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Sunday, September 2, 2018

Winning and Silliness

Can't stay away. This won't be long. Just a few thoughts as I watch developments this past week or so.

On trade, Trump is doing some amazing things. You can agree or disagree with what he's doing but he's upending the existing world trade order. Back in 1999, we saw riots in the streets of Seattle over a meeting in that city by the World Trade Organization (WTO). Tens-of-thousands of people marched, looted and fought in protest over the WTO and its "globalization" of trade. It seems to me, those very same people ought now to be all for Trump. He's is dismantling the world trade institution that has done so much harm to US and other Western economies, especially the workers. It has helped the stock market as companies feel ever more free to move their operations in pursuit of lower wages and lax labor codes. It has played havoc with traditional industrial cities in the US, UK, and Europe. It has created a massive bureaucratic monster which now "regulates free trade." Trump is slashing away at it.

The deal with Mexico APPEARS to be a first step in that assault on the globalist economy. We haven't seen all the details so we don't know for sure. What has come out, however, would seem to be a big plus for US and Mexican industrial workers. We'll see, but it sounds promising.

Canada, of course, fell victim to the false prog vision of President Trump. Canada's silly PM missed the boat and lost Canada a chance to exert some influence in the Trump battle to scrap and replace NAFTA. The Canadian government wasted their time,
Canada’s foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, spent most of her time on visits to the U.S. lobbying governors and congressmen rather than talking seriously to our trade negotiators. Her boss, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, even thought it was a good idea to antagonize Trump at his failed G7 summit in June. 
Canada must now return, hat in hand, for a deal. If not, Trump will advance the deal with Mexico and leave Canada behind. Today he again vowed to raise car tariffs on Canada if it refuses to revise unfair levies of nearly 300 percent on some American goods, among other unfair practices.
Never underestimate Trump--just ask Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and Hillary Clinton for starters. Trudeau is going to have to do some serious catch up. He might want to read Art of the Deal.

The Europeans and the Chinese, I predict, will soon have to make some serious concessions to Trump on trade. Trump understands something a lot of other politicians seemed incapable of doing. The US is by far the world's biggest economy and market, and, still, the most innovative--fracking, anybody? You can't just ignore it, or get into a trade war with it. You will lose.

While Trump is winning, we see a lot of silliness from others. The McCain funerals were absurd, demeaning, and damaged the reputation of McCain. The gathering of the establishment elites, the phony speeches, the attacks on Trump, and the attempt to rewrite history by the "fake news" media were just too much to take, and underscored the revolutionary nature of the Trump administration. Read the hagiographies now being written by the MSM about McCain and then read what the WaPo said back in 2008 when their voice might have counted,
the stress of a campaign can reveal some essential truths, and the picture of Mr. McCain that emerged this year is far from reassuring. To pass his party's tax-cut litmus test, he jettisoned his commitment to balanced budgets. He hasn't come up with a coherent agenda, and at times he has seemed rash and impulsive. And we find no way to square his professed passion for America's national security with his choice of a running mate who, no matter what her other strengths, is not prepared to be commander in chief.
Or, of course, the NY Times back in 2008,
Senator John McCain of Arizona has retreated farther and farther to the fringe of American politics, running a campaign on partisan division, class warfare and even hints of racism. His policies and worldview are mired in the past. His choice of a running mate so evidently unfit for the office was a final act of opportunism and bad judgment that eclipsed the accomplishments of 26 years in Congress.
Righto.

20 comments:

  1. Lewis, I would like contact you off line.

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  2. Thanks for the Labor Day update - hope you can spend the day with family and friends.

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  3. I found the McCain funeral (was there only one? Seems like there were several!) very opportunistic on the part of the MSM and the left. This was their chance to re-write history and get in another jab at Trump, and they did not hesitate. Now I have friends telling me what a fine Senator McCain was -- as if he did something other than what bolstered his own ego. And I keep seeing references to his fine military career, as if being a POW somehow made up for the hell he raised (and allegedly got out of through parental intervention) before he was shot down. Rewriting of history indeed! And the Washington elites and MSM wonder why no one respects them?

