The Consequences Of Tariffs

I know that we get nothing but rosy news coming out of Dear Leader’s mouth….we hear how much better our economy will be when he wins his trade war with the world….we will have a strong economy, more jobs, better wages, yada yada…..

But you know that there are consequences for these tariffs that have been instituted…..think not?

As the China-US tariff volley continues—China on Wednesday announced a 25% tariff on an additional $16 billion worth of US goods in retaliation for our similar move, reports CNBC—the consequences have become real for one South Carolina company. The State reports TV-maker Element Electronics is citing the tariffs as the reason it is essentially closing its doors: It intends to shut down its Winnsboro plant and lay off 126 of its 134 employees, it said in a letter to the state’s Department of Employment and Workforce—though it does have a glimmer of hope.

The letter explains the tariffs hit television components from China that it relies on, and the layoffs will commence in October unless it can get its parts off the tariff list. CNN Money cites a tweet from the company that suggests optimism: It writes that as the “only USA assembler of televisions, we believe the inclusion of our parts on the list … is accidental and resolvable.” It’s working to have the parts removed from the list. The State notes the layoffs would be a big blow for Fairfield County, which counted Element Electronics as its biggest employer, having recently suffered the loss of a Walmart and a textile mill.

The longer these tariffs are in place the more damage it will do to the workers and the consumers of this country…..will the “art of the deal” win out?

Personally, I feel that Our Dear Leader is gambling and hoping that he is right in his economic views…..

I have been a devotee to economist Henry George since the 1980’s……and he touches on tariffs in his book ……..The problem identified by Henry George, in Protection or Free Trade, is that of poverty, and more specifically, wages and unemployment. What follows from that is George’s systematic and all-embracing dissertation of the effects that protectionist and free-trade policies have on the wealth of a nation and its individuals. Naturally, he arrives at a conclusion that is decidedly in favor of free trade — as opposed to protective prescriptions — as a surefire solution to the ills of poverty.

George develops his focal point early on by posing the essential question: Are protective tariffs helpful to those who make their living via labor? He considers this the “tariff question,” calling it the “great political question of the immediate future” (George 1886, p. 3). He does, in fact, dare to say that he approves of the ends promoted by the protective tariff advocates when the ends sought are the promotion of higher wages and prosperous employment.[1] Nevertheless, he maintains that his position is to objectively determine whether or not protective tariffs are in fact favorable to those ends.

https://mises.org/library/henry-george-and-tariff-question

I would say that if more people knew of Henry George and his theories then we could do away with a lot of noise around trade and tariffs…..but that may be asking too much for it would require reading……a technique that is slowly disappearing……

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17 thoughts on “The Consequences Of Tariffs

  1. What other tools can be employed against China’s trade policies which put US at disadvantage? They have other market manipulations besides tariffs. How to we fortify a no more business as usual trade policy ?

    1. Getting the US hooked on crap merchandise was the first step and now we demand it….so nothing anymore….we did it to ourselves. chuq

      1. It sure is crap merchandise esp hand tools. Three or four uses phillips screwdriver then trash, Buttons not secure on shirts, bicycles crap too but most everything on shelves from China – no choice.

      2. Yep…..no choice…..back in the 70’s we could made a difference…..but we chose to ignore what was happening…and now it is damn right too late….chuq

      3. Hey, I’m all in favour of bringing back the 70’s…by any means necessary.

      4. Yeah, during my last batch of “medicinal brownies”…I came up with the plans for a time machine that would take the entire planet back to the 70’s…It was an ingeniously simple, Leary-esque, plan that involved LSD in the drinking water and free “medicinal brownies” for all. The rest takes care of itself.

        All you gotta do to solve the economic problem is to change yer mind, man!

  2. I see on today’s news that more ‘sanctions’ are to be applied to Russia now. It won’t be long before America runs out of markets to sell to. But never fear, we will keep buying your incredibly expensive warplanes. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

  3. It’s not too late. We should put more tariffs on the crap merchandise to keep it out.
    Our make it comply with high standards of quality.
    We can still do that.
    It is probably necessary to save the industry we have left and grow it back. There will be some sacrifice in the short term but if we do not act the whole economy will go down to nothing.

