Thursday, August 14, 2014

Lincoln’s Economic Legacies Reality Teaches Painful Lessons Part 4


 23. " Tarif"

When the Saracens and Moors, in the 8th century invaded and devastated the rich and beautiful provinces of Spain, they were commanded by a general whose name was Tarif, who had but one eye (See Anquetil's Universal History) - Our Tariff must be a descendant of this infamous destroyer, and inherits his defect of having but one eye, as it can see but one interest, and in one direction." 

(I found the above quote on microfilm at the Tarboro Library, but I either failed to write down the source, or there was none. Also, I failed to write down the date, but remember that it was well before the War, 1823/1833 sticks in my mind. BT)


Henry Clay (1777-1852) was one of the most influential men in American history. A brilliant Kentucky lawyer, gifted negotiator and politician, and skilled orator, Clay served three times as Speaker of the U.S. House, and twice represented Kentucky in the U.S. Senate. He ran for President in 1824. He lost but was appointed Secretary of State by John Quincy Adams. He founded the Whig Party and ran for President again in 1832 and 1844, losing both times.  He continued to dominate the Whig Party and spent the last three years of his life as a Whig political leader and U.S. Senator. He is best known for advocating his American System of Economics, which included a strong national bank (and fiat printed money), corporate business and industrial subsidies to promote growth, and especially, high protective tariffs favoring manufacturing over agricultural and other commercial interests. The American system was basically big government intervention into the economy to spur growth. It differed significantly from a classical free market system driven by free price movements to adjust supply and demand. History has proved that free markets and free trade are far better creators of growth than government intervention. Nevertheless, government systems of intervention have a powerful appeal to ambitious politicians and voters with little knowledge or understanding of basic economics.

One of Henry Clay’s most powerful legacies was his influence on Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was a loyal admirer of Henry Clay, and as the Whig leader of Illinois, called Clay “my ideal of a great man.” Unfortunately, his devotion to Clay’s American System of Economics left a wide path of unanticipated economic hindrance and destruction for many decades.

While protectionist tariffs benefit selected industries or commercial interests, they punish everybody else. The higher prices charged by protected business interests are passed on to consumers and other businesses whose purchasing power and standard of living are thus lowered. Their reduced purchasing power reduces demand for consumer products and negatively impacts employment demand.

Protectionism is particularly hard on exporters. Besides their direct effect on the cost of doing business, tariffs negatively impact the exchange rate at which exports can be exchanged for products burdened with increased tariffs. In effect, not only are the exporters’ costs at home increased, but they are also likely to get less for their product on exchange. Furthermore, exporters often face retaliatory tariffs that result in lost business and even lost markets. The Confederate Constitution outlawed protective tariffs, and the Confederate Congress set a free-trade course.

In a 2006 study using mathematical regression analysis, Douglas Irwin analyzed the impact of the 30 percent average tariff during the year 1885. He found that protected industries were not able to increase their profits by the full 30 percent because the higher prices caused by the tariff increase also increased their costs. Their net profit increase through government protection was thereby reduced to about 15 percent, which explains why they kept crying for still higher tariffs. On the other side of the coin, the tariff reduced exporter profits by about 11 percent. The total redistribution of income across commercial interests and regions was a whopping 9 percent of total GDP (Gross Domestic Product).

Most consumers, however, were not directly involved in importing or exporting goods, so their economic loss was less visible, and politicians were able to favor special commercial interests with minimal impact at the polls.  

Henry Clay’s strongly protectionist 1824 Tariff increased average dutiable rates from about 25 percent to 35 percent. Southern protest was so strong that the state legislatures of five of eight Southern states passed resolutions declaring it unconstitutional, and the South Carolina Legislature added that Henry Clay’s “American System” of tariffs and corporate subsidies was “a system of robbery and plunder” that “made one section tributary to another.” The 1824 Tariff resulted in painful increases in the cost of living and doing business in Southern states and severely reduced Southern export business. South Carolina’s export business dropped 25 percent over the next two years. Yet the tragic suffering imposed on the South by the 1824 Tariff was ignored by the Northern special interests that dominated Congress. Higher tariffs meant bigger profits to them.

