Free Trade

'Tariffs Are the Greatest,' Trump Proclaims, as White House Begins Subsidizing Farmers Harmed by Tariffs

Tariffs are so great that we have to create new government programs to compensate the victims of tariffs.

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President Donald Trump's proclamation that trade wars are "good and easy to win" now has competition for the honor of being the most ridiculous thing America's protectionist-in-chief has said about his anti-trade policies. This morning he dropped this whopper:

The kicker to the tweet came a few hours later, when The Washington Post reported that the White House was preparing to spend $12 billion to subsidize farmers stung by tariffs. The funds will be available around Labor Day, according to the Post.

To sum up: Tariffs are so great that the federal government has to create new spending programs to compensate the tariffs' victims. If you think that doesn't make sense, you must not be sufficiently committed to making America great again.

More seriously, this is further proof that Trump's argument for trade barriers is completely unraveling. The White House has never made much of an effort to outline exactly how these tariffs would improve America's relationships with the affected trading partners, even as analysis after analysis suggests the policy would do exactly what it has done: hike prices and threaten jobs, with manufacturing and farming hardest hit.

As those consequences move from the theoretical to the practical, the White House has stubbornly refused to recognize the problem. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has said job losses triggered by tariff are mere "hiccups along the way." The way to what, exactly, remains unclear. While some members of Congress have tried to rally support for legislation that would limit Trump's ability to damage the economy with more tariffs, others, such as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.), have shrugged their shoulders and told Americans to get ready for a little pain before we win the trade war.

But dismissing the consequences of tariffs becomes more difficult—or at least requires a higher degree of cognitive dissonance—when you are simultaneously subsidizing people because they were hurt by the tariffs. How many mere hiccups require a $12 billion program to abate their effects?

It's wrong to view these subsidies solely as an economic program. They are probably better thought of as a public relations campaign. "White House officials hope it will quiet some of the unease from farm groups," the Post reports. Indeed, farmers (and Republican lawmakers from farming states) have been some of the loudest critics of Trump's trade polices. But throwing other peoples' money at interest groups to stop their complaining won't solve the fundamental problems created by Trump's trade war.

The price of soy beans, for example, has tumbled to a 10-year low as China puts a retaliatory tariff on American soy bean exports. Producers in other parts of the world have happily stepped into the opening created by the trade war. So China still gets its soy beans, while American farmers are left with an oversupply that can't find a market.

Trump's steel tariffs have driven up the cost of raw steel by 25 percent, leaving a slew of down-the-supply-chain businesses with higher overhead costs. Some have responded by canceling expansion plans, laying off workers, or threatening to move overseas. Some, including America's largest maker of steel nails, might go out of business entirely. Are you tired of winning yet?

The Trump administration's response to those troubles has been the same as its new policy of bailing out farmers: more government.

More than 1,200 businesses have filed over 20,000 requests for exemptions from the Trump administration's steel tariffs. The Commerce Department is sorting through them, one by one, deciding which companies get a special favor from the government and which have to deal with an unexpected new tax that might force layoffs or, worse, destroy entire businesses. Not only is the exemption process a bureaucratic nightmare, but it is ripe for cronyism. As CNN reported last month, large companies such as U.S. Steel are actively trying to block many exemption requests made by smaller business—because, of course, U.S. Steel is better able to absorb the added cost of tariffs than, say, a small metal fabrication business with 20 employees.

There's no reason to think that this newest White House program will be any different. The subsidies will flow to the farms that already have enough access to be first in line. The rest? Too bad.

Far from being "good and easy to win," the administration's determination to pursue protectionist economic policies requires ever more government intervention into the economy. More could be on the way. Ross has announced plans to investigate whether American businesses might be unfairly profiting off the White House's decision to slap tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

Trump seems to think tariffs will succeed through sheer force. His administration will keep trying to pull the right levers, enforce the right penalties, and hand out the right subsidies until it finds a mix of those policies that work. This trust in central planning, all in pursuit of a goal that remains completely unclear, is sheer madness.

