Trump, in accordance with his campaign promises to the rust belt and flyover country, has just slapped a tariff on steel and aluminum.

If you look at the Nucor product catalog, you can see that the USA has ceded high end steel production to foreigners.

Ceding high end steel production to foreigners is militarily unwise.

Ceding the high end is also likely to have externalities. A network of skills unravels. If company A does something high tech, it cultivates employees, customers, and suppliers that make it substantially easier and cheaper for company B to do something high tech, and this benefit is not captured by company A, unless, as in South Korea during the dictatorship, the state gives company A substantial monopolistic privileges, something difficult to do in a democracy, particularly a democracy where covetousness is deemed the highest virtue and high status.

And if company A stops doing something high tech causing other companies to stop doing high tech stuff – you have the rust belt, which is the network of high skilled white males unravelling. You have smart white men deskilling, taking opiates, and committing suicide.

That the rust belt is rusting means that white males commit suicide or move to the big coastal megacities. Which means they move from where their votes are useful to Trump and Republicans, to where their votes are useless, because massively outvoted by hordes of aliens imported to live on crime, welfare, and voting Democrat.

Stopping the rust gives republicans a little more time, regardless of whether it is economically justified or not. Even if it was a total money loser (and quite likely externalities make it economically lucrative) it would still be politically a big winner, by halting the great centralization.

Recollect that the government was importing hordes of black male military age Mohammedans screaming for infidel blood and white pussy, and bombing marginal electorates in flyover country with them. The permanent government continued doing this for the first year of the Trump presidency, but in 2017 December, Trump finally managed to put a stop to it. This also gives Trump and Republicans a little more time.

A policy of economic autarky ruined Nazi Germany. The very similar Smoot Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 was also an economic disaster, ruining the USA. And, similarly, India’s program of economic autarky kept India stagnant and desperately poor for decades. But these three examples of bad, indeed utterly disastrous, protectionism were accompanied by massive regulation. Trump is deregulating. That is a big and important difference.

175 Responses to “Protectionism”

  1. […] Protectionism […]

  2. Alrenous says:

    If company B was high tech it would have sustained the high-tech workers by itself, regardless of whether steel company A still existed. In practice steel is not that high tech, does not have skill externalities, and is relatively easy to rediscover.

    The negative effect of steel tariffs alone is quite small. Probably not noticeable by itself. The problem is it will become part of a pattern. Steel prices rise by 1%, most things aren’t made entirely of steel, the effect is lost in the noise. However, doing it across several industries has compounding effects. If you make coal or coke cost 1% more, that makes the steel cost 1% more, totals probably around 2.1%. Then anything that is made of steel now costs 3.3% more after its own protectionism, and so on. This effect is also sociologically compounding; “Hey the steel tariffs worked great! These steelworkers love me! You doomsayers were crazy.” More on this when I get to the EPA.

    Broken window fallacy: you see the reliance on Chinese steel but don’t see the Chinese reliance on American buyers. Trade makes war basically impossible. If they cut off trade with America they would suffer a recession making the Great Depression look like a bit of a sniffle. Forget about 2008. Meanwhile America would have until the existing steel rusts to build and tweak steel factories.

    Look man, just say you hate foreigners. A lot of folk hate foreigners, and think it’s worth being poorer just so you don’t have to deal with them. It’s a product with demand. I think it’s a product that should be legalized, although recalling that it shouldn’t flip from forbidden to mandatory like divorce did.

    The good effect of the tariffs is entirely in buying votes. Voters are dumb and don’t realize the tariff is making them poorer, but can see their shiny new steelworker job. thus vote for Trump, who is unquestionably improving things on average. (Albeit likely temporarily.)

    In any case, the real problem with steel manufacturing is the welfare state. Health insurance (which is itself government special-interest farming) OSHA regulations, EPA kickbacks, the fact every man has to pay the salary of a non-productive woman, the fact every worker also has to pay for a black and mestitzo with 14 kids by 15 different fathers, and so on. Having a tariffs adds to this effect. All this stuff was put in, and had no immediate catastrophic effect. Now they’ve compounded to catastrophe, but the lag is sociologically meaningful; nobody has attributed the effect to the cause. Similarly tariffs will eventually cause a catastrophe, but the lag will make it easy to portray some innocent bystander as the cause, just as Trump has done now.

    The reason former steelworker is taking opiates is due to the vagaries of drug culture. He could be into weed or speed instead, but as it happens, isn’t. The reason he’s taking drugs is because the EPA outlawed the job he would have changed to. Trump already re-legalized coal mining – it’s not like he’s powerless in front of the EPA.

    The only reason America might get away with tariffs in the short term is because Earth is a midget fight. Other countries’ policies are even worse, so America comes out ahead comparatively. However, eventually someone will have sane economic policy and make America look like Greece in comparison. Dropping the tariffs then will make the steel industry fail even harder than it has now, even if the EPA etc. is dropped at the same time. Unless he stops with steel and maybe one or two others, Trump is going to trade an individual opiate problem for a national opiate problem.

    All indications show Trump is pretty smart. He might be smart enough to be strategically misrepresenting his economic beliefs so that the tariffs buy him time to kill the EPA etc. However, nobody can be good at everything. Real estate is not national trade. Pivoting from ‘tariffs are good’ to ‘actually now let’s get rid of them’ is beyond even Trump’s skill.

    • Alrenous says:

      Actually the reason the former steelworker is taking fentanyl is because of chronic kinglessness. If he has no job and still has enough money to buy heroin, that’s not a problem, that’s an opportunity. If he had a lord to properly guide him he could get fabulously rich – by his former steelworking standards. But he has to make his own life decisions, and doesn’t have the wisdom to make good ones in that situation. E.g. he probably needs to evade minimum wage laws somehow, and isn’t smart enough to know he needs to, let alone smart enough to successfully pull it off.

      • peppermint says:

        > fentanyl is expensive
        I mean, more than weed to be sure

        > displaced Americans need illegal mexican style compensation packages
        First itelligent thing you’ve said so far

    • Q says:

      >In practice steel is not that high tech

      Low-grade steel is not that high-tech. Cutting-edge steel is that high-tech, or top-end grades/alloys/whatever would not be found only in a select few foundries in a select few cities in a select few countries in the entire planet. I’ll give you a hint: it’s basically the same few countries that the entire world’s cars come out of.

      • jim says:

        And it is no coincidence that the cars and the high tech steel come from the same place. The skills, the equipment, to make high tech steel tends to be associated with the skills and the equipment to make high tech steel parts, and car engines need high tech steel parts.

        • Q says:

          It isn’t even just skills and equipment, it’s also prototype, design, and manufacture time. The time and engineering knowledge lost across ocean distances is immense and probably often prohibitive when it comes to prototyping and manufacturing, which is probably why the Eternal Elon sometimes (oftentimes?) works at desks on his factory floors.

          I think it is becoming increasingly apparent that when it comes to high technology, vertical integration lies somewhere between “killer edge” and “absolutely necessary”.

        • Q says:

          Certainly the most dangerous use for high-grade steel is in industrial-age weapons. Perhaps one reason, though subconscious, is to retain a large degree of military dependence on certain foreign countries, namely Blue strongholds.

      • Alrenous says:

        And yet somehow China figured it out just fine, and apparently stole all of America’s steel business. It doesn’t even matter if the latter is true. If China can do it, American can do it back. It’s not hard.

        • James says:

          That’s no reason for us not to do it, though. Just because you are able to do something in the future doesn’t mean that you’ll have it when you need it.

          We need the steel being produced inside our own borders now, because we might need it in the future, and when we do need it, if we don’t already have it, then it will be too late.

          Furthermore, China’s steel actually kind of sucks and it has taken them decades to get to the point where they’re producing decent stuff. Our real steel sources are Canada, Brazil, South Korea, and a few others. The high quality stuff comes from highly advanced trade partners. China isn’t even in the top 10.

          And of course, we all know what doesn’t get mentioned — all of these countries and trade areas crying about this have steel tariffs of their own, and they have been intentionally nurturing their industry for ages.

    • pdimov says:

      >All this stuff was put in, and had no immediate catastrophic effect.

      That’s (at least partly) because free trade and tolerance for illegal immigrant workers made it possible for companies to route around it and not pay the full cost.

    • jim says:

      > In practice steel is not that high tech, does not have skill externalities, and is relatively easy to rediscover.


    • jim says:

      > If company B was high tech it would have sustained the high-tech workers by itself, regardless of whether steel company A still existed.

      Network effects. Why do people gather together in cities?

      • Alrenous says:

        If steel needs network effects, how does China afford to ship it across the Pacific? If China can do it, then American foundries could be shipping steel to Chinese car factories. Instead China figured out how to make their own steel. Because it’s not that hard.

        • Reactionary Oriental Libertarian says:

          I love how everyone started arguing about Chinese steel when you consider that the countries most affected by Trump’s new tariffs are Canada and Brazil, which are provinces of the American empire ( This is more or less an internal sales tax designed to reward Trump voters.

