shaggybaxter

Who really believes tariffs are good business

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I'm working on a project with a shipyard in WA state building 4 tugs for the US Navy. The price has gone up significantly - because of tariffs on steel.

Gotta love your own tariffs costing your Navy more to build ships. Wonder what the cost increase in a really big ship like a destroyer would be?

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5 hours ago, Zonker said:

I'm working on a project with a shipyard in WA state building 4 tugs for the US Navy. The price has gone up significantly - because of tariffs on steel.

Gotta love your own tariffs costing your Navy more to build ships. Wonder what the cost increase in a really big ship like a destroyer would be?

The country has gone crazy, it was already terminally stupid. In a little while we won't need a Navy anyway.

-DSK

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President Trump's former economic adviser Gary Cohn took aim at Trump's trade adviser Peter Navarro on Wednesday by referring to Navarro as the only Ph.D-holding economist in the world who believes in the effectiveness of tariffs. 

https://thehill.com/policy/finance/433974-gary-cohn-says-trump-trade-adviser-the-only-economist-in-world-who-believes-in

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I never got a PhD in economics but know that tariffs, like other taxes, are effective. At slowing economic activity.

Trump sorta knows too
 

Quote

 

Trump administration’s policy objectives were clear. American manufacturing had to be protected against cheaper products coming from China. If that meant farmers took it on the chin, so be it.

That’s why it’s a little bit ironic to see that, a year after the trade war started, the Trump administration is now trying to score a “win for farmers” by securing access to Chinese export markets in a new trade deal with China. That’s how Bloomberg describes the latest gambit in the ongoing trade negotiations between the two nations, in which Trump’s team is asking China to shift $50 billion of retaliatory tariffs off agricultural goods and onto other American exports in advance of next year’s elections. The U.S. would maintain its own tariffs on Chinese goods even if a trade deal is reached, the news organization reports, citing sources familiar with the negotiations.

That’s stunning. The Trump administration’s newest trade negotiating tactic is to ask China to put tariffs on American manufactured goods—the very sector Trump’s trade war was supposed to be helping—in order to relieve the pain the trade war caused for American farmers.

And what’s going to happen if China goes along with that idea? Like before, American farmers will export goods to China, and then will use the money they earn to buy other things—because that’s how trade works—and often those other things will be made in China.

“It’s not enough to switch tariffs from farm products to manufactured goods; the Trump administration also wants to encourage the Chinese to buy more U.S. farm products than ever before, which will cause China to send even more manufactured goods to America,” writes Scott Sumner, an economist with the Mercatus Center, a free market think tank. “Any policy that encourages the export of farm products also encourages the import of manufactured goods. (There’s a reason they call it ‘trade’.)”

On one hand, it’s great that the Trump administration is effectively admitting a mistake and trying to reverse course out of the mess it created. China was already buying lots of American agricultural goods before Trump came along, but if he wants to basically restore the old status quo and claim that he “won” something for American farmers—well, fine, that’s what politicians do all the time.

 

 

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What has Trump offered China?  I doubt he can bully them.    He has to give up intellectual property or the South China Sea in exchange.    

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4 minutes ago, Lark said:

What has Trump offered China?  I doubt he can bully them.    He has to give up intellectual property or the South China Sea in exchange.    

my take is Trump's folding and the Chinese know it, they are just stringing him along.

but anyways - other than highlighting the cynical red state vs. blue state of the Trump admin - the leaks about the trade deal mean fuck all. every week there's some new leak, nothing much changes, just Trumpian bullshitting.

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2 hours ago, Importunate Tom said:

 if he wants to basically restore the old status quo and claim that he “won” something for American farmers—well, fine, that’s what politicians do all the time.

I would take that deal.  Let him have his political victory and stop fucking over poor people. 

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Taxpayers Pay Taxes

It's yuge news. Also notable: tariffs are taxes!
 

Quote

 

Tariffs on imported washing machines ended up increasing not only the retail price of washing machines but dryers too—despite the fact that dryers were not subject to the new import taxes imposed by the Trump administration in January 2018. Research from a trio of economists at the University of Chicago and the Federal Reserve show that retailers made the decision to hike the price of both washing machines and dryers (since they are frequently bought together) after the tariffs took effect.

All told, those tariffs raised about $82 million for the U.S. Treasury but ended up increasing costs for consumers by about $1.2 billion during 2018 economists Aaron Flaaen, Ali Hortacsu, and Felix Tintelnot conclude. Although the trade policy did cause some manufacturers to shift production from overseas to the United States in an effort to avoid the new tariffs, the 1,800 jobs created by Trump's washing machine tariffs cost consumers an estimated $820,000 per job.

The new working paper provides yet more evidence that consumers, not Chinese-based companies as the president has often claimed, are paying the costs of tariffs. The increase in retail prices for dryers also demonstrates how some businesses have taken advantage of the Trump administration's trade policy to soak consumers a second time.

...

"Companies that largely sell imported washers, like Samsung and LG, raised prices to compensate for the tariff costs they had to pay. But domestic manufacturers, like Whirlpool, increased prices, too, largely because they could," writes the Times' Jim Tankersley. "There aren't a lot of upstart domestic producers of laundry equipment that could undercut Whirlpool on price if the company decided to capture more profits by raising prices at the same time its competitors were forced to do so."

 

We're never going to tax our way to prosperity because it can't be done. It can't be done by taxing those evil rich people as TeamD wants nor by taxing those evil importers as TeamR has recently joined TeamD in advocating.

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The Message Is Changing
 

Quote

 

Tariffs are draining $1.4 billion out of the U.S. economy every month, according to a comprehensive review published in March by a trio of economists from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. New jobs created in steel and aluminum manufacturing have come at a steep price, and the trade deficit that Trump vowed to reduce has continued growing.

Facing that mounting pile of evidence, the Trump administration is now quietly pivoting away from the "easy to win" framing. Kevin Hassett, chairman of the White House's Council of Economic Advisers, tells Bloomberg that the economic pain caused by tariffs is the bitter pill that must be swallowed to improve the economy in the long run.

"We've had these very bad trade deals, and we are taking the medicine to improve them," he says.

That's a far cry from how the Trump administration represented the trade barriers when they were first implemented. In the weeks after Trump slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross made the rounds on cable news with a prop can of Campbell's Soup, which he showed while laughing off concerns about how the tariffs would affect American businesses. If tariffs increased the price of steel by 25 percent, that would amount to "a tiny fraction of one penny" in the price of a can of soup, he argued.

Kudlow's flub of the USMCA jobs numbers might have been an honest mistake, but Ross was deliberately trying to mislead viewers about basic economics. He wasn't reassuring Americans that they would have to endure bitter medicine—he was promising, literally, that the economy would feel no pain.

