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Cost for a free trade

In response to the letter “Workers are consumers,” Feb. 7, free traders commonly charge that a single tariff, Smoot-Hawley, caused the Great Depression thus showing all protectionism to be odious and dangerous. But some good reasons why it did not cause the Depression are in Patrick Buchanan’s book, “The Great Betrayal,” available at the county library (note pp. 244-253).

Bush may have tried to rescue the steel industry with his tariffs – too little, too late, but the manufacturing sector didn’t fail because of his protectionist attempts, as the letter writer assumes; manufacturing had already been declining for many years and even Bush’s protectionism couldn’t save the industry and bring it back to life. Remember, under Bush, over one million American manufacturing jobs have disappeared, mostly due to outsourcing. The sad reality is that the world power that loses its manufacturing capacity ceases being a world power anymore. Thank free trade for that.

Fred Levien, Other Voices, Feb. 7, predicts a nuclear attack soon on American soil. How? A briefcase nuke can easily be hidden in a ship’s cargo area. Uninspected cargo is so common that a small nuke can go undetected very easily. Thank free trade for that, too.



David Briceno

Grass Valley


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