          Jim, if you just said this is a measure to buy votes so Trump wins over the left, that would be a respectable argument, but going on about unseen externalities and stuff like that is really nuts and makes you sound like leftist race hustlers talking about evil mind rays from YT. If the Anglo empire ever had a war with China (a war which would 100% be initiated by Washington), there is zero difference between having steel mills in Ontario and Michigan.

          • Alrenous says:

            It’s difficult to prove that free trade in military hardware and food is a good idea. It probably is, but it’s not guaranteed. Protectionists normally have naive economics, and the status quo need justify itself to no one, so there’s nobody competent to argue for the defence. That the pro-free-trade argument looks so strong is far from a guarantee that it is strong, when the defence doesn’t show up.

          • jim says:

            Not unseen externalities. I see the externalities in the steel company catalog. If you want to do something that involves unusually high strength materials, you are better off not trying to do it in America. That is a really visible, and really big, externality.

            • Reactionary Oriental Libertarian says:

              So steel is manufactured in other parts of the American empire other than America itself. How does that cause any problems in wartime?

              The Chinese steel industry was pretty much built in the last 30 years off illiterate peasant labour. If you think something like that is a strategic industry which YTs cant replicate in short notice without massive intervention, you are more Han supremacist than anyone not on Han Net lol.

              • jim says:

                Whites are wolf to whites. The American empire holds together because America is militarily powerful.

                The American empire has become, as Trump complains, ever less lucrative for America, and ever more expensive. When the proverbial hits the fan, will not necessarily pull their weight.

                • Reactionary Oriental Libertarian says:

                  Chinese steel production rose by 150 million tons between mid-2009 and early 2010. In other words, inefficient Chinese SOEs employing semi-illiterate workers increased steel production by twice the American annual TOTAL in six months in peacetime. I rest my case.


                • jim says:

                  Chinese workers are literate.

                  Meanwhile, the US is being flooded with undermensch to create a permanent left wing majority, and employers are forced to hire those of them who don’t feel like living on crime and welfare.

              • peppermint says:

                30 years you colossal faggot. Sure, you could be a buttfucking intellectual with a quill and pressed sawdust tomorrow. This thread really makes we want to go full khmer rogue

                • peppermint says:

                  The intellectuals are all local organic sustainable automated 3d-printers but you need to learn to code like this smiling mystery meat who now knows what a while loop in javascript looks like.

                  3d printers make toilet seat hinges that snap off. You think they’re metal, and they are – poorly sintered metal. That snaps off.

                  Chinese communists were exactly like these intellectuals, empowered, they redirected industrial materials to makerspace DIY fabrication smelters.

                  The robot factories are now being created. In China. Where this abject insanity has been abandoned. Your makerspace laser cutter is good for making one-off Christmas ornaments so you can say “I used a laser cutter to cut a picture I drew in shitdraw.exe”.

                  The illegals the Boomers imported to give them reverse mortgage money to pay them to mow their lawns are also taking the factory jobs that rightly belong to American robots. Meanwhile intellectuals will continue to lecture real people about 3d printers 3d printing 3d printers until they are deactivated and stripped for parts.

              • Michael Rothblatt says:

                >Chinese workers are literate.

                Mainlanders are, mostly, a bunch of illiterate, filthy savages. Ask any hongkonger what their opinion is about the mainlanders.

                • Reactionary Oriental Libertarian says:

                  Lol chill, Hong Kongers are mulattos except for the ruling oligarchy from Shanghai who does not give a shit about what the canto masses think.

                  Most Chinese workers are literate but the type that work in steel mills is questionable. They know enough to work in their jobs but I doubt they can read a book. Anyways, Chinese is a very hard language to learn, even after simplification, so it’s not direclty comparable.

                • Michael Rothblatt says:

                  >Lol chill

                  Kek. What can I say? Hygienic (and some other) practices of the Chinese are very insulting to Western sensibilities. Sure, compared to how filthy India is, China is a pharmaceutical laboratory. Yes I understand that, because of socialism, China had to start from scratch civilizationally, but still…

              • James says:

                Because America’s empire doesn’t really benefit America anymore — arguably it never did. It isn’t America’s enemies that are bleeding America dry; it’s America’s puppets.

                It’s time to start contracting our empire into a nation-state again. Our colonies can either become genuine allies go it on their own. That includes Canada. Canada, of course, *can’t* go it on their own, so their choice is start pulling their own weight or collapse. If they collapse, we may re-puppet them on more favorable terms.

    • peppermint says:

      > If company B was high tech it would have sustained the high-tech workers by itself
      If company B is so smart, why aren’t they running the whole economy? You sound smart. Maybe you should be in charge of it. Tell me how many paperclips should be made.

  3. Carlylean Restorationist says:

    At this point, it’d take an astonishing level of cognitive dissonance for anyone to hold a Robert P Murphy kind of attitude to trade.
    Even Jeff Deist at the Mises Institute flirts and dogwhistles and talks about the silliness of upping sticks and moving to Singapore for a job.

    Laissez-faire economics is all perfectly true and correct for abstract matters internal to an economy. As soon as any of it touches humanity, everything changes. Any industry that’s important for sustaining the character and excellence of a nation needs to be regarded as an inherent part of that nation: Amsterdam without tulips is no good at all.

    Any libertarian or economic rightist who attacks the alt.right or Trump over protectionism of this sort is punching right and should be reprimanded for it.

    • Michael Rothblatt says:

      We are in dire need of a rectification of names. Protectionism is fine, as long as you know the reason why you are doing it. It sure as heck won’t make the country richer. But that does not matter in an existential war. The right should become nepotistic when in power. Reward loyal groups with privileged economic policies and invent excuses to tax and regulate sectors dominated by the left out of business.

      • Carlylean Restorationist says:

        I’m going to assume you’re an Austrian (economist) for rhetorical purposes. Sorry if that’s obnoxious to you ^^

        “Make the country richer” – what does that mean? GDP will clearly go up [with some caveats that don’t matter here] if all inputs and outputs are optimised for the ‘correct’ global price. (That’s also true if the state borrows a bunch of money and spends it on fireworks displays for LGBTQ.)
        A utilitarian, such as many of the neo-classical persuasion, might argue that more plebs will be enriched by cheaper consumer’s goods than production operatives will be impoverished by losing their skilled career in favour of an unskilled one. An Austrian ought to poo-poo any such interpersonal (and aggregated) measure of utility.

        Now am I saying that “make the country richer” is a nonsense that should be eschewed? No, not at all: we have leaders whose job it is to look after the big picture welfare of the nation as a whole. (Ours are horrid democratically patronised puppets so they make awful decisions for the most part – even Trump/Reagan/Harding but a fortiori FDR LBJ etc.)

        How should the leader decide what’s going to make the country richer? Well here Carlyle is instructive: *not by algorithm*! What the leader should emphatically NOT do is to check the latest technical analysis, open his rule-book and pick the correct answer to the mathematical problem.
        What he SHOULD do is rely on good counsel, good instincts, the opinion of the people likely to be affected, the opinion of those likely to be neutral and independent, and so on, and then fall back ultimately on his own good judgement, which is what got him his position (even if he’s a hereditary monarch – his good judgement has been demonstrated genetically!) and make the call!

        OK, Austrian part over: you are bang on the money my friend!

        “The right should become nepotistic when in power. Reward loyal groups with privileged economic policies and invent excuses to tax and regulate sectors dominated by the left out of business.”

        Hear here! Absolutely, yes yes yes. Weaken them before you destroy them. It’s not an honourable tactic but it works, and these people have been wreaking havoc in our civilisation for too long. It’s time they felt the boot in their face, economically speaking. For every corner shop owner driven out of business by the regulation for steel shutters to hide tobacco products, let us see a ‘support worker’ facing the realities of a managed life for the bureaucracy.

        PS. “Existential war”. Indeed: the gloves are off. This is not peacetime. Establish peace first, then law. Only then can freedom and justice be considered.

        • Michael Rothblatt says:

          Yes, I am an Austrian so I do think GDP amounts to nothing. Admittedly from an Austrian standpoint even my comment about what constitutes “richer” is also meaningless. Traditionalists like Bonald considered customs and way of life to be more valuable than material wealth, which as an Austrian I can certainly grok. Where I disagree with traditionalists is in the assertion that material wealth and good life are necessarily opposed to each other, though I do think that material wealth can be a a curse that accelerates the destruction of a degenerate society (e.g. if socialism will lead to sexbots not being produced, then it’s better to have socialism), just as it is a blessing in a virtuous society (e.g. where instead of sexbots money is spent on building churches).

          • Q says:

            >e.g. where instead of sexbots money is spent on building churches

            Lol, at least want to spend it on something useful. Rockets, superscrapers, skyways, natural parks, genetics engineering. Leave your superstition to rest in peace where it belongs, in the peasantvilles and Jewish ghettos of early 19th century Russia/Ukraine/Polish-Lithuania.

          • Alrenous says:

            In practice everything is fully economic.

