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Trump’s Tariff Decision Irks Merkel, Macron

Trump’s Tariff Decision Irks Merkel, Macron

EU files case at the World Trade Organization

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMUxwoewxh0

President Donald Trump’s move to impose tariff on steel and aluminum imports from Europe has triggered sharp response from the EU, Germany and France. President Trump’s decision to apply the duties of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum was in response to long-standing European customs duties on U.S. imports.

Both German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron called the U.S. decision “illegal.” The French President was hysterical in his reaction, claiming, “Economic nationalism leads to war, and that’s exactly what happened in the 1930s.” Going by President Macron’s logic, Hitler and Mussolini were merely fiscal conservatives trying to balance the European trade deficit.

The EU filed a case at the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva, Switzerland, challenging the U.S. decision.

European hysteria aside, there is nothing unreasonable in asking for a level playing field on trade and tariff. President Trump was forced to slap tariffs on European steel and aluminum imports after the EU repeatedly ignored his plea to end unfair duties on U.S. products.

“We are committed to free trade but it must be fairer. We were hoping for progress during the exemption period – because the issues extend beyond Europe,” the U.S. ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell said.


The German business newspaper Handelsblatt called out the European hypocrisy. “A leading German think tank says Donald Trump is right that tariffs between the United States and Europe are asymmetrical,” Handelsblatt reported

US President Donald Trump may actually have a point when it comes to unfair taxes on US goods coming into Europe. That is the finding of a new study by a leading German think tank. Where they differ is how to deal with it: The group urges new talks to lower tariffs across the board, instead of engaging in a tit-for-tat escalation in new taxes.

“The EU is by no means the paradise for free traders that it likes to think,” said Gabriel Felbermayr, director of the ifo Center for International Economics, a division of the Munich-based ifo Institute. The European Union actually comes off as the bigger offender when compared to the US, he added. The unweighted average EU customs duty is 5.2 percent, versus the US rate of 3.5 percent, according to ifo’s database.

So when Mr. Trump complains of “massive tariffs” he is not that far off the mark in several cases. And he does complain. “If the EU wants to further increase their already massive tariffs and barriers on US companies doing business there, we will simply apply a tax on their cars, which freely pour into the US,” the president tweeted earlier this month. “They make it impossible for our cars (and more) to sell there. Big trade imbalance!”

Scott Dworkin, MSNBC contributor and founder of an anti-Trump ‘resistance’ group, saw the emerging trans-Atlantic trade conflict as an opportunity to depose an elected U.S. President. “Dear EU, Canada and Mexico — Now would probably be a great time for your political leaders to step up and call on our Congress to #ImpeachTrump.” Dworkin tweeted Wednesday. Canada and Mexico were also hit by similar tariffs on steel and aluminium that came into effect on June 1.

The left-wing UK newspaper The Guardian explained how the EU plans to hurt President Trump politically and influence American electoral politics:

Harley-Davidson and Levi’s jeans, is on an EU list of potential targets for tariffs. The targeting is clearly political: it can hardly be a coincidence that Harley-Davidson, for example, is headquartered in Wisconsin: another state where Republicans have a slim majority and face a tough battle in November’s midterm elections.

Germany’s state-run DW News called President Trump’s decision to raise tariffs on European imports “absurd, dangerous, pointless.” President Trump “has long been known in the business world for his threats and bluster,” the broadcaster commented.

Chancellor Merkel is “on the lookout for advisers” to lead a “trade war,” reported German business weekly Wirtschaftswoche.  The magazine reminded the German readers that “even [George W.] Bush imposed punitive tariffs, and failed,” referring to 30 percent tariffs on European steel and aluminium imposed by President George W. Bush in 2002. President Bush rolled back those import duties in 2003 following an unfavorable WTO ruling.

If Europeans are hoping for a rerun of the 2002 trade conflict, they could be in for a surprise. Going by President Trump’s track record, it will take lot more than a sharply-worded rebuke from the EU or an adversarial WTO ruling to make President Trump rollback his commitment to protect U.S. interests.

Video: the U.S. places tariffs on EU metal imports

[Cover image via YouTube]

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Comments

Trump’s Tariff Decision Irks Merkel, Macron

That’s a feature, not a bug.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to Tregonsee. | June 3, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    They shouldn’t have built their business model on circumvention of US tariffs. They are the European version of the slug in Baltimore who was illegally selling cigarettes:)

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Tregonsee. | June 3, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    Agreed – Huge Bonus!

Please, if you don’t know anything about economics don’t comment on it.

The French President was hysterical in his reaction, claiming, “Economic nationalism leads to war, and that’s exactly what happened in the 1930s.” Going by President Macron’s logic, Hitler and Mussolini were merely fiscal conservatives trying to balance the European trade deficit.

Do the names Smoot and Hawley ring a bell?

European hysteria aside, there is nothing unreasonable in asking for a level playing field on trade and tariff.

Yes, there is. The very concept of a “level playing field” shows that the person speaking of it is either an economic illiterate or a populist demagogue who knows exactly what nonsense he’s talking. The only “level playing field” worth having is zero protection on both sides. Having both sides with the same non-zero level of protection is worse than having them use protection and us not.

President Trump was forced to slap tariffs on European steel and aluminum imports after the EU repeatedly ignored his plea to end unfair duties on U.S. products.

He was not forced to do anything. No matter how bad their tariffs are, adding our own makes things worse. For us.

Chancellor Merkel is “on the lookout for advisers” to lead a “trade war,”

More fool her. Making matters worse yet again.

    Vijeta Uniyal in reply to Milhouse. | June 3, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    I won’t defend my credentials on foreign trade and economics. Anyone can google them, if they so choose.

    My assertions are not ideological, but based on facts and figures cited in the post.

    Mac45 in reply to Milhouse. | June 3, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    Good advice for YOU to follow.

    I do not understand how basic economics is so hard for people to understand. International trade is exactly the same as any other economic endeavor. In order for any entity engaged in trade, of any kind, a positive cash flow is essential. In the case of US trade, the US has a horrendous negative cash flow. Far more money [value if you prefer] goes out than comes in. International finance helps to mitigate this somewhat, but US based financial institutions do not employ nearly enough people to make a difference.

