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Trump Voters Stand by Their Man as He Wrecks Their Jobs

In Poplar Bluff, Missouri, support for Trump's tariffs is about tribalism more than anything else. That's dangerous and scary.

Andrew Kelly/REUTERS/NewscomAndrew Kelly/REUTERS/NewscomHis supporters were so enamored with him, then-candidate Donald Trump claimed in January 2016, that "I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters."

Thankfully, the president isn't shooting anyone in the street. But Trump's theory about his supporters' enduring love is being put the to test in a southern Missouri town where the White House's trade policy is killing jobs.

And the crazy thing is, Trump might be right—so far, at least.

The Kansas City Star dispatched a reporter to Poplar Bluff, home to America's largest manufacturer of nails, to find out how the steel tariffs were affecting Trump-supporting residents. Trump won 79 percent of the vote in Butler County, where Poplar Bluff is located. But the town of 17,000 could be decimated by the closure of the Mid Continent Nail Corporation, whose owners have warned that they may have to lay off hundreds of workers or even close their doors entirely as Trump's tariffs increase the price of steel—a rather fundamental fixed cost when you're in the business of making steel nails.

"This company, I think, couldn't be a better example of the kind of damage that's being done to America's manufacturing jobs as a result of this extremely misguided policy," company spokesman James Glassman told CNN last week.

Yet the Star's reporter found residents who would "never hold the loss of those jobs against Trump" even as they acknowledge that his trade policies could cause serious problems not only for the workers at Mid Continent but for the town and region as a whole. Even though tariffs are "going to drive up the cost of everything, people are still going to stand behind him," a chef named Eric Turner tells the Star.

And then there is this telling, and slightly terrifying, passage:

Sean [Foust] said if his friends who work there do lose their jobs, "I don't think it will turn them" against the president, even if "on the surface, it's going to look bad." Why is that?

Mostly, tribalism. "There's nothing he could do," the son said, to alienate Republicans. And the same holds true for Democrats, since "everyone's so set in their ways."...

Nearby in the downtown parking lot, in between the train tracks and the farmers market, a man wearing a shirt emblazoned with a red, white and blue peace sign, who only gave his first name, John, said he's "pretty worried" since two of his friends have already been laid off. But more important to him is that "there were so many illegals in the area taking jobs away." And Trump "is better than the Muslim we had in the White House." For him, a real threat to jobs is less frightening than an imagined one.

Could tribalism—or Trump's cult of personality—be such a powerful force in national politics that it overturns one of the oldest rules in the political book: that people vote with their wallets? Polls continue to suggest that Republican voters mostly support Trump's tariff agenda, even as analysis after analysis shows that the costs of the tariffs (and of the reciprocal tariffs launched by China and Europe) will overwhelmingly hit manufacturing and farming jobs—which is to say, jobs where Republicans and Trump supporters are over-represented.

Those polls, in turn, decrease the likelihood that Republicans in Congress will step up to stop Trump's trade agenda.

That people often vote against what seems to be in their own self-interest is not new. From Kansas to the West Side of Manhattan, it is a phenomenon that has been the subject of many a think-piece. There's probably something good—or at least vaguely noble—in the idea that voters can set aside pure self-interest to support what they see as policies aimed at the greater good, even if we might disagree, strongly, about what that greater good is.

When it comes to tariffs, though, it's not at all clear what greater good is being achieved with the sacrifice of jobs in places like Poplar Bluff. The Trump administration has not outlined a clear plan for what it is trying to accomplish. Officials in China, the nominal target of Trump's bellicose trade policies, are "absolutely confused" about what the Trump administration wants in terms of concessions, Politico reported last month. It is, of course, difficult to reach an agreement when neither side seems to know what the other side wants.

And it's not like people in Poplar Bluff have a lot going for them. Median household income is just above $30,000, and more than a quarter of the town's population lives below the poverty line. Butler County, where Poplar Bluff is located, has one of the highest unemployment rates in the state. One in seven residents work in manufacturing jobs, including the 500 or so employed by Mid Continent Nail Corporation. Who knows how many other non-manufacturing jobs are supported by the existence of a large business like that, and could be lost if it shuts down.

Mid Continent is one of thousands of companies to ask the Commerce Department for a special waiver that will allow it to avoid paying the higher taxes created by Trump's tariffs. Without the waiver, the 60 employees laid off in June could soon have company. Another 200 will be fired by the end of this month unless things change quickly, company executives tell U.S. News and World Report.

All of which leaves the impression that support for Trump's tariffs is not something generated by a sense of a greater good. It's not about voters agreeing to take a hit now because they understand it is necessary for something beneficial down the road. It seems to be, mostly, about tribalism. About the fact that our guy is "better than the Muslim we had in the White House," even if his policies cost my job.

At least that's how it seems for now. Once more jobs are actually lost, and perhaps once it becomes clear that the tariffs aren't accomplishing whatever goals Trump has, perhaps that will change. The partisan hatred might not go away, but maybe voters will stay home.

Until then, parts of so-called Trump country seem to be fine with their man destroying their jobs to own the libs.

Photo Credit: Andrew Kelly/REUTERS/Newscom

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  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

  • Brad Bolin||

    " Trumpalos"

    I've noticed since his election, everyone seems to be trying to find a epithet that isn't stupid and sticks. Trumpalos, Trumpistas, Trumptards etc.

    So far it's been a dismal failure.

  • Yellow Tony||

    That's why I stick with the timeless "-fag" suffix.

  • Rhywun||

    I like all of them. Drumpfenführer has a nice ring, too.

  • Brad Bolin||

    You're entitled to your opinion.

  • Brad Bolin||

    So I had to check, but Drumpfenführer is especially bad since it has basically nothing to do with him.

  • Rhywun||

    it has basically nothing to do with him

    You're very serious about this, aren't you.

  • Brad Bolin||

    Nope.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Perhaps Brad Bolin is an ICP fan.

  • Citizen X||

    Good for him. In the coming rebellion, we must all become muthafuckin' Juggaloes or perish.

  • Woodchipper of the Apocalypse||

    I like "Trumpista", but it's way too socialist-chic to apply to Literally Hitler

  • TeamsterX||

  • Pro Libertate||

    Hah! What's wrong with Trompe-l'œil ("deceives the eye")?

  • Brad Bolin||

    It's good, but too highbrow for his followers.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: Brad Bolin,

    Trumpistas has a nice ring to it. I don't mind saying it even when I coined the well-deserved epithet. It means 'a dolt who thinks tariffs and anti-immigration policies elevate a nation's economic prosperity as if by magic despite unbreakable economic laws such as Comparative Advantage, Division Of Labor, Specialization, etc.'

  • Brad Bolin||

    "Trumpistas has a nice ring to it."

    Not really. It harkens to socialism as WtA says, which doesn't fit him or them at all unless you contort theeanimg of the word.

  • Brad Bolin||

    " the meaning"

    this site needs an edit button

  • Naaman Brown||

    I see a [submit] box and next to it a [preview] box under the * COMMENT window.
    Clicking [preview] before [submit] and proofreading what you type and editing before clicking [submit] works wonders.

    Other comment systems have an edit button to use post submit. Some with a time limit. Some with unlimited time. That does allow one to let slip some embarrassing mispeilligns then cirrect them. That also allows the unscrupulous the opportunity to make replies appear unfair and allows them to avoid having to admit error like good academic debaters ought to.

  • vek||

    Preview buttons are for women and homosexuals. It is known.

    Real men just type there shit oot andz din't give it aseccnd thot.

  • Brad Bolin||

    And..
    I very much doubt you coined it.

  • Libertymike||

    He is the first poster here to have used it, IIRC.

  • Brad Bolin||

    Urban dictionary has it posted July 15 2016.

    There is little doubt it was used before then.

  • Sevo||

    Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless|7.9.18 @ 2:46PM|#
    "Re: Brad Bolin,
    Trumpistas has a nice ring to it."

    Only to those afflicted with TDS.

  • lulz farmer||

    As always, suss out the who/whom to see who actually benefits when applying doctrines like Comparative Advantage. Wow, seems it isn't the actual population of the country. Weird how that always seems to be the case with free traders that it's essentially stripmining a country and turning into an economic wasteland for the people who actually live there.

    The economic conditions that much of the western world suffer under right now are things that, in the past, had to be imposed upon others at the point of a gun. That's how bad they are.

  • ||

    The economic conditions that much of the western world suffer under right now are things that, in the past, had to be imposed upon others at the point of a gun. That's how bad they are.

    Peace, prosperity, and general health?

  • lulz farmer||

    Might want to look at those metrics again when it comes to individuals, not the overall GDP which you worship as a god even though it's a meaningless metric on its own that can be pumped up by, say, letting in lots of third world peasants and cycling money between them.

  • ||

    You might want to study some actual history before declaring what a world of horrors we live in compared with absolutely any time in the past. I didn't even look at GDP numbers in coming to that conclusion.

  • lulz farmer||

    "We have smartphones and other gadgets, therefore the fact that Millennials working full time jobs cannot afford family formation is fine."

    -t. The Eternal Boomer

  • ||

    "the fact that Millennials working full time jobs cannot afford family formation is fine cannot pay off their six-digit student loans, have free-standing mansions all to themselves, and have infinite-data at their fingertips while eating out gourmet for every meal."

    FTFY. Sounds a little less apocalyptic when you phrase it accurately, though.

    Thinks I pay attention to GDP. Thinks I'm a Boomer.

    One more strike and you're out, buddy.

  • lulz farmer||

    Having these gadgets doesn't mean our life in terms of real metrics is better. Life expectancy is down, per capita income is down, the cost of living including BASIC, STAPLE FOODS is up dramatically while pay has either stagnated or gone down for the last 40-some years.

    You are a boomer. No one else other than boomers or those born right after boomers would use this grotesque caricature of eating gourmet meals all of the time, like avocado breakfasts or whatever the dumb meme is. A huge segment of the population barely gets by now and if you think replacing them with third world peasants who are less productive, more criminal and have a proven civilizational incompetence is a good idea then your bloodline will come to and end as well, you short-sighted clown.

