America First

Trump and Bernie: America First Brothers in Arms

They are more similar than different

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Last week, President Donald Trump took to twitter to attack the Koch brothers after they confirmed that they would look to bankroll Democratic candidates

Bernie-Trump
Alex Edelman/dpa/picture-alliance/Newscom

who share their values in the mid-term elections. It is no secret that the bros have been deeply disturbed by the protectionist, restrictionist, statist and racist turn of the GOP under Trump.

Trump denounced them as a "total joke" and "globalists" who don't put "America or the American workers" first. Such rhetoric, while alarming, is par for the course for this POTUS. But you know who beat him to similar attacks on the Kochtopus three years ago?

Bernie Sanders.

Yes, the silver haired, social-democratic senator from Vermont who is the darling of the left for his high-minded altruism. But he's an America Firster like the best of them. And the similarity between him and Trump doesn't just end there, I point out in my column at The Week. There's more. Much more.

Go here to read the piece.

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64 responses to “Trump and Bernie: America First Brothers in Arms

  1. Who the hell elects a leader who promises to prioritize the needs of other nations? The question is what it means to actually put America first. It’s too complex for either of these men to understand. When they talk about it, they’re actually talking about attempting to put certain segments of America first.

    1. Western Pennsylvania should be put first.

      1. I’d hate to see what that would look like in practice.

        1. If it means FoE benefits, what’s not to like?

      2. The NJ-5 Congressrep won 2 years ago by saying his opponent did not bring home enough tax dollars from DC. His ads kept saying that NJ gets less than $0.80 for every dollar we send to DC. Now, the Republican senate candidate is recycling that material for his campaign ads against the sitting democrat.

    2. “Who the hell elects a leader who promises to prioritize the needs of other nations?”

      Barack Obama prioritized the interests of foreign nations over the interests of the U.S.–as a matter of principle.

      Barack Obama cared more about ostracizing Putin over his treatment of LGBTQI+ in Moscow–rather than whether working with Putin to fight ISIS was in America’s interests.

      Barack Obama didn’t sign the Paris Accord because he thought it was in the U.S.’s interests. He did it specifically because he thought it would help force the United States to make sacrifices for the benefit of people in the developing world.

      Barack Obama didn’t give a shit if taking refugees off of Australia’s hands from Manus Island was in the interests of the USA. He did it for the benefit of others.

      Progressivism is all about using the power of the state to force some people to make sacrifices for the benefit of others, and that thinking also extends to their foreign policy. I their minds, asking whether something is in the interests of the U.S. is selfish, evil, and probably racist.

      Obama didn’t care whether liberating Libya was in the best interests of the U.S. He did it for the benefit of the Libyans.

    3. Who the hell elects a leader who promises to prioritize the needs of other nations?

      That council of bishops in the Vatican who picks the Pope. Their economy is based largely on remittances.

  2. So their similarities is that they hold their voting constituents as their primary interest. Oh, the horror! This should be the norm, not the exception regardless of all my disagreements on policy with both the men. Not going to that other site to find out how she justifies her position. Post it in full here or it’s just typical clickbait.
    I’m curious what democrats actually value and respect liberty enough to be worthy of receiving libertarian support. That’s the more interesting thing to me.

    1. “So their similarities is that they hold their voting constituents as their primary interest.”

      No…their similarities are that they see the world, as it relates to trade, as a zero-sum game requiring daddy government to step in to protect us from cheap goods.

      IOW, Trump and those (mostly on the right) who defend him, are essentially in line with and self described socialist.

      “I’m curious what democrats actually value and respect liberty enough to be worthy of receiving libertarian support. That’s the more interesting thing to me.”

      That’s because you want to deflect from any and all criticism of Trump.

      1. So what if they are? That is just an ad hominem. Without explaining why the position is wrong, I don’t see how “a socialist agrees with you” is a compelling argument.

