Microsoft founder Bill Gates is a “Unabashed Pro-Free Trade Person“.
So am I.
If we are right, Donald Trump is wrong.
I do not agree with everything Gates says in the following article, but his overall thesis is correct.
Please consider Bill Gates Hits Out at Protectionist Rhetoric in US Elections.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates has attacked Donald Trump’s brand of protectionist politics, arguing that as “the biggest beneficiary by far” of globalisation, the US would suffer from any move to hinder international trade.
Mr Gates said he was also worried about the prospect of UK voters in June voting to leave the EU and other signs of Europe turning inward.
“I’m not a UK voter and they get to decide,” he said in an interview with the Financial Times. “[But] the benefits to the UK of being in [the EU], in my view, greatly exceed the benefits of being out.”
“Who is the monster winner of all time in scale economic business — software, airplanes, pharmaceuticals, movies? Mmm. I wonder who that is?” he asked rhetorically.
“We’ve taken for granted too much that people understand that consumers being able to buy a variety of goods and having price competition on those goods and us being the big winner in these scale markets . . . is a huge thing,” he added.
He compared some policies advocated in the US campaign with the attempts of countries such as Nigeria and Venezuela to erect trade barriers to defend their currencies.
“Shutting down international trade has real costs and somebody — it shouldn’t have anything to do with either of the parties — but somebody really has got to remind people why this has been good,” Mr Gates said.
“I’m an unabashed pro-free trade person.”
Jobs Not Coming Back
Donald Trump claims he will negotiate deals that will bring back the jobs. He can’t and he won’t. A couple of charts will show precisely why.
Since the peak in July 1979 the US has shed 7,240,000 manufacturing jobs. Where did they go? Mexico? China? North Korea?
Since January 1992, manufacturing has shed 4,548,000 jobs. I highlighted 1992 because that’s how far back manufacturing shipments go.
In roughly the same time period in which manufacturing employment declined by 4.548 million workers, US manufacturing shipments rose from $227.721 billion “per month” to $462.907 billion “per month”.
This is a massive productivity improvement.
Inflation Adjusted Shipments
Inquiring minds may be wondering what about the effects of inflation?
That’s a legitimate question. Here’s the answer.
The above from the BLS CPI Inflation Calculator.
In inflation-adjusted terms, shipments are up roughly 20% per month while employment fell by 4.548 million workers.
It takes far fewer workers today to produce the same amount of goods as years ago. Blaming this all on NAFTA or China is seriously misguided.
Most of those jobs don’t exist “anywhere”.
Minimum Wage Hikes Won’t Help
The hike in US minimum wages, especially in California, will demolish what is left of US clothes manufacturing.
Donald Trump is actually on the correct side of the minimum wage debate. ‘Having a low minimum wage is not a bad thing for this country’ said Trump.
Trump cannot change his opinion on tariffs because it would cost him the election, assuming he wins the nomination, as has been my call for quite some time.
For my latest election analysis, please see Trump Soars in Latest CA, NY, CT, MD, PA Polls.
Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders appeal to the alleged free-trade losers (a small but significant minority).
Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton also appeal to the public unions, a group hell bent on turning the US into France.
Bill Gates and Brexit
Gates uses a free trade argument to justify his belief the UK should stay in the EU.
But the EU is not about free trade. In fact it is precisely anti-free trade. The EU sets ridiculous tariffs, protects inefficient French farmers, and seeks all kinds of socialist redistribution scheme taxes.
The obvious irony lost in the debate is the “vote yes” campaign tells everyone the UK will be locked out of European markets if Brexit succeeds.
What part of “free trade” and “locked out” go hand in hand?
Mish Free Trade Proposal
My free trade proposal is simple: I would abolish all tariffs and protectionist measures immediately whether any other country did so or not. The benefits are obvious.
Please don’t whine about “fair trade”. If China wanted to give everyone on the planet free solar panels or free electric automobiles, we should take them up on it. To do otherwise would be like taxing the sun because the sun hands out free energy.
Free is the ultimate in improved standards of living. Productivity improvements should decrease costs. That productivity hasn’t decreased costs is why people mistakenly seek higher minimum wages.
Instead of seeking higher minimum wages, people ought to be picketing the Fed for its inflationary policies.
Curiously, for all the absurd concerns over global warming, the EU imposed massive tariffs on Chinese solar panels instead of welcoming the Chinese effort.
Unfortunately, most people take the benefits of free trade for granted. All the while, the minority sound like squawking parrots with a megaphone.
I am for Trump for other reasons, namely his stance on US military intervention, NATO, Israel, and Russia.
Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz are the warmonger candidates and Cruz is just plain unelectable for numerous reasons as I have explained elsewhere.
The squawking parrots are poised to carry the election. Only Trump (or last minute rules change) can stop Trump.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
Free trade is only free when it is competitive in the country doing the importing. The Chinese have substantial capital flows that allow them to build product and dump it for minimum profit in any country without tariffs. The result of this is that any company that manufactures a similar product in this country gets financially buried by the dumping. How can unlimited free trade work with no restrictions?
Proof that its happening… steel down 71%yearly. Iron ore up 12%yearly. Trump is calling them out.
Trump has never said he is against “free trade” but instead has called out the CHEATERS who make our U.S. trade policies now everything but fair “free trade.”
Bill Gates is hardly a person I would choose to quote. Time and time again he has shown himself too self centered to be relied upon. Even in his “philanthropy” it’s still all about Bill and his ego.
Trump won’t bring jobs we’ve already lost back. However he might be able to keep some of the newly created ones in the USA. This won’t happen without Trump. Too much baksheesh involved for the other candidates to say no.
Tony Bennett said:
It can’t and it doesn’t.
Jon Sellers said:
I’ll post my thoughts below, but it can work when you have the reserve currency. The U.S. can trade its national debt for finished goods from China. China gets jobs, skills, and know-how, Americans get de-skilled, lower pay, more people on welfare and more debt.
But it has been working for 40 years.
Tony Bennett said:
“But it has been working for 40 years.”
You need to add a caveat … it has been working, all right … for the top quintile … the bottom 80% has gotten the short end of the economic stick.
IMO, economic success reflected in household income and jobs.
Household income topped out for the bottom 80% in late 1990s … ever since has gotten poorer while the top 20% has gotten richer.
See Table A-2
The plunge in labor force participation rate can not solely be explained by aging demographics.
Stuki Moi said:
“How can unlimited free trade work with no restrictions?”
For exactly the same reason unlimited free trade in movies and cars can work between California and Michigan. Even if it turns out to eventually cause California to lose some manufacturing jobs at Tesla.
Completely arbitrarily;y drawn borders, have exactly zero to do with it, nor anything.
Genuinely free trade always works. By definition. Simply because freedom works. Less freedom is never an improvement over more freedom. Being a little bit slave, is no improvement over being no slave at all.
Mish and Gates live in Utopia.
Free Trade Implies Honest Trade and Patent and Copyright Protection
Intellectual Property Protection.
.Free Trade Implies NOT Corrupt Government Administration
( Administration that won’t accept a bribe for certain contracts)
And Honest Corporations ( that won’t bribe and otherwise destroy inhabitants
by environmental destruction or lack of safety or overwork etc..).
Of which there are none.
The US WAS the center of manufacturing up until
1980 in large part BECAUSE The US WAS more Honest ( you now have
people like the Clintons in Government and not in jail )
and the US Valued their Intellectual Property and Kept It In The US.
