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Trump’s Potential Fatal Errors: Not for Him, But the Country. Pt. 1

Is he stupid or pretending to be?

To this day, I have been needled by a suspicion that Donald Trump is actually a shill for the sleazy, Clinton wing of the Democratic party. I’ve said many times, including when he was just hitting the political scene, and in my book. I had a hard time coming to grips with his immaturity, impetuousness and utterly disorganized style.

How, as I have often asked, here and elsewhere, can his clearly erratic behavior be actual stupidity and not just political shtick? Is he really trying? Or is he putting a four-year monkey wrench in the GOP, damaging their brand for the next decade?

Don’t get me wrong. When he seems to have at least gotten a basic concept right, I have been happy to say so. But he still gets so much wrong. And so many people seem to have it in their heads that Trump is a genius and worse, they think he is a conservative.

He is neither.

I’ll give you an example The President gets endless praise for his tax cut. But, with just a little ass kissing by congressional leadership, he owned a pathetically watered down version of a cut, without the valuable reform he had promised. If you were paying attention and not just celebrating this fig leaf legislation, you came away thinking what a sucker this guy is. With the slightest stroking of his ego, Trump will sign off on anything.

Continuing the same example, with little preparation and in complete ignorance of history, Trump spiked the entire economic uptick the tax cuts did provide with the monumentally stupid tariff announcements and implementations.

I will go into greater detail about this in my next book.

The costs of the Trump ego

Tariffs are wrong on too many levels to fully catalog here.  But a few aspects do leap out in this case.

1) First, as is ALWAYS true, tariffs help the bottom lines of the protected companies ONLY and, without exception, hurt the wider economy. The very people who are singing the praises of the administration’s get-tough trade policies are the ones being hurt by it, along with the entire world’s economy.  

President Donald J. Trump

2) If you follow the news cycles from Trump’s election, through the tax cuts and through the tariff announcements, you can plainly see that our economy was expanding beautifully. This was the direct result of someone – anyone – other than BHO going to the White House and that someone was talking about free market concepts.

As a result (and because we are still the world’s largest consumer economy) the world’s economies were expanding apace.  Even the PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain) were suddenly healthy again. 

But along with the rest of the world, our markets were thrown into turmoil and volatility because of this very stupid tariff idea.  The PIGS are now talking about defaulting again.

As ridiculous as the idea of tariffs already is, the way Trump rolled them out (i.e., with no forethought) we have this untenable situation as a result!

3) On top of the damage EVERYONE but the cronies who own the political whores feel, tariffs don’t work. They never have and they never will[1].  This how it will all play out:  We will place tariffs on whatever. Other countries will respond in kind (or maybe not because they already skim money from us on a huge scale.)  There will be “negotiations”.  In the end, when we’ve all had a bellyful of this stupid idea, all parties will declare victory and we will go back to where we all were before, relative to the economies of each country involved.

source: The Spectator

4) As was the case in the Travel Ban and the Zero Tolerance border policies[2], rolled out by executive order early in the Trump Administration, tariff actions were announced and launched impetuously and without any adult supervision. 

The result? Peter Morici, a respected economist, points out correctly that we now have barriers to raw materials for, say, bicycle parts and metal tubes, but no barriers against foreign bicycles.  As a result, American bike makers have to pay more for their raw materials, giving foreign makers a market advantage.  MEANWHILE, YOU NOW PAY MORE FOR A BIKE BECAUSE NO MANUFACTURER, FOREIGN OR DOMESTIC, IS IN THE BUSINESS AS AN ACT OF CHARITY!

5) In order to do what only Congress is permitted to do (introduce tariffs) by executive order, DJT declared our trade deficit vs the rest of the world is a national security issue.  Am I the only person who see how perfectly insane this position is? 

For more about the roots of this tariff debacle, and my earlier warning, read this.