            If churches were useful, demand for them would grow. If demand is high, then prices can be high and building churches would be highly profitable.

            The fact sexbots are outcompeting churches in the market isn’t the fault of degenerate citizens, but of degenerate churches.

            • Q says:

              >The fact sexbots are outcompeting churches in the market isn’t the fault of degenerate citizens, but of degenerate churches.

              This is without exaggeration one of the deftest shivs I have ever seen. Bravo.

              • Michael Rothblatt says:

                Except it’s false. Schools are anti-church. And the entire culture is anti-church. Everything is making churches low-status. From the Simpsons to the late night talk shows everything is conveying a message that you must be an illiterate hillbilly if you are a true believer.

                • Q says:

                  Textbook publishers, animated television characters, late-night comedians, and crisis actors all hate church and despise churchgoers, but they don’t matter, because your problem really is that pastors hate church and despise churchgoers.

                • jim says:


                • Michael Rothblatt says:

                  >but they don’t matter

                  But they do. Because “pastors hate church and despise churchgoers” is direct consequence of the first fact. The thing is, once you make church low-status you practically guarantee that mostly low-quality people will get into the ranks of the clergy.

                • pdimov says:

                  Yeah, this is kind of like saying that monarchies are losing to democracies in the completely free marketplace of ideas.

                • Q says:

                  Vae victis.

                • Alrenous says:

                  Exactly. Monarchies should have won but didn’t. This is largely on their own head.

                • Michael Rothblatt says:

                  >Exactly. Monarchies should have won but didn’t. This is largely on their own head.

                  He is talking about why there are so few monarchists in the world, not about why there are so few monarchies.

                  BTW, when I said churches in the original comment I meant temples, as in gothic cathedrals etc. but discussion got interesting in the other direction so I went with it. Also, while we are at it, socialism may depress productivity enough to prevent appearance of sexbots, but I must mention that it creates many other degenaracies, so it really doesn’t solve anything.

            • Pseudo-chrysostom says:

              I like the thrust of the motion, but it flirts with the pitfalls of the passive voice.

              Since the turn of the 19th century, there has not really been an explicit class of high powered aristocrats who are willing to throw around big bucks to personally commission artisans or engineers or other geniuses to produce great works for the status it brings.

              A man with skills to provide is more or less on his own now, to try to attach himself to conglomerations and try to move himself up in them.

              And it is not really the taste a patron of nobility that you are trying to cater too anymore, but the averaged out LCD taste of ‘the mass’ of bit payers, that are how you expect to be supported.

              And of course the model of income though massed bit payments concordantly requires massed ‘bureaucratized’ entities to adapt too it.

              Thus hence the modern corporation, and potentially obscuratory modern economic abstractions that unwittingly rely on given states of affairs as granted, like ‘demand’; who is demanding? And why?

              • Alrenous says:

                Since the turn of the 19th century, there has not really been an explicit class of high powered aristocrats who are willing to throw around big bucks to personally commission artisans or engineers or other geniuses to produce great works for the status it brings.

                Because democracy is an engine that uses envy for fuel. Paul Fussel, Class:A Guide Through the American Status System.

                The tippy top class is now the ‘top out of sight’ class, because if they show their heads – by for example visibly commissioning art or buildings – then the mob cuts it off.

                I can only repeat what I already said: if churches were useful there would be demand for them. Churchgoers, taking advantage of the church’s advantages, would outcompete non-churchgoers. Without having to know how or why, non-churchgoers would demand entry, so they could compete.

                Instead the opposite is occurring.

                • peppermint says:

                  Not the churches’ fault, schools are allowed to confer social status based on ideological purity and churches aren’t. Churches’ fault, because they allowed schools to take over. Not churches’ fault, they tried to resist “modernity” but jews and commies. Churches’ fault, jews and commies got their initial status from churches’ support.

                • Michael Rothblatt says:

                  >Churchgoers, taking advantage of the church’s advantages, would outcompete non-churchgoers.

                  But that’s exactly what used to happen! The thing is, Progs wised up, and so modern State was specifically designed to suppress the church. That the State has taken over all of the roles of the church, and more, is no accident…

                  That the State now, for all intents and purposes, actively enforces degeneracy is likewise no accident. Since dysfunction is, well, dysfunctional it requires enforcement, or else it would disappear, being outcompeted by health.

                • Alrenous says:

                  used to

                  have advantages

                • Carlylean Restorationist says:

                  Are you often struck by how terribly tragic the world’s fate is?
                  Sorry, having a bit of a ‘moment’…. Lent, I suppose……

                  Everything beautiful and virtuous has been hanging as on a cross for the most agonising amount of time……

                  Call it a “black pill” if you want, but sometimes the urge to mourn is overwhelming. This is one of those days.

                  I used to be a libertarian. I’m not the only one regularly visiting here for whom that’s the case. Today my old hated enemy, the political Left, has been using the rhetoric of freedom and economic truth to attack the President. Nothing’s safe from the evil that’s stalking us. No matter how (seemingly or genuinely) virtuous something is, it’ll be twisted and turned into a tool of pain and suffering.

                  We’re doomed.

                • pdimov says:

                  They’re doomed too, if that’s any consolation.

                • Alrenous says:

                  Everything beautiful and virtuous has been hanging as on a cross for the most agonising amount of time……

                  That’s a good point.

  4. vxcc2014 says:

    Agree Jim.

  5. According to the Nucor product catalog what is high end steel production?

  6. A.B. Prosper says:

    Smoot Hawley had squat to do with the great depression because the US economy in the 1930’s was almost autraky .

    Trade, import and export was a meager 7% of the entire economy and at absolute most had all trade ceased the economy would have contracted 7% mostly centered around luxury goods

    The free trade people and money cucks treat free movement of goods, money, service and most importantly, people as a sacrament with Mises as High Priest and controlling trade which is what every single society that wants to survive does as blasphemy

    • Carlylean Restorationist says:

      Mises was always explicit: economics tells you what will happen if you do X. It does NOT tell you whether or not you *should* do X.

      The neo-liberal corporate types in the libertarian movement gloss over this by paying lipservice and then going ahead and making the very mistake Mises warns against.

    • Orthodox says:

      The depression was caused by the rapid increase in debt in the 1920s and then a series of competitive currency devaluations as nations chose to break the gold standard to escape crushing deflation. The U.S. was the last to devalue, and then it went socialist. Smoot-Hawley had nothing to do with it. It was a dumb policy mainly because the U.S. was an export powerhouse and thus would lose the most from a trade war.

  7. Ron says:

    One of the things Israel desperately needs to do is to increase tariffs on imports and deregulate its home industries.

    Currently she does the worst of both worlds. The tariffs slapped on imprts are composed of official and unofficial tariffs. The official tariffs are of course government taxes, the unofficial tariffs are sweet distribution deals that not coincidentally send money to family members of the ruling elite. All of which would ne tolerable if the tariffs were either high enough to discourage the purchase of imports in favor of industry, or if the same elite would lower the crushing regulation burden on home grown industy. Which it doesnt because it wants to encourage people to buy from the imports their family members have sweet distribution deals on, as it is easier to make money marking up the price on things people import, than by marking up the price on things you make. Making things is hard, shipping them in is a whole lot easier,

    Thus local tomato growers are being priced out by Turkish imports. The Israeli car industry was strangled to death in its infancy. Chinese workers are used to build a railroad instead of developing the skills at home, etc.

    Conflating this problem is the desire of the average moron for convenience. Hire Arab construction workers bc they will work for nothing, instead of hiring Israeli construction workers who expect a reasonable salary. End result? You lose the skills to build things and train your enemies to become powerful in exchange for having a nicer kitchen.

    A country that loses its self respect for the sake of short term gain is a country that is sabotaging itself.

    I do not gain if I become strong by making my brother weak.

    It is better for me to have 100$ and eveyrone else to have a million dollars, than for me to have a million and everyone else to have 100. In the first scenario my immediate lack is made up by the excess of skills and wealth of my community, in the second scenario I have money (an exchange rate for peoples time and effort) and nothing worth spending it on.

    Bring back sane tariffs and deregulation. Save American industry, show the rest of the world how to do it.

    • Q says:

      >It is better for me to have 100$ and eveyrone else to have a million dollars, than for me to have a million and everyone else to have 100.

      Monkey status is zero-sum, my friend. You are not actually this holy, so don’t pretend, to us or to yourself.

      • Ron says:

        Thanks for the rebuke, I will try to keep it in mind. My personal reality is that I actually have nothing and so my philosophy exists as a result of my personal experience. I can either choose to be bitter and jealous and tear down everyone I see, or I can try to view it in a different light and say that if I have nothing at least everyone has something. This philosophical outlook is not merely a form of rationalization to keep my sanity intact but determines my course if action

        Do I see a couple walking hand in hand and grow bitter, or do I say OK, this is normal, I can have this too if I work at it. In fact the more people that have what I do not, the more likely I can have it or at least benefit in that direction.

