DesaliNation

Protectionism is trickling down from Washington, and leading the charge is Michigan state Senator Rick Jones, yet another economically undereducated Republican. At present, Michigan buys road salt on a best price basis. However, our legislators are discussing a 6% tariff (note: this was originally 8%, as some of the articles quoted below state) on salt… Continue reading DesaliNation

Squandered

A very short history of US steel making after WWII.How the U.S. Squandered Its Steel SuperiorityIn the early 50’s the Europeans were rebuilding their steel industry with new technology: "The cost of building steel mills using the basic-oxygen furnaces was 40 to 50 percent lower than conventional open-hearth factories; operating costs were 25 percent lower,… Continue reading Squandered

Trump’s tax increases

Tariffs are alleged to benefit the US at the expense of foreigners. In fact, they benefit a small coterie of businesses at the expense of everyone else. The increased cost of houses due to the President's lumber tariffs doesn't just mean fewer houses being sold, it also means those who do buy houses have less… Continue reading Trump’s tax increases

Inconsistent consequences

The United States has recently imposed tariffs on Canadian lumber, Korean washing machines and Chinese solar panel components. The President is itching to slap import duties on steel. All those tax increases offset the income-tax cut, while enriching crony capitalists, fomenting a net reduction in American employment, and curtailing consumer choice.How do these increased taxes… Continue reading Inconsistent consequences

Public/Pirate partnerships

Friday, I noted Michigan's private marketing bureau rip-off. It just gets worse. Michigan Senate Bill 97. Emphasis mine: To give state and local government agencies the power to enter into joint operating arrangements with a particular business for purposes of building a hospital or transportation facilities. The private operator would benefit from tax exemptions and… Continue reading Public/Pirate partnerships