  • Nardz||

    Your stripmining analogy is very good.

    Another note about immigration, both illegal and legal: cost of living, specifically housing, rises dramatically. I had an apartment in Atlanta that was 700/m in 2014. By this year it was up to 1000/m. When I moved in there were a lot of immigrants (mostly East African and Indian), but over the years the percentage of illegal immigrants (hispanic and asian) rose, as did rent. It was, when I first moved in, the best deal in town. It still might be.

  • LynchPin1477||

    I'm a millennial, I work a full time job, and I can afford family formation (though my wife and I have not yet decided to have kids) and a solidly upper middle class lifestyle. My parents were lower middle class (dad drove did pickups for a hazmat company, mom was a librarian), I attended public high school and state universities (I did attend a Catholic elementary school thanks to financial help from my grandparents [grandfather didn't go to college - classic postwar middle class labor job]). I do have an advanced degree, and I guess I was lucky enough to be born with above average intelligence, but my brother has a more typical job (accountant) and is doing well for himself too (home owner, one child) because he is responsible and hard working and quickly moved up in his career.

    I'm not denying that I had some advantages growing up (mostly a supportive family and some natural talents) but I'm hardly the poster child for privilege or being born with a silver spoon. So you'll excuse me if I look at the claim that fellow members of my generation are living in an economic dystopia through no fault of their own with a bit of scepticism.

  • Anomalous||

    Trump Rangers.

  • Brad Bolin||

    That has a little something.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Trump Rump Rangers or is that too gay?

  • Anomalous||

    How about MAGAt?

  • Nardz||

    MAGAtarians?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    LiberMAGAtarians?

  • TeamsterX||

    doesn't this make you racists? The cis-gendered/rachael Dolezal crowd would call you that....

    It would be like me calling Hillary clinton "honest"...drug dealers would be extremely upset.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Trumpty Dumpty

  • Dan S.||

    Trumpeters?

  • nicmart||

    I've been fond of Trumpanzees.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Racist

  • BrianMiller||

    I prefer "Trumpkins," myself.

  • Citizen X||

    In Poplar Bluff, Missouri, support for Trump's tariffs is about tribalism more than anything else. That's dangerous and scary how politics works when you have an immense bloated intrusive government that still continues to loudly flaunt trappings of participatory democracy in front of an angry, intellectually neutered constituency.

  • NoVaNick||

    Maybe they are thinking that the government will step in and buy their nails for $100 a piece, like with the $600 they paid for a screw driver or toilet seat back in the 80s.

  • NoVaNick||

    Maybe they are thinking that the government will step in and buy their nails for $100 a piece, like with the $600 they paid for a screw driver or toilet seat back in the 80s.

  • Libertymike||

    You can sure post that again.

  • NoVaNick||

    Bad case of squirrels here

  • gimmedatribeye||

    I see what you did that. I *literally* laughed and blew snot out of my nose after I read that.

  • Ron||

    the thing is that the people will not blame the tarriffs or this nail maker they will blame the steel manufactures who will sit on their ass and not increase U.S. production and not open any new plants in the U.S. since they can afford to sit this presidency out. this is something that Trump does not understand as well

  • Yellow Tony||

    Trump doesn't understand a lot, sadly. The worst example is that he doesn't understand my feelings! None of you do! NONE OF YOU ANSWER MY SAUCY 2:00 AM FAXES!

  • Ron||

    ;)

  • Happy Chandler||

    The steel producers would be insane to invest billions in building capacity related to a policy that could disappear tomorrow. And, even if they did, capacity wouldn't increase for at least a year, minimum.

  • perlchpr||

    Frankly, the steel producers would probably be insane to try and open a new steel mill at all, under the EPA.

  • TeamsterX||

    actually when being given a 14% drop in their corporate taxes they could easily absorb the tariff costs and still prosper.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I remember 15 years ago, when democrats whines that opening up drilling in (fill in the blank) would take four or five years to make a difference. So better to do nothing.

  • DajjaI||

    Trumpelstiltskin, trumpelstiltskin.

  • Yellow Tony||

    Those faggots should've voted for McAfee; instead they voted for not-McAfee.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Don't slander faggots by associating us with Trump supporters. Trump had historically low support among faggots.

  • Brad Bolin||

    "us"

    Sorry, you don't speak for me.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Congratulations, you are the 12%.

  • Brad Bolin||

    I'm just a person who chides when people I don't know act as though they speak for me.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Dude, when a demographic hits 80+% support for something, it's not unfair to make broad statements that said demographic supports that something, especially if you also acknowledge that there is a disagreeing minority.

  • Brad Bolin||

    Dude, stop speaking for anyone but yourself. Period.

    You can think it's not unfair. You still won't be right in doing it.

  • EscherEnigma||

    "In 2012, black people supported President Obama, they voted for him at historically high levels."

    Is this "speaking for" anyone? No, it is not. It is reporting how folks spoke for themselves. Yes, it's possible to clarify (and clutter) by adding something like "overwhelming" in front of "supported", but the statement is still true without it, and the second-half does implicitly acknowledge that support was not universal.

    The statement you are so strenuously objecting to (which, mind you, was a joke) is similar.

    So in short, sorry (not sorry), but no. I did not "speak for" anyone, I (as part of a joke, which you took far too seriously) reported on how people spoke for themselves. If this offends you, then so be it. But I already do far more to not over-generalize and lump folks together then most here (including yourself. See your "too highbrow for his followers" joke above), and further clarifying and hedging my statements is not needed or warranted.

  • BYODB||

    It's curious that Trump supposedly has low support among gay people when he specifically has zero problem with gay people or their policy agenda that was, wait for, already enacted into law.

    While we're generalizing, is it also safe to label gay people as their own unthinking tribe of knee jerk morons?

    I think we'd both agree the answer is 'yes' politically.

  • Tony||

    Gays have been one of the scapegoats du jour for the Republican party for the better part of my life. Suddenly that fat racist pig comes along and barely manages to gum out the letters "LGBTQ" in a speech and we're supposed to start listening to all their wonderful ideas?

    Republicans wondering why brown people and gays just don't like them. It's pretty fucking precious.

  • Rz172||

    So, rather than actually acknowledge what he did for gays, you judge him based on a (recent) party affiliation in a game you insist is "a competition between two world views."

    That's not stupid at all.

  • Tony||

    What did he do for gays again? Appoint at least 2 supreme court justices who would take away the basic human right we just won?

  • Rz172||

    That would be weird considering he came out for those rights before Democrat party did.

    Stop with the memory hole crap.

  • Tony||

    I'm watching what he does, not what he craps out of his mouth hole.

    Still struggling to figure out all the great things he's done for gay people. And on top of that why he's ahead of Democrats on gay issues.

  • Rz172||

    No you aren't or you would KNOW what he did for gays long before your party got on the bandwagon, you easily manipulated moron.

  • Tony||

    Well he didn't contribute a lot of tasteful decor to the world, so I'm still at a loss.

  • Rz172||

    In a February 2000 interview with The Advocate, Trump said he supported amending the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include the category of sexual orientation and supported federal hate crime legislation that would cover sexual orientation.[77]

  • Rz172||

    He also gave his gay employees benefits for their partners before the Dems adopted it as a platform.

  • Tony||

    Good for him. Wake me when he stops appointing right-wing theocrats to the judiciary.

  • Rz172||

    WAKE UP ASSHOLE!!!

  • Sevo||

    Tony|7.9.18 @ 3:34PM|#
    "Good for him. Wake me when he stops appointing right-wing theocrats to the judiciary."

    Wake me when you stop being a fucking ignoramus.

  • nina33436||

    You have a short memory, a Republican Judge on the Supreme Court gave the decisive vote for gay marriage. It was Justice Anthony M. Kennedy!

  • Elias Fakaname||

    What 'basic human right' do you speak of?

  • EscherEnigma||

    So, rather than actually acknowledge what he did [...], you judge him based on a (recent) party affiliation [...]


    To be fair, that is how he wont the nomination and became President. His supporters ignored a whole lot that he said and did before he decided to run for president.

  • Rz172||

    That's their problem. He was a New York Democrat until very recently. He really had no choice if he wanted to get elected but to go Republican, Bernie's situation made it clear no one but Hillary was getting the D nom.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Unlimited mainstream media propaganda doesn't hurt. Can you imagine what a gigantic failure the democrats would be if the media wasn't run almost exclusively by progressive de democrats.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    You don't have to be a republican to not like you, Toejam. Most people, not just Republicans, don't particularly care for douchebags. Not really political at all.

  • EscherEnigma||

    It's curious that Trump supposedly has low support among gay people
    "Supposedly"? Dude, we have data on this. He lost gay folk more then Romney did.

    While we're generalizing, is it also safe to label gay people as their own unthinking tribe of knee jerk morons?
    Go for it; I won't stop you. I generally don't bother inserting myself into discussions involving such obvious hyperbole.

  • Rz172||

    You started the entire discussion with your own hyperbole.

  • Tony||

    The thing is it's worse than Trump being anti-gay, which he probably wouldn't be all things being equal. But as a sociopathic narcissist, he would throw gays under the bus in an instant if it got him some love from a FOX News bobbledick.

    Although he does seems to genuinely hate Mexicans.

  • Rz172||

    Bro, you just ignored things he did to attack him for things he didn't do. Stop pretending you're rational.

  • Tony||

    I'm never going to vote for any Republican, dude. They lost me at Iraq.

  • Tony||

    And running national elections on making morons hate gay people was kind of a clincher.

  • Rz172||

    You literally had to ignore what Trump has actually done to reach that conclusion. Stop pretending you're rational.

  • Nardz||

    Tony, this thread has been one of your finest performances yet.
    Bravo!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Tony, we knew you always vote Lefty.

    You hate Libertarians too.

  • Juice||

    I'm never going to vote for any Republican, dude. They lost me at Iraq.

