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Free Minds & Free Markets

Trump, the Anti-Business President

Donald Trump is a perpetual danger to every company in America.

White House economist Peter Navarro, whose boss claimed credit when the stock market was rising, now thinks it should be ignored. After Monday's plunge, he said, "The market is reacting in a way which does not comport with the ... unbelievable strength in President Trump's economy." Rest easy, Navarro advised. "The economy is as strong as an ox."

He should hope so, because its burdens are growing. Donald Trump's trade salvos against China moved Beijing to slap new tariffs on U.S. products. He has threatened to end NAFTA, which would wreck the supply chains of U.S. manufacturers and deprive farmers of vital markets. He's itching for a full-scale trade war, and he's likely to get it.

The tycoon who raised high hopes in the corporate sector has revealed a powerful anti-business streak. Get on his bad side and you may kiss your profits goodbye. He's a perpetual danger to every company in America.

Trump's Justice Department filed an antitrust suit to stop a merger of AT&T and Time Warner—owner of CNN, a Trump punching bag—surprising experts, most of whom see no threat to competition in the deal. He urges higher postal rates for Amazon because it has the same owner as The Washington Post, whose coverage often infuriates him.

The administration's effort to block travel from several predominantly Muslim countries brought a lawsuit from some 160 tech firms warning it would impose "substantial harm on U.S. companies, their employees, and the entire economy." His crackdown on undocumented immigrants disrupts agriculture because, as the American Farm Bureau Federation notes, "50-70 percent of farm laborers in the country today are unauthorized."

Trump threatened retribution against Ford and General Motors to discourage production in Mexico. When Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier resigned from Trump's manufacturing council to protest his comments on Charlottesville, the president took to Twitter to demand that he "LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!"

Republicans regularly depicted Barack Obama as a socialist. In 2010, the head of the Business Roundtable, an organization of corporate CEOs, accused him of "doing long-term damage to growth" by creating "an increasingly hostile environment for investment and job creation."

Hostile? Obama never denounced an American company with anything close to the menace Trump routinely exhibits. Business somehow prospered during his presidency. Corporate profits grew by 57 percent, and the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index rose by 166 percent.

Obama drew criticism for imposing more regulations on business, boosting the top income tax rate, overhauling health insurance, and running big budget deficits. These changes raised doubts about the future that weighed on the economy.

Economists Steven Davis (University of Chicago), Scott Baker (Northwestern), and Nicholas Bloom (Stanford) attributed weak growth and job creation to "extreme uncertainty" that Obama helped to create through "harmful rhetorical attacks on business and 'millionaires,' failure to tackle entitlement reforms and fiscal imbalances, and political brinkmanship."

Hmm. Does that sound like anyone else? Trump has also attacked businesses, failed to curb entitlements, and, through tax cuts and spending bills, created ever-growing fiscal imbalances.

According to the index these economists devised, economic policy uncertainty was greater in Trump's first 13 months than in the same period under Obama—and bigger than the average for all of Obama's tenure. And things are only getting worse.

Obama took the view that the private economy needed extensive regulation to avert assorted perceived harms, which didn't make him popular among capitalists. But he didn't make a habit of bullying corporations to make particular business decisions or demonizing executives who disagreed with him. Trump's idea of a good economy is one in which every company does his bidding—because they are all afraid not to.

His unpredictability breeds anxiety, not confidence. He often sows confusion that makes bad policies even worse.

Davis cites the steel and aluminum tariffs, which Trump first said would apply to all countries, then revised to exempt Canada and Mexico, and then modified to spare several other countries—but only till May 1, when all bets are off. The haphazard approach "causes businesses to step back and wait," says Davis, "and creates a free-for-all among lobbyists, which creates its own uncertainty."

Trump was supposed to understand the needs of American businesses. But he thinks their main function is to serve his needs. Navarro has a point in comparing the economy to an ox, because the president is treating it like a beast of burden.

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  • John's broseph||

    "Obama took the view that the private economy needed extensive regulation to avert assorted perceived harms, which didn't make him popular among capitalists. But he didn't make a habit of bullying corporations to make particular business decisions or demonizing executives who disagreed with him. "

    You are truly disconnected from reality.