Give me fair trade or I’ll kill you

Was the rest of the world going to attack the United States because we made it too easy for them to sell their goods here?  Were we on the verge of nuking Canada because of their unfair treatment of American dairy farmers? I’m going to go way out on a limb here and say neither was about to happen?

I would submit, and history does insist, that the placing of tariffs, especially by a stronger nation, are more likely to be the catalyst of unrest and even war.

Look at Germany immediately before and then after the clearly discredited Smoot/Hawley tariffs were rolled out.  Germany was struggling mightily to recover from World War II.  As they were beginning to turn the corner, people like Hitler were looked upon as weird opportunists, trying to advantage of Germany’s weakened, but improving, state of affairs.  Our market collapse in 1929 sent shock waves through the world economy. But the suffering was well distributed. Countries like Germany were continuing to work their way into world markets albeit at a slower pace.

Smoot and Hawley, two old men pictured from 1930s.
The authors of Smoot Hawley (that would be Smoot and Hawley themselves) the Dumb and Dumber of 1930.

Then along comes the Smoot/Hawley debacle.  Immediately, what was left of Germany’s chances of recovery were put off by at least a decade.  Already weak, the German economy had the chair kicked out from underneath it.  Suddenly, the blame-the-rest-of-the-world activists, including Hitler and the Communists, were seen as visionary. When you are dangling over the edge of the cliff, you’ll grasp at anything.

Germany, circa 1930 – 31 would be similar to our PIGS now. Their politics and economics are in ever increasing disarray. The tariffs aren’t helping them or the US in any way.

The cliché is: “When goods stop crossing borders armies soon will”.  It’s a cliché because it is true. So the talk of needing tariffs for national security reasons was undiluted bullshit from day one.

But, boys and girls, if I may be permitted the microaggression of noting the difference, we are now facing a far greater threat from Trump than any harm this tariff lunacy might do to us.

In an upcoming post I will outline the greater threat and the stupidity (not just Trump’s stupidity, this is widespread ignorance) behind it. In a separate post I will define the clear solution to our trade deficit.  I will give you a hint about the latter: We are SUPPOSED to have trade deficits with just about every other country because we are stronger and richer than they are.


[1] Read Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt.  It is a college education in one easy-to-read book. You can read it free here.

[2] The author supports both concepts, generally

 

Don’t be a political pansy! Read Street Politics: It Ain’t Your Daddy’s GOP Anymore! Grab your copy here.
Let’s demand good governance!

Kindle version here!

Or just start reading for free on Kindle Unlimited!


 

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Don’t Be A Political Pansy…on Election Day.

The tag line I use to promote my book is “Don’t be a Political Pansy!” That is tongue-in-cheek advertising, and as much a joke as it is a challenge. But there really is a breed of political pansy out there.

I normally serve up red meat on this site. There is so much we can devour! And I am serving up plenty of it elsewhere. But right now I am talking to EVERYONE. I may be preaching to the choir though. It is likely that the people this is directed at won’t see it because, well…they are the people it is directed at, political pansies.

Who are these pansies? These are the people on both side of the political spectrum who harp endlessly on how screwed up everything is. They call names on Facebook and sit in the break room at work looking down their noses at politicians and the people that vote for them. But in reality they are too lazy and insincere to actually go out and make their own noise in a way that is constructive.

 These pansies have a laundry list of reasons to not fulfill their civic duty and vote. But my favorite is, “Why bother? It never changes. They’re all the same.”

These pansies already know the answer to their own question. Things remain as they are because too many people say, “Why bother? It never changes.” By being that guy, you hand the worst of our politicians the advantage of incumbency and the comfort of knowing that not enough of the electorate is awake enough to impact their political ambitions.

You have to trust me on this: If the political class woke up on Wednesday morning to find out 90% of the population voted (the results would be wildly out of sinc with what the talking heads are saying now) they would piss their pants! And rightly so. It would mean that they would have to start performing. They would have to shitcan their poll tested garbage and really try to make a difference. They would realize that all the special interest cronyism won’t protect them from US!

