Brazilians Smarter Than Americans

From Bloomberg:

Brazil will provide $16 billion in tax breaks and toughen trade barriers to protect manufacturers hurt by a currency rally that’s fueling a surge in imports from China.

The targeted tax breaks and incentives, which amount to 25 billion reais over two years, were announced today by President Dilma Rousseff after a report showed industrial production plunged 1.6 percent in June, the second biggest drop since 2008.

The plan, called “A Bigger Brazil,” will eliminate a 20 percent payroll tax for industries such as shoemakers and software firms hurt by the real’s 48 percent rally since the end of 2008, which has reduced the cost of imports and strengthened decades-old complaints by business about excessive costs…

A bit protectionist, to be sure, but the basic thing is to reduce the cost of creating wealth within Brazil in order to ensure that the free labor of Brazil is not undercut by the slave labor of China.  This is just rational policy.  Free trade is all well and good – but only between people who are mutually free.  Free trade with a tyrannical nation is a contradiction…there will be trade, but it won’t be free:  it will come at a high cost to the free labor of the one and even of the slave labor of the other, as their chains are more securely fastened.

I’ve been saying it for years, and it is another thing I’ll keep saying until everyone agrees with me, because I’m right:  we must ditch “free trade” and turn to “freedom trade”.  The American worker can and will out-compete every other workforce in the world…but he can’t compete with a government which deliberately keeps wages low, allows sub-standard products to be shipped to the United States and connives as the theft of American intellectual property.  As long as China is playing with loaded economic dice, it is asinine for us to allow them to enter our market place.  Let them institute free and fair multi-party elections and then we can trade with them…until that time, keep them out.

Go ahead and try and argue me out of this position, but be warned that you would ultimately be defending a position where US wealth is transferred to a China which is building up a military force for the purpose of challenging us.  Good luck with that.

16 thoughts on “Brazilians Smarter Than Americans

  1. bardolf August 2, 2011 / 8:10 pm

    we must ditch “free trade” and turn to “freedom trade”- Mark

    Let it be so.

  2. casper August 2, 2011 / 8:32 pm

    I can see why you would love Brazil. It’s everything you want in a country. They have a bigger gap between the rich and the poor than we do, a higher poverty rate, and lower average income than we do.

    • Green Mountain Boy August 2, 2011 / 8:39 pm

      So importing cheap and shoddy products from china will raise the poor from poverty and feed the hungy casper.

      There is a big difference between and educator and a teacher. You just demonstrated it. Again.

      • neocon1 August 2, 2011 / 9:32 pm


        There is a big difference between and educator and a teacher. You just demonstrated it. Again.

        signing for dummies in the school basement.
        (dummies = mannequins)

    • Mark Noonan August 2, 2011 / 8:58 pm


      GMB pretty much nailed you on this – I applaud Brazil for not forcing their free but poor people to compete with the enslaved and poor people of China…and thereby enriching China’s corrupt oligarchy at the same time.

      • neocon1 August 2, 2011 / 9:29 pm


        we did it for decades, nixon opened up detante with china, and KKKlinton sold us down the river with NAFDA.
        I can remember watching Ross Perot warning that sucking sound will be American jobs going oversees.
        KKKlinton got the red army money and china got the US jobs.
        once again a traterous left wing America hating protestor aiding in our destruction.

      • Mark Noonan August 2, 2011 / 9:47 pm


        It has been a terrible mistake – I mean, one can see why Nixon played the “China card”, and it was useful in helping to undo the USSR…but, once again, we failed to anticipate the future, just as we did when we allied ourselves with the USSR to undo Nazi Germany. The bottom line is that the United States must never, ever have dealings with tyrannical regimes…all of them, to the very last one, are inherent enemies of the United States. They are to be held off constantly, and destroyed if any opportunity ever arises. They are never to be traded with, bargained with or allied with. Time and time again we have put a blot on our ‘scutcheon and weakened ourselves by dealing with tyrants. Time to call an end to it.

    • Amazona August 2, 2011 / 11:46 pm

      You know, casper, we already know you are a mindless dolt. You don’t need to keep dropping by to make such bizarre posts to remind us.

      Why on earth would you/could you be so snotty as to claim, as you just did, that Mark “would LOVE” a country with a large gap between the rich and the poor, a higher poverty rate, and a lower average income?

      You know you don’t really believe Mark “would LOVE” such a situation in the United States, so why would you make such an insane comment?