        For me, this view is not just an academic exercise, it is for my own survival. I will not pretend that it is not without struggle, in actuality I fight very hard to keep this mindset, and I fail to do it very often, but it is clear to me that it is the only mindset that works, and thus, I believe it is true.

  8. Michael Rothblatt says:

    Jim, I don’t buy the positive externalities argument. Especially not now, in the era of Internet and things like fabless companies. You’ve got your smart people designing stuff in the West, whilst all the drudgery and pollution is in the East. Fabless companies would not benefit from local manufacturing, they would be at a loss because the production prices would be higher, so they would be selling less stuff. And, of course, it would bring the pollution home.
    Deskilling doesn’t really matter, because no country can produce everything on its own anyway (though admittedly, sometimes it can pay off to sacrifice to in order to have something, but it is important for sacrifice not to be greater than the benefit). Well it can, theoretically. Kathedersozialisten eventually solved this problem with the idea of Lebensraum — just conquer what you need (thereby, ironically enough, creating a large free trade area in the process).

    As for opiates and suicide, I would say that the problem is, first and foremost, spiritual. The West is spiritually dead. I don’t think that things would significantly change even with full employment. People don’t have anything to live for, nothing to strive towards. Work is merely a more productive form of amusement than drugs, but amusement nonetheless. The problem is that Progressivism is a really shitty religion. Really, really shitty. Even shittier than Bolshevism, in fact. How many degenerate SJWs do you know that would be ready to die for their cause? Bolsheviks died and killed by millions to establish their deranged vision. Progressives have safe spaces to recover for when they hear something disturbing, such as, for example, a wrong pronoun. Trumpian national greatness thingie may not be an acceptable surrogate for Christianity, but it is a good start.

    • jim says:

      Jim, I don’t buy the positive externalities argument. Especially not now, in the era of Internet and things like fabless companies.

      Maybe. It is hard to prove the value of an externality. But the value of having those skills in wartime, when you cannot order stuff from Germany over the internet, is immense.

      Also, the value of having jobs for skilled whites in flyover country, rather than jobs for rootless cosmopolitians in the coastal megalopoli, is immense. The left never forgets who/whom. We always need to remember who/whom. Votes in the coastal megalopoli do not matter, because the left has filled them full of hostile angry aliens living on crime and welfare. Votes in flyover country matter.

      • Michael Rothblatt says:

        >Also, the value of having jobs for skilled whites in flyover country, rather than jobs for rootless cosmopolitians in the coastal megalopoli, is immense. The left never forgets who/whom. We always need to remember who/whom.

        Well, as I’ve said before, I do wholeheartedly endorse political nepotism. Bring in deregulation, subsidies, protection, and tax brakes for right-friendly businesses, and reverse for left-friendly businesses.

    • pdimov says:

      >no country can produce everything on its own anyway

      China can and does.

      • Michael Rothblatt says:

        >China can and does.

        It doesn’t. It uses Western machinery, and Western designs. We’ve yet to see them produce anything completely on their own. China only developed because powers that be decided that China was going to be the industrial zone of the world and gave the Chinese all they needed to become that.

        • pdimov says:

          It’s evidence that a country can produce everything. OK, they use American machinery and designs. So why can’t America produce everything then?

          Every superpower can produce everything, or it won’t be a superpower.

          • Michael Rothblatt says:

            America (or any other sufficiently natural resource rich country) can produce *almost* everything, but self-sufficiency is always prohibitively expensive. So, while it pays to be self-sufficient in areas of military hardware and staple food, it would be a big waste of money to pursue self-sufficiency in non-strategic sectors.

            • pdimov says:

              “Can but doesn’t want to because it would be economically suboptimal” is not the same as “can’t”. There are countries that legitimately can’t.

              And it’s not entirely clear whether producing everything would indeed be prohibitively expensive. It would very likely be suboptimal, but by how much? How do you figure that the answer is “by an enormous lot”?

              • Michael Rothblatt says:

                >How do you figure that the answer is “by an enormous lot”?

                Death by a thousand cuts. If you imagine that everything from needle to locomotive become more expensive, and include compounding because everything is interconnected…

            • jim says:

              Not seeing that producing “everything” is prohibitively expensive.

              We have the natural resources to produce anything. The only cost would be that we would need a more diverse skill set. But our market is large enough to support a complete diverse skill set.

              Suddenly going autarchic would indeed be disastrous, because we would not have the necessary skill set. But going autarchic over several decades, importing technologies and trainers from foreign businesses, would not significantly reduce our living standard.

              • Michael Rothblatt says:

                I would argue that autarky is, in fact, undesirable. It isn’t only about the prices going up. A large country like USA could probably take it easily. It’s also about the fact that it’s inherently wasteful. You shouldn’t use your own natural resources when you don’t have to. In fact, you shouldn’t do anything you don’t have (for one reason, or another) to. A penny saved is a penny earned. Who cares where crappy plastics and toothpicks are produced anyway? If you imagine a king being an owner of the country, and thinking in the long term about the prosperity of his country, would he want to waste his natural resources for no real reason? Would he want his forests cut down, and his mines depleted on pure whim?

                • jim says:

                  > Who cares where crappy plastics and toothpicks are produced anyway?

                  Power comes from fire, steel, and these days, from computers and electronics, (needed for drones, stealth penetrating radar, etc)

                  So I very much care where steel is made.

                  And the most valuable resource is people, which tool rusts if unused. Thus a King needs to import high skilled people, cultivate his people’s skills, and give them something to do, even if only status generating makework.

                • Alrenous says:

                  Autarky is undesirable because it makes it possible for country B to close the borders with country Autarky without shooting themselves in the gut, which means country B can now feasibly declare war on country Autarky.

                • Michael Rothblatt says:

                  People are not the most valuable resource. Most people are worthless. And even valuable ones are only valuable during a short period. In addition people are easily replenishable. Mines once depleted are depleted forever.

                • jim says:

                  Wrong. Greenies have been predicting resource depletion for two hundred years, but as long as technological progress continues, resources get cheaper and less important.

                  That the relative value of resources has been falling from 1660 to 1972, and has not risen since 1972, shows that people are more valuable than resources.

                • Michael Rothblatt says:

                  >as long as technological progress continues

                  If you want autarky for the skills, then you have to freeze the technological level in place. As long as there is advancement in tech skills will get obsoleted. I mean, there is not that many blacksmiths, or COBOL programmers, around these days…

                • jim says:

                  Again, makes no sense.

                  Autarky for skills means we stop letting our best people rust – which is the opposite of freezing technology.

                • peppermint says:

                  > COBOL programmers
                  You have to do client side javascript. Do you hire a 56%er 99%er with a boot camp certificate from General Assembly in client side javascript, or a COBOL programmer?

                • Eli says:

                  @Michael Rothblatt: I am a fan of autarky as a national aspirational value. But I see your point also.

                  Has there been any good analysis done, recently, on potential loss/opportunity cost of bringing back production into the US?

                  It also seems that putting at least a small tariff on imports in cases of dumping is a good idea, whether it creates domestic jobs or not, as dumping is economic warfare.

                • Eli says:

                  Btw, I used to contract for a well-known American conglomerate (one that is being pummeled in the stock market), and I can tell you, based on talking from first sources that really know how those things work, that a company like that more often than not imports low quality steel/widgets from places like India. You see, the corporate bean counters do not understand that material/widget A produced in the US or the First World more generally, is often higher quality than nominally same material/widget A imported from a shit-hole.

                  Immediate price and nominal specs aren’t everything. There is a difference between buying something that works well for decades, if not a century, and something that requires extra work to bring up to par or breaks or requires replacement within a few years.

                  You might say that that’s what specs are for. However, not everything is so straightforward. Sometimes, production quality is not uniform. Even American widgets can have defects. But shit-holes produce higher defect rate products, and it’s also more expensive to discover/diagnose those defects and also to ship those things back/replace. Hidden costs, you see.

                • peppermint says:

                  specs are between a vendor and a customer, even the most mundane of physical small item specs, if the vendor is Chinese, and the customer never specified that jewelry intended to be worn by children not be made of cadmium

                • Michael Rothblatt says:

                  >Has there been any good analysis done, recently, on potential loss/opportunity cost of bringing back production into the US?

                  Dunno. Haven’t seen any. Doesn’t mean there aren’t any. My own $0.02 is that Chinese won’t work for peanuts forever. Eventually Chinese will have to raise prices. Then the US regulators will either have to back off and deregulate, or the US will slide into being a second-rate power.

                  >It also seems that putting at least a small tariff on imports in cases of dumping is a good idea, whether it creates domestic jobs or not, as dumping is economic warfare.

                  No. The king should let them do it, encourage it even. In fact, he should buy all the dumped products that he can (all through the proper intermediaries, of course). Then resell in countries where would be dumpers operate, above the dumped price, and thus at a profit, but below the standard rate. 🙂

                  >Hidden costs, you see.