 

Bitter pills are easy to swallow.

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Grassley to Trump: End the Tariffs or We'll Kill Your NAFTA Rewrite
 

Quote

 

There's only one way for President Donald Trump to get his much-touted rewrite of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) through Congress: End the tariffs.

That's the blunt message that Sen. Chuck Grassley (R–Iowa) delivers in an op-ed that ran in Sunday's Wall Street Journal. Grassley's opinion matters more than most, given that he is chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, which would likely have to give its approval to Trump's United States-Canada-Mexico Agreement (USMCA) before it could face an up-or-down vote from the full Senate.

Congress must approve the USMCA before it can take effect, but Grassley says it will not do that until the Trump administration lifts tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada and Mexico. "These levies are a tax on Americans, and they jeopardize USMCA's prospects of passage in the Mexican Congress, Canadian Parliament and U.S. Congress," he writes. "Canadian and Mexican trade officials may be more delicate in their language, but they're diplomats. I'm not. If these tariffs aren't lifted, USMCA is dead. There is no appetite in Congress to debate USMCA with these tariffs in place."

 

Grassley is a major reason we still have a stupid drug war and so I often wish he'd retire.

He's also a stubborn old mule and likely means what he says in this case.

So hat tip to the drug war dinosaur.

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I agree with Grassley on this one.

The Steel/Aluminum supply chain is a success story, such as it is.  Steel and Aluminum are energy driven commodities - they can and should be made where energy is cheep and plentiful and people are scarce.  That's what the industry evolved into - tariffs aren't going to push it back to the 1950's model.  

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Yah but Canada is a threat to US national security. So energy/economic arguments are moot.  

 

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19 minutes ago, HuronBouy said:

Yah but Canada is a threat to US national security. So energy/economic arguments are moot.  

 

I appreciate your sarcasm and tend to agree that those arguments should carry weight.

Thing is, when that old mule Grassley bluntly says they're going to carry weight, they magically do.

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The answer to the topic question continues to be: Trump.
 

Quote

 

The tariffs imposed by Trump in 2018 cost the U.S. economy $6.9 billion last year—above and beyond the $12.3 billion paid by American consumers and importers to the federal government.

"We find that the U.S. tariffs were almost completely passed through into U.S. domestic prices, so that the entire incidence of the tariffs fell on domestic consumers and importers," write economists from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Princeton University, and Columbia University in a March paper published by the Centre for Economic Policy Research. By the end of last year, Trump's tariffs were costing American consumers and businesses about $1.4 billion each month, they found.

Trump continues to claim that China is paying for the tariffs, but his administration has not published any data to support that claim. Indeed, the president's own Council of Economic Advisors admitted in its year-end report that the estimated $14.4 billion in tariff revenue sent to the U.S. Treasury during 2018 was due to "costs paid by consumers in the form of higher prices."

...

If you really want to understand just how absurd Trump's latest trade tactic is, just take a look at who's cheering for him:


 

And Schumer.

"Strength" means "raising taxes" to New Yorkers, apparently.

 

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Trump's Tomato Tariff on Mexico
 

Quote

 

...

Indeed, tomato growers and some members of Congress have been lobbying the Trump administration for months, asking for the termination of the Tomato Suspension Agreement. They argue that Mexican tomatoes are flooding the market and making it impossible for American farmers to compete—American tomato production is down 34 percent since 2002, while Mexican tomato imports are up 125 percent in the same period, according to a letter sent in February to Ross by Sen. Marco Rubio (R–Fla.) and other members of Congress.

But this week's victory for Florida-based tomato growers comes at the expense of not only Mexican farmers and American consumers; it also deals a serious blow to tomato-importing jobs in Arizona.

Those are, of course, American jobs.

In Nogales, Arizona, for example, the largest single commodity brought over the border from Mexico is tomatoes. More than 1.5 billion pounds enter the United States each year, entering a supply chain that supports 30,000 American jobs, according to a University of Arizona analysis published last year. The new tariffs put those jobs in jeopardy.

...

"Without the Tomato Suspension Agreement, Arizona's economy, jobs and tomato prices are at risk," Sen. Martha McSally (R–Ariz.) wrote in an op-ed this week.

Trump has apparently sided with Florida.

When trade policy is dictated from Washington, those types of choices are unavoidable. Trump's decision to put tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, for example, benefited the businesses that produce those metals—which immediately raised their prices—while disadvantaging any business that uses steel or aluminum to make its products. There are far more employers and employees in the latter category than the former.

The spat over imported tomatoes is a good reminder that trade isn't really conducted between countries at all, but between businesses and individuals seeking to find mutually beneficial arrangements. It's overly simplistic to think about Mexican tomatoes and Floridian tomatoes as if they are on opposite sides. More tomatoes being grown and imported into American means more jobs—and more delicious tomatoes.

 

And more taxes mean the same thing as always. But we'll tax our way to prosperity soon.

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Imported tomatoes..................... What an absurd idea....................

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For anybody,    

Premise:   Sachs is giving 45% odds on the 25% increase tomorrow.   Walmart and Lowe’s buy by the container and customs paperwork is likely right,     Amazon brokers by the unit and half the shit is shipped direct from China.   

Question:    How likely is the amazon stuff to pass customs with paperwork declaring it to be the lowest tariff or non taxed items?    When it is shipped by the unit the task of checking even a couple percent by customs is clearly impossible.    I think Trump is giving his ‘friend’ Jeff Bezos a present.    

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22 minutes ago, Mrleft8 said:

Imported tomatoes..................... What an absurd idea....................

It is strange. They're fragile and easy to grow.

The only thing more absurd is the idea that taxing them will make things better for everyone.

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1 hour ago, Lark said:

Question:    How likely is the amazon stuff to pass customs with paperwork declaring it to be the lowest tariff or non taxed items?    When it is shipped by the unit the task of checking even a couple percent by customs is clearly impossible.    I think Trump is giving his ‘friend’ Jeff Bezos a present.    

Short term. The intended withdrawal from the Universal Postal Union would change those economics. The thing about "cheap shit from overseas" is sometimes it's just cutting out the middle man. e.g. peppercorns don't really grow in the US, so I bought a pound of black peppercorns from amazon for $10. It's straight from Vietnam - way better quality pepper at a much better price.

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1 hour ago, Mismoyled Jiblet. said:

Short term. The intended withdrawal from the Universal Postal Union would change those economics. The thing about "cheap shit from overseas" is sometimes it's just cutting out the middle man. e.g. peppercorns don't really grow in the US, so I bought a pound of black peppercorns from amazon for $10. It's straight from Vietnam - way better quality pepper at a much better price.

