I don’t want to make too much of this, and I’m not even saying there is an outright contradiction here. I’ll succinctly state the interesting combination in the form of a script, loosely based on actual events that I observed firsthand on social media.
TRUMP SUPPORTERS: You idiot libertarians need to drop your faith in free trade. US manufacturers can’t compete when foreign governments subsidize their exporters through special tax rebates and looser regulations. If we had a level playing field, where foreign companies faced the same taxes and regulations that US companies did, then American workers would come out on top.
LIBERTARIANS: Ha ha, you’re afraid of “dumping”? What a loaded term. Uh, if goods come in more cheaply, that only *helps* Americans. Sure, it might throw particular US manufacturing companies out of business, but the country as a whole benefits because of the gains to consumers. Haven’t you read Bastiat? Are you mad about the “unfair” competition from the sun? Do you even econ, bro?
BOB MURPHY ON CARRIER DEAL: It’s not the tax cut I would’ve proposed, but from a purely ethical perspective, this is reducing a firm’s taxes and in that sense reduces injustice.
LIBERTARIANS: That’s not the issue here Murphy. The issue is providing a level playing field. How are other US manufacturers supposed to compete when Carrier is getting special tax rebates and regulatory relief? How obtuse can you be to not see this?