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75 responses to “'Tariffs Are the Greatest,' Trump Proclaims, as White House Begins Subsidizing Farmers Harmed by Tariffs

  1. Can I perhaps get a tax refund for all the tariffs (taxes) I pay, under this program? Or is that only if I support Der DrumfenFurher?

    Would THAT Make America Great Again, if I could get these refunds?

    1. Bro, the squirrels squirreled me about a week back. Why’d your family and friends do me like that, you? I thought we were bros, bro.

      I thought we were bros!

      1. We’re still bros, but hos cum before bros!!! The hos have me all tied up, you see, so I have NO choice, other than to SQRLSYfy everyone in sight!

          1. King Arthur lived lived in a slutty time, so he had to deal with “sperm competition”, so yes, I can see that…

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H…..ompetition

            1. Or that. I don’t care that it’s just a wikipedia link, I don’t want to know what a “sperm competition” is.

    2. Hillary would not have caused a meat glut.

    3. My last pay check was $9500 working 12 hours a week online.
      My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 2o hours a week.
      I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do …..>> http://1kdaily.us

      1. Does your sister’s friend enjoy sexual congress with Michael Hihn?

  2. Congress could stop this at any moment

    1. So could an alien invasion.

      1. Thanks, Krugman.

    2. Checks and balances are so quaint.

    3. If this generation had a Randy Newman, we could marvel at a new golden age of songwriting

  3. I believe he misspelled “Grate.”

        1. Blessed are the cheesemakers?

          It has now become, “Blessed are the NON-American cheesemakers”!

  4. If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidize it.

    1. And that’s why we subsidize the cattle industry, kids!

      1. There was some cattle industry guy being interviewed yesterday about how tough it is now.
        The reporters sounded gleeful as they put their shocked faces at the standby, ready to bash Trump and tariffs.
        What do you export? Only the bits that people in the U.S. won’t eat … stuff like the hooves.
        So why is there a glut of hamburger? We have too many cows.
        So this is a supply and demand problem, not a tariff problem? Yep.
        You could feel all the fun draining away from the interviewers.

        1. How about cutting the price of beef at the supermarket? It’s as expensive as ever.

          1. Yes. If there really is a glut of cows suddenly, I truly wonder what’s keeping prices so damn high. That’s why I don’t eat beef, it’s often 5x more expensive than pork.

            1. I haven’t bought a steak in years – except when I’m traveling and expensing it…

            2. Steaks have been cheap recently around my neck of the woods. Like, six dollars for a steak at the supermarket.

              1. Still more expensive where I am, but even that price is 3x what pork costs near me. It’s usually around 2 bucks a lb.

            3. It’s the law of supply and demand as it works in the real world:

              Supply is up and demand is down, prices go up.

              Supply is down and demand is up, prices go up.

            4. If there really is a glut of cows suddenly, I truly wonder what’s keeping prices so damn high.

              Low interest rates. There is still some frozen storage available in storehouses. So it’s dirt cheap (read free basically) to store it to speculate on higher prices in future. Only when the storehouses are full – and there is no arbitrage opportunity – will that be released from inventory for consumption. And it’s also cheap to keep it on the hoof

  5. Trump may in fact turn out to be the most effective Democratic President in recent memory.

    1. If Team D takes back Congress in November, maybe he’ll switch parties

      1. Would that really surprise anybody? Especially if all of the Mueller stuff disappeared and the media started fellating him like they did Obama?

        1. If he did switch to Team Blue, that is exactly what would happen.

  6. I expect Trumps game is simple: tariffs are being used to shake foreign leaders out of their comfort zone so they will come to the table and re-negotiate deals that he doesn’t really like. So if he says “tariffs are great”, then that would be confirmation that his phone is ringing off the hook as foreign ambassadors line up to try to keep their gravy train going at home. He should be more careful – nobody really cares how much somebody elses phone is ringing if finances are going pear shaped because of a rising cost of living.
    The question is… what is his exit strategy for tariffs? We sure need one, and I’m not clear about his endpoint where he declares success and moves on. This tariff scheme could literally swallow his presidency and prevent other important things from happening. Will he be the next Hoover? That’s not a good place to be.