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  4. The protectionists like Peter Navarro use deeply flawed reasoning to reach their conclusions about trade. For example, if you choose a vehicle at a dealership, sign some papers, and hand over some money, in their world you got a trade deficit with the dealership. Vehicle? What vehicle? No, no, no. You got a trade deficit.

    Note here that in order to have a German company build a factory in the US it will, as a consequence of how investment and trade balances are separated by the idiot protectionists, have to increase the US's trade deficit.

    Worse, the higher tariffs have the perverse affect of raising the pressure for immigration. That has been known for a century, and it's why Australia instituted higher tariffs in the wake of WW I.

    In short, the vision of economics that people like Wilber Ross and Dimwit Navarro promote is incoherent.

    Green Bear

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    1. Economists are good at telling us why something in the past happened. They have no predictive power in regards to the future. It's all "nobody could have foreseen this" and "long tail that"... never attributable to economists feeding the world a line of crap supposing they have some "Harry Seldon"-like powers at their disposal.

      There's a reason there's no Nobel Prize in economics. It's not because economist 'has advanced' in the last century. It's because at the macroscopic level, economics is voodoo.
      What happens if the central bank does this or that?!?!?! It'll be a crisis!?!?!?
      No.. capital markets will function on their own. The fed only 'saves' us because the american people *believe* it will save us.

      - reader #1482

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    2. We are hearing quite a bit from people like you about how prices will rise as a result of tariffs. If wages rise, will that not balance the price rise ? In the meantime, we regain our ability to make things. The billionaires I read about make only vaporware. Nobody needs Facebook.

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    3. @reader #1482, that's 'Hari Seldon'.
      Also, the voodoo-like nature of economics at the macro-level contrasts with its utility at the micro-level. It's almost like there are some undiscovered principles governing a national economy that would put our economic models to shame if we would just know what they are. That, or much of economic data is crap. Or, many macroeconomists are full of crap. Heck, maybe all three.

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    4. Doctor Weasel,
      I'm not sure about your first case, but your second and third are spot on. The Austrian school's argument, especially as put forward by Hayek and von Mises, confirms this. Basically, without freely moving prices one simply cannot know what to produce, what materials to use, how to do it (eg put together by hand or by machines), or make any other decisions in a realistic manner. Prices fluctuate all the time, and what seemed right at one time is not at another. It is called the knowledge problem, and means that national economic planning is impossible. That is a major reason why socialism always fails. Economic models are intended to explain where the nation will be at some time in the future using a huge number of differential equations. Using them government can plan its interventions to fine tune the economy. We've seen how well that works. Even from a mathematical point of view, such predictions are impossible, supporting the Austrians' view. The interactions of the economy are nonlinear. Nonlinear systems are unpredictable over anything but the very short term. So economic models are crap, the data are not available to accomplish what they are trying to accomplish (and cannot be), and macro economists are full of excrementum tauri.

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    5. capitalism *requires* faith and competence, of which progressives are in very short supply.

      - reader #1482

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    6. and my apologies, it's been 30 years since I read asimov's series!

      - reader #1482

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  5. "The McCain funerals were absurd, demeaning, and damaged the reputation of McCain."

    With great respect, I can't agree with that. The spectacle reinforced McCain's reputation.

    Some of us had long thought that McCain was a foolish, vainglorious, petty little man. There is great sympathy for what people like Admiral Stockdale and many others as well as McCain endured at the hands of a vicious enemy -- but that hardly excuses McCain's idiotic preening behavior since then.

    No -- McCain's funeral was an accurate summation of his sad little life, right down to his nastiness and vindictiveness. The people of Arizona should hang their heads in shame.