  • JesseAz||

    Auto maker bailout. Clean energy regulations. Wotus. Green energy grants. Fucking ACA. How much more do you want idiot?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    I recall when wingnuts said Obama "picked winners and losers" with his ARRA loans during the crisis. Now the Dotard is actively trying to harm Amazon and others they are silent.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    They are silent because they don't want to incur the wrath of The Boss.

  • hello.||

    Obama directly affecting outcomes with subsidies and loans is the same thing as Donald Trump exercising every American's 1st Amendment rights by saying that Amazon sucks on Twitter.

  • JesseAz||

    Define active harm? Ending a subsidy from the postal service? Talking about them?

  • Elias Fakaname||

    How about Operation Chokepoint? The unconstitutional DoJ effort to deny banking services to any industry of which Obama disapproved. But no, you'll ignore that one PB, because it doesn't fit your revisionist bullshit narrative. Just another reason why Marxist trash like you shouldn't be allowed to exist.

  • ||

    Didn't he bully GM?

    And he chastised business all the time. Hello, 'you didn't build that'.

    Truth is, he didn't have a single, original thought. It was all rehashed, repackaged progressive nonsense. And he delivered it with the panache of a piece of lint.

    Obama was a clown.

    He's not gone enough.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    'you didn't build that'

    He was talking about the roads/bridges that their transportation network used, you blithering idiot.

    and he saved GM, moron. (through TARP loans began by Bush)

    You're a typical conservative - always stupid and proud of it.

  • ||

    You're such an idiot. There was an overall point to that stupid, ignorant remark.

    Classical liberal you are my fucken ass.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: Peter Caca,

    He was talking about the roads/bridges that their transportation network used,


    He was merely repeating a tiresome bromide spewed by Elizabeth "Lightfeather" Warren which is still wrong and ridiculous.

    and he saved GM.


    No, the taxpayers saved GM, not that they wanted to.

  • Tony||

    So businesses would just as soon go without transportation infrastructure and an educated workforce?

  • JesseAz||

    You just took ignorant strawman creation to the next level.

  • Tony||

    Perhaps you don't appreciate just how much of an anarchist OM is.

  • Mary Stack||

    You misspelled "idiot"

  • hello.||

    and he saved GM, moron.

    Tell that to the bondholders who had 200 years of legal precedent set aside so they could shafted in favor of delivering a larger equity interest to the UAW.

  • JesseAz||

    He saved jack shit. Automakers weren't the first industry, nor will be the last, to face bankruptcy reorganizations. Every major airline has gone through reorganizations, they still exist. All Obama did was move union workers ahead of investors. Don't talk economics from a position of utter ignorance.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    You two are both ignorant on this subject.

    Airlines proved long ago that pensions had the same standing as creditors did. The GM bankruptcy judge in Delaware just followed court precedent.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    to fix my statement:

    Debtors have sought the
    issuance of critical vendor orders to convince a
    creditor to continue to do business with the debtor
    throughout a Chapter 11 reorganization. A so-called
    critical vendor order grants the debtor or debtor in
    possession the power to settle and pay unsecured
    creditor claims on the theory that those creditors are
    indispensable to the debtor's or debtor in
    possession's capacity to reorganize and that without
    the ability to prepay unsecured debt, the debtor will
    not be able to ensure further shipments of goods

    Airline pilots and their pension funds were deemed a "critical vendor" in the 80s

  • Elias Fakaname||

    They would never have gotten the sweetheart deal Obama dealt out. You don't know shit. It's so annoying when some non business person muggle with no real experience or seduction in these things pontificates to those of us who do. You have no concept of how ridiculous you sound.

    As usual, you're just embarrassing yourself.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    The GM bailout was a disaster. The company would have been better off with a legit chapter 11 reorganization. But that would have paid the secured bid holders who Obama's illegally cheated of their money. A lot of that being from pension funds. All for the sole purpose of illegally controlling the process so he could reward his UAW benefactors with by illegally giving them GM stock in the new version of the company.

  • livelikearefugee||

    He sure burned GM bondholders like me. But, that's OK because he took care of his union cronies.

    All about winners and losers in socialism, isn't it?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    And businesses loved the TPP and hate whatever the fuck the Dotard is doing.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Read my above comment you lying piece of traitorous shit. You should be executed as a communist traitor.

