September 03, 2018

Labour Day SPECIAL: How Trump changed my mind about unions and tariffs

Ezra LevantRebel Commander

Before Donald Trump came along, I was more of a libertarian purist — I took the view of the Nobel Prize winning economist, Milton Friedman, who was an effective champion of free trade and zero tariffs.

His point of view certainly held sway in the U.S., and it came to Canada too, under both Conservative and Liberal governments. The Canada-U.S. free trade deal, and NAFTA, have made every party a free trader.

The corollary to that was the free movement of labour. That’s what the European Union did. And it’s amazing to be able to move freely around that continent.

But it brings problems too. Most acutely, huge masses of Muslim migration into Europe.

And in the U.S., too, where at least 13 million Mexicans illegally work — a benefit to employers, sure, and to consumers who save a few pennies on a head of lettuce. But what about the other costs to society that aren’t as easily quantified?

In Canada, we don’t have as large a problem with illegals. But we legalized our cheap foreign worker problem and called them temporary foreign workers. Again, it’s a gift to fast food restaurants and banks who don’t want to pay an extra dollar an hour to hire Canadians.

That’s great for people who won’t want to pay an extra dime for their Big Mac. But is it as good for Canadian teens who should be getting a first job?

There's been a similar hollowing out of industrial jobs, six-figure jobs — and the fancy people say, well, steelworkers should just retrain and do “coding”. You know, just learn to design an app for an iPhone, we’ll get new jobs for the 1,000 men laid off at your steel factory ——because China is subsidizing steel, to sell into America, for the strategic purpose of killing America’s steel industry.

Should Trump let Chinese cheap steel kill off factories in Pennsylvania?

He's said no. And so far, it seems to be working.

Because, in a way, he’s forcing the other countries in the world to live up to Milton Friedman’s ideals:

If you want free trade with us, then act like it. If you don’t drop all of your tariffs, we’ll hammer you until you do. And, country after country has said yes.

It’s realigning American politics. Trump is doing what no Canadian Liberal or NDP, and what no U.S. Democrat, has done in decades: actually fighting for the working man and praising heavy industry.

In Canada, were shutting down perfectly fine power plants. We’re banning pipelines and defunding oilsands. In America, they can’t build fast enough — 4.2 per cent GDP growth last quarter.

Who would a thunk it? A billionaire property developer is the best friend the working man has had in a generation...

NEXT: I'm joined by Catherine Swift of Working Canadians to talk more about this, as well as Trudeau's ill-advised trade war against the United States.

FINALLY: Your messages to me!

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commented 2018-09-07 21:04:43 -0400
ANDREW HARRISON commented 3 days ago
If someone who can code is unemployed, it’s because they are lousy coders. Lots of work for good coders. The problem is this, there are lots of coders, just very few good coders. The universities have done their job of indoctrination and now we in the industry are experiencing SJW coders who believe in feelings first.

Andrew I have worked on major computer projects in the government. They are corrupt with political favouritism in providers. But more importantly…if the reward for completion is a pink slip….there is really no incentive to complete.
commented 2018-09-05 00:02:13 -0400
If I was paying dues into the union, I’d file a private charge against Diaz for Breach of Trust for going against his own members interests.
commented 2018-09-05 00:00:25 -0400
Unions were NEVER meant to be in public services. And frankly, their ability to hold us hostage is contrary to our right to Life, Liberty and Security of the Person!

How in the hell do you add 76 THOUSAND jobs to the public sector? Like seriously, what do these ppl do? I want to know! We citizens have a right to know! Maybe Sheila can do some digging for us?
commented 2018-09-04 22:31:29 -0400
Oh..let’s not forget the elbow stroke…go get em.. big guy..
commented 2018-09-04 18:47:34 -0400
- You could not have a better example of opposites than what we see in Trump & Trudeau. The shift in the US has made the Republicans the party of the middle class & small & medium businesses. The Democrats have become the party of the ultra rich, cronies & the perpetually dependent poor.

