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In the rush of Trumped-up events, history — of the last month, week, hour — repeatedly gets plowed (or tweeted) under. Who can remember what happened so long ago? Perhaps it’s not surprising then that, in the wave of abuse from the president and his men (including economic adviser Larry Kudlow and trade hardliner Peter Navarro) against Canada and its prime minister, Justin Trudeau, one of the president’s earliest insults has already been washed down the memory hole into oblivion.

In a phone conversation with Trudeau on May 25th (not even a month ago, but it might as well have been the Neolithic Age), CNN reported Trump quipping: “Didn’t you guys burn down the White House?” The reference was to an event a while back — August 1814, to be exact, more than half a century before Canada existed, but who’s counting. In the war of 1812, the British did indeed burn down the White House; that was, by the way, the war in which U.S. troops invaded what would someday become Canada, a detail of little significance (and, in any case, probably the fault of the Democrats).

As so often happens these days, the president had brought up a perfectly appropriate subject, arson, even if he applied it to the wrong cast of characters. Before that May phone conversation, he had promised to exempt Canada from the steel and aluminum tariffs he was then thinking about imposing elsewhere. However, six days later, on May 31st, he suddenly imposed those very tariffs on Canada, as well as Mexico and the European Union. As is often the case with our president — you know, that guy with the yellowish-orange comb-over — the subject of burning something down, whether in Washington or elsewhere, isn’t far from his mind. The truth is, as TomDispatch regular Nomi Prins, author of the new book Collusion: How Central Bankers Rigged the World, makes clear in her usual striking fashion, our president is, above all, an arsonist first class.

Canada? Why did I even bring it up? Those May 31st tariffs are so 1814 now that he’s lit a trade war with China, the world’s second largest economy. If you read Prins’s piece, I guarantee you one thing: you’ll hear the fire alarms sounding. But where’s the fire department?

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Donald Trump, Free Trade 
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  1. anonymous[965] • Disclaimer says:

    >The question that should make anybody nervous is not yet answerable: What’s the end game?

    Economic autarky. Which is well achievable, on a relative basis.

    The USA is the world’s 3rd-largest state by population. 4th-largest by land mass. Full of natural resources, including even rare earths, uranium, coal, copper, steel, natural gas, oil, timber, etc., etc. We can grow our own wheat, raise our own cattle and chickens, grow our own cotton for our own clothing, etc. We have all the human resources we need, including the world’s largest population of Whites and we remain the only state which had the technical ability to place men on the moon. On top of all of that, we are separated from any meaningful powers in the world by oceans on either side – America’s Hat and America’s Zapatos don’t count, economically or technologically or militarily speaking.

    Really the only reason that many of these third-world powers have anything is because the (((global capitalists))) have allowed them to, by hollowing out the USA for their own profits.

    Let’s take a long look at America’s Hat. Roughly 10% of the US’ population. Less than 10% of the US’ GDP. Without the cooperation of the (((capitalists))), America’s Hat would be nothing more than an exporter of raw materials; materials which the US could generate should they choose to. They now have an “auto industry” but it started with companies like GM using (((trade agreements))) as a way to employ Hatters as low-wage, 3rd-world labor to replace Union workers in Michigan; the “Geo” line of vehicles, rebadged Suzuki designs, assembled in America’s Hat, and sold as GM “American” vehicles. Nowadays, America’s Hat is an assembly point for pass-through materials and vehicles from China.

    Similarly, America’s Zapato has little to nothing of value for US. Oil, but we have that anyways. Their primary exports are poverty and crime, and welfare leaches, and much of the Zapato’s GDP is in the form of remissions from illegal aliens living here. Again, their “auto industry” exists only so that (((capitalists))) – in this case, primarily Ford – can do the same things that GM did in America’s Hat.

    Finally, China. It’s on the other side of the world. We don’t need them, and they don’t need us. The history of our “trade” with them has been essentially them ripping us off by selling us cheap plastic shit for the last 40 years so that we can save a few pennies while cutting off our own nose to spite our face, and killing our own industrial base while also descending into crass (((consumerism))).

    Trump’s agenda is going to Make America Great Again. There already has been a trade war going on, and it’s been (((capitalists))) and foreign countries at war against the USA; well, listen up: the USA is now officially joining the war, for the first time.

    Read More
    • Replies: @gustafus21
    Wonderful !!! and I didn't have to look up all those facts and figures !!