    1. If that is his strategy, then it appears to be bearing fruit: Mexico’s trade advisor is sucking up to Trump, at the behest of President-elect Lopes-Obrador.

      Note the respectful way Sr. Seade talks about Trump:

      “President Trump has a very personal style. He likes to appear chaotic. But the last thing he is is chaotic,” he said. “I think he’s a very intelligent man.”

      Doesn’t sound like someone who is itching to fight a trade war. Sounds more like someone who is eager to make a deal.

  7. If you want to make an omelet, you gotta break a few eggs. If you want to break some eggs, you gotta claim you’re making an omelet. After a while, the hungry people will wander off to IHOP for breakfast, you can continue breaking eggs and anybody who brings up the subject of omelets can be easily dismissed by calling them Fake News.

    1. That’s a lie! IHOP sucks! Nobody goes there voluntarily, they go there if they’re drunk or if they’re coming back for the one time they go there every decade to try and figure out if IHOP has finally figured out how to make not-shit pancakes only to be inevitably disappointed!

      And if they go there while drunk, they drive there, contributing to the number of automobile fatalities experienced every year!

      1. Denny’s on the other hand…

  8. Der DrumpfenFuhrer’s anti-illegal-humans policies are ALSO hurting farmers, in that farmers now have a MUCH harder time getting their fruits and veggies picked! Will there be taxpayer-funded goodies for farmers to cover this loss of theirs as well?

    1. Aside from single mothers, no group are bigger Welfare Queens than America’s Farmers.

      $12 billion is chump change compared to what they get each year from subsidies and favorable government policies. And they still demand more.

  9. Is this how “playing with the banks money” works?

    Kind of like playing monopoly by yourself and making up the rules as you go along.

    Trump is having a blast right now.

  10. I always chuckle when I read these Reason articles about tariffs and free trade; they remind me of those outraged but clueless articles about rock-n-roll and Communism written for Legion magazine by geriatric Birchers in the 1970s.

    For the past quarter-century, open borders and free trade have been a disaster for working-class Americans. And for the past quarter-century, libertarians and the Establishments of both parties turned a blind eye to their suffering — or if they did notice, their responses ranged from “well, sucks to be you” or “should have studied better in school” or “go learn to write code then”.

    Trump’s base doesn’t care that this will lead to layoffs or plant closures — they’ve been living with that for 25 years now, even with the economic “benefits” of low tariffs (remember how Carrier was planning to bail out of the US even before Trump took office?).

    They’re just glad someone is paying attention to their concerns, instead of treating them like they don’t matter. So they’ll put up with Trump, no matter what happens to the economy.

    The people who have the most to fear from a trade war are the bicoastal, educated elite entrepreneur class and those countries who have gotten fat dumping their subsidized goods in the US. A trade war will probably hurt the US — but it will devastate China, India, Mexico, and other low-wage countries.

    Trump is playing the long game and using tariffs to open markets.

    1. If tariffs are having such consequences, maybe free trade wasn’t the “disaster” you claim it to be. Some may feel that Trump uniquely “heard their concerns” but that doesn’t mean those concerns were based on sensible economic reasoning.

    2. “Trump is playing the long game and using tariffs to open markets.”

      He is playing the spoiled-brat game, and taking his baseball bat home on the behalf of all of us! So now we can’t play ball…

      The other nations will bypass and isolate the USA. It’s already happening! To wit, Europe-Japan trade agreement…

      To break the negative “tit for tat” game, someone has to “forgive”… Someone has to say, “I will let down my trade barriers first, and trust you to do the same later”. Trump’s ego is SOOO big, He can’t do that, ’cause it’s “unilateral surrender” in the trade war! And other nations are sick and tired of The Donald, and are just as stupid as The Donald, in thinking that TAXES (tariffs on imported goods are taxes on us) is a form of Government Almighty “protecting” us (or their citizens).

