IS THE PROBLEM GUNS, OR GOD?

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There has been much debate about guns recently, with mass shootings and many deaths in Texas.  The Democratic Presidential candidates have all come to the conclusion that the problem is guns, and their solutions run from total confiscation to a mandatory buyback of semi-automatic rifles.  They believe that if they can get guns that fire rapidly off the street, then the problem is solved. 

Our President has indicated that the problem is not guns, but a serious mental health issue.  He believes that disturbed individuals should not be afforded the opportunity to purchase firearms and ammunition, and that the state should do more with government sponsored treatment for the mentally impaired. 

It takes people to shoot guns.  Guns are inanimate objects that can do nothing by themselves.  Without people, guns are useless and benign.  Our President is onto something, and that is mental health.  However, mental health will not be achieved with any state sponsored program.  Mental health is something that can only be achieved by persons with a moral center, and the institutions that promote moral centers, our churches and synagogues, are losing the battle. 

Our society is changing fast, with the younger generations ignoring God.  In 1986 10% of young people declared that they did not follow a religion or believe in God.  Today, it is 40% of Millennials that do not believe in God (as reported by the Religious News Service 6/26/2018 article).  In addition, the vast majority of mass shooters were either fatherless, or had fathers that did not live at home.  They also are Millennial’s, or close in age to them. It is a fair assumption that broken families, not held together by God’s word, is a major reason for this phenomenon.  Without a cohesive family, based on the Judean/Christian ethic, these young people feel lost and alone, and they have no moral center to fall back on.  This is what drives them to do these nefarious acts, and this trend will not stop until we as a society do something to curb this societal trend.  

We need to have another religious enlightenment, favoring the word of our God over the word of Progressive governance.  Without that our country will be lost.   

Nero Fiddles While Rome Burns

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Our Southern border is being invaded. It is estimated that this year alone over 1 million illegal aliens will enter the country. Criminal aliens, both legal and illegal, make up 27 percent of all federal prisoners. Yet non-citizens are only about nine percent of the nation’s adult population. Thus, judging by the numbers in federal prisons alone, non-citizens commit federal crimes at three times the rate of citizens. Reviewing the criminal histories of 55,322 aliens in federal or state prisons and local jails who “entered the country illegally.” Those illegal aliens were arrested 459,614 times, an average of 8.3 arrests per illegal alien, and committed almost 700,000 criminal offenses, an average of roughly 12.7 offenses per illegal alien.

Drugs pour across our Southern Border at a dizzying rate. Cocaine, Heroin, Fentanyl, Marijuana, Cocaine and other types of illicit drugs continue to pour in, spreading their misery and death across our nation. Gangs of criminals stream in, bringing with them mayhem to our society. Our status as a nation is in jeopardy. Our country, or for that matter any country cannot continue to exist without borders, and that is where we are now. This is our version of “Rome Burning”.

Congress is the only branch of government that can fix this, our most critical issue. It is up to Congress to construct and pass laws to protect our country and improve our society. No other branch of government has been given that authority. They can reconstruct our immigration system to make it fair, efficient, and and beneficial for our society. They have the power to protect our borders, close loopholes that attract foreign hordes from coming illegally, and bring some sense into how we select people for immigration into our society. This selection can and should be based on merit, with a design that also embraces true amnesty for those fleeing their countries for their very lives.

Congress instead ignores the issue, and focuses almost entirely on investigating the President for crimes that he did not commit. Congressional panels are focused on investigating the President, his family, his finances, his personal and business associates and anyone else they deem helpful in undermining his ability to serve a second term. They also blame him for the border crisis, rather than do anything in their power to stop it. They are our version of “Nero fiddling”!

The 2020 election is coming sooner than many realize. This is our opportunity to elect people to Congress that will actually do their jobs and stop the insanity at our border. We the people have the power to put out the fire and put our “Nero’s” back where they belong. It is up to us to send the “Do Nothing” Congress back home, elect a new Congress with people willing to do their job as specified in our Constitution. Yes, your vote counts and could very well determine the salvation of our nation!

YES, THAT’S RIGHT, WE ARE ALL PREJUDICED!