    Wait. So you would vote for Ron Paul?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Don't worry Tony, you're a far worse bigot than Trump will ever be.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Just the ones who come here illegally. You always manage to leave that out. Of course, you're an incredibly disingenuous person.

  • EscherEnigma||

    ... yes, I committed the grievous sin of responding with a joke to a joke. How can you ever forgive me?

    That said, it's not hyperbole to say that Trump had historically low support among gay folk. That's a verifiable fact. And given how often I see crap like BYODB's line 'round here, it's really weird to see so many of you questioning how little support he got.

  • Rz172||

    "That said, it's not hyperbole to say that Trump had historically low support among gay folk. That's a verifiable fact."

    I suspect it isn't. I suspect your time frame isn't "history" at all, but only recent enough to allow you to make the claim.

  • EscherEnigma||

    I suspect your time frame isn't "history" at all, but only recent enough to allow you to make the claim.


    Dude, if the worst you can say is that I merely have decades of data to support me, and not data going back centuries, I think I'm doing pretty good.

  • Tony||

    It's only because gay people are all idiots, Escher.

  • Rz172||

    At least one of you is.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    EscherEnigma|7.9.18 @ 3:46PM|#
    ... yes, I committed the grievous sin of responding with a joke to a joke. How can you ever forgive me?
    That said, it's not hyperbole to say that Trump had historically low support among gay folk. That's a verifiable fact. And given how often I see crap like BYODB's line 'round here, it's really weird to see so many of you questioning how little support he got.

    I have yet to see good data that it is verifiable. I think you may be correct but the gay community is so tiny that I dont think there are good polls about whether they like Trump.

    If they don't, I really don't understand why. Trump doesnt dislike gay people and has not done anything to hurt gay folks.

    Even ending the SCOTUS decision with gay marriage is not hurting gay people. If the majority of people want gay marriage then add marriage into the the Bill of Rights.

    Marriage between a man and woman are protected under the 9th and 10th Amendments.

  • Tony||

    Are you for real?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I am Connor-For-Real!

  • BYODB||

    I say supposedly because, notably, surveys are fallible and since I've made it a pet cause it would be inconsistent of me to take such a survey at face value now. That's based on the fact that polling is quite definitely non-predictive in this area, so take that for what it's worth.

    It's also not hyperbole in the least assuming your previous comments were on the money since it would be strange for a group such as LGBTQWhatever to vote against it's own self interest by voting against Trump when he is quite definitely on board with LGBTQWhatever rights and causes de jour.

    So...thanks for proving my point that this is in no way limited to Trump voters. Everyone's an idiot. You're welcome.

  • BYODB||

    And, as a follow up, it's curious that any group would vote 80% for one party. Even using African American's makes for some interesting conclusions given that Democrats are the party that tried to stop the Civil Rights Act. I guess memories are short, huh, given that as a group they overwhelmingly favor Democrats?

    That, or maybe using statistics to try and measure groupthink is mental masturbation instead of a valuable fact. Any group that lives on the Democrat plantation is expected to live by the sword though, and you know what they say about that...

  • EscherEnigma||

    I say supposedly because [...]


    So you ignore years of data, years of ancedotes, years of gay folk and groups telling you why they reject the Republican Party and President Trump, and insert your own opinion of how those folks should feel about President Trump, all so you can pretend the outcome is "curious"?

    That's not "curious", that's straight-up bad-faith discussion.

    So if the point you're making is that it's easy to pretend surprise when you ignore what people have been telling you, you made it. If your point is that people regularly vote against their self-interest, you've failed hard.

  • BYODB||

    Ok, riddle me this then. If Trump in particular doesn't have any notable issues with the 'gay community' than why are gay people as a demographic uninterested in voting for him?

    The obvious answer? It has nothing to do with issues that actually have anything to do with the 'gay community' and has more of a basis in the political opinions of those who voted.

    What remains unmeasured? The sentiments of those people who are both gay and did not vote. Since no data exists in that realm, I remain unconvinced that it isn't the simple result of the 'get out the vote against the Republicans' aspect of their 'community activism'. Just like that of, say, the NAACP who helps convince African Americans to continue voting by-and-large for the party that was explicitly against them having Civil Rights.

    Now, things obviously change but to sit there and look at change right in front of you and say none is is occurring is indeed curious.

    My only real point was that Republican voters in, say, the rust belt are no different than anyone else in this regard. They ignore harms presumably for a greater good they might believe in. One could say it's either selfless or foolish, I guess, depending on affiliation. *shrug*

  • Elias Fakaname||

    "If Trump in particular doesn't have any notable issues with the 'gay community' than why are gay people as a demographic uninterested in voting for him?"

    Trusted lesbian Rachel Maddow tells them not to.

  • The Last American Hero||

    We waved the rainbow flag at the RNC convention - proving that the gene that makes you attracted to the same sex makes you want to vote Democrat.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Tony's presence here doesn't help.

  • BrianMiller||

    >Trump supposedly has low support among gay people when he specifically has zero problem with gay people or their policy agenda

    Not quite accurate. While Trump is "pro-gay" for a Republican, his platform on gay issues is largely equivalent to 2008 Obama or Hillary, which still provided plenty of opportunity for criticism of both for the LP of that era.

    And the legal victories for LGBTs were not the result of legislation -- they were constitutionally derived rulings striking down bipartisan anti-gay laws. Elected politicians -- Trump included -- have generally been somewhere between useless and harmful to the individual rights of gay people.

  • TeamsterX||

    wow, LBGTQ makes up 3% of society, african -americans make up 13% of the population....are you going for Stolen Racism?

  • Yellow Tony||

    This, my fellow Americans, is the real nemesis: bundles of sticks voting and posting on forums! People worried about voting fraud when dead people were "voting," but this is much worse because plants haet humans. By voting, they will further their anti-human agenda, and we will be powerless to stop them! Not only that, but these faggots will spreading their bullshit throughout online communities with impunity.
    Where has my country gone?

  • EscherEnigma||

    Eh, it's basic cognitive dissonance. They support Trump, so clearly anything that goes wrong isn't actually his fault. It's the same reason you found folks blaming Obama for what Bush did during 9/11 or Hurricane Katrina.

    Simply put, these folks will probably have to ditch Trump for some other reason before they start blaming him for these layoffs. But he'll lose the support before he gets the blame.

  • BYODB||

    Or people giving Obama credit for 'fixing' immigration when he did no such thing.

    It's amusing that the author says that people vote with their wallets though. A curious proposition since it fails to explain how a party that consistently votes to raise taxes and raise spending could possibly be successful and yet the Democrat party still appears to exist and be somewhat popular in urban centers.

    Curious.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Or people giving Obama credit for 'fixing' immigration when he did no such thing.


    Yep.

    It's amusing that the author says that people vote with their wallets though


    Not really.

    Go look at 2016 exit polls. The biggest indicators of party vote were of course whether someone was Republican/Democrat. After that was being an African American (other races swung one way or the other, but not as dramatically), being gay, being evangelical, ideology (conservative/liberal), and "is your family financial situation better then it was a year ago". Folks that thought they were better off then a year ago largely went for Clinton. Folks that thought they were worse off largely went for Trump (and I'm talking 70+% support here). Folks that thought it was about the same were pretty closely tied.

    So I suppose a clarification is needed... people vote with what they think of their wallet.

    [...] how a party that consistently votes to raise taxes and raise spending could possibly be successful [...]
    Both parties raise taxes and spending. The trick is to make sure it's your detractors that get hit with the raise, or if you are going to increase taxes on your supporters, obfuscate it so they don't notice (for example, Trump's tax package is going to raise middleclass taxes in a few years above and beyond Obama's levels).

  • Rz172||

    "Go look at 2016 exit polls"

    I prefer recent, useful news.

  • BYODB||

    Yes, because I recall hearing all those Democrat speeches involving national debt and the inevitable results of all that spending they believe can't be 'cut' even when the 'cut' discussed is merely a slowing of growth.

    This isn't a defense of Republicans, clearly they lack the numbers to have any real chance at passing spending cuts nor would I find it likely they would do so if they had the numbers. The silence is deafening from the Democrats on what to do with the implosion of their sacred cows though, and that's on them.

  • TeamsterX||

    The irony is they Democrats finally want to cut a Federal program...ICE....but I bet any plan will move all those agents over to the Department of Education....AFSCME baby!....oh wait Janus just screwed them out of that.

  • BrianMiller||

    No Republican president in the 20th century has reduced spending, even when he had control of both Houses of Congress.

    At least the Dems are honest about their big spending ways.

  • Don't look at me.||

    Hard to get upset when the stock market is banging.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    401k up 19% since Jan 2017 and 8% in 2018.

    MAGA!

  • BrianMiller||

    Wait until you see your returns once interest rate hikes plus profit warnings due to tariff impacts hit.

  • Brad Bolin||

    "That's dangerous and scary."

    RUFKM?

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Very HuffPo. 10/10 to Reason for clickbaity garbagespeak.

  • DajjaI||

    Dear Trumpkins: please don't kill yourselves just yet. Vote republican in the Nov elections (or libertarian if the republican is safe) and then you can 'accidentally' overdose on fentanyl as a result of an addiction that started when you were prescribed vicodin for a 'sports injury' in high school and lied dormant for years. Don't worry that's what we'll write in the obit.

  • Brad Bolin||

    "Trumpkins"

    *sigh*

  • Yellow Tony||

    *smooch*

  • Brad Bolin||

    It's just so uncreative. Why no Trump-hugger? Trump-licker? Ah well.

  • Tony||

    Cousinfucking morons still has a nice ring to it, I think.

  • Brad Bolin||

    Nah, it speaks to an irrational reaction to losing to them that doesn't behoove a well adjusted individual.

  • Brad Bolin||

    Not to mention totally uninspired and non-descriptive.

  • Don't look at me.||

    Your side lost to cousinfucking morons? How embarrassing for you.

  • Rz172||

    The Rusiians hel... cough cough...

    Sorry I choked on the stupidity of what I was about to say.

  • Tony||

    They are easily manipulated. Hence "moron."

