Print Column: China Wants Trump to Knuckle Under on Trade, and So Does Heidi Heitkamp


MINOT, N.D.—The Shirky Principle, named for technology writer Clay Shirky, holds that institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution.

We could adapt the saying for politics by arguing politicians do not want to solve problems which are politically advantageous to them.

It is through that lens we should see North Dakota U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp’s carping about the Trump administration’s handling of trade issues.

Heitkamp, a Democrat, agrees China’s past trade practices are a problem in need of a solution, yet she has consistently opposed Trump’s approach to that problem without offering a real alternative.

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