By Chris Popov
The Constitution clearly dictates the role of the federal government, and for the past 100 years there has been an explosion of power in Washington and a grave misinterpretation of what the founders intended. When dealing with trade, the Constitutions is quite clear:
“[The Congress shall have the power] to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes”
-Article I, Section 8, Clause 3
The word ‘regulate’ means ‘to make regular.’ The Commerce Clause says that the government’s role is to make trade regular between the states. The founders meant for America to be a free trade zone. Today, trade between the states is largely unfettered free trade. Free trade creates prosperity, but it also creates peace and cooperation between people, which is why we don’t scorn every time that we buy a product made in Florida or New York. However, regulations from the federal level have been encroaching on the power of states and individuals. The Obamacare law is absolutely unconstitutional because it attempts to regulate inactivity. Repealing the new healthcare law will restore constitutional sanity to Washington, but the de-federalization of the entire healthcare industry will lower the cost of healthcare for everyone.
The Commerce Department is due for quite a bit of trimming. For instance, the federal government has no authority in the Constitution to give subsidies. Therefore, we should cut subsidies to businesses, giving grants for economic development, and technology improvement subsidies, that will save the taxpayer upwards of $16 billon. All of these are harmful regulations because they disrupt the free trade.
Free trade must also be applied abroad and at home to guarantee the greatest climate for creating jobs. If you look at the relationship between states and countries the idea of free trade losses to nationalism. What people do not understand is that tariffs, embargoes, and quotas compel nations to engages in nasty behavior like trade wars and even wars themselves. Frederick Bastiat, a great free market thinker, explains it best. ”When goods don’t cross borders, armies will,” he said. “Without trade, there is less to lose from the mass destruction that war implies. Countries that trade have a mutual stake in the preservation of open, friendly relations. This is one reason that free commercial activities promote peace, and why protectionism and trade sanctions generate war tensions.
One perfect example of nationalism causing war at the expense of free trade was the events leading up to WWII. Huge tariffs were imposed, leading to tension. When nations depend on each other for trade, they realize that going to war is not worth the loss of a trade partner.
If America wants to achieve greater prosperity we need to remove all barriers to trade so companies will invest here again. That also includes lowering taxes to give America the upper hand. If you want more jobs in an economy that is struggling to recover, you have to look to the free-market to solve the problems that government created.