Lost, Hell, Limbo, Night, Dark, Forest

Do you walk on the other side of the street when you see seedy people coming towards you?

Do you protect your handbag when a group of youths of color approach?

Do you sit in another subway car if the one you embark on has loud ruffians?

Do you evaluate a new neighborhood by making assumptions about the neighbors?

Do you slow down your vehicle when you think that there may be a policeman ahead?

Do you look twice at the dark-skinned man in a turban boarding the same plane as yourself?

Do you watch the stranger with some trepidation as he walks up your front walkway?

It is a natural human condition to prejudge situations.  It is one of our best defenses, and is a natural action that is ingrained in every one of us.  Prejudging situations keeps us safe, and eliminates much random violence and criminality.  Profiling, a subset of prejudice, is how we absolutely protect not just ourselves, but our families. 

Tying prejudice in with racism is done all the time to divide us.   The narratives that keep this alive abound on the left.  We are told that prejudice leads to racism, and that we have to fight to eliminate this sin from ourselves.  We are told that we should not judge racial groups by personal experience or habit, because we should give everyone the benefit of the doubt.  We are told never to profile a person, that the act itself is evil.  We even tell our security men (TSA) at the airport not to profile anyone.  In the same paragraph we are also told that diversity is our strength.  In that thought, the left also prejudges all white men to be the problem with most of society.

The whole argument against prejudice is crazy!  We are told to eliminate one of our greatest security gifts from God in order to achieve “Social Justice”.  Yet, these same social justice warriors prejudge “toxic white masculinity”, white men in general, and white people.  They find great fault with white existence, but find people of color to be faultless, and clean as driven snow.  This is done with a great deal of prejudice and profiling on their part, driven by their desire to marginalize white people in particular politically.

Prejudice is not going away.  SJW’s can scream about it all they want.  People of all colors and backgrounds practice prejudice on a constant basis, and that will never stop.  The “law of the jungle” states that only the fittest survive, and the fittest pre-judge their situations on a minute by minute basis. 

Prejudice is a tool.  Like all tools, it can be used for good, or it can be used for evil. Most people use it for good, and those that use it for nefarious reasons will never stop.  Instead of fighting prejudice, we should embrace the good in it, and continue to point out that there are those that use the tool as an evil wedge against us all. 

My wife and I will continue to pre-judge our life’s journey.  We proudly wear the badge of prejudiced people.  How about you?

WITNESSING THE DEATH OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY

There was a time when our 2-party system worked.  Both parties, although different in noticeable ways, held the same basic values at each of their cores.  The Constitution set up the system of government and guaranteed certain rights. The Constitution has given us separation of powers, so that no one man or group can lord over all others.   This system of separation of powers has worked well over the years, and afforded us stability that is lacking in most other world governments.  Not only did it give us inalienable rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, but amendments to the document expanded on those rights, making the USA the freest country in the world.  Our economic system, Capitalism, was never in question, and made our economy the envy of the world.  Our military was admired by our citizens of every stripe, and either welcomed or feared by our allies and enemies alike.  These core values were never in question, until lately.

The Republican Party still holds these values in their core.  Every day they have to battle to ensure that these values are not trampled upon, but the Democrats are pursuing change to our way of life that would end America as we know it.  AOC and her “squad” promote a toxic mix of socialism and identity politics, along with a very destructive brand of environmentalism with “THE GREEN NEW DEAL” and with their social media tools, are constantly messaging large followings on these topics.  These 4 women, along with Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have moved the Democrat Party far to the left, embracing government-controlled health care, the eventual end to most constitutional amendments, and effectively advocating the destruction of our Constitution.  They call for open borders, the dissolution of ICE, and the welcoming of hordes of people from other less fortunate countries.  These people are more than welcome because they are coming for social benefits, and will vote for those benefits, they will vote Democrat.  In fact, they are advocating for the destruction of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.  They believe that they can create a Socialist Utopia, with the state controlling every aspect of our lives.  This of course, would mean the destruction of our economy, and the forfeiture of our freedom. 

