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Posts Tagged → trade

Trump’s America-First Economy Throws Beautiful Curveball to Wall Street

Trade wars were supposed to be a thing of the past, as America had settled into a long, slow decline and eventual death at the hands of our erstwhile trading “partners,” who had been sucking at the USA teat for fifty years. America underwrote the settlement of World War II for Europe and Japan, and suffered as a result. But we thought we were too big to fail, and so we persisted.

And for those of more modern thoughts and memories, recall that for eight years Obama had placed both of his hands on the foreign side of the trade scale in an attempt to accelerate this decline. That eight year stagnant situation, combined with explosive growth in government power and conversely diminished citizen power, while shipping our factories abroad with new rust belt towns popping up all over America was the “new normal.”

And why not end America’s supremacy like this? Under both major political parties America’s trade imbalances were so egregiously bad, so bad for American citizens, for so long, because everyone else was gaining. Officially buoyed up by post-WWII economic theory and political economy theory that placed great value on some vague, never-defined world-wide “stability,” all underwritten by Americans. In funding that stability through sacrifice of our national interest, the theory went, the world was a safer, better place. America was sharing its wealth, buying peace, by keeping everyone else busy making money. Well, let’s be honest here: America’s workers were shifting their wealth to China, and Mexico, and India, and Europe, and Canada, while Wall Street made money no matter what. Wall Street hedge funds betting on and therefore for the failure of American businesses, against American interests, for the misspending of our tax dollars, are the classic example of this bizarre arrangement.

And around this asymmetrical arrangement developed asymmetrical ways of analyzing, tracking, predicting, and valuing economic activity. Like the DOW and other Wall Street measures of economic health. They have been tracking signs of a stable American decline, a drip drip drip bloodletting, not true growth, but rather how much tax money can be wrung or coerced from The People and conveyed to big businesses, not measuring actual value created from investment in our people and their jobs, but rather value on paper or digital.

And then along comes President Trump and his America-first economy, which at its core is the valuation and promotion of you, me and every other American citizen.

By demanding that America simply have equal trade with everyone else, and that it cease bleeding for the world’s benefit, and that we get as much coming in as we have going out or some approximation of that natural policy, President Trump has up-ended 75 years of screwy policy and screwy measures of success. It is that simple, and yet it is such a beautiful curve ball thrown to Wall Street.

Just look at how the tariffs on China have rattled Wall Street’s skewed measures of success, and stability. By America suddenly succeeding in the simplest way, and you and I having more opportunity, more money, Wall Street actually says our economy is down. Well, no, Wall Street, we the people are doing better, even if you are not. And isn’t it interesting that Wall Street was doing fantastic when Americans were degraded and doing poorly…

There’s an old saying that you’ll never beat the Irish, and in turn, you know you can’t beat Yankee ingenuity or will power, either. Americans will never be defeated, unless we decide to defeat ourselves. We came close, oh yes, we almost committed national suicide. But President Trump has shown us a better way, a way of national life.

It is a new day in America, and new beginning, Wall Street be damned.

Fair trade, Yes

Historically, free trade American-style has come at a huge price to Americans.

Often defined by the same unsustainable standards that bring us endless illegal immigration today, free trade agreements between America and our trading partners have always treated America as a bottomless wallet. America could “afford” to give up more and absorb more costs, just because we were so rich and so great and kind-hearted (went the thinking, even among American decision makers).

America never got the “free” or even the good end of “free trade,” and it always got the burden of abiding by external tariffs on American goods and internal dumping that we could not legally identify, that enable our trading partners to undercut American-made prices every single time, no matter what the item.

So now there is a debate about how trading relationships between America and the world should be structured. If China, for example, has big tariffs on American goods, then it stands to reason that we Americans would benefit from placing similar tariffs on imported Chinese crap. Right?

I mean, fair is fair is fair. If one party can do it, the other can do it, too.

People treat one another fairly every day, and each side benefits in the way that they see fit for themselves. It is a good way to run a relationship.

Thus is fair trade born. The idea that trade ought to be fair, just straight up balanced without artificial contrivances giving one side an unfair advantage, based on symmetrical relationships and transparent production costs.

For example, China tolerates no equal opportunity hiring laws, no environmental laws, no workman’s compensation laws, no feminist demands for equal pay, etc. Chinese citizens who advocate for those things are either shot or jailed. Under those artificial conditions, China is able to produce almost any item far cheaper than Americans, who must comply with all of these laws and social pressures, and much, much more.

On top of that starting point, China will dump its own products at below-cost prices, just to swamp the competition and drive them out of business.

Fair trade tolerates none of this make-believe.

If China, again just as an example, wants to sell us a car here in America, fine. Sell it. Ship them over, and let’s see what the market will bear. But if we want to sell cars in China, by gosh, let us sell them there, for whatever the market will bear.

Free trade is one of those theoretical ideas that never really happens, try as one might. Like the magical unicorn under a rainbow, it paints a pretty picture, but it is mostly myth or fantasy.

Fair trade, yes.

Gun swap on the kitchen table

Today, a friend called me. A friend of his was bringing over some rifles, shotguns, and old knives to trade. Was I interested in participating?

I’m reporting here that we traded guns like pennies in a penny-ante poker game.

It’s an American tradition, this private gun ownership thing. No paperwork. No records. No criminals. No bad intent.

For another buddy of mine I got a lightly used pump deer rifle. He will pay my actual cost; I don’t make money off of friends.

Background checks have been proposed on this harmless activity; they would merely document who got what, for future attempts at gun confiscation. None of us are or will be criminals. Guns in our hands are the highest deterrent to crime, however.

Trading terrorists for a traitor

Accentuating a disastrous foreign policy that has damaged America’s standing more than any past efforts from outside the nation, traitor Bo Bergdahl is traded to America for five dangerous, proven Afghan terrorists kept at Camp Guantanamo.

That is, America took back a guy who abandoned his comrades and hates America, and in turn reduced the inmate population at Guantanamo. Those inmates will go directly back to Afghanistan, be welcomed as heroes, and they’ll promptly begin killing and maiming civilians and American soldiers.

American soldiers?! US Marines?! you ask.

Yes, Bush’s War became Obama’s War years ago. And it continues, without a shred of outrage from the artificial opposition that plagued America during the Bush administration. Obama maintains thousands of military personnel in Afghanistan, with restrictive rules of engagement, unable to defend themselves, sitting ducks for the five super bad guys Obama just released.

Obama is in good company in his hate for the US military. Dan Dromm, NYC council member, wants JROTC out of taxpayer – funded schools. ¬†Dromm calls JROTC “part of a war machine.”

Mmm hmmmm. The same ‘machine’ that has been protecting Dromm, Obama, and the rest of the unappreciative traitors running various parts of America.

Could we not have included Dromm in the Bergdahl trade, too?  That way we could have leavened the bad foreign policy with good domestic policy. Deporting traitors like Dromm counts as awesome domestic policy.