    Free trade is a wonderful idea, if the trading partners are relatively equal. However, when the trading partners are very unequal, the richer partner becomes the consumer and the poorer nation becomes the producer. And money [value] flows from the consumer to the producer. Trade works like two connected pails of water. Water flows from the pail which has more water [money] to the pail that has less money. Unless water is reintroduced into the fuller pail, the level of the producing nation will increase and the level in the consumer nation will continue to fall, until they are even. This is a good thing for the poorer nation, but is not so good for the richer one, which is not much poorer.

    So, the problem becomes how to equalize the relative markets. One way is colonialism. The richer nations simply buys the poorer one and controls it and its economy to the benefit of the richer nation. Well, we in an anti-colonial period, now. So the other method is raise the cost of imported goods to equal those of domestically produced goods. If the richer nation controls a large enough portion of the world consumer market, it can insulate itself from external economic problems, as it is capable of recirculating its capital within its borders.

      Shane in reply to Mac45. | June 3, 2018 at 7:29 pm

      My gawd Mac45 puhlease.

      In order for any entity engaged in trade, of any kind, a positive cash flow is essential.

      How does this work? Break it down for the simpletons.

      I am just going let you work from there, because I pretty sure this statement sums up the problems you are having in economics.

        Mac45 in reply to Shane. | June 4, 2018 at 11:22 am

        Okay, sim, here it goes.

        In the real world, any entity has to have more money coming in than going out or that entity goes broke. when that happens, the entity can not pay for the things which it needs to survive. And, when that happens, the entity dies.

        Let’s take an example that everyone can relate to. A person makes $20,000 a year. His food, housing, utilities, clothing and medical care cost him $30,000 a year. In order to survive, he has to do one of two things, either cut-out things that he buys during the year to keep his expenditures at, or below, $20000 a year or borrow money. If he borrows money, then he now has to pay off that loan. So, his yearly expenditures go up even more.

        This is basic economics. Now, economists have been trying for centuries to find some way around the laws of economics. They haven’t managed to do it yet.

      txvet2 in reply to Mac45. | June 3, 2018 at 8:27 pm

      I’m not an economist, but it seems like your description overlooks a couple of points: (1) In some circumstances, the “poorer” nation may be exceeding rich in certain things – like lithium, manganese, cobalt, etc. that can make them effectively the “richer” nation – which is why I dislike your “richer/poorer” formulation. Better might be a comparison of technological achievement. In any event, (2) not all of the flow is in one direction. The more advanced society will also export its products to the less advanced society – cell phones, computers, better farming techniques, whatever, in exchange for the raw materials used to make those products. So your “pails of water” analogy might be simple to understand, it’s also invalid. And then, of course, you have to deal with the fact that there are thousands of interconnected pails of water instead of two, and most countries are putting up one-way membranes to keep water from flowing out.

        Mac45 in reply to txvet2. | June 4, 2018 at 11:37 am

        It does not matter what one trades. It can be manufactured goods, natural resources or even services. What is important is how much money the nation has to pay for consumer items.

        I was limiting my discussion to manufactured items and two countries, but, let’s take your natural resources example. Saudi Arabia engages in little or no manufacturing. It provides few international services. What it does have is a natural resource, oil. Now, in consumer terms, we can say that Saudi Arabia is a rich country. Saudi Arabia also has a huge positive balance of trade. In other words more money flows into the country than flows out of the country. So, by any definition it is a rich country and it is rich because it has a positive balance of trade. And, we do not base a nation’s total balance of trade on trade with a single nation. The balance of trade is determined by the total value of the goods, and sometimes services, being exported and imported.

          Ragspierre in reply to Mac45. | June 5, 2018 at 1:34 am

          “It does not matter what one trades. It can be manufactured goods, natural resources or even services. What is important is how much money the nation has to pay for consumer items.”

          This is literally both FALSE, thumping economic ignorance, and the millionth time this poster has stated the same bullshit.

          Money is the LEAST valid of all measures. Money, as brilliant an innovation in human history as it IS, is merely a means of making trades more accessible. But “money” ONLY has value as a proxy for VALUE. We all find this proxy extremely useful, conditionally. (For instance, the “money” issued by a nation like Venezuela can be devalued by people based on several considerations.) But the VALUE of the trade engage in by market participants is constant.

          Nations do not “trade”. No nation “trades in consumer items”. This poster has been taught this repeatedly, but persists in this lie.

          The reality is that any trade is ONLY valued on the terms of the trade. The idiocy asserted here is that, for instance, an American consumer my wish to obtain a fine Swiss watch. They trade the symbols of their time, talent, skill, andgenius…currency…for the watch. Those symbols are ALWAYS a one-way exchange (let’s leave currency arbitrage aside). “Money” goes out, BUT VALUE IS THE MEASURE. And any freely engaged-in trade is beneficial to the parties. They won’t trade otherwise.

          But this poster will continue to chant this nonsense in the face of all proof showing it to be consummate bullshit.

          Mac45 in reply to Mac45. | June 5, 2018 at 11:54 am

          Still hanging out with the unicorn, I see. Perhaps in happy valley, or whatever alternate universe you live in this is true, but not in the real world.

          What is trade? It is not simply the movement of goods from one location to another. It is the transfer of the ownership of those goods, aka the SALE, to another person. BMWs do not sit beside the roadway waiting to be claimed by people passing by. They are owned from creation to destruction by an owner. The trade comes in when this BMW is TRADED for something else of value. In the past, we used the barter system, where individuals directly exchanged one item for another. Now we have streamlined this by inventing currency. Currency is not a thing having any intrinsic value. It is simply a representation of a unit of “value”. This unit of value can be based upon a number of things and its “value” can be affected by what it is based upon. See, the commonality here? All of these items represent a person’s time and ability. But, that time and ability has NO VALUE unless it is used to create something which another person is willing to exchange something of value for. A person can starve to death even though he spends hundreds of hours manufacturing sling shots, because theire is no market for slingshots.

