Tag 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

 

On the Commemoration of World War I: From Woodrow Wilson to Donald Trump

Trump - Wilson

It is altogether fitting that the US attack on a Syrian airport, the dropping of a MOAB on defenseless Afghanistan, and the potential outbreak of nuclear war with North Korea have all come in the very month one hundred years earlier that an American president led the nation on its road to empire.  President Trump’s aggressive actions and all of America’s previous imperialistic endeavors can ultimately be traced to Woodrow Wilson’s disastrous decision to bring the country into the First World War on April 6, 1917.

This month, therefore, should be one of national mourning for the decision to enter that horrific conflict changed America and, for that matter, the world for the worse.

Had the US remained neutral, the war would most likely have come to a far quicker and more politically palatable conclusion, however, the entry of America on the Entente side prolonged the conflict and extended its economic and political destruction to such a degree that the Old Order could not be put back together again.  The great dynasties (Germany, Russia, and especially Austria) were ruthlessly dismantled at the conclusion of WWI by the explicit designs of Wilson which left a power vacuum across Central Europe.  The vacuum, of course, was filled by the various collectivist “isms” which produced the landscape for another global conflagration even greater than WWI.

For America, after a brief revival of isolationism and non-interventionist sentiment throughout the land, the country, led by another ruthless and power-mad chief executive, provoked and schemed its way into the second general European war within a generation, this time via “the backdoor” with Japan.  A second US intervention, making the war global, could not have come about had there been no WWI, or if that war had ended on better terms.

After the Second World War, the US emerged as the world’s dominant power with bases across the globe and entered into a string of never ending hot and cold wars, regime changes, destabilizations, assassinations, bombings, blockades, and economic sanctions that have continued to this very day and hour.  Quickly after the war’s conclusion, the American media, academia, and the security and military industrial complex had to invent the myth that the Soviet Union and the US were of equal military might which turned out to be a blatant lie.  After being decimated in WWII and its adherence to unworkable and economic destructive socialistic planning, the Soviet Union could never produce the wealth necessary to maintain a global empire as the US did, and still does.  The “Soviet threat” was always a ruse to get gullible Americans to vote for and support greater and greater “defense” spending.

Besides Ron Paul and to a far lesser extent his son, Donald Trump was the only viable candidate who spoke of taking a new, less interventionist foreign policy which is why he was able to garner so much support from millions of empire-weary Americans during the presidential campaign.  He rightly called the Iraqi War a “disaster,” spoke of getting along with Russia, and the US’s commitment to NATO should be rethought, among other refreshing comments on foreign affairs.

In one of the most memorable and hopeful passages of his Inaugural Address, the new president championed non-intervention abroad:

We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world, but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first. We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example. We will shine for everyone to follow.

Unlike Ron Paul, however, Trump had no grounding in a true America First foreign policy.  While critical of his predecessors’ foreign policy decisions, Trump was not opposed philosophically to the US Empire or saw it as the greatest threat to world peace which currently exists.

Without an ideological basis against American globalism, Trump was easy pickings against the threats and machinations of the Deep State.  Without a refutation of the ideology which drove Wilson and all of his successors to promote military adventurism abroad, Trump will be little different than his imperial predecessors and with a personality that is thin-skinned, impulsive and unpredictable, Trump could, God forbid, become another Woodrow Wilson.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com

The Cost of a Trump Presidency

Syrian Bombing

Last Thursday’s wanton attack on a Syrian air field by the US and its bellicose actions toward North Korea have brought to the forefront the real cost of candidate Trump’s landslide victory last November.

Unlike most laymen, accountants, and financial analysts, economists look at cost differently.  For economists, cost or more specifically, “opportunity cost,” means “a benefit that a person could have received, but gave up, to take another course of action.  Stated differently, opportunity cost represents an alternative given up when a decision is made.”

Such thinking can be roughly applied to the political realm.  In the case of last fall’s US Presidential election, the cost of Donald Trump’s unexpected victory was not the money spent on the campaign, but the diffusion (hopefully, only temporary) of the growing anti-Establishment groundswell that was percolating not only in America, but across the globe.

The Trump phenomenon, Brexit, Texas secession talk, anti-immigration gatherings, central bank scrutiny, the exposure and decline of the lying, dominant mass media, and other populist movements and causes were symptoms of the masses dissatisfaction with their exploitation by the ruling elites. Trump’s triumph has squashed and defused many of these populist uprisings since a number of his campaign themes empathized with these trends.

A similar situation occurred after Ronald Reagan’s victory in the 1980 election as the great anti-government wave, which swept him into power, dried up almost immediately since Ronnie was perceived as “one of us.”  Of course, Reagan was a disaster and fulfilled none of his anti-government campaign rhetoric, but instead went on to become, for a time, the biggest Presidential spender in US history.