        And protectionism doesn’t see trade as a zero sum game. That is a complete straw man. No one says there isn’t any benefits to international trade or demands it be entirely ended. It just rejects the idea that all international trade, regardless of its nature is necessarily the best thing for the country. And everyone is a protectionist to some degree. Do you think we should sell the designs of our nuclear weapons to hostile nations? Nuclear weapons are a product and selling them is trade. Trust me, plenty of US defense contractors would love to do it. If you say no to that, does that make you a zero sum game trade socialist? I don’t think so. Once you admit there are other factors at play here, then you can no longer just declare anyone who objects to international trade as having an illegitimate argument. You have to make the argument for why they are wrong and the product is not like a nuclear weapon and the trade overall is beneficial.

        1. “So what if they are? That is just an ad hominem. Without explaining why the position is wrong, I don’t see how “a socialist agrees with you” is a compelling argument.”

          Sorry, this is a libertarian website. I’m not going waste my time quoting Adam Smith, Bastiat and Milton Friedman, on the virtues of free trade. If you don’t understand the basics like comparative advantage, then you might want to start with wikipedia, not the H&R commentariat.

          “And protectionism doesn’t see trade as a zero sum game. That is a complete straw man.”

          Speaking of ‘straw men’… Where did I say it does? I’m specifically speaking of Trump and Bernie who have well documented views on trade going back 40 years. Both absolutely see trade as a zero-sum game.

          Finally, I love how you have to run to the extreme of trade in nuclear weapons (a ‘market’ that is pretty much solely made up of government producers to begin with). Why don’t we start with the idea the humans have the basic right to trade freely (free association) as long as they obey the NAP and work from there.

          I would think ANYONE who claims to believe in limited government would agree that it’s probably NOT the government’s legitimate responsibility to protect steelworkers from competition at the expense of pretty much everyone else.

          1. The problem is that actual, reciprocal free trade, isn’t on the table right now. The question right now is what sort of unfree trade is more in our interests.

            1. Unilateral.
              The only kind we can get. But it works.
              Singapore, Hong Kong, Great Britain’s abolition of the Corn Laws, etc.
              It is never in ‘our’ interests to punish ‘our’ citizens for making trades they believe will make them better off after than before. Never. Third parties might weep and wail and gnash their teeth, but 3rd parties don’t (shouldn’t) get a say.

            2. What other countries decide to do is totally irrelevant. Hong Kong, who has pretty much now advantage when it comes to natural resources or unique skill THRIVED under unilateral free trade.

              But let’s take you point at face value. The idea that Trump, with the help of Wilbur Ross and other ‘Top Men’ can manage something as complex as a large economy like the US is as laughable as the Soviet Union trying to manage theirs. In fact, it’s exactly the same thing in practice.

              That goes for the bureaucrats in China and the EU as well.

              It’s also not even necessarily about Trump being ignorant on economics either. If the hypothetical perfect libertarian president decided to step in and try and ‘manage’ the US economy through trade, you could expect the same outcomes as well.

              “The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.” – Friedrich August von Hayek

              1. I would never claim that unilateral free trade does not improve the WORLDWIDE wealth overall… However I think one can do some pretty simple math in the world as it exists and come to the conclusion that not every single trading scenario actually produces a net benefit economically for the importing country.

                Traditional free trade theory pays no mind to the concept of unemployment at all (which does exist in the real world), taxes paid by employed people, asset accumulation by foreign entities, it assumes in 100% of cases that we will always magically come up with new employment that is equal to or better than the job lost, or a million other things.

                It’s a theory, and not a bad one! But it simply doesn’t work as predicted in the real world. In the real world if we import a good that only saves us 5% versus producing it here, we’re going to have a net loss economically as a nation, even though we ostensibly saved 5%. The other 95% comes back as a foreigner buying assets an American will no longer own. Less employment and lower net worth, period.

                Small places like HK cannot be used as an example of how the biggest economy in the world works either. You could have a country where 100% of the people were brain surgeons if it were small enough, but in the USA we NEED a diversified economy because no one industry can support our population.

