Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

While our president was finagling his way to support two out of three of the Big Three automakers, folk in Vladivostak were protesting Vladimir Putin’s new high tariffs on foreign-made used automobiles. As many as 6,000 protesters on Russia’s Pacific Coast took to the streets, some even calling for Putin’s ouster.

Used cars are a big deal on the eastern end of the Russian empire. Over 200,000 people in and around Vladivostok work on — or professionally trade — used cars. The used car business heavily undergirds the economy of the area . . . just across the East Sea from Japan. (I add this topographical note in case you forgot your grade school geography lessons.)

Not only did Putin insist on keeping the high tariffs, he sent in extra police to beat heads. The police attacked not only protesters, but journalists, too — without regard for nationality.

On the Sunday before Christmas, smaller protests were held around the vastness of Russia, including Moscow.

Don’t dismiss the tariff as “mere” economic policy — Putin sure doesn’t. One protester went on record, saying, “First, we have been deprived of our right to elect, now they are taking away our right to choose cars.”

An important lesson for America, too. Government policy skews our ability to choose. Favors to local business (whether by subsidy or tariff) decrease our ability to contract to get what we want. Which, often, includes imports.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. David Buckley says:

    Geographical Lesson: The name is a point of huge inter-Asian disagreement and occasionally violent protest. However, the usual name is the Sea of Japan. The term ‘East Sea’ is used primarily by the Koreans and mainly for political purposes. Most in the West continue to use the term Sea of Japan as it has historical legitimacy and is more geographically descriptive (the country having the longest coastline along the body of water being Japan, ‘East Sea’ makes sense only to countries that physically border the body on the west side and no sense at all to those countries and cultures far away.
    Otherwise, another great article!

  2. William Passas says:

    For the price the US Government is lending GM we could have bought all of the stock in Toyota. Why did we invest and gain stock in a company what will go bankrupt. To bail out the union?

  3. A simple change would get the economy moving again with the people making the buying decisions rather than a bunch of Corporate Lobbyists and those that serve the government bureaucracy at all levels.

    The proposed change is: Permit a penalty free withdrawal from ones IRA or 401K’s.

    We have trillions of dollars tied up in IRA’s and 401K’s that could be working for those that saved the money while reversing the economic decline.

    Those that would rather not make a withdrawal wouldn’t have to, while those that do would be better off rather than losing the value anyway due to the inflation that would result from massive federal stimulus borrowing.

    Perhaps John Kennedy said it best: “Inflation is the most incideous form of taxation.” We must avoid inflation as it robs our future and lowers our standard of living, just like higher taxes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2018 Common Sense with Paul Jacob, All Rights Reserved. Back to top