Now that Intellectual Property has been in part Freely given away to
3rd World Countries ( Which is what Gates wants to do he is a socialist )
and in large part Too STOLEN by Certain Countries….
And in many circumstances those Countries could care less about intellectual property or patents. And could care less about their inhabitants.
BOTTOM LINE There is NO Free Trade, Tariffs Have to Happen.
IF YOU HAVE Read Anything about the current Trade Deal it gives CORPORATIONS
the RIGHTS TO SUE COUNTRIES for claimed lost profit.
Hypothetical – One corrupt administration ( say Mexico ) makes an OIL DEAL Filled with
graft and corruption, where the administration takes billions in bribes,
and the Next ( hopefully more honest ) Administration then cannot take back the deal.
It is a disaster. And the US is following EU down the hole.
John J. King (@JohnJKIII) said:
Mish: What sovereign would want their laws and regulations dictated by a corrupt foreign entity? Brussels is that entity and the UK is forced by its arbitrary socialist rules to alter its way of life to be part of the EU. I live in the UK 6 months a year. Does Gates, or do you? If not, kindly keep your opinions out of it.
I cannot comment on foreign affairs?
And you never do?
Even if you don’t I have every right to express my opinion.
Or are you are a moron who does not believe in freedom of speech.
The Captain said:
Hysterical. You set up a blog and work it for a decade and then someone comes in and uses the facility that you built to tell you to shut up. Only in America where everyone thinks their opinion is worth hearing.
That’s all free speech is good for now…to tell people to shut up. No one really wants to hear someone else’s opinion, only seeking echo chambers of their own voices. Society needs more debate, not less. They debate should NEVER be over.
Mish does not support the EU framework, as you.
That we have to have Gates, Macron or Obama openly campaining for UK to remain in EU is beyond acceptable, and those in the US should realise that their leaders are making idiots of them, as well as stirring a lot of resentment between the two nations.
Macron and the French don’t count, the British already have a deeply ingrained and polarised sentiment with regards to.
As he cannot use his drones in the UK, they banned the British public from flying their own to commiserate, remind who is in charge, or just to be vindictive maybe.
Mr. King, you ought read something more carefully before you lash out in disagreement with its author, much less tell its author to keep his opinion out of it. Mish only agreed with Bill Gates about free trade – not about Brexit.
As I have said many times, I AM NOT an economist, only a small business that makes custom furniture, BUT you know as well as any that the inflation of which you complain largely comes as a result of profligate debt and printing of money….BOTH of which directly enable the massive REAL unemployment we now enjoy. If taxes were increased to cover the true cost of this wealth redistribution which is now rampant, EVERYONE, hungry and working would be in the streets in protest.
I do not support any government induced protectionism, but that is NOT to say that our government cannot be truthful to our people about the real effects of massive American consumption of foreign goods. And it is no different that illegal immigration which floods our labor markets with cheap abundant labor which effectively displaces domestic workers…workers who find unemployment and disability and student loans as a suitable replacement for work…ALL building massive debt for all of us to carry.
What our government has done is to deliberately mask and delude the public from the net effects of our purchasing decisions, just as they have done with every other real threat. They pretended that we were somehow expressing our progressive generosity by reaching out to China and buying their crappy production, bringing their impoverished socialists into the modern era and proving the failures of communism, only to discover we have sold them the rope to hang us with, owning almost all of our production abilities AND our massive debt.
Please do tell us Mish, what will all of the unemployed Americans do? Sign up for more free education paid for with more Chinese debt, for jobs that do not exist? When all of our production as well as food is purchased form other nations, and when the money we pay for it with is printed into infinity, what will be our choices then. Free trade of body parts?
It is an excellent question for the pro-TPP/pro-NAFTA “free-traders”, so it bears repeating…
*How is the US going to deal with ever-increasing structural unemployment?*
Automation is a given. Off-shoring US jobs is not. The US can & should justify nationalist/protectionist trade+economic policy as a matter of national security. If we cannot support x% of the US economy domestically, then we are vulnerable. If xx% of the US labor force is unemployed or earning less YoY, then we are vulnerable.
A strong, diverse domestic economy is essential to strong national defense & security. The US has allowed stateless mercenary corporations to weaken & homogenize the domestic US economy. The US is now quite weak for lack of diverse domestic suppliers/producers of most everything, military & otherwise. A country boasting a small % of sysadmins, engineers & managers vs. a growing % ofburger-flippers/waitresses/FSA is a WEAK country.
News would be GREAT if all this globalization really did TRICKLE DOWN…What level of profits vs national income would you be satisfied with? Oh I know, excessive profits lead to more competition & lower prices which benefit consumers, those consumers that exist outside of the vicious downward slope of wages & compensation.
I think he would debate Mish too
And it is absurd to suggest that we can have the unionist mentality that help destroy our industries, that depended upon ignoring math and assuming that artificial wages could be supported without corresponding artificially maintained markets. When unions insisted on higher pay and lower productivity standards, Japan happily filled the void. The ONLY way the union mentality could be sustained is IF we also imposed tariffs to prevent consumers from purchasing the lower priced, higher quality imports….or somehow educated and convinced Americans of where their TRUE best interests lay. The whole thing is nuts and it is propagated by government which tells us one thing and then supports another. We cannot have American jobs as well as the highest tax rates and the most stringent regulations in the world while also supporting the notion of a one sided free trade. Try and sell something to China, or Mexico, OR Canada and discover how FREE our trade is. They tariff EVERYTHING. America seems to think that we can live by our own progressive rules which allow us to run permanent trade deficits and massive unemployment and even more massive debt…FOREVER. The problem is…NO ONE likes reality, of having to pay full price, of having to actually WORK for a living rather than simply clipping coupons or finding that one cushy and secure position in government with a guaranteed retirement.
And also consider New Balance shoes new epiphany regarding TPP and how they went along as long as they believed they would get juicy lucrative government shoe contracts only to discover NOT! Now they are singing a different tune as they admit that ALL trade sanctions will be relieved from Vietnam which will assure virtually NO shoes will again be made in America. Making shoes….another job no longer good enough for Americans. We will soon be too good to clean ourselves, feed ourselves, cloth ourselves, much less defend ourselves. Will Americans be able to survive as the world pontificators of progressivism and multiculturalism as our only contribution?
Hi from Oz. Thanks for your insights on free trade, Mad. My favourite story is the one about Japan requiring importers of mineral water to boil the water “for health reasons” on arrival and re- bottle it. Result, no tariff, but no imports of mineral water. Nice one, Japan. I think a few European countries have similar tricks. Only naive folk think things are so simple…
If anythig actaully works in the war agaonst crony capitalizm, you will know its happening right away with one local economic sign… Real estate prices in Gaithersberg, Maryland will plummet 65 to 70%.
You are right and wrong at the same time. Yes, free trade is the only way to go. No, we do not have free trade. We let everyone into our markets yet are banned limited, etc. by other countries. Trump is for free trade he just thinks we have lousy trade deals which protect other markets from us while letting them import at will into our markets. The problem is that free trade is a mirage in the desert that the US keeps running towards while dying of thirst.
Aaron Layman Properties said:
“free trade is a mirage in the desert that the US keeps running towards while dying of thirst.”
Well said! I think free trade is an excellent idea on paper, but as we have seen, neither government nor capitalism itself exists in a vacuum. Virtually all of the “free trade” agreements created during the last few years were not about free trade but corporate protectionism.