Interesting point.   I’d ignored Trump’s attack on the postal cabal as a typical White House statement, a transient wish unlikely to be based on reality or followed to conclusion.   Trump attacks real problems with trademark idiocy.   We should have teamed up with Canada and the EU against Chinese practices that harm us all.   Trump instead pissed our allies off with trade skirmishes while calling them a security threat (Canada) and our greatest foe (Germany).   Now Canada and Europe laugh and benefit from our spat with China.  

The international postal agreement, in the US’s favor as a net exporter of packages when we signed it, now creates an uneven playing field for brick and mortar venders and US manufacturing.    It was cheaper to import solar regulators from Shenzhen, China then for me to ship a similar size package to another business address in Ohio.   I picked a business address example since the ‘final mile’ is the most expensive part for the post office.    The cheap imported regulators even work.   (I didn’t get stung by fake reviews since I followed the advice of GM Dreade in Fixit Anarchy).  But the cheap shipping is a legitimate frustration to any American competition.  I guess we’ll see what happens in October, but Amazon may have some adjustments to make.    If so, that could affect the trade war if the Walmart shoppers don’t riot first.   If enforcement is possible.   If anything actually happens tomorrow.   

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Should we allow tariff-free imports from countries where 

people labor at the point of a gun ? 

(And in not a few of them, the US even supplies the guns!!) 

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What will the Waltons and other oligarchs have to say about the tariffs? This will certainly make them happy, right?

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8 hours ago, AJ Oliver said:

Should we allow tariff-free imports from countries where 

people labor at the point of a gun ? 

(And in not a few of them, the US even supplies the guns!!) 

An interesting question.

More broadly, at what point is a government so despicable that we can't do business with them?

After all, even with a punitively high tariff, the message sent is: they're OK so long as our government gets enough in taxes.

If they're not OK, they're not OK even if our government gets enough in taxes, at least to me.

So what would be that bad? I guess if the leader is a moron who sends drones around the world to kill people and then declare them bad, that might be a reason. That slope looks slick!

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On 3/5/2018 at 2:59 AM, cmilliken said:

Tariffs aren't a very good idea but like war, every now and then people need to be reminded why they generally suck.

Slug is broadly correct that American been far more accommodating than our partners in general.  That being said, WHY we were so accommodating is because, frankly, we could afford it.  We were powerful, had a huge engine of growth, were cranking out goods and services that were in high demand everywhere.

What we got in return was the tacit acknowledgement that our debt - the 10 year T-Bill - was the single most important piece of collateral on the planet.  More valuable that even land since it couldn't be seized and could be traded freely, even with our enemies.  When the shit hit the fan, the T-Bill was the final bulwark against economic collapse.  And it has held - 2008 proved that.  When everything else was suspect, we stepped in and said 'we got this' and cranked out 4 TRILLION dollars in debt and swapped it for shit paper all around the world - enough collateral to drive off even the most determined vultures - and the world nodded and said 'that'll do pig, that'll do'.

The return to tariffs is a admission of weakness.  Its an admission that our products aren't that much better than the competition, if at all - but people knew that.  The return to tarrifs is an admission that our brand isn't that much better either.  That's new.  ts a sign that the most powerful economic engine of the 20th century is running out of gas and we're struggling to agree on where to pull over and refill.

I get your point, but I’m troubled by your sentence “the return to tarrifs is an admission our brand isn’t that much better either.”  Consider who’s running our brand now, how he created his, who he’s in bed with, what their brand is, and how they created it.

I was thinking about Lincoln the other day, and it occurred to me he described branding pretty accurately when he said “you can fool some of the people all the time, all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”  So what happens when all of the people get tired of being fooled?  Happily root around in the wreckage asserting that all brands are a fiction, and there is no reality, only points of view?

 

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All I can say is this is going to fuck with my sail budget in a very real way.

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6 minutes ago, Raz'r said:

All I can say is this is going to fuck with my sail budget in a very real way.

Wyliecats are looking better and better?

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2 minutes ago, Amati said:

Wyliecats are looking better and better?

Wyliecats always look great!

 

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29 minutes ago, Raz'r said:

All I can say is this is going to fuck with my sail budget in a very real way.

I bought  last year ;)

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7 minutes ago, dacapo said:

I bought  last year ;)

bastard!

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28 minutes ago, Raz'r said:

Wyliecats always look great!

 

Imagine a 36’ version of Ocean Planet, no Jib......

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9 minutes ago, dacapo said:

I bought  last year ;)

Me too.

The market today is pretty ugly. Thanks, Trump.

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1 minute ago, Raz'r said:

bastard!

Me too!  Local Sailmaker.

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Just now, Amati said:

Me too!  Local Sailmaker.

Here's how tariffs really work. I want to go local. The local price just went up.  I will have to go with an import to stay within the budget I have.

 

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20 minutes ago, Raz'r said:

Here's how tariffs really work. I want to go local. The local price just went up.  I will have to go with an import to stay within the budget I have.

 

What Sailcloths and laminate materials are made where?  I’ve been looking, and it’s not easy to find.

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2 minutes ago, Amati said:

What Sailcloths and laminate materials are made where?  I’ve been looking, and it’s not easy to find.

That I do not know. I tried for a minute but figured it didn't really matter.

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Here's why "who is the pres" really matters.

One little hissy fit, and the markets lose 5% of their value in a week.

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28 minutes ago, Rat's ass said:

No, that's not actually how "tariffs really work" dipshit..<_<

In fact had your previous statement read - "I want to go import. If the import price just went up (as a result of tariffs) . I will have to go local to stay within the budget I have" it would have been a better explanation of "how tariffs really work". 

Wrong!

Guess who's price went up? BOTH!

I had a $10k budget. 

the import was $7500, the domestic were $10k, so, I was going to buy domestic.

The DOMESTIC is going up, estimate is 15%. Maybe that's due to the fabric, maybe its because the domestic guy knows he can charge a premium over the import.

So - to stay in my budget, I now HAVE to go import, which will go up more, but still be under budget.

Thanks Trump! (and Trumptards incredibly ignorant understanding of economics)

 

Now, this is just 1 sail, so who gives a shit, right?

Listen to the interview of a furniture retailer in Indiana, this morning's NPR.

His customers? less to spend whether they were in manufacturing, or farming. His product, now costs more whether imported or domestic. 

Net net?A 90 year old business in trouble.

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13 minutes ago, Raz'r said:

That I do not know. I tried for a minute but figured it didn't really matter.

