All your metals belongs to China

While protectionists argue about who gets to stand in the tire assembly plants of the world, China is quietly acquiring strategic resource reserves in the form of rare earth metals.

These metals are pretty cool – they are essential components of a lot of the advanced technology we take for granted.

So China can go ahead and make their levitating trains and hoverboards. We’ll stick to the tire manufacturing jobs because we iz smarts like that.

Protectionism Is Popular, but Stupid

A lot of unemployed Americans want to blame people in China for the fact that no one wants to hire them for $40,000 and full medical/dental/retirement.

What they’re not willing to do is go back to college to get an education that’s updated to the day’s most in-demand jobs & skills. What they are willing to do is start a global trade war because of the mistaken belief that cutting off a huge part of our economy will somehow make them richer.

In the meantime, everyone in a business that actually makes stuff people want around the world will suffer in order to protect some of our low-skilled labor.

In the long run, a breakdown of international trade can lead to increasing military hostilities. There was a whole decade of global economic depression and trade wars before WW2 broke out.