Morning Call: August 7th, 2018

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NATIONAL

Taxes To The Right, Taxes To The Left

Neither party will ever admit they support cronyism.  Instead, they will argue that they support businesses.  This is not true.  What they should say be saying is they support some businesses.  Nothing exemplifies this quite like President Trump’s steel tariffs…https://nyti.ms/2nfNlLt

Two of America’s biggest steel manufacturers — both with deep ties to Trump administration officials — have successfully objected to hundreds of requests by American companies that buy foreign steel to exempt themselves from President Trump’s stiff metal tariffs. They have argued that the imported products are readily available from American steel manufacturers.

Charlotte-based Nucor, which financed a documentary film made by a top trade adviser to Mr. Trump, and Pittsburgh-based United States Steel, which has previously employed several top administration officials, have objected to 1,600 exemption requests filed with the Commerce Department over the past several months.

This is cronyism at its worst or best depending on your perspective.  Picking winners and losers, no matter how business savvy the President is, will never work.  He will always pick wrong and companies will always try and take advantage of the situation.  This is why Republicans usually support market forces because millions of people are always better than one.  Republicans might flirt with cronyism but Democrats put a ring on it.  If you want to see the true disruptions in an economy look to the regulations and taxes Democrats love…https://washex.am/2AIs7iO

Nevertheless, while the tariffs have made national headlines for harming American industries, similarly, costly state-level policies that affect alcohol have received less media attention. Like tariffs, however, state protectionism also hurts the booze industry by increasing production costs and raising prices for consumers. Consequently, while Trump’s tariffs deserve criticism, efforts to push back against protectionist policies should not be confined to the national level.

The alcohol industry ultimately operates as a case study in how protectionist policies at both the national and the state level hurt growth and limit consumer choice. Trump’s tariffs exemplify this nationally, while legal strictures like Minnesota’s in-state grape requirement and the three-tier system demonstrate it on the state level. In both scenarios, businesses are often forced to raise costs and curtail investment in new innovations.

With all this confusion on what is conservative and what is capitalism, the solution is simple.  John Hood argues we need to be pro-enterprise, not pro-business…http://bit.ly/2vHvGA5

To be pro-enterprise is not necessarily the same thing as to be pro-business, particularly if the latter is defined as encompassing any policy that might benefit a specific firm or industry. As the original pro-enterpriser, Adam Smith, put it in his Wealth of Nations: “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.”

Left-leaning analysts sometimes misquote Smith’s passage as an argument for government regulation. Smith’s argument was not that the inevitable collusion of business interests required a strong central government to police. Rather, Smith observed that because there is a natural inclination for economic actors to make use of whatever means might be available to give themselves an artificial advantage in the marketplace, governments should minimize the availability of such means.

Hood (with the help of Adam Smith) hit the nail right on the head.  If given the option, corporations will shut out competitors for their own self-interest to the expense of customers.  This can’t happen with free and open markets only the government can do this.  Many believe that we can mitigate the negative effects of government control by making sure we elect the right people.  However, as they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  Whether government officials mean well or not they will undoubtedly make the wrong choice.  So we need to make sure they aren’t the ones making it.


In Other News

– Alex Jones booted from Facebook and Youtube which kinda makes me wonder why he was on those globalist platforms to begin with…http://bit.ly/2KwV7db

– Jonathan Swain of Axios reported that on Sunday night that GOP leaders were concerned that President Trump might endorse Kris Kobach in the Kansas gubernatorial race and hurt the GOP’s chances in the fall.  So what did Trump do?  He endorsed Kobach…https://politi.co/2OjWoXj


NORTH CAROLINA

You Get A Lawsuit, And You Get A Lawsuit…

Lawsuits where abound in Raleigh yesterday in response to The General Assembly’s overrides of two vetos from Governor Cooper last week.  First up we have the NAACP and Clean Air Carolina suing over 4 of the 6 constitutional amendments…http://bit.ly/2vKpib9

The four proposed constitutional changes the organizations are targeting would require voters to present photo ID, cap the state income tax rate at 7 percent, change the way judicial vacancies are filled to limit the governor’s role, and take away the governor’s power to appoint members to boards and commissions and give that power to the legislature.

The lawsuit maintains that since some legislators were elected from districts that a federal court found were unconstitutional racial gerrymanders, a “usurper legislature” does not have the power to put constitutional amendments on the ballot. Constitutional amendments need approval from three-fifths of the members of both the House and Senate to make it to the ballot. The NAACP and Clean Air Carolina say in their lawsuit that the amendments they are opposing passed by just one or two votes. The suit also argues that voters will be presented with “vague, incomplete, and misleading” ballot language.

They were not alone, Chris Anglin a Democrat Republican running for the Supreme Court has also filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of these changes…

Anglin’s lawsuit makes a number of requests. It asks that parts of a bill targeting his campaign, which was passed into law on Saturday by the General Assembly, be struck down as unconstitutional. It asks that the state not print any ballots until a judge orders what the ballots should look like. It also asks that Anglin be given more time to withdraw from the race in the future if he decides to, and it asks for the state to pay his attorney’s fees.

Anglin is joining up with Rebecca Anderson (who is running for Judge in Wake County) are arguing that retroactively applying a law to an ongoing election process is a violation of their due process rights.  I think Anglin and Anderson has a strong argument and this is probably the most likely to succeed of the three lawsuits.  Speaking of number three, Governor Roy Cooper has also filed a lawsuit against the legislation passed this weekend…http://bit.ly/2OOKeGJ

Gov. Roy Cooper has filed a court challenge to two constitutional amendments because they “would take a wrecking ball to the separation of powers” by rewriting bedrock constitutional provisions — including the Separation of Powers Clause itself.

In the suit, filed in Wake County Superior Court on Monday, Aug. 6, Cooper also claims the amendments would “confer exclusive authority on the General Assembly to choose those whom the Governor can consider to fill judicial vacancies. And they ultimately threaten to consolidate control over all three branches of government in the General Assembly.”

As if the plethora of lawsuits wasn’t head spinning enough the State eBoard of Elections has a deadline of Wednesday, August 8th to decide what is going to be on the ballot.  I think the challenge from the NAACP is ridiculous.  No judge is going to rule that the General Assembly is unconstitutional.  That would negate every single thing they have done since redistricting.  Just imagine the headaches that would cause.  Cooper’s lawsuit is not as insane as the NACCP’s but it is not far behind.  It will undoubtedly get kicked.  However, I think Anglin and Anderson have an argument.  Changing the rules in the middle of the game was not a smart decision.  Whether or not the court acts quickly and correctly is another story.  I could easily see the court halting almost all of the changes and waiting until the next election to put them on the ballot.


In Other News

_-Southeastern North Carolina leaders send a letter requesting Chemours presence at a public meeting.  Chemours said Nah, we’re good…http://bit.ly/2M0Z67d

– Teenager robs a lemonade stand of 17 dollars I’m assuming because the baby he tried to steal candy from ended up stealing his lunch money…http://bit.ly/2ONR4MM

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