annatar1914 wrote:But what i'm seeing with these tariffs is really a coming period of resurgent nationalism and economic autarky, with three or four major blocs of alliances between groups of nations in vigorous competition around the world. This can only lead to major wars in the future.
But where, how, and why? If you look at WWI and WWII, we can see it as a conflict between empires and closed imperial markets. A rising economic power like Germany needed markets for its goods, markets controlled primarily by the United Kingdom and France. With those shut off to Germany, drang nach osten
was Germany's answer--Berlin to Baghdad, or the invasion of the Soviet Union. After WWII, it was relatively quiescent in Europe. Yet, there was pretty much non-stop war in what was the former empires--a period we characterize as detente. China, Korea, Vietnam, Congo, Namibia, Iran-Iraq, Chile, Afghanistan, India-Pakistan, Cambodia, Myanmar, and so forth were in turmoil.
In the post-Cold War era, France characterized (Hubert Vedrine) the US as a hyperpuissance or hyperpower. European powers decided to start opposing the US simply because it had become the world's most powerful country. China and Russia rallied the BRICs to that end too. However, that gives rise to Americans asking questions about our so-called allies. Is it just a-okay for Germany to have had a 10% tariff on US cars decade after decade while the US had none on German cars? Is it just a-okay for Americans to spend 3% of GDP on their military while NATO allies do not--even though they have pledged to via treaty as a matter of international law? Is it just fine for the US to buy $500B worth of Chinese goods per year while the Chinese buy very little of ours, and only so they can reverse engineer what we sell them and make it themselves? Sooner or later, it doesn't make sense.
So what does China do when its number 1 customer says, "No more."? Start a war? Where? The clearest answer is its effort to control the South China Sea, but its most aggressive moves have been to build military islands out of coral reefs in the Spratlys. They could be devastated with a few of what we call "Daisy Cutters" or MOABs. The real fight would be on the seas and in the air in the South China Sea. The US Navy dwarfs pretty much every other navy in the world. The only navy that is of a similar capability is the Royal Navy, and it is a fraction of the size of the US navy. Japan has a pretty significant navy and are now looking to field F-35Bs off of its amphibious ships. Taiwan and South Korea have significant navies. So does India. All of these countries would be on the US side in a conflict in the South China sea. So it would be foolish for China to start such a war. Yet, they could do things on land that the US wouldn't want to address--invade Vietnam, for example.
annatar1914 wrote:For which our educational system is woefully unprepared to train for. I suspect a revised immigration system and continuance of our two-tiered networks of schools will address that... More STEM, more pre-Military training.
Yes, and probably more vocational training, which was more or less cancelled in the 1970s-1980s time frame. High schools used to have wood shop, metal shop, auto shop, etc. No more.
Hindsite wrote:I agree. But the Chairman is acting like an idiot.
Why the act? My theory is that to unload the balance sheet, they needed to raise interest rates to depress bond prices--the CDOs, MBSs, etc. that they held; then, sell them at depressed prices; then, drop interest rates to spark a rally in the debt markets. In effect, they are paying the private sector off to buy debt that is underperforming. I could be wrong. Central bankers aren't idiots, per se. They may be addressing issues that aren't obvious to the public. Although, I do think the 2008 crisis was something they didn't anticipate--and I think the miscalculation may have had to do with commodity price inflation and oil hitting $147 a barrel at the same time they were trying to pop a real estate bubble and they inadvertently blew up the banking system. Again, it's just speculation on my part. However, why nobody went to jail for that is telling--and why populism arose and gave us the Tea Party and Donald Trump.
Rugoz wrote:Dubya was an imbecile but kind of likable. Trump is hideous. A bunch of morons on the right might like him, but I think the majority of Americans do not.
I don't subscribe to the imbecile theory of presidents. I would characterize Obama as utterly inexperienced, but that is very different from saying he was an idiot. People who reach the White House may have objectives that differ materially from yours. For example, if you think GDP growth is the most important matter for politicians, Obama looks like an idiot. However, Obama wasn't trying to achieve high GDP growth. That wasn't his objective. Trump isn't trying to maximize global GDP growth. So he may look like an idiot to globalists, but Trump is not a globalist.
As far as "hideous" is concerned, I started a thread a few days after Trump announced for president entitled "Trump calls it like it is; the establishment can't take it". That thesis still stands today. Political correctness was designed to intimidate people from engaging in "wrongthink." Trump figured out how to turn it on its head. That's why I say many people like what Trump says, but they don't like him saying it. It's a matter of manners for them. Others, however, are simply establishment financed phonies. George F. Will, Christopher Buckley, Peggy Noonan and David Brooks among others preferred to vote for Barack Obama over John McCain and yet still try to convince people that they are conservatives, when clearly they are not.
Ultimately, it makes little sense to analyze politicians purely on their personality or personal characteristics. It's their policies that have lasting effects. That's why I think it is interesting to debate the actual effect of Trump's policies rather than whether you think he's an ass. Of course the guy is a blowhard, but that's something that actually works well for him. People have debated whether tariffs will work or not, but in many cases are failing to address the net effect. Trump hasn't raised tariffs generally. He's raised them against China. China has countered with tariffs of its own, cutting prices and debasing its currency. That's interesting, because it will have an inflationary affect in China and a deflationary effect in the US. So if we are to argue that Xi Jinping has better table manners than Donald Trump, I suppose I could concede that point. Yet, Jinping is not hurting the US in the marco economic sense. He's hurting his own country. Xinping's gamble is that if he can harm the farm belt, they will abandon Trump. If Xinping fails, China is probably in serious trouble.
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