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Trump is Herbert Hoover redux

Posted by John Reed on

I recently said Trump’s trade policy was essentially the same as the 1930 Smoot-Hawley Tariff which caused the Great Depression—the New Deal and the Fed prolonged it. 

In their 11/4/15 issue, the Wall Street Journal had an op-ed by George Melloan, author of a book on the Great Depression. He said the same. The title is “Donald Trump, Meet Herbert Hoover.” Google the title to read it online.

Sample quote: “…if [Trump] is taken at his word, he is one of the most ardent opponents of free trade ever to seek high office in the U.S.”

A trade war of the type promised by Trump would plunge the entire world into a Depression. It would be worse than the 1930s because international trade is now a greater percentage of the economies of the world.

Trump is in many ways the best qualified candidate. He has managed large-scale operations usually successfully. He is a true entrepreneur and negotiator. Except for the former governors, the other candidates are just talkers who have never done much pertinent to the duties of the presidency.

But Trump’s promise of a trade war to extort “better deals” is a total disqualifier. Presidents are not as important as they promise to be. But in the case of policies like an international trade war, they are too important. The federal government ought not have any authority over trade other than things like prevent the importation of nuclear weapons or poison gas and so on.

Protectionism ought to be unconstitutional. Until it is, Trump must not become president.


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