  • JWatts||

    Obama pretty much forced GM to transfer all of their remaining assets to the UAW and void out stock holder value. Nothing Trump has done approaches that in scale or precedent.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    GM restructured and transferred a lot of union debt off the balance sheet. Without Obama GM would not exist.

    Another moron.

  • Shirley Knott||

    You say that like it's a good thing.

  • Rhywun||

    Why the hell should anyone care if GM was "saved"?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    At the time GM closing would have put hundreds of independent parts suppliers out of business - recall that UE was 11-12% and climbing.

    Anyway - it was a "pro-business" action by Obama - unlike what the morons above say occurred.

  • ||

    No it isn't.

    Idiot.

  • JesseAz||

    Please for the love of God take a basic economics course. Industries just don't up and vanish without the help of government.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    GM would never have closed. They either would have been reporganized better in chapter 11 bankruptcy independently, or an outside investor would have come in to help reorganize them. This happens all the time.

    Quit getting your talking points from morons like 'Media Matters'. You won't sound so moronic.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Without Obama GM would not exist.

    So what? There's plenty of other brands of cars available. More reliable, better built cars at that.

  • JesseAz||

    Stop proving you don't know how bakruptcy works for business.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    GM wasn't saved. It would have been better reorganized through a legal chapter 11 proceeding. You're too stupid and so honest to possibly understand things like that.

    I have a hard time grasping how anyone can be as idiotic as you are. It must be necessary to believe in all the vile things that you do. I'm sure the whole GM thing is just something else that Media Matters, Moveon, Vox, etc. ordered you to think. Them threw you a few sound bites to parrot. After all, it's not as if you have much of a real mind of your own to engage in any real cognitive thought. Just a meager little mind that's an empty vessel. Waiting to be filled with socialist pablum.

    Seriously, commit suicide. Best thing for you really, your commentary is going nowhere.

  • livelikearefugee||

    Obama sure fucked me out of IRA money when he zeroed out the bondholders.

    Mussolini would have approved.

  • Kreel Sarloo||

    Kettle, meet pot.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Technically, "Neanderthal language" would be any language that didn't originate in sub-Saharan Africa. English, for example.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Xhosa and !Kung would be examples of non-Neanderthal languages, but there aren't that many others. Even Swahili, the most widely spoken language in sub-Saharan Africa, originated as a medieval trade language and borrows heavily from Arabic - another Neanderthal tongue.

    Mike Hihn can be forgiven for not knowing this; he was already pretty old when Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons first started getting it on.

  • Libertymike||

    Battle of H&R Linguistic Scholars: First Round Match

    Michael Hihn v. Heroic Mulatto

    What is the opening line?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    HM is smart and really knows his stuff, but Mike Hihn was actually at the Tower of Babel, so that'd be a pretty interesting matchup.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    You're not Hihn. The real Hihn was never a progtard troll.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    He's nothing more than a bully. For some reason we gave him a pulpit.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Who's "we," kemosabe?

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    The same "we" who insist with the trope that "we are all born from sin!"

  • Elias Fakaname||

    I don't know about sin, but you're born in stupidity.

  • Get lit||

    Trump should be impeached.

  • Shirley Knott||

    Put a band-aid on a sucking chest wound.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    Trump should be replaced by someone who will more faithfully fill the role of president. I sincerely hope we are given that option when it comes time to vote.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Trump's going down as one of the better presidents and definitely ahead of Obama, W Bush, Clinton, HW Bush, Carter, Ford, Nixon, LBJ, JFK, Truman, FDR, and Wilson.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Trump should have Sessions appoint a few dozen special counsels to start putting crooked de o rats in prison.

  • Just Say'n||

    I remember when the Republicans cut taxes. I was upset because they did not also reduce spending to offset the revenue reduction. But, I completely oppose raising tariffs, regardless of reducing spending to offset lower tariffs.

    #SteveChapmanLogic

  • John||

    Tariffs are nothing but a tax on the sale of foreign goods. They have the same effect on economic activity that any other tax has. It makes whatever is taxed more expensive. If tariffs are the doom of the economy, so are income taxes. And if reducing tariffs always a good thing, then so is reducing income taxes. But Chapman thinks taxes are great and something to only be reduced if spending can be cut and certainly not something that has any benefits to the economy. Chapman is just a hack. He isn't very bright and doesn't know much but makes up for it by completely lacking intellectual consistency or any concern with integrity.