  • Rz172||

    Says the guy who thinks the Russians got him elected.

  • Tony||

    The investigation is ongoing.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    So is your mindless raving Tony. Neither will amount to anything, ever.

  • Tony||

    I am not against tribal politics. I'm in favor of tribal politics when warranted. Where I draw the line is fucking retards denying facts they don't like in service to that tribe. That is a problem Republicans have on many subjects. Normal people take a look at those science-denying, Russia-denying, modern civilization-denying FREAKS and say "no thanks" and switch tribes to the sane people.

    Your kind I just don't get. Is it about Jesus?

  • Rz172||

    "Where I draw the line is fucking retards denying facts they don't like in service to that tribe."

    This from the guy who thinks the Russians got Trump elected.

  • Tony||

    That Russians interfered is not a fact that's in dispute. Whether they were the deciding factor may never be known.

    You don't want any investigation into it at all. Just because of the (R) after his name. That's fucking borderline treason and that's why your dangerous tribe of fascist lunatics needs to die and get buried.

  • Rz172||

    This from the easily manipulated guy who thinks the Russians got Trump elected.

  • Tony||

    Who's manipulating me? Did Rachel Maddow hire Bob Mueller to do a pretend investigation?

  • Rz172||

    "Who's manipulating me? Did Rachel Maddow hire Bob Mueller to do a pretend investigation?"

    So, is Tony playing stupid? Or is he actually stupid?

  • Rz172||

    "That's fucking borderline treason and that's why your dangerous tribe of fascist lunatics needs to die and get buried"

    You just scream " well adjusted and rational"

  • Tony||

    I am very rational, and while I was mature for my age when it came to personal responsibility as a kid, my development in that area is a bit arrested, and I'm essentially where I was as a high schooler. Still pay all my bills on time. Great credit score. But not so much into the optional parts of being a grown-up, so I am not sure about "well adjusted."

  • Rz172||

    Oh, we're sure, as is everyone who knows you at all.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Trump had nothing to do with any of the Russian activities. Although Hillary might have. given her previous business dealings when she sold our uranium reserves to Russia for $145 million for the Clintons.

  • Naaman Brown||

    The Russians claim we have meddled in their past elections. Who was in charge of meddling in Putin's last election?

    And why does anything Russian sourced have to be the Russian government? Or if it is the Russian government, maybe Putin is engaged in a campaign to undermine Trump's credibility? Russian mail-order bride ads popped up in my email inbox shortly after my wife died 2014. Should I assume Russian bots controlled by the Russian government? Or do Russian pranksters also have access to the internet. Like the drunken college students who add a roommate's name to the list of victims in a serial killer's Wikipedia bio?

    Russian meddling does not equate to active collusion with the Russians either, effective or ineffective. Mueller is finding everything but evidence supporting the original issue, all smoke and no light, but to left-wing lunatics their poetic truth (what they deeply want to believe to justify power) always trumps mere fact.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    We've had an investigation for a year and a half that has produced no connection between the Trump campaign and Russia. None. Just unrelated bullshit, and process crimes. That became obvious once the problem investigation turned towards porn stars and playmates. Regarding incidents over a decade ago.

  • Ariki||

    God dam Tony you are like 95% projection aren't you?
    Your therapist must make a fortune.

  • Rz172||

    This one isn't. I rest my case.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    To answer your question, yes, Tony is stupid.

  • Rz172||

    He's rational too, rational enough for political disagreement to warrant death.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    As rational as someone who wants to murder all dissenters of Socialism and their families.

  • Tony||

    That's more of a moral issue.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Tony, who needs morals when you got socialist Nazis on your side.

    We know they are very effective at oven roasting.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    I think referring to Tony as 'that retarded, palsied buggerer of schoolboys has a nice ring to it'.

  • TeamsterX||

    Lol, no offense, but as an Independent...looks like the crazy Progressives are the ones self-indulging in the 'easy way out'.

    Heck moderates on both sides do not have the time to compteplate suicide, cause Life is to good.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    It's aight. Vice News assures us the working class of Venezuela stand by their man while he wrecks their lives and their country.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Is their man swinging from a lamp post yet? Didn't think so.

  • ||

    If anyone can sympathize with 'cult of the personality' forming around Trump, it's Obama fans and sycophants.

  • Tony||

    Obama fans didn't accept each and every one of his policy proposals with unthinking enthusiasm. They hated Obamacare.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Is that why they wanted it repealed?

  • Tony||

    Obama was and is a moderate who appealed to liberals and moderates. Nobody has ever won more votes than him in the history of the country. Obamacare was, by necessity, a moderate-to-conservative healthcare policy. Liberals hated it because we have fucking brains and know what we're talking about some of the time. That doesn't mean we wanted evil Republicunts taking what good it does away and replacing it with *splat*. (That was the sound of a soft shit hitting the floor of the Senate chamber.)

  • Brad Bolin||

    When did the free market become nothing? It seems to be a talking point that the people who use it don't understand the vapidness of.

  • Citizen X||

    You have no idea how vapid Tony is willing to be. It's 'bout to get all vapid up in here!

  • EscherEnigma||

    When did the free market become nothing?
    40s I think. The market has been so obfuscated and weird since then that it hasn't really responded to market pressures in almost a century.

    Or to put it another way... there has been no time in the last twenty years† where you could call up every hospital in a twenty mile radius and get reliable estimates of what it would cost for a full-term no-complications birth. Without the ability to get that kind of basic information, people cannot make informed choices, and there are no free market pressures.
    ________
    †Probably further back, but I'm hedging at 20 to be safe.

  • Brad Bolin||

    I agree with your timeline, perhaps even earlier, which makes me wonder how anyone can deride a free market in health care since they have likely never seen one in their lifetime.

  • EscherEnigma||

    (A) Tony wasn't actually deriding a "free market" here, he was deriding the pre-ACA status quo, which people certainly are qualified to comment on.
    (B) Whatever you think of the ACA or it's alternatives, a "Free Market" has not been a serious proposition at any point in this multi-decade debate.
    (C) It's possible to deride things without personal experience. There's plenty of data points you can research.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I pay cash for minor medical expenses and have catastrophic health insurance for major stuff.

    ObamaCare fucked up my options but my rates when way down recently.

  • Brad Bolin||

    (A) I disagree, he was quite clearly discussing what Obamacare would be replaced with, and one of those options is a free market. The pre-ACA status quo is another.
    (B) Which has really nothing to do with an open discussion of it here. And to be frank, free-market reforms surely have been a point of the health care debate at all levels, so some discussion of it would in mind be justified, as a whole and piecemeal. You may also find that your assessment of which sources are serious is different from mine.
    (C) Many things are possible, while not being advisable.

  • Tony||

    Obamacare was the free-market option on the table.

    You ahve to acknowledge, though, that actual universal access to healthcare is not something an unsubsidized market could ever achieve. No universal product or service is available in a free market, because some people will always be too poor to afford it.

    That's why Republicans invented the market-friendly changes that are now found in the ACA. But since Obama did it, suddenly it's Stalinism, of course, because Team Red are real good thinkers about stuff.

  • ||

    Obamacare was the free-market option on the table.

    Yes - Tony said that, meant it, and has no idea why you're laughing at him.

  • Tony||

    Nobody brought up "let the poor and sick die" option in Congress, as far as I'm aware, though I understand that to be the prevailing idea in these parts, if not spoken in such honest terms.

  • ||

    ^ See?

  • Tony||

    Well, Rand Paul might have.

  • ||

    I think he said something more like "let the poor people spend their limited resources on actual healthcare rather than on a useless, government-mandated "insurance" policy that doesn't cover anything."

    But your version is good, too.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    No dumbfuck Tony, that really doesn't happen except under socialism, and your death panels. Like in England where the NHS made that little boy die recently after refusing to treat him, and then not allowing anyone else to try at their own expense.

    This is why people like you are the enemies of humanity. There are a lot of you and some,thing will have to be done at some point. More and more Americans are waking up to that realization every day. Probably because you progtarded trash become more vicious and violent by the day.

    You progtards might even survive, if you learn to back off. But I doubt any of you are that smart. Maxine Waters and her ilk are what you turds are really all about.

  • Happy Chandler||

    How about Medicare? Hugely popular, 100% socialist. Propose cuts to it and lose the next election.

    It's such good socialism, Republicans falsely claimed the ACA included cuts to Medicare.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    It did include cuts to Medicare. The changes caused lapses in procedure that nearly ended up crippling my father.

  • BYODB||


    Yes - Tony said that, meant it, and has no idea why you're laughing at him.


    Maybe he's just being honest that the free market people are being told to pound sand and like it even while they're the one's being blamed for all those 'market failures'.

    Gotta do something with all those kulaks and wreckers, right?

  • Tony||

    Everyone understands it's a competition between two opposing worldviews (on nearly every subject), ti's zero-sum, and so most people won't spend a lot of time hemming and hawing between Rs and Ds. The parties are totally ideologically sorted, so on the plus side at least the morons who inhabit this country don't have to do a lot of thinking.

    What we have seen is the upending of any conventional wisdom that people vote in their own economic self-interest, even if they understand what that is with respect to a specific policy. Culture war trumps all. I'm rooting for the culture with advanced degrees and a basic understanding of reality, but that's just me.

  • Brad Bolin||

    "Everyone understands it's a competition between two opposing worldviews (on nearly every subject)"

    Oh ok you're the delusional guy on the forum.

    ", ti's zero-sum"

    Who doesn't know what zero-sum means.

  • ||

    Oh ok you're the delusional guy on the forum.

    You must be new.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Bras, Tony is basically the Village Idiot. Except less profound and informative, amd with less credibility.

  • Ariki||

    on the plus side at least the morons who inhabit this country don't have to do a lot of thinking

    Man your lack of self-awareness is amusing.

  • NoVaNick||

    So, yes, just like the progs will continue to support a president who raises their taxes through the roof, this is for "the common good"

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Comrade, don't you know? Our only freedom is through the socialist chains that bind us.