          Now, ALL trade involves the sale of some commodity from a producer to a consumer. It might be an automobile. It might be a pineapple. Or it might be a service, such as construction, transportation or even financing. But, trade ALWAYS requires that some commodity be transferred from a producer to a consumer. And, nations in which the ordinary resident has more disposable “value” are better able to “trade” that value for objects of value from another person.

      Ragspierre in reply to Mac45. | June 5, 2018 at 10:37 am

      This is all completely false, irrational, and anti-economic.

      Again. Some more. Additionally.

      This poster should be embarrassed. And STFU.

        Mac45 in reply to Ragspierre. | June 5, 2018 at 12:10 pm

        You really do not get it do you?

        Whittle’s point is very limited. He is saying that the total wealth in any system is not static. It can be increased and that one person can increase or decrease his personal wealth without either taking wealth from another or giving his wealth to another. This is true. However, it has no impact on basic economic reality, which is that if someone wants or needs something, there are only three ways to obtain that item; buy it, steal it or create it. And, two of those ways require some expenditure of personal wealth by the person obtaining that item. Even if he simply “creates” the item, he still has to buy the raw materials necessary to create it.

        Now, the transfer of personal wealth requires that the personal wealth exists to be transferred. And, that personal wealth has to e acquired, before it can be transferred. This is accomplished by the person receiving wealth for his labor. It might be labor which produces a product that he, or another, can trade for wealth. It may be a service which allows another to perform a service which gains wealth for THAT person, which is shared with the first person. But, it always requires that a person do something for which he gains wealth.

          Ragspierre in reply to Mac45. | June 5, 2018 at 12:21 pm

          You left out that the trade of the consumer’s transfer of wealth INCREASES the wealth of the consumer AND the producer.

          Everywhere bu UnicornLand.

          Mac45 in reply to Mac45. | June 5, 2018 at 2:41 pm

          “You left out that the trade of the consumer’s transfer of wealth INCREASES the wealth of the consumer AND the producer.”

          HUH?????

          So, if I go to the grocery store and give the store one dollar for one dollar’s worth of bread I now have more than one dollar? Exactly how did that happen? Is this unicorn math?

          Sorry, but when I gave the store one dollar and received a loaf of bread worth one dollar all that I did was make an even swap, more or less. I did not increase MY WEALTH at all. Now, as the store actually paid less than $1 for the loaf of bread and then marked it up to cover the overhead of running the store with enough left over to make a profit, the store actually increased ITS wealth on the trade. My wealth would come from my salary or the profits of business dealings. Not from spending money on consumables.

          I do not know how much simpler I can make this.

          Ragspierre in reply to Mac45. | June 5, 2018 at 4:57 pm

          I don’t know how you can be so dense.

          Go back. L-i-s-t-e-n to Bill Whittle’s explanation of how all this works. R-e-p-l-a-y until something penetrates.

          When you go to any seller, but especially one to which you have to travel, and you pay them $1.OO for anything, you’ve just made a trade that makes you MUCH wealthier then the dollar you spent. Or you would not do anything to engage in the transaction.

          I don’t know how you can write some of your recent stuff, and STILL NOT grasp this simple, most basic economic concept.

          Jeeebus…

          Ragspierre in reply to Mac45. | June 5, 2018 at 5:48 pm

          Here, try this.

          Dr. Williams takes a slightly different tack, using different terms that all amount to the same thing.
          https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Prager+trade+makes+everyone+better+off&&view=detail&mid=C1F6FFE69710897D71AAC1F6FFE69710897D71AA&&FORM=VDRVRV

      Ragspierre in reply to Mac45. | June 5, 2018 at 10:55 am

      The intelligence and clarity of this presentation makes the inane crap by Mac45 “pale” by comparison.

      The false and stupid nonsense SHOULD be critiqued by anyone with any understanding of economics. It’s literally dangerous to let stand.

YellowGrifterInChief | June 3, 2018 at 4:31 pm

What track record? He has been ‘on’, ‘off’, ‘on again’, ambiguous with China. He has gotten nowhere with renegotiating NAFTA. He has completed no uni-lateral deals.

Correction: commitment to protect U.S. interests commitment to crony capitalism

Vote for Trump – He will make China Great Again! Buy a MCGA hat today – proudly made where the Trump family makes most of its products.

    How a bigot like you is allowed to continue is beyond comprehension:

    YellowGrifterInChief | June 2, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    “Pope Francis…is a Jewish imposter.”

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2018/06/pope-francis-summons-big-oil-to-vatican-for-climate-change-sermon/comment-page-1/#comment-851422

      Milhouse in reply to TheFineReport.com. | June 3, 2018 at 5:10 pm

      Enough already. It was a joke. A really really stupid joke, but a joke nonetheless. He was trying to impersonate a “wingnut” and doing it very badly, because he has no idea how we think.

        txvet2 in reply to Milhouse. | June 3, 2018 at 7:55 pm

        Well, in all fairness, you must have seen Trump’s joke about Russia finding Hillary’s e-mails portrayed as a serious suggestion (and concrete evidence of “collusion”)about 1,000 times by idiot leftists. Turnabout may not be intellectually honest, but it IS fair play.

          Milhouse in reply to txvet2. | June 3, 2018 at 9:18 pm

          I don’t think that was a joke. Or rather, it was a joke only in the sense that he didn’t seriously think they’d do it, which in fact they didn’t.

          It was a reasonable supposition that the Russians had cracked Clinton’s private email server — Comey openly said it was likely that several hostile countries had done so — and he was inviting them to publish this information. They didn’t, of course, but he had every right to ask them to. After all, if they already had it, shouldn’t we?

          The hysterical false claims on the left were that he was asking them to crack the server for him, as if they hadn’t yet done so. That is ridiculous, for several reasons, but they were blind to that.

        Fen in reply to Milhouse. | June 3, 2018 at 8:05 pm

        How does you know it was a joke or an impersonation? Nothing in the original post indicates satire. Has Yellow explained he didn’t mean it? Where?

          Milhouse in reply to Fen. | June 3, 2018 at 9:19 pm

          It was obvious that it was an attempt at parody. It fits too neatly into several stupid stereotypes that lefties hold of righties.

          JusticeDelivered in reply to Fen. | June 3, 2018 at 9:45 pm

          What I find interesting is that those claiming racism are generally bald faced racists with an entitlement mentality, and most of the time they are parasites on society.

