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The Trump Presidency Thread


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#1641 FCP Bob

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 12:40 PM

I agree with everything in this article.

Trump's promised tariffs will start a trade war, not ensure national security
The president's new trade policy will do more harm to America than good.


President Trump’s apparent decision to ignite a preemptive trade war by imposing tariffs on aluminum and steel imports highlights several of his worst qualities as a leader: Zero-sum thinking, a nostalgia for a long-gone America, evidence-free beliefs and an inability or refusal to be educated about those beliefs. It’s that toxic cocktail of guttural impulses and instincts that has helped lead to him to push for a radical policy solution in search of an actual problem.

Now the purported reason why Trump is saying that he will announce these steep global tariffs next week is for national security — at least, that claim forms the legal basis of the action. And who knows, maybe Trump even kind of believes it himself. As the president said in February, “I want to keep [metal] prices down but I also want to make sure that we have a steel industry and an aluminum industry, and we do need that for national defense. If we ever have a conflict we don’t want to be buying steel [from] a country we are fighting.”

As rickety as the national security reasoning is, the economic argument is equally bad, if not worse.

That reasoning is pretty much ridiculous, unless the Pentagon has given Trump reason to think it’s possible that the 1st Armored Division might one day be racing toward Toronto, or Army Rangers parachuting into Rio de Janeiro. The top two suppliers of steel imports to the U.S. are Canada and Brazil. On the other hand, Russia and China — two countries with whom we might more realistically have a future military conflict — contribute just 9 percent and 2 percent of steel imports, respectively.

And, as trade expert Phil Levy has pointed out, the Commerce Department report that claimed metals imports had eroded the country’s ability to make its own weapons also noted that the Defense Department’s steel needs require a measly 3 percent of total U.S. steel production, which is a steady 70 percent of the U.S. market. So national security is a flimsy, even vaporous, justification for tariffs.

But as rickety as that reasoning is, the economic argument is equally bad if not worse. It’s doubtful even the administration’s own economists could stomach making the case that tariffs are good for the American economy. And that perhaps is especially true when what’s being taxed — and tariffs are a tax — are commodities used to make a vast array of products for business and consumers.

His argument really isn’t an economic one anyway: It’s all about respect.

Steel mills add $36 billion of value to the economy each year and employ some 140,000 workers, according to the Cato Institute’s Dan Pearson. The companies that buy steel as an input for further manufacturing produce output, however, add worth of just over $1 trillion and employ 6.5 million workers. Trump is potentially hurting the many to maybe help the few. What’s more, the decline in steel jobs since the 1950s and 1960s — you know, when America was really great in Trump’s view — is as much a result of technological innovation as international competition.

Many economists, both within and outside the Trump administration have tried to explain all this to the president. But Trump has been railing against free trade for 40 years (though, one would think that a man who brags about the building's he's constructed would be in favor of cheaper steel) and seems unpersuadable.

But his argument really isn’t an economic one anyway: It’s all about respect. As Trump sees it, U.S. trade negotiations have been getting suckered — perhaps willfully — for years by their craftier foreign counterparts. His proof is decades of persistent U.S. trade deficits, which he interprets as the U.S "losing" at trade.

Trade hawks in the Trump White House such as economist Peter Navarro may well want to undermine the entire global trading system — including the World Trade Organization and global supply chains — that has led to postwar peace and prosperity.

America’s chronic trade deficits, however, stem from Americans’ decisions not to save much of their money, not from dumb trade deals. And, if you compare trade deficits to jobs growth, they are positively correlated: In other words, when jobs are plentiful, Americans buy lots of stuff, including imports. (The irony here is that, if Trump’s tax plan actually stimulates the economy, it is likely to lead to even wider trade deficits, perhaps giving Trump even more reason for further tariffs.)

Now if these tariffs stick, the direct impact might be slightly lower economic growth over the near term. In America’s increasingly digital economy, aluminum and steel imports together account for only about 2 percent of total goods imports, according to Barclays — though the economic damage could increase if and when other nations retaliate.

None of that is really the most serious concern of many economists, policymakers, or market players. As Goldman Sachs explained in a research note this week, “This could lead to other trading partners taking similar actions and could ultimately weaken the international trade conventions, like WTO rules, more generally.” Other countries, they suggest, may be tempted to use the "national security" excuse to justify their own protectionist measures now that Trump is setting a precedent.