        2. Nuclear weapons and their designs are products of the government from beginning to end. They are in a very different category than ordinary goods like food and clothing, or even personal technology, that are made and traded by actors in the private sector. Just saying.

      2. Trade policy does not equal socialism.
        Guess what: there was no free trade before Trump. Everybody that imported or exported did so within the confines of a trade agreement and policy set by the US and foreign governments.
        Trading within a centrally planned framework was not a Trump innovation; he is simply changing the framework.
        Agree or disagree, but don’t base your whining on some sort of fantasy that never actually existed.

        1. He is expanding the centrally planned framework. That is the core complaint.

          1. I don’t recall unilateral disarmament ever solving anything, but I guess it’s possible in theory.

            As far as expanding the centrally planned framework, that’s only if you isolate your perspective. Domestically he’s drastically reduced regulation. On the whole, I think Trump has reduced central planning despite using tariffs as a negotiation tactic.

            Becoming dependant on anything, including government and foreign production, is dangerous. Balance is key to health, even if it makes for boring abstract philosophy.

            1. And there’s the problem of conceiving of trade and tariffs in terms of war.
              Eliminating our own tariffs and trade restrictions is not disarmament in any but the most tortured, and inaccurate, sense of the term.

              History provides examples of how this is a win. There don’t seem to be any historical cites where where reduction or elimination of tariffs causes harm.
              History also has trouble coming up with cites to cases where this ‘tactic’ has succeeded, let alone with a net positive ROI.
              Despite the massed hordes of cheerleaders from antiquity to today.

              1. Well, the tens of millions of people in the USA and Europe who have lower wages and lower standards of living in many respects might disagree with you… We traded mid range jobs in manufacturing for minimum wage service jobs by the millions, mainly because we just invented “make work” type employment because there were so many unemployed people around willing to work for peanuts.

                I believe bi-lateral free trade would be a net win, and even if not at least it’s a fair fight between competitors. The thing is that we have fewer people as a percentage of our economy working in manufacturing than Italy or Spain for fucks sake. Japan and Germany both have almost double the number of people working in manufacturing. The only other 1st world country on earth as low as us is the UK.

                We could have forced open China and other markets if we had demanded it as a condition of getting into our market. We should have done that. Trying to correct it now is a messy affair, but will be worth it long haul.

    2. That is just it. Trump is representing the interests of those who have been harmed by these trade agreements. It is perfectly reasonable to say that these people’s interests should not win out. This is why we have elections. What is not reasonable, however, is to claim that representing those interests is somehow illegitimate or wrong, which is what reason always does.

      1. Not quite. Trump is pandering to those who think his trade wars will be to their benefit, even though almost everyone will be harmed by these new taxes Trump is imposing upon American citizens.

        That’s right — these are all new taxes imposed directly upon American citizens, not upon foreigners. Unless you think manufacturers don’t pass along taxes to consumers.

        It’s jumping the shark when a Republican cheerleader defends massive new taxes that harm trade.

        1. Not quite. Trump is pandering to those who think his trade wars will be to their benefit, even though almost everyone will be harmed by these new taxes

          That is just a false consciousness argument. If only they could understand the benefits of the Libertopia. That is bullshit.

          1. If only people understood basic economics as first put forth by Adam Smith in 1776.

            You are arguing that because people don’t get it, that Adam Smith was wrong when he wrote Wealth of Nations.

          2. Yours in the fallacy of argument from ignorance.

          3. That is just a false consciousness argument.

            Are you saying that these tariffs are NOT taxes that will be passed along solely to American citizens?

            Or are you saying that new taxes like these benefit most Americans, or even a significant minority of them?

            Seriously. I’m trying to understand how you think you can justify these tariffs, other than knee-jerk defending Trump no matter what.

            1. People who justify tariffs don’t see that a tariff is actually a tax on American consumers. They see it as a tax on foreign producers. So when Trump taxes Chinese goods, they see it as taxing Chinese producers. It’s sticking it to the Chinese, not to Americans who buy stuff from China.