24 Democrats are currently running for President.  They all are in their own ways advocating for this dangerous form of political and economic change in our country.  They are doubling down on the divisive strategy of identity politics, and vilifying all that do not agree with them.  They, along with a good portion of the Democratic Party, have in effect morphed into something entirely different than their name suggests.  Their advocations indicate that the Democratic Party of yesterday is dead, is just a rotting hulk.  The only thing recognizable that is left is the name.  Everything else points to the party now of record is the Socialist Party, with little to nothing about it Democratic. 

The 2020 election is to be the most important one we have had since Lincoln.  This election will determine whether we will continue to be a country that values individual freedom, values the economic freedom of Capitalism, or the tyranny of Socialism.  This election will also decide if we are to remain a country, or with open borders to devolve into nothing more than a failed experiment.  People, our votes will count.  We can vote to keep the country we love, or to embrace the shackles that will be put upon us by the party that once was “Democratic”.    

THE DEMOCRAT PARTY IS DEAD AND GONE

RIP DEMOCRAT PARTY!

My family was Democrat. My father, an honorable man was a Democrat politician. All of my siblings were Democrats. I was a Democrat. In years past Democrats were identified as people that respected everyone’s rights. Growing up in the 60’s was the heyday of Democratic power. JFK’s speech where he passionately plead, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”, was a mantra that we as Democrats fervently and proudly believed. Today, we all are conservative Independents, some registered as Republicans, many as Independents, but no one of us are Democrats anymore, and for good reason!

Fast forward to the first primary debate for the Democrat hopefuls. It was 2 days where we learned a lot about how the Democrat party has morphed into something unrecognizable. These 20+ candidates for the Presidency were advocating a very radical agenda. Open borders, decriminalizing illegal aliens, giving them “free healthcare”, giving all of us single payer health care, making private insurance illegal, embracing abortion to the point that even female trannies can have one for free (would like to see that!), a full-on embrace of identity politics, basic income for all, free college, forgiveness of student loan debt, and many more PC positions. JFK must have been spinning in his grave!

The party now, instead of asking what you can do for your country, is now telling us what they want to do for us. Further, they want to do even more for illegal aliens, who they say are “true Americans”. They want to do it with our money, and they say that we will be happier for it? I think not! In fact, they have just exposed themselves for what they are! They are not of the Democratic Party. They are Socialists and Communists! I hope to God that Khrushchev was wrong, and that we would be conquered from within!

We have a lot of good things happening in our country! The economy is very good. More people are participating in the work force, and minority employment is at all time highs. Wages are gravitating upward for the first time in decades. Our trade deals are being seriously re-negotiated and the effort is showing success. Our porous border is being addressed as best as it can be with a do-nothing congress fighting the President on protections. Bad treaties are being reviewed and re-negotiated, and success is at least hopeful. All this is the result of our President, Donald Trump.

I wonder how these hopefuls expect to win an election? No one that has 1/2 a brain can believe what they espouse. No true American can embrace their values. They have run off the tracks and do not represent America. Instead they simply represent the worst of us, those that expect others to take care of their personal problems, those that come in illegally to our country and expect us to take care of their lives, and those that would take away our freedoms in order to capture and maintain power. This is a defining moment in our country, and I pray that we can survive it!

LOCAL POLITICS IS IMPORTANT!

My wife and I have been chastising ourselves for being very focused on national politics, to the detriment of what happens locally.  As our penance, we decided to attend the town hall in our city highlighting our new Los Angeles County Sheriff.  Neither of us knew much about this man, and our homework on him and local law enforcement issues were sketchy and incomplete as we entered the venue.

Our new Sheriff is Alex Villanueva.  He was a relatively obscure Lt. Deputy Sheriff that retired in 2018, prior to the election.  He spent 30 years with the department, but never managed large groups.  He never went higher than Lieutenant in his career, which made him a lower level mid-manager at best.  He was a “dark horse” in the election, running against incumbent James McDonnell, a seasoned veteran that previously was Chief of the Long Beach police department and at one time was second in command of the Los Angeles police force.  That was all we really knew about him when attending the town hall, but insight into his policies and beliefs became very transparent during the Q&A session that followed his introduction.