I am not necessarily in favor of unions myself, but when capitalism has so obviously morphed into a wealth extraction mechanism to siphon money toward the financial class it is easy to understand the vitriol that has emerged among working Americans. The kind of wealth & income inequality we are currently seeing is neither sustainable or moral. It’s an utter abomination that the establishment attempts to justify through misdirection and misinformation.
Stuki Moi said:
If “we” had no access at all to any foreign market, it would still be maximally beneficial for “us” to retain entirely open borders. As it would allow “our” companies and residents the greatest leeway to optimize for utility and efficiency. Meaning, “our” companies would become increasingly more and more efficient versus those in places that didn’t allow “their” companies unfettered access to the most efficient stuff, whether produced by “them” or “us.”
Just imagine China absent US made semiconductors, airplanes. Or, heck, Saudi Arabia absent us made warplanes… It would be as much of a basket case as ‘we” would be, if “we” hadn’t let the Japanese automakers competitively force Detroit to screw things together in a way that didn’t immediately rust and fall apart.
The benefit of “free trade” goes primarily to the consumer. Producers can locate wherever, but will want to locate in the environment where there are the fewest restrictions on their decisions, including what sub components and services they can buy. That is what makes them the most competitive, and their outlook the least uncertain.
That being said, tariffs, along with simple land taxes, are really the only reasonable ways to fund governments. But only because they are less distorting of economic activity, and massively less destructive of freedom, than all other alternatives. Not as some childish means to “punish China.”
You have to be an “earner” before you can be a “consumer”….unless you believe in infinite credit and money printing. Is your assumption that as incomes approach zero, so will also the costs of all we produce? There is one common truth in humanity and that is one of seeking advantage over another by force or dependency. People incapable of sustaining themselves are incredibly vulnerable to these who would OWN the means of production, if those owners need no participation in the production from their customers. If you produce the food and own the land and the patents on the seed, will you give it away? And what will those who have no job, no means of feeding themselves pay? Eaters are not evolutionarily sustainable. Those not producing will ultimately perish.
Stuki Moi said:
“You have to be an “earner” before you can be a “consumer””
And your ability to properly earn, increases in line with the choice of “stuff” available to you to help in generate earnings. While, at the same time, the amount you need to earn to sustain a comparable material quality of life, decreases.
“Earnings” derived from cheering on a bunch of totalitarians to create a little walled plantation, where you can pick your cotton in obsolete peace, instead of having to do something more useful than what a mechanized harvester can do more efficiently, is not earnings. It’s just simple theft. From all those who are banned by the totalitarians you stomp your boots in support off, from using their God given freedom to seek the best deal they can for themselves and theirs.
Stuki, please do tell us how many people buying cheap imported goods are doing so to improve their productivity and earnings. If you follow stats, most people’s earnings are falling, not growing. The cost of our food and housing most definitely is NOT falling and population growth and hot Chinese money ain’t helping. It’s not a matter of totalitarian living at all, quite the opposite. People are only truly free when they are free of ignorance and when government and business deliberately fosters ignorance and punishes knowledge and intelligence, then we are anything but free, no matter how much cheap stuff we have. The lack of ignorance would tell us that to borrow money to buy foreign made goods that you KNOW will ultimately unemploy your fellow citizen, will ultimately come back on you as well. We have survived and prospered from technology and efficiency growth, but only when it kept pace with our actual ability to absorb the displaced. Real accounting does this as it prevents you from consuming more than you can pay for and buying technology that your customers can’t afford because they have no job. Balance is required, and free and accountable markets have always been the balancing mechanism. Debt is artificial and destabilizing as it allows future consumption to be brought forward and this includes technology. Would fast food really invest in automation as a result of mandated minimum wages increases IF it didn’t think that government would not support the consumers through ever more entitlement payments. Every market understands incremental cost reactions and if they buy automation, IT WILL COST, so they will require debt in most cases and consumer willing to pay incrementally higher prices, even if it is still less than that caused by $15/hr wages. If automation paid right now, we would have automation RIGHT NOW. It doesn’t, so that tells you that prices will increase as a result of either automation OR higher wages. The difference is that wages are paid now, whereas automation comes as debt, so the costs can be spread out further, even if their immediate costs are higher than elevated wages and their mployee displacement will not adversely effect a reduction in sales. In any case, higher prices for fast food will be supported by government subsidies as many already accept EBT cards. The market is distorted and non existent for the most part. Everything is false and illusory, so no rational action works. AS some suggested at the beginning of our last debacle, our crisis is of debt and the only solution is more debt. Sums it all up.
Stuki Moi said:
Every US company has improved it’s productivity by saving money on imported goods. Electronics, cars, uniforms, tires, what have you. Just as every US consumer has been able to stretch their budget farther, by saving money on similar items. Just imagine clothing….
I completely agree with most of what you are madashellowell about, but stifling trade, is not only an inefficient way of making things better, but in fact straight up counterproductive.
Kill of the mindless borrowing, as well as the massive theft from working, producing Americans doe the benefit of banksters, lawyers, apparatchiks etc.; by dumping paper for gold and getting rid of the Fed. As in, truly getting rid of. Not meddling and yes-but’ing with. Burning to the ground and relegating to the dustbin of history’s failed idiocies.
Then get rid of income taxes and sales taxes. Tax land and levy tariffs for whatever little revenue a proper government needs. Get rid of all credentialism, unionism, and any other impediment to people just doing as they darned well please, unrestrained and unrestricted. Default on all Federal and local government debt. As in, right now. Get rid of all zoning laws and other nonsense keeping housing pointlessly expensive for regular people. Etc., etc.
All the above are major contributors to most Americans falling further and further behind every year. While China is not a contributor at all. Just a convenient scapegoat, to (seemingly successfully, sadly enough) stop people from focusing their anger at the failure to go though with the much more meaningful steps mentioned above, plus other like them.
Tony Bennett said:
“Microsoft founder Bill Gates has attacked Donald Trump’s brand of protectionist politics, arguing that as “the biggest beneficiary by far” of globalisation, the US would suffer from any move to hinder international trade.”
Sure sure … the US’s annual trade deficit of $500+ billion attests to being “biggest beneficiary” ….
“My free trade proposal is simple: I would abolish all tariffs and protectionist measures immediately whether any other country did so or not. The benefits are obvious.”
“Obvious” to whom? Shareholders?? …. how about the person in the street who saw their job offshored?
Spare me the musings of a person worth tens of $billions … a great deal of it made offshoring … not just jobs but profits to avoid paying US corporate taxes … last I read microsoft held > $100 billion in offshore accounts.
Sweet Ol' John said:
The trouble with Gates’ argument is that the industries that benefit from free trade are the industries that don’t employ a lot of people. It is the middle class that used to work in factories,and etc. that are unemployed now. Microsoft is not going to hire millions of programmers even if they were available.
There are no problems with Gate’s arguments
except as he applied them to Brexit
Gates wants more H1b visas while he fires thousands of American workers. There are many many tech people complaining about this to deaf ears. My cousin works for Nokia and tells me of the foreign domination of his workplace. I trust Gate’s perspective about as far as I could toss him. People at the top, people who have never had to struggle to maintain employment, who have never had to worry about their jobs being taken by foreign workers either abroad OR at home, have no real perspective on this. I have worked in woodworking for fifty years and watched as wages have remained stagnant for at least the last thirty…and we know its not because of a dying industry after witnessing a huge building boom not too long ago. Lots and lots of carpenters and very few English speaking. I have seen American workers become displaced as they at first were priced out and eventually discriminated against in preference to Spanish speaking employees. Even the most ammature economist understands the basics of supply and demand and when you have an UNLIMITED supply of labor just across a very porous border, we can easily see where it goes…and I have been on the front lines. My only personal salvation was an entrepreneurial perspective that induced me to start a business. And even that has not been a sure path…not by a long shot.