              Not only that, but supporters of tariffs reject comparative advantage. They only see producers. They do not see consumers at all. If producers lose because foreigners have a comparative advantage, then it is the duty of government to even the playing field. Government does this by raising the price of foreign goods with tariffs.

      2. Tariffs benefit the few at the expense of the many. A few producers are harmed by free trade because of comparative advantage. Someone else can produce what they sell more cheaply, and the domestic producers don’t like it. So they petition government to make the competition more expensive.

        The losers are consumers. Millions and millions of consumers who have to pay more for stuff. Society is gains wealth when the masses are able buy stuff from those who sell it at the lowest price. That means more money to spend on other things. It also frees labor to be used for things were we have a comparative advantage.

        Read some Bastiat

        1. What if a country does not have absolute advantage in anything? What if the foreign partner has no interest in purchasing the goods the country has a comparative advantage in?

          In the real world if China can produce the thing we’re least bad at making cheaper than us still, since we’re capitalist, we will simply not produce anything. This is basically where we’re at. Almost everything that is still made in the USA would be cheaper to outsource, so why have anything made here at all?

          The thing is that not everybody is capable of moving into being a programmer, or scientist or whatever. For the time being we literally cannot run our society without manufacturing contributing to our economy, because we’re too big a country to specialize in a single industry like saaay Switzerland and banking. So if we did outsource EVERYTHING, we’d be fucked.

          I’d argue we’ve incrementally fucked ourselves as is, just not enough to kill us. What we replaced our manufacturing jobs with, minimum wage service jobs, is even lower productivity than the manufacturing jobs were. It’s a big complicated cluster fuck, but I’m pretty sure we’d be a lot better off if we still had more manufacturing done here. In cases where we only save small amounts over producing domestically, we simply do not come out ahead by not making it here. Saving 10-20% on importing is still a net loss for the economy overall.

          1. A couple hundred years ago most Americans were farmers. Now maybe 2% are farmers, but we are still the bread basket of the world. Manufacturing output here is at an all time high. It’s manufacturing employment that is down for the same reason farming employment is down. We do it more efficiently with fewer people. The people freed from farming moved into manufacturing. Now people freed from manufacturing are doing other things. Meanwhile we are still farming and manufacturing. Those things that are made in China tend to be designed here. Services are not tangible goods, but they do have value. Think about it. When labor is freed from doing something that we still do, just more efficiently, then we keep doing what we were doing plus what the freed labor can do. We’re getting richer all the time.

            1. Ugh. I’m not a communist, I understand how free trade THEORY says it is supposed to work. You are simply explaining how it is SUPPOSED TO WORK on paper. The problem is reality has diverged from theory, and can be seen plain as day in real world statistics.

              How it worked in reality is we: Outsourced a $20 an hour manufacturing job to save say 20% on the cost of a product. We then replaced that $20 an hour job with a $10 an hour job, and not even as many $10 an hour jobs as we gave up to boot, as seen by labor force participation rates.

              We’re also now having to sell off assets owned by US citizens, like real estate and stocks, to foreigners who are using all the dollars we gave them for goods to buy our assets.

              Free trade theory only works if you do not create net increases in unemployment, and the jobs that replace the old are at least as productive as the ones lost. The problem is we’ve not had either happen.

              We’re producing more in current nominal dollars than in the past, but not in inflation adjusted terms. We’re producing FAR less than we used to as a % of GDP, which is fine all industrialized countries are, but we’re also producing far less than ANY OTHER 1ST WORLD COUNTRY ON EARTH, the UK excluded. Short version is if we converted 1 million barista jobs back to even marginally better paying manufacturing jobs, we’d be better off as a country.