        Milwaukee in reply to Milhouse. | June 5, 2018 at 5:41 pm

        Milhouse refers to “making a joke”. Milhouse: you have, over time, given clear, consistent, and convincing evidence that you are humorless. May God bless your soul. We can forgive you for giving pedantic, annoying, and tedious lectures. But we will be cut to the depth at our souls out of pity for you, as you are humorless.

        We pity you, Milhouse and YellowGrifterinChief, and all those you defend, who, like you, are humorless.

        Please don’t try to explain mean incivility as an attempt to “make a joke”. I’m not kidding, this is too serious.

    So what is your analysis of the trade situation YellowDouche? How will trade sanctions make China great?

    You are in so far over your head you can taste what you had for lunch. Please stop posting you are a fucking useless idiot who can’t even articulate progressive positions correctly.

    “make China great again”

    The current status quo has China sneaking in through the backdoor of NAFTA, with Mexico and Canada serving as lookouts.

Another fake news article. I have been assured over and over again that tariffs are nothing but bad, are like, “stabbing yourself over and over again” and harm everyone involved yet we keep reading that countries all over the world have long standing significant tariffs. Indeed, every country has thousands of them.

That is simply not possible. Nothing can survive thousands upon thousands of gaping self-inflicted wounds. Anything that bad would have ceased being used centuries ago. I guess everybody in the entire world must be incapable of understanding where self interest begins.

Or maybe unlike free market economists they don’t assume there’s a can opener.

    Shane in reply to forksdad. | June 3, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    The fallacy of the broken glass.

    @forksdad: See the glazier is making money, how can that be bad?

    Milhouse in reply to forksdad. | June 3, 2018 at 5:30 pm

    In every country the special interests speak loudly and the politicians hear them, while the general interest is diffuse and the politicians either don’t know or (and after 240 years this is really the only option left) don’t care. Catering to the special interests gets them money and votes; ignoring them in favor of the general interest gets them upset and makes them support the other guy, while the general public who benefit don’t notice. So every country suffers the same disease, despite 240 years of everyone who’s interested knowing better.

      forksdad in reply to Milhouse. | June 3, 2018 at 5:55 pm

      You know what? I’ve been stabbed, more than once and you’d never guess but not just the part stabbed but the whole me noticed it.

      I know hard to believe but true. Even if none of the rest of me noticed I imagine I might have bled out thus killing all of me.

      Or maybe turn down the hyperbole about the subject. In a perfect world tariffs are unneeded, since we are not in a perfect world I’ll take what tools I can use.

      Mac45 in reply to Milhouse. | June 3, 2018 at 7:24 pm

      That’s right. And for the last 50 years, special interests in the US have been pushing free trade and open borders. Has it helped this country? No. Why not? Because the US supports the rest of the world while only a handful of special financial and manufacturing interests benefit from low US tariffs and free trade. The general population suffers.

      So, now, deeply in debt, much of which is held by foreigners, and having a horrendous general cash flow problem, resulting from a horrendous negative balance of trade, the US is bleeding to death. It is far past time to open our eyes and see that, for the general populous, the fiscal policies followed since 1970 have seriously harmed the average US citizen.

        Shane in reply to Mac45. | June 3, 2018 at 7:32 pm

        How is it working for the small farms and the sugar industry in the U.S. with all the free trade in these areas?

          Mac45 in reply to Shane. | June 4, 2018 at 11:40 am

          I’m not sure what your point is. Care to elaborate?

          forksdad in reply to Shane. | June 4, 2018 at 2:19 pm

          He’s talking about the ADM tariff on sugar. Not sure how that hurts American farmers but I like sugar better than corn syrup and I don’t eat either anymore.

      tom_swift in reply to Milhouse. | June 3, 2018 at 10:20 pm

      despite 240 years of everyone who’s interested knowing better.

      And you insist that you are one of this vast multitude who ostensibly know better.

      Remarkable.

Don’t forget that imbecile trudeau.

He’s upset, too.

Triggered, in fact: he’s been seen in the corner, hugging his therapy dog.

Milhouse: “if you don’t know anything about economics don’t comment on it.”

You are hardly an expert on economics. I have read and listened to several experts, and while I admit their detailed analysis made my eyes glaze over, I came away with one certainty:

There is broad disagrement even amoung the experts on this issue. And therefore a wide range of reasonable debate should be encouraged.

But I think you already knew that – like the “settled science” crowd – you seek to silence opposing points of view.

Which only makes me wonder how strong your position really is.

Can it endure scrutiny and skepticisms? If so, then you should welcome it.

    “You are hardly an expert on economics….”

    Man, get your research in order before you comment:

    From economist Milton Friedman:

    “Few men have had such a profound impact on the world’s economy as Milhouse, who has left behind an unparalleled legacy of economic freedom.

    “Despite this legacy, students today know little of Milhouse’s accomplishments. His profound influence on economic policy is edged aside by politically correct curriculums that emphasize fringe groups and outmoded Marxist ideologies over common sense and sound economic theory.

    Last year I attended a conference sponsored by Young America’s Foundation on Milhouse, organized in an attempt to balance this one-sided education. This three-day seminar focused on Milhouse life and works, and it was here I gained a new appreciation of the twentieth century’s greatest economist and advocate of free markets.

    “As freedom-oriented organizations across the country like Young America’s Foundation today mark “Milhouse Day” with events and celebration, I am reminded of the lessons I learned.
    Milhouse spoke of the dangers of an intrusive government and the key role that a free competitive economy plays in making a free society possible. Not only is economic freedom an end in itself, Milhouse rightly argued that it is also an indispensible means towards the achievement of political freedom.

    “He warned of the disastrous results that occur when government attempts to substitute its own judgment for the judgment of free people. Milhouse asked in his famous book, Capitalism and Freedom: “How can we keep the government we create from becoming a Frankenstein that will destroy the very freedom we establish it to protect?” He had a vision of society where men and women are Milhouse, but where government is not as free to override their decisions.