  • sarcasmic||

    If tariffs are the doom of the economy

    You just can't leave that straw man alone, eh Red Tony?

  • John||

    It is called hyperbole. It is not meant literally.

  • sarcasmic||

    What does geometry have to do with tariffs?

  • Just Say'n||

    A person with intellectual consistency would support tax cuts and oppose tariff increases. A Steve Chapman would just oppose anything pursued by the current administration, because they are partisans first and thinking human beings second.

    But, I do enjoy how we have to pretend like Chapman is not just a left wing hack whenever Reason posts his articles.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    But, I do enjoy how we have to pretend like Chapman is not just a left wing hack whenever Reason posts his articles.

    Speak for yourself, I don't have to do anything.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: John,

    Tariffs are nothing but a tax on the sale of foreign goods.


    Why didn't you say so before, captain Obvious?

    If tariffs are the doom of the economy, so are income taxes.


    ALL taxes are forms of confiscation, John. But whereas income tax punishes the most productive in some measure, tariffs punish EVERYONE for merely existing.

    Chapman is just a hack.


    Your tongue is hemorrhaging....

  • Just Say'n||

    "ALL taxes are forms of confiscation, John. But whereas income tax punishes the most productive in some measure, tariffs punish EVERYONE for merely existing."

    I mean, that's not true at all. You think corporate taxes only impacts the wages of management and stock holders? You must be an ignorant progressive

  • John||

    Old Mexican's understanding of economics is so poor even Progressives think he is stupid.

  • Just Say'n||

    His 'logic' is the kind of bullshit neoliberalism being peddled as libertarianism. "Tariffs are bad, but taxes are fine". They say this without a hint of irony

  • Libertymike||

    I have never seen Ole Mex say that taxes are fine.

  • Just Say'n||

    He literally just said that tariffs are worse than income taxes. Please try to square for me how reducing the wages of consumers is somehow less detrimental than increasing costs for consumers.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    He literally just said that tariffs are worse than income taxes.

    Saying that tariffs are worse than income taxes is not the same thing as saying that income taxes are fine. It's possible to think that both suck but one sucks more.

    I don't want to speak for him, but I've seen him post on many occasions against income taxes as well.

  • sarcasmic||

    "Tariffs are bad, but taxes are fine".

    I didn't see that at all.

    What I got out of OM's post was that tariffs are regressive compared to other taxes. They hurt everyone, especially those who can least afford it.

  • Just Say'n||

    Corporate income taxes are not regressive. Understood.

  • sarcasmic||

    Corporate income taxes are not regressive. Understood.

    No, they're not. Do you know what regressive means in the context of taxation?

  • Just Say'n||

    I have never heard Old Mexican defend taxes either, so maybe that's unfair. But, the statement that tariffs are somehow worse than corporate taxes is not correct. It's just a bad take.

  • sarcasmic||

    But, the statement that tariffs are somehow worse than corporate taxes is not correct.

    Tariffs raise the price of consumer goods for everyone. Including those with the least amount of money to spend. They're like soda taxes or tobacco taxes. As a percentage of income, the poor pay more than the well off. That's what regressive means.

  • Just Say'n||

    Corporate taxes raise no costs on consumers? Are you being for real right now?

    Corporate taxes either raise costs on consumers, reduce wages for employees, or reduce stock value (if it is a public company), depending on the elasticity of the produce provided. It is literally the exact same logic as tariffs.

  • sarcasmic||

    Yes, all taxes are ultimately paid for by consumers. That is true.

    I guess the difference is that tariffs are more of a direct tax on the poor, while corporate taxes are an indirect tax on the poor. Also the corporate taxes get diffused into wages, stock, prices, etc., while the tariffs are directly on the products that poor people buy.

    With tariffs, the explicit purpose is to make things more expensive for people, including the poor. Not so much the case with corporate taxes.

    I would still agree with OM's assessment that tariffs hurt the poor more than less regressive taxes.

  • Just Say'n||

    "I guess the difference is that tariffs are more of a direct tax on the poor, while corporate taxes are an indirect tax on the poor."

    They are both indirect taxes that may or may not be paid by consumers. And whether or not they hurt the poorest consumers the most depends on what the product is.