            2. Free trade theory pays no mind to asset accumulation and how this will change net worth over time, it never included what would happen with a fiat currency (it was created when everybody had hard currencies which created a natural balancing effect, because you were forced to not run a deficit forever), the concept of unemployment (people went back to working the land if something better wasn’t available back in the 1700s, no freeloaders!), the political issue of foreigners owning and controlling excessive assets in a nation state they may have political issues with, the loss of tax revenue resulting from unemployment, the cost of the welfare state on those still working to support displaced workers, or 1000 other things.

              ALL variables that matter in the real world, half of which weren’t even issues when the theory was created. The theory was great for the time, and actually does pencil out in 1800 with no welfare state, hard currencies, unemployment basically not being a thing… But the variables have changed, and the theory needs to include the new variables to remain accurate at producing real world outcomes.

              But really it all doesn’t matter, because you’re clearly just so enamored with a THEORY that leaves out 90% of the real world variables that matter, that you can never be convinced anyway.

    3. Annnd read the full article. It’s just as shallow as the little bit here. I’d like her to explain the Koch’s position better as well as explain why her comparisons are skin deep (she felt the need to mention they are old white men)

  3. The Kochs are funding Democrats now? That’s hilarious. I can’t wait to see Dems defending them now.

    1. Isn’t it? You know as well as I do, they won’t be defending the Kochs. I don’t care if the Kochs went broke funding Democrats, they will always be a designated enemy. I hope the Kochs are doing this out of the desire for revenge against Republicans and not because they are dumb enough to think it will buy them any goodwill from Republicans.

    2. The weird part is that it’s $16,000 so far to Democrats, 1% of their campaign contributions in 2018, according to Open Secrets:

      Koch Industries

      Independent Expenditures
      Contributions to Federal Candidates, 2018 cycle

      Total Contributions from this PAC to federal candidates
      (1% to Democrats, 99% to Republicans) $1,213,000
      House
      Total to Democrats: $16,000
      Total to Republicans: $1,079,000

      Senate
      Total to Democrats: $0
      Total to Republicans: $118,000

      Apparently 99% support of Republicans isn’t enough for Trump.

    3. The problem with bankrolling Democrats who share your views, is that unless your views happen to align with those of the people running the Democratic party, they won’t be permitted to vote those views if elected. The Democratic party takes party discipline to incredible lengths.

      Anybody remember when they needed John Dingle’s vote to get the ’94 AWB passed? And got it, despite him being an NRA board member?

    4. Harry Reid followers are going to have a stroke: he ran on autopilot for nearly a decade by simply mumbling “Koch brothers” on any issue that came up, to focus hate and angst as approaching senility prevented him from making cogent arguments. What will they do now?
      As I understand it, the Kochs have landed in the open borders camp – that would put them with democrats by default. I’m not sure it will fly, as progs generally don’t trust latecomers [but they will likely take the money and run]. Arlen Specter can attest to that in his failed bid to get back in office by becoming a democrat. The situation could becom sad enough that they get dubbed the ‘Cuck’ brothers, as they get spit on in return for their donations by Chavez loving “purists” inside the democrat machine.
      In a way, this Koch debacle sums up a problem of a republican party operating without a philosophy of governance since Hastert grabbed the gavel – emptiness abounds.

    5. It will be interesting to see if the progressives actively oppose Democrats who receive Koch brother funding.

  4. Indeed, when Sanders claimed the Koch Brothers support open borders because they want an influx of cheap labor to make billionaires like themselves even richer …… well, that was just about the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard a politician say. The truth, of course, is that the Koch / Reason immigration position is based entirely on libertarian principles and humanitarian concerns ? not on cynical self-interest.

    1. If you tear down barriers to mutually agreeable transactions in labor, it will make billionaires richer, along with pretty much everyone else, but especially the poor people currently prevented from getting a better life.

      It’s like you hate the rich so much, you’re willing to fuck over the poorest among us to make that happen.

