Steel workers cheer President Trump and foreign steel tariffs.
As this astute article by William S. Lind in The American Conservative correctly concludes, political BS and economic ignorance not withstanding, “we industrialized this country under tariff protection and we can re-industrialize under tariff protection.” Read below:
Today, as you drive over the new Innerbelt bridge that carries I-90 through Cleveland, you may detect an unfamiliar smell. It is the smell of steel being made. Unlike Pittsburgh and many other “Rust Belt” cities, Cleveland has not lost its heavy industry. We still make steel—really make steel, from iron ore, coke, and limestone—not just melt scrap.
But if Cleveland is still alive as a place that makes things, it is among the walking wounded. We make a great deal less than we did in the 1940s, ‘50s, and ‘60s. The vast blue-collar middle class that lived a comfortable life on one income is now small. As with the rest of the Rust Belt, free trade struck its dagger into our back. We have witnessed whole factories torn down and re-erected in China.
Beyond Cleveland’s downtown, we are a city of abandoned factories: Warner & Swazey machine tools, which employed 5000 people in World War II; Richman Brothers Suits; the Ford engine foundry, now an empty lot; the list is endless. Some of the industrial buildings closer to the urban core are being repurposed and thus saved. But where are the jobs? Gone to people in other countries.
I fear the downtown revival Cleveland is now enjoying is a hot-house plant.Tourism does not bring in money in the industrial quantities a city like Cleveland needs. If we are to again become a rich city, we must make more things. The New Urbanism, if it is to be sustained, needs the Old Urbanism.
The old cities were above all places where people worked. Can we bring it back? Of course we can. We industrialized this country under tariff protection and we can re-industrialize under tariff protection.
When President Trump slapped tariffs on foreign steel, Cleveland cheered.
In nearby Lorain, Ohio, another steel center, a steel company announced it would reopen a shuttered mill, hire hundreds of people, and was prepared to fill all domestic orders.
We can make everything America needs in America—and much of it in Cleveland.
China has a plan to make everything it needs by 2025 Why can’t America have the same plan? After all, we already did it once.
Most New Urbanists are members of the coastal elite, which means most of them look on President Trump with loathing. The elites of both political parties are in the free–trade camp, for reasons perhaps not unrelated to Wall Street’s ability to fill the coffers of politicians who favor free trade
Without the Old Urbanism, where cities grew and prospered by making things, there is not likely to be much New Urbanism.
New Urbanism will either build on a revival of American manufacturing or it will be building on sand.
Read more here.