Stuki Moi said:
The “trade deficit” just means we are printing more money to buy “their” stuff with, than they are printing to buy “ours.”
In general, the higher up a country is on the economic foodchain, the more it naively benefits from global access. In less sophisticated economies, protection can allow locally most efficient producers to thrive, that would be wiped out if they had to compete globally.
And the US, along with Japan and Europe, has more global “most efficients” than other countries. Largely because they have been exposed to, and enjoyed free trade for longer.
Tony Bennett said:
“The “trade deficit” just means we are printing more money to buy “their” stuff with, than they are printing to buy “ours.”
Why don’t you try scratching below the surface?
It is all about jobs. US running trade deficits for decades has led to that “Giant Sucking Sound”.
“And the US, along with Japan and Europe, has more global “most efficients” than other countries. Largely because they have been exposed to, and enjoyed free trade for longer.”
Again, you are missing the point. It is about jobs and not “most efficients”. “Friction” in an economy = more jobs. “Most efficients” = more profit for owners of capital.
Current trajectory is for the top 10% to own everything lock, stock, and barrel.
Is that what you want?
Put me down for a thriving middle class which enlarges the pie … not your position which will continue to shrink pie as outsourcing continues unrelentingly.
Stuki Moi said:
WRT arbitraries like “trade deficits”, the salient point is to not waste time and cycles to “scratch below the surface.” Instead, it is specifically imperative to see the forest, not go blind staring at imaginary trees propped up by those seeking to benefit from obfuscation. Printing money and adding debt to increase consumption above production will, always and everywhere, read as a trade deficit. After all, with consumption above production, where would the delta come from, if not from abroad?
Good jobs, means jobs that produce value efficiently. Banning machinery and draft animals would undoubtedly create lots of jobs in the transportation industry, instead of “sending the money to Arabia and paying a horse.” But, seriously??? Is that your idea of what “It’s about.”
The only way to “enlarge the pie” in a positive way, is to get more value for every effort put in. As in, becoming more efficient. Conscription labor, whether under the gun and whip or, as is fashionable now; under the banks, lawyers and apparatchiks, may temporarily enlarge something, but it ain’t anything worth enlarging.
The reason the connected 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 % are on trajectory to own everything, is because of excessive regulations, bans, legal obfuscations, protections etc., giving them asymmetric advantages. Instead of banning Chinese battery producers from offering their services to Americans, open up for Chinese doctors and nurses and lawyers and bankers and CPAs and teachers and cops and soldiers and builders and architects and senators to offer theirs. And any Chinese company to set up shop and build whatever they fancy, zoning free, anywhere in the US they feel like. Including on the Capitol.
The dirty little secret is that the differences between people wrt capacity for productive output, aren’t all that different. The whole “some people are more skilled” blah, blah charade that has been popularized since the 80s, is 99% just the well connected trying to make themselves feel good. Pretending there is some sort of inevitability in them being better off than others. When in reality, it’s almost entirely nothing more than a combination of graft and luck.
Noone, aside from the occasional handicapped outlier, “needs” a bunch of totalitarian government hacks to “protect them from the market.” Meaning “protect me from freedom…” As well, no government hack in neither the past nor future have/will ever protect anyone, as all they have ever done and will ever do, is look out for themselves.
Instead, if observable outcomes that are deemed increasingly undesirable, the problem is always lack of freedom. Never too much of it. Hence the solution is to get rid of restrictions, rules, managers, Laws. And the rest of the nonsense that has been growing and growing and growing. “Strangely” enough during the same period that “inequality” has as well…..
Tony Bennett said:
” But, seriously??? Is that your idea of what “It’s about.”
No. Only conduct free trade with countries that abide by US standards on Labor, Enviromental, and IP … AND do not peg currencies and have tariffs.
Everyone else fight fire with fire.
In all your posts nary a mention on how to create jobs in the US. Just do more of the same … on steroids, if possible.
Time to put the worker ahead of US corporations.
No doubt your scheme gets a round of approval in the country club locker room.
Stuki Moi said:
“No. Only conduct free trade with countries that abide by US standards on Labor, Enviromental, and IP … AND do not peg currencies and have tariffs.”
That probably sound wonderful. If you’re one of Walt Disney’s heirs. Or some slimy patent trolling lawyer. US IP laws are an insult to decency, freedom and any other thing worth bothering with. Ditto US labor laws. Americans, including the American inventors supposedly benefiting from the patent racket, are infinitely better off if competition from abroad breaks that “system” fair and square, and send the lawyers running it to either a more productive line of work, the poorhouse, or their grave.
As for environmental laws, as a country gets richer, levels of filth and squalor that may have been acceptable to someone dirt poor, may no longer be so once he is richer. It is only natural that the dirty (literally) work gets done in places where the alternatives are much grimmer. Banning import of stuff that is toxic as heck to produce, just so that “we” get to wallow in the toxins ourselves instead, is hardly an improvement, even if a side effect is that “we” may get to onshore a few more asbestos production jobs and such.
The US pegs (softly at least, probably firmer than the Fed lets on) it currency to trading partner baskets. It’s an inevitable consequence of targeting “price baskets” of goods, many of which originates abroad. Should we therefore not trade with ourselves, either?
The biggest fallacy ever, is that governments can do anything good. They can’t. People left to their own devices will find something to do. And they will find something to do that they can do efficiently. meaning, for a reasonable effort, they will get a reasonable return.
The reason the return is missing these days, is because it is being appropriated by the ruling classes. Just look at the “financial sector.” Sky high salaries, yet at least 95% of what they do, is either net-zero as far as value add goes, or straight up value destroying. Ditto for almost as well remunerated lawyers. And government hacks of all stripes. Including cops engaged in such “productive” work as keeping the cocaine trade nice and profitable. And building craters in the Middle East. And barring working people from building reasonably priced dwellings close to where there is work, in order to prop up loan portfolios of banks. etc. etc. That’s what’s killing the middle class, and making jobs hard to come by. Not some destitute Chinese guy willing to bust his ass and contract cancer, in order to help You save a buck on your toothbrush.
If corporate profitability is too high, and I’m not arguing it’s not, why isn’t competition popping up to drive out the rent seeking? It’s not Mr. Chinese destitute that prevents it, that’s for sure. Instead, it’s the same old, same old. Government, laws, privilege etc., etc. All home grown right here. get rid of those guys and all they stand for and all they have, and… tah, dah, problem solved. As best it can be.
Tony Bennett said:
.” Instead, it’s the same old, same old. Government, laws, privilege etc., etc. All home grown right here. get rid of those guys and all they stand for and all they have, and… tah, dah, problem solved. As best it can be.”
Please. Just stop it.
US Corporations have the best government money can buy.
Who do you think writes those 1000+ page legislative bills? Corporate lobbyists write most of it. Laws on the books cover only the little guys. The big boyz buy political cover … and run cartels/rackets in health, education, etc.
ALL at the expense of person in the street and in favor of corporate shareholders.