  • NoVaNick||

    So, yes, just like the progs will continue to support a president who raises their taxes through the roof, this is for "the common good"

  • NoVaNick||

    Damn squirrels!

  • Don't look at me.||

    Squirrels for the common good.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Squirrel taxes for the common good.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Just a squirrel trying to get a nut.

  • Bearded Spock||

    I've made this point in other articles of Reason's "Trump's tariffs are killing our jerbs!" series. The writer seems to accept without question the business' claim that a simple increase in tariffs will completely destroy the company.

    My question is: would Boehm be as credulous of their claims if Trump had proposed eliminating a tariff which benefitted the company?

    Of course not. In the article Boehm would patiently explain why the company doesn't deserve special treatment, how they would likely be able to adapt, and how these hysterical predictions are probably a scare tactic to put political pressure on Trump and Congress to restore their federal goodies.

    For the past 25 years, Mid Continent has been the beneficiary of cheap subsidized foreign steel. They're sqwaking loudly now because they lost their subsidy, so they called up the local Media to write a sob story they can use to make those mouth-breathing MAGA-ites fall in line.

    The reasons Trump voters don't care are numerous, but the main one is probably because they have heard all this before. It's like the NFL teams threatening to leave unless they get a new stadium; the team gets their bennies and leaves anyway.

  • Rhywun||

    The reasons Trump voters don't care are numerous, but the main one is probably because they have heard all this before.

    Somehow I missed your point in the previous few dozen entries but yeah I think it's a good one. The wrtiers here do have a habit of missing the forest for the trees when it comes to certain issues and this is one of them.

  • Bearded Spock||

    I admit I don't know much about Mid Continent, but if the company is more than 30 years old I can almost guarantee two things:

    1. They have fewer employees today than they did in the 1980s

    and

    2. They accomplished #1 by job cuts and layoffs, which likely left a fair amount of resentment and mistrust towards the company in the community.

    This is partly why I think most people in Butler County are willing to give Trump the benefit of the doubt when it comes to tariffs. They tried Free Trade, and all they got for their trouble was a county with a high poverty rate and reduced economic opportunity. In the past Mid Continent cut jobs and laid off people anyway, even though they had lots of cheap foreign steel to help them.

    At least with tariffs they have the prospect of getting China to stop dumping.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The premise that tariffs alone kill businesses would result in all businesses going under.

    Even the Founding Fathers used tariffs to fund the tiny federal government.

  • JoeBlow123||

    USA Tariff Rates 1821-2016

    It is interesting to note the USA became an economic powerhouse while having tariffs much higher than Europeans

    USA & France & UK Tariff Rates 1830-2010

    And China became an economic powerhouse while their tariff rates were much higher than their trading partners. It is almost like tariff rates are not as important as to economic development as everyone likes to scream about.

  • vek||

    The truth is they're just one more minor tax/distortion of MANY in the market. They're not the end of the universe, especially not the low to middlin' ones we have now, or that Trump is throwing on.

    Look at steel commodity prices... Prices are STILL cheaper than they were several years ago, before China really ramped up their unnecessary production to flood the market. Same thing on the article bitching about cherrys or whatever. Prices ebb and flow all the time, and the relatively minimal impact of these tariffs are in fact smaller fluctuations than have just happened in the market with zero interference anyway.

    So a pain in the ass? Maybe. But a few tariffs will not send the entire world into a great depression.

  • Quintus Slide||

    Cool. Let them starve.

  • Truthteller1||

    Tribalism? Just another meaningless signaling term.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    To be fair, elections are decided by very slim percentages in the middle. Even in the biggest recent Electoral College drubbing, Mondale still managed to get 40% of the popular vote. Look at the Perot elections, even with a viable 3rd party the losing candidate among the 2 major parties was around 37-40%. In short, roughly 40% of voters on either side of the spectrum (80% of likely voters) are going to vote for their party no matter how bad their candidate is. So, sure, it's not surprising that if you interview a random person on the street that supported Trump in 2016, he/she is going to support Trump in 2020 no matter what he does (within reason). The same could have been said about Obama or any other recent President.

  • John||

    Has it ever occurred to you that maybe people just have different values than you do and just disagree with you? That 40% that votes for each side has good reasons for doing so. You just don't agree with their values and opinions. That is fine. I don't either in a lot of cases. But, what annoys me about people like you is that you think anyone who disagrees with you must just be some mindless tribalism. Well fuck you. Really, fuck you. If anyone is mindless it is you and your belief that everyone but you is stupid and irrational. They are not. They may be wrong but they are not necessarily irrational.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    I never once made a single value judgement in my original point. Try reading it before replying.

    I'm not arguing their reasoning for voting for either side, I'm just saying that they're likely to do it. Even the worst recent Presidential candidates (Mondale for example) have maintained 40% of the popular vote.

    So by sheer percentages, picking a supporter for candidate X gets you to roughly half of the electorate. If 40% are a "given" to vote for their party, then you have a 90% chance of picking a partisan supporter who will in fact support their party's candidate basically no matter what they do. So my point again, it's not surprising that picking a random 2016 Trump supporter will support him in 2020 no matter what.

  • John||

    Okay.

  • Azathoth!!||

    In short, roughly 40% of voters on either side of the spectrum (80% of likely voters) are going to vote for their party no matter how bad their candidate is

    That there's a value judgement.

    In case you were wondering.

    Maybe those 80% see something you don't. Or maybe they see something you won't. Maybe, to them, their candidate's not bad at all.

  • John||

    As usual, reason seems incapable of understanding that voting is a question of revealed preference as opposed to stated preference. You only get one vote. And while you job is an important fact in determining that, it is not the only factor. I am sure these people would prefer to keep their jobs. But, that doesn't mean that they don't see the Democratic rule as causing more harm than just losing their job. Moreover, to think that losing our job should cause you to change your vote you have to assume that the other party is going to get your job back. What reason is there for these people to think that?

    It is not hard to understand this. Put yourself in a similar situation. If voting for a candidate who didn't hate you and would protect your right to own a gun and live in peace meant losing your job, would you still vote for their opponent when doing so meant voting for someone who hated you and was intent on taking everything you had but your job?

    The only thing scary here is how stupid the author of this article is. They really must not teach critical thinking in the schools anymore.

  • Bearded Spock||

    Reason's brain trust has a hard time grasping the fact that for a good percentage of Americans, and a majority of Trump's base, the past quarter-century of Unrestricted Trade and Open Borders have resulted in an unmitigated economic disaster for these people.

    They watched their high-paying factory jobs go overseas, and then when they tried to get another job they found what jobs were left paid little more than minimum wage because of a flood of illegal Third-World laborers who were willing to work for less and overlook things like work safety violations and overtime rules.

    Then to add insult to injury, when they complained they were called lazy and entitled and stupid and racist. How would anyone be surprised when they voted for someone who at least promised to help them?

    They might not like what Trump is doing now, but they sure as Hell know they hated what his predecessors did to them and their communities. So Trump wins by default, because no other politician really cares.

  • vek||

    Both of you are right. Sometimes there is more at stake than direct, immediate self interest. You might believe in principles, or you might believe that while something is painful in the short term, it will be worth it in the long term.

    With respect to the working class getting kicked in the nuts, THEN thrown under the bus, THEN insulted... Yeah it's not hard to see why they would want to try something different.

    IMO I think sorting out trade deals and opening up all these high tariff wall protected industrializing economies is a VERY worthwhile goal. If we had true free trade with China I have ZERO doubt we would have exported probably several hundred billion, or even trillions of dollars, more in products to them since we opened up trade. How many jobs would that have been? How many more tax payers instead of welfare cases?

    I think a lot of people that may have short term pain from sorting this out realize there is a the long term potential for their situation to be improved. I personally feel that is the case if he can get China and others to cave. No pain, no gain, right?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Freedom isnt free.

    Sometimes you get hurt fighting for freedom. In this case its fighting for lower trade restrictions by China and the EU.

  • John||

    You have to remember Eric is an idiot who makes up for it by being smug and completely lacking in self-awareness. The idea that who a person votes for might be the result of a combination of values and priorities and not be based on any one thing never occurs to him. Yet, somehow Eric is convinced that it is everyone else and not him who is simple-minded and tribal.

  • Tony||

    If Obama had done literally the exact same policy you guys would be in a screeching rage about it. Not even the other Trumpfuckers here would dispute that.

  • John||

    Tony you are a just an angry moron. You really are. Nothing I say here has anything to do with how people should vote. In fact, it defends people who vote Democrat just as much as those who vote Republican.

    I guess being as dumb as you are is what accounts for why you are always so pissed off. I would be pissed off too if I were too stupid to ever understand what was going on around me or what anyone was saying. That has to be incredibly frustrating for you.

  • Tony||

    The only people in the world who think these agitations for a trade war are a good idea are Trump, some lunatics whispering in Trump's ear, and you retards who would support him if he gay married a burrito and then shot it on 5th Avenue.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Now you're just projecting. You are part of a hive mind that tells you what to think. So you cannot conceive of an a,ternate way of thinking. It's just beyond you.

    Kind of like the way the primitive brain of a small dog is completely wired to its sense of smell. Except you're more like a rodent.

  • Tony||

    So among most of the informed thinkers in the world on this subject, Donald J. Trump has the secret plan to save America. Believable.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    No. It's been obvious for decades something needed to be done, you moron. No one did anything for decades. Trump isn't hamstrung by owing a bunch of political favors, and has the stones to at least try. I don't honestly know if it will work, but has o,an has a decent chance of at least some success.

    Which is far better than anything Chocolate Lenin did, or The Hag would have done.

    And I'm pretty certain you will root for failure out of spite. Basically, I'm pretty sure you hate Trump more than you care about America, the people in general, or anyone around you. Selfish piece of shit.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I am willing to let this go on for 6 months to a year to pressure China and the EU to lower trade restrictions.

  • Naaman Brown||

    What's the Canadian tariff on American dairy products?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Obama could not pull of lowering trade restrictions. He had no balls. Nobody took him seriously anyways. He gave away The Crimea to Russia.