      Since The Donald is hell-bent on “winning”, and GOP Congress is a bunch of lap-dogs, I am predicting disaster for the USA…

    3. Yeah, fucking ferrenners, selling me electronics, consumer goods, appliances, and QoL software that had dramatically improved my life. Things clearly haven’t gotten better since 1993.

      Whenever anybody tells me they’re upset at how the “working class” has fared I realize they have no fucking clue what they’re talking about or no concept of income mobility, usually by virtue of not actually being working class. They just sound like pre-Trump progressives.

      Consider this: if someone on the internet claims to be working class and that the working class is worse off than then, how are they talking to you? In 1993 only a fifth of households had internet access and not much of the working class. They’re either delusional in believing they are worse off or delusional in believing they are working class and qualified to speak for them.

      1. that had dramatically improved my life. Things clearly haven’t gotten better since 1993. Whenever anybody tells me they’re upset at how the “working class” has fared I realize they have no fucking clue what they’re talking about or no concept of income mobility, usually by virtue of not actually being working class.

        So please – do explain dramatically higher suicide rates and far more dramatically higher overdose/addiction rates (so much higher for both that life expectancy among middle-aged whites has actually dropped) within the your life is dramatically improving model? And the starting point for that was prob mid/late 90’s

        Specifically – exactly when did suicide become an indicator of happiness? Rather than an extreme indicator of job/financial/health problems? And why don’t those upwardly mobile morons realize that?

      2. Not quite accurate bro…

        Having an iPhone doesn’t make up for no longer being able to afford to buy a house, a decent car, having medical coverage, etc.

        The working poor in the USA are surely better off than those in Somalia, no sane person would say otherwise… BUT in all the big and important ways they’re worse off. And they know it. It shows plainly in statistics. Again having an iPhone DOES NOT make up for the fact that you will have to be a renter your entire life, when your father doing the same caliber of work was able to buy a nice 4 bedroom and a new economical car every several years.

        I agree that much of this would have happened even with decent trade deals, but I think we also would have retained many millions more deals if our leaders had demanded countries like China open themselves up as a condition of gaining easy access to our markets. Germany has more than DOUBLE the number of people working in manufacturing as we do. Are they a backwards economy? The only other 1st world country that has as few people working in manufacturing as us is the UK. Even France/Spain/Italy etc have better manufacturing sectors than us! This is purely because of policy decisions we made, and not good ones IMO.

        Manufacturing is still a very important industry, and likely always will be. Throwing such a huge portion of the economy under the bus has had consequences.

    4. You don’t “get fat” dumping subsidized goods in the US or anywhere else. Just who is PAYING for the subsidies? That’s right, the people who live in those countries.

      It’s like thinking your kid gets rich because you buy her Girl Scout cookies.

    5. How exactly does one get fat by dumping subsidized goods into another country? It is Marxist economic idiocy like this that makes me lose hope for humanity. Repeat after me: work does not have value. It is a cost not an asset. The country that has the most work is not the winner. The country that get’s the most stuff with the least work is the winner. And as far as the “suffering blue collar workers of America”, they have enjoyed decade after decade of a continued rise in living conditions due to the availability of cheap foreign goods. This bullshit about poor workers is just that…bullshit. Steel workers have access to Iphones, laptops, cheap food, and countless other amenities. People who support this crap are just lazy, Marxist welfare queens just like the “commies” they claim to despise. Trump is preaching the Marxist labor theory of value. Period. His supporters should at least have the honesty to admit they are socialists.