Free trade is not free when one country has its industries subsidized to a far greater extent by the state than another. China directly subsidizes its industry that is why they are called state owned and Japan indirectly subsidizes its industry — look at Abenomics. Yes, we subsidize our industry but not to as much as these countries as well as India, Vietnam and a few other countries.
The other thing by allowing so called Free Trade you allow countries where their govt has subsidized their steel industry, basically destroy the US’s steel industry, then where would we be when the whole steel industry is gone. That is why in the past various monopoly laws existed.
Lastly there is really no inspection of the goods brought into this country to see if they comply with requirements to make products in the US so we end up with a large amount of substandard and in many cases toxic products.
I refuse to buy products made in China if I can keep from it. Not for any patriotic reason but because in general they are crap.
There are also some indirect impacts due to Nafta and such. For instance, there are large duties on imported fabric in the US; however, Canada can import the same fabric with no duties, manufacture products and bring them in without those tariffs. That basically destroyed the men’s tailored products industry in the US. There are other products I have seen impacted in the same manner.
With all of that said, American Unions and there inflexibility and work rules brought much of this on!
I agree that we should say ‘thank you’ if some foreign country wants to provide goods and services at below cost for them to produce. Doing so is kind of stupid on their part but nobody goes into government work because that’s where all the smart people are.
Being forced to pay a higher price for locally produced items because foreign producers are more efficient or willing to work for less is not ok by me. Paying more for home made items is basically a tax that’s used to subsidize the inefficient.
That being said, competition is often a farce. Look at drug prices and enforced monopolies. Gouging is common and officially approved of. It’s illegal for the government to negotiate better drug prices for Medicare recipients, or so I believe. Building codes keep home prices high in some localities as a nod to unions. The Federal Reserve is in the pocket of large banks and does what it’s told. So, by inference, not every bargain from another country is necessarily a good deal. It depends on if you trust the negotiators of the trade agreement. In theory, a low price is a low price. In practice, it might be a ruse to shut down an industry that has high barriers to entry and would be difficult to restart.
So you are saying you would rather pay the cheaper import price at the cost of your job? In 1900 we were running a positive trade balance AND funding almost ALL of our federal government with trade tariffs. Now we instead tax OUR industry and OUR jobs while allowing imports to come in and displace OUR jobs at no tariff or penalty at all. Why do we have any law at all? Why not make the whole thing a free for all, with whoever may be the strongest or have the biggest gun dominate. Our government’s single JOB is to protect American citizens especially from threats abroad, and if you think WAR has nothing to do with money, you just have never read a book. If Americans had half a brain they would understand that their own actions are what puts us at risk. It is a sad testimate that we must rely on our government to PREVENT us from doing ourselves harm, but as is, we are in a world where progressive governments INSIST that we subsidize the action of fools with the labors of the intelligent and hard working, and I’m not sure what other course is available beyond complete and deliberate destruction.
I am saying free is good
To say otherwise is to be like a candlemaker and desire to tax the sun.
We are trapped by a manipulative government that has so distorted our trade that our only recourse appears to be more manipulation. How can we embrace MORE free trade given what we have already seen? I’m for free capitalism, and we ain’t never going to see that either, so the best we can hope for is laws that mute the worst of the economic poison we are being fed. We can’t tax our businesses and workers while giving the rest of the world a free pass. We either have to impose some type of trade restrictions or simply bleed out.
madashellowell – If a country runs a trade deficit then the dollars that goes overseas MUST be reinvested back in the US. China can’t use dollars in China. They must end up back in the USA eventually. If China requires payment in yuan, then the price of yuans skyrockets and is reflected in the price of Chinese goods. Hence the dollar is the reserve currency.
Either China buys US debt or buys US factories and/or real estate. The dollars are repatriated. Right now, Chinese crooks are paying too much for real estate in order to get $$$ out of China. If the Chinese buy a factory, it means that jobs are probably safe there as it does not make sense to buy a factory to shut it down.
Thus, world trade is really a closed system that only looks like a free for all. Eventually, dollars return in some capacity. All apparent losses are only short term events. China’s mal-investment of gains into empty towns and commodity hoarding will snakebite them soon. Debt must still be repaid. The USA still gets the dollars back.
Eventually, dollars return in some capacity. All apparent losses are only short term events. China’s mal-investment of gains into empty towns and commodity hoarding will snakebite them soon. Debt must still be repaid. The USA still gets the dollars back.
Per Desteen said:
Free is worth what you pay for it. I could go all kinds of cliche’ here, but they exist for a reason.
Economic costs are minuscule compared to the civilizational costs of free trade, free capital movement, and free labor movement.
So, cdr, if I understand you then, there is really no need for trade at all. We simply buy with paper dollars and then the Chinese (or whoever) simply comes back to America and buys up our coal mines, our timber stands our farmland, our pork producers, our rental properties, and ultimately our government (as per the Clintons), so there is NOTHING to worry about. Simply carry on?
You know, lots of south American and pacific nations created “protectionist” trade laws to prevent the wholesale export of their natural resources. Material like Teak was taxed heavily if not outright banned from export unless it had been value added by some labor or manufacturing within their borders. Most “rational” people understand that their resources and especially land are a limited resource and their importance to a sustainable society. I just don’t understand how we can delude ourselves into believing this is all somehow sustainable. Sure, the Chinese, just as the Japanese will pump their excess dollars back into our real estate, but they are doing more than just that. They are buying up critical resources that provide jobs.
A local furniture manufacturer (part of a much larger conglomerate) closed their facilities here. They sold their property to a Korean outfit well below market price. The new Korean outfit came in with their own Korean employees to set up the new factory…no Americans. I fail to see how this will work out. Yes, the Japanese over paid, but the Chinese and Koreans are buying much of their industrial assets on the cheap. Regardless of how much they pay, how will this in anyway sustain American jobs…because that is ALL that is IMPORTANT is American jobs. NOT corporate profitability. Welfare is NOT sustainable.
So, cdr, if I understand you then, there is really no need for trade at all.
Outside of government mandates and interference, People trade when they both find it beneficial to do so, period.
In that aspect, all trade is good.
By trade I mean actually trading goods for like goods and services, not our actual country. This feels like something else. It feels like we are eating our seed corn and when it’s gone…we’re gone. And I will contend that free trade is illusory as we are using debt and mass printed currency in the belief we are paying for things when in fact we are only indebting ourselves with no means to repay the debt short of foreclosure. China may seem like the fools paying such exorbitant prices for real estate, but maybe they have a better idea of what our money is worth than we do. They seem to have lots of it, more than they know what to do. If money is anything it surely reflects its own supply and demand.
Per Desteen said:
“Outside of government mandates and interference, People trade when they both find it beneficial to do so, period. In that aspect, all trade is good.”
Drugs. People trafficking. Mercenaries. Fencing stolen data/goods. Pollution dumping. Unlimited resource extraction. Trafficking Nuclear/Chemical/Biological/Informational warfare agents. Prostitution. Plus a host of other “trade” that I can’t think of here.
Trade has no care for damage to any third party. Or Nation. Or Race. Or Culture.
Jon Sellers said:
I am 100% in favor of free trade with the following caveats:
1. The U.S. cannot run a trade deficit. As much stuff must flow out as flows in. This should maximize American production of those goods of which we are the best producers.
2. Foreign producers cannot be subsidized by their governments.
3. Foreign currency prices cannot be manipulated by their governments. They must also trade freely.
Note that item 1 can only happen because of the reserve currency status of the dollar. Which is a government manipulation. Items 2 and 3 are also systems of government manipulation.
