sports Clubs Ran Great Newspaper "Election" Advertisement Pohtlclans, stretch prop- erly before you put your foot in your mouth." Congressman Frank Guinta, R-NH is My Kind of Politician Two years ago up in New Hampshire's I st District, Guinta pulled off'an upset by defeating the district's incumbent liberal Demo- crat. She's been running ever since to regain her seat. This year hopefully Guinta will get re-elected handily. He is a common sense con- servative who understands where New Hampshire lives and works. Recently, I read one of his commentaries on standing up for small busi- ness and it was super. Society's foundation is built on small business. When it prospers, we all prosper, but when small businesses struggle, our economy struggles too. Recently, the National Fed- eration of Independent Busi- ness presented Guinta with its "Guardian of Small Busi- ness Award" in recognition of his voting record and efforts on behalf of small business. Boston Globe Story Confirms Movie Had Nothing to Do With It According to a Boston Globe news story on October 10, the US State Depart- ment knew from almost the get-go that that anti-Muslim movie trailer had nothing to do with the violence and killings of our ambassador and three other Americans back on September 11. Yet, we know that both press sec- retary Jay Carney and our UN ambassador Susan Rice were telling reporters every- where in ear sight that the violence was over that cheap homemade movie. This question posed by Pat Buchanan on the Sean Hannity Fox show begs an answer. Did Carney and Rice knowingly continue a lie and if they did, who told them to do so? "The Nation" Got it Wrong as Usual You would think a useless rag around since 1865 would know better but why let ap- parently the truth get seem- ingly in the way of a good story. I picked up a copy of the October 8 issue and the editorial is entitled "Muslim Rage & U.S. Policy". It starts off on the wrong foot, "How did a short, crude pro- paganda trailer -- of obscure provenance, with no connec- tion to any US government agency, or even, any signifi- cant media outlet -- lead to anti-U.S, rioting across the Muslim world? That's what happened on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11 after the trailer appeared on YouTbe." The truth is the movie had absolutely nothing to do with the deadly violence on Sep- tember 11, 2012. Quote to Note "Teamwork is the fuel that allows common people to pro- duce uncommon results." -- at entrance to the 48/88 building at Hendrick Motorsports "Forward" to What and from What? President Obama's cam- paign slogan "Forward"? What exactly does it mean? Going forward from what? Going forward to what? I've never felt comfortable with the word since most of the time when I think of it I think either Karl Marx or V.I. Lenin. This term goes back to the late 19 th century and into the early 20 th century when it was a code word for "Marxist revolution" and now it is a campaign slogan for president. I find the word offensively un-Ameri- can. Words never happen by accident and words have real meaning. Sheriff's Department (Continued from Page 2) Program Services Christina Ruccio was appreciative of the recognition. "Over the past two years, the Suffolk County Sheriffs Department and Project Place have worked hard at improving our employment and job training components for women, because we know that the likelihood for women to re-offend decreases if they're gainfully employed," said Ruccio. "This award is a testament to that hard work." According to Stephen Goldsmith, Director of the Innovations in Government Program at the Ash Center, agencies like the Suffolk County Sheriffs Department and its C.R.E.W. Program stand out because of their abilities to achieve excel- lence while working within budgetary limitations. ' 3q "Government innovation does not require endless resources and generous budgets," Goldsmith said. "As exemplified by this year's Bright Ideas, some of our country's smartest innova- tions can in fact reduce government's size while serving our citizens more efficiently and effectively." The Ash Center for Demo- cratic Governance and Inno- vation advances excellence gnibee: :q lsel b' ai))!  ::eim in governance and strength- ens democratic institutions worldwide. Through its re- search, education, interna- tional programs and govern- ment innovations awards, the Center fosters creative and effective government problem solving and serves as a catalyst for addressing many of the most pressing needs of the world's citizens. For more information, visit www. ash. harvard, edu. The POST-GAZE-I-rE newspaper is a paper of general circulation. We are qualified to accept legal notices from any court in each town that we serve. For information on placing a Legal Notice in the POST-GAZEr-FE, please call (617) 227-8929; or mail notice to: POST-GAZETTE, P.O. BOX 135, BOSTON, MA 02113 Attn: Legal Notices