The cornerstone argument of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is that open borders, and especially free trade agreements, are harming America and weakening its economic position.
When a country that has dominant economic position, in a sense that it has internal markets sufficiently big as to reduce the costs of manufacturing goods to the point where no other power can compete with it fairly because they can’t produce goods cheaply enough to make a profit selling them competitively, this country will benefit from advocating open borders and free trade agreements, because open borders mean that their industry will destroy the weaker countries’ industries, and opening borders to the free flow of people, goods and services only benefits them because they will get the best migrant workers from abroad (because, since the free market industry is competitive, there simply isn’t room for anyone who isn’t up to par), and foreign products cannot compete with theirs on either price or quality, so that isn’t a danger either.
A weaker country needs to close its borders to imported goods and services because a stronger country will always be able to leverage its greater markets in order to reduce manufacturing costs and will always be able to destroy economies of weaker countries and essentially turn them into colonies that need to import everything and finance it with debt.
You can recognize a strong country by the fact that it doesn’t need to introduce tariffs on imported goods, that it advocates open borders and that it issues credit to others in order for them to be able to buy imported goods.
If we take a look at the general trends of American economy, it has been financing its expenditures by debt, it’s been artificially inflating its GDP by issuing cheap credit to the venture capital firms who have been investing heavily into technology startups and inflating their market value far beyond any reality, and the purpose of that is to use the inflated GDP as backing for printing its fractional reserve currency. This means the Dollar is overstretched and maintained by artificial means. Also, the debt has been growing out of control. Debt to GDP ratio has exceeded 1, which would be worrying by itself, but since debt is real and GDP is artificially inflated, this is especially bad.
What it all actually shows is that America has been consistently spending more than it was making, and that’s been going on for the last few decades. In fact, since the debt graph looks like a good approximation of the exponential curve, the causes seem to be systemic.
But the greatest indicator, to me, is that a candidate advocating against free international trade seems to be winning the elections. So far, all CIA policy recommendations that advocated open borders and free trade came with a disclaimer which stated that such recommendations rest upon the assumption that America is the world’s strongest economy.
More than anything, Trump’s stated policy, its validity in the current state of the global economy, and its support by the disenfranchised citizens of USA, show that this implicit assumption is no longer valid.
Let’s assume that Trump does indeed win the presidency. Let’s assume that he implements his stated policies; he closes the borders, he stops immigration, he imposes obstacles to imports of goods and services into the USA. The USA companies are forced to concentrate on the domestic markets.
My quick-and-dirty simulation of the effects indicates that this will deflate the stock market bubble that maintains the fiction of the huge GDP. This will collapse the Dollar. USA will default on its debts since they are unserviceable in any case, and the entire economy will collapse into a stable state that reflects the actual market conditions. And this doesn’t even attempt to deal with the international fallout of such a huge disruption.
But this has nothing to do with Trump. If anything, he might actually make the transition more abrupt, but eventually less destructive. The current policies, that attempt to create some kind of a soft landing for America, are doomed and are only making the problem worse. In both cases, America will collapse. The indicators for that are overwhelming. However, with Trump America actually has a chance of achieving a stable state as an industrial, free-market country. With the socialists in power, it will achieve a stable state as a military dictatorship. People who see Trump as Hitler are wrong. Hitler was someone who was nothing without the power of the state behind him. As a free entrepreneur, he was nothing. Trump is the opposite of that. His entire power stems from his success in the free market. He doesn’t need the state to attain power, and is therefore not likely to start relying on the state as an end-all solution to all problems, as Hitler did. He’s going to rely on the real economy, on the healthy tissue. Hitler relied on the megalomaniacal fantasies of the state to compensate for his personal failures. Essentially, they are the opposites, and all similarities are actually fabrications designed by the socialist media in order to slander him, because they cannot stand his reality-based thinking.
The problem with Trump is that he relies too much on brute strength in solving problems. His attitude regarding torture and encryption shows that: Apple should yield to state authority and agree to break the encryption wall that protects its customers, torture should be used to extract data because America is in the position of strength there, and should use it in order to attain its goals. The problem is, the primary goal of America isn’t being strong. The primary goal of America is to be America. The primary goal is liberty and freedom and possibility, the primary goal is to abolish tyranny. The primary goal is to have a country in which those in power cannot imprison you without a trial and a due process, the primary goal is to limit the authority of the state over an individual, to make one’s property sacrosanct, to enable the individual to use force to defend his own, even against the state, because a state can become tyrannical. So the problem with making America great by Trump’s means is that it will no longer be America if it tramples on all the precepts set by its founders. Not using all means to achieve its ends, and not using the power of the state to pressure companies and individuals is what made America different from tyrannical superpowers like the Soviet Union or the Third Reich. What made America better than the Third Reich wasn’t technological supremacy. In fact, the Nazis had that. What made America better is that it was a place worth living in, as an individual. It had habeas corpus, it had The Bill of Rights, it had prohibition against unlawful detention, it had prohibition against cruel or unusual punishment, and it didn’t have the all-powerful state police.
So, what Trump should learn is that wielding a big stick can be a problem if you stumble and poke your eye out with it. Big sticks are not only a danger to others. There’s nothing wrong with the concept of making America great again, as long as you remember what made it America, and what made it great.