My point is “free trade” does not happen in the presence of government manipulation. Mish is not for “free trade”. Mish is for government manipulated trade in his personal best interest.
You obviously do not understand what free trade actually means as currently propagated. It means import cheap goods that offer a much higher profit margin to the sellers, while insisting that doing so has zero effect on employment and personal incomes of Americans. They are doing us a favor by selling to us more cheaply that we can produce for ourselves. We are only left with figuring out on our own how we might actually pay for these cheaper goods, while servicing the debt already accumulated, both personal and publicly as we redistribute those costs to growing deficit accounts…maybe in a lock box somewhere…like China.
That is just bullshit
When have I ever said I was for government manipulation? I haven’t.
Moreover I have posted many times on the need for an enforcement mechanism – gold
Finally – you know it – so cut the crap
Is there ANY trade anywhere that does not have government manipulation? And is not protectionism a government manipulation? Why is one manipulation more acceptable to another when they ALL defy true free trade? Printing and borrowing to sustain a decades long trade deficit seems like a pretty significant manipulation to me.
Jon Sellers said:
I am well aware of your stance on using gold in foreign trade. And I don’t disagree. However, let us not pretend that you aren’t willing to sacrifice the livelihoods of so many millions of your fellow Americans to keep the existing, government manipulated system in place. Better that than any form of tariffs.
Respectfully, if gold is used as a denominator and anything negotiable is used as the numerator then the denominator gets canceled out, mathematically. It becomes synonymous with the number 1.
Stuki Moi said:
1. “Trade deficit”, like all econometric measures, are simple bunk. Period. makes it easier for progressive simpletons to pretend they understand something. When in reality, as evidenced by the mere virtue of them being progressive, they understand nothing. At all.
2. Again, nothing but an arbitrary metric designed to confuse simpletons.. The government building highways and defending borders and shipping harbors with public funds, is “subsidizing” industry.
3. Agree. Everyone should use gold. Or Bitcoin. ABSOLUTELY anything else is simple manipulation. Claiming “they” do more of it than “us” is, again, simply arbitrary simpletonianism.
Taken to it’s logical conclusion, Free Trade doesn’t happen anywhere but perhaps Afghanistan, and likely not even there. The important part is that freer always trumps less free. In trade, as in everything else. If we are “freer” than China, then we are better off than them. As such, “we” should strive to be as free as possible. Regardless of what the rest of the world does.
The whole “those guys are all slaves and work for nothing, so we shouldn’t be so free either” mentality, is just bunk. Allows for lawyers, government hacks and other nonproductives to pretend they are somehow useful beings for claiming to “manage” things, but that’s the extent of it.
Tony Bennett said:
Wow, you sound like a solid top 10 percenter.
Congrats on your good fortune.
Americans subsidizing their own jobs is not a manipulation. Government subsidizing our industries with debt and money printing IS manipulation. Government, through their taxation schemes is implicitly telling us we MUST subsidize our own jobs. They give special tax breaks to corporations to incentivize them to open factories and “create” jobs, while the local citizens must carry the tax burden for them….effectively be forced to subsidize their own jobs. Nothing too wrong with it until we discover that our subsidization costs exceed our returns…which has been going on for years.
Per Desteen said:
The entire free trade arguments miss one very important point: Free trade also requires the free movement of labor.
With free movement of labor, borders become meaningless, culture is annihilated, and the building blocks of community and family are destroyed. Ultimately the state effectively becomes the enforcement arm of international corporations, who represent the interest of their large stockholders and directors.
This concept is evident in TPP.
Free trade does not concern itself with the survival of civilizations, yet advanced western civilization is what makes it possible.
Western civilization cannot survive the war of immigration, the war of de-industrialization, and will be outbred by immigrants whose cultures and religions are fundamentally hostile to it. When those groups have majorities, as soon as 2040 in France, liberal western civilization will complete its overreach and collapse.
Mish, you are wrong, but not for economic reasons.
So, “With free movement of labor, borders become meaningless, culture is annihilated, and the building blocks of community and family are destroyed.”?
Which explains the disastrous path the US took back a couple centuries ago? Back when those new States allowed free movement of labor betwixt and between themselves.
The question is if you have truly free trade, will you necessarily end up with free movement? I’ve observed a huge rise in free movement over the last few decades. And the handwriting on the wall has not been kind to those who have stood in the way of that rise.
Per Desteen said:
Sorry, I missed the Hispanic, Chinese, or African Founders somewhere. Please enlighten?
The rise of free movement is called war, or invasion by immigration. It has a rather long history. If you don’t oppose it, you lose, as history has shown.
The handwriting on the wall? What, gang tags and name calling? Worry not about the Cuckservatives or the lefties. They live in segregated communities already, and will shut of when the joys of their choice in Diversity make themselves known in their neighborhoods.
When the Wall is built, and it will be built, everyone south of it is free to tag it as much as they like.
I believe we are not really close to having free trade — we have “managed” (rigged) trade. One of our tenets is “equality under the law”, but we continue to allow imported goods from countries using virtual slave labor, where workers have little/no protections/rights (e.g. OSHA, EPA, etc.) or safety nets (Medicaid, welfare, etc.) as we do here in the US. Not only that, but our mega-corps are allowed to offshore their production/money and pay little in net taxes while US taxpayers subsidize the risk the mega-corps take via taxes individuals must pay, regardless of where they made their money. The mega-corps still enjoy use of our gov and legal systems (again, mainly at taxpayer expense) — they even use our military to “protect” mega-corp capital in hostile countries (e.g. big oil in Iraq).
We need a more level playing field.
Completely agree, but…
“We need a more level playing field”
We will never get a level playing field. “Free Trade” in today’s world = TPP/NAFTA/trickle-up globalism.
The US will need to initiate & enforce protectionist/nationalist trade & economic policy for a significant period of time BEFORE true “free trade” (a level playing field) can be realized. And even with a level field for trade, a sovereign country would be stupid to chase ever-narrower competitive advantage to the point of being defenseless economically & militarily. A diverse & dynamic domestic economy is critical to national security… the US has been moving in the wrong direction by following today’s standards for “Free Trade”.
The other problem with so called free trade is fiat currency. If we still had an honest currency these trade deficits long ago would have resulted in China and Germany’s currency to soar but due to their mercantile policies this has not happened. Germany and China’s banks finance the trade. If we had honest money then soon those German and Chinese companies would start incurring large loses and the banks would have failed. You cannot have so called free trade with fiat currencies. It is a form of oxymoron.
In theory, open borders and free trade are wonderful ideas. Unfortunately those theories do not work in the real world. All other countries are always looking for ways to get an advantage over the US for themselves. There are some good points to free trade & open borders but on a spreadsheet of the positives and negatives, there will be more negative aspects.
If the US were to allow all the worlds poor people to come here that would like to, it would destroy American culture as we know it. As Mish pointed out, we no longer need more factory workers, and we sure don’t need a lot more people collecting welfare. Open borders were fine a century ago but it is a different world now.
Free trade is a great idea, but not open borders. We are a sovereign people and should control who is allowed into our country. Immigration polices should have one goal – to benefit America and her citizenry. We don’t need open borders to have free trade.
“This is a massive productively improvement.”
I think you mean “productivity.”
Trump espouses a strong bargaining position. His goal is free and EQUAL trade. Economic lessons on comparative advantage of free trade neglect to mention equal balance of payments lest one trader be impoverished by the other. Mexicans have sufficient positive trade balance with USA to build a wall. Fair enough. China has sufficient positive trade balance with USA to purchase the bonds that feed our welfare babies, and they do. Europe has sufficient positive trade balance with USA to pay for our military.