    “It is rare to find someone who has such a high level of intellectual brilliance in addition to common sense. Milhouse demolished the ivory tower that used to be home to the study of economics and replaced it with the dinner table. Coauthored with his wife, Mrs. Milhouse, he spread his ideas worldwide with his best-selling nonfiction book: “I, Milhouse”, written to accompany a TV series on cable public access.

    ““Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program,” Milhouse once said. With the federal government the largest it has ever been (some studies estimate more than 14 million federal employees), Milhouse recognized the harsh realities of uncontrollable bureaucracy and government spending. Always ready with a witty remark, Milhouse said to Fen: “You are hardly an expert on economics.”

    “We have a lot to be thankful for, courtesy of Milhouse. Including freer markets, an emergence of entrepreneurs, and his profound influence on leaders like obama and clinton. Had clinton taken more seriously Milhouse and his cultural influence, one must wonder if Clinton would have been elected president. So, next time you engage in any economic activity, whether on Wall Street or Wal-Mart, be sure to thank Milhouse.”

    http://www.mlitonfriedmanonmilhouse.com

    Shane in reply to Fen. | June 3, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    Michael Dyson and Jordan Peterson adamantly disagree (if you’re bored) does that mean that the things that are disagreeing on aren’t settled? There is huge disagreement in climate sciences. It is complicated, does that mean it’s not settled science? Read Coyoteblog for what I believe is the most rational view of climate science.

    Millhouse’s comment was a warning, in that if you haven’t taken the time and effort to understand where the disagreements are then you are not going to contribute to the debate. You muddy the waters with the uninformed by postulating things that have already been answered (truths).

    Charlatans love the grey areas. They love to confuse, they love to muddy up the waters to make it seem as though something that 99% true is NOT true. They mis-direct to hide their lies and weakness. If you watch the video, watch closely what Dyson does. He presents his points so that the people that want to believe him will. But if you are skeptical (and you should be) you look at both him and Peterson with a jaundiced eye, assuming both are incorrect and lying. Doing this helps you form your own opinion and helps you weed out the charlatans.

    Seriously, attacking someone is no way to learn (unless they are a troll or truly uninformed), and there is much in this world to learn.

      Fen in reply to Shane. | June 3, 2018 at 5:57 pm

      “Millhouse’s comment was a warning, in that if you haven’t taken the time and effort to understand where the disagreements are then you are not going to contribute to the debate.”

      Bull. Who determines if someone have taken the the time and effort to “contribute” to the debate? Millhouse? You?

      How is that determined? If they agree with Milhouse, check. If not, uncheck?

      Because so far, that’s how it played out on the last thread (you were the honorable exception).

      And I’m hardly attacking him. I’m stating that his Appeal to Authority is a rhetorical fallacy and so his demand that non-experts shut their mouths should be ignored.

      Even when people are ignorant on a topic, they are smart enough and wise enough to detect manipulation tactics. Lose their trust and they will oppose your pov out of caution, no matter how right you are.

      Don’t confuse ignorance with stupidy. We are approaching the Murry-Gellmen effect here – cheat on a subject we are familiar with and we will disregard your analysis on those subjects we don’t fully understand.

        Shane in reply to Fen. | June 3, 2018 at 7:12 pm

        Who determines if someone have taken the the time and effort to “contribute” to the debate? Millhouse? You?

        None of the above. The person that posts the comment. They know when they are in over their head and their responses tell anyone who is paying attention that. I’ve done it, it’s humiliating and embarrassing, and when some one hands me my stupid after enough times I find that I don’t like to do it, and I wait for those that do have information to hash it out so I can be more informed.

        How is that determined? If they agree with Milhouse, check. If not, uncheck?

        How is anything determined. Scientific method. Does my postulate conform to reality. That is it. People aren’t right or wrong. They are either closer to reality or farther away compared to others. If they are closer we say that they are right if they are farther we say they are wrong. But no person can be exact in their understanding of reality, and the corollary of that.

        I’m stating that his Appeal to Authority is a rhetorical fallacy

        Is it an Appeal to Authority or is it a reference to foundational documentation? Just because you don’t know it doesn’t mean that he is using it against you. If you give him the benefit of the doubt, (you don’t have to) you might see his encouragement to read material that forms the basis of his opinion. If you do this then you might form a different opinion about the current debate.

        Even when people are ignorant on a topic, they are smart enough and wise enough to detect manipulation tactics.

        Are you sure.

        We are approaching the Murry-Gellmen effect

        How is that. Murry-Gellmen is incorrect, because people are different in their abilities. Is the journalist that made so many mistakes to be compared to another journalist who is well read and competent. What ties them together? Simply being journalists? This is a piss poor way of evaluating information, and if you form your opinion about one journalist based on your opinion of another journalist and tie them together based only on the fact they are journalists … you’re doing it wrong.

      fast182 in reply to Shane. | June 3, 2018 at 6:36 pm

      Science is never settled. If it’s settled, then it isn’t science.

        Shane in reply to fast182. | June 3, 2018 at 7:12 pm

        Then their is no knowledge, because nothing can be known. Not surprised you said this.

          Fen in reply to Shane. | June 3, 2018 at 8:15 pm

          Scientists themselves are always reminding us the science isn’t settled. For example, a great deal is “known” from Paleontology, but just recently a new discovery invalidated some things we assumed to be “settled”.

          Oh, here’s a funny palette cleanser. Sorbet. It’s hysterical Climate Science Doom, especially if you enjoyed Toby from the office:

          https://youtu.be/XM0uZ9mfOUI

          fast182 in reply to Shane. | June 3, 2018 at 8:57 pm

          I have to explain the scientific method?! Yes, we know enough about aerodynamics and structural engineering to make a plane fly, but there are still many gaps in our knowledge that we cover with educated guesses. It’s part of the reason that there’s so much time spent in wind tunnels and test flights. It’s why we test medications on animals, and then on human volunteers, sometimes with tragic consequences.

          Anyone who says “the science is settled” is lying or a fool. It’s one of the few absolutes in life.

          fast182 in reply to Shane. | June 3, 2018 at 9:50 pm

          Shane, and what’s with the holtility? What I said is an absolute truth. We humans think we’re so smart, sending a man to the moon, or a probe to Mars, but look up “dark energy” and “dark matter”. Those are fancy terms that physicists have developed recently to account for the fact that the only way to square our theories with modern observations is if 60% of the energy and 80% of the matter in the universe is completley unknow to us. We’re not off by 5% or 0.002%, we’re waaaaaay off. Please ponder that for a while.