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    1. The entire week long spectacle of “Death of an American Hero” was showcased by three services in three locations with attendant waterworks of tears, overwrought emotion, and anger directed at someone who wasn’t invited to the Festivus of Warmongers. In contrast and for a little perspective consider this: in late summer of 1963, 34 year-old Jackie Kennedy and the President lost their newborn son. Three months later in the most violent of actions, Jackie sat next to her husband as part of his head was blown off, his blood and brain matter splattered on her clothing. She arrived in DC, attended to her confused 6 year-old and 3 year-old children who were incapable of understanding the finality of death, directed a funeral for her slain husband, and managed to appear in public completely composed. There was no draping over the coffin of her dead husband wailing for her loss. She never got a chance to button things down and say good-bye and saved her emotional undoing to private moments. That, is the gold standard of how grieving should be handled. Jackie was one year older than Meghan (devoted daughter) McCain. This country has lost much in the ensuing years and it was never more evident than last week. I am grateful the whole tacky McCain saga is finally over.

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    2. Anonymous on September 4, 2018 at 11:25 AM said:

      "...I am grateful the whole tacky McCain saga is finally over."

      Right smack into the heart of the matter Anon, a poignant comparative analysis, of then to now! I do pray the worst of the McCain inspired Socio-Prog charade parade is at long last mort. Although, I expect that the dying beast with its ACTcentuated and bloody death throes will continue at least until after the General election. Perhaps, the comic relief element will serve to detoxify what the New Democrats have planned for America's future?
      On Watch~~~
      "Let's Roll"

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  6. Glad to see the urge to write is still within you.

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  7. Enjoyed your post and the comments.

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  8. https://havechanged.blogspot.com/2018/09/we-all-stand-with-nike.html

    JK

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  9. Well Mr.Jk, Ms Nyke was a woman was she not???
    Seems, she's just taking over until, China, NK, and Mexico can fill the market void with NIKE knockoffs...

    Till them we can just sit back and watch Colin Caperneck's NIKE commercials empty out more NFL Seats. Tis Prog biz as usual...

    "For too many women, life inside Nike had turned toxic.

    There were the staff outings that started at restaurants and ended at strip clubs. A supervisor who bragged about the condoms he carried in his backpack. A boss who tried to forcibly kiss a female subordinate, and another who referenced a staff member’s breasts in an email to her."

    "Then there were blunted career paths. Women were made to feel marginalized in meetings and were passed over for promotions. They were largely excluded from crucial divisions like basketball. When they complained to human resources, they said, they saw little or no evidence that bad behavior was ~~~~~ wait for it~~~~ ... PENALIZED."
    Oh the HUGE Manatee!

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/28/business/nike-women.html

    A match maid on Mt Olympus~~~
    On Watch~~~

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  10. Yeah well OW I was just kinda riffing offa Lewis' title ... the last bit anyway, "Silliness."

    I mean, if you pasted that link I put into a browser and the guy who's supposedly "standing with nike" pops up to be Anthony Weiner of all people, doncha reckon that to be the height of silly?

    Then again, your pasting "When they complained to human resources" I'd admit is stiff competition in the heightier department.

    Whether either comes up to a Mt Olympus standard I dunno.

    JK

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  11. Yeah J man, I done caught yo upbeat on da downbeat```ba-ba-da-bing! Da New's gettin almost 2 dingdang silly for woids and da boids... Tickled that His Dipness, chose da dog days to lie low, jest when duh pols, spooks, n'media mavens got only farts-spit, end scratch theyselves sore -- 'spect they be waitin for the DonAld to pull da plug an finish drainin the swamp... come ~~fly~~ with me lets MAGA~~~ that sweet sucking sound'll sure be a welcome change from da echoes wee twoz been makin roun cheer~~~ :]
    grOWlin N hOWlin

    PS Hurry Sunup! Gotta get ready for Flo, n Ice down the beer!

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