    Obama could have repealed the Controlled Substances Act with fellow Democrats but they didnt.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Obama could have done all kinds of things, partisan and non partisan, such as:

    Rescheduling or even removing pot from the list of controlled substances at the federal level

    Made better trade deals. At least a little.

    Repealed DOMA

    Revised US immigration laws

    What else could Obama have done if he had any balls?

  • Happy Chandler||

    Over the Obama years, the tariffs were lowered, the Renminbi was allowed to float, and won every single case brought to the WTO (including 16 against China alone).

  • JoeBlow123||

    And the trade deficit grew, our military dominance vis a vis China continued to collapse, our economy limped along while China's economy boomed, we continued to allow China to dictate our foreign policy by trying to be nice to them, and allowed China to continue to bully a democratic country in Taiwan that is allied to us. So what? This is like someone praising pointless tactical victories while they are obviously losing the strategic war.

    To be fair he did recognize China was a problem and tried to do something about it by introducing TPP and the "Pivot to Asia." Problem was TPP was torpedoed while we wasted time fucking around with Iran in the Middle East and our "Pivot to Asia" was more like "We Would Like To Pivot To Asia But The Middle East Is A Never Ending Black Hole We Are Too Spineless To Abandon." You do not get Gold Stars at his level for trying and failing though.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|7.9.18 @ 3:57PM|#
    "If Obama had done literally the exact same policy you guys would be in a screeching rage about it."

    Isn't it interesting that our resident lefty ignoramus always posts what the voices in his head tell him what might have happened rather than responding to fact.
    Perhaps that's just a symptom of being a fucking lefty ignoramus.

  • Nardz||

    "posts what the voices in his head tell him what might have happened rather than responding to fact."

    This is something of a defining characteristic of Progressives. So, so much of their argument lies in what *would* happen if X. What people *would* do if unconstrained or unaided by benevolent government.

  • Nardz||

    So, so much of the Progressive worldview is composed of collective fantasy. It's pathological and more and more... psychotic.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    There does seem to be some insanity mixed in there too.

    Lefties continue to do the same bad things over and over and over. They just think you need to socialism harder.

  • Smarty||

    You are projecting. Right now, we have lefties screaming over things Trump is saying or doing, but Obama said and/or did many of the same. Kids detention, talk about immigration....

    You guys project with zero self-awareness.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Eric and the rest of reason staff have yet to explain how the USA could realistically move from the managed trade system we had as of January 19, 2017 to free trade without some pressure on China and the EU.

    Trump even said "Ultimately that's what you want, you want tariff free, no barriers, and you want no subsides because you have some countries subsidizing industries and that's not fair," Trump said. "So you go tariff free, you go barrier free, you go subsidy free, that's the way you learned at the Wharton School of Finance."
    Trump statement at G7 about zero trade restrictions

    The G7 members said no.

  • John||

    Every country in the world engages in some kind of egregious protectionism. It is just a question of degree. Yet, the entire reason staff is convinced that the US engaging in any protectionism at all or even threatening it is going to be the end of the world. Economics is not an academic subject to them. It is a form of religion. I don't even bother reading or commenting on most of their articles on trade anymore. There is no point. Reason doesn't want to have a reasoned discussion or to consider and debate their assumptions in hopes of confirming or refining them. They just want to rant and rage about the sinners in the hands of the angry trade god. It is pathetic.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I am very pro-free trade but I never thought we would get there because no politician ever had the balls to not care about what his opponents thought about him.

    The lefties really fucked up on this issue because Trump is running out of thing he can do without Congress. Getting China and the EU to lower trade restrictions is something that he can do without Congress. If the Democrats had let Trump cut budgets, building his wall, and other things he would be focusing on those things. Instead the Lefties are slowing his progress on immigration, lowering budgets, etc so he has shifted gears to trade. Trade is a campaign issue for Trump but I did not think he would get to it so soon.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    The people getting fucked are the poorly educated, unskilled Americans who are losing their jobs as Trump's tariffs precipitate economic dislocation of the goobers who can afford it least.

    That most of those job-losing yahoos voted for Trump makes this an enjoyable lesson in accountability.

    I hope their Trump hats are tasty and nutritious.

  • JoeBlow123||

    Those yahoos can still stick a pitchfork in your gut if they get riled up enough. It is your and their best interest to keep everyone content.

    And I am still waiting for an anime recommendation, Rev. What do you suggest?

  • gimmedatribeye||

    What's your problem, dude?

  • Nardz||

    The Rev's problem?
    Being alive

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Hey Arty, I'll be sure to direct those 'yahoos' to you when they want some payback. I hear organ harvested no lays pretty well if they do a clean sweep and extract all of them.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Has it ever occurred to you that maybe people just have different values than you do and just disagree with you?

  • John||

    Claiming dire consequences of any action on trade is not a value. it is a factual statement. And a very silly one at that. It is not about their values. It is about their absurd and irrational claims.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    The left and Reason appear to be of the mindset that we need to bend over and take it from any and all foreign countries on trade, with a smile on our face.

    It's just like telling a beaten woman to shut up and do what her abusive husband says, amd if she doesn't of course it's her fault if he beats the shit out of her.

  • Tony||

    TPP was about establishing leverage against China. We have given China more power over trade because we decided to have a moment of populist insanity whose conventional wisdom was that all trade deals are bad.

    And you're supposed to be the people for free trade anyway, goddammit.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    What is you point?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Tony would be for managed trade under Obama's TPP but not managed trade under Trump's plan to get rid or drastically lower trade restrictions.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    That's a bingo!

  • JoeBlow123||

    "Economics is not an academic subject to them. It is a form of religion."

    It is very clear hardcore libertarians are as religiously devoted to their economic dogma as Marxists are. Both are equally stupid to be married to some utopian ideal.

  • KH||

    It's a circus sometimes, isn't it?

  • vek||

    Yup! The truth is there's the way things would work in a "perfect world," and then there's the way they work in the REAL WORLD.

    Economics in the real world is a lot more complicated than either Marxists or purist Libertarians make it out to be. Traditional free trade theory has ZERO in it that covers: Unemployment rates, smaller tax base paying for the same socialized costs, lowered income for those still employed, transfer of asset ownership to foreign people/entities and the longterm effects on the net worth of the importing nation, etc.

    Not to mention comparative advantage theorizes one can produce things you are less bad at to import things your even worse at... But what private industry produces products at a loss to export to maintain the trade balance so other things can be imported we are less comparatively good at???

    Too many variables NOT accounted for in the very simplistic traditional Free Trade Theory.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I was thinking in the car today how no Lefties really burn the US flag anymore.

    Its like making burning the US flag now protected by the 1st Amendment, shifts it from a publicity gaining act to nothing news worthy.

  • gphx||

    It's hard for someone to burn something they're busy wiping their ass with.

  • gphx||

    A jewish author accusing everyday white people of 'tribalism'.
    Amazing.

  • lulz farmer||

    Don't be tribal, said The Tribe.

  • KH||

    "That people often vote against what seems to be in their own self-interest is not new."

    ...or maybe they haven't forgotten what the other candidates were like - or what every other major party candidate in the last 20 years has been like.

    When I talk to members of the Baby Boomer intelligentsia on both the left and right, they seem to have an image of manufacturing that's 30+ years out of date: big unions, assembly lines and oil slathered laborers heaving loads of raw materials. The reality is utterly different:

    "Harkening back to 1980 when he was at Bell Labs working on a 1MHz 32-bit processor, [former Intel chief microprocessor architect Robert] Colwell reckons that the improvements in semiconductor scaling since then have led to a 3500X improvement in chip performance. But what about design innovations such as pipelining, caches, superscalar architectures? Not so much, he says – a 50X improvement at best."

    (bit.ly/2zyE5LB)

    [I have to split this post up...]

  • KH||

    "Scaling" means shrinking the gates and interconnects on chips by improving mechanical processes like wafer lapping, stepping and mask writing that are used to make them. It means improving the metallurgy of vacuum chamber walls, the thermal control of the rooms where the exposure happens and the microstructural consistency of the ingots that the wafers are made from. It also means constant improvements throughout the supply chain. A lot of the equipment used in microlithography is more acurate than the chips themselves, and when I started two decades ago, we were ahead of the fab guys at Intel, IBM and TI by a couple orders of magnitude.

    Boomers are so blinded by resentment of their fathers that they can't see any of that, and it shows in their lame attempts at policy: Instead of outsourcing low-skill jobs and busting unions, they're been stupidly outsourcing high-skill, non-union growth industries. When they gave away the VLSI industry to TSMC and Samsung, their excuse was 'But, BUT, Intel and IBM still have the high end!' Seriously, who cares? That's like betting on Duesenberg instead of Ford.

    When the gave away drug manufacturing to China, they just pretended it wasn't happening. (It's not like they had a choice. I mean, what would their argument have been? "It worked great for dog food?")

  • KH||

    They were also wrong on a theoretical level from the beginning: It's easy for contract manufactueres to keep trade secrets, but it's really hard for fabless design houses to do the same. If you outsource manufacturing, then your foreign sub-contractors will have all of your CAD files and you will know exactly nothing about how they turn them into real products that real consumers buy with real money. Oh, and it really sucks when you have to send sensitive prototyping jobs to overseas competitors (with months of lead time for them to reverse enginner everything) because you have no reliable domestic partners.

    (And no, 3D printing is not going to save you. Even laser metal sintering only gives you bulk properties similar to a casting - no fatigue strength, and no use in testing most structural parts. Graphite-laying priners give you a stiffness-to-weight ratio that's equal to aluminum, but only in one plane - and planer parts are dead-simple to mill, so the advantage is close to nil.)

    So yeah, there are some incorrigible retards in national policy, and Trump is hardly the worst of them.