Everyone in attendance was given the option of asking questions when signing into the event.  Question cards were available and if desired, one could submit one or more questions for the new Sheriff.  Both my wife and I submitted questions.  To the Sheriff’s credit, he answered every submitted question without hesitation, and his answers were very telling.

He was asked repeatedly about what his department was going to do differently to address the growing illegal alien problem.  His answer to these questions were firmly in line with the “California Values Act” passed by the state government giving cover for all illegal aliens.  Simply stated he said that there are over 1 million “undocumented migrants” in his jurisdiction, and they are, by his account for the most part law abiding and productive residents that have rights.  His position is that they need to be treated with the utmost respect, never put in a position to harbor fears of deportation.  In fact, he claims that his policy of respect makes the job of policing much more effective, because these “undocumented migrants” will co-operate with the department with information on criminal activity in their neighborhoods.  It was evident that he sees the illegal alien invasion as a net benefit to our community, and wholeheartedly supports the Liberal Progressive “California Values Act”. 

There were many questions about how he was going to handle the burgeoning problem of homeless camping out in our neighborhoods.  His position was unwavering.  He stated this; “You talk as if these people are not yet in your back yards, but they are already there.  We manage the problem with deputies trained to interact positively with the homeless, working in concert with social service and mental health personnel to assess the needs of those living on the street.  The big question is what are you as citizens going to do to make it better for these individuals?”  In other words, he bounced the problem back on us, as if that is where it belonged. 

I brought up crime directly to him.  Neighborhoodscout.com has put Lakewood CA at 13 in their rating for crime safety.  This means that out of 100 being completely safe, only 13% of USA cities are less safe than our town.  I asked him what his plan was to reduce the crime rate in our town (Lakewood contracts out to the Sheriff’s department for police protection).  He came up with statistics showing that crime in Lakewood is down compared to what it was in 2018, but he used annualized statistics for 2018, and only YTD statistics for 2019.  Yes, he compared apples to oranges, and took a pat on his own back for “community-based policing”, a policy where he will attempt to hire deputies who live in the same communities where they will be stationed.  In other words, he skirted over the question to make it go away.

Neither my wife or I voted for the new Sheriff.  We voted for the incumbent, as he was doing a good job of reforming a very corrupt organization where the previous leadership was actually sent to jail for their activities.  He was the right man for the job, having previously been in charge of large police organizations, and he was also tough on crime.  It came to us that something happened to have this dark horse succeed in unseating this highly qualified man.  Looking into this issue was an eye opener.

It turns out that after the California jungle primary, where he came in a distant 2nd to McDowell, he went full bore focusing on the groups that he thought would be most supportive of him.  His Liberal Progressive beliefs and his Latino surname were his strong points.  He lobbied every Hispanic political group he could find, putting himself up as one of them (his father was Puerto Rican, his mother Polish-American).  He also lobbied every Democrat Club in Los Angeles County, every Progressive organization with voter rolls, and pushed hard that he would support all Liberal Progressive ideals that they held dear, in spite of the Sheriff’s election purportedly being “non-partisan”.  He continually told all that wanted to hear that he would be an active resister of Trump and the Federal Government in their efforts to deport illegal alien criminals, making the LA County Jail system “off limits” to Ice and Homeland Security.  He promised to evict them from office space given to these agencies by Sheriff McDowell.  He became the darling of those that embrace just about everything that is wrong with California, and that propelled him to his win. 

The left is organized and active in California politics, much more so than Republicans and Conservatives.  They fight hard and dirty, and that is their winning strategy in this state.  If we are to take this state back, we need to have the focus and design to do so, and that necessitates paying great attention to local politics.  We have positive messages, but in order to win, we need to translate that into understandable sound bites for the public, and most of all, we need to get out the vote.  If we don’t California, and for that matter the nation will be permanently transformed into something unrecognizable.  Our inaction would produce Liberal Progressive Socialism, open borders, the end of the nation, and the push for Global Governance.  We have to remember that all politics starts local.  If we ignore that fact we will lose!