A Clinton victory, although certainly tyrannical in the short run, would have, no doubt, furthered the anti-Establishment fires and inspired more.  For example, Texas may be now on the road to independence from the Federal Leviathan.

The ills that plague the US and, for that matter, the Western world, will not be solved through a Trump Presidency in “making America great again,” but will only come about through political decentralization and the abolition of central banking with a return to sound money.  Concomitant with political decentralization and secession is military contraction, as smaller political jurisdictions will have lesser pools of wealth to tap from while the absence of an inflationary central bank will make military adventurism extremely difficult to conduct.

Yet, before such a transformation can take place, an ideological foundation must first be established.  A Hillary Clinton Administration would have provided fertile ground for such change.

Since the groundwork for a depoliticized world has not been laid, a Trump Presidency made sense as long as he kept as close as possible to his campaign agenda, the most important of which was foreign policy.  His condemnation of the neocons’ policies which have bankrupted the nation, murdered thousands of innocents abroad, and heighten tensions everywhere was crucial in his shocking victory last November.  It is apparent that he did not understand how important this support was or he would have never undertaken such an utterly stupid decision.

With the strike on Syria and seemingly more military action in the offering, Trump’s Presidency is now the worst of all possible worlds, at least in the short run, for those opposed to the New World Order.  Most serious observers, however, understood, especially after the appointment of so many Goldman Sachs cretins, Israeli Firsters, and nutty warmongers to his administration, that Trump would eventually succumb to the pressure.  More importantly, Trump was never fully grounded in an America First mindset, probably not knowing where that term originated or its gallant founders.

All, however, is not lost.

Trump’s capitulation makes it abundantly clear that the system itself is beyond repair.  Getting the right individual to salvage the American welfare/warfare state cannot be done.  Trump had many advantages that no future candidate will likely possess which means that anybody that follows will be an “insider.”  Much of his base, therefore, will no longer support a future Republican candidate or will give him only lukewarm support .  With no independent personality to rally around, the millions of disappointed Trumpians will seek new governing paradigms which hopefully will lead to the growth of secession movements.

Ultimately, however, a permanent American foreign policy of non intervention, peace, and free trade will only come about when there is a change in the prevailing ideology of society where all contenders for political office espouse such a notion and today’s warmongers are seen for what they are: enemies of humanity and its Creator.

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/

 

Welcome to Totalitarian America, President Trump!

Deep-State-vs-Trump II

If there had been any doubt that the land of the free and home of the brave is now a totalitarian society, the revelations that its Chief Executive Officer has been spied upon while campaigning for that office and during his brief tenure as president should now be allayed.

President Trump joins the very crowded list of opponents of the American State which includes the Tea Party, tax resistors, non-interventionists, immigration opponents, traditional family advocates, and a host of others who have been spied upon, persecuted and badgered by federal “intelligence” authorities.  While Congress conducted some feeble hearings and investigations of the shenanigans of the US spy agencies during the interminable Obummer Administration, no real action or reform was taken to reign in the eavesdropping and spying by the national security state on American citizens.

Hopefully, the surveillance of President Trump will change his outlook on the US “intelligence community” especially in regard to those courageous souls who have spoken out and risked life and limb to alert the public about their rulers’ nefarious activities.  Edward Snowden should be among the first to receive a pardon while the person who provided him sanctuary from his American persecutors, the reviled Vladimir Putin, should be commended for his noble act, a rarity among world leaders in this democratic age.

President Trump has demonstrated throughout his life loyalty to those who have supported him.  He should, therefore, do all in his power to extricate Julian Assange from the Ecuadoran Embassy in Great Britain and provide him with safe conduct to the US or any destination in which the heroic whistleblower prefers.  Without the deluge of Wikileaks during last fall’s presidential contest exposing the massive corruption of the Clintonistas, it is unlikely that Trump would have ever prevailed never mind winning by an electoral landslide.

Not only has candidate and President Trump been monitored, but just about every American citizen is under surveillance, the data of which can be used against them at the appropriate time if and when they should challenge the American Leviathan.  NSA whistleblower William Binney confirmed what has been long known in government circles and by those Americans awake to Washington’s tyranny.

Binney confirmed Trump’s suspicion about surveillance to Fox News, “I think the president is absolutely right.  His phone calls, everything he did electronically was being monitored.”* He added that, “Everyone’s conversations are being monitored and stored.”

Ironically, it has been the immense wealth generated by a relatively free market in America that has provided the means for the government to create, expand, and maintain such a sophisticated and dangerous spying apparatus that is now being used on the very people funding it.  That such a situation could emerge under the supposed “checks and balances” of the US Constitution demonstrates again how truly worthless the document is in the protection of individual rights.