In a way it does- a small example- back when we were trying to save the planet by running 100% biodiesel in our cars, during a big spike in oil prices, there was a commensurate (bigger, even) spike in our biodiesel price, even though it was locally sourced-  their transport trucks were running on biodiesel!  When I asked our BD stations why, they blabbered something vague about market forces and costs.  We immediately sold our VWs.

edit- you beat me to it! B)

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1 hour ago, Rat's ass said:

No, that's not actually how "tariffs really work" dipshit..<_<

In fact had your previous statement read - "I want to go import. If the import price just went up (as a result of tariffs) . I will have to go local to stay within the budget I have" it would have been a better explanation of "how tariffs really work". 

As a retailer, we increased the prices of all products affected by the tariffs.  As I said in an earlier thread, we did a $5.00 price increase due to the tariff on the 3/4 ratchet that has been on the shelf for 5 years.  At least it will help cover the carrying cost of it.

I've forgotten most accounting, is that LIFO or FIFO?

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3 hours ago, Rat's ass said:

No, that's not actually how "tariffs really work" dipshit..<_<

In fact had your previous statement read - "I want to go import. If the import price just went up (as a result of tariffs) . I will have to go local to stay within the budget I have" it would have been a better explanation of "how tariffs really work". 

Inexplicably, the washer and dryer I just bought both went up. The tariff was on the washer.

Here:

Quote

Tariffs are used to restrict imports hose consumers by increasing the price of goods and services purchased from overseas and making them less attractive to consumers. ... Governments may impose tariffs to raise revenue or to protect domestic crony industries, foreign or domestic.

 

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57 minutes ago, Importunate Tom said:

Inexplicably, the washer and dryer I just bought both went up. The tariff was on the washer.

 

Rat's Ass won't get it. "The Chinese are paying!"

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Even Foxy aren't buying it.

8:00 a.m.

President Donald Trump says trade talks between China and the U.S. are continuing in a “very congenial manner” despite new tariffs the U.S. imposed Friday on $200 billion in Chinese imports.

Trump tweeted Friday that the increased tariffs will bring in “FAR MORE wealth” to the United States, although a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Columbia and Princeton universities says the burden of Trump’s tariffs falls on U.S. consumers and businesses that buy imports.

The study says the tariff money pads the federal treasury, but it’s mostly — if not entirely — coming from U.S. businesses and consumers, not China.

Addressing concerns about the effect of the tariffs on farmers, Vice President Mike Pence told Minnesota farmers this week that the administration is going to “look for ways” to help farmers affected by the trade dispute.

Trump suggested on Twitter Friday that the government could use money from the additional tariffs to buy more U.S. farm goods for shipment to “poor & starving” countries.

https://fox28spokane.com/the-latest-trump-tweets-that-more-china-tariffs-on-the-way/

U.S. businesses say the tariffs have added billions in costs and driven up prices on everything from luggage to vehicle parts and television antennas.

Now, as the White House prepares to amplify the duties as a route to damage the Chinese economy, opponents are intensifying their efforts to counter what they say is a misguided attempt by the administration to portray the tariffs as anything but a tax on American consumers.

“We’re paying that tariff. I want there to be no mistake that the consumer is paying for these tariffs. I wish China was paying them. I certainly would feel better about it that way,” Brent Bible, a soybean farmer in Lafayette, Indiana, said on Thursday on a call arranged by advocacy groups Tariffs Hurt the Heartland and the National Retail Federation.

https://www.foxbusiness.com/economy/trump-tariffs-small-business-plea

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Karl Marx: Smarter than Trump, Bernie, or Rat's ass on trade
 

Quote

 

Donald Trump is an avowed enemy of free trade. "We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs," Trump declared in his 2017 inaugural address. "Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength."

Most economists disagree with that assessment. As they will tell you, free (or even just freer) trade benefits all parties involved. Protectionism, by contrast, hurts consumers and businesses alike.

Unfortunately, Trump is not alone in his economic ignorance. Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) also dislikes free trade, denouncing it as "part of a global race to the bottom to boost the profits of large corporations."

Perhaps Trump and Sanders should each spend a little time studying Karl Marx. Yes, that Karl Marx. Although the fact is often forgotten today, Marx had a number of positive things to say about what we now call globalization. As the left-wing economist Meghnad Desai documented in his enlightening 2002 book Marx's Revenge: The Resurgence of Capitalism and the Death of Statist Socialism, Marx "was a champion of free trade, and no friend of tariff barriers."

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Shootist Jeff said:

I would have absolutely no issues paying a few $$ more for a screwdriver at Walmart or a head of lettuce at the grocery store.  Maybe its time we went back to paying a little bit more for what we buy and have more high paying jobs come back to the US.  Personally, I do not have any fucks to give some poor Bangladeshi slaving 15 hrs/day in a Nike sweat shop and improving their quality of life.  My higher concern is to America and the quality of life of some poor blue collar worker in S.C. trying to feed her family and hoping to send her kids to college.  

No problem. Just explain to her that she should have no problem shelling out more money for screwdrivers and lettuce. Poor people are loaded with money and will view it the same way people with money to blow on sailboats do.

 

8 minutes ago, Shootist Jeff said:

If some form of short term protectionism gets us there, then so be it.

We're going to get rid of those short term sugar tariffs any day now.

Or not. They started in 1789.

How short is short, anyway?

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1 minute ago, Shootist Jeff said:
9 minutes ago, Importunate Tom said:

No problem. Just explain to her that she should have no problem shelling out more money for screwdrivers and lettuce. Poor people are loaded with money and will view it the same way people with money to blow on sailboats do.

If she has a decent paying job, then a couple of more $$ for lettuce and toolz should be no problem.

Yeah, that's what I said. But I was being sarcastic.

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1 hour ago, Shootist Jeff said:

If she has a decent paying job, then a couple of more $$ for lettuce and toolz should be no problem.  Pre-NAFTA, I don’t recall buying a head of lettuce or a tool at Kmart being an onerous burden on most people.  I used to work as a stock boy in both Kmart and Publix while during summer break in HS, and I don’t remember even the lower middle class bitching about the price of produce or made in the USA toolz.  

Is there really a debate about the economic "benefits" of tariffs?  Even Keynes wouldn't support them.  You are trying to "protect" a small amount of jobs at the expense of a large amount of consumers which ends up hurting both.  If consumers were benefiting by the trade, more, even better jobs would be created.

Do you feel like you need to make your own automobile?

Your view, however, is very popular.  I hear very educated CEOs trying to make the same case.  There is no case.  You would have trouble finding a single economist that agrees with you.  I looked once, and I could not.

Trump happens to be riding a pretty nice economic wave, so people believe in all sorts of correlations that have dubious economic grounding.