Then again, trade hawks in the Trump White House such as economist Peter Navarro may well want to undermine the entire global trading system — including the World Trade Organization and global supply chains — that has led to postwar peace and prosperity, and brought hundreds of millions of our fellow humans out of deep poverty. They are nationalists who may be willing to tolerate a poorer, more insular America in the name of greater sovereignty and less economic disruption.

As former Trump adviser Steve Bannon has put it, “A country is more than just an economy.” Well, we might just see if this country will like the sort of less dynamic economy and less stable world that Trump’s trade war might just bring.

James Pethokoukis is an economic policy analyst at the American Enterprise Institute. He is also an official CNBC contributor.
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#1642 Fenxis

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 05:18 PM

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#1643 brvheart

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 10:45 PM

I mean, if he strongly condemned a powerful foreign nation without talking to the president, he should be fired. I have no idea if that happened, but it seems really likely.

View PostiZuma, on 20 August 2012 - 11:32 AM, said:

napa I was jesus christing suited, you guys just slipped in before me.

#1644 Fenxis

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 05:17 AM

Fired for being a Secretary of State and actually voicing what pretty much every western nation (except for Trump) is doing?

So let's review the last 24-48 hrs:

Tillerson fired and within a day another anti-Putin businessman in the UK is killed by the Russians. 20+ Russians expelled.
Yet another "adult in the room" fired just after https://www.politico...nishment-465841
Bragged that he "bluffed" Trudeau about the CAN/US trade balance when in reality he doesn't know

Notes:
1. During the campaign Trump bragged he knew people in the highest circles and he would assemble the dream team cabinet. Meanwhile it's shaping up to be shit show of cronism, yes-men, and people trying to line their own pockets.
2. Whole f'ing basis of Trump's campaign was that the US get getting screwed in trade deals and yet he doesn't understand a single basic thing about trade

I thought "change" was needed but I certainly didn't think Trump would be the guy for the job. And he has managed far exceed the incompetence and corruption I was expecting out of him.
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#1645 Dubey

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 06:55 AM

Even though it's a historically low approval rating, it still shocks me that 35-40% of people actually think he is doing a good job.

#1646 FCP Bob

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 02:30 PM

the chances of a nuclear war just went up with John Bolton having Trump's ear. His answer to everything is bomb them. He is truly scary.
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#1647 FCP Bob

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 03:51 PM

ian bremmer
‏@ianbremmer
Following Following @ianbremmer
Probably the worst/biggest single day for geopolitical risk since I started @EurasiaGroup in 1998.


1. China tariffs push markets down 3%

and

2. Trump hires most hawkish neocon for NSC...

in midst of G-Zero.
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#1648 FCP Bob

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 04:26 PM

Chris Murphy
‏@ChrisMurphyCT
41m41 minutes
The person who will be first in/first out of the Oval Office on national security matters passionately believes the U.S. should launch preemptive war against both Iran and North Korea w no authorization from Congress.

My god.
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#1649 Fenxis

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Posted 24 March 2018 - 08:29 AM

View PostDubey, on 16 March 2018 - 06:55 AM, said:

Even though it's a historically low approval rating, it still shocks me that 35-40% of people actually think he is doing a good job.

Not when you consider the gaslighting done by Fox for the past decade
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#1650 Fenxis

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 06:36 AM

Rick Santorum: Students should stop asking people to fix their problems (getting murdered in schools is apparently a "niche issue") and should spend their time learning CPR instead.

Meanwhile:

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#1651 Fenxis

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 06:44 AM

.
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#1652 FCP Bob

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 04:30 PM

he's one dumb fuck
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#1653 Fenxis

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 06:37 AM

https://theconcourse...-anc-1824233490
How America's Largest Local TV Owner Turned Its News Anchors Into Soldiers In Trump's War On The Media

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tldr: constant hue and crying about fake news while right-wing media is in fact weaponized.
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#1654 Fenxis

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 06:49 AM

View Postbrvheart, on 13 March 2018 - 10:45 PM, said:

I mean, if he strongly condemned a powerful foreign nation without talking to the president, he should be fired. I have no idea if that happened, but it seems really likely.

So... all of the people in Trumps entourage (cabinet, family) all just happened to unilaterally work with the Russians and were not only not fired but protected by Trump no way shape and form means that Trump involved with the Russians, right?
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#1655 brvheart

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 07:02 AM

That has absolutely nothing to do with my point. I don't care about the Russians. The issue is if (i still don't know if it actually happened) an employee publically and strongly declaring a position on something (on behalf of an entire corporation or in this case country) without talking to the boss (or anyone else).

