HOME



Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405



Facebook: Digby Parton

Twitter:
@digby56
@Gaius_Publius
@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)
@spockosbrain



emails:
Digby:
thedigbyblog at gmail
Dennis:
satniteflix at gmail
Gaius:
publius.gaius at gmail
Tom:
tpostsully at gmail
Spocko:
Spockosbrain at gmail
tristero:
Richardein at me.com








Infomania

Salon
Buzzflash
Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Slate
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic


Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018 August 2018 September 2018 October 2018 November 2018


 

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Hullabaloo


Monday, July 02, 2018

 

"A few credits short"

by Tom Sullivan


This morning's Guardian, 8:45 a.m. EDT.

To reprise something I wrote in October:

You run into them from time to time: dilettantes with more money than sense who want to "play restaurant." It is something they always wanted to do. They like eating out. They enjoy the experience of dining in a fine restaurant. With their years of eating experience, they just know they could do it better themselves. Now that they have some change to spare, they decide to open their own restaurant. They won't make the mistakes others make, no. Their restaurant will be everything they always imagined. Everything will be "just so" — the food, the ambiance, the service. They will get to play host to all their friends and be the talk of the town.

But running a restaurant is a business, not dress-up. They are bankrupt within 18 months, and probably sooner.

Now we have a guy like that playing president. He tried and failed at running casinos. Now he is giving being leader of the free world a go. He always wanted to be leader of the free world. How hard can it be?
Gosh. Well, harder than you might think, actually.

In an essay for CNN over the weekend, Michael D'Antonio reviews the trade war the dress-up president started. He may brag he attended the Wharton School, but it was as an undergrad. You don't need that data point to know "he's a few credits short of an advanced understanding of economics." D'Antonio writes:
With his sudden announcement of tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum, Trump acted on his decades-old belief that other countries take advantage of the United States in trade because prior presidents were weak leaders. He bypassed the kind of careful study that those same cautious presidents devoted to policy and confirmed that he is an abjectly poor student of economics.

Did Trump know that the world has changed in the last few decades when he made comments about the automotive industry that would have made sense in the 1980s? When considering a tariff on steel and aluminum, did he consider how prices would be affected by higher manufacturing costs incurred by US firms using these materials? Did he have a sense of how many jobs could be lost if these costs were to make manufacturing certain products in the United States an impracticality?
Not that the dress-up president listens to anything but his famous gut, Wilbur Ross and Peter Navarro, the masterminds behind the president's tariffs, believe trade deficits "subtract" from economic growth, making us losers, one supposes. Trump can't have that.

A draft of a White House bill leaked to Axios is "the equivalent of walking away from the WTO and our commitments there without us actually notifying our withdrawal," said an unidentified source:
Why it matters: The draft legislation is stunning. The bill essentially provides Trump a license to raise U.S. tariffs at will, without congressional consent and international rules be damned.

The details: The bill, titled the "United States Fair and Reciprocal Tariff Act," would give Trump unilateral power to ignore the two most basic principles of the WTO and negotiate one-on-one with any country:
1. The "Most Favored Nation" (MFN) principle that countries can't set different tariff rates for different countries outside of free trade agreements;

2. "Bound tariff rates" — the tariff ceilings that each WTO country has already agreed to in previous negotiations.
Its existence has not been confirmed and Congress is not likely to move on it, but the bill has already been dubbed the US FART Act.

Across the pond, Europeans foresee the extinction of the system of trade regulation put in place after World War II.

Director general of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Roberto Azevedo believes if tariffs should climb to levels existing before the founding of the WTO (1995), the world could see a worse recession than the one following the financial collapse of 2008.

But the rich guy playing "leader of the free world" is the talk of the town, so it's all good.

[h/t Guy]

* * * * * * * * *

For The Win 2018 is ready for download. Request a copy of my county-level election mechanics primer at tom.bluecentury at gmail.