                  That’s true. Though in my experience everyone’s making crap these days. The consequence of inflationary money. European chocolates keep getting smaller and smaller, and everything’s getting shittier and shittier. But yeah, chinks and czigans are bunch of filthy, fraudulent, lying, cheating bastards and if you work with them you have to constantly keep them in check and never turn your back to them. In fact, in Shenzhen there are many Western companies that provide that as a service — they make sure that locals don’t rip of the Westerners, or at least not too much.

                • pdimov says:

                  >My own $0.02 is that Chinese won’t work for peanuts forever. Eventually Chinese will have to raise prices.

                  Peanuts by your measures, but this doesn’t matter under autarky, because local workers don’t pay your prices, they pay their local prices.

                  Except for imported luxury goods. And oil.

                • Michael Rothblatt says:

                  >Peanuts by your measures, but this doesn’t matter under autarky, because local workers don’t pay your prices, they pay their local prices.

                  Prices will (ceteris paribus!) always be higher in country under autarky than in country under free trade.

                • pdimov says:

                  Prices don’t matter. They are just numbers. Quality of life matters. If the worker produces two bicycles per month, he can be paid one bicycle, and whether this is nominally $0.10 or $10,000 is irrelevant for him.

                  Free trade will raise quality of life significantly in small countries because it allows specialization. In something like China or the US, not so much; those play by different rules, they have internal free trade.

                • Michael Rothblatt says:

                  >those play by different rules, they have internal free trade

                  So, what do you think would happen if the rest of the world suddenly embargoed China? No more imports would hurt them, but probably not too much. However, no more exports?

                • pdimov says:

                  Bad things because they don’t have oil. Ignoring that (they cut a deal with Russia, say), quality of life in the coastal cities will crash. Inland will not even notice. It’s its own world.

                • pdimov says:

                  They’ll probably occupy Korea, too. 🙂

      • James says:

        And America produces a little bit of everything except for shoes, which it could produce, since it designs them and produces everything else. It’s mostly just not worth America’s time or due to these shitty trade deals that we don’t.

    • TBeholder says:

      You’ve got your smart people designing stuff in the West, whilst all the drudgery and pollution is in the East. Fabless companies would not benefit from local manufacturing, they would be at a loss because the production prices would be higher, so they would be selling less stuff. And, of course, it would bring the pollution home.

      Are these fabless companies a big thing? Will they be? How much they are going to be shafted with rip-offs? Their blueprints are out of their control by definition, and mechanisms protecting them from infringement are poisonous and work even better for the oligopolies that would strangle and eat them. And after a look at Microsoft and Apple, you probably don’t want more of that.
      The rest is a trick quickly played out, because the host countries of all this industry catch up with the game — if they care about their interests, they can set price high enough that they will be only slightly more attractive variant, and if they are overrun by State Dept, their ability to have anything useful done is going to be limited. It’s a hope to fool all the people all the time.

      • peppermint says:

        Apple is fabless. Chipzilla is currently taking their diminishing returns from materials science and virtue signaling.

        It did make business sense for AMD to sell the foundries and stop playing catch up. It didn’t make national sense for that tech to be exported to CJK. It did make economic sense to bankers and boomers.

  9. bob sykes says:

    Ironically, sanctions against Russia have had the effect of strengthening those Russian companies that are noncompetitive against EU companies. Russia is supplementing those sanctions with policies to reduce imports, especially in advanced technologies. Total elimination of electronics imports is a goal.

    No doubt these policies will reduce overall Russian economic growth and might impede technological advances (but in military hardware, where they truly excel), but it is likely Russia will be stronger overall.

    • jim says:

      Having your own electronics industry makes you strong, because the technologies required for missile guidance, drone intelligence, and stealth penetrating radar cannot be outsourced.

      To which an Austrian would reply “OK, pay your local businesses to develop and deliver technologies for the military, and they can apply the spinoffs to the the world market.”

      On the other hand, if you put a tariff on consumer electronics, foreign companies will bring their technology to you. Paying them to bring their consumer technologies to your military would be unwise.

      • Q says:

        >Paying them to bring their consumer technologies to your military would be unwise.

        Why? Consumer technology has just begun to eat government technology alive.

        • jim says:

          Unwise because they would be calling home.

          • Q says:

            Oh, I see. Valid point, not that in the end it matters very much: Internet of Things is going to be an unmitigated civilizational disaster.

    • Dave says:

      Since about 2010, Intel and AMD CPUs have something called “Management Engine”, a computer within a computer that cannot be disabled and has complete access to all hardware — memory, hard drive, network interface — regardless of what OS you’re running, even when you think your computer is off. No one is allowed to see the ME code, so it might e.g. wait for a secret handshake over the Internet, then send a log of your keystrokes to the NSA.

      If they haven’t done so already, Russia and China need a crash program to develop their own CPU, with all blueprints fully shared, and mandate that all government agencies and private parties that do business with them use it exclusively.

      • jim says:

        We have overwhelming evidence that the management system has spyware embedded.

        Trouble is that Russia and China will want their own management engine.

        • TBeholder says:

          Uh, it’s a big multiprocessor pile made for space and military ground control. And there aren’t many use for it other than its initial purpose, massively parallel number-crunching, like 3D rendering and other physics simulations, or brute-forcing weak cryptography.

      • TBeholder says:

        something called “Management Engine”, a computer within a computer that cannot be disabled and has complete access to all hardware — memory, hard drive, network interface — regardless of what OS you’re running, even when you think your computer is off.

        Which is simultaneously undocumented and fully compatible with chipsets and firmware of other manufacturers?
        It would indeed take “a computer within a computer” to make it full black magick resistant to good old brute-force probing.

        • peppermint says:

          Yes, obviously. It could run entirely from rom and last level cache if it wanted to, but the memory controller is in the cpu and has exclusive access to the dram array except for dma. Many cpus now have hardware encryption for memory contents. The secure processor has its own core of course, you only know it’s there because it’s using small amounts of memory. Bonus, it’s physically manufactured by TSMC or Samsung or whoever.

          Silicon Valley was once about the silicon. Now all they make is bad software. Boomers never invented anything but they did sell us out for cheap shit and migrants to drive up their reverse mortgages.

        • Anonymous 2 says:

          Here is more on the Management Engine. It runs a version of Minix(!).

          Plenty of talks to be found if you want to dig into what details are known. Unfortunately, the ME was apparently vulnerable to buffer overflows.

    • TBeholder says:

      Indeed, which became fairly obvious back when Alexander II did it, and then confirmed when Witte gone full free-trader later and broke it.
      So the recent “sanctions” are the late-stage delusion. It’s not even ” – Needed more blood-letting!”, it’s ” – Oh? No more blood-letting for you!”

  10. Randy Stipp says:

    “A policy of economic autarky ruined Nazi Germany.” It wasn’t autarky that ruined the Third Reich economic miracle, it was USA bombs.

    • TBeholder says:

      the Third Reich economic miracle

      Good joke.

    • Samuel Skinner says:

      I don’t think he knows better. @RS read Wages of Destruction. The Third Reich’s economy was entirely focused on converting debt into war material with German expansion driven by the need to loot countries gold reserves in order to keep the whole thing from imploding.

      • peppermint says:

        And what have debt and gold to do with production of war materials?

        This is typical of how intellectuals view economies. They don’t see people doing complicated things together. They see sheep producing wool, because an unexamined life isn’t worth living (–a childless faggot intellectual).

        The economy was producing war material, period. It was an economic miracle.

        This is how Keynesianism makes sense: if you tell people that they’ll be more comfortable tomorrow if they build infrastructure today, and they do it, for whatever specific promise, maybe it’ll work. Maybe it’s just a cool upstairs shopping mall for people to walk around in avoiding the street-level niggers but no one wants to go to Baltimore except for conventions either way. Maybe it’s actively harmful degree inflation and anti-education. Thus the criticism: if it’s a good idea, people will do it without government fake money promises.

        • Samuel Skinner says:

          Germany was reliant on imports- for food, for iron needed for high quality steel and the like. If you aren’t exporting things (because the factories are producing war material) you need to come up with an alternative way to pay for things. So you grab gold (well, mostly foreign currency reserves) in order to pay for it.

          • Q says:

            Tsk tsk, National Socialism caused German starvation, not the German demographic explosion of the 19th century. Germany was always the pointy-helmeted powerhouse to France’s flank, don’t you know?

          • pdimov says:

            This story doesn’t explain everything. The economy in war mode didn’t export and so ran a deficit, fine; but absent the war, the economy could have run in export mode instead.

            Maybe the war was inevitable because it was needed to sustain the illusion of a miracle? But if so, the reason for the lack of miracle could not have been the war, because we get a causal cycle.

            Autarky doesn’t preclude exports.

          • Oliver Cromwell says:

            Germany’s plan was actually to grab farmland, not gold.

            Before the war, the Germans embargoed themselves by overvaluing their currency in international exchange. Which is a smarter sort of way of doing what jim’s proposing.