    A corporate tax on a business that makes tooth paste is no different than a tariff on tooth paste. Assuming that price is the only motivating factor for consumers that buy tooth paste, businesses in both scenarios would pass the cost of a tariff or a corporate tax on to employees in order to keep the cost to consumers down (assuming that cost is the only factor that consumers consider when purchasing tooth paste).

    It's illogical to say that one is worse than the other when they both increase cost.

  • sarcasmic||

    I disagree. A tax on someone who makes toothpaste gives that company an opportunity to spread the tax around. They can change their ingredients to keep the price the same. Cut labor. Whatever.

    A direct tax on toothpaste leaves no such options. It means that the retailer is now paying more for what they are selling. The price is going up. Period.

  • sarcasmic||

    Additionally, a tariff on imported toothpaste could raise the price of foreign toothpaste above what the domestic producers are selling theirs for. Now Tom's of Maine can raise their price because the competition is now made more expensive because of the taxes. Prices of both go up. The poor get hit the worst, because they spend a greater percentage of their income on toothpaste than someone who is not poor.

  • Just Say'n||

    "Now Tom's of Maine can raise their price because the competition is now made more expensive because of the taxes. Prices of both go up."

    Wow

  • sarcasmic||

    Yes I know Tom's will always be expensive. That statement wasn't meant to be taken literally.

  • hello.||

    You see kids, factors of production for foreign producers are fixed while factors of production for American producers are variable. Plus greedy American producers can always take a haircut to defray their tax burden while noble foreign producers mustn't ever live on reduced margins.

  • hello.||

    Much like immigrants and everything else that comes from outside America's borders, foreign producers are magic!

  • Just Say'n||

    Ah, so a direct tax on tooth paste is not able to be "spread around...to change ingredients...cut labor...or whatever".

    This is an interesting economic fallacy. I guess everyone is a stagnant actor when it is politically expedient for us to deem them so.

  • sarcasmic||

    Ah, so a direct tax on tooth paste is not able to be "spread around...to change ingredients...cut labor...or whatever".

    We're talking about imported tooth paste. Yes they could do things to reduce their price. Or maybe not, depending on where its made.

    Whatever. I'm talking to a brick wall. Adios.

  • sarcasmic||

    Do you see soda makers jumping to lower their production costs in response to soda taxes? I don't.

    You're throwing out a bunch of hypotheticals.

    Here's a fact: A tariff raises the price of something. That cannot be denied. It's duty that gets slapped onto something when it crosses the border. Whammo it's instantly more expensive.

    All you've got is a bunch of mights and maybes.

    Seems to me that you're ready to throw out the economics textbook if it interferes with your politics. Maybe I'm wrong. I hope you're a better human being than John.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm done.

  • Just Say'n||

    "Do you see soda makers jumping to lower their production costs in response to soda taxes?"

    Oh my God, did you just try to use a sales tax to defend your argument that tariffs are totally worse than corporate income taxes because reasons? Do you not realize that sales taxes are levied on businesses and they pass that tax along to consumers? I fear that you don't realize this. You just literally invalidated your entire point.

    Nothing I have said is hypothetical. You're just having a hard time making the case that tariffs are worse than corporate income taxes because reasons, because your position is economically illiterate.

  • hello.||

    sarcasmic is really really fucking stupid and can't comprehend a model with more than 1 input or output, so try to stick to extremely simplified models such as you might find in high school econ textbooks and you will have better luck.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    It's hard not to beat up on him, as he is a vile piece of shit, who is also smug about it.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    I'm referring to MexiFry, not sarcasmic in that comment.

  • John||

    According to the index these economists devised, economic policy uncertainty was greater in Trump's first 13 months than in the same period under Obama—and bigger than the average for all of Obama's tenure. And things are only getting worse.

    The reason why uncertainty is bad for economies is that it prevents businesses from planning and investing because they can't calculate their future costs and revenues. And yet

    Quarterly Data: Finance and insurance; durable goods manufacturing; and information services were the leading contributors to the increase in U.S. economic growth in the third quarter of 2017. According to gross domestic product (GDP) by industry statistics released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, 18 of 22 industry groups contributed to the overall 3.2 percent increase in real GDP in the third quarter.
    Annual Data: Expenditures by foreign direct investors to acquire, establish, or expand U.S. businesses totaled $373.4 billion in 2016. Spending was down 15 percent from $439.6 billion in 2015, but was above the annual average of $350.0 billion for 2014-2015, and was well above the annual average of $226.0 billion for 2006-2008. As in previous years, expenditures to acquire existing businesses accounted for a large majority of the total.

    http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/glance.htm

    So whatever uncertainty exists, it is not the kind of uncertainty or sufficient uncertainty to have much effect on actual growth and investment.