      1. progressive economics in a nutshell

      2. Us?
        Who is this “us” you speak of?

        1. Probably the same ‘us’ you speak of when you talk about defending ‘us’ through tariffs.

      3. True open borders would NOT benefit everybody. If I had to guess I’d say everybody from mid tier white collar jobs on down would have their standard of living plummet. Foreign accountants willing to work for half the wages as a native born person, who is the company going to hire again?

        We can absorb a fair number of immigrants without things getting too crazy, but if we allowed in unlimited numbers we would have soooo many people coming here there is no way it wouldn’t tank wages for everything that wasn’t hyper specialized.

  5. The only real way to endure yourself to potential voters is to tell them they are not that great and call them racist for not letting everyone into their crappy country

  6. Alex Jones’s podcast has been removed from iTunes.

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/ap…..533538681?

    If I’m not mistaken, that means he’s been ostracized now by Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, YouTube, and now iTunes–all in the past week or so.

    I believe in freedom of association, but this may be more complicated than that. Alex Jones invested considerable time, money and resources into these companies’ platforms to their benefit–maybe even before they changed their terms of service so as to make his old content unacceptable. No need for congress to get involved, but he may have some legitimate arguments for breech of contract in civil court. He might even be the subject of collusion if theses companies have discussed him among themselves.

    Regardless, Alex Jones is a canary in the coal mine. Freedom means the freedom to be stupid, awful, and wrong, and our society has become less tolerant if it can no longer tolerate the likes of Alex Jones. We used to tolerate much worse. I suppose the irony is that YouTube still tolerates much worse.

    Do you know what this is about?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xr9KRAMydf0

    NSFW!!!

    America needs rude, obnoxious, vile, wrong, and transgressive content–now more than ever. You can’t be tolerant without something awful to tolerate.

    1. Um . . . may have put this in the wrong thread.

      I’m just sayin’.

  7. >>>racist turn of the GOP under Trump

    please

  8. Yet there is much uniting them, which is why fully 12 percent of voters who “felt the Bern” defected to Trump in the general election. Trump’s Trumpism and Sanders’ socialism are yin and yang, two sides of the same statist coin. They believe they can use the government’s muscle to reverse America’s decline by going after their preferred scapegoats: rich people first and foreigners second, in Sanders’ case ? foreigners first and rich people second, in Trump’s case.

    They’ll both take the country down similar paths of parochialism, insularity, and internecine warfare.

    Well said, Dalmia. Their main difference is how they would react to this cartoon.

  9. I’ve tried pointing this out to my Bernista friends. They get extremely angry. I’ve even had some admit that they would support the exact same tariffs that Trump is doing if Bernie was doing them, which is a level of cognitive dissonance that just baffles me.

    1. No different than Trumpsters who swallow everything he says.
      Would those Bernistas defend him from murder, in broad daylight, with witnesses?

  10. I for one am glad to see that papier m?ch? heads are back in fashion after an eight year hiatus.

  11. I just want to add a positive note, to (partially) offset the inevitable flood of raging hatred that’s already quite deep.

    Trump’s cult is as confused as the Donald, on a very simple concept. Deals are like the marketplace, nothing happens unless all sides achieve a net gain. This is the fatal flaw in Trump’s unbroken string of failures here. Bullying works in a family business, whose entire universe is under his total power. It will never work with other sovereign nations.

    For any readers who may want to object. How likely are you to enter an agreement with Anyone, which has absolutely no gain for yourself?

    1. You are completely ignoring basically all of human history… Bullying VERY MUCH works, when one side has the upper hand, and has leverage. We could put the Chinese economy into a depression tomorrow if we wanted to, namely by slapping massive across the board tariffs on them. We would scarcely even feel the pain, because we could import from other cheap countries, but they have nobody to replace us as a market to sell into.

      Since we’re a democratically elected representative republic, and not a dictatorship, and all our politicians are cowards, half of whom outright hate the country anyway… I don’t know if we have the will to win here. But we 100% could if we really wanted to. And there’s nothing immoral in fighting to get a fair deal for yourself. Our biggest problem is our past politicians didn’t even TRY to get good deals for us, they just bent over on purpose.