    THANK YOU
    , @Kratoklastes
    lol... you do realise that autarchy means no access to foreign capital, don't you?

    Take a look at the total US government and corporate debt held offshore; think about what that means. (Don't worry about the NET position for a sec - let's just deal with gros for the minute).

    For those playing at home: the aggregate US-denominated, US-origin debt held in foreign hands represents the use of tens of trillions of dollars' worth of foreign capital to which US firms (and the US government) have been able to obtain access.

    Total US government debt held by foreigners is $6 trillion - it has grown by 5 trillion since 2001. The US government's total tax receipts is ~3.3 trillion.

    That means that in the past 17 years, the US government has been able to spend roughly two years' worth of its total income, and sell the difference to foreign lenders.

    That represents about 36% of all US government debt issuance (13,678 trillion) since 2001.

    If they had to rely solely on domestic buyers for those bonds, domestic bond buying would have to increase by 57% - can you imagine where interest rates would be? If the Fed tried to 'monetise' that level of debt issuance, can you imagine where inflation would be? (Bear in mind there would be no foreign buyers of US equities, and no petrodollar-based flows in favour of USD to help import deflation from the rest of the world).

    And of course, autarchy would mean the end of the petrodollar - which is the cause of more than half of all reserve holdings of USD. The US's trade deficit has been artificially low because the foreign-currency purchasing power of the USD has been artificially high; that means that domestic production would have to be ~30% more efficient than it currently is, to replace imports 'item for item' without inflation.

    Seriously - autarchy is a guaranteed road to absolute ruin.

    Do you know how you can tell?

    Easy... because autarchy is exactly the same as a 100% successful embargo or blockade. It's the same as having complete and total sanctions on everything that the US imports and exports.

    You know how nobody likes having blockades, embargoes or sanctions against them? That's because it reverts them to autarchy, and nobody wants that, ever.

    Seriously - learn some economics, man.

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  2. @anonymous
    >The question that should make anybody nervous is not yet answerable: What’s the end game?

    Economic autarky. Which is well achievable, on a relative basis.

    The USA is the world's 3rd-largest state by population. 4th-largest by land mass. Full of natural resources, including even rare earths, uranium, coal, copper, steel, natural gas, oil, timber, etc., etc. We can grow our own wheat, raise our own cattle and chickens, grow our own cotton for our own clothing, etc. We have all the human resources we need, including the world's largest population of Whites and we remain the only state which had the technical ability to place men on the moon. On top of all of that, we are separated from any meaningful powers in the world by oceans on either side - America's Hat and America's Zapatos don't count, economically or technologically or militarily speaking.

    Really the only reason that many of these third-world powers have anything is because the (((global capitalists))) have allowed them to, by hollowing out the USA for their own profits.

    Let's take a long look at America's Hat. Roughly 10% of the US' population. Less than 10% of the US' GDP. Without the cooperation of the (((capitalists))), America's Hat would be nothing more than an exporter of raw materials; materials which the US could generate should they choose to. They now have an "auto industry" but it started with companies like GM using (((trade agreements))) as a way to employ Hatters as low-wage, 3rd-world labor to replace Union workers in Michigan; the "Geo" line of vehicles, rebadged Suzuki designs, assembled in America's Hat, and sold as GM "American" vehicles. Nowadays, America's Hat is an assembly point for pass-through materials and vehicles from China.

    Similarly, America's Zapato has little to nothing of value for US. Oil, but we have that anyways. Their primary exports are poverty and crime, and welfare leaches, and much of the Zapato's GDP is in the form of remissions from illegal aliens living here. Again, their "auto industry" exists only so that (((capitalists))) - in this case, primarily Ford - can do the same things that GM did in America's Hat.

    Finally, China. It's on the other side of the world. We don't need them, and they don't need us. The history of our "trade" with them has been essentially them ripping us off by selling us cheap plastic shit for the last 40 years so that we can save a few pennies while cutting off our own nose to spite our face, and killing our own industrial base while also descending into crass (((consumerism))).

    Trump's agenda is going to Make America Great Again. There already has been a trade war going on, and it's been (((capitalists))) and foreign countries at war against the USA; well, listen up: the USA is now officially joining the war, for the first time.

    Wonderful !!! and I didn’t have to look up all those facts and figures !!

