Category Archives: United States

Donald Trump is an Economic Ignoramus!

Trump & Trade II

Not surprisingly, Donald Trump has followed in the infamous footsteps of his presidential predecessors in the transition from candidate to chief executive.  Invariably, every candidate for the presidency makes a whole host of promises, the vast majority of which are horrible and typically only exacerbate the problems they attempt to resolve.  Among the proposals, however, there is an occasional bright spot.  Yet, once elected the stupid polices are eagerly pursued while the good ones are quickly discarded.

What was somewhat unique about Donald Trump was that he was the first candidate in a long while who had a number of refreshing and much needed proposals – border wall, “drain the swamp,” criticism of Ma Yellen and the Fed, rapprochement with Vladimir Putin and Russia, a deescalation of U.S. imperialism.  There were bad ones, too, but the good ones were enough to lead him to a smashing win over the Wicked Witch of Chappaqua.

Even before being sworn in, however, the president-elect began to downplay his most positive positions and emphasize the worst.  At the top of this list, and what Trump has been consistently wrong about since the inception of his political career, and even prior to it, has been “trade.”

Trump considers himself an “economic nationalist” in the mold of Patrick Buchanan.  Both, however, are simply wrong in this regard demonstrating that they do not have a grasp of the most basic of economic principles.

The latest Trump tirade on trade was reported during his recent trip to Europe and a meeting with high-ranking officials.  Trump is reported to have lashed out at German auto makers who the President accused of being “very bad” because of the “millions of cars that they sell in the U.S.”  The Donald bemoaned, “Terrible, we’re going to stop that” and added “I don’t have a problem [with] Germany, I have a problem with German trade.”*

Such talk makes Trump sound like a fool.  What is “bad” about providing American consumers with first-class automobiles that they apparently want in large quantities and are voluntarily willing to pay for?  And what of American workers employed with Mercedes Benz, BMW, and Volkswagen?  What is so horrible about the jobs and income that is provided by German firms to these workers?

Instead of berating German car manufactures, Trump should direct his ire at the immigration policies of psychopathic politicians like Frau Merkel.  Candidate Trump was very vocal about this and criticized European leaders for allowing their countries to be turned into multicultural cesspools.

The benefits of free trade and the baneful consequences of protectionism have long ago been elucidated by right-thinking economists, while the historical record has shown that lands which engage in “free trade” are decidedly richer than those that do not.  That Trump could spout off such nonsense about the evils of German trade shows how far the level of economic understanding has fallen.

Not only does free trade allow for the extension of the division of labor and specialization, but it has very important non-economic fruits.  When trade is unregulated, there is less of a tendency of trading partners to engage in bellicose actions toward each other.  Free trade and peaceful coexistence among nations are synonymous.  It is when trade is prohibited, skewed by governments to “protect” favored industries, which creates tensions among peoples.

Free trade does not require measures such as NAFTA or negotiated deals by politicians.  Instead, producers of one region are free to sell their goods at whatever prices or quantities to consumers of other areas that agree to buy them.  Ultimately, trade is up to individual producers and consumers in what they contractually agree to exchange, there is no need for political involvement.

Trump’s lambasting of the German auto makers, however, underscores a more fundamental problem with the U.S. economy.  America no longer produces goods that the world’s consumers desire, but instead, produces military hardware that it sells to despotic regimes which enables them to remain in power and wreck havoc on their enemies.  Predictably, this escalates tensions abroad while, domestically, the standard of living of Americans fall as scarce resources that could have been used in the production of useful consumer goods are diverted to the creation of murderous military armaments.

Trump has repeatedly boasted about his and his appointees’ abilities to negotiate great trade “deals.”  His bashing of the German auto makers right after his multi-billion dollar arms sales to the Saudis show not only that he is clueless in regard to the immense benefits of free trade, but that he is just another adherent, like his predecessors, to the ideals of crony capitalism.

*Tyler Durden, “Trump Slams ‘Very Bad’ Germans for Selling Millions of Cars in US: ‘We Will Stop This.'”  Zero Hedge 26 May 2017. http://www.zerohedge.com/print/596683

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com

 

The American Empire and Economic Collapse

American Empire Collapse

Despite the widespread hope among libertarians, classical liberals, non-interventionists, progressive peaceniks, and all those opposed to the US Empire that it may have some of its murderous reins pulled in with the election of Donald Trump, it appears that such optimism has now been dashed.  While the hope for a less meddlesome US foreign policy is not completely extinguished and would never have existed had the Wicked Witch of Chappaqua been elected, a number of President Trump’s foreign policy actions, so far, have been little different than his recent predecessors.