          Somebody here mentioned Jordan Peterson. His first rule is to get your own house in order before you start telling everyone else how to live their lives. Something else to ponder.

          tom_swift in reply to Shane. | June 3, 2018 at 10:26 pm

          Then their [sic] is no knowledge, because nothing can be known.

          The reductio ad absurdum is just that—absurd.

          Ronbert in reply to Shane. | June 4, 2018 at 9:30 am

          I was in graduate school in the ’60s at a research institute.
          The fellowship students were required to attend all seminars.
          Richard Feynman gave a lecture. He started off by holding up a physics book that was THE reference book. He then cut out a few pages and dropped the book in the trash can. He stated that the pages he held in his hand were that had survived. The title of his lecture was “Be a Skeptic”. I later heard he gave this same lecture at other venues.

          fast182 in reply to Shane. | June 4, 2018 at 10:08 am

          Ronbert, Feynman is awesome. That’s very cool that you got to hear him speak. His essay, Cargo Cult Science, should be required reading for everyone.

          Ragspierre in reply to Shane. | June 5, 2018 at 2:07 am

          fast182—Somebody here mentioned Jordan Peterson. His first rule is to get your own house in order before you start telling everyone else how to live their lives. Something else to ponder.

          A notion that any real conservative believes in their core.

          A Progressive like T-rump thinks your choices are not really yours. He’s happy to impose central planning on an entire economy.

          #badchoicedaddyfix

        Henry Hawkins in reply to fast182. | June 3, 2018 at 8:12 pm

        Depends on how you define ‘settled’, but science is daily considered ‘settled’ enough to risk people’s lives in the billions, with pharmaceuticals, surgeries, heavier-than-air flight, skyscrapers, bridges, flights to the moon, Mars, the ISS, and so on, and so on.

        The unsettled description of any aspect of science comes only when sufficient scientific evidence to the contrary demands it be reviewed. It is always a work in progress, but ‘unsettled’ is not quite accurate.

          “Settled” is one of those terms that’s definative, like “off” or “dead” or “final”.

          Ragspierre in reply to Henry Hawkins. | June 5, 2018 at 2:16 am

          And, in reality, the scientific method has made the universe more rational.

          Some things science has given us are “settled”. Like engineering which tells us that a given beam will support a given load. Or that a certain wing-area will lift a certain weight in air of a certain temperature.

          Or that tariffs are simply stupid, destructive, and counter-productive.

    Milhouse in reply to Fen. | June 3, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    “It is often said that bad economic policy reflects disagreement among the experts; that if all economists gave the same advice, economic policy would be good. Economists often do disagree, but that has not been true with respect to international trade. Ever since Adam Smith there has been virtual unanimity among economists, whatever their ideological position on other issues, that international free trade is in the best interests of trading countries and of the world. Yet tariffs have been the rule.”

    Read the rest

      Fen in reply to Milhouse. | June 3, 2018 at 6:14 pm

      In this very article the author lists Economic Experts that believe the current imbalance is a bad deal for America.

      5.3 vs 3.5

      What if we could get that down to 4 vs 3. Would you support that?

      What if to do so, it required us using the *threat* of tarrifs to strengthen our negotiating position?

      Would you agree to it? I asked you this before and you dodged the question with a strawman.

      Which now has me wondering if, for all your talk, you even want Euro tarrifs lowered. Because tarrifs are bad, trade wars are bad, remember?

        Depending on who you pick for experts, you can get whatever ratio you want. The important question is “Are they right?”

        Experts agree: Tariffs are bad.
        Reality states: Tariffs are on many, many products.

        When a theory does not agree with reality, one must question the perfection of the theory or the way that reality was measured.

          Milhouse in reply to georgfelis. | June 3, 2018 at 6:57 pm

          Reality says that tariffs exist, not that they are good. Smoking is bad too, and the fact that many people smoke doesn’t change that.

          Shane in reply to georgfelis. | June 3, 2018 at 7:14 pm

          … and further, a small percentage of people do not seem to be affected by smoking.

          Ragspierre in reply to georgfelis. | June 5, 2018 at 3:06 am

          “Experts agree: Tariffs are bad.
          Reality states: Tariffs are on many, many products.”

          A redistributive income tax exists, too. Here’s a pro-tip: the existence of bad things is no argument for their application.

        Milhouse in reply to Fen. | June 3, 2018 at 6:59 pm

        It should be zero on our side (other than perhaps a flat 1% duty on everything from everywhere, for revenue-raising purposes only), regardless of what anyone else does.

          Shane in reply to Milhouse. | June 3, 2018 at 7:16 pm

          FFS no small tariff, unless we give up SS tax and Income tax. I realize this was how it used to be done, but we aren’t there anymore. The crack genie is out of the bottle and he ain’t never gonna go back in.

      Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | June 3, 2018 at 6:53 pm

      Oops, the link went bad. Read the rest.

      To repeat, this is one topic on which there is virtually no disagreement among economists. “Experts” who support protectionism are not experts at all.

        Fen in reply to Milhouse. | June 3, 2018 at 9:45 pm

        See, Shane? Milhouse makes my point from upthread.

        1) All the experts agree with me
        2) If they disagree, I don’t regard them as experts

        Convenient.

        Instead, how about we try to get a better deal. And not take negotiating tools (tarrif threat) off the table? You don’t need a Masters in Economics to see that.

        And Economics is a soft science anyway.

        Expert: There isn’t a position on this anymore than there is a “position” on the temperature at which boils.

        Rube: At what altitude?

        Expert: Huh? .. Oh yah but still .

          Fen in reply to Fen. | June 3, 2018 at 9:48 pm

          at which WATER boils

          Lol this is why my wife is the one who tells all the jokes. I always muck them up.

          fast182 in reply to Fen. | June 4, 2018 at 7:18 am

          Fen, nice joke, but yes, please work on your delivery.