      BTW, if you are curious about the REASON for the things you claim about Brazil, you might break from casper tradition and look at their underlying political structure. I know, you are much more of a tabloid-politics kind of guy, one who seems to think that hit-and-run insults constitute political commentary, but maybe this would be a good time for you to start to research ACTUAL politics, the actual nuts and bolts of the governance of a nation, and maybe even start to get a glimmer of understanding of how different ideologies lead to different outcomes.

  3. casper August 2, 2011 / 9:06 pm

    My point is that Brazil may not be the country we want to emulate.

    • neocon1 August 2, 2011 / 9:22 pm

      nor is your stupidity catspuke.

    • Mark Noonan August 2, 2011 / 9:44 pm


      In defending our poor against slave labor, it is a country to emulate.

  4. Amazona August 2, 2011 / 11:50 pm

    I will be interested in the outcome of Brazil’s well-intentioned trade barriers. When we tried to use a similar tactic in the 30s to cut off foreign competition, we ran into quite a string of Unintended Consequences that did serious damage to our economy, having the exact opposite effect of what was intended.

    What happened was other nations slapping even more punitive tariffs on United States goods, crippling exports.

    it’s one of those strategies that can have terrible consequences.

    • bardolf August 3, 2011 / 5:13 pm

      The FILTER is STRONG with this ONE.

      Only in the free-trade as savior model do they brazenly say BS like “When we tried to use a similar tactic in the 30s to cut off foreign competition, we ran into quite a string of Unintended Consequences …” Of course post hoc they sift through history for the ‘evidence’ to support their already fixed position. It helped them sell NAFTA.

      Instead of waiting for Brazil’s experience and pretending to be open minded about the eeevils of tariffs, you could look at successful countries which have had high tariffs for the last 10 years. India has high tariffs and China undervalues its currency having the same effect as a tariff. Maybe Germany is a better model for the US, also high tariffs.

      • Green Mountain Boy August 3, 2011 / 8:21 pm

        I think for way too long some folks have equated free trade with fair trade.
        I am all in favor of fair trade agreements. Totally free trade has never existed and probaly will never exist.

      • Amazona August 4, 2011 / 1:01 pm

        So, Semantic Quibbler, do you have a point?

        Do you, for example, deny that Italy, Spain, even the U.K., initiated retaliatory tariffs against US goods after we imposed tariffs on their products? Do you deny that these retaliatory tariffs had a great impact on our exports, and therefore on our manufacturing?

        There is plenty of room for reasonable debate on this issue, with points on both sides of the argument. I pointed out one. There is no reason to get so emotional. My goodness, it seems that I stepped on yet another of your pet peeves. And we all know how wound up you get when THAT happens. It appears to let Skippy out of the attic.

        Your response is just too shrill and hysterical to deserve much of a reply. Once you descend into the foolishness of a comment like “…free-trade as savior model..” you identify your position as ridiculous. I made a legitimate point, which you dismiss as “BS” and, oddly enough, refer to my historical reference as “brazen”.

        You are just way off in the weeds, howling about “ hoc …. sift(ing) through history …” and claims of “…already fixed positions..” and “..pretending to be open minded ..”

        Fine. You ignore a historical fact because it doesn’t fit into YOUR scenario, you go ahead and accuse ME of cherry-picking history as you do so, and you just howl at the moon without addressing a single fact in my post.

        What a good little Lefty you are………

      • Amazona August 4, 2011 / 1:18 pm

        dolf, please tell us what you find objectionable in the following quote.

        Not emotionally objectionable, but factually inaccurate.

        And tell us why we should not examine this when we discuss the possible benefits of protectionist legislation. Should it be ignored?


        As Amity Shlaes has chronicled in The Forgotten Man, the rest of the world watched and warned the U.S. not to enact the tariff. But Congress and Hoover didn’t listen. And the damage is told in subsequent retaliation and crippling of trade. Again, from the State Department website:

        [The Act] provoked a storm of foreign retaliatory measures and came to stand as a symbol of the “beggar-thy-neighbor” policies (policies designed to improve one’s own lot at the expense of that of others) of the 1930s. Such policies contributed to a drastic decline in international trade. For example, U.S. imports from Europe declined from a 1929 high of $1,334 million to just $390 million in 1932, while U.S. exports to Europe fell from $2,341 million in 1929 to $784 million in 1932. Overall, world trade declined by some 66% between 1929 and 1934.

        Note the numbers and the State Department’s parting shot:

        More generally, Smoot-Hawley did nothing to foster trust and cooperation among nations in either the political or economic realm during a perilous era in international relations.


        And remember, we did not plunge into the Great Depression immediately after the stock market crash of 1929. It took several years of well-intentioned but disasterous government intervention, such as Smoot-Hawley, to drag the nation into a true depression.

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