ROBERT MUELLERS SURPRISE PRESS STATEMENT, SIMPLY AN INVITATION TO AN IMPEACHMENT STYLE LYNCHING

Mr. Mueller spoke to us today.  In a nutshell, he cast a dark shadow over the Collusion theory, indicating that although there was not enough direct evidence present to indict, there could have been collusion, but that there was not sufficient evidence to actually make a charge.  With Obstruction, there was in his opinion a clear case for Presidential obstruction, but no charges were made because a sitting president cannot be indicted according to Federal law.  Then he made it clear that what he is speaking to is directly contained in his report, that he would not be making any more statements, but if required, would only refer to the report itself.   His speech was clearly a political statement, and he invoked the Congress to do their job.  It was an invitation to impeach, and Jerry Nadler will make sure that does happen.

The report has been out for weeks.  We all have had the opportunity to read it.  The first part, Collusion was a wet noodle.  It clearly pointed out that there was no collusion.  The second part, Obstruction, was a legal work of fiction, showing the President growing weary, and discussing with his staff ways to shut the “witch hunt” down once and for all.  None of that happened, and for political reasons, the “witch hunt” went on until its inevitable conclusion.  In effect, no Obstruction actually happened, but was considered by the President, a man unjustly accused of crimes that never happened.  A President aware that he was the target of a coup, who wanted to fight back, but had the realization that doing so would convince the public of alleged guilt to fictional crimes that would surely lead to impeachment, and one that may have even been supported in the Senate.  

The Mueller team clearly was formed to get the President, no other reason than that.  Even though they spent much time, treasure and effort to bring him down, there was nothing there for them to indict, nothing there for them to get their job done the way the swamp wanted.  Now, with the “Investigation of the Investigators” and the IG report on its way, its panic time in Washington, and that is exactly why Mr. Mueller spoke in public. 

The swamp desperately wants impeachment, and Jerry Nadler is a willing accomplice.  The House will impeach, and drag it out before the media until November 2020, hoping beyond hope that the public will have a tainted view of the President, and vote Democrat to actually get rid of him.  They know that impeachment is dead on arrival if it goes to the Senate, so instead it will be a “show trial”.  They are hoping that this circus will divert attention from other investigations that will be damning to the Democrats if the public pays attention.  With a compliant print and television media, they may be right, but I give the American public more credit for common sense than that.

The swamp is terrified that the truth will come out, and that truth could very well include indictments for many in the bureaucracy, including Mr. Mueller and his band of merry lawyers.  The Clinton Campaign and the DNC will also be threatened, as they were major players in the investigation and the coup.  Democrat Senators and Congressmen will also be implicated.  It will be an interesting run up to the 2020 election.  Fasten your seatbelts people, this is going to be quite a ride!

THE PARIS ACCORD, DEAD IN THE WATER, OR A PATH FOR GLOBAL GOVERNANCE?

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The 2015 Paris Agreement was an interesting exercise.  The nations of the world came together, ostensibly to fight the good fight against climate change.  In my opinion, it was a dark Fairy Tale, designed by Globalists with a more comprehensive idea in mind, something actually different from the “good fight” that was presented to us commoners.  Our President seemed to see through the haze of what it was, wealth re-distribution, virtue signaling, and ultimately globalist governance.  He decided to opt out, and from my perspective, for good reason!

First, the USA was a major contributor to the economic re-distribution.  We were in 2020 to start off with $100 billion in tax dollars to be given up for the “cause”, and given to 3rd world countries.  In subsequent years we were to increase our contribution from year to year in order to allegedly fund the 3rd worlds effort to comply with establishing a “green economy”.  It was called “common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities”, which sounds a lot like a Karl Marx’s axiom “To each according to his needs, from each according to his abilities”. 

The objective was to rebalance resources.  Developed countries were to give dollars to the 3rd world (especially the USA) and were to increasingly decline carbon emissions, so much so that with present technology would put the 1st world into a declining economic spiral.  On the other hand, the defined 3rd world, with the notable inclusion of China and India, repositories of the fastest growing economies and 2+ billion people, were actually required to do nothing.  They talked about reducing emissions, but in reality, their emissions are going up exponentially, and there is no end date in sight for that to stop and reverse itself.  In fact, just in those 2 countries emissions are much higher than in the rest of the 1st world, but is is the 1st world that would be sacrificing and paying the economic price. 

