Posts tagged ‘trade war’

Trade, Tariffs, and North Korea

I have watched the events with President DFF with mixed emotions. Yes there has been steel dumping and there are barriers to trade in many countries, but as many more experience hands have put it, there are better ways than starting a trade war, which of course “will be easy to win.” I guess on a general outlook, world trade and a world economy is where we are and thinking in terms of us versus them no longer applies. We have to find agreements that are win-win, not win-lose or lose-lose which is what happens in a trade war.

But one of the things that struck me in all of this is the union leaders, and not in a good way. Now I believe in unions to balance the power of large companies so labor gets their fair share of productivity gains. But these guys were really out-of-bounds with their parochial focus on their win, everyone elses loss. While they could list how many had lost their jobs, do they really think they are coming back? If steel and aluminum make a come-back in the U.S. it will be in mechanized plants that don’t require those levels of employees. That is just a fact. Aluminum is energy (electricity) driven so it is always going to migrate where cost of electricity is cheap.

The union leaders did what I hate in any discussion, interrupt and talk over the opponent that were raising these issues. They are one issue people who think we can reinvent the 1970s. For most of the rust belt, this will be a big yawn, just like moves to bring back coal. Other means and methods are making coal both obsolete, and not labor intensive so jobs are not coming back. Certainly we should be negotiating trade agreements that help protect and save jobs in the United States, but it is a balancing act. Using a hatchet will just make things worse. For the rust belt, it is time to negotiate agreements both in the U.S. and with foreign trade partners that create new jobs for the future, not old jobs that will just be mechanized to reduce costs.

Union leaders like to raise the national defense argument, what happens if we let these industries go overseas and then they cut us off.  Who would that be again, because a trade war will hurt even China.  There thinking is really last century and not in the real world or looking forward.  Remember TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership)?  I and many others were against it because it reinforce the status quo of growing economic inequality.  But it was the right idea and we need to just fix it, not junk it.  Trade and tariffs are complicated and we have to do what is best for the world economy (while demanding sustainable and environmentally safe practices) if we want to do what is best for us.  That is lost on President DFF who see everything in winners and losers.

Okay, North Korea.  What to make of Kim’s meeting with the President?  Well, in a perfect world it could be good.  However Kim is a tyrant and a murder.  He has starved his people in nation that could be described as a living hell.  He executed his uncle with an anti-aircraft gun.  So now he wants to negotiate.  And we have win-lose President DFF meeting with him.  Now I think the first thing you do is decide what Kim might give up.  I simply don’t believe he will give up his nukes for a promise of no interference in his country.  His nukes are what keeps him safe from a pre-emptive strike.  I could be wrong.  Maybe his nuke program has hit a loggerhead and he needs cash.  But the testing he has done does not indicate that.  So what is there let to negotiate?  What does he want from us and what is he will to give up?  You think President DFF in gathering experts to determine that?

What you really need to worry about is President DFF’s need for a win as reality, the Mueller investigation, and maybe a Blue Wave is coming in November.  Will he do something incredibly stupid.  Quite likely.  These are very dangerous times and I do not believe Kim wants to be Mr. Nice guy.  I hope I am wrong.  If North Korea would give up their nukes, it would be good for the world.  I just don’t think that is what is happening and I don’t think President DFF is smart enough to be at the table.

G19 and The Village Idiot in Chief (total 20)

I thought about using trailer trash, but that would be unfair to people living in trailers.  Trailer trash is a derogatory term stereotyping and referring to poor lower class white people who might live in trailers.  But since those white people elected him, let’s just say he is doing a great job of representing them at the European economic summit.  Are you embarrassed yet?  He went to Poland and embraced a government suppressing basic democracy, then he slammed the free press, when challenged on the Russia hacking, disparaged our intelligence community, and finished his disastrous speech by demeaning another American President while in a foreign country.  Oh, did I mention he lied repeatedly? Remember when President Reagan told Russia to tear down “that wall”?  Well this President gave a speech telling Europeans to build up that wall.

Kiss everything America stood for goodbye.  Now apparently the Village Idiot in Charge is about to start a trade war around steel. As I write this he is meeting with Putin and we will probably never know what was really said in that meeting or what he is giving away to “make America great again.”  Forget American exceptionalism as we no longer are the voice for democracy or a free press in the world.  Forget American exceptionalism when we ignore science and show what ignorant rubes we are around global warming.  Forget American exceptionalism as we try to stall energy independence by going back to fossil fuels (or at least try to as the Secretary of Energy explained that supply drives demand instead of the other way around*). What a level of hubris and ignorance we are showing the world.

We look like a strutting blovating third world country whose leader should get himself a uniform with medals.  Here at home the Director of the Office Government Ethics has resigned because there is not enough rules with teeth to reign in Trump and his family while they turn government into their own cash cow.  We have a health care replacement bill that can’t hide behind their lies and is nothing but a health care reduction plan to provide more of our treasury to the rich.  Oh, and remember that wonderful Hobby Lobby who got the conservatives on the court to give them the right to decide what kind of healthcare their employees could have based on Hobby Lobby’s religious beliefs (denying contraception coverage)?  Well they just got their ass in a sling for importing robbed religious artifacts.  Ain’t religion great?

So we are a total embarrassment to the world, lost our place as leader of the free world, apparently trying to destroy our environment again by ignoring science and getting rid of all the real scientists, denying people healthcare for a tax cut to the wealthy, and apparently totally misunderstanding economics thinking supply controls demand, not the other way around.  Yo! White mob! This working out for you yet?  We look like morons and not offense, but you that voted for this abomination are just that.  If I offend, so does reality and truth sometimes.  Sometimes the emperor really does not have any clothes.

One other note:  The Protests.  I don’t know.  Some are party animals, some hate Trump, some…?  I think maybe there is an expression however unfocused that the economic system in which we operate in is not working for everyone.  As we produce more super rich throughout the world, there really is a smaller and smaller slice of the pie for others.

*It is interesting that Energy Secretary Perry got supply and demand backwards.  He was making the argument if that if we produce more coal, they will buy it.  People don’t use pencils much anymore so if we flood the market with pencils, pens will be pushed aside?  No, demand drives supply.  But what is so interesting is that that mix up is what also reflects their economic theory, supply side economics.  If we give rich people lots of money, they will make things, people will have jobs, and they will buy the stuff.  Except it is backwards.  If there is no demand, no one makes stuff people can’t afford to buy, there are no jobs, and the wealthy sit on their money.  So you can see how Secretary Perry could get confused on basic economic theory.  He already had it wrong to start with as all Republicans in Congress seem to.