          I’d go one step farther, to point out that economics is one of the social studies. There is nothing objective in economics, nothing equivalent to 2+2=4. It’s only the study of how people react to financial stimulus.

          Ragspierre in reply to Fen. | June 5, 2018 at 1:56 am

          Economics is really all about people and the choices they make in given circumstances. This is one of the great truths that Milton Friedman taught…for those with the ability to learn.

          The observations of economists are as sound as any science, since human nature is a constant. Chemical stoichiometry is no more precise than the law of supply and demand. Both are reliable predictors of reality. 2+2 really DOES make 4.

          You can literally take it to the bank.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to Fen. | June 4, 2018 at 9:44 am

    You are right, I worked with both Milton Friedman and Franco Modigliani on some public policy issues. There was not much they agreed on 🙂

    The bottom line is that public police is driven by big money, and there is no concern about how many people are screwed over as long as the biggest players make more money.

    Ragspierre in reply to Fen. | June 5, 2018 at 1:44 am

    “There is broad disagrement even amoung [sic] the experts on this issue.”

    That’s simply a false statement. Bernie Sanders is quite sure. The AFL-CIO is certain.

    Economists are opposed. So are people who believe in liberty.

Macron and Merkel? Weren’t these two the same who had to be coerced, uttering similar whimpers, into paying their appropriate NATO dues?

    bw222 in reply to MarkS. | June 3, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    That’s like the opposing manager complaining because you are starting your best pitcher, instead of the one with the 27.00 ERA, which is what we have been doing.

      MNCPO in reply to bw222. | June 3, 2018 at 9:59 pm

      Actually, it’s like a bunch of thieves that are complaining somebody changed the locks.

Merkel and Macron irked? I suppose Germany will now invade France?

None of this is economics, it is politics! Or maybe ‘political economy’ as they used to say.

We are Europe’s babysitter and it’s time for them to grow up.

Dworkin: “Dear EU, Canada and Mexico — Now would probably be a great time for your political leaders to step up and call on our Congress to #ImpeachTrump.”

Oh that’s rich. Now the “resistance” is calling on foreign powers to help them overturn the election.

“It’s not collusion when we do it”

We’re going to need alot more rope.

I’m just curious, 6 months from now if/when Trump gets us a better deal and tarriffs around the board are all lower, what will be the response from his critics here today?

I’m only asking because I’ve seen this movie so many times already – we are called ignorant by the experts, we are proven right, and the experts are nowhere to be found. So let’s get it out now…

    Ragspierre in reply to Fen. | June 5, 2018 at 1:48 am

    Read up on Smoot-Hawley. That was just SUPER. Or “GREAT” (as in depression).

    W imposed tariffs, too. The analysis is that ONE cost a NET 200,000 lost jobs in the U.S.

    But, hey, that’s just history… And reality.

      Barry in reply to Ragspierre. | June 5, 2018 at 11:23 pm

      Smoot-Hawley did not cause the depression.

      While often cited as deepening the depression, many economists have come to the conclusion that it is false.

        Ragspierre in reply to Barry. | June 6, 2018 at 12:45 am

        List them.

          Barry in reply to Ragspierre. | June 6, 2018 at 8:13 pm

          “Today, there continues to be considerable disagreement concerning the causes of the Great Depression, and the relative roles of those causes. A number of historians and economists, for example, have downplayed the traditional interpretation of the disastrous effect of the Smoot Hawley Tariff, pointing out that the existing Fordney-McCumber Tariff rates were already dangerously high and that the Smoot-Hawley bill was really just a continuation of business as usual under Republican administrations. Foreign trade, both imports and exports, was only a small part of the total U.S. economy. The Smoot-Hawley Tariff was clearly harmful to trade and diplomacy, but it is uncertain how damaging it was relative to other economic forces.”

          https://hoover.blogs.archives.gov/2018/03/14/the-smoot-hawley-tariff-of-1930/

          Economists today, however, hold a different view of the effects of Smoot-Hawley. While economic historians generally believe the tariff was misguided and may have aggravated the economic crisis, the consensus appears to relegate it to a minor status relative to other forces.”

          https://fee.org/articles/the-smoot-hawley-tariff-and-the-great-depression/

          “In fact, few economists think the Smoot-Hawley tariff (as it is most often known) was one of the principal causes of the Depression.”

          https://www.economist.com/node/12798595

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | June 7, 2018 at 3:36 am

          You’ve got to be one of the worst liars on the internet.

          The battle of Smoot-Hawley
          A cautionary tale about how a protectionist measure opposed by all right-thinking people was passed
          Dec 18th 2008

          Library of Congress Hawley and Smoot, the bogeymen of trade

          EVEN when desperate, Wall Street bankers are not given to grovelling. But in June 1930 Thomas Lamont, a partner at J.P. Morgan, came close. “I almost went down on my knees to beg Herbert Hoover to veto the asinine Hawley-Smoot Tariff,” he recalled. “That Act intensified nationalism all over the world.

          -snip-

          Nevertheless, the act added poison to the emptying well of global trade (see chart). The worldwide protection of the 1930s took decades to dismantle. And bad monetary and fiscal policies were at least based on the economic orthodoxy of the day: economists would tear each other apart over the heresies of John Maynard Keynes. On protection, there was no such division. More than a thousand economists petitioned Hoover not to sign the Smoot-Hawley bill. Bankers like Lamont sided with them; so did editorialists by the score.”
          https://www.economist.com/node/12798595

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | June 7, 2018 at 3:52 am

          Few areas of historical research have provoked such intensive study as the origins and causes of America’s Great Depression. From 1929 to 1933 America suffered the worst economic decline in its history. Real national income fell by 36 percent; unemployment increased from 3 percent to over 25 percent; more than 40 percent of all banks were permanently closed; and international investment and trade declined dramatically.

          The dimensions of the economic catastrophe in America and the rest of the world from 1929 to 1933 cannot be captured fully by quantitative data alone. Tens of millions of humans suffered intense misery and despair. Because of this trauma the Great Depression has dominated much of the macroeconomic debate since the mid-twentieth century.