  • Rhywun||

    He urges higher postal rates for Amazon because it has the same owner as The Washington Post, whose coverage often infuriates him.

    Uh, there's also the small matter of what he actually said, which was that taxpayers are subsidizing Amazon via the postal service.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Which is a lie, of course.

    Keep trying, though.

  • Rhywun||

    How is it a lie?

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: Rhywun,

    How is it a lie?


    Because the taxpayers are NOT subsidizing Amazon. Saying that it is, is a LIE.

    The fact is that parcel services, which Amazon is not the only driver, helps to subsidize first class mail service. This has been talked about many times.

  • sarcasmic||

    But, but, but Amazon is getting super-dooper-blooper-pooper-rich! Rich I tell you! It's not fair! They must be ripping someone off! Like, like, like the taxpayers! Yeah! By using the Post Office they're getting super-dooper-blooper-pooper-rich on the backs of the taxpayers! Yeah! Fuck Amazon! Off with their heads!

  • Rhywun||

    This has been talked about many times.

    Notably, without any numbers backing up either side.

  • John||

    It is not a lie. It is true. How is it not true?

  • Just Say'n||

    www.nationalreview.com/2018/04.....-it-alone/

    It's no more true than saying that the post office subsidized Sears when it was a catalog company

  • John||

    Sure. It is not only true for Amazon but it is true.

  • Just Say'n||

    It's not really true. You always get a deal from a business if you do a lot of business with them. Whether you are Amazon or any company that ships a lot through the post office

  • sarcasmic||

    Singling out Amazon, when everyone who uses that service gets the same benefits, seems to me to be a bit dishonest.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Everyone and every company that uses the USPS gets a subsidy. The USPS constantly runs in the red every year.

  • John||

    Which is true. I thought government-run postal services were one of the things Libertarians objected to.

  • hello.||

    It all depends on what the Kochs are invested in. "What's good for the Kochs is good for America" is literally the entirety of the Reason/Cato/AEI economic philosophy.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    Pssst. I don't mean to alarm you, but one Koch brother is under your bed and the other is in your closet every single night!

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Kochtopus gonna git 'em!

  • sarcasmic||

    taxpayers are subsidizing Amazon via the postal service

    Everyone who uses the postal service is being subsidized. This is an indictment against the postal service, not Amazon.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Amazon as one company gets more of a subsidy than other individual companies and people.

    Trump is pointing out that Amazon is getting richer off a bigger subsidy. He has yet to say that everyone gets a subsidy when using the USPS but that's politics.

    Bezos uses the WaPo to go after Trump, so Trump is using the US gov to go after Bezos.

    I have yet to see a lefty advocate that the government should never go after Americans and/or American business. Its only a problem because Trump is doing what Obama did. Bush did. Clinton did.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Navarro has a point in comparing the economy to an ox, because the president is treating it like a beast of burden.


    Zing!

  • Jerryskids||

    Trump's just negotiating a better deal for America. Unfortunately, he's only got one tool in his negotiating bag of tricks and that's to call everybody a sad dumb loser. It's the same tool he uses to motivate his employees, he's never heard the management adage about praising in public and criticizing in private.

  • Rhywun||

    Unfortunately, he's only got one tool in his negotiating bag of tricks and that's to call everybody a sad dumb loser.

    I wonder who he's posting here as, because that sounds awfully familiar.

  • John||

    He can't do any worse than the previous Presidents. They just rolled over and accepted any deal offered.

  • Ken Shultz||

    It was a different world when we offered China a path into the WTO.

    We thought that making China dependent on trade with the world would make them more interested in world stability rather than financing and spreading communism all over the world.

    We were right.

    We should offer North Korea a path into the WTO, too--for the same reason. That path should be dependent on them abandoning their nuclear and ICBM programs, of course.

  • hello.||

    We thought that making China dependent on trade with the world would make them more interested in world stability rather than financing and spreading communism all over the world.

    We were right.