      1. LOL You’re an idiot!

        The only way we’ve been able to “afford” importing all this stuff is by selling off the net worth of the country! We’ve had to sell trillions in US based assets to foreigners in order to pay for our cheap shit. In other words we traded income producing assets that used to be owned by Americans, and the profits from said assets remained in America, so that we could import sneakers.

        Also, subsidizing goods CAN be profitable for a nation. Let us pretend that 2 countries both can produce the same widget for $1 a piece.

        Country A doesn’t want to subsidize widgets, country B decides they will. If country B is mostly filled with peasant farmers who generate $2K a year in productivity doing that, but making widgets produces $5K a year in value, they could theoretically subsidize widgets to the tune of 60% before they’re even at break even versus letting them stay farmers.

        So country B subsidizes them 20%, or $1K a year, undercuts widget makers in country A, which loses 1 million jobs making widgets, and their economy is STILL doubled versus letting peasants farm instead.

        1. It’s pretty easy math. This is why countries have always done this shit in “key” industries.

          Now whether or not country A is better off depends on if those million workers find MORE PRODUCTIVE things to do than make widgets. This is what free trade theory hinges on.

          If only 500K of them find new jobs at all, and not all of them are even as good as making widgets in terms of producing new value, then the country has suffered a net loss.

          The problem with FT is that we didn’t replace all the jobs we sent overseas, and most of the jobs we did create were at lower wages. Hence FT THEORY did not work out IRL in the USA. We have the lowest labor force participation rate in decades, and statistics clearly show that the lower segments of the population are doing worse (before welfare) than they used to.

          As I said above having an iPhone DOES NOT replace things like being able to buy a home, have medical care, take a vacation etc. The manufacturing decline combined with low skill immigration has hosed the working class. You can babble all day long about iPhones but when a professional career carpenter realizes he can’t buy a house with his wages, or afford to have kids, yet his father who was also a carpenter was able to buy a house and raise 4 kids on his income… He’s not going to give a fuck about you babbling about iPhones.

    6. This 95% (a trade war won’t actually hurt most people in China/India/Mexico – just the elites there).

      And I despise Trump

  11. “Either a country which has treated the United States unfairly on Trade negotiates a fair deal, or it gets hit with Tariffs.”

    Depending on how we’re defining “fair,” there may be something to say for this. I admit I haven’t exactly studied the details, but I’d like to see if any country actually gets brought to the negotiating table by this and, if so, what gets negotiated.

    1. Other countries don’t get hit with tariffs. Tariffs are a tax on Americans in order to support the selected industries that benefit. Tariffs are picking winners and losers among Americans, soviet style.

      Plus, the steel and aluminum tariffs are designed so poorly that they don’t even provide support for the industries selected for benefit by the Kommissar. Alcoa is getting decimated, as they rely on Canadian unfinished aluminum that is now taxed. Many steel users rely on grades of steel not produced in the US. Unless these companies get their exemption approved by the Kommissar, establishing them as favored companies, they must pay the tariffs, while their foreign competitors can sell using non-tariffed steel used overseas and only sent to the US as finished products.

      Trump is pursuing a bad strategy, incompetently.

      1. One thing I don’t like about the way Trump is doing this is HOW he is doing it.

        I actually DO think we could easily win a trade war… We have all the leverage. But he is going about it in a pretty piss poor way. Tariffs on intermediate goods and inputs is NOT a good way to go about it. Finished goods is where it is at. And they need to be high enough to truly hurt the other country to the point where they buckle. Thus far not one thing he has done has been tough enough to work IMO.

