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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

 

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Universal Welfare: Is Zuck Actually Evil?

Universal Welfare? Say It Ain’t So!

My knee-jerk reaction to Zuckerburg’s speech was shock at the naivete on display.  Sure, he made a lot of money when he was too young for the responsibility.  But by now you would think he’d matured at least a little.

But a talking head on FOX Business turned me on to another possibility. This one actually makes more sense. It also makes Zuck’s suggestions far more cynical.

Part of his justification was “so people can innovate”.  WTF? People can and are innovating right now. Is he superman because he has made innovations and others need to government to pay the “proles” money so Zuckerburg’s lessers can innovate?  And what is that money for.  Does Zuckerburg envision a future where one class innovates and makes multiple billions while the rest live on their government stipend (which we already know is actually worthless)?  

What are they to do now that they are getting money to live on from the Almighty Governing Class?  Are they to spend all day on Facebook?

Don’t answer that!

Epic Elitist

This marks Mark as the epic elitist.  The fact is, with innovation moving at the breath-taking speed it is right now we have no need of government to do anything for innovators.  In fact we don’t want the government’s fingers in the bowl at all.  As soon as the “federales” touch Internet businesses, they WILL do what they always do.  They will prop up political friends and drive out competition. This will be all in the name of making it better.  The price will be that the political friends will have to run an Internet that is favorable to the political whores  and their political interests.  And, inevitably, the system will be made inexcusably inefficient.

If we prevent such an occurrence, I envision a future where what you presently pay for on the Internet will become more and more specialized.  The present formula will give way to people who do and supply certain things in a unique way. The little guy will be able to compete with the giants.  And all the technology, and automation will provide more jobs not less.

In addition to the automation becoming cheaper and more accessible over time (such things ALWAYS do), we will still have the need for fresh food, plumbing, electrical repair, cosmetics, and everything else we need today.  An automated wait staff won’t change that.  So to the market needs we fill already, we will add an incredible amount of jobs in the ever-growing high-tech industry.

Think!

We are already swimming in a sea of unfunded liabilities with our present entitlement programs.  The I-am-better-than-everyone approach to the problem, as Zuckerburg suggests, would not only bankrupt the country, it would have only negative consequences here in the real world.  Zuck, go back to your algorithms and post boosting.  You are very good at it.  Leave American citizens to address their own problems.  That is what we are very good at, when left alone to do it.

I opened this series discussing apathy.  Stupid ideas like the one we reviewed here are becoming very trendy among the political class. If we don’t wake up, as a whole, people like Zukerburg WILL define your future.

Get involved.  I said in part 1 of this series, that we work.  We raise kids. We have lives. Yes!  Exactly!  By being engaged citizens (a duty as critical as the others) we make living our lives, raising our kids and paying our bills that much easier and more worthwhile.

Talk to your representatives.  Let them know that you are now on the case.  If they don’t start cutting away the government cancer we have growing on us, tell them they are committing political suicide.

Matt Jordan is the author of Street Politics: It Ain’t Your Daddy’s GOP Anymore! Grab your copy here.

Kindle version here!

Or just start reading for free on Kindle Unlimited!

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The Four Morons Are Laughing At You!

Who Are The Four Morons?

You would only know the answer to that if you are a regular reader here.  The Four Morons are the house and Senate leadership; Mitch McConnel, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and Paul Ryan.  Donald Trump has lately filled the roll of court jester, keeping the Morons entertained and happy.

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Ryan and his band of cowardly, corrupt Republicans are going for a second bite at the apple to preserve Obamacare.  This time they are offering the Freedom Caucus a “compromise” that amounts to an insult.  Even the MOST basic free market reform, and the most effective in driving down costs, is not included in the present proposal; the sale of insurance policies across state lines.  Instead we have territories carved out by the government. 

Why?

Because major insurance companies pay government lackeys to keep competition off the field.  And they pay well.

How do most of you NOT know this!

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I have said many times, (notably here) that Trump was either completely ignorant of the Constitution, or he was a shill for the Democratic party.  One of those statements is true.  You can decide which.  But you can’t deny the damage he is doing to the Conservative cause and to the country, as he sits in the White House deciding who likes him and who doesn’t.  Nor can you deny his complete lack of intellectual curiosity.  He has no intention of learning his job or following the Constitution.

And the “Experts” Aren’t Helping

Amazingly, if you listen to people who call themselves conservative, both on the idiot box and on social media sites, you’ve heard them saying that Republicans needed to pass Obamacare Lite.  It’s a binary choice they said;  Obamacare or Ryancare.  Or they point out how important it is for the Freedom Caucus to “support the President” by passing legislation they find repugnant.

First off, legislators are not sent to Washington to make sure the President, any president, looks good. Unless they are Democrats.  It is not their job to sell the mistakes of the President and Congressional leadership to us rubes outside the Beltway.  Unless they are Democrats.  Their job, as Ryan has long forgotten, is to represent their constituents based on the principles they ran and succeeded on.  In the case of every single Republican save one, Collins, all ran on conservative, free market principles and a belief in individual liberty.  Even Collins paid a bit of lip service to those principles.

But only a handful stood by these beliefs and they killed the crap designed to replace the extra smelly crap.

And how does the Twitter twat-in-chief react to REAL conservatives voting down trash legislation?  He threatens to fight them and the Democrats as opponents.  This assures us of two things. 

First, no matter what, he’ll now not be able to muster a majority to kill Obamacare.  Dems and lame Republicans (who got elected saying they are conservative, but are no such thing) now have Trump’s cover to reject any real free market reforms to medical insurance. 

Ryan and his ilk didn’t want to get rid of Obamacare.  They want all the corporate goodies and easy votes from chumps that Obamacare gave the Dems.  So they put up a poorly-funded version of the same dog shit, hoping we’d be stupid enough to let them get away with it.

And don’t kid yourself.  No matter what he said, Chuck Schumer LOVED Obamacare Lite.  The only thing he loves more is the full-flavored Obamacare.

Second, Trump has made the possibility of his re-election much more difficult.  Ann Coulter, FOX News and Brietbart will have to work overtime to pull the wool over your eyes again. 

Of course it wasn’t too difficult the first time around.  Trump mangled a couple of Bible verses and that was enough for the “Christian” hucksters to jump aboard and bring almost all of their rubes with them.  He blurted out utterly nonsensical statements on abortion and the Obamacare individual mandate and still his cult, and not just a few “experts”, declared him a conservative!  Amazing!

As Usual, I Hit the Nail on the Head!

So as I predicted, one year ago yesterday, Trump IS overseeing the destruction of free-market conservatism either by design or ignorance.  But he is doing nothing to move this country in the right direction.  And no, executive orders saving 1000 jobs here and 200 jobs there, don’t amount to anything.

To put a finer point on it, watch what happens with “tax reform”.  There will be no reform AT ALL!  There will be a reduction in the amount you pay right now.  But the all mechanisms in place to raise them again, when the country sickens of Ryan and Trump, will remain in place.  That’s not reform.  That’s cotton candy, sweet and fluffy but without real substance. 

And that is the nature of the Trump presidency so far.

If Trump ends this calendar year without striking all of Obamacare from the books and allowing competent professionals to produce free-market medical insurance, he will be a one-term President and a failure.

Matt Jordan is host of Streetpolitics.us and author of Street Politics: It Ain’t Your Daddy’s GOP Anymore!  Grab your copy here and support a good cop in his battle with Multiple Sclerosis!  50% of all author proceeds go to Sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Kerr and the Colonial Crossroads charity event.