The big moron here is China.  China is even more stupid than Trump.  China has a long term game plan of regional and global domination.  All it has to do is lower its tariffs to zero and quit causing trouble in the South China sea.  It just needs to shut the fuck up for about 20 more years, and let its economic engine get going.  All of its people that it once thought to be a burden will be its greatest resource.  

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I've been interested in seeing how the media covers the tariffs.  Lately, the narrative has become "it's a regressive tax on American consumers".  I find that curious because increases in sales taxes aren't called 'regressive taxes on American consumers'.  VAT taxes also aren't usually framed as 'regressive taxes on consumers' either.  

If Trump completes this current round of hikes, we'll be up to 25% tariff on approximately 600 billion dollars of goods and services - for a net revenue increase of $125+ Billion dollars - and it didn't take even one vote in congress.

I find the timing of that in coincidence with 1-2 trillion dollar of infrastructure spending that Pelosi and Trump have been discussing and the saber rattling of the freedom caucus about being fiscally responsible to be curious.  So.. net effect?  A 100 billion dollar / year revenue stream used to pay for an infrastructure plan funded by tariffs on Chinese goods ans services to 'rebuild American infrastructure' without any congress-critters having to vote 'yes' on a single tax increase.

I'm smelling collusion - and it doesn't involve a single Russian.  

Go figure.

 

 

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1 minute ago, cmilliken said:

I've been interested in seeing how the media covers the tariffs.  Lately, the narrative has become "it's a regressive tax on American consumers".  I find that curious because increases in sales taxes aren't called 'regressive taxes on American consumers'.  VAT taxes also aren't usually framed as 'regressive taxes on consumers' either.  

If Trump completes this current round of hikes, we'll be up to 25% tariff on approximately 600 billion dollars of goods and services - for a net revenue increase of $125+ Billion dollars - and it didn't take even one vote in congress.

I find the timing of that in coincidence with 1-2 trillion dollar of infrastructure spending that Pelosi and Trump have been discussing and the saber rattling of the freedom caucus about being fiscally responsible.  So.. net effect?  A 100 billion dollar / year revenue stream used to pay for an infrastructure plan funded by tariffs on Chinese goods ans services to 'rebuild American infrastructure' without any congress-critters having to vote 'yes' on a single tax increase.

I'm smelling collusion - and it doesn't involve a single Russian.  

Go figure.

 

 

Don't forget who is funding that revenue stream.  Poor people tend to be the larger consumer of Chinese products.  Rich people can afford to buy American and feel good about themselves.  

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2 hours ago, cmilliken said:

I've been interested in seeing how the media covers the tariffs.  Lately, the narrative has become "it's a regressive tax on American consumers".  I find that curious because increases in sales taxes aren't called 'regressive taxes on American consumers'.  VAT taxes also aren't usually framed as 'regressive taxes on consumers' either.  

If Trump completes this current round of hikes, we'll be up to 25% tariff on approximately 600 billion dollars of goods and services - for a net revenue increase of $125+ Billion dollars - and it didn't take even one vote in congress.

I find the timing of that in coincidence with 1-2 trillion dollar of infrastructure spending that Pelosi and Trump have been discussing and the saber rattling of the freedom caucus about being fiscally responsible to be curious.  So.. net effect?  A 100 billion dollar / year revenue stream used to pay for an infrastructure plan funded by tariffs on Chinese goods ans services to 'rebuild American infrastructure' without any congress-critters having to vote 'yes' on a single tax increase.

I'm smelling collusion - and it doesn't involve a single Russian.  

Go figure.

 

 

Around here sales and services tax is being pushed by conservatives to replace or minimize state income tax, because it is a regressive tax on consumers.    A local Republican booster and small martial arts school was confident they would somehow be exempt and not have to create a portal to pay quarterly taxes or charge their lower income students more.   They were confident I was wrong, a misguided wrong thinking but generally well meaning liberal, when I suggested that’s what would happen if I signed their petition,  Meanwhile people such as myself who don’t spend every penny earned, would benefit,

I don’t smell collusion because both sides follow the money,   (Ironic statement I realize)  our current disruptive and half hazard policy making chooses winners and losers randomly and transiently.    That is not what the money wants.    The money is as international as the billionaires that own it.   It has investments with five year payoff times.   

As usual, I’m a centrist.    I’m well aware of the problems and failures of exploitive globalism such as the Clintons championed and China benefits from,    I also oppose closed minded nationalism the Republican power structure currently favors to the horror of the donor class,   In this case a LITTLE disruption is a good thing,    Trump is a child breaking his toys, smashing the good as well as the broken with equal abandon,   

 

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2 hours ago, cmilliken said:

I've been interested in seeing how the media covers the tariffs.  Lately, the narrative has become "it's a regressive tax on American consumers".  I find that curious because increases in sales taxes aren't called 'regressive taxes on American consumers'.  VAT taxes also aren't usually framed as 'regressive taxes on consumers' either.  

If Trump completes this current round of hikes, we'll be up to 25% tariff on approximately 600 billion dollars of goods and services - for a net revenue increase of $125+ Billion dollars - and it didn't take even one vote in congress.

I find the timing of that in coincidence with 1-2 trillion dollar of infrastructure spending that Pelosi and Trump have been discussing and the saber rattling of the freedom caucus about being fiscally responsible to be curious.  So.. net effect?  A 100 billion dollar / year revenue stream used to pay for an infrastructure plan funded by tariffs on Chinese goods ans services to 'rebuild American infrastructure' without any congress-critters having to vote 'yes' on a single tax increase.

I'm smelling collusion - and it doesn't involve a single Russian.  

Go figure.

 

 

And they can't do math. First of all, the revenue gained is going to be a loss in other categories. And it's a tiny fraction of the expense.

$125 Billion / $1~2 Trillion does not equal a balanced budget.

If it really is deliberate, it's a slightly more clever plan than we've ever seen before from President Carpet Swatches. But it's still retarded.

-DSK

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7 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

And they can't do math. First of all, the revenue gained is going to be a loss in other categories. And it's a tiny fraction of the expense.

$125 Billion / $1~2 Trillion does not equal a balanced budget.

If it really is deliberate, it's a slightly more clever plan than we've ever seen before from President Carpet Swatches. But it's still retarded.

-DSK

Congress speaks in 10 year projections, not single year appropriations.

The 1-2 trillion is over 10 years or, in other words, 125 billion / year for 10 years  ~ 1 to 2 trillion dollars.  Just seems awfully convenient :)

 

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1 minute ago, cmilliken said:

Congress speaks in 10 year projections, not single year appropriations.

The 1-2 trillion is over 10 years or, in other words, 125 billion / year for 10 years  ~ 1 to 2 trillion dollars.