  • KH||

    They were also wrong on a theoretical level from the beginning: It's easy for contract manufactueres to keep trade secrets, but it's really hard for fabless design houses to do the same. If you outsource manufacturing, then your foreign sub-contractors will have all of your CAD files and you will know exactly nothing about how they turn them into real products that real consumers buy with real money. Oh, and it really sucks when you have to send sensitive prototyping jobs to overseas competitors (with months of lead time for them to reverse enginner everything) because you have no reliable domestic partners.

    (And no, 3D printing is not going to save you. Even laser metal sintering only gives you bulk properties similar to a casting - no fatigue strength, and no use in testing most structural parts. Graphite-laying priners give you a stiffness-to-weight ratio that's equal to aluminum, but only in one plane - and planer parts are dead-simple to mill, so the advantage is close to nil.)

    So yeah, there are some incorrigible retards in national policy, and Trump is hardly the worst of them.

  • Happy Chandler||

    So are you saying that government should be commanding corporations on where and how to run their manufacturing, because a command economy is FREEDOM?

  • JoeBlow123||

    How about we should not be sending jobs overseas to the kleptoctatic, totalitarian Chinese? How hard do you want to get fucked by them before you realize maybe it was not such a great idea to invite them to be rich and prosperous with no strings attached?

  • KH||

    No, stop taxing me to fund the navy that protects their shipping lanes and stop spending a trillion dollars of taxpayer money every year training their workforce for them. Let them do what they want when they pay for it.

    As for the article, most domestic industry is less exposed than a nail factory, and even workers at that plant who support (or tolerate) Trump aren't completely off base because their other options are dismal.

    Their problem isn't just low wages, it's that their cost of living is kept artifically high by state meddling and protectionist licensure bodies that raise the cost of most white collar services. So they're paid in depressed global wages and billed at inflated domestic rates (sometimes three times the global rate).

    Even if Johnson had won, he would have spent the subsequent four years establishing the LP brand and you can bet that he wouldn't have picked a losing fight with Congress to try to nuke the AMA, ADA, ABA and other white collar unions. So what are you offering a grudging Trump voter other than four more years of the same?

    Besides, the status quo is pretty far from libertarian. The people who benefit the most are self-described professionals in protected industries and a few investors who speculate on government disruption. Neither group is ever going to drown the state in a bathtub because they need it too much. Simultaneously the people being hammered are the ones who really *could* drown the state because they're pretty self-sufficient.

  • Nardz||

    Great post

  • JoeBlow123||

    KH, fantastic post. Thanks for sharing.

  • KH||

    Thanks :) Several of yours were devestatingly spot-on as well.

  • Naaman Brown||

    "It worked great for dog food?"
    Wasn't a lot of Chinese dog food toxic because they added cheap chemicals to fake out the protein tests?

  • KH||

    Yep, melamine.

    That would go great with Tylenol, wouldn't it?

  • Juice||

    support for Trump's tariffs is about tribalism more than anything else

    Just like the stupid national anthem thing, or the Ckick-Fil-A thing, or the Starbucks thing, etc. It's not about patriotism or job protection or sound economics. It's about tribalism and conformity within the tribe.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Intersting. What expressions of patriotism, DO you approve of?

  • lulz farmer||

    Maybe these things are all interconnected. Like if you flood me with tens of millions of people, among whom some are scab laborers and some are outright parasites who raise my taxes, things are going to be worse.

    When you add into the fact that when these people get into politics they make it explicitly that they are anti-my tribe and for a politics of redistributing from people in my tribe to people in theirs even though I never consented to letting them to begin with, then you can see why I would want to keep them out of my territory.

  • ||

    some are scab laborers

    lol - who resurrected 40s guy?

  • damikesc||

    They should vote with a party that hates their jobs and hates them personally?

    I am not seeing it, personally.

  • Tony||

    Libertarians for government subsidy of useless jobs the market doesn't want anymore!

  • lulz farmer||

    As opposed to what, the make-work Diversity Commissar sinecures that the party that hates them creates and doles out to everyone else but them? Wow yes, I should vote for this so we can have more Diversity Executives and Deans of Diversity that are brought in via immigration programs or are descended from last generation's hostile alien immigrant population and subsidized with higher taxes. This is 100% in my interest.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Don't forget all those gender studies professors.

  • Tony||

    So some libertarians think we should sacrifice not just freedom of movement, but freedom of trade, in order to promote American nationalism. Except that the ideas being implemented to achieve this "winning" are actually helping China and hurting us. Hypocrisy combined with self-defeating ignorance. It's how they get your vote!

  • Elias Fakaname||

    You're confused. The whole idea is to use the threat of tariffs as leverage for our trade partners to reduce or abandon their more egregious protectionist and predatory policies.

    I know you're accustomed to taking it up the ass, but international trade is not the way to do it.

  • lulz farmer||

    Is China allowing its own people to be ethnically cleansed via its national immigration policy? Will China still have Han Chinese people in 100 years? Is China losing by not importing tens of millions of Africans, Arabs, and other hostile ethnics who take more out of the pot than they put in?

    That's kind of a basic interest there. Survival. "The Economy" is not a god. If "The Economy" as it were does not serve your interests, then it is not in your interest to play ball like a sucker and just eat the losses. If it impinges on a basic interest like CONTINUING TO EXIST, then it is in your interest to change things at all costs. I'm not some deracinated cuckold who is cut off from his roots who thinks we're all just some kind of "homo economicus" because it's ahistorical and not how people act in the real world. Maybe you've deluded yourself into this mode of thought, though. It just means you and yours are not fit to survive in this world.

  • ||

    hostile ethnics

    Possessed by the disembodied spirit of George Wallace?

  • lulz farmer||

    Maybe George Wallace was right and the fact that no counter-arguments were offered is a deafening silence.

  • vek||

    You know, if every single ethnic group that wasn't white didn't organize themselves along racial lines, and then specifically attack white people as a group through the use of government power... MAYBE white people wouldn't feel quite so antsy about letting in 10s of millions more?

    Problem is they DO. AND they also don't support, according to polls, any of the fundamental rights this country was founded on. So in the REAL WORLD, not utopian fantasy land, most immigrants have in fact just fucked the country up compared to where we would have been with less immigration.

  • lulz farmer||

    It's also 100% asymmetrical since land and carry capacity are limited. They are essentially getting new territory and we are not.

  • Nardz||

    You might want to check out China's markets... they're not looking good

  • loveconstitution1789||

    "The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index jumped 2.5 per cent to 2,815.11 on Monday, the biggest single-day gain since May 2016. Still, it has fallen 21 per cent from a January high as the US-China trade war continues and the deleveraging to rein in shadow banking denting economic growth dampen investor interests."
    Shanghai Stock Market plunge in 2018

    Funny. My US stocks are going up.

  • vek||

    That's because any smart investor knows we have China by the balls. If Trump decides to go "nuclear" with the trade war and put in large across the board tariffs, we will win.

    If the USA lost EVERY SINGLE JOB we have that relies on exporting to China we'd just get a minor bloody nose economically... If China lost every single job they have that relies on exporting to the USA they'd be on their deathbed economically. They would instantly be in a massive depression, probably with millions rioting in the streets... We'd have a quarter or two of flat or maybe -1% GDP growth. And we could keep importing our cheap shit from India, Vietnam, Mexico, etc the whole time, so it wouldn't even be much of a disruption to peoples lives.

  • perlchpr||

    That people often vote against what seems to be in their own self-interest is not new.

    It's against my economic interests every time I pay for something rather than stealing it. I still think stealing is wrong.

  • lulz farmer||

    >it's in my self-interest for myself and my descendants to be made a hated minority with nowhere to flee by your open borders and related policies
    Nice meme, reason dot com.

  • Cumbubbulus||

    Who exactly determines what is in my best interest and whether or not I'm voting against it? Hmmmmm . . .

  • lulz farmer||

    It's if a hostile foreign elite like the author article tells you it's good for you. Then somehow magically it's good for you. Good goy.

  • Cumbubbulus||

    We need to replace globalism with goybalism. Give the middle finger to our hook-nosed overlords.Yuk-yuk.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I expect some deferred economic benefit as Trump supporters whose counterproductive votes have precipitated their layoffs buy even more of the sketchy street pills they gobble to try to get through another deplorable day in our desolate, left-behind rural and southern stretches.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    I would love to meet you at some, point and watch the smug run right out of you, as you begged me not to hurt you, knowing deep down you intrinsically have earned a large number of beatings.

    You're undoubtedly a huge pussy.

  • gimmedatribeye||

    But, but, but I'm more educated than youuuu!!

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Ironically, I'm pretty sure he isn't. I do actually have an extensive formal education. I'm betting Arty doesn't.

  • Nardz||

    Arty is transparently insecure

  • Tony||

    So you're an educated psychopath. Your benefit to the planet is the ability to hide more bodies of half-eaten young men than the average bear. What a contribution.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Sorry, not a huge meat eater, and I go through periodic vegan phases too. Nor am I a psychopath. I'm just incredibly militant against slaver trash like you amd your friends, that are very often psychopaths. Like The Hag, who is undoubtedly a clinical psychopath.

    You see Tony, as I am libertarian leaning, I generally leave people alone who leave me alone. You and your friends don't. You want to tell me how i live, what jobs I can have, where I can an live, what I'm allowed to say, and now it appears, what I'm a,lowed to think.

    This cannot be.

    Your life is in no way more valuable than my freedoms. In fact, if I had a choice to see every single progressive slaver slaughtered outright, or see an end to my liberty, you would all be face down in a landfill within a nanosecond.

    On the other hand, of you and your fellow travelers abandon your slaver ways, and leave me alone, I am perfectly happy to leave you alone.

    Make no mistake, since there are millions of people just like me out there, and like me are heavily armed and trained, those ARE ultimately our options.

    So you amd your pals should perhaps find a less invasive political philosophy if you value your continued existences, because the way things are going, that last straw is drawing closer than ever.

    Peace buddy

  • Naaman Brown||

    Why do I get the impression that if Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland watched any of The Hunger Games he'd root for the Capital elite against the Districts underdogs?

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Ironically, the dumbest hillbilly dirt-eater is still smarter than Arthur L. Hicklib.

