President Trump:

Trump did not give details about what his administration would do to protect manufacturers, but he railed against tariffs charged by other countries and unfair trade practices.

“That includes cracking down on the predatory online sales of foreign goods, which is absolutely killing our shoppers and our shopping centers,” he said.

“Killing our shoppers”. Really? Shoppers enjoy shopping online, that’s why they do it. If they didn’t find it beneficial they’d shop in shopping centers. So its up to the shopper where to shop, not politicians. Shopping centers have to step up their game to compete with online. The heavy hand of government will stifle innovation, disadvantage their competitors, and freeze the current situation. Improvements will cease. That’s why the country of Cuba is stuck in the 1950’s.

That’s not sustainable. What is sustainable is free market competition that will continually produce what’s best for consumers and producers. That’s what he and Republicans claim to want in health care, so the same principle applies to retail.

Here.

José de Córdoba (WSJ,sub):

The extradition of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, Mexico’s long-dominant drug lord, has led to an explosion of violence in his home state of Sinaloa, the birthplace of the country’s narcotics industry.

Rival factions are fighting over Mr. Guzmán’s billion-dollar empire as he awaits trial in solitary confinement inside a high-security prison in New York. He was extradited to the U.S. in January on drug-trafficking and murder charges.

So that’s the tradeoff against legalizing drugs. Gang violence with innocents killed.

John Daniel Davidson:

Before Obamacare, states had significant discretion over their individual health insurance markets and many created high-risk pools for people whom insurers turned away. Most of the people insured by these pools received subsidies, paid for by premium taxes imposed on insurance companies. Of course, since different states ran their high-risk pools differently, they had varying degrees of success, usually pegged to how much the state subsidized the pool (Maryland’s high-risk pool provided $120 million in subsidies, California’s only $40 million). But at least the pools provided a way for people with expensive or chronic health problems to have some form of health coverage.

All those high-risk pools disappeared with Obamacare. Since insurance companies were barred from turning anyone away because of a preexisting health problem, there was seemingly no need for high-risk pools anymore, and states wound them down.

That brings us to the present day. Under Obamacare, all those people with preexisting conditions, who previously had been in high-risk pools, were lumped into individual insurance markets with everybody else, which of course caused premiums to rise. As premiums rose, younger and healthier people, who didn’t think coverage was an absolute necessity, simply didn’t buy insurance. That meant the people left in the individual market were on average older, sicker, and more costly to insure. Hence the skyrocketing premiums under Obamacare.

There’s more to this article than that but I wanted to illustrate the problem. Read the whole thing here.

Stephen Moore:

Republicans are finally getting smart on Obamacare. It took one of the savviest Republican senators — Ted Cruz of Texas, with an assist from Mike Lee of Utah — to get the GOP ‎to figure out how to replace Obamacare, reduce premiums, and save money for the government. And all without alienating millions of voters.

How it does that:

The Cruz amendment — which has been inserted into the GOP Senate health plan — is smart,because it doesn’t take anything away from anyone. If you want Obamacare — you can have it. You can have the coverage for the 10 “essential benefits,‎” you can have the subsidies and the exchanges that were supposed to save $2,500 per family. It’s still there for you.

I agree. It is a difficult challenge for politicians to take away a government benefit after you’ve become accustomed to having it, regardless of its effects on the government budget or taxpayers.

Here.

Senator Rand Paul (R, KY):

Obamacare regulations? Still here. Taxes? Many still in place, totaling hundreds of billions of dollars.

Insurance company bailouts? Those, too. Remember when Republicans complained about Obamacare’s risk corridors? Remember when we called the corridors nothing more than insurance company bailouts? I remember when one prominent GOP candidate during a presidential debate explicitly called out the Obamacare risk corridors as a bailout to insurance companies. Does anyone else?

Here.

 

Salena Zito:

The Acosta Deep Mine in Somerset County marks a dramatic upturn for the area. And while President Trump cannot claim that he brought the industry back here personally (this new mine was already being developed before the election), he is an effective cheerleader for folks who’ve been discounted by the political elite.

Instead of trying to kill an industry under piles of regulations and poo-pooing any notions of its survival let along thriving, I think the government should lay off and let the people in the industry configure itself for the economy.

Maybe its smaller than in the past or maybe bigger, maybe more specialized, maybe more dispersed or stays concentrated in a geographic area. How do they compete and serve a customer base? What technologies can they use and invent, and what business processes can they use and invent? How do they attract capital?

These are questions for the people in the industry to figure out from the bottom-up, top-down, and inside-out, not from top-down impositions and elite opinion. And the people in this industry must do so in a free market environment.

The price of gold is just above $1,200 per ounce, its lowest level since March. See what gold bars, round, bezels, and other products are available at eBay for between $25 and $200 here.

Silver hit its lowest price in a year, a bit over $15 per ounce. Check out silver bars, rounds, coins, and other products at eBay.

Pay with credit card or paypal.