Thank you for running serious reviews ofrnPat Buchanan’s The Great Betrayal. Unhkerna lot of conservatives, he cares aboutrnpeople harmed by economic dislocations.rnAnd no true conservative shouldrnhave any problem with getting rid of thernWTO and NAFTA bureaucracies,rnwhich don’t enact free trade but imposern”managed trade” through thousands ofrnpages of new regulations.rnHowever, Buchanan’s ideas boil downrnto swapping a 15 percent tariff for tax cutsrnin other areas. But the past 18 years ofrnthe failed Reagan and Gingrich “revolutions”rnhave proved that it is easy to raiserntaxes but almost impossible to cut them.rnFederal taxes now pilfer 21 percent ofrnGDP, more than at any other time in ourrnhistory except the last two years of WorldrnWar II. A combination of Labor Democratsrnand Buchanan Republicans mightrnimpose a 15 percent tariff, raising aboutrn$80 to $100 billion a year, but where isrnthe coalition in Congress to cut existingrntaxes an equivalent amount? The secondrnpart of the Buchanan program —rnending foreign aid and bailouts andrnbringing the troops home —might byrnitself reduce federal spending enough forrna $100 billion tax cut without a newrntariff.rnForeign competition is not the majorrncause of our economic dislocations. Thernreasons for the decline in real incomernover the past 25 years are record tax increases;rna near tripling of regulations inrnthe Federal Register horn 20,036 pages inrn1970 to 54,549 pages in 1997; and ennuirncaused by abortion and other assaults onrnour moral foundations.rnDetroit, an example mentioned byrnBuchanan, is a microcosm of what happened.rnI was born there and lived inrnWayne, a suburb, from 1955 to 1982,rnwhen I left because of 15-percent unemploymentrnin Michigan. Naderite federalrnmicro-management of the auto industryrndrove up costs and cut jobs. The autorncompanies managed badly. The UAWrnmade foolish demands, especially duringrnthe marathon 1972 GM strike. The cityrngovernment of Detroit imposed an additionalrnthree-percent income tax on top ofrnfederal and state taxes. After the 1967 riots,rndesegregation drove middle-classrnwhites and blacks from Detroit to thernsuburbs. And because of welfare, therncity’s residents, most of whom are black,rnhave an illegitimacy rate about 50 percent.rnThe black abortion rate is threerntimes the national average. No wonderrnthe city has lost half of its populationrnsince I960 and looks like Dresden inrn1945. None of that can be blamed onrnToyota or Mercedes.rnFinally, while an overall tax cut wouldrnhelp everyone, a tariff combined with arntax cut would harm export/import areasrnsuch as California, where I now live. Wernjust got over a deep recession, with unemploymentrnof 10 percent—worse thanrnwhat Buchanan saw in New Hampshirernin 1991 —and we don’t need another assaultrnon our export-intensive entertainment,rncomputer, and medical instrumentrnindustries. Unlike the free tradernConfederacy of I860, we can’t secede,rneven for just four years.rn—John SeilerrnSanta Ana, CArnAfter reading The Great Betrayal and thernreviews in Chronicles, I can only concludernthat Pat Buchanan has defeatedrnthe libertarians fair and square on the issuernof free trade. The whole thing remindsrnme of pacifism; true, if everyonernwould put down their weapons, therernwould be no war, but the one who makesrnthe unilateral initiative is almost surelyrngoing to lose. Just as there are quite a lotrnof charlatans pretending to be men ofrnpeace, the same is undoubtedly the casernwith free trade.rnAbout 30 years ago, I took a course inrneconomics taught by Alan Greenspan.rnOne of the things he accentuated wasrnRicardo’s supposed law of comparativernadvantage: it is to the advantage of eachrnnation to concentrate upon the onernthing it can do better than anyone else—rneven if in some other fields, the nation isrnalso superior to its competitors. Mr.rnGreenspan argued that comparative advantagernis valid algebraically. Indeed itrnis, but internal consistency is not always arnsufficient proof of truth. I can visualizernan Irish landowner in the late I830’s:rn”We Irish can produce potatoes betterrnthan anyone else in the islands or inrnWestern Europe. In conformity with thernlatest findings of the science of economics,rnwe should therefore devote ourrnentire production to this crop; out of thisrnbounty, we will be able to have all of ourrnneeds supplied through foreign trade. Inrnthis scientific age, ‘maximum efficiency’rnshould be the cry.”rn—Peter F. EricksonrnPortland, ORrnFor the argument, I enjoyed Justin Raimondo’srncriticism of Pat Buchanan’s organicrnview of society (“Utopia Incorporated,”rnJuly). For the record, however.rnCivil War Reconstruction, Indian Warsrnin the West, the Spanish-American War,rnthe Philippine rebellion, and other lesserrnconflicts occurred within “roughly 1865rnto 1914,” a period Raimondo characterizesrnas “untroubled by war, untouchedrnby regulators, and unfamiliar with the socialrnpathology characteristic of modernrnlife.”rnPresident Benjamin Harrison toldrnCongress in 1892, “I believe the protectivernsystem . . . has been a mighty instrumentrnof the development of our nationalrnwealth…. I have felt a most solicitous interestrnto preserve to our working peoplernrates of wages that would not only giverndaily bread, but supply a comfortablernmargin for those home attractions andrnfamily comforts and enjoyments withoutrnwhich life is neither hopeful nor sweet.”rnThe surplus continued to mount atrnthe rate of $63 million a year. In 1885,rnWoodrow Wilson wrote, “It has come tornbe infinitely more trouble to spend ourrnenormous national income than to collectrnit.” While, contra Raimondo, therncoincidence of general prosperity withrntariffs seems proof of the fallacy of thernfree frade argument, Raimondo’s “AmericanrnCompany X” and “Japanese CompanyrnY’ seem “mere theory” and “floatingrnabsfraetions.”rnWhy should we not prefer “sovereigntyrnand independence” and “self-sufficiency”?rnThey sound like fine libertarianrnprinciples to me. And why should wernnot be concerned for anguished Americanrnworking men and women? Theyrnhave as much right to a life that is bothrnhopeful and sweet as the international financierrnand transnational corporation.rnShould they gradually be reduced to thernexistence of a Third World worker in incomernand opportunity? Even Nietzschernbelieved that it is “not just a courtesy ofrnthe heart,” but a “duty” to tieat those whornare weaker than ourselves more tenderly.rnWhere economy and consumption meldrnwith culture and community, you have arnnation, healthy and whole.rn—Patrick DevlinrnVisalia, CArnMr. Raimondo’s selection of the computerrnindustry to illustrate the benefits ofrnfree trade was a poor choice. Many ofrnthe major manufacturers, such as Compaq,rnDell, and Hewlett Packard, makerntheir computers in the United States.rnCanon, a Japanese company, has quitrnmaking computers because it could notrnOCTOBER 1998/5rnrnrn