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The amazing thing is that neither Trump nor the American people know what they want from the trade war. China knows exactly what it wants and needs.
Trump seems to want “even” trade with China. Both countries export/import the exact same amount from each other.
The American people want jobs. Trump’s “even” trade goal won’t help that. Reduction in Chinese imports will be filled completely by new trade with: Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and Thailand. It will all be more expensive to the American consumer than trade with China because Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and Thailand are all more expensive than China (but vastly and by American standards, incomprehensibly cheaper than any American manufacturing).
The latest from Binkius Hippo: The trade war is a proxy for the fight between democracy and autocracy in the digital age.
The trade war is not about fighting for jobs. 25% tariffs will not work.
GM is spending $1.5 MILLION to create EACH job position at Lordstown assembly. The Peterson Institute estimates that it costs $900,000 for each steel worker job. These type of skilled-trades jobs pays $3/hour in Taiwan and $1/hour in China. Korea is a bit more expensive than Taiwan, but Vietnam and Thailand are much cheaper.
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Welcome to a new day of suspense. I was reading this article last night, and it suggested an 85% chance that the threat of big new tariffs was a total bluff. Indeed, the likelihood of the “risk off” kind of event that would thrill me is a mere 15%.
The world was presented with a tremendous opportunity in the thick of the financial crisis over a decade ago. There was a crucial juncture in the road we collectively needed to decide upon. In one direction was hardship, austerity, and a re-balancing that would have meant a few years of pain but, in the end, a path to true prosperity. In another direction was the easy way out with freshly-created trillions of dollars to paper over all our troubles and spare ourselves any more discomfort.
As a planet, we chose the easy route. Big surprise.
What has taken place over the past ten+ years has been so gradual, so steady, and so all-encompassing, that the madhouse we all occupy goes unnoticed by virtually everyone. I often ask myself why most people don’t puzzle over where the tens of trillions of dollars of debt came from, where it went, and how, if ever, it could be paid off. Most people, let’s face it, are dumb as posts, and have the attention span of a Kardashian, so virtually no one dare trouble themselves with considering any of this.
More exciting news from the world of SlopeCharts – – access to literally hundreds of thousands of years of data via the new Economic Data panel. There’s nothing else like it out there. Another SlopeCharts first.
Allow me to start off what is intended as an economic musing by referring to a favorite comic of mine, Patton Oswalt. He has a fairly new bit in which he explains the Trump phenomenon as a totally understandable response to the Obama presidency.
The political pendulum in America, deep in the throes of the financial crisis, had swung so far that the United States elected its first black President, and a rather progressive one. After eight years of that, the “mirrored” response was to elect a political novice known principally as the billionaire star of a reality television show.