In 1828, another tariff bill was passed, which was so overbearing and unjust that it is known in history as the Tariff of Abominations. The average dutiable rate was raised approximately 50 percent, raising the average rate to about 35 percent, the highest in history to that point. The original impetus was that Northern textile manufacturers believed they needed greater protection, but the bill became a comprehensive bribery scheme to win the votes of Middle and Western states in the presidential election. When the Tariff of 1832 did not give the South significant relief, the Nullification Crisis erupted in South Carolina.  Southern reaction to the 1824, 1828, and 1832 tariffs should have been adequate warning that passing the Morrill Tariff in 1860-61 could lead to Southern secessions.

On June 17, 1930, near the beginning of the Great Depression, Congress passed the highest tariff bill in U.S. history, the Smoot-Hawley Act. President Herbert Hoover signed it reluctantly. Its stated purpose was to protect suffering American workers, farmers, and businesses from foreign competition. Until then, exporters were faring well and remained a relative strength in the economy.

The House passed the bill 264 to 147, with 244 Republicans and 20 Democrats voting for it. The Senate passed it 44 to 42, with 39 Republicans and 5 Democrats voting for it. As could have been predicted by historical experience, exports soon suffered, dropping 61 percent, and even Canada introduced a retaliatory tariff against U.S. goods. Unemployment was at 7.8 percent when Smoot-Hawley passed and jumped to 16.3 percent in 1931 and peaked at 25.1 percent in 1933. Republicans had not yet learned their Free Market and Free Trade lessons. Protectionist tariffs are generally harmful to economic growth and are essentially a political means of redistributing regional and commercial wealth.

 Mike Scruggs

Ferguson : ".........the U.S. military helped make sure there was plenty of fuel to bring things to a boil."

Via Jeffery


The Pentagon might not have boots on the ground in Ferguson, Mo., where 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot by police on Saturday, but it does have wheels on the street.

Michelle McCaskill, media relations chief at the Defense Logistics Agency, confirms that the Ferguson Police Department is part of a federal program called 1033 that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars of surplus military equipment to civilian police forces across the United States.

The materials range from small items, such as pistols and automatic rifles, to heavy armored vehicles such as the MRAPs used in Afghanistan and Iraq.

More @ USA Today

Why the Kurdish Peshmerga Have Many Troubles in Stopping the Islamic State

Via Susan;0.017391304347826087xw,0.1693548387096774xh&resize=1200:*&output-format=image/jpeg&output-quality=90
The Islamic State’s blitzkrieg advances across large swathes of Iraq have reached the gates of Iraqi Kurdistan and the last week has seen some of the heaviest skirmishes between Kurdish forces, the peshmerga, and the Sunni militants.

Islamic State fighters sought to overpower the ancient Christian and Yazidi settlements around Mount Sinjar, northern Iraq, by using the element of surprise against the peshmerga deployed nearby. By August 7, thousands of religious minorities were fleeing their ancestral lands, trying to escape the Islamic State ultimatum of convert or die. Many were forced to take refuge, and dozens have died, on the barren mountain without food or water.

Seizing several strategically valuable towns, the Islamic State rapidly gained ground on Erbil, the regional capital. Peshmerga forces attempted to push back the militants, but were met with strong resistance. And the jihadist push for Erbil has revealed some weaknesses with the peshmerga, which was thought to be the only effective bulwark against further Islamic State expansion.


Lee Faces the Usual Odds at Gettysburg

Despite the claim of victory at Gettysburg and a so-called high-water mark of the American Confederacy, the Northern army nearly twice General Robert E. Lee’s strength was badly mauled and in no condition to contest Lee’s return to Virginia.  Lee’s army did not re-cross the Potomac until 13 July and was not “seriously annoyed or molested in the interval” from a quiet 4 July.  Lee immediately moved to the Rapidan river to confront the Northern army as it moved into Virginia east of the mountains.
Bernhard Thuersam, Chairman
North Carolina War Between the States Sesquicentennial Commission
"Unsurpassed Valor, Courage and Devotion to Liberty"
"The Official Website of the North Carolina WBTS Sesquicentennial"

Lee Faces the Usual Odds at Gettysburg 

“After the assault on the enemy’s works on the 3rd of July, there was no serious fighting at Gettysburg. The 4th passed in comparative quiet.  Neither army evinced any disposition to assail the other.  Notwithstanding the brilliant achievements of [Generals Richard] Ewell and [A.P.] Hill on the first day, and the decided advantage gained by Longstreet on the second, the failure of the operations on the third day, involving as they did, but two divisions of the army, deprived us of the prestige of our previous successes, and gave a shadow of right to our adversary’s claim of having gained a victory. 