- There should be no public service unions. They only serve far left interests. When you don’t have competitors you should not be unionized. As far as NAFTA is concerned we could not have a worse group running Canada at this moment in history.
commented 2018-09-04 18:46:00 -0400
@NICHOLAS CONKLIN . . . lame man !
Do you think Justin is going to come on and discuss is tie & socks like on CBC?

Most of Canada’s insane left run away from Rebel reporters . . . seen it dozens of times.
Perhaps you could arrange for Rachel Nutley to be interviewed by Ezera . . . bet you are thrilled with the destruction of Alberta the last 4 years.

PS: Trump has done an awesome job in in less than 2 years . . . repaired the Obama destruction added 400,000+ manufacturing jobs, GDP on the road to 3%+ this year for the first time in over a decade, and minority unemployment Lowest in History today !
commented 2018-09-04 13:31:31 -0400
Allan Peterson commented 10 hours ago: I guess it depends on what job you need done. But I know a lot more unemployed computer geeks than tradesmen.
If someone who can code is unemployed, it’s because they are lousy coders. Lots of work for good coders. The problem is this, there are lots of coders, just very few good coders. The universities have done their job of indoctrination and now we in the industry are experiencing SJW coders who believe in feelings first.
commented 2018-09-04 11:53:24 -0400
The original Unions were started and run by the Mafia, as money making enterprises……Nothing has changed.
commented 2018-09-04 11:20:17 -0400
Alberta Maga,

Ezra does not ask tough questions to people he already supports. He doesn’t have people on his show with completely opposing views.

An Ezra/Trump interview would be a bromance, much like Trump coverage on The Rebel.
commented 2018-09-04 10:51:55 -0400
“…steelworkers should just retrain and do “coding”. You know, just learn to design an app for an iPhone, we’ll get new jobs for the 1,000 men laid off at your steel factory …”

Yup. How many times have I heard that kind of pie-in-the-green-sky kind of crap.

Canada is going to become a service industry country…..visions of sea-to-sea eco-friendly resorts where everybody gets a job as a hiking guide. Or, everybody in the country-side should be thinking about organic farming and agri-tourismos.

*&^%$#g drivel.
commented 2018-09-04 09:37:19 -0400
… Solid economics Ezra.
commented 2018-09-04 08:35:40 -0400
Unions had their day of usefulness. The laws are now in place to protect the workers.

Unions only exist now to make their executives rich and to politically oppose any right wing government.

Making the union due voluntary would spank these unions back in to doing the job they were formed to do.

As for tariffs, there should not be any at all. Trudeau is going to destroy Canada by insisting on protecting the dairy cartel by maintaining a high tariff on US dairy products.
commented 2018-09-04 03:06:41 -0400
ANDREW HARRISON commented 6 hours ago
“The problem with computer jobs is that anyone in China or India can do the same job for less pay than you can here.” That’s not true. If you want cheap and low performing code, hire from India or China. If you want quality bug free code, hire an “Old Stock Canadian,” who did not just recently leave their indoctrination centre.
I guess it depends on what job you need done. But I know a lot more unemployed computer geeks than tradesmen.
commented 2018-09-04 02:17:19 -0400
At the end of the day, unions are like an additional layer of government, that exists to put an extra tax on the workers. The only certainty of unions, is that they make lots of money off the union dues.
commented 2018-09-04 02:07:26 -0400
Funny seeing the progressives claim Facebook an Google can do what they want , but other companies have to be under a union yoke. Suddenly that freedom disappears.
commented 2018-09-04 02:05:29 -0400
John Galt very true.
commented 2018-09-04 02:04:04 -0400
Andrew Harrison sadly the Liberals did just that with a military contract just recently.
commented 2018-09-04 02:02:42 -0400
Nicholas Conklin WRONG! That is the how the media party and the left operates. Ezra asks actual meaningful questions , he always has. That is why progressive liars are scared to be interviewed by him. A prime example is Justin in Quebec recently.
commented 2018-09-04 02:00:40 -0400
It is evident that Richard Trumka is feeling the heat these days… The soaring American economy in recent months means many non-union companies are springing up and neither the new owners or their staff are going to play “the union game”… The recent higher court decision giving even government employees the right to opt out of unions and fees, is a blow… And the number of larger companies being created in “union optional” states must also be giving Trumka daily indigestion… And since the growth of the American economy shows no signs of abating, it is inevitable that more and more workers are going to start asking “why the bleep should I have to belong to a union??” That aside, why the hell are most union leaders I see on TV are plump and overweight? Too much living high on union dues???
commented 2018-09-04 01:27:01 -0400
Interesting coincidence…I watched “ON THE WATERFRONT” last night. A classic 1954 film about union corruption, with Marlon Brando.
Funny enough it was directed by Elia Kazan and written by Budd Schulberg – both communists…
A lot of things have changed in the last 6 or 7 decades – but some things haven’t!
commented 2018-09-04 00:55:22 -0400