      1. The best way for the people to get a good deal is for their own government to get out of the way and allow the people to buy stuff from the cheapest seller. This means they don’t waste resources producing stuff where someone else has the competitive advantage, and allows them to focus on stuff where they have it.

        It was all laid out in 1776 by Adam Smith.

        1. The truth is sans a fiat currency, welfare state, and minimum wage laws we very much would and could do this! Not to mention excessive environmental laws, other regulations etc. The problem is with minimum wages, a welfare state, and a currency we manipulate to what we think is our advantage, what we’re really creating is massive and systemic unemployment, being supported by the remaining higher wage workers, negating much of the positive effect that would exist in a real free market system.

          If we were a free market economy, like FOR REALZ, the pay scale should have slid a lot further in many industries, and we probably would have kept a lot more stuff being done here. What we have now is productive people like me (and probably you?) propping up people who don’t work at all, instead of putting them to work at reduced wages. Which means I’m not really saving anything by importing, after accounting for this cost, and our economy overall is far less productive.

          The real world does not exist in a vacuum as it does on paper dude. Sorry.

      2. You are completely ignoring basically all of human history

        Look again

        … Bullying VERY MUCH works, when one side has the upper hand, and has leverage

        Look again at the despots who did that, At least you’ve placed Trump in the company he belongs with.

        We could put the Chinese economy into a depression tomorrow if we wanted to,

        They’re far richer than we are. And could use their huge holdings of American debt to destroy our dollar, still have a positive asset value and eliminate us as a trade competitor. That they haven’t done so shows their moral superiority to the Trumpkinater.

        Who was your history teacher. Homer Simpson? Gomer Pyle? Ted Cruz?

        1. 1. Being big and mean has worked for basically all the most powerful and successful countries in the history of the world. Ancient Babylon, Egypt, China, the Mongols, Persia, Rome, Greece, Britain, France, Spain, etc… Being nice is frankly usually not the way to get what you want historically, although it is often more moral… I don’t advocate crushing and subjugating people, because that is immoral. However demanding a fair deal versus bending over like a bitch… There is nothing immoral about that.

          2. China is NOT better positioned financially than us at the present moment. Their economy is actually very weak. They have more debt relative to GDP than we do actually. In 20 or 30 years the almost certainly will put us to shame, but not just yet. We have the strength because we can replace their exports to us with goods from other places, which means we don’t feel it much… They cannot replace us, as nobody else has the cash to import 500 billion a year worth of stuff.

          Therefore we have the upper hand. For now.

          1. He got you to admit you prefer an authoritarian ruler, which is why you love Trump.
            China’s debt/GDP ratio is about 30%. Our is nearly 100%.

            The Chinaese government own over $1 trillion of our debt, which tells you their government has investable cash. But keep inventing whatever you need. It works for Trump. So far.

  12. With a lot of these things I think Trump and Bernie were both calling out issues a lot of people care about/noticed, but others weren’t really bringing up. Noticing problems is completely different from how to solve those problems. Somebody could look at the drug war and decide we need to step it up 10 times harder to stamp out drug use forever! Or somebody could say we should legalize it all. But noticing there is a problem is completely separate from the chosen solution.

  13. He got you to admit you prefer an authoritarian ruler, which is why you love Trump.
    China’s debt/GDP ratio is about 30%. Our is nearly 100%.

    The Chinese government own over $1 trillion of our debt, which tells you their government has invest able cash. But keep inventing whatever you need. It works for Trump. So far.

    The best way for the people to get a good deal is for their own government to get out of the way and allow the people to buy stuff from the cheapest seller. This means they don’t waste resources producing stuff where someone else has the competitive advantage, and allows them to focus on stuff where they have it.

    I’ve tried pointing this out to my Bernista friends. They get extremely angry. I’ve even had some admit that they would support the exact same tariffs that Trump is doing if Bernie was doing them, which is a level of cognitive dissonance that just baffles me.

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