- The Washington Times - Monday, January 22, 2007

‘Trade is trade’

“I’m told to worry about the trade deficit.

“Commentators and populist politicians are wringing their hands. The trade deficit is a ‘malignant tumor in the intestines of the U.S. economy,’ says Pat Buchanan. …

“Economists had taught me that the trade deficit is not a big deal. … But with all the pundits and politicians alarmed, I began to wonder if I was out of touch.

“Then I thought about my local supermarket. I buy stuff from the Food Emporium every week. I spend thousands of dollars a year there. But the supermarket never buys anything from me. Not one thing.

“And yet that is no problem. …

“Trade statistics obscure reality. Individuals exchange only when each expects to benefit. If they didn’t expect it, they wouldn’t trade. That’s true even if one party is American and the other Chinese. Trade is trade.

“If we don’t care about trade balances at the individual level, why does it matter if in a given year Americans as a group buy more from the Chinese than they buy from us?

“It doesn’t. …

“Adam Smith was right when he wrote, ‘Nothing, however, can be more absurd than this whole doctrine of the balance of trade.’ ”

— John Stossel, writing on “Absurdity on the Trade Balance,” Thursday in the New York Sun

‘Lobotomized’

“The sad truth is that we have been lobotomized by our schools, our government and the media — which is why we give in to perversion and insanity without even putting up a fight. Get out of line and start babbling about Western virtues, and you risk being reviled by friends and foes alike. …

“We pretend that diversity is our greatest strength rather than acknowledging it as our greatest weakness. Cultural diversity makes us strong, right? All it takes is a daily dose of ‘We Are the World,’ and we become believers. If we don’t pretend to support the multicultural party line, we run the risk of being sent to a rehabilitation camp at UC Berkeley or Yale.”

— Robert Ringer, writing on “The Great Pretenders,” Thursday in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

‘Mommyism’

“[Sen. Barbara] Boxer’s riffing about her children and grandchildren (and [Secretary of State Condoleezza] Rice’s lack of ‘immediate family’) isn’t relevant to whether, as Boxer later put it, those who make Iraq policy ‘will pay the price for this escalation’ because people who have military-age children don’t pay the price for war either unless those children volunteer. And most don’t.

“So why did Boxer bring up her irrelevant children and grandchildren? … I might note that Boxer’s illogical detour allowed her to not-so-subtly advertise her motherhood in line with the reigning mommy-rhetoric of the Pelosi Era, in which ‘the gavel’ is in ‘the hands of America’s children.’

“The ‘it’s all about children’ meme must focus-group really well because Democrats keep trotting it out. … I don’t remember Mommyism winning any national elections, though — especially during a war.

“Boxer also managed to leave the implication that if only her children were of the right age, they would of course be volunteering to serve their country in the military. I don’t know Boxer’s children, but I’m skeptical.”

— Mickey Kaus, writing on “Boxer: Guilty of Mommyism,” in Slate at www. slate.com

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