 

It's still crap math. Yes 125 billion * 10 = 1.25 trill, but is it reasonably projected to stay at that level? Anybody with  the brains of a doorknob will expect it to drop pretty steeply.

And, 3/4 trillion dollars is a lot. Even by Trump standards!

-DSK

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3 hours ago, cmilliken said:

I've been interested in seeing how the media covers the tariffs.  Lately, the narrative has become "it's a regressive tax on American consumers".  I find that curious because increases in sales taxes aren't called 'regressive taxes on American consumers'.  VAT taxes also aren't usually framed as 'regressive taxes on consumers' either.  

If Trump completes this current round of hikes, we'll be up to 25% tariff on approximately 600 billion dollars of goods and services - for a net revenue increase of $125+ Billion dollars - and it didn't take even one vote in congress.

I find the timing of that in coincidence with 1-2 trillion dollar of infrastructure spending that Pelosi and Trump have been discussing and the saber rattling of the freedom caucus about being fiscally responsible to be curious.  So.. net effect?  A 100 billion dollar / year revenue stream used to pay for an infrastructure plan funded by tariffs on Chinese goods ans services to 'rebuild American infrastructure' without any congress-critters having to vote 'yes' on a single tax increase.

I'm smelling collusion - and it doesn't involve a single Russian.  

Go figure.

 

 

Hmm, don’t know about where you live but sales taxes here are always fought with the regressive argument.

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2 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

It's still crap math. Yes 125 billion * 10 = 1.25 trill, but is it reasonably projected to stay at that level? Anybody with  the brains of a doorknob will expect it to drop pretty steeply.

And, 3/4 trillion dollars is a lot. Even by Trump standards!

-DSK

We'll see.

It's a bit tin foil I admit but I find that the congressional critters have ways to spend money and avoid voting on raising taxes and this just seems awfully handy - We didn't do it - it was Orange man!  No different than how the vast number of Republicans hid behind Obama on health care.

The Chinese are absolutely against putting any sort of punishment for violating the IP agreements in writing.  They see that as a violation of trust between 'equal partners'.  One way around that is to START with the punishments in place and back them off for good behavior, rather than ratchet them up for bad.  Similar impact over time since the Chinese really can't stop all of the abuses - they know that - but it allows them to save face and keep their own protections against soybeans in place to suck-up to their farmers.

And, on the domestic side, it creates a new revenue stream that congressmen can all 'run against' because everyone hates tariffs!  Yea, until they're in office and then the story will be 'we need these to keep the Chinese honest and LOOK AT ALL THAT INFRASTRUCTURE!"

I think we're being played :)

 

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23 minutes ago, Shootist Jeff said:

Interesting theory, CM.  If you’re right, is it really a bad thing?  Punishing the Chinese for being total cunts to us on trade AND getting infrastructure done finally, knowing that otherwise the partisan fights over taxes would never result in the first bridge being built after the gridlock that wold ensue....  Sounds like a win win to me.  

Is it bad if the end results are good?  

 Its probably a net good thing.  Lies are the lubrication for society after all and this situation needs some serious lube.

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7 hours ago, Shootist Jeff said:

I have no desire to go back and read 350 posts in this thread.  So sue me if this has already been covered.  But...... while I’m against tariffs and protectionism in general and mostly believe in a free market economy - I think we are at a crossroads in time where some targeted protectionism to a degree is required.  Let me explain.

I think the Jhynese have been raping us and taking advantage of us for far too long and the normal methods of attempting to stop them have failed.  It’s been entirely a one-sided affair and the Chinese have been on the winning side of this game for too long while the US has seriously declined as a result.  There is nothing “fair” or “free” about trade with Jhyna.  So if tariffs in the short term change the dynamic, then I’m all for it.  Yes it will hurt in the short term, but I think the long term gain is worth it to balance out the trade dynamics and get it more to an equal footing.  

If nothing else, the last 30 years of free trade and globalism has hopefully highlighted the fact that “free trade” is anything but. There are serious unintended consequences of it that we didn’t adequately plan for, despite the warnings back when NAFTA went into place.  Ross’s predictions of that “giant sucking sound” of jobs leaving the US absolutely came true.  What good is it for American consumers to be able to buy cheap Jyhnese widgets if they don’t have a job with enough of an income to buy them and still feed their family, meanwhile being addicted to Oxy, Fentanyl or Heroin???  

I would have absolutely no issues paying a few $$ more for a screwdriver at Walmart or a head of lettuce at the grocery store.  Maybe its time we went back to paying a little bit more for what we buy and have more high paying jobs come back to the US.  Personally, I do not have any fucks to give some poor Bangladeshi slaving 15 hrs/day in a Nike sweat shop and improving their quality of life.  My higher concern is to America and the quality of life of some poor blue collar worker in S.C. trying to feed her family and hoping to send her kids to college.  

If some form of short term protectionism gets us there, then so be it.  We have just been taken advantage of for far too long, with the majority of the benefits going to our trading “partners” with little being realized for us.  

My Main criticism of Cheeto and his tariffs strategery is that he is using a blunt instrument when he should be using a scalpel.  Also Imposing tariffs on our allies was just stupid, especially when they all offered to help us with our plan to push back on china.  

Giant sucking sound of jobs and 3.6% unemployment are mutually exclusive

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Trump sold the trade war and tariffs as zero pain - "easy to win" "China's paying for it". If it's the deathly necessary conflict that's being touted it'll take sacrifice and pain to win. Job losses and an economic downturn, assuredly. I don't think the public has the stomache to win, especially when the rise in prices is really easy to see.

Yes Trump identified a problem, China's longterm unfair trade practices. He set to right it by isolating the US, angering potential allies in the fight, lying to the public about how easy it would to be to win, using rhetoric that plays directly into China's strength internally and externally and Trump himself so far hasn't shown the slightest stomach for sacrifice.

I think we might be fucked.

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9 minutes ago, Mismoyled Jiblet. said:

Trump sold the trade war and tariffs as zero pain - "easy to win" "China's paying for it". If it's the deathly necessary conflict that's being touted it'll take sacrifice and pain to win. Job losses and an economic downturn, assuredly. I don't think the public has the stomache to win, especially when the rise in prices is really easy to see.

Yes Trump identified a problem, China's longterm unfair trade practices. He set to right it by isolating the US, angering potential allies in the fight, lying to the public about how easy it would to be to win, using rhetoric that plays directly into China's strength internally and externally and Trump himself so far hasn't shown the slightest stomach for sacrifice.

I think we might be fucked.

We’ll be welcomed as liberators. Weeks not months. 