            The main problem with the Germans is that at the same time they tried to deindustrialise agriculture. Much like how in WWI they responded to rising prices of pork – clearly due to rising costs of pork production – by capping pork prices, and then blamed the British when the population started starving.

            • Alrenous says:

              Germany withdrew from trade, then had war declared on it? I am of course shocked to hear this.

              • Oliver Cromwell says:

                I take your point, but if they had not collectivised agriculture they might not have felt the need to invade Poland to secure more farmland.

  11. peppermint says:

    Everyone working for Google needs to be killed, especially the White men keeping the lights on. Leave now, White men, take that resume and leave, Google has no ability to hire a replacement for you, so your resume loses value the longer you stay

    • James says:

      I worked indirectly for a big tech company once; what they do now is pay for contractors that consist of white and asian males to do the actual technology work, while having their diversity hire teams manage the process. And they do a horrible job of that management, I might add — weeks of actual work, not normal waiting list stuff, to do very basic functions. I don’t want to get any more specific, but I’ll say this; Google is mostly dead, the whites are fleeing, and the Asian dudes are getting woke to the fact that their heads are on the chopping block right after gay white men and white women.

  12. peppermint says:

    Only in a culture of software worship can micros~1’s patent on fat filenames be used at all much less to extort money out of device manufacturers. The reason software is worshipped is software can be done by intellectuals who in many cases don’t even understand the abstract machine they’re programming much less the real one but just copypaste abstract parts.

    Intellectuals could lie about the plain meaning of “grab em by the pussy” because, while everyone knows what His Majesty meant, few could explain it because most people don’t know about the singular they, not the least because intellectuals have been lying about that too.

    • Q says:

      >The reason software is worshipped is software can be done by intellectuals who in many cases don’t even understand the abstract machine they’re programming much less the real one but just copypaste abstract parts.

      The human brain can manage a finite amount of complexity. What happens is you pick your level of abstraction, you accept a very large number of boxes as black magic, and you proceed to hack together your own brand of unholy shit somewhere in between two other guys’ equally unholy brands of unholy shit. He who shits, ships — or something like that.

      • Oliver Cromwell says:

        The best programmers have above average understanding of every level. A man who scripts web pages and a man who programs high performance applications on GPUs are not really in the same profession.

        • peppermint says:

          It’s true to its extent. MySpace made everyone a web developer.
          Not enough personal information and sexy pics of nubiles extracted under the promise that only college friends would see. Not enough false promise of offline productivity by initially connecting college courses or sexy exclusivity to extract info. Not enough neatly curated searchable data for cianiggers. Too much freedom to write your own html and recognize how simple and obvious it is.

          Please consider that the ordinary White man is the product of ten thousand years of cultivation in the frozen north. The intellectualy fashionable insults to the ordinary man are numerous.

          He lives in a tiny single room with no space for his tools and his food or privacy. Well, now there’s Kingdom Come: Deliverance to show the truth.

          If he doesn’t like faggotry, it is because he secretly wants to do they gay on another man instead of being married.

          If he owns a weapon, the symbol of his duty to protect those he is responsible for, it is because he lacks penis inches, because the measure of a man is not honor, duty, responsibility, craft, but penis inches.

          If he doesn’t immediately know the meaning of an obscure word plucked from a thesaurus, he’s a moron and a natural slave.

          If he isn’t middle management, he’s a loser, a dinosaur, a waste of resources, compared to a “professional” part time migrant slave. Never mind that part time migrants are constitutionally incapable of caring, that’s what standards are for.

          If he doesn’t have a degree in stupid, well, he must be stupid.

          2σ men invented trains and cars. Ordinary men learned everything about them and built and rebuilt and maintained them. But somehow the ordinary man is too stupid to understand the computer, so it should be made as opaque and difficult to control as possible.

          The computer is not complicated.

          The ordinary man can understand that the heat capacity of atoms is much smaller than predicted by classical mechanics.

          The ordinary man can understand that, for certain materials, the gap between the valence band and the conduction band is a thermal amount of energy.

          The ordinary man can understand that the cpu reads the instruction pointed to by the program counter.

          Compared to which, the idea that the cpu runs that instruction not only on a vector but on multiple logical register files, is pretty simple. But GPUs are complicated and glsl harder to write pixel processing in than c for some reason.

          Yes, the great h4x0r knows more about the machine at every level than the ordiary man.

          Grear h4x0rs don’t come from jewniversity “computer” “science” “programs”, and certainly not from boot camps. Idiots shouting slogans, talking about how much they love code because code gets them pussy and fast food, idiots who think there’s a real difference between languages because otherwise they wouldn’t be talked about as much in the same way as idiots of 30 years ago must have sagely discussed the artistic differences between ink and pencil, this is what school is intended to break the ordinary man and turn him into like Morgoth broke the elf to make the orc. These men are told that they are exactly as capable as niggers and women and are lied to until it’s true. But the ordinary man, 10,000 years in the making, is still in there.

          He doesn’t need to hear about the Church-Turing Thesis. He doesn’t care about Category Theory, Higher Order Functions, Functors, Monads, Pure Functional i/o, that’s slogans for 1σ jerks to lord over the ordinary man.

          He needs to know what the computer is. It executes instructions. It speculatively caches what’s near what was recently read in case the next read is nearby. It shoves the current execution state in memory when it’s time to service an interrupt request. It invalidates caches to synchronize access to shared data. All of it is logical and throughtfully put together except that despite being warned about it Intel decided to save time by specilativey executing instructions before checking access permissions on their data.

          In boot camp and “computer” “science” “programs”, instead people learn about Stroustrup’s iostreams undergraduate thesis that deserves an F, for reusing a logical operator for i/o resulting in user confusion when i/o takes precedence over arithmetic, and for the inappropriate and unextensible QuickDraw-style approach to console output that results in no part of the program knowing how the output is configured, and the need for friend operator overloads into the class heirarchy of iostream objects. It would be easier to output numbers with while(n>0){i–;buf[i]=n%10+48;n/=10;};puts(buf+i); (in reality we can do better than a division for each digit. Theoretically an infrastructure to compile in exactly the right code for the specific object being written is the right way to go. In practice i/o doesn’t need to be faster than the i/o interface, iostreams isn’t faster, most of the strings a program outputs are modified versions of standard messages that are better described using a printf-style DSL than in bulky one-off compiled code, and none of these engineering arguments about how best to program modern computers are appropriate for application developers who should write printf-style statements and let the specific compiler decide how to optimize)

          But that doesn’t matter to the actual craft of telling the computer what to do. For the heavy lifting, you need an ordinary man, or, rarest creature in this overschooled shithole, the high IQ ordinary man, since school would have them compete with each other for intellectual fashionability by arguing about butthole aids. If you must hire faggots, women, and niggers, they should be put where they can do the least damage, copypasting data off StackOverflow and talking about how much they love code for pussy and fast food. Good women are now being allocated to supply them with pussy and good men lacking a wife give up and eat fast food.

          Now that we’re not arguing through papers in a jewniversity, it’s intellectually fashionable to put in a good word for the ordinary man.

          • pdimov says:

            Can’t help but wonder what are you a professor of.

            FWIW, iostreams didn’t aim for efficiency but for type safety and extensibility.

          • Carlylean Restorationist says:

            The computer revolution was a failure. After 20+ years of government subsidised training programmes and mandatory courses in all the big companies, people are still printing emails and working out sums on a calculator then entering the results into Excel to print.

            The net benefit to society of the plebs using computers is negative when you consider productivity/sales benefits vs the cost of fraud, waste, hardware, maintenance and energy.

            It’s a no brainer: had IBM never existed, the economy would be better off.

            Would the culture be better off without the internet? Possibly not, though it’s unclear: does the alt.right move the Overton Window rightward and stem the flow of the revolution, or does the revolution solidify its grip through Facebook and Twitter?

            History will decide.

            • Q says:

              “The computer revolution was a failure”, he says, as he pecks out letters on his computer keyboard sometime in between streaming a movie on Netflix, buying groceries with his credit card, talking to his wife on his cell phone, brushing up on his calculus via Wikipedia, driving his car to his place of work, and flying in an airplane to his vacation destination.

              As ever, the plebs are irrelevant.

            • jim says:

              I see lots of businesses using computers effectively. I also see private individuals keeping in touch with each other. Looks like a huge success to me.

            • pdimov says:

              It wasn’t a failure, it just wasn’t a revolution.

            • Well, let me put it this way. I have automated a lot of jobs. I have no idea what happened with people I automated out of (a data entry clerk type) job. Maybe they work on something new that is useful and productive but formerly was less important than entering data. Maybe they have a bullshit semigovernment job and just consume taxes. Nobody really knows the totals.

              Locally it is a huge success. At a given business etc.

              Globally, whole society, whole world, who knows, maybe the number of idiots and the political pressure to feed every idiot means for every data entry job automated away a new cultural sensitivity officer is born.

              • Eli says:


                Not necessarily. Have you watched the evolution of the school bus into school vans (and even just cars)? Last time I checked, there was a lot of women and some middle aged men in those as drivers. All working to contribute their share in child obesity and female independence.