What does free trade really mean to all these corporations? These corporations are forever looking for the lowest costs of manufacturing and then sell these goods at the highest price to whomever, that’s usually the US or the Europeans. Free trade, in the American sense, really meant unrestricted import of these foreign made goods. We can never balance the books on these trades as the US cost of manufacturing is so much higher. Can we ever go to par with the Chinese or the Japanese? We have been buying Japanese cars all these years. Can we say we have free trade with the Japanese now. Mish, your support for “free” trade is just a folly.
Worse yet. You would think that these corporations would have big profits due to lower cost of manufacturing and would report a bigger tax bill that would benefit the US people who enabled them with these free trades. They do book big profits but they pay very little US tax. Every inbound seller utilizes an offshore paper company to stash all their profit. Every pharma utilizes the US R&D to book the expenses and then transfers the intellectual properties overseas just before they start to manufacture and, of course, also realizes their profits using offshore intermediaries. Now, with their coffers bursting with international profits, they are moving overseas just to avoid some eventual unknown tax event(s).
Are you sure we need more free trades?
Free trade yes, but how about a bit of fairness too? Someone in my family goes to Monterrey, Mexico for his job every few months. This is a popular city for U.S. companies to locate manufacturing plants. He said the pollution is unbelievable, and gets worse every time he goes there. U.S. plants, who must follow strict environmental laws, are competing against companies in Mexico that have none. And then there are the differences in worker safety to consider between the two countries. Fair trade? In my opinion, widely out of balance.
So Mexico is willing to pollute to give us free stuff.
Sounds like a bargain to the US at the expense of Mexico
Per Desteen said:
Yes, quite a bargain. Millions of uneducated, ungovernable by anything but force, short time preference, high capacity for violence, acclimated to corruption, welfare program abusing, “economic immigrants” will continue to stream to the north.
The Magic Dirt here will convert them all to 5th generation Anglo constitution loving taxpaying citizens. But hey, free trade, free movement, free stuff!
Per Desteen – I don’t necessarily disagree. Slaves are a great benefit to the slave owner but a detriment if they put paid workers out of a job. (note: being a slave is irrelevant.) On a side note, I have a big issue with churches that want to bring in illegals to save them. In the Bush days, they were the underclass that lived in fear of deportation and worked for peanuts in horrible jobs.
The point: totally free trade needs to have boundaries or else it’s exploitation. Effective government figures out these limits. Call me a dreamer.
Jobs. This is about jobs.
What is the US going to do with an ever-decreasing labor participation rate? Dems have an answer: grow & support the FSA. Do ‘conservative’ ‘free-traders’ have a plan for 100+million permanently unemployed citizens? There aren’t enough manager/engineer/programmer positions to offset the size & diversity of domestic job losses brought by ‘free-trade’ globalization.
This isn’t an exercise in academic theory, this is about sovereignty & national security. Pollution, free stuff & capital flow are secondary to JOBS & income.
In the end, you get what you pay for. In the end is free really free? Is it worth the destruction of decent paying jobs in our country? My opinion; no.
Tyler Sills from Grand Rapids said:
I’ve got to agree quite a bit with CJ here. Free trade / open immigration as an ideal is amazing especially when combined with the scrapping of the welfare state. That way people who can’t compete in that society leave and go to a place where they can compete.
In practice pushing for these two positions seems to grow the welfare state while totally destroying the earning potential the your own countries low skill / low IQ workers. The lack of any control of the welfare state also leads to the dilution and destruction of the native culture as the immigrants beliefs don’t change (aka people from California trying to make Texas into California sorrynotsorrycali lol). Besides that by encouraging both those (in our current environment) subsidizes the foreign born immigrants lifestyle at the expense of the native born.
In theory it sounds amazing but in actuality just taxing your own population for the benefit of the foreign born.
Side note first post here for me guys but long time reader, appreciate all the hard work Mish, you’re one of my favorite reads!
Mish, I agree completely with your free trade proposal and views on the minimum wage and global warming as well as a stable currency. To achieve free trade we must have tax reform and regulatory reform. We need to secure our borders and reform to our legal immigration system to benefit America not those seeking to come into the country. I also agree that Britain should leave the EU for the simple fact that her citizens would enjoy more individual and economic freedom.
However I do not see Trump as bringing about any of the above. His so called immigration reform is the “touch back program” proposed by Kay Bailey Hutchison several years ago. Illegals would be required to leave but would be issued green cards to come back into the country (remember he wants a really big door) making them eligible for citizenship. He does not believe in the sovereignty of the people and private property as he would use eminent domain for private development not just public concerns. In his unguarded moments he has said some really stupid things that he then walks backwards i.e. govt would pay for all healthcare, “the military will do what I tell them” even to the point of committing war crimes by using torture not just against combatants but even civilians, jailing women for getting abortions, etc. In short, he is an idiot and would make thinks much worse on the domestic side which would spill over to global instability. Remember Hoover and his tariffs.
I also disagree that Cruz is a warmonger. He did not support going into Lybia or Syria. He is very much a Constitutionalist. I do not see him invading countries without a clear declaration of war from Congress made necessary by real -not made up- national security interests..
When the Syrian/ISIS crisis escalated a while ago, Cruz proposed massive military intervention… something about turning sand into glass.
Any candidate ordained by Wall St banks is a warmonger by definition. War & continuous military conflict/occupation is central to the “business plan” of global banks and the status quo that they enforce.
If Cruz is non-interventionist, then he should say so, clearly & often… it should be a thick plank in his platform. Same goes for ‘opposition’ to TPP… if Cruz is anti-TPP, he should say so clearly & often. For a so-called constitutionalist, Cruz is too quiet & too timid on the truly meaningful issues like FP & TPP. Cruz need quit prevaricating, and “walk the walk”.
Why do you think he is ordained by Wall St banks?
He has clearly said he is against TPP. He is for a president have trade promotion authority (TPA) but does not support the TPP. He has publicly said this several times and to me personally. He also believes McConnell will bring up TPP in the lame duck session and try to ram it through.
Now that the candidate field has narrowed, we should have a debate where the candidates can get out their stance on real issues such as discussed here. Trump does not want to have to defend or explain his stance on any of the issues.
The last thing any of them want is transparency. Cruz cannot be for TPA that pretty much forces an up or down vote on a trade deal with NO amendments and still want real trade reform….not from our current president. We are trapped by so much corruption and confused policies that are all completely self defeating that it would seem impossible to impose a coherent plan to accomplish much of anything. The best we can hope fro is some short term stability that might expose a rational path forward. Until then we should equally be prepared to retreat OR turn the ME into glass dependent upon our circumstances. I see no rational position based on any definite action. We have watched as our world has been stirred AND shaken. We have half the world hating our guts and the other half thinking we are fools. I don’t believe we have ever been as vulnerable as we are today. We lack credibility and any perceivable foreign policy other than deliberate chaos.
Per Desteen said:
Cruz is a pressure relief valve, planted by the Vampire Squid (Goldman Sachs) to keep the right from boiling over. Beck is the same thing. He won’t oppose TPP, or his opposition will be symbolic.
Trump is supported by the alt-right, who are boiling over and will continue to do so.
Any Cruz economy will be By the Squid, For the Squid, and Of the Squid. Doubt it not, and revisit me here one year from now.