  • Rockabilly||

  • buybuydandavis||

    " In Poplar Bluff, Missouri, support for Trump's tariffs is about tribalism more than anything else. That's dangerous and scary. "

    American tribalism is only dangerous and scary to those who hate America.

    America First.

  • vek||

    Reposted from the Cherry article:


    I don't know that I like the way Trump is trying to tackle the trade issue... But it does need to be dealt with. I think tariffs on input materials is a bad idea, hence his steel thing is silly. And doing small tit for tat stuff is also dumb.

    IMO he should go straight nuclear option. What I mean by that is threaten across the board, high tariffs on EVERYTHING coming in from China if they don't agree to dropping tariff and non tariff protections.

    Here's the thing: We can throw their economy into depression day one... We don't export enough to them to even give us a mild recession if we lose 100% of exports to there. It'll give us a bloody nose, but it'll put them on their deathbed immediately. What about all those goods we need? Well, almost everything they make is also made in other low wage countries. We can import cheap shirts/shoes/etc from India, Vietnam, Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia, weeell you get the picture.

    But where can they sell their goods? Nowhere. Hence they are forced to cave. Many say he's just stepping it up chunk by chunk to give them time to realize we have them by the balls, and he'll just keep stepping it up bit by bit until they cave... But politically this is bad because it gives people time to be outraged, whereas if he just threatened the nuclear option, they would have to cave immediately knowing they couldn't survive an across the board tariff wall. We'll see how his plan goes I guess...

  • Smarty||

    Please recall that the act that triggered Pearl Harbor was the US shutting off Japanese access to oil. Not that war wasn't coming, but full on economic war is pretty devastating and can trigger military response. Better to boil that frog slowly.

  • vek||

    As to trade in general, here's the thing: I think free trade is where we need to go. The question is how to get there? Certainly bending over and letting others erect barriers to our goods, while doing nothing in return, didn't get us there. Will the threat of cutting them off? Maybe. Hopefully. I think it would if we were REALLY willing to go all the way with it.

    The thing Free Trade absolutists like to ignore is that tariff barriers are just ONE tiny little manipulation of many. Regulations, wage controls, currency manipulation, etc all come into play. Mild tariffs will not destroy the universe, but they clearly do slant things one way or another a bit. Tariffs on finished goods DO slant things towards producing them domestically, at a higher price generally.

    The problem with traditional Free Trade Theory is that it just doesn't cover sooooo many of the real world variables that exist in the modern world.

    The potential that ANYBODY would EVER be unemployed is literally not covered. Why? Because back in the day when the theory was created it didn't exist as a concept. You either did something more profitable if it was available, or you subsistence farmed. This doesn't happen anymore, you simply become completely unproductive. It also doesn't cover how a reduced tax base due to unemployment moves fixed socialized costs onto the remaining employed. Not to mention direct welfare to those that lose their jobs!

  • vek||

    If you outsource a job and say save $1,000 a month per worker by having somebody in China do it... But then start shelling out $2,000+ a month in welfare benefits to the unemployed worker in the USA... Did you REALLY save $1,000 by outsourcing??? According to labor force participation rates we have somewhere between 10-15+ MILLION fewer people working compared to a decade or so ago... How much is it costing us to have them doing NOTHING, while still consuming services???

    It also doesn't cover the long term effects of foreign people/entities acquiring domestic assets that are now no longer owned by the native people if you run a large and systemic trade deficit over a long period of time. WHO owns assets matters. Like owning your own house is better over the long term than being a renter.

    The whole thing is predicated on the idea that if you import something that person who loses their job will move on to something that is comparable or better paying, than what was lost... But that simply hasn't been the case in the real observable world. We have 10 million + fewer people working, and half a trillion a year in assets being sold off to pay for current consumption. The only reason we've been able to get away with it is because we have a fiat currency, that happens to be the world reserve for now... But it can't last forever, and if it does we're going to wake up with foreigners owning half the assets in the US, and be renters of assets that we used to own. Not good either.

  • vek||

    I think if we can force true free trade our economy will be doing pretty good. We're still doing OKAY, even with things being as borked as they are. The fact is you can only push a service economy so far. Most service jobs just shuffle money around in a circle between people. They don't produce NEW wealth from scratch.

    For instance you cannot have a town that has the following workers/jobs: A school teacher, a barista, a cop, a dentist, a masseuse, and a retail worker. Why? Because NOBODY actually produces any NEW value. Those jobs all need to exist in a healthy economy, but they can only exist if somebody else is producing something of value. If you added in somebody who invents new things (IP creates new value), a farmer, a manufacturer, a miner, and an oil man then you have a well balanced economy. Most of the jobs would then be creating NEW value from scratch, and those secondary jobs can exist based off the productivity of the others.

    What we have now in the USA is a hollowed out version of the above. We have far fewer jobs that produce new value, and more jobs that just shuffle it around. This makes for a brittle and weak economy. If the town above ONLY had the IP guy and the farmer it would be a lot easier for the town to fall apart because there is less new value being made compared to the overall size of the economy. In other words fewer productive industries supporting more industries that don't really produce anything.

  • vek||

    Japan and Germany both have about double the number of people working in manufacturing, and it's doing them just fine. We do okay in many productive industries (IP, agriculture, some extractive industries), but there's no reason to completely throw one of the major producers of net new value under the bus, especially when we have such massive under employment. We have a very brittle economy nowadays, which is one reason why we probably recovered so slowly from the last recession.

    Manufacturing isn't the MOST IMPORTANT part of our economy, but it's not nothing either. People who think you can just toss aside such a massive and important portion of the economy are just fooling themselves. The USA is too big a country to depend on a single industry (banking in Switzerland, Saudi oil, etc), we need to have a balanced-ish economy. We can't float our whole economy on tech (Google, Facebook, etc employ basically nobody in terms of raw numbers, they just have an inflated image in our consciousness), banking, agriculture, or ANY single industry. Those are all things we do well in, but no one thing can support the USA.

    We have a lower percentage of our population working in manufacturing than basically any other 1st world country... And more people working low wage service jobs. I'm pretty sure if slackers like the French can gainfully and profitably employ people in manufacturing at better than barista money, the USA can too. Especially if we open up real free trade.

  • A Series of Tubes||

    "the price of steel—a rather fundamental fixed cost when you're in the business of making steel nails."

    This is a variable cost, not a fixed cost.

  • TxJack 112||

    I am not a fan of tariffs but this claim is garbage. The EU, China and others have imposed tariffs on our products which make it impossible to compete for decades. This economy has been struggling for years and all Trump is trying to do is level the playing field. It may fail but is better than doing nothing or even worse, entering into more trade deals that are one sided. Business is complaining because it will cut into their profit margins. What I think is so ironic is the unions and Democrats who have complained about the issue for decades are suddenly free traders when they have argued for tariffs for years. What that actually proves is like so many other problems, they do not actually want a solution, just the issue and someone to blame for political points.

  • XM||

    They haven't lost their jobs yet. Some of them may end up blaming Trump after all. Even Obama lost millions of votes in 2012 (losing two states that he had won in 2008) because ACA was such a drag on middle class America.

    But the base may never abandon Trump because the left will never allow them to fall out of love in an organic fashion. They're completely and utterly unhinged. The republican voters (even some NeverTrump) will not ignore the endless harassment and flat out hypocrisy from the left.

    "Where are there so many Catholics in the SC" That's from the same people who backed the "Wise Latina". Religious tests are still illegal, but that doesn't concern the left. They make stuff up on the fly to float their narratives, like making a Trump monster for doing things Obama had done right underneath their noses.

  • newshutz||

    I don't think the danger is China raising tariffs, but China dumping all the US Gov Bonds they hold. We get a market crash and interest rate rise.

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  • Two Buck Chuck||

    Smart money is on the tariffs as a short term strong arm policy to make the outcome of future trade deals favor the US more than they have in the best. It's an effective strategy when you're on the demand side. When one is injured, one can lay down for a short time and see a full recovery, or one can refuse to pause, and limp forever.

  • Two Buck Chuck||

    In the past, I meant...

  • Michael Cook||

    Never forget that a tariff is a tax, so the U.S. government can replace it when China no longer buys our debt by simply taxing incoming Chinese products.

    The spectacular fight is with Germany, which wants all things all ways. It wants the USA to protect it from Putin when Moscow is being nasty, but Germany wants to spend its own defense money on other things. Germany wants to pretend to be on the moral high ground and Merkel insists on the strict observance of "sanctions" on Russia, but Germany also is importing more Russian natural gas than ever and Chutzpah Angela Merkel is making excuses why Germany can't import natural gas from the USA as well. She rents our military on the cheap and hoses our workers.

    Chutzpah Angela, you are also buying a whole lot Ukrainian gas thru a company named Burisma. The problem, where is that gas really originating--maybe in eastern Ukraine controlled by Russian entities? Google Hunter Biden and now tell me how American Democrats and Euro-leftists pretend to be anti-Putin but in truth that is a cultivated illusion supported only by the Fake News world wide networks. The truth is there is no truth being reported from Brussels.

  • Smarty||

    Maybe, just maybe it isn't tribalism but something the author cannot comprehend?
    Patriotism?
    Being willing to take one for the team?

    The trade war is on. Just as Patriotic Americans see it as their duty to take one for their team and fight in land wars for the greater good, they are willing to see some economic disruption if it creates a better nation for their neighbors and kids.

    What a sophomoric article, a clear case of the author using his bias to explain the actions of others. I used to think that was a leftist trick....

  • SeriousYouCannotBe||

    Seriously when the WH is loaded with billionaires, it's the little guy working for the nail factory that has to "take one for the team". Frankly it should be the other way around, the nail factory should not be the one to "take it for the team".

  • SantaFeSteve||

    What is scary is reporting that is politics.

    You are an insult to Reason.

  • SeriousYouCannotBe||

    Meh - as long as it's "theoretical" they will say that - it's only when it's "real" and they actually lose their jobs, their house, whatever will they say differently.

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