While reform of the current system has proven to be futile and without any constitutional restraint, it, unfortunately, will mean that spying and the murderous US empire of which it is a part will continue as long as the economy does not collapse and the dollar retains its world reserve status.  A silver lining, therefore, from a dollar crisis, would mean a decline in the US military and security state.

Of course, the demise of the US spy and military establishment will not be a simple process, but will be fraught with tremendous social and political upheaval and more than likely bloodshed as the Deep State will do everything in its power to protect its turf.

While a collapse may be a ways off, it is hoped that the spying on President Trump will move him to rethink his position on the Deep State which wants to sabotage his every move that goes against its interests most notably a potential detente with Russia.  Talk of deescalation of American military presence in world affairs is anathema to the powers that be.

In his Inaugural Address, President Trump repeatedly promised to put America first.  The nation’s intelligence agencies do not share that vision, but instead owe their allegiance to the New World Order.  If the President has not figured this out after having been secretly monitored, there is little hope for the near future.

*Tyler Durden. “Former NSA Whistleblower: ‘Trump Is Absolutely Right, Everything Was Being Monistored.'”  Zero Hedge.  3 March 2017. http://www.zerohedge.com/print/589722

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com/

California, Nestle and Decentralization

calexit

Nestle USA has announced that it will move its headquarters from Glendale, California, to Rosslyn, Virginia, taking with it about 1200 jobs.  The once Golden State has lost some 1600 businesses since 2008 and a net outflow of a million of mostly middle-class people from the state from 2004 to 2013 due to its onerous tax rates, the oppressive regulatory burden, and the genuine kookiness which pervades among its ruling elites.* A clueless Glendale official is apparently unconcerned about the financial repercussions of Nestle’s departure saying that it was “no big deal” and saw it as an “opportunity,” whatever that means!

The stampede of businesses out of what was once the most productive and attractive region in all of North America demonstrates again that prosperity and individual freedom are best served in a political environment of decentralization.

That the individual states of America have retained some sovereignty, despite the highly centralized “federal” system of government of which they are a part, has enabled individuals and entrepreneurs living in jurisdictions that have become too tyrannical to “escape” to political environments which are less oppressive.  This, among other reasons (mainly air conditioning), led to the rise of the Sun Belt as people sought to escape the high taxes and regulations of the Northeast to less burdensome (and warmer!) southern destinations.

This can also be seen on a worldwide scale.  The US, for a long time, had been a haven of laissez-faire economic philosophy, which, not surprisingly, became a magnet for those seeking opportunity and a higher standard of living.  No longer is this the case as increasing numbers of companies and individuals are seeking to avoid American confiscatory tax and regulatory burdens and move “offshore” or expatriate to more favorable economic climates.

The idea of political decentralization as a catalyst for economic growth has become a part of a “school of thought” in the interpretation of how Europe became so prosperous compared to other civilizations.  After the fall of the Roman Empire, Europe for centuries was divided politically among numerous jurisdictions and ruling authorities with no dominant central state on the Continent.  The multitude of governing bodies kept in check, to a large degree, the level of taxation and regulation.  If one state became too draconian, it would lose population to less oppressive regimes.

Just as important, Europe’s governing system was aristocratic and monarchical which has proven to be far more conducive for economic growth than democracies.

While the economic oppressed can escape among the various states, there is no avoidance from the wrath of the federal government unless through expatriation and that option has become less viable with those leaving still subject to tax obligations.  This, fundamentally, is the crux of the problem and has been since the ratification of the US Constitution in 1789.

The chance that a totalitarian state such as California or the Leviathan on the Potomac would actually reform themselves or relinquish power through legislative means is a mirage.  Nor will revolution work as revolutionaries while appearing altruistic, typically get a hold of the machinery of government to plunder society for their own self interest on a far grander scale than the supposed despots which they replaced!

The only viable option for the productive members of society to seek redress of state oppression is to argue, work, and eventually fight for political secession and the fragmentation of states as much as possible.  Decentralization is the only hope for those opposed to the modern, omnipotent nation state.  Moreover, any notion or effort to salvage the current centralized political system must be abandoned.

Naturally, before the breakup of the nation state can become a reality, the ideological case for political decentralization must be made.  Public opinion must be convinced of the superiority of a world consisting of many states.  Such a cause, however, will be considerably difficult after generations have been raised and made dependent upon social democracy.

When Nestle and other oppressed businesses and individuals can easily escape the clutches of totalitarian entities like California and, more importantly, the most dangerous government on the face of the earth for freer destinations, then will individual liberty and economic growth be assured.

*Terry Jones, “Another Big Company Departs California – Will Last One to Leave Shut the Lights?”  Investor’s Business Daily. February 3, 2017.  http://www.investors.com/politics/commentary/another-big-company-departs-california-will-last-one-to-leave-shut-the-lights/

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com/