It would seem like John Cardillo is on his way out, but we will probably know for sure in a week or two.
commented 2018-09-04 00:10:46 -0400
Why doesn’t anyone mention John Cardillo? He appears to have gotten disappeared.
commented 2018-09-04 00:08:17 -0400
Trump had to buy his steel from whomever was still making it. He didn’t choose cheap Chinese steel over unionized steel, he chose available steel.
commented 2018-09-03 22:56:00 -0400
Unions will be the demise of society
commented 2018-09-03 22:13:37 -0400
Great Labor Day Show; I always enjoy the opinions and theories of Ontario from Catherine Swift. It would be fulfilling to get the same for Quebec, (How is Quebec affected if Trudeau loses NAFTA ?) and to a lesser degree The Maritime Provinces and BC.
Alberta and Saskatchewan have to look again at this older video, as it may be their only solution. 4 min.
commented 2018-09-03 21:36:14 -0400
How true it is that government unions are the worst. In 1991, the Public Servants Alliance of Canada went on strike. The government offered 0, 3, and 3 percent but Daryl Bean refused that. After a few bitter weeks when members weren’t paid much, Mr. Bean settled for 0, 0, and 0 percent. Naturally the elitists didn’t suffer like the clerks did. Neither did Mr. Bean lose his presidency.
commented 2018-09-03 21:35:57 -0400
Here in BC, for instance, government union reps when talking about bargaining with the government refer to them not as the government (which is supported by taxpayers ie: all of us) but as “the employer”. This term disassociates the taxpayer from the bargaining process so it is not the taxpayer on the other side of the union demands but some entity called the employer.
Awhile back I read in a local paper about what happens during negotiations between teachers and their school board. Trouble was a Vancouver teacher (who lived in Richmond) was an elected school trustee for the Richmond School Board and as such he was influential in getting a rich settlement for Richmond teachers. He knew that it was common practise for the Vancouver School Board to follow the Richmond’s lead so that he too can get a rich settlement. Can you say conflict of interest. Nobody seems to care.
commented 2018-09-03 21:24:46 -0400
I have been a part of the “working sector” in Canada approaching 60 years now.I have held numerous jobs in aerospace,manufacturing,retail and government.(Canada Post)

In that time frame,I have had to contribute union dues in 4 separate instances and to 4 different unions.(It was never optional not to contribute…..) Because of my personal experience,not just for myself,but for others in my place of employment at the time,I say now that the the union(s) involved had little regard for the “unionized membership”. Members were merely a cash cow which allowed the Executive to access large amounts of money which allowed them to pursue political interests.(and lots of perks…) I see nothing today that has changed.
In the non-union companies I worked for,I progressed(financially and job-wise) much more quickly because of my merit rather than seniority,politics or “pull”. At Canada Post some years ago,we received a newsletter one month detailing how the union was standing “shoulder to shoulder” with our brothers and sisters in Brazil (Not even the Brazilian post office workers…..) to fight the injustices they were facing.Excuse me if I take exception to using my union dues to fight for something that is not in Canada….I understand that possibly CUPW is now involving itself with (an) organization(s ) that are somewhat anti-Semite ??? I was just wondering how this benefits the union membership in Canada….
For the most part,in Canada,unions have become a cancer.I understand their original value as a checks and balances approach to employers who would exploit workers.Their agenda,however,has been dramatically changed.The “working stiff” is just not that important anymore.Simply shut up, pay your money and we will tell you what is important to you…..