  12. I figured subsidies were the next move which only protects farmers high prices. so they won’t be lowering their prices making products cheaper for Americans. its a cluster f all around

  13. So donnie has to bribe his base with $12 Billion in bailouts? May I suggest we re-use the Bush Jr acronym ‘TARP; .. Trump’s Agricultural Reimbursement Program. MAGA! .. BTW… Does this mean Harley Davidson, US automakers, steel products, and the last I read ‘Beef’ (We have a 2.5 million pound surplus of unsold beef thanks to the rest of the world buying from Brazil and Argentina now) .. all get bailouts as well?

    is the taxpayer funding this? We are already getting hit with $6500 increase in the price of a home due to donnnie’s Candian lumber tariff, and I just read that automakers are saying we can expect a $10,000 penalty on the price of a car? Whoa! Somehow.. ‘Tariff Wars are easy to win’ just doesn’t have that ring of truth anymore.

    1. Trumpty Dumpty, He’s quite off-the-wall,
      Trumpty Dumpty won’t stay in His toilet stall
      He just goes ahead and takes His shits,
      Totally regardless of whereever He sits
      Whenever He simply, no way, can sleep,
      He Twits us His thoughts, they’re all SOOO deep!
      He simply must, He MUST, Twit us His bird,
      No matter the words, however absurd!
      He sits and snorts His coke with a spoon,
      Then He brazenly shoots us His moon!
      They say He’ll be impeached by June,
      Man, oh man, June cannot come too soon!
      So He sits and jiggles His balls,
      Then He Twitters upon the walls
      “Some come here to sit and think,
      Some come here to shit and stink
      But I come here to scratch my balls,
      And read the writings on the walls
      Here I sit, My cheeks a-flexin’
      Giving birth to another Texan!
      Here I sit, on the pooper,
      Giving birth to another state trooper!
      He who writes these lines of wit,
      Wraps His Trump in little balls,
      He who reads these lines of wit,
      Eats those loser’s balls of shit!”

  14. This must be more of that “12 dimensional chess” Trump’s crotch-sniffers here on these boards are always telling us about.

  15. I was looking forward to hearing what John and Lovecons had to say about this one. We can’t have free trade without subsidies or some such stuff.

    1. The Trumpster offered WAAAY-way free trade, and those evil “other nations” turned Him down!!!

      The Trumpster, accordingly, has had NO other choice, than to offer an endless trade war, and let all the other nations bypass us, and leave us isolated, as being partners with North Korea, as the LAST NATIONS STANDING in the belief in “juche”, AKA economic independence!!!! Us and North Korea, baby, WEEE will show the world how to be live w/o being dependent on so-called “trade partners”!!!!!

      1. Where you’re wrong here is them just going around us or ignoring us.

        We’re the MUTHA FUCKIN’ USA. We’re THE market for most goods in the world. The US economy is too large to ignore. We could put China into a DEPRESSION tomorrow if we wanted to. We could probably do this and barely even have a minor recession ourselves. Why? Because if we don’t import their goods, there is NOBODY ELSE for them to sell such high quantities of goods to. We on the other hand can import our cheap goods from India, Vietnam, Mexico, Indonesia… Well you get the idea.

        In short we can’t be replaced, but any individual exporter nation can easily be replaced. This gives us the upper hand. Period. It’s just a question of how hard ball we want to get.

  16. How can you argue with Trump’s tweet. It brilliantly summarizes the status quo, and how to change it.

    When the EU levies 10% tariffs on American goods and America levies 2% on EU goods, why is it unreasonable to level the playing field and simply have our tariffs at the same level as their tariffs? Or, as Trump offered, simply remove all tariffs entirely?

    When the other guy is beating you with a baseball bat, it is not a declaration of war to do the same.

    1. The average tariff rate in the U.S. is 1.7%. In the EU it’s 2%. Canada is 1.6% (numbers fluctuate slightly year to year, the EU was lower than us a few years back). You can cherrypick certain items where the EU or Canada has higher tariffs, but there are items where the opposite is the case. Instead of trying to negotiate mutual lowering of those barriers, Trump decided to shoot the country in the foot with an idiotic trade war. This is literally 17th century economics.

      1. OK. Fair enough. How about the US put tariffs on each trading partner at the rate that trading partner applies tariffs?

        Trump offered zero tariffs. How is that an idiotic trade war?