    Just for the record I would like to be excluded from this royal "we" since apparently "we" are a bunch of fucking retarded shit stains who haven't noticed China expanding into half of Africa and shutting down international shipping lanes for the last 20 years.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "We" are the American people, in this case, and the fact that "Maoist" rebels now refers to their ideology, rather than the source of their funding, is indicative of the fact that China is no longer actively working to destabilize the developing world--rather, they're a force for stability in the developing world, especially if there are natural resources to be extracted.

    That change in orientation is attributable directly to China's admission to the WTO.

    The fact that we're not as worried about Chinese nukes hitting the west coast as we used to be--clearly--is also a function of the Chinese economy being highly dependent on the U.S. as a market for the exports, as well. To deny these big picture facts because of whatever detail you're asserting is the definition of "myopic".

  • Just Say'n||

    Donald Trump's 10 Rules to Motivate Employees

    (5) "When in doubt, tell your employees that they're 'SAD' whenever possible. This is particularly effective if this causes them to cry. Tears are weakness leaving the eyes. No one wants employees with sleepy eyes. SAD"

  • Ken Shultz||

    Well, let's get our facts straight.

    1) The stock market did, in fact, rally because of Trump's deregulation and tax overhaul.

    The S&P 500 went from a low of about 2190 just before Trump was elected to a high of about 2838 in January 2018, a 30% increase, and that rally was largely attributable to Trump's deregulation and corporate tax overhaul.

    2) Wall Street and Main Street don't always move in the same direction, but there is no good reason to think that deregulation and cutting corporate taxes is bad for unemployment, the labor participation rate, or wages. In fact, OTBE, those things react well to deregulation and corporate tax cuts.

    3) The fact is that two of the stocks hit worst by Trump's tariffs and China's retaliation yesterday were Nvidia and Boeing, both of which were down about 1% by yesterday's close. That isn't trade war-pocalypse. The market is taking a wait and see stance on the trade war, and that's probably not a bad indication for how we should look at things, too.

    4) The fact is that there are 30 days before a lot of this takes effect. Wall Street rallied in anticipation of Trump's deregulation and tax overhaul, and once those things became a reality, they were confirmed in stock prices in the form of higher multiples and higher earnings. The fact is that the worst of the trade war expectations haven't been factored into stock prices yet--because the stock market still thinks a total trade war is a risk but unlikely.

  • Ken Shultz||

    5) Five of the biggest tech stocks (the so called FAANG stocks including Google and Facebook) have been hit by some $370 billion in market cap losses since revelations of Facebooks misbehavior and expectations of regulation hurting their core business. The fact is that those losses are not attributable to the expectations of Trump's trade war.

    6) The fact is tat we would do well to look at markets to temper our expectations of the future--rather than, say, the reaction of journalists to Trump's tweets.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Religious Conservatives are really good at explaining stock markets and arriving at normative assertions.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Hank, you're an idiot. If you're saying he's wrong, be specific, and back it up. Don't act dismissive, as if you have any real knowledge of business or markets. As there is no real, evidence you do.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    White House economist Peter Navarro, whose boss claimed credit when the stock market was rising, now thinks it should be ignored. After Monday's plunge, he said, "The market is reacting in a way which does not comport with the ... unbelievable strength in President Trump's economy." Rest easy, Navarro advised. "The economy is as strong as an ox."

    Perhaps he should change his name to Baghdad Bob.

  • Art Gecko||

    Permanently high plateau?

  • Elias Fakaname||

    That must've been some bad acid.

  • hello.||

    Obama never denounced an American company with anything close to the menace Trump routinely exhibits.

    "We talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick."

    "I mean, I do think at a certain point you've made enough money."

    "I am convinced that if there were no Fox News, I might be two or three points higher in the polls."

    "If you watch Fox News, you are living on a different planet than you are if you are listening to NPR."

    "So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it's just that it will bankrupt them"

  • Tony||

    Well you got one actual company name in there. The one whose relationship with the current president is decidedly unhealthy.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    FOX and NPR don't like Trump.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    And don't forget Operation Chokepoint, which was designed to weaponize the DoJ against any businesses he didn't like. How about that one Tony?

  • Hank Phillips||

    Offhand, without a search engine, can anyone name three Kleptocracy politicians who aren't a force-initiating danger to everything that lives?

  • ||

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