    THANK YOU

    Read More
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  3. eah says:

    The ‘end game’ is to not pay any attention whatsoever to a country pathetic enough to have a ridiculous little fop like Justin Trudeau as its “leader” — fucking hell.

    Read More
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  4. @anonymous
    >The question that should make anybody nervous is not yet answerable: What’s the end game?

    Economic autarky. Which is well achievable, on a relative basis.

    The USA is the world's 3rd-largest state by population. 4th-largest by land mass. Full of natural resources, including even rare earths, uranium, coal, copper, steel, natural gas, oil, timber, etc., etc. We can grow our own wheat, raise our own cattle and chickens, grow our own cotton for our own clothing, etc. We have all the human resources we need, including the world's largest population of Whites and we remain the only state which had the technical ability to place men on the moon. On top of all of that, we are separated from any meaningful powers in the world by oceans on either side - America's Hat and America's Zapatos don't count, economically or technologically or militarily speaking.

    Really the only reason that many of these third-world powers have anything is because the (((global capitalists))) have allowed them to, by hollowing out the USA for their own profits.

    Let's take a long look at America's Hat. Roughly 10% of the US' population. Less than 10% of the US' GDP. Without the cooperation of the (((capitalists))), America's Hat would be nothing more than an exporter of raw materials; materials which the US could generate should they choose to. They now have an "auto industry" but it started with companies like GM using (((trade agreements))) as a way to employ Hatters as low-wage, 3rd-world labor to replace Union workers in Michigan; the "Geo" line of vehicles, rebadged Suzuki designs, assembled in America's Hat, and sold as GM "American" vehicles. Nowadays, America's Hat is an assembly point for pass-through materials and vehicles from China.

    Similarly, America's Zapato has little to nothing of value for US. Oil, but we have that anyways. Their primary exports are poverty and crime, and welfare leaches, and much of the Zapato's GDP is in the form of remissions from illegal aliens living here. Again, their "auto industry" exists only so that (((capitalists))) - in this case, primarily Ford - can do the same things that GM did in America's Hat.

    Finally, China. It's on the other side of the world. We don't need them, and they don't need us. The history of our "trade" with them has been essentially them ripping us off by selling us cheap plastic shit for the last 40 years so that we can save a few pennies while cutting off our own nose to spite our face, and killing our own industrial base while also descending into crass (((consumerism))).

    Trump's agenda is going to Make America Great Again. There already has been a trade war going on, and it's been (((capitalists))) and foreign countries at war against the USA; well, listen up: the USA is now officially joining the war, for the first time.

    lol… you do realise that autarchy means no access to foreign capital, don’t you?

    Take a look at the total US government and corporate debt held offshore; think about what that means. (Don’t worry about the NET position for a sec – let’s just deal with gros for the minute).

    For those playing at home: the aggregate US-denominated, US-origin debt held in foreign hands represents the use of tens of trillions of dollars’ worth of foreign capital to which US firms (and the US government) have been able to obtain access.

    Total US government debt held by foreigners is $6 trillion – it has grown by 5 trillion since 2001. The US government’s total tax receipts is ~3.3 trillion.

    That means that in the past 17 years, the US government has been able to spend roughly two years’ worth of its total income, and sell the difference to foreign lenders.

    That represents about 36% of all US government debt issuance (13,678 trillion) since 2001.

    If they had to rely solely on domestic buyers for those bonds, domestic bond buying would have to increase by 57% – can you imagine where interest rates would be? If the Fed tried to ‘monetise’ that level of debt issuance, can you imagine where inflation would be? (Bear in mind there would be no foreign buyers of US equities, and no petrodollar-based flows in favour of USD to help import deflation from the rest of the world).

    And of course, autarchy would mean the end of the petrodollar – which is the cause of more than half of all reserve holdings of USD. The US’s trade deficit has been artificially low because the foreign-currency purchasing power of the USD has been artificially high; that means that domestic production would have to be ~30% more efficient than it currently is, to replace imports ‘item for item’ without inflation.

    Seriously – autarchy is a guaranteed road to absolute ruin.

    Do you know how you can tell?

    Easy… because autarchy is exactly the same as a 100% successful embargo or blockade. It’s the same as having complete and total sanctions on everything that the US imports and exports.

    You know how nobody likes having blockades, embargoes or sanctions against them? That’s because it reverts them to autarchy, and nobody wants that, ever.

    Seriously – learn some economics, man.

    Read More
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