    1. I like the higher standards…..the problem is China will retaliate with tariffs on our farm goods and the farmers will suffer heavily….a sector that does not need more trouble….chuq

    2. The major problem here is that North American governments have signed trade deals that go out of their way to avoid setting ANY standards. Well, other than ones on what constitutes “government interference”. Not only does that neuter democracy and ensures Globalist Trade becomes immune from government…it also means there are NO wage standards, labour standards, environmental standards, or product quality/safety standards. Especially when you sign deals involving 3rd World nations, that means it’s a race to the bottom with ALL standards.

      We now live in an economic limbo, where everyone is continuously forced to keep going lower and accepting less…for the exclusive benefit of those at the very top. This is the system we have and it needs to be undone for the good of all. (Preferably in a quiet, methodical, way that limits the pain.)

      There’s going to be pain. But no pain, no gain. Like “tariffs”, it going to take a word we’ve all but forgotten…sacrifice.

  4. The inherent problem with ALL trade theory (and everything economists come up with) is that they’re conceived in a world that just does NOT exist. It’s a world dominated by “enlightened self-interest” where every action is done rationally, in our own long-term best interest and with society’s interest in back of mind. Clearly, economists (& their fans) have never actually met “people”.

    One need only to be mildly familiar with the New Millennium to know such a world no longer exists (if it ever did). The exact opposite world is FAR closer to the truth. We act on our basest, most immediate, urges with minimal concern for -not just others- but even our own best interest. We’re so stupid, we don’t even know what that is anymore. All the proof you need is in the White House; a philandering, egomaniac, asshole with a very sketchy economic track record…but a hit Reality TV show! He launches daily Twit Zone wars, has ADD and ZERO self-control!!! We ALL knew this, yet America still selected him to be in charge! America voted with its values.

    We have the attention span of goldfish..and business thinks that’s a “good thing”. https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadians-now-have-shorter-attention-span-than-goldfish-thanks-to-portable-devices-microsoft-study Last year’s cell-phone is landfill not to caught dead with. We actually cheer the chance to un-employ our fellow citizens because it gives us an excuse to use said phones. In my town, there are now more people working at payday-loan branches than at bank branches. Politically and culturally, we are monkeys obsessed with masturbation. That and with throwing our dung on each other to the point where we’re willing to suffocate in said dung…just to proclaim ourselves the King of Dung Mountain.

    Anyway…the real problem is that pro-trade theory hinges on cheaper shit for “consumers” and the fantasy of continuous economic growth. But even if this actually occurs, (and that’s questionable at best) it’s still irrelevant in the real world. Cheaper shit is fine for consumers, but it renders you nothing more than a consumer existing without consequence. What good is cheaper prices if your job moved to China and you live in a cardboard box? What good is a growing economy if the top 1% take all the gains and avoid the costs? And what do they do with the money?

    Even at the top, these theories don’t mean shit because they ignore human nature. North American corporate profits are ludicrously high. Are these re-invested into the business by hiring employees as all the “experts” suggest will/should happen? FUCK NO!!! And neither is the money from tax cuts. The vast majority of profits go to stock dividends/buybacks that direct all economic benefit toward those with the most stock…aka the 1%. Never mind the American worker, this does jack squat for anyone not already in the market for a new Lambo. That said, most of these folks just sit on their money. As one very well known politico described it in his 80’s auto-biography “Money is just a way of keeping score.”

    1. Capitalism is the canvas for the art of greed…..it is the perfect match with today’s society….but no wants that to change because they have been fed some bullsh*t that is not even close to being true….and the price paid for the society we have created…..chuq

      1. Most humans were already just fucking sheep who eagerly bahhh-ed to the tunes played on their shepherds’ pipes. The Zuckerheads of the world have shown that the capitalism of the future is about emphasizing the “S” in MISC Industries. (aka spying). Since everything else has been off-shored, automated & self-serviced, the only role left for the North American public is to be a “human resource” to be strip mined for data…gleefully offering up details of their lives to be monetized and to provide psychological profiles to sold to outfits seeking to control them like TV remotes. All in exchange for…not even a salary…but…er…another excuse to use their cell phones?

      2. I know…it amazes me just what the American people will do just to make their insignificant lives a little easier….and then they cannot understand what went wrong….clueless is being too polite to morons….chuq

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