                And don’t get me started about drivers for tax-funded drug treatment patients etc.

                A lot of make-work out there even without nonsense titles.

              • James says:

                It’s quite a feeling. My first month employed as a computing professional, as a mere teenager, I automated a payroll clerk into “early retirement” because she went on an impromptu vacation and we had to get payroll in without her.

                Society-wide it’s a mixed bag. Without social media, women would be much higher quality. Without blogging, many people wouldn’t understand the truth of our circumstances. It’s hard to separate technology, especially communications technology, from social phenomena.

          • Q says:

            C++ is everywhere because it is both so fast and has everything but the kitchen sink. There’s no reason not to use it if you care more about some combination of Shipping The Thing and performance than about ideological purity, and if you care about Shipping The Thing over performance and ideological purity then you upgrade from an Atmel to an ARM (glossing) and throw on some half-baked real-time Linux distal and use Python and a dozen prefab libraries, which is why pretty soon everything including your door hinges are going to be running TorvaldsOS.

            • pdimov says:

              I hear door hinges run node.js nowadays.

            • I love watching debates between programmers because each of them tends to myopically think their own specific fields of experience what programming is about and whatever tends to work in their field should work for all.

              My favorite Zen-slap-up-the-head in these cases is to claim that programmers don’t exist.

              Programming is automating the execution of a task. And you better know at least as much about the task itself than about coding or else someone else has to write a detailed spec for you and then you are equivalent to a trained monkey.

              So good accounting software programmers are good accountants and can sit down and argue about legislation with auditors.

              Good system programmers have an intimate understanding how hardware works and could maybe double as electrical engineers.

              Good web developers know standards.

              Good game engine developers know a lot about math and the theory of 3D graphics, while the guys who make the actual game by automating/scripting calls to the engine know a lot about what makes a good, enjoyable game.

              The guys who developed Assetto Corsa know more about cars than your mechanic. Far more.

              There is an old saying painters don’t talk about painting but about where you buy good paint. Similarly flight simulator developers talk about the features of real world airplanes, flight techniques and physics. Sure they also know C++. But that is not the main thing at all.

              Programmers don’t exist unless we are talking about “gimme a detailed spec in pseudocode” type of monkeys. People who know stuff, and also know how to automate that stuff, write programs.

              And everything else depends on what that stuff it is.

              • Carlylean Restorationist says:

                Go ahead and try to apply that theory.

                You’re going to end up either copy&pasting huge blocks of code, flitting between modules a million times to make a ‘single’ change, or else forgetting what the basic structure of the thing is because it’s ended up mired in complexity.

                You have to pick the right approach, plan how you’re going to develop it in practice and what you’re going to do when changes are required.

                For that, one of the many things you’ll need to decide is which coding platform to use, including of course the language.

                What m’colleague’s trying to advocate is that C++ has it all: easy to maintain, object-oriented but flexible enough to do whatever wacky ad hoc habits you want it to do, widely understood, massively supported and low level at the level of libraries and stuff, such that it runs about as fast as you could realistically want.

                It’s a compromise, a jack of all trades.

                Sometimes that’s not what you want, but the point is that mostly it *is* what you want, or as near as dammit.

                • I am talking about applying this for 15 years.

                  >You’re going to end up either copy&pasting huge blocks of code, flitting between modules a million times to make a ‘single’ change, or else forgetting what the basic structure of the thing is because it’s ended up mired in complexity.

                  Focusing more on the domain than coding does not mean being an idiot. Come on. Intelligent people don’t even write essays that way. They write essays with structured programming, explaining something once and then just referencing it. Even basic exposure to structured programming immediately rings a bell for someone who can write at all.

                  >You have to pick the right approach, plan how you’re going to develop it in practice and what you’re going to do when changes are required.

                  For the vast majority of things, you don’t even start from scratch, you find the proper framework and make a plugin or something of that sort.

                  >For that, one of the many things you’ll need to decide is which coding platform to use, including of course the language.

                  This is largely already decided by knowing the domain. Big business, uses SAP, wants to email payment reminders to customers. Most likely develop it inside SAP. Firefox plugin, probably they decided it for you already. Android game, that will be nearly certainly Unity.

                  C++ from scratch sounds a lot like very low level systems programming. Or for something large like Firefox itself but anything you do on your own will like have frameworks in something more productive and easier.

                • pdimov says:

                  >programming doesn’t exist
                  >you find the proper framework

                • @pdimov,

                  Zen slaps on the head are not meant literally, OK?

                  In the vast majority of the cases when one wants a hobby project or a small business, or usually even a big one wants something, there are already frameworks because someone was much faster.

                  GS1 created a new standard for sharing logistics information between business 10 years ago. Nobody ever even heard about it, that is I called everyone from large logistics companies in Germany to factories in Korea, no luck. 2-3 logistics technology companies are looking into it. It will take another 20 years to get it adopted widely. And yet – there is already an open source framework! Basic, but it is there.

                  To be fair to me the framework creators look exactly that kind of superhuman people who do sports professionally and not just as a hobby or sing well enough to get an LP published by a major laber. That is, somehow not entirely made of the same material as normal common mortals.

                  One thing is sure, they are far the level where people pontificating on the internet about what is the totally best programming language for everything and should you always write unit tests or not and all that crap would affect them.

                  The seem to be above mortals not only because it takes a far higher programming ability, say, for example, the implementation of ActiveRecord in Rails, to make a framework than to use it, but also because just how the hell were they the first, how could they recognize a need so much earlier?

                  For the rest of us, mere mortals, we take the framework and just use the language it is written in, if it was unit tests we have it if not we take it is a hint that it is not so useful in this case and so on.

                • pdimov says:

                  It’s a principled objection. You say (effectively) that non-domain-specific programming doesn’t exist, but it does. First, there are many things common across domains; second, there’s programming whose domain is programming.

                  It’s like saying that the only mathematics is applied mathematics. Obviously false, for the same reasons.

                • Carlylean Restorationist says:

                  It sounds suspiciously like C++ is too cerebral for the modern programmer.
                  This is why video games are measured in the tens of gigabytes now instead of the tens of megabytes or (for Jet Set Willy 2 and its hundreds of rooms with complex brain puzzles) 48 kilobytes.

                  It’s why you need to spend $2000 on your PC if you want to run Facebook games.

                  It’s why ads for new computers are STILL claiming (wow) to be able to show video in real time, like they were in the days of the Pentium @ 133Mhz

                • Q says:

                  >One thing is sure, they are far the level where people pontificating on the internet about what is the totally best programming language for everything and should you always write unit tests or not and all that crap would affect them.

                  There is no totally best programming language for everything. When you choose a language you’re buying into a whole tech stack, including libraries, frameworks, hardware, and yes, talented labor (there are definitely competence hierarchies here), as well as the future prospects of each. Once you do it, you’re locked in and probably for good — you’d better hope you’ve made the right call.

                  For example, if you want to make anything even remotely embedded — anything with a microcontroller — you use C. There’s no reason to use anything else. If you have access to more powerful chips doing more sophisticated things, you probably want to step up to C++ as early as convenient. Linux is written in C, along with all BSDs and other UNIX derivatives, though most have C++ too I think.

                  Anything scientific or data-oriented I would use Python, personally, until I need to optimize, in which case it might go to Cython, if possible, or C++. Python is also written in C.

                  Anything web-related is Javascript because that’s Netscape’s weekendmania shitheap that the world’s nervous system internetwork runs on.

                  In some speciality contexts, I know that Ada may be used over C. I don’t understand why anyone would go to the trouble, but maybe there’s a good reason not having to do with government and government contractor retardedness.

                  The point I originally made was that Node was a royal clusterfuck. It is. The entire ecosystem is a complete fucking catastrophe. I’ve been screwing around with npm for a few days now and my installed packages are up to five hundred packages. Let me repeat that: five. hundred. packages. I’m really trying not to think about the dependency tree involved, but on a cursory examination it looks like there are package “chains” more than twelve levels deep. And then I find that people like this woman of Node Embedded have money quotes like this:

                  (“The book Node.js for embedded systems explores how a web technology can change the way we build hardware.”)

                  No fucking kidding.

                  IoT is too often discussed in the abstract. What does it really mean to build a second internet? What does it mean to create an internet out of distributed, sensing machines which talk to each other?

                  In this talk, I’ll show you how I’m using connected devices and distributed sensor data on the energy grid to fight climate change.

                  The true full stack is every part of the internet– the client side, the server, the hardware. But we’re used to seeing that internet via screens and human interfaces. Let me show you the internet of machines, and how coding for this second internet directly impacts the world.


                  Kelsey Breseman is fighting climate change with engineering as a founder of She is also an engineer and Steering Committee member of the Tessel Project —an open source organization whose aim is to empower web developers to enter the connected-devices space. Previously, Kelsey has been involved in developing consumer drones, research on sleep and temperature, implantable vision devices, and devices for lung cancer diagnosis. She has a degree in neural engineering, and is interested in prosthetics, speculative fiction, circus arts, and really long walks.