Their exultation, however, should be tempered with moderation, when we consider that, after one day of absolute quiet, the Confederates withdrew from their front without serious molestation, and with the bridges swept away, and an impassable river in rear, stood in an attitude of defiance until their line of defeat could be rendered practicable, after which they safely re-crossed into Virginia. 

Then, again, so serious was the loss visited upon the Federals in the engagements of the first and second days, and so near success was the effort to storm their position on the third day, that they were themselves undecided as to whether they should stand or retreat. 

In discussing several councils or conferences held by General Meade with his corps-commander, General Sickles testified, before the Committee on the Conduct of the War, that the reason the Confederates were not followed up was on account of differences of opinion whether or not the Federals should themselves retreat, as “it was by no means clear, in the judgment of the corps-commanders, or of the general in command, whether they had won or not.”

On the 20th of July, 1863, after the return of General Lee to Virginia, his army numbered forty-one thousand three hundred eighty-eight effective, exclusive of the cavalry corps [of about 7600].  It appears . . . that General Lee’s loss in the Pennsylvania campaign was about nineteen thousand. 

Concerning the strength of the Federal army [in late June 1863] . . . General Hooker’s . . . total effective (force of officers and men) [was] fully one hundred and twelve thousand . . . against the Army of Northern Virginia at sixty-two thousand of all arms – fifty thousand infantry, eight thousand cavalry, and four thousand artillery – and I believe these figures very nearly correct.” 

(Four Years With General Lee, Walter H. Taylor, Indiana University Press, 1962, pp. 110-113)

Iraqi children 'drinking their parents' blood to stay alive': How refugees stranded on Mount Sinjar are cutting their hands to save their young

 Scattered: A graphic showing the various escape routes the Yazidis have taken, often through hundreds of kilometres of desert terrain, after being attacked by ISIS

Children trapped on a mountain by Islamic State militants in Iraq are drinking blood from their parents to stay alive, it emerged today.

Their horrendous plight was revealed after some 8,000 Yazidis were finally able to escape down Mount Sinjar where they have been under siege from jihadist fighters for the last week.

Those fleeing have made it to relative safety at a camp in Dohuk Province in Kurdistan, where they have told horrific stories of the 30,000 who have been left behind.

Sky News correspondent Sherine Tadros, who is at the camp, said: 'One man has just told us how he saw four children die of thirst. 

'There was nowhere to bury them on the mountain so they just put rocks on their bodies.

'Another man was saying the children were so thirsty, their parents started cutting their own hands and giving them blood to drink.' 

Black Man Goes on EPIC Rant Against Ferguson Rioters

Via Susan

NC: Common Core anger triggers homeschooling surge in North Carolina

Via Susan
Outline of Events
Outline of Events:

North Carolina officials say there has been a huge increase over the past two years in the number of Tar Heel families who have pulled their kids out of public schools and begun educating them at home.

The number of homeschools has jumped 27 percent since the 2011-12 school year, reports.

As of last year, 98,172 North Carolinian children were homeschooled; that’s 2,400 students more than the number who attended a private school.

More @ EAG News

The political black list provides hope

Via avordvet

 The nation's top Democrats are included in the political blacklist.

The list below is a partial compilation of the names of those who must be ousted from the positions they now hold, or defeated in any attempt to be elected to office or appointed to a non-elected position. By permanently closing the door to any influence these anti-American statists may amass, citizens will take giant strides in helping their country climb out of the current abyss.

But first, a bit of background. These are some of the most dangerous people living in the country today. To the degree that they wish to rob citizens of the Constitutional protections of their liberties, they are no better than ISIS, al Qaeda, Hitler, or Stalin. And they are quite adept at hiding their dirty work from the public.

More @ Examiner

Syrian Kurdish fighters rescue stranded Yazidis

Via LH
syrian kurds rescue yazidis

In a dusty camp here, Iraqi refugees have new heroes: Syrian Kurdish fighters who battled militants to carve out an escape route for tens of thousands trapped on a mountaintop.
While the U.S. and Iraqi militaries struggle to aid the starving members of Iraq's Yazidi minority with supply drops from the air, the Syrian Kurds took it on themselves to rescue them. The move underlined how they - like Iraqi Kurds - are using the region's conflicts to establish their own rule.

