One of America's leading authorities on technology and telecom policy, Motley is a writer, television and radio commentator, political and policy strategist, lecturer, debater, activist, and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
Latest posts by Seton Motley (see all)
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We’re seeing that with the Affordable Care Act – ObamaCare. Turns out that the laws opponents were right – it is stripping from millions of Americans their health insurance coverage.
President Barack Obama and his fellow travelers insisted – again, and again, and again, and again– that “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan. Period.” And accused of lying those who pointed out that many people would lose theirs.
But Obama, Inc. knew that they would. In other words – to paraphrase Congressman Joe Wilson– they lied. They lied because they want to grow government – and they don’t care what they have to do to do it. In their minds, their ends justify any means.
And government grows ever huge-er under ObamaCare.
And counting. Everyone but those pushing for and propelled by Huge Government loses under it.
Far more government – far less for us.
Speaking of ever huge-er government – let’s look at the global farm market.
Over the last eight decades, we have domestically erected a Huge Government farm policy mess. Born in the heinous New Deal, our taxes and protectionism have grown into a gi-normous anti-free trade extravaganza.
Which is great for government bureaucrats in the Departments of Agriculture and Commerce (and elsewhere) – but it’s terrible for us.
Our myopic focus on our policies caused us to lose sight of how the rest of the world was reacting. They saw us pumping up our farm policy government – and they raised the stakes. None more than Big Sugar Brazil.
When a market is as messed-up-by-government as is global farm, the biggest government player oft ends up running the show.
All of this Leviathan largesse has led to Brazil controlling 50% of all the world’s sugar exports.
And when a market is this messed-up-by-government, and this happens to the biggest government player:
It harms the market – and we who engage therein – far more than it should or would were the market far freer.
Government is bigger – and our wallets are smaller.
When a market is this messed-up-by-government – and one player is this dominant – piecemeal repair does far more harm than good.
Brazil’s leading role as a sugar exporter was further heightened when the European Union (EU), which supplied as much as 20 percent of global exports in the 1990s, shifted from a net exporter to a net importer following sugar policy reforms in 2005. This shift removed a traditionally important supply source from global markets and has made sugar importers more reliant on Brazilian exports.
Their reforms? Unilateral tear-down of their trade barriers – which sounds good. Except it allowed Big Sugar Subsidy Brazil to flood their market – and wipe out nearly all domestic production. And now the EU is paying about 25% more for sugar.
The solution? Some good, old fashioned back and forth.
The world’s sugar-producing nations need to sit down together, each with a copy of everyone else’s lists of protectionist sugar policies. And start horse trading.
“Brazil – how about if you get rid of this subsidy, we’ll each get rid of one.”
“Mexico – if you get rid of this tariff, we’ll each get rid of one.”
Let the subsequent discussions ensue. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Working together to tear down trade impediments makes a whole lot more sense than working unilaterally to continue building them.
On sugar – and a whole lot of other things.
Before We the People can have more, government has to first become a whole lot less.