And damn! Look how easy they have made voting! You can vote online, vote mail-in (used to be called absentee, and you can vote early. I have made my concrete concerns for these stupid ideas known in my book and here.

Despite those misgivings, how much easier do you need it to be before you participate and drop the phony self-importance about how the man will keep you down no matter what crap?

HOW IT OUGHT TO BE

I was talking to my buddy Bob D. on Facebook the other day. We were in disagreement about a particular get-out-the-vote campaign. But on one point, I don’t believe there was a spark of light between us.

I said that Election Day should be a bank holiday. Forget early voting or online or mail-in garbage. Only real cases should vote absentee. On election day, we should all gather and celebrate the day and the franchise, win or lose. Voting is at least as important as the Fourth of July! It’s way more important than Labor Day. There should be Election Day parties. No one allowed in without an updated “I voted” sticker. These parties should not be mandated by law, of course, but it would be an original party theme. On this day, even as the returns are still being counted, we are all one again. We all did our civic thing and now we are enjoying just being Americans.

Tomorrow, it all starts again. But today, no rancor or discord would be of any use to anyone. Pass the beer and the brats! 

But what am I saying? [snide whiney voice] No one would ever do that. It’ll never change. Right?

To this I would respond with a slightly non-contextual quote from Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment Corporation in 1977: There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” At the time, that was the prevailing wisdom.  It would last less than 5 years.  Of course we would need a center of influence bigger than my brilliant self to make Election Day a holiday.

And what the hell, it would give Hallmark a reason to jack us up for a whole new set of greeting cards.

 

Don’t be a political pansy! Read Street Politics: It Ain’t Your Daddy’s GOP Anymore! Grab your copy here.
Let’s demand good governance!

Kindle version here!

Or just start reading for free on Kindle Unlimited!

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Wherefore Art Thou, Floriday?

To my peeps in Florida: What is the deal?!

As I wrote to Wisconsin readers, I am wondering what it is in your state that is making your choice for governor and congress so difficult. How is it possible (I am asking rhetorically) that this is even a contest?

On the Left, for governor, you have a corrupt, socialist, bent of taking a wrecking ball to your economy. And it appears that about half of you are saying: gee, that’s okay ‘cuz he’s really cool and sounds like Obama when he talks.

And it isn’t lost no me that the national media has made YOUR LOCAL ISSUES into a Trump thing.

Look, Trump does not decide what happens in your state. Don’t let the agenda of people in LA or New York pollute your thinking. Florida is in a good place right now. It is, amazingly, still growing. If you stick to your guns (even if you think Donald Trump is a big fat jerk), you will reap great reward.

DeSantis, candidate for Governor

Rick Scott, Candidate for Senate.

Or you can swing left and two years form now be asking why you are doing so poorly when three quarters of the rest of the country is prospering. De Santis and Scott will keep the ball rolling and Florida growing. The corrupt Left will ruin Florida. History says I am right. Many will say I am wrong because Trump is a big, fat jerk and White men are the greatest terrorist threat to our nation.

If you are stupid enough to buy into those last two statements, vote for the socialists. If you want to keep Florida moving, vote Republican. It truly is that simple.

Or maybe you want to hand power to people who think this is good political discourse.

source: Slate.com

Full disclosure, I bailed on the Republican party (officially) in 2016. But when it is a choice between the GOP and certain ruin, of course I will go with the GOP. I do WISH there were a better organized Libertarian Party, but I tried wishing on one hand and shitting in the other. When I rubbed them together, what do you thing I got?

 

Don’t be a political pansy! Read Street Politics: It Ain’t Your Daddy’s GOP Anymore! Grab your copy here.
Let’s demand good governance!

Kindle version here!

Or just start reading for free on Kindle Unlimited!

Photo credits:

DeSantis: Official Congreessional Photo

Scott: Official Portrait