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Tariffs are a drag on the economy and the US consumer is paying for it. 

When you are at the top of the economic cycle and doing stupid inflationary things like giving out tax breaks, a little drag on the economy has the effect of probably prolonging the up cycle. 

This is the great irony of the Cheeto in Chief. 

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6 hours ago, cmilliken said:

 Its probably a net good thing.  Lies are the lubrication for society after all and this situation needs some serious lube.

Tariffs are never a net good thing.  This has already been hashed out for a couple of hundred years.  No one that knows what they are talking about thinks tariffs are a good idea - ever.  

It is a tax on American consumers.  And probable those on the middle class to poor side.  Rich people don't shop at walmart.  But they do buy HH Catamarans.  Made in Xiamen. 

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"Why tariff war threatens Beijing’s global economic ambitions"

https://www.apnews.com/260e2e441d3d49118e98ef367afd0f15

"BEIJING (AP) — China’s intensified tariff war with the Trump administration is threatening Beijing’s ambition to transform itself into the dominant player in global technology.

The United States is a vital customer and source of technology for Chinese makers of electronics, medical equipment and other high-tech exports — industries that the ruling Communist Party sees as the heart of its economic future.

Yet to the Trump administration, they’re a threat to America’s industrial leadership.

Beijing managed to keep Chinese economic growth steady in the most recent quarter despite a drop in exports to the United States. It did so by boosting government spending and bank lending. But China’s technology exporters suffered huge sales drops of up to 40 percent, which ate into profits that pay for technology research.

 

The tariff war is compounding the pain felt by many Chinese companies. They are already enduring stiffened resistance in the United States and Europe to Chinese acquisitions of technology through joint ventures with foreign companies or, with financing by state-run banks, outright purchases.

China might now have to take the “tougher route” of developing more of its own technology, with less access to foreign partners and know-how, said Rajiv Biswas, chief Asia economist for IHS Markit.

“It may be a slower path,” Biswas said.

The government and companies are pouring billions of dollars into research. Huawei, the telecom equipment giant and China’s first global tech brand, spent $15 billion last year — more than Apple Inc."

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4 hours ago, Sol Rosenberg said:

We’ll be welcomed as liberators. Weeks not months. 

The Chinese are far better at trolling than the Iraqis were. One of the sticking points was the Chinese wanted to release only a summary of the agreement, not all of the details ;)

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3 hours ago, jzk said:

Tariffs are never a net good thing.  This has already been hashed out for a couple of hundred years.  No one that knows what they are talking about thinks tariffs are a good idea - ever.  

It is a tax on American consumers.  And probable those on the middle class to poor side.  Rich people don't shop at walmart.  But they do buy HH Catamarans.  Made in Xiamen. 

But the purpose of tariffs is to help American manufacturers so US catamaran producers would ... well, actually.

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1 hour ago, Zonker said:

Actually China's One Child policy is coming to bite them. Their population is rapidly aging

https://www.populationpyramid.net/canada/2019/

Interesting data and presentation !!  Thanks !!  Though I disagree about China 

Reason being . . . check out India. Is that sustainable? (no) 

I think I'll move to Uruguay !! 

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18 hours ago, Raz'r said:
22 hours ago, cmilliken said:

I've been interested in seeing how the media covers the tariffs.  Lately, the narrative has become "it's a regressive tax on American consumers".  I find that curious because increases in sales taxes aren't called 'regressive taxes on American consumers'.  VAT taxes also aren't usually framed as 'regressive taxes on consumers' either.  

If Trump completes this current round of hikes, we'll be up to 25% tariff on approximately 600 billion dollars of goods and services - for a net revenue increase of $125+ Billion dollars - and it didn't take even one vote in congress.

I find the timing of that in coincidence with 1-2 trillion dollar of infrastructure spending that Pelosi and Trump have been discussing and the saber rattling of the freedom caucus about being fiscally responsible to be curious.  So.. net effect?  A 100 billion dollar / year revenue stream used to pay for an infrastructure plan funded by tariffs on Chinese goods ans services to 'rebuild American infrastructure' without any congress-critters having to vote 'yes' on a single tax increase.

I'm smelling collusion - and it doesn't involve a single Russian.  

Go figure.

 

 

Hmm, don’t know about where you live but sales taxes here are always fought with the regressive argument.

Tariffs used to be more immune to that criticism because there was lots of Union $peech supporting them.

As always, representing a few who might be helped at the expense of the rest of us.

2 hours ago, Shootist Jeff said:

Until you realize that a larger chunk of the remaining 96.4% is low paid, entry level service sector jobs rather than the solid middle class blue collar manufacturing jobs that got sucked out.  

Raising taxes on people who used to have those jobs isn't helpful.

Doubling Down On Stupid
 

Quote

 

Clearly, the trade war that was supposed to be "good and easy to win" has now entered a more dangerous and destructive phase. After nearly a year of trying to use tariffs to force China to negotiate a trade deal without success, the president seems to believe the only solution is more tariffs.

Time will tell if he's right about how China will respond. But in the meantime, those new tariffs can do serious damage to the American economy. More than 2.1 million American jobs could be lost and the average family of four will face about $2,200 in higher annual costs, according to a study from The Trade Partnership.

"We want to see meaningful changes in China's trade practices, but it makes no sense to punish Americans as a negotiating tactic," said David French, a vice president at the National Retail Foundation, in a statement. "If the administration wants to put more pressure on China, it should form a multinational coalition with our allies who share our concerns."

That was one of the biggest missed opportunities of the Trump administration's trade policy. If you're looking for the moment that brought America to this latest escalation of the trade war, you have to look back before the Sunday morning Trump tweets that rattled markets and set off a week of uncertainty. Before the Chinese reportedly reneged on key details of the nascent trade deal. Before the start of the trade war last summer. Before the threats of tariffs on steel and aluminum and washing machines and the rest. Even before Trump was president.

You have to go all the way back to April 2015, two months before Trump declared his candidacy. That was when the future president first lashed out, on Twitter of course, at the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a multilateral trade agreement the Obama administration was negotiating with about a dozen other countries. China was not part of the TPP. The proposed pact was seen as a way to counterbalance China's growing influence over the region.

"If confronting China and getting it to do a better job of abiding by the international trade rules is the objective, we blew the two best opportunities to make that happen," says Dan Ikenson, director of the Center for Trade Studies at the Cato Institute. The United States should have not have withdrawn from the TPP, argues Ikenson. Failing that, Americans should have confronted China through the World Trade Organization, bringing complaints that could have been backed by the European Union, Japan, Korea, and others.

"There is power in numbers in these circumstances, but the Trump administration has insisted on going it alone," Ikenson tells Reason. "Inevitably, we Americans will bear the costs of those calamitous decisions."