        China conducts economic espionage as well as military espionage with no apparent restraint. Why should the US stand by and do nothing about that?

        By the way, where do you get your numbers?

      2. Here is a European news source that disagrees with your stated numbers. I don’t know how to post links, and I don’t want to learn how. Do a google search on the quote if you are interested.

        I am not crazy about the short term disruptive effect of leveling the trading arena, but I think Trump is right. There is no legitimate reason why America should get a bad deal. Germany runs a massive trade surplus with the US, yet they expect the US to pick up the tab for their defense. That shit don’t play anymore.

        “Trump may have a point about EU tariffs, ifo says”

        1. I don’t know what to think. Despite all the histrionics, yall do raise some legitimate, if dogmatic, points. At the same time, this wealth inequality our progressives continuously bleat about is widening, and i suspect our multi-nationals are making out on these “deals” while the middle class stagnates. Cost of living continues to rise even if consumer goods are relatively inexpensive. I’ve little faith in central planning, but – like border control – trade dynamics are a legitimate consideration of national security. I’m less pessimistic than most here, but I wouldn’t necessarily bet on tariffs to “work out”.
          So I’ve a couple questions:

          1. If we go back to and maintain status quo ante Trump, where are we at in 20-25 years? What is our economy based on and what is it’s health at that time?

          2. Could status quo ante Trump result in complete lack of production ability in certain areas, possibly vital? If so, would that be a major concern?

          1. At the same time, this wealth inequality our progressives continuously bleat about is widening, and i suspect our multi-nationals are making out on these “deals” while the middle class stagnates.

            Yes that income differential is widening. Everywhere. Mostly (at least in richer countries) it is more accurately characterized as ‘all the growth gains are going to a small group of people already at the top’. Rather than some theoretical income differential. And it has been doing so for long enough that a major portion of the population can reasonably believe that their own life and their own children’s lives will NEVER improve absent a big shock to the system.

            This has nothing to do with progressive or conservative or libertarian. It has everything to do with populism v establishment. Whoever is defending or representing the status quo of those changes is standing in the way of a global tidal wave. Whatever flavor of populism actually succeeds in delivering to the ‘outs’ will spread like wildfire.

            Right now though all I see is stoking the resentments – the low-hanging fruit of populism

    2. Except your analogy is garbage. The other guy is not “beating us with a baseball bat”. He is beating his own family. And to get him to stop beating his own family you recommend us beating our own family.

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  18. 1. Suffering short term pain for a long time gain that is worth it IS NOT a bad idea. This ALWAYS gets brought up, and it is nonsense. Investing money in the stock market is you suffering in the short term, by not being able to spend that money on crack or hookers or bacon, for the long term gain you expect to make. This is no different. If we have some minor inconveniences, but get China to truly open up their market, this could be massively good for all Americans. So don’t be dumb.

    2. I do not like the particulars of a lot of the stuff Trump has done… However that doesn’t mean trade wars are not winnable…

    3. Because we could easily win. We’re the biggest importer in the world of tons of shit. We are irreplaceable in that capacity. We could put China in a depression tomorrow, and then just start importing our t-shirts from India and other countries. In other words we can and would win if we really wanted to. I think it would be worth it. If China opened up this would likely create millions of extra jobs in the USA, which is a good thing.

    Back to #2 I don’t think Trump is going about this in the best way, but he may yet get some good things done anyway. Whatever small issues we have along the way will pale in comparison to the benefits if he even gets a small amount of progress made on this front.

    1. yeah. agreed.

  19. REALITY CHECK!: “Because they are all ultimately funded via both direct and indirect theft [i.e.taxes], and counterfeiting [central bank monopolies], all governments are essentially, at their very cores, 100% corrupt criminal scams, which cannot be “reformed”, “improved”, or “limited” in scope, simply because of their innate criminal nature.” http://onebornfree-mythbusters.blogspot.com/

    Regards, onebornfree

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