That would get nearly anyone from any corporation fired.

View PostiZuma, on 20 August 2012 - 11:32 AM, said:

napa I was jesus christing suited, you guys just slipped in before me.

#1656 Untilted

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 09:15 AM

View PostFenxis, on 03 April 2018 - 06:37 AM, said:

https://theconcourse...-anc-1824233490
How America's Largest Local TV Owner Turned Its News Anchors Into Soldiers In Trump's War On The Media

Posted Image

tldr: constant hue and crying about fake news while right-wing media is in fact weaponized.

and your using Dan Rather as your objective non-partisan example?
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#1657 JustDoIt

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 09:24 AM

View PostFenxis, on 03 April 2018 - 06:37 AM, said:

https://theconcourse...-anc-1824233490
How America's Largest Local TV Owner Turned Its News Anchors Into Soldiers In Trump's War On The Media

Posted Image

tldr: constant hue and crying about fake news while right-wing media is in fact weaponized.

The article you posted forgot to include that all major networks have must runs. As pointed out by Sharly Attkinson of the best Sunday Show Full Measure,
"There’s certainly room for debate over “Must Runs” and their content, whether it’s Sinclair –or ABC, NBC, CBS or FOX. But to cast Sinclair as some sort of unique offenders is inaccurate and unfair".

The article states Sinclair required in 2004 of affiliates to air anti-John Kerry propaganda. Amazing that they forgot to include the false with doctored documents story Dan Rather did on George Bush in the National Guard, which he got his ass fired over.

Pretty rich you would post Rather comments from yesterday. You really need to do better research before you post your biased articles.
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#1658 Fenxis

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Posted 06 April 2018 - 05:46 AM

View PostJustDoIt, on 03 April 2018 - 09:24 AM, said:

... Dan Rather did on George Bush in the National Guard, which he got his ass fired over.

http://ew.com/articl...bs-news-firing/

Rather and his producer Mary Mapes (played by Cate Blanchett in Truth) aired a story that alleged that Bush went AWOL during his time in the Texas Air National Guard. The Bush administration charged that the documents used as the basis for the report were inauthentic, leading to an independent investigation that ultimately concluded that the piece disregarded “fundamental journalistic principles.” The documents were not, however, ever proved to be forgeries.

But hey... at least he did his time unlike Cadet Bonespurs.
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#1659 Fenxis

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Posted 06 April 2018 - 05:51 AM

View PostUntilted, on 03 April 2018 - 09:15 AM, said:

and your using Dan Rather as your objective non-partisan example?

I just happened across it on imgur and thought it was a pertinent quote. But go ahead and strawman Dan Rather than actually comment on anything real.
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#1660 JustDoIt

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Posted 06 April 2018 - 08:55 AM

View PostFenxis, on 06 April 2018 - 05:46 AM, said:

http://ew.com/articl...bs-news-firing/

Rather and his producer Mary Mapes (played by Cate Blanchett in Truth) aired a story that alleged that Bush went AWOL during his time in the Texas Air National Guard. The Bush administration charged that the documents used as the basis for the report were inauthentic, leading to an independent investigation that ultimately concluded that the piece disregarded “fundamental journalistic principles.” The documents were not, however, ever proved to be forgeries.

But hey... at least he did his time unlike Cadet Bonespurs.

Again, you and your source is wrong. Memos were proven to be frauds with rock solid facts. Of course if you dig deep you will find out all of this was covered up to protect CBS.

I had told Lanpher that the memos were frauds and explained why in great and extensive detail. I went into the fatal OETR issue, the use of Air Force serial numbers years after they had been replaced by Social Security numbers, the invalidity of an order demanding Bush take a physical, and others. I even gave him the names of seven other Guardsmen who worked with Killian every day.
From my follow-up conversations with them and from the report, only one was contacted. Only eight Guardsmen total were interviewed by this panel, and four of them were subjects quoted in the “60 Minutes” show. At that point, Lanpher had enough information to determine the memos to be frauds and implicate CBS.
Nope. The final report was condescendingly dismissive of our testimony, stating, “… the concerns raised by these former Guardsmen in the end may be simply different views of events[.]” No, they were indisputable facts backed up by evidence.


https://www.dailysig...-george-w-bush/
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