Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Hillary can't hold a candle to Frédéric

Our friend Josh Hendrickson e-mailed me last week about something you first think has to be a joke. Something from the the Onion, maybe, but then you see this is from Cato:
Hillary and the Candlemakers: Not a Parody

...For after all, Bastiat's petitioners noted, how can the makers of candles and lanterns compete with a light source that is totally free?

Thank goodness we wouldn't fall for such nonsense today. Or would we?

Last month, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and nine colleagues (ranging from Barbara Boxer to Tom Coburn) endorsed a petition from — you guessed it — the domestic candlemaking industry asking the secretary of commerce to impose a 108.3 percent tariff on Chinese candle producers.

After the Commerce Department approved the candlemakers' petition, Clinton said in a statement:
This is a real victory for the Syracuse candle-making industry. Our manufacturers deserve a level playing field and we owe it to them to make sure that others do not unfairly circumvent our fair trade practices. Syracuse has a proud history of candle production but attempts by importers to undercut our producers have put that tradition at risk. I am pleased that the Department of Commerce heeded our call to take action against these unfair practices and recognized the importance of this decision to local producers, especially here in Syracuse. We will continue to make the case on behalf of Syracuse candle-makers as the Commerce Department considers its final determination.
But perhaps the comparison is unfair. After all, Clinton and the National Candle Association aren't asking for protection from the sun, only from Chinese candle producers who are allegedly "dumping" candles in to the American market "at less than fair value."
Protectionism at its finest. This is one way that Hillary has become so popular in upstate New York, which is considered "conservative" (meaning "moderate" at best). Ever since her 2000 campaign, she's traveled the state promising everything to everybody. And people are stupid enough to believe her.

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