June 9th, 2018

#6233: Trade "war"

That's one of the left's bugaboos lately, that Trump is going to start a "trade war".

At the end of World War II, the United States had a significant advantage over the rest of the world. Simply put, with just about the entire remaining world's industrial infrastructure in a shambles, the US could out-produce everyone; it had not seen any serious fighting and was rich in resources. With a highly disciplined workforce that had just come back from winning the war, the US was an economic powerhouse.

Two things could have happened. The US could have out-produced everyone and flooded the world with cheap goods, thus preventing the development of industry in other countries. The other did happen; the US helped them rebuild.

So, it was reasonable--then--that there be tariffs on American goods being exported to those countries, and little or no tariff on goods coming into the US.

Today, though, Europe enjoys a more modern industrial infrastructure than the US does (thanks to having it destroyed and rebuilt) and in some ways has advantages that the US does not. Why, then, is it necessary for the US to continue to have no barriers to imports?

I've long maintained that the best policy is simple tit-for-tat: you have a 50% tariff on X, we have a 50% tariff on X. Automobiles, for example; there's no reason Mercedes or BMW should face a 2.5% tariff on cars coming into the US when American cars face a 10% tariff going into Germany.

Except, of course, that if we raise tariffs--regardless of reason--people start whining about it being "unfair".

A loose trade policy is all well and good, but there's a difference between being accommodating, and just bending over and letting people have their way with you. There is absolutely no reason for us to continue this way.

People are going to complain, and of course the Democrats (who are extremely protectionist when it suits them) are currently lassez faire because Trump is not. I think that, so far, Trump's course in this arena has been pretty reasonable, but then again I'm Jacksonian at heart.

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Jacksonian: as Steven Den Beste so eloquently put it:
The whole point of Jacksonianism is "You leave me alone and I'll leave you alone. You play fair with me and I'll play fair with you. But if you fuck with me, I'll kill you."
That is exactly my attitude. It seems to be Trump's, too, and we could do a lot worse than to have a Jacksonian President.

Like, oh, Hillary Clinton.

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"Have you noticed how liberals are always nattering about exceptions to rights?" The Bill of Rights is the a-number-one speed bump standing in the way of leftism in the United States. Finding exceptions to them is important to the left, because those exceptions are the chink in the armor of liberty. Leftism demands totalitarianism; it cannot be otherwise.

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"California: Detroit with beaches." Ain't that the truth.

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Of course that's their solution. Banksters' suggestion to millienials is that, yeah, they were given a raw deal, but they just have to "work harder".

"Sorry we fucked things up for you guys, oh well! Just get your lazy asses to work and you'll probably be fine. Probably. There really isn't any way to tell. Anyway that'll be after we're dead, though, so good luck, baby!"

"Our current paradigm is a corrupt carcass of a social and economic system kept on life support by those who benefit from it, and no one’s more aware of this fact than the youth," says the article, and it's absolutely correct. The ongoing depression (which started no later than 2009, and which can credibly be traced all the way back to 2000 or even 1998!) continues because the so-called "creative destruction" of low economic cycles has not been allowed to take place. Government propping up "too big to fail" banks is a significant part of it, but not nearly all.

Well, it'll continue until it can't. Here's hoping that when we reach that point, it is a relatively gentle event.

Odds are, it won't be.

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"Misery and poverty are the recruiting engine of the Democrat Party." Absolutely.

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You only think this is satire bordering on hyperbole. Just wait and see.

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I don't think you really understand who Donald Trump is, dude. The commentor aptly self-dubbed OGRE sums it up nicely:
uggh, that is viscerally revolting on so many levels.

Pedo-faced homosexuals kissing; transracial adopted kids being used as props, little more than the modern version of house slaves for urbane liberals; charged political slogans forced into the mouths of children. This much cringe would be hilarious if it wasn't so disturbing.

For most people seeing this its going to trigger some type of instinctual disgust.
The only people who look at this and see a net positive are on the hard left. That's maybe 30% of the country. Considering that Maryland is where a lot of those kinds of voters live, this person might win the election; but if he loses expect there to be a lot of leftists complaining about "homophobia" in the electorate.

The thing is, people are tired of having the diversity thing thrown in their faces. "Two openly gay men adopting black children, whatever floats your boat, dude, but leave me out of it because I have my own life to live," is an attitude which is rapidly becoming mainstream in the country.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is how you got Trump.

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Mental health day today.

I had to do it. Wednesday was supposed to be my day off but I spent it working on the house. Yesterday--Thursday--Tuesday, Monday, they were all so frustrating. Yesterday was the worst.

Warehouse needs order stream opened. Call Engineering to open one, Engineering refuses to do it, saying it's not necessary because "there are already orders being filled". Single longest call I've had since I started there, I think.

Another issue later in the day, also Engineering refusing to do something they've done 5,000 times.

A constant drumbeat of idiot vendors who have forgotten their toolbox passwords. About a quarter of the time, it's someone who is using someone else's login, which is a no-no.

Some idiot intern calling every two hours to get a ticket "expedited" because he thinks he's Mr. Bigwig and deserves instant service.

Another constant drumbeat of sales idiots cold-calling the corporate headquarters. It's a tell when they ask for "the head of marketing" and claim they sent him an email they want to discuss. If you don't even know the person's name, I'm telling you to stop calling; I don't have time for nonsense.

That last is annoying because I'm paid to help with corporate issues, but the switchboard overflows to the care center. So instead of doing what I'm supposed to be doing, I'm dealing with stupid crap.

...and I finally needed to take a day and say, "Nope!" And do nothing but what I want to do, so here we are.

And I still have chores to do. *sigh* But, that's okay.

#6234: Whew!

Cleaned the kitchen. It cooled off considerably outside--it was warm and humid when I got up at 1-ish--so I opened the windows and did what I've been putting off for far too long.

I got up at 1 and lasted until about 4:30, at which point I faded right out until after 8.

Well--woke up around 7-ish this morning, called off work, had a PB&J, went back to bed and slept another five hours. Sleeping until 1 normally carries a heavy penalty (splitting headache upon waking) but not today, probably because of sandwich.

All I know is, I must've needed that sleep. There's just no two ways about it.

The funny thing is, when I was much younger, I used to be a little curious about the well-known fact that fatigued people make mistakes. It was something that was obviously true, yet I had never observed that behavior in myself.

(It did not occur to me that a) I had never really known fatigue, and b) I might not be wise enough to recognize a mistake even after being rested.)

Well, I'll tell you what--in recent years, I've seen plenty of examples of that behavior in myself. Like the bathroom wall; that part with all the gouges ended up that way because I was tired and couldn't think straight. So the tool would slip and make a gouge, and I'd think, "Well, it's just one gouge," and then a few moments later I'd do it again and think--again--"Well, it's just one gouge," and so on. Presto: the wall looks like a relief map of Hiroshima after the blast.

And you really are incapable of recognizing that you're not fit for duty. Mental fatigue is worse than physical fatigue; at least with physical fatigue your body sends you all kinds of emphatic signals that it is time to rest. But when your brain is tired--well, the brain itself doesn't have a pain mechanism, and you can really grind yourself down mentally before you realize it.

...all of which is meant to rationalize taking an abrupt day off. But I think I made the right choice; my head feels clearer now than it has in at least a couple of weeks.