President Trump’s biggest blunder was his acquiesce to the Deep State’s coup of General Michael Flynn, the most Russian friendly among Trump’s foreign policy entourage.  Since Flynn’s abrupt departure, there has been little talk of a rapprochement with Russia, but instead there has been continued saber rattling by the war mongers that Trump has, unfortunately, chosen to surround himself with.

The most recent Russian badgering has come from Secretary of Defense, James “Mad Dog” Mattis who wrongly accused it of “bad behavior:” “Russia’s violations of international law are now a matter of record from what happened with Crimea to other aspects of their behavior in mucking around other people’s elections and that sort of thing.”* Of course, the US has never tried to influence the outcomes of elections or “mucked around” in the affairs of sovereign countries, heaven forbid!

While candidate Trump correctly spoke of the Iraqi War as a disaster and US Middle Eastern policy as a failure, he has done little to alter course in the region, but continues to follow and has, in some instances, escalated tensions.  Some ominous examples:

Bombing raids of Mosul killing over 200 civilians

The deployment of another 1,000 ground troops to Syria

Additional US ground troops “expected” to be deployed to Afghanistan

Continuous threats to Iran – “put on notice”

In the Far East, President Trump has done little to alleviate hostilities.  In a belligerent March tweet during Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson’s trip to the region, he wrote: “North Korea is behaving very badly.  They have been ‘playing’ the United States for years.  China has done little to help.”**

A number of perceptive commentators think otherwise and have shown that it has been the US over the years that has acted disingenuously.  “Despite Western media demonization of North Korea as some kind of crazy rogue state,” Finian Cunningham points out, “the people there are not fools.  They know from family histories the atrocious cost of American war.  And they know that any nation perceived as weak by Washington will be bombed back to the Stone Age.”***

These trends, and the President’s unnecessary request for increased “defense spending,” all point to more of the same for US overseas relations.  In fact, there will most likely be continued military escalation if the likes of General “Mad Dog” Mattis get their way.

It is now apparent that the only way in which significant change will come about in American foreign affairs will be if there is a severe financial crisis which impairs the nation enough so that it can no longer bankroll its military adventurism.  History has a number of examples of this.

Great Britain, who the US Empire is largely patterned after, lost its empire when it became financially exhausted due, in large part, to its insane decision to enter the two World Wars of the past century.  To fight in those conflagrations drained Britain of its wealth and devastated it demographically which it, and the rest of Europe, has never recovered.

The US is heading down a similar path of decline as it has squandered its wealth and treasure in the maintenance of an overseas empire while it has expanded its welfare state at home, meaning less wealth which can be tapped from an increasingly unproductive and parasitic populace.  Couple this with an onerous tax burden, an inflationist monetary policy which has destroyed the purchasing power of the dollar, and gargantuan public debt and you have primed the country for a financial cataclysm.

Despite the dramatic fall in the standard of living and the immense social strife and unrest that an economic collapse would bring about, there is a silver lining.  Like Great Britain before it, a financial crisis and/or the loss of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency would force the US to abandon its overseas empire – closing bases, bringing troops home, and stopping intervention in the myriad of arenas across the planet.

A defunct US Empire would also be bad news and mean grisly retribution for all those lackeys and puppets who have been supported and propped up by American might: another positive aspect to the end of the Empire.

The collapse will mean America, too, will face reprisals from all those who have suffered under its hegemony.  The payback will come from both economic warfare as the US has used through its “Dollar Diplomacy” to control and manipulate foreign economies and by some sort of military humiliation.

The impact of an economic collapse could be mitigated somewhat if the US abandoned its role as global policeman as resources squandered abroad could be then available for the rebuilding of the domestic economy while, at the same time, hostility with America’s adversaries would be reduced.

Unless President Trump replaces the warmongers and interventionists which he has unwisely surrounded himself with and return to his wildly popular campaign promise of an American First foreign policy, the US Empire will remain the greatest threat to world peace that currently exists.  If things continue as such, it will only be through the comeuppance of Economic Mother Nature when She bursts the American bubble economy that the Empire upon which it rests will, at long last, come to a fitting and much needed end!

*Ellen Mitchell, “Mattis Says Response Coming Soon on Russia Arms Treaty Violation.”  The Hill.  31 March 2017.

**Pamela Engel, “Trump: North Korea is ‘Behaing Very Badly,’ and China ‘Has Done Little to Help.'”  Business Insider17 March 2017.

***Finian Cunningham, “Only a Fool Would Trust Rogue State USA.”  Sputnik Internaional.  19 March 2017.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com/