We are still under the illusion that what is good for GM is good for America. There are no longer any American corporations. They are stateless free agents looking for the best environment to make money, plain and simple, and I have no problem with that, as long as they are treated as such. Every person and thing has self interest and shared interest that can change with time. We need clarity of thought and a distancing from strict ideologies that blind us. People need to understand what truly IS in each of our best interests, and that typically is seldom immediate and without short term costs. Something we have been led to believe should be avoided at all costs….to our demise.
“Why do you think he [Cruz] is ordained by Wall St banks?
His wife Heidi is an investment manager for Goldman Sucks. She is one of those who jump back & forth between government jobs and TBTF banks.
Any other questions?
He is for TPA because he believes the Constitution gives the office of the President authority to negotiate trade deals. Congress still has the authority to accept or reject those deals and to advise on trade deals. Even though the current occupant of the Oval Office may abuse TPA and not negotiate for real free trade, Cruz would not restrict future Presidents from having this authority. He can be for TPA but against TPP. I attended a fund raiser for him where he took questions. I specifically asked for his stance on TPP. He opposes it, but believes it will pass in the lame-duck session after the election.
We are constantly told that every deal must be a comprehensive deal, with infinite moving parts far too complicated for mere mortals in the citizenry to comprehend. AS we have witnessed with immigration reform, we are told it needs to be comprehensive, that we must address all issues simultaneously. It doesn’t happen. Why? Because few have any faith in it. Because we have had deals before that were comprehensive yet somehow, only those parts which were serving of the agenda were implemented while others lost and forgotten. We have witnessed as our president simply decides what laws to enforce and what to ignore.
We passed a law mandating a border wall in 2006. It was never built. Was it repealed? NO. It just was never funded.
Do we have immigration laws now? Yes, but they are not enforced….which is the entire source of our problems. We have failed to enforce them, allowed millions to come and stay and now it is too harsh to enforce the laws on peaceful “undocumented” “workers” be they working or not.
No one really believes that if they pass a comprehensive immigration bill that provides a path to citizenship, that ANY provisions to slow continued immigration will be implemented or enforced. Its arbitrary upon the top enforcer of the land and his many minions. Every bill and law is necessarily a compromise, give and take, BUT their enforcement is NOT. Our legal system is arbitrary and capricious, put in place not for the good of our people but to serve the agendas of those creating them.
Too many times we have seen this continuing game of voting for a bill before voting against it. Putting something into play that they KNOW they will not be able to defeat in the future…something that Cruz evidently admitted to you was a fact. He voted for the procedure to create a trade agreement that he KNEW he could not vote down in the future.
I voted for Cruz in the Texas Primary as I felt he was overall the lesser of evils, but the bar is very low. What we see now with the primary and his use of the “rules” has not engendered him any further with me. There is absolutely no reason why our nominees should not be selected by popular vote. Especially by a candidate espousing constitutional values.
“Rules”, you bet.
When we see a politician actually take the actions to bring about the REAL results of their campaign promises, THEN we will have something to talk about. AS long as they keep voting for crap that negates their ability to produce the promised results….I don’t think so.
TPA did not insure passage of the TPP. I have not agreed with every vote Cruz has taken (Corker Bill) but I have never seen him engage in show voting. Just the opposite. I have seen him go to the well of the Senate and call out McConnell for show voting.
Cruz has truly ran a national campaign, and Trump has not which is why he is complaining. All the candidates were given a book at the start of the campaign which detailed each state’s nomination process. Delegates have always selected the nominee. In the majority of the states, the delegates are selected by popular vote of the people either in a primary, caucus, or convention. These delegates are bound to vote for the candidate on the first ballot that has won the popular vote. Some states even require delegates to support the popular vote winner through the 2nd ballot.
Now, some states (like NY) allow for the selection of delegates by the party insiders. Trump will handily win NY so there will be no whining about the will of the people being subverted because the delegates were not selected by the people.
Many of the delegates in the various states are Cruz supporters because in many states, Trump did not recruit delegates or submit a slate of his delegates to be voted on. Even though the delegate may be a Cruz supporter, the delegate will have to cast a vote for Trump on the first ballot if he won the state. Consider that for a moment. Trump may have won the state with only 35 percent of the vote, but he will get the vote of the delegates of that state on the first ballot. 65 percent of the state voted for someone else, but Trump still gets the support for President on the first ballot. Fair?
Cruz (and I) believe Trump will NOT get a majority of the delegates either before the convention or on the first ballot. All Cruz has done is recruit the delegates to vote for him if the voting goes to a 2nd or 3rd ballot. For those delegates that are bound to candidates that have dropped out of the race, Cruz has shown up at the state conventions and has scooped up most of these delegates. Trump and Kasich had the same opportunity. Now explain to me what Cruz or for that matter the RNC has done that is not fair or has worked against the grassroots controlling the nomination.
Trump just appointed a state campaign chairman for CA last week. Cruz has been in the state for months and has selected delegates and alternate delegates in each Congressional district. These slates are to be submitted to the party by May 7th. If Trump does not win CA expect him to whine about the unfair rules. I believe he purposely did not show up in CO and WY because he knew he was going to lose but felt he could play the “victim” card, disparage the party, and garner more support. A thoroughly dishonest man.
I believe he entered the race to garner publicity, write another book, without a real desire to be President. He never established a national campaign as one would have done if they wanted to win. I don’t believe he is that clueless. His celebrity status and free media attention propelled him to the status of front runner along with being a brilliant marketer. The fractured field also played to his advantage under the “unfair” party rules.
The Repubs can & will play with the rules to get what they want, but it is really pissing some people off, like this guy, a former faithful republican:
It is my understanding this guys name is Larry Wayne Linsey. It turns out he did not pay his delegate fees as required by the deadline, so his name was removed. I’ll see if I can find the website that debunked his story.
“Productivity improvements should decrease costs”, but haven’t because govt continues to deficit spend.
“Instead of seeking higher minimum wages, people ought to be picketing the Fed for its inflationary policies.” People should picket Congress instead, as they authorize all the deficit spending that requires inflationary policies to devalue the debt, which is mostly made up of accumulated interest that will explode when rates rise, and make it impossible to continue rolling the debt.
We could eliminate the Fed tomorrow, but without eliminating the career politician our problems will never be eliminated. I am for Trump because he represents the start of what must take place before any serious reform will happen. Implement de facto term limits by voting out EVERY incumbent EVERY election.
“Politicians are like baby diapers: they need to be changed often, and for the same reason.”
Free Trade is a myth, it has never existed. Free Trade is a goal that cannot be achieved unless all nation states agree to it and thus it remains a MYTH.
Look at history!
We can argue about the principals of ‘Free Trade’ and what is desirable but we must remember that it has NEVER EXISTED.
Tony Bennett said:
. “Free Trade is a goal that cannot be achieved unless all nation states agree to it and thus it remains a MYTH”
I agree free trade is a myth, but even if all countries agree* still don’t think possible.
Most likely any agreement by a country will mean selling out its citizens in favor of corporate (shareholders) interests of that country.
Billy Walrus said:
I am your typical Trump voter. Here is what Trump will do for me. He will embargo all goods from China and repudiate the US debt that they hold bringing them to their knees in a complete economic collapse. He will nuke Turkey and threaten to nuke any other camel jockey who stands in our way. The world will quake with the new America that wins again.
Per Desteen said:
<—– #Cuckservatives and Hillary are that way. You'll need to do better trolling.