So this agreement privileges the countries, large and small, emerging countries under the definition put forth, and severely damages 1st world countries that already have pollution under controls.  The Paris convention blames the West for the world’s problems, but they ignore that the so called “privileged countries are the most serious threats.  This is a completely lopsided agreement that has no chance of working, especially with the USA opting out, and Nationalism on the rise in Western Civilization. 

The “free riding” is built into the model, not only with the 3rd world not being held to any accountable standards, but with the 1st not legally bound to their commitments.  In fact, the 1st world for the most part, even though they give lip service to the accord, are not living up to the standards they have set for themselves.  Further, technology is not developed enough to actually replace fossil fuels at this point in time, and so called “Green Energy” as it stands today will not meet future demands under any circumstance. 

So, is there another approach to this goal of “Saving the Planet”?  I seriously doubt it.  China and India will continue to grow burning coal and petroleum.  Even the EU, with most of their countries giving lip service to the agreement are in the process of building 55 coal fired electric plants.  FYI, the USA has not built any coal fired plants in decades, and is in the process of retiring 26 coal fired plants in the next few years.  That is in the face of getting out of this failed agreement, and counter to the dialog that globalists are putting forward. 

There is also an argument that man’s input into climate change is significant, but minor to the ebb and flow of that process that has gone on throughout the history of our planet.  A lot of so called “scientific evidence” has been altered to give credence to the narrative that man is the deciding factor in climate change.  Computer models have been proven time and time again to have been ineffective in predicting the future of climate change, and man’s activity as the major imputes to its swings.  Is there a political approach to this alleged problem?  I doubt that there is. 

It is my belief that the US has effectively killed the Paris accord.  Even though the EU and others still give it verbal support, without the economic transfer that we were required, it will eventually fall apart.  I also doubt that there is sufficient international interest in creating a new agreement, being that Nationalism is on the rise, and people are seeing through the fault lines of the climate change narrative.  Further, I believe that as in our own country, individual countries in the 1st world, and some in the 3rd will continue their efforts to keep the environment clean, but it will be an individualistic national effort.  Most people on our planet treasure a clean environment.  Most people also do not want a 1 world government. 

CHILD LABOR PRACTICES INTERNATIONALLY, AND THE ILL EFFECTS IT HAS ON CHILDREN AND THE SOCIETIES THEY LIVE IN

Contrary to popular belief in our country, child labor is alive and well in many parts of the world.  Africa, Latin America, Middle East, Asia and the Pacific are areas where the practice is most evident.  The one commonality that these countries have with each other is poverty.  Non-elite families in these countries have to scrape just to earn enough money for food, and starvation is often the alternative to either pressing their children into local labor or actually selling their children into some type of slavery.  It is a complex problem that tends to justify itself out of economic necessity.

There are numerous articles on this subject.  The estimates for how many children are participants in the child labor market vary widely.  From what I could find, they go from 100 million all the way to 218 million as of 2018, being that there is no official count of child laborers, so these are guesses.  Regardless, this is a major problem in 3rd world countries.  Poverty seems to generate this societal problem.

That is the crux of the problem, poverty.  Poverty drives the need for additional income.  The exploitation of children is a logical approach to acquire additional income, but the unintended consequences are severe.  When children are exploited in the workplace, they have a much higher rate of physical injury, due to the propensity to be put in dangerous job situations, and their lack of experience using dangerous tools and lack of PPE’s to protect their health.  Young children are put in a position where they can be permanently damaged physically which will have a direct relationship on their earning ability later on in life. 

In some countries, primarily in Africa, children are drafted into the military or paramilitary groups, with a high rate of mortality.  They also are often drafted into the international sex trade, subject to disease and early death.  Those that survive these conditions to adulthood are then saddled with serious mental health issues.

