Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Trip to Circuit City

Comment left at the Becker-Posner-Blog. This happened to me today as I was trying to figure out my new computer.


I went to Circuit City today. When I walked in the door, the people had a look in their eyes that I had not seen in a long time. There was a very large man at the cash register with two terrified children. His wife was twelve feet away, begging him to calm down. There was a slightly smaller, but nonetheless physically strong Circuit City manager, walking past me, away from the cash register.

The large man with the terrified children bellowed ‘If you are going to wear a Patriots jersey, wear it like a man.’ Then the manager directed an employee to call the police if the gentleman at the cash register said anything else. An Oriental employee from behind another counter straightened and yelled at the very large man, telling him that all of the Circuit City employees were losing their jobs too.

I sensed danger and could feel the after effects of high levels of adrenalin as I drove home. It aches.


The value of labor on the world-wide market is $3/day.


In the 1930s, the United States was the world’s largest EXPORTER. And, because of this, a trade war probably hurt the United States’ export-based economy. England was an importer, and during the entirety of the Great Depression, I believe that their economy only shrunk 5%. Today, the United States is the world’s largest IMPORTER. I doubt that foreign countries will stop buying our food, but if they did, it would lower prices at the supermarket.


I, for one, would not object if my government chose to drop out of, or deeply renegotiate international trade agreements. I say return tariffs to historical levels of 30-40% to protect domestic industries.


Rivrdog said...

The huge unknown in a trade war in this era would be petroleum. It's likely that petroleum, while not directly involved as an item in tariff wars, could become involved in some secondary way. If the supply were severely restricted, the cost to the USA of the overall trade war would probably be negative at best, and crippling at worst.

Bill said...

Great to see you back Rivrdog.

In my opinion, we are food and energy independent. In a pinch, oil could be rationed, stretching our off-shore reserves out for a decade, add in CNG and we have twenty years. By then oil shale will be up and running, powering us for centuries. Our time will come on this one. There is progress.

Glenn Beck used the term ‘Global Katrina’, and I can’t think of a better description of how I see the next twenty years of world history. I am becoming more and more of a nationalist, and do not fear a trade war.