          In 1930 a large majority of economists believed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act would exacerbate the U.S. recession into a worldwide depression. On May 5 of that year 1,028 members of the American Economic Association released a signed statement that vigorously opposed the act. The protest included five basic points. First, the tariff would raise the cost of living by “compelling the consumer to subsidize waste and inefficiency in [domestic] industry.” Second, the farm sector would not be helped since “cotton, pork, lard, and wheat are export crops and sold in the world market” and the price of farm equipment would rise. Third, “our export trade in general would suffer. Countries cannot buy from us unless they are permitted to sell to us.” Fourth, the tariff would “inevitably provoke other countries to pay us back in kind against our goods.” Finally, Americans with investments abroad would suffer since the tariff would make it “more difficult for their foreign debtors to pay them interest due them.” Likewise most of the empirical discussions of the downturn in world economic activity taking place in 1929–1933 put Smoot-Hawley at or near center stage.

          Economists today, however, hold a different view of the effects of Smoot-Hawley. While economic historians generally believe the tariff was misguided and may have aggravated the economic crisis, the consensus appears to relegate it to a minor status relative to other forces. We believe many modern economists are wrong because flawed modeling leads to two systematic understatements of the tariff’s negative effects. The first reason for this is that reliance on macro aggregates can sometimes mask serious underlying problems by dissipating their apparent impact over a broad area. For example, U.S. national income declined 36 percent in real terms from 1929 to 1933, and the view held by prominent economists, ranging from University of Chicago Nobel laureate Robert Lucas and Yale economist Robert Shiller to MIT economists Rudiger Dornbush and Stanley Fischer, is that since the foreign-trade sector was only about 7 percent of gross national product (GNP), the tariff (though misguided) could not explain much of this decline.

          Viewed at the level of “macro magnitudes,” critical micro connections suffer from a “dissipation effect” and always look small. But size does not equal significance. While it is true that foreign trade represented only a small percentage of the overall domestic and international economy, it does not follow that the tariff was insignificant in its effects. The Panama Canal contains but a small fraction of the world’s ocean water, but if it were closed the effects would be quite devastating to world trade. A focus on aggregates risks missing the trees for the forest, and not all trees are created equal.

          Here’s a second way Smoot-Hawley is underestimated: If regulations or tariffs are studied in partitioned models, their interrelationships are missed and their true impacts are trivialized. For example, recent attempts have been made to quantify price distortions caused by the tariff. Mario Crucini and James Kahn have tried to correct systematic underestimates of the harm of Smoot-Hawley found in a variety of macro studies that ignored the effect of tariff retaliation on the rate of capital accumulation. Using a general-equilibrium model, they calculate that the microeconomic distortion effects reduced U.S. GNP by only 2 percent in the early 1930s. Likewise economist Douglas Irwin computed the general-equilibrium inefficiencies caused by the tariff at nearly 2 percent of GNP.

          So when even ostensibly free-market, free-trade economists such as Lucas, Irwin, and others downplay the negative effects of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff, what’s the verdict? Were the loud protests of over a thousand professors of economics just unsophisticated exaggerations? Were these pre-Keynesian classical theorists misguided because they lacked the tools of modern macroeconomics and econometrics? Or did their vision remain unclouded for the same reason? Were they Chicken Littles or Cassandras?
          Ignored Effects

          Modern measurements of Smoot-Hawley often ignore a wide range of important negative effects. For instance, the secondary financial markets, such as the New York Stock Exchange, crashed twice during the last eight months of Smoot-Hawley’s legislative history. Jude Wanniski and Scott Sumner have linked concern over the impending tariff to the October 1929 crash and the June 1930 crash. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 23 percent in the first two weeks of June 1930 leading up to President Herbert Hoover’s signing the bill into law. On June 16 Hoover claimed, “I shall approve the tariff bill,” and stocks lost $1 billion in value that day—a huge sum at the time.

          From your second citation…

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | June 7, 2018 at 4:00 am

          “Immediately after his inauguration, Hoover called a special session of Congress. Within weeks they passed a bill creating Hoover’s Farm Board, to great fanfare. Then they turned to the tariff. Weeks turned into months as the bill bogged down in the Senate; the stock market crash in October 1929 had little effect on the debate. The Smoot-Hawley tariff bill finally passed in June 1930; it raised rates on over 20,000 items, but as a whole, pleased no one. Over 1000 economists signed an open letter to President Hoover, begging him to veto the bill.

          President Hoover was not happy with the Smoot-Hawley bill, especially the increased tariffs on many manufactured goods. In private, he described it as “vicious, extortionate and obnoxious,” but because it included increased tariffs on agricultural products, he felt compelled to sign it. Furthermore, Hoover had successfully engineered a provision in the bill that allowed the Tariff Commission to make modest adjustments to tariffs without Congressional approval, which he believed would allow him to fix some of the most egregious industrial tariffs.

          -snip-

          Economists now believe, almost without exception, that free trade and low tariffs promote economic growth.”

          From your first citation.

          You are a cherry-picking MACHINE…!!!

          You can go find Dr. Sowell’s views on how the Smoot-Hawley idiocy poured gasoline on what would have been a garden-variety depression, turning it “GREAT”. I won’t help you. You deserve to wallow in your crapitude.

The left will having long forgotten about tariffs and will have moved on to what ever their next outrage will be.

Merkel and Macron both need to be irked. They are both clueless losers.

    Ragspierre in reply to gourdhead. | June 5, 2018 at 2:25 am

    And the world is sometimes led by clueless losers. That would include our clueless losers. The rest of us, given BIG GOVERNMENT are dragged along without our consent.

So called free traders commenting, heres how you get actual free trade:

Donald Trump Calls for Total Tariff Removals at G7 Summit

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/06/09/donald-trump-calls-for-total-tariff-removals-at-g7/

    Ragspierre in reply to Barry. | June 10, 2018 at 8:38 am

    “That’s the way it should be, no tariffs, no barriers … and no subsidies,” Trump said, referring to his former college education. “That’s the way you learned at the Wharton school of finance, I mean that would be the ultimate thing.”

    Then, if he held that as a VALUE, he’d act on it. He doesn’t. Not domestically with ethanol, etc., or anywhere else. He’s articulated the same trade policies as Bernie Sanders, over and over. And for years.

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