Ideal Taxes Association

Raymond Richman       -       Jesse Richman       -       Howard Richman

 Richmans' Trade and Taxes Blog



The Gods of the Copybook Headings are in Cyprus Now, and Coming Here Soon
Howard Richman, 4/2/2013

The above you-tube video shows Glenn Beck reading Rudyard Kipling's 1919 poem, The Gods of the Copybook Headings. In that poem, Kipling compares the truths of the real world ("the Gods of the Copybook Headings") with the promises of social progressives ("the Gods of the Market Place"), and he concludes that nations which follow the false promises of the social progressives eventually rediscover reality, often when it is too late.

In his April 2 column (Today, Cyprus, Tomorrow…) Pat Buchanan sees the Gods of the Copybook Headings at work in Cyprus today. He argues that those investors who loaned their money to Cypriot banks were ignoring reality, writing:

From Asia to Europe, people concerned about the safety of their money are looking at Cyprus, with many surely saying, “There, but for the grace of God, go I!” And they likely hear in the anguished cries of Russian, British and Cypriot depositors, who got no warning and failed to get out in time, a fire bell in the night for themselves.

If this persuades depositors to seek security first for their income, pensions and savings, and to transfer funds out of risky banks into more solid institutions, is that such a bad thing?

If Kipling’s Gods of the Copybook Headings, who arrived on Cyprus in March with their terrible swift sword, are back in charge, is this not better than having Western taxpayers forever securing the deposits and investments of the rich and feckless?

Buchanan is correct, but the failure to pay attention to reality goes much deeper. It was not only those who loaned money to Cyprus who were ignoring reality, it was also the Cypriot government itself, along with the governments of the other southern European countries that foolishly joined the euro zone.

If there ever was an economic folly perpetuated by the Gods of the Market Place, it was the idea that if each country in Europe gave up its own currency, that they would all be more prosperous. After all, goods and services could flow freely over borders without need to exchange currencies. And besides, weren't they all making progress toward a one-world government which would bring about world peace? What a beautiful idea!

Instead, with interest rates the same all over Europe, the northern European peoples, whose cultures were formed in forbidding climates, saved more than the southern European peoples and loaned the southern European peoples money. The northern European countries got trade surpluses and prosperity and the southern European countries lived beyond their means and lost their industries. Countries cannot forever add on debt, eventually they become bad credit risks -- Cyprus and Greece today, Portugal, Spain, Italy and France tomorrow.

Meanwhile, in the United States, the Gods of the Market Place have taught us that the free movement of savings across borders is good and that tariffs are bad. So we let Asian countries manipulate the exchange rates between their currencies and ours, and we never charge a trade balancing tariff. Their governments buy the dollars that their exporters earn from trade and lend them to us so that we can continue to buy their products, and they can continue to keep out ours. They get industries; we get debt.

The Gods of the Copybook Headings are in Cyprus now, and will be coming here soon.

Your Name:

Post a Comment:




  • Richmans' Blog    RSS
  • Our New Book - Balanced Trade
  • Buy Trading Away Our Future
  • Read Trading Away Our Future
  • Richmans' Commentaries
  • ITA Working Papers
  • ITA on Facebook
  • Contact Us

    Archive
    Sep 2017
    Aug 2017
    Jul 2017
    Jun 2017
    May 2017
    Apr 2017
    Mar 2017
    Feb 2017
    Jan 2017
    Dec 2016
    Nov 2016
    Oct 2016
    Sep 2016
    Aug 2016
    Jul 2016
    Jun 2016
    May 2016
    Apr 2016
    Mar 2016
    Feb 2016
    Jan 2016
    Dec 2015
    Nov 2015
    Oct 2015
    Sep 2015
    Aug 2015
    Jul 2015
    Jun 2015
    May 2015
    Apr 2015
    Mar 2015
    Feb 2015
    Jan 2015
    Dec 2014
    Nov 2014
    Oct 2014
    Sep 2014
    Aug 2014
    Jul 2014
    Jun 2014
    May 2014
    Apr 2014
    Mar 2014
    Feb 2014
    Jan 2014
    Dec 2013
    Nov 2013
    Oct 2013
    Sep 2013
    Aug 2013
    Jul 2013
    Jun 2013
    May 2013
    Apr 2013

    March 2013
    February 2013
    January 2013
    December 2012
    November 2012
    October 2012
    September 2012
    August 2012
    July 2012
    June 2012
    May 2012
    April 2012
    March 2012
    February 2012
    January 2012
    December 2011
    November 2011
    October 2011
    September 2011
    August 2011
    July 2011
    June 2011
    May 2011
    April 2011
    March 2011
    February 2011
    January 2011
    December 2010
    November 2010
    October 2010
    September 2010
    August 2010
    July 2010
    June 2010
    May 2010
    April 2010
    March 2010
    February 2010
    January 2010

    Categories:
    Book Reviews
    Capital Gains Taxation
    Corporate Income Tax
    Consumption Taxes
    Economy - Long Term

    Economy - Short Term
    Environmental Regulation
    Real Estate Taxation
    Trade
    Miscellaneous

    Outside Links:

  • American Economic Alert
  • American Jobs Alliance
  • Angry Bear Blog
  • Economy in Crisis
  • Econbrowser
  • Emmanuel Goldstein's Blog
  • Levy Economics Institute
  • McKeever Institute
  • Michael Pettis Blog
  • Naked Capitalism
  • Natural Born Conservative
  • Science & Public Policy Inst.
  • TradeReform.org
  • Votersway Blog
  • Watt's Up With That


    Wikipedia:

  • [An] extensive argument for balanced trade, and a program to achieve balanced trade is presented in Trading Away Our Future, by Raymond Richman, Howard Richman and Jesse Richman. “A minimum standard for ensuring that trade does benefit all is that trade should be relatively in balance.” [Balanced Trade entry]

    Journal of Economic Literature:

  • [Trading Away Our Future] Examines the costs and benefits of U.S. trade and tax policies. Discusses why trade deficits matter; root of the trade deficit; the “ostrich” and “eagles” attitudes; how to balance trade; taxation of capital gains; the real estate tax; the corporate income tax; solving the low savings problem; how to protect one’s assets; and a program for a strong America....

    Atlantic Economic Journal:

  • In Trading Away Our Future   Richman ... advocates the immediate adoption of a set of public policy proposal designed to reduce the trade deficit and increase domestic savings.... the set of public policy proposals is a wake-up call... [February 17, 2009 review by T.H. Cate]