Child labor practices also preclude 3rd world societies from economic and social improvement.  Children engaged in work are not being educated and that perpetuates the cycle of poverty, with no way out.  This is the true moral dilemma of the practice.  With no way out of the cycle, poverty appears to be a permanent fixture in those affected societies. 

It is morally reprehensible for child labor to be a permanent fixture.  The big question is how to stop this vicious cycle and give these children and their countries the ability to advance up the economic and societal ladders to join the rest of the world in peace and prosperity.  We, as citizens in the 1st world can insist on our retail buyers to only source goods from companies that do not use child labor.  We can crack down on child sex trafficking and insist on children not being used in militaries.  That would put a dent in the problem, but the underlying reason for the practice, poverty, would not then in any way be addressed. 

Most if not all of these countries do not have the assets to fund adequate public schools, or to offer any government assistance to poor families that would be educating, rather than working their children.  It points to the need for the international community, possibly the United Nations, to have a dramatic push to assist these countries in developing their children through education.  Supplanting family incomes through food distribution in order to make it possible to educate children for the future, rather than to work them for present needs.  Only then would the international community have an impact on this problem.

Now the question is, will anything actually get done?  Most of these countries that embrace child labor are corrupt dictatorships or pseudo-democracies that would have little interest in change, unless it had a direct and immediate benefit to their income and power.  Chances are that any assistance, if offered, would not trickle down to those that needed it most.  With Nationalism on the rise, it would be doubtful that many countries would be interested in contributing to costly programs that would have little if any direct benefit to their immediate national interests.  With political leaders worldwide mostly focused on “short-term” interests, it is doubtful that this problem will be eradicated any time soon.

WHAT IS TRADE PROTECTIONISM, AND WHAT ARE THE ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL CONSEQUENCES?

Image result for pictures of protectionist trade

Trade protectionism are restrictions on the free flow of international trade, and it takes on many forms.  The intention is to protect a nation’s economic well-being.  It can take the form of tariffs to protect home industries from foreign competition by levying fines to make the outside goods less competitive.  It can be quotas, which are restrictions of certain goods that can be imported from other nations.  It can be subsidies, which are payments made by a government to a private industry, which can be direct cash transfers, lines of credit (low interest), or government ownership of common stock.  Governments can also impose local content requirements in order to internalize at least a portion of the manufacturing of the finished good.  Rules and regulations can also be put in place by governments to make it next to impossible for imports to enter the country.  Antidumping policies can be enforced to prevent other nations from selling their oversupply of goods at below the cost of manufacturing.  Currency manipulation is also a method of restricting imports while lowering the cost of a nation’s exports, much like what China does today.

All of these methods restrict free international trade, some for good reason, and many just to protect inefficient industry in their own country.  Politicians use reasons like “protecting our legacy industries” in order to sell the idea.  They also sell trade restrictions on the basis of national interest, protecting industries that support the military complex, thus making it a matter of national defense.  Administrative trade policies are often initiated on the argument that it protects the safety and health of consumers, and so to anti-dumping policies are also sold to the electorate as some sort of protection from unfair foreign competition.

The consequence is that consumers pay more for less.  The politicians that implemented these restrictions usually get re-elected because they did their job of selling the policies in question as a net “benefit” to the electorate, protecting health, safety, national defense, or a variety of other reasons left to the creative processes of these same political actors.  Other possibly unintended consequences are inflation cause by currency manipulation, trade wars, and infant or legacy industries that intentionally do not modernize for efficiency because of artificial protection.

Most economists believe that these types of protectionist activities do more harm than good.  Few economists agree with President Trumps contention that tariffs can be used exclusively for bargaining chips to eventually lower most if not all trade barriers.  Time will tell if President Trump is right, but so far, he has re-negotiated NAFTA to the mutual benefit of all involved, has China close to a rightly needed agreement on fair trade, and has the EU coming somewhat closer to the negotiating table.  If he loses this bet it could cost him the election in 2020.  A side-note is that congress has to ratify these re-negotiated agreements, and the Democrat House is refusing to put the re-negotiated NAFTA agreement on the floor for a vote in order to stop the President from having a political victory before the 2020 election.