For the past few days, fighters have been rescuing Yazidis from the mountain, transporting them into Syrian territory to give them first aid, food and water, and returning some to Iraq via a pontoon bridge.

More @ Stars & Stripes

Virginia Flaggers Third Anniversary Picnic/Auction
The Virginia Flaggers will celebrate our third anniversary, and the ONE YEAR anniversary of the raising of the first I-95 flag in Chester, with a family picnic and auction on Sunday, September 28th, at the picnic pavilion of the Mechanicsville Moose Lodge. 

The fun starts at 3:00 pm, with live music, games for the kids, and time for fun and fellowship. Supper will be served at 5:00, followed by
a live auction at 6:00, with the opportunity to bid on the first 10 x 15 Confederate Battle Flag that flew at the First Memorial Battle Flag site, among many other valuable items. 
Raffle prize drawings and a silent auction for smaller items will also take place throughout the afternoon.

The Va Flaggers will provide BBQ and all the fixins, soft drinks, iced tea, and lemonade. Guests and attendees are asked to bring side dishes/desserts of their choosing to share.

Whether you are a core Flagger, one of our many supporters,  one who is interested in learning more about the Va Flaggers, or simply would like the chance to bid on some beautiful Confederate items, you are welcome to join us in the celebration, as we look back at our first three years...and share our vision and plans for the future. 

PLEASE RSVP as soon as possible and let us know if you plan to attend, by email at

We are also accepting gifts of items for the silent and/or live auction and welcome and appreciate your support.
Hope to see you there!

Susan Hathaway

Virginia Flaggers
P.O. Box 547
Sandston VA 23150

Sharptongue’s Ferguson Follies, Day 5

Via Susan

Alleged photo of the now deceased Michael Brown posing with a gun, cash and a fruit drink, culled from social media.
Alleged photo of the now deceased Michael Brown posing with a gun, cash and a fruit drink, culled from social media.

Just as the Trayvon Martin narrative unfolded, as independent bloggers and researchers enthusiastically scour social media a truer, more complete picture of Michael Brown emerges as Sharpton remains on site in an attempt to manage and direct the “narrative”.

Although earning praise from local authorities for his “official” calls for “peace”, Sharpton’s ability to manage the narrative has been called into question by by black and white observers keeping tabs on the ever evolving and fluid situation from outside of the area of conflict.

LAPD officer screamed 'shoot him' before gunning down man with special needs who was complying with orders: witnesses

Via Iver

Ezell Ford, 25, was identified as the man an LAPD cop shot and killed on Monday.  
Facebook Ezell Ford, 25, was identified as the man an LAPD cop shot and killed on Monday.

The family of Ezell Ford, 25, say that a cop shot him three times in the back while he was on the ground Monday night. They organized a protest outside the LAPD headquarters for Sunday.

 More @ New York Daily News

Expert: No Rise in Use of Deadly Force by Police; Just More Cell Phones

Via Susan

It seems to be taken for granted by both the left and the right in America today that incidents of police brutality are growing even as crim that police brutality is on the rise. Any look through the world of liberal opinion will find many voices saying that police brutality is growing in America today.

From the right it has also become a favorite theme among libertarians that police brutality is growing, even out of control. The libertarian website is constantly publishing stories about America's increasingly militarized police forces and tales of police brutality.

More with video@ Breitbart

SWAT Team Shows Up In Ferguson, Detains Reporters Live Tweeting Their Actions

Via Iver

View image on Twitter

We've been debating internally whether or not to cover the mess that is currently going on in Ferguson, Missouri. There has been plenty of attention paid to the protests and the failures by police there -- and we frequently cover problems with police, as well as the militarization of police, which was absolutely on display in Ferguson (if you've been under a rock, police killed an unarmed teenager there last week, leading to protests over the past few days -- and the police have been handling the situation... poorly, to say the least).

However, the situation was changing so rapidly, it wasn't entirely clear what to cover. The pictures from Ferguson of a very militarized police force were disturbing, and we've been thinking about writing something on that (and we may still). However, this evening, things got even more ridiculous, as not only did the SWAT team show up, but it then arrested two of the reporters who had been covering the events: Wesley Lowery of the Washington Post and Ryan Reilly of the Huffington Post. Both had been vital in getting out the story of what was happening on the street.

More @ Tech Dirt