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a bit complicated

but worth remembering that when the western world was staggering to mount an adequate response to the global GFC it was China that pulled the world out of it with a massive fiscal blitz= doubling debt in just a couple of years.


Not that they did it because they felt sorry for us, I'm sure.


China is now entirely, and systemically, essential to the global economy.


Everybody has been awaiting the hard landing there for many years and it is yet to come. It is possible that a hybrid state-capitalist system is more resilient than our semi-free market ones but I doubt it is immune from debt trap dynamics.


It might have been wise to tread more lightly there. Their economy does appear to be slowing, perhaps in part due to trade tension.


In a rational, policy driven world we could have made league with the rest of the developed world- who are also tired of China's policies on intellectual property, and probably forced some change. We could have remained in TPP (good for agriculture) and we could have done some actual policy stuff domestically like enacting local content laws.


Instead we've gone the WWE/Reality TV route with everybody, China included, which is bound to fail.


But I know, you were angry.



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32 Replies

Re: a bit complicated

BTW, having now turned Don the Con loose in the China shop none of that stuff is possible now.


The folks who are referred to over at forum as "communists" have generally been more closely aligned with the general or apparent Trump view on trade- most of the votes against NAFTA and WTO (which "agriculture" was the #1 lobby for) came from the D side of the aisle.


Marshall Auerback is sort of a left leaning economist, but a good one.


Policy requires a bit of patience and provides less immediate satisfaction than shoving it someone's face.

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Esteemed Advisor

Re: a bit complicated

The moment Trump either seeks to help the American farmer with a financial package, or scores the American farmer a large soybean sale, you and Jenny rise up from the cess pool. Keep chasing your tale down in the forum, Trump is the first president in my lifetime that gave two s$$$s about the American farmer.

Re: a bit complicated

Trump did not score a soybean sale.


He did offer farmers a huge bribe with the public's borrowings in a desperate attempt to hold the Senate.


The bribe would not have been necessary if he hadn't been thrashing about with Reality TV gimmicks.


OMG, I feel like I've been dropped into 1984. Any press release claiming victory is immediately embraced as truth by the Echo Chamber and the 41%.

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Re: a bit complicated

George W. Who? launched a massive biofuels mandate that tripled grain and land prices.


WJC did the doubled own turnabout on F2F and GW Who? extended it.

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Honored Advisor

Re: a bit complicated

Hardbody returns to weave his tales of woe that no one can comprehend. 

Welcome back, looking forward to more posts that are incredibly difficult

to comprehend. 🙂

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Senior Contributor

Re: a bit complicated

Time, hardnox is closer to the truth on this one than you are.  Tarriffs have never a been a conservative type move!  Tarriffs are nothing but a TAX!  Trump is either an idiott or he is still a progressive liberal democrat!

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Re: a bit complicated

I guess I should proceed like Juncker and the EU delegation,


who scored a slight breakthrough by bringing colored flash cards with monosyllables to explain the basic economic and trade concepts to our POTUS.

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BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Re: a bit complicated

Here`s a little history on tariffs, Republicans (back when they had brains, favored the highest tariffs).  See, we financed the government through tariffs prior to the 1913 damned Federal Income Tax implementation, put on by the SOCIALIST president Wilson.   I don`t know about any of you, but I don`t like getting soaked with income taxes every year, I`d rather someone buying foreign goods would pay the revenue for running the government.  


Then they say "Smoot-Hawley Smoot-Hawley! caused the great depression", except the timeline doesn't match up on that one...see the Sun rose BEFORE the rooster crowed, so it wasn`t the rooster getting credit for that Sunrise   🙂   But repeated oft enough and people believe it and tell a friend and pretty soon becomes gospel.


From WiKi


The tariff history of the United States spans from colonial times to present. The first tariff law passed by the U.S. Congress, acting under the then recently ratified Constitution, was the Tariff of 1789. Its purpose was to generate revenue for the federal government (to run the government and to pay the interest on its debt), and also to act as a protective barrier around domestic industries.[1] An Import tax was collected by treasury agents before goods could be landed at U.S. ports.

Tariffs have historically served a key role in the nation's foreign trade policy. They were the greatest (approaching 95% at times) source of federal revenue until the Federal income tax began after 1913. For well over a century the federal government was largely financed by tariffs averaging about 20% on foreign imports. There are no tariffs for imports or shipments from one state to another. Since the 1940s, foreign trade policies have focused more on reciprocal tariffs and low tariff rates rather than using tariffs as a significant source of Federal tax revenue.

Tariffs were the main source of revenue for the federal government from 1789 to 1914. During this period, there was vigorous debate between the various political parties over the setting of tariff rates. In general Democrats favored a tariff that would pay the cost of government, but no higher. Whigs and Republicans favored higher tariffs to protect and encourage American industry and industrial workers. Since the early 20th century, however, U.S. tariffs have been very low and have been much less a matter of partisan debate.

Prior to the American Civil War tariffs were generally low, but rose during its duration. At the end of the war in 1865 about 63% of federal revenue was generated by excise taxes, which exceeded the 25.4% generated by tariffs. In 1915 during World War I tariffs generated 30.1% of revenues. Since 1935 tariff income has continued to be a declining percentage of Federal revenues.