                  Just think: of the people building our technological future, for every one Elon Musk-equivalent, there are ten thousand of her.

                • jim says:

                  Yes, C++ for anything that you intend to run on thousands of reasonably powerful computers, C for stuff that might be running on smaller computers, Python for anything that you will use infrequently and just be used by the people who developed it, Javascript for the web, because however it might suck, that is what everyone else uses, and the same code can run on any computer, Cython when you find that running time for your Python program has become a problem.

                  C and C++ used to have a huge problem with wild writes and wild reads, but C++11 and later have largely fixed this, provided you use their automatic memory management, which is incompatible with all the C++ software you wrote before 2011, requiring wrappers on the interface.

                • peppermint says:

                  If we win, resumes will be irrelevant, there will be an IQ and domain knowledge test to get in and you get kicked out if you suck. If we lose, tech will collapse.

                • Oliver Cromwell says:

                  It’s hard for tech to collapse when sovereignty depends on the bomb.

                • jim says:

                  It is easy for sovereignty to collapse when it depends on sophisticated tech.

                • peppermint says:

                  Nukes have never been relevant to the sovereignty of the American people, which was lost around the time nukes were invented. Sea to shining sea and the second amendment mean armed invasion of the US is impossible, and, were it not, there is nothing to gain beyond lebensraum and natural resources, which could also be had on the continent of the dick-washers.

                  Unarmed invasion, however, could be accomplished through (1) telling Boomers that they are induhviduals beyond race, sex, age, and are going to live forever (2) send the unarmed invaders to offer themselves as low-wage slaves to the Boomers

                  If we lose, simple nukes could be maintained indefinitely by the more capable of muds.

                • jim says:

                  Nukes are not easy to maintain.

                  Without tritium, it is very difficult to get reasonable yield from a nuke. You need a very big mass of chemical explosive, making the bomb very heavy, and the yield is still piss poor. All our existing nukes are based on tritium detonation boosters. But tritium decays. The result is a whole lot of complicated machinery, which was never built to last forever, plus we are running out of tritium.

                • peppermint says:

                  Where will we be in 5 and 10 years? Suppose our revolution in values succeeds: instead of part time men in part time apts with part time gfs and no holiday decorations because we hate ourselves, we are full time men with full time wives in full time houses and condos and apartments we take care of and decorate.

                  In theory, the part time world is one where it’s easy to fire people who suck. In practice, it’s impossible to hire good people, because it’s impossible to tell from the resumes and illegal to test, moreover, difficult for hired people to actually care about what they are doing.

                  Google just destroyed Google Docs by deleting some guy’s homework for containing hatespeech. Eastern Europe will be the center of the tech industry of the future if we lose.

                  The only threat is that the US will nuke Russia and then the army of mudslimes that conquered Western Europe will invade Eastern Europe. If that doesn’t happen, the White race will endure.

                  In the US, every day that Trump is is office restores Americans to power, power is predicated on, and resulting in, that revolution in full-time values.

                • Oliver Cromwell says:

                  I am not certain even current, semi-decayed white countries can maintain nukes.

                  One likely future is that in 50 years only orientals have working nukes.

                  America won’t regain its sovereignty in this scenario, but oriental imperial governments in America will still have technology.

                • Mackus says:

                  >I am not certain even current, semi-decayed white countries can maintain nukes.
                  >One likely future is that in 50 years only orientals have working nukes.

                  Even China has to rely on Russia a lot for some very specific high-tech electronics. They just can’t do them themselves.
                  There’s a lot of jokes that Russia is China’s hat, but partnership is a lot closer to equal than one between Canada and USA.

                • jim says:

                  China’s tech is catching up. Allwinner and Rockchip used to license US technology. Now Intel is licensing Rockchip technology.

                  The US licensed chip technology to Rockchip. Rockchip proceeded to improve it. Now Rockchip is licensing technology to the US.

                  It looks to me that China is passing us about now.

              • James says:

                Pure programmers write programming frameworks and tools.

          • Q says:


        • Q says:

          >The best programmers have above average understanding of every level.

          The best programmers have expert understanding of every level.

          >A man who scripts web pages and a man who programs high performance applications on GPUs are not really in the same profession.

          That’s true. It’s also true that the website scripter has much more freedom and control over his life than the high-performance app guy, who is in all probability slaving in a mockingly juvenile office environment for Google or farming a cubicle for Activision. Twisted, isn’t it?

          • Alrenous says:

            Twisted? Sounds like a business opportunity.

            Have some extrovert poach all the high performance guys into a single consulting firm. Basically they do the same thing but at a much higher price point. Since humans are dumb, higher price = higher status => perks, such as freedom to skive off the afternoon if you like.

            • Why could they charge a higher price? Their skillset is not relevant, using dumb tools higher IQ is not necessarily relevant, and there is a good chance the customer would not appreciate the quality difference. Customer-perceived quality is largely just making things look okay, most of quality is only judgable by experts and customers will only find out in the long run, if ever.

              What they could do is work faster. So the customer wants a customization, you know the customer is willing to pay 3 man-days worth of money for it because for most mediocre guys it would take 3 days, but your guy can do it in 1, so you have him do something else on the second day and third day off.

              But it is hard to keep such secrets so this is why smart people in dumb fields work as one man freelancers.

              • James says:

                What I’ve seen in consulting firms is that the firms hire a boatload of mid-20s women as ‘product specialists’, charge them at programmer rates, and pay the programmers high salaries. These firms tend to come and go over the span of a few years, but can be fun if you get in at the right time.

  13. […] Protectionism from Jim’s Blog. Excellent. […]

  14. Dan says:

    A big reason that the Smoot-Hawley tariff act hurt America is that America was running a massive trade surplus.

    When you are running a trade surplus, a reduction is trade is a net negative shock to the GDP. You have much more to lose than you have to gain.

    When you are running a trade deficit, a reduction in trade can actually be a positive shock to GDP.

  15. The problem with this mentality is twofold:

    1. The amount of people who work in downstream sectors that rely on steel and aluminum vastly outnumbers the number of people who work in the production sectors (something to the tune of 6.5m to 140k). Driving up production costs for American workers/manufacturers doesn’t build viable working-class communities

    2. The majority of American steel use is domestic (70%). The notion that there is some looming steel disaster due to an incipient great power conflict (or that in said conflict we could not immediately switch steel production) is classic fear mongering.

    The policy won’t hurt the PRC and will only harm American workers. Trumpus Vult, I guess.

    • jim says:

      If high end steel is not made in this country, then lots of other stuff, such as key autobody parts, don’t get made in this country either, because one high skilled white male needs other high skilled white males to make him useful.

      So we are fine flipping hamburgers, and paying the Chinese to make our steel?

      Making steel brings dignity and importance. Making steel is part of a network of high skilled white males. Take away steel, the network falls apart.

      White male labor force participation has been collapsing. Under Trump, it is growing. I guarantee that white males in the work force are producing more value than white males out of the work force taking opiates and committing suicide. Making steel produces spiritual value, not just economic value.

  16. Carlylean Restorationist says:

    How bizarre: Bob Murphy now appears to be rowing back his “trade deficits are irrelevant” spiel.
    From March 2018:

    Now ok he’s making an arcane point about the role of fiat currencies, and some nuanced points about the limits to generalisations about sound vs unsound money and so on…. but overall he’s still basically admitting (FINALLY!) that exporting treasuries and importing finished goods isn’t a good thing.

    This is quite an important shift for the sane-libertarians. Maybe some of the others who are just deferring to Mr Big Oil might listen to him now and get on the Protectionism train!

    • Alrenous says:

      A trade deficit is a good thing.

      America is trading bits of paper for steel I-beams. In the case of Asia, they also give the paper back in return for IOUs.

      Prices going down is not a bad thing. The spread of the myth that it is truly amazes me.

      • peppermint says:

        …for Boomers

      • How is it a good thing? Paper and IOUs can be used to buy land, real estate, businesses, turning the other country a colony in the long run once the foreign country acquires a dominating portion of these types of assets.

        Of course nationalization is possible. But unless that is done, it is perfectly possible to halfway conquer places by buying them up.

        America actually should have some collective memories about this as the Injuns were often conquered by purchasing their land.

        Yes, of course, power trumps ownership. If the Injuns had the power they could have nationalized those lands again and lacking that power they resorted to scalping raids. So yes, unless China gets very good at power projection, the US could theoretically laugh all the way while they let them use all the IOUs to buy every piece of land in Oregon in order to turn it into a colony and then nationalize it again and kick them out.

        But if that for whatever reason becomes politically unfeasible, this can be dangerous.

        This is V4 type countries are very, very vary when foreigners acquire large amounts of real estate, especially farmland. They know they lack the military power to nationalize them so this coul lead to colonialization.

  17. […] lighter week from Jim this time around, with only a single entry on Trumpian protectionism. As context here, Trump announced significant tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. There was much […]

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