...

If the United States had pursued a different strategy from the outset of the Trump administration, it might now be in a position to counter China's hardball tactics with alternatives that don't include higher taxes on American businesses and consumers. As it stands, the options are limited—and Trump does not seem ready to walk away.

"Economic sanctions rarely work to compel governments to do things they don't want to do," says Ikenson. "Trying to force a large country with a large, diversified economy and an historical chip on its shoulder to behave as we wish by levying massive tariffs unilaterally—imposing higher costs on ourselves—is a fool's errand."

As for the decision to bail on the TPP, it may be a little unfair to lay that entirely at Trump's feet. Give the voters a share too. Trump was the loudest anti-TPP voice in the 2016 Republican primaries, and his success—along with the impact of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.), another anti-TPP protectionist—in running against the trade deal was enough to convince Hillary Clinton to turn against the TPP during the 2016 campaign.

Shrewd politics can lay the groundwork for bad policy. Whether following his own instincts or following the will of the people, Trump yanked the U.S. out of the TPP negotiations shortly after taking office. It's a decision that looks especially myopic in retrospect—one that effectively sidelined useful allies and made the future trade war a one-on-one fight.

But it was a myopia tinged with ignorance. After all, Trump seemingly believed he was striking a blow against China. During one Republican primary debate, in December 2015, Trump went on an extended rant about how the TPP would benefit China. Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) then leaned in to remind his rival candidate that China wasn't actually part of the proposed pact.

Trump is a master of creating his own political reality. But the real reality is coming back to bite him—and the rest of us.

 

With apologies for more of my usual Koch-$pon$ored Trump cheerleading, of course.

 

 

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9 hours ago, Bristol-Cruiser said:

But the purpose of tariffs is to help American manufacturers so US catamaran producers would ... well, actually.

Help is being given to a few inefficient manufacturers at the expense of a great many consumers.  No economists think tariffs are a good idea.  

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4 minutes ago, jzk said:

Help is being given to a few inefficient manufacturers at the expense of a great many consumers.  No economists think tariffs are a good idea.  

Except for Trump who has an Economics degree from an Ivy League university.

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Just now, Bristol-Cruiser said:

Except for Trump who has an Economics degree from an Ivy League university.

If you want to cite Trump as your economist in support of tariffs, it would seem to hurt your case even more.  I wonder if Trump really believes in the economic theory, or does he just realize that tariffs are good politically?

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8 hours ago, Zonker said:

Actually China's One Child policy is coming to bite them. Their population is rapidly aging

https://www.populationpyramid.net/canada/2019/

 

This is a very interesting development to watch in many ways. They have already increased retirement age, it used to be 50 for women and 55 for men, although rising cost of living had already made these early retirements problematic. While they face potential labour shortages they are working to overcome them by: a) outsourcing labour-intensive, low level manufacturing; b) being in a position to benefit from automation in manufacturing and services; and c) potentially luring back many people from the world Chinese diaspora. The latter range from low level workers, e.g. the people you see working in Chinese supermarkets and restaurants around the world to high level workers in IT and the like.

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4 minutes ago, jzk said:

If you want to cite Trump as your economist in support of tariffs, it would seem to hurt your case even more.  I wonder if Trump really believes in the economic theory, or does he just realize that tariffs are good politically?

I am hardly a Trump supporter, he is a moron, or supporter of tariffs. A substantial number of your citizens think he is a knowledgeable economist. Talk to them.

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2 minutes ago, Bristol-Cruiser said:

I am hardly a Trump supporter, he is a moron, or supporter of tariffs. A substantial number of your citizens think he is a knowledgeable economist. Talk to them.

Trump is no economist, but he is hardly a moron.  In fact, there is a case to be made that he is quite savvy.  He, after all, made it this far.  Tariffs are always bad, but the morons in the world think they are good and that Trump is fighting for them.  I hear the trade deficit is even higher than it was. (As if this were a bad thing anyway).  But people still think that Trump is fighting for them.

 

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11 minutes ago, jzk said:

Trump is no economist, but he is hardly a moron.  In fact, there is a case to be made that he is quite savvy.  He, after all, made it this far.  Tariffs are always bad, but the morons in the world think they are good and that Trump is fighting for them.  I hear the trade deficit is even higher than it was. (As if this were a bad thing anyway).  But people still think that Trump is fighting for them.

President Trump is "savvy" like others who operate tap-dancing on the line between legal/illegals and ethical/unethical. 

I believe he has no qualms about crossing that line when it suits him.

That is hardly the type of behavior we should tolerate from the POTUS.

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1 minute ago, Bus Driver said:

President Trump is "savvy" like others who operate tap-dancing on the line between legal/illegals and ethical/unethical. 

I believe he has no qualms about crossing that line when it suits him.

That is hardly the type of behavior we should tolerate from the POTUS.

I get that you are obsessed.  Both you and I wish that Trump were not president and certainly wish someone else would win in 2020.  But I am a realist, and you are obsessed.  For the obsessed, it is hard to think clearly.  

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6 minutes ago, jzk said:
9 minutes ago, Bus Driver said:

President Trump is "savvy" like others who operate tap-dancing on the line between legal/illegals and ethical/unethical. 

I believe he has no qualms about crossing that line when it suits him.

That is hardly the type of behavior we should tolerate from the POTUS.

I get that you are obsessed.  Both you and I wish that Trump were not president and certainly wish someone else would win in 2020.  But I am a realist, and you are obsessed.  For the obsessed, it is hard to think clearly.  

Is there something in my post with which you disagree?

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Just now, Bus Driver said:

Is there something in my post with which you disagree?

Yes, of course.  I am not obsessed with Trump.  I thought I already said that.  

Further, he is savvy in that he knows how to win.  He won the Republican primary.  Then he won the election.  

Impressive, right?

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1 minute ago, jzk said:
3 minutes ago, Bus Driver said:

Is there something in my post with which you disagree?

Yes, of course.  I am not obsessed with Trump.  I thought I already said that.  

Further, he is savvy in that he knows how to win.  He won the Republican primary.  Then he won the election.  

Impressive, right?

You don't disagree with what I wrote.  It's just that it was written by me - an "obsessed" person, right?

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2 minutes ago, Bus Driver said:

You don't disagree with what I wrote.  It's just that it was written by me - an "obsessed" person, right?

Yes.  I am talking about tariffs, and you bring up illegals.  Obsessed.  

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3 minutes ago, Bus Driver said:

You don't disagree with what I wrote.  It's just that it was written by me - an "obsessed" person, right?

What is Trump doing that is unethical and illegal?

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