Sanctions And Tariffs

Sanctions have been used as economic warfare for centuries…and in reality hurts NO one but the average person and consumer…..then a new president and a new way of economic warfare….Tariffs.

This president has two tools in his economic bag of tricks…..yep you guessed it….sanctions and tariffs.

I have studied 18th century economist Henry George and he has lots to say on tariffs…..

American economist Henry George is best known for his 1879 treatise Progress and Poverty, for which Albert Einstein designated George a “beautiful combination of intellectual keenness, artistic forum, and fervent love of justice” (George 1879, cover). Progress and Poverty became a huge success, and in 1886 George followed up with a far more obscure — but perhaps more significant — work on the nature of free trade as pertaining to the eradication of poverty: Protection or Free Trade: An Examination of the Tariff Question, With Especial Regard to the Interests of Labor (online at the Mises Institute).

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.

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

Then there are sanctions…..and I have covered gthe problems with sanctions in previous post…..https://lobotero.com/2019/02/05/sanctions/

But if you prefer…..I have Henry Goerge’s thoughts on trade sanctions……

The American free trader Henry George (1839-1897) argued that trade sanctions against “our enemies” hurt domestic domestic consumers just like any other “protectionist” trade restriction:

Free trade consists simply in letting people buy and sell as they want to buy and sell. It is protection that requires force, for it consists in preventing people from doing what they want to do. Protective tariffs are as much applications of force as are blockading squadrons, and their object is the same—to prevent trade. The difference between the two is that blockading squadrons are a means whereby nations seek to prevent their enemies from trading; protective tariffs are a means whereby nations attempt to prevent their own people from trading. What protection teaches us, is to do to ourselves in time of peace what enemies seek to do to us in time of war.

https://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/500

Sanctions and tariffs are a lazy person’s answers to any trade problems…..they are NOT solutions at all.

And now my cheese and wine will be much more expensive…….

The Trump administration plans to impose tariffs on $7.5 billion worth of European imports—from gouda cheese to single-malt whiskey to large aircraft—beginning Oct. 18 to retaliate against illegal European Union subsidies for aviation giant Airbus. The latest escalation in the administration’s tariffs will open a new chapter in the trade wars that are heightening fears of a global recession, the AP reports. The administration received a green light for its latest import taxes Wednesday from the World Trade Organization, which ruled that the US could impose the tariffs as retaliation for illegal aid that the 28-country EU gave to Airbus in its competition with its American rival Boeing.

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Then There Is Iran

Ever since Trump came to the power seat in DC Iran has been on his lips. First it was the treaty for their nukes which he decided was bad for no other reason than it was an Obama policy….and then it was more sanctions and then the hard fighting words began in essence the attempt to bully.

Now Trump is open to a meeting at the UN with Iran and on cue the Neocons went batcrap crazy probably one reason Bolton lost his job….and now more news about Iran.

Bolton’s firing may signal willingness to offer concessions

Saying he believes that the US sanctions and pressure have put Iran in a very tough position, President Trump continued to suggest that talks could be held soon. Interestingly, reports also suggest he may be considering some concessions.

A $15 billion EU line of credit to Iran in return for oil sales, an effort to get them around near-term economic problems, seems the most likely immediate move, with Trump and Mike Pompeo both considering giving France permission to do it.

Iran has suggested they would only be open to talks in the event the US lifted sanctions on them. Incredibly, it does appear that this too is under consideration, as Trump is very hopeful for talks, and might actually be willing to do something to make that happen.

The clearest indication of this might be the sacking of John Bolton this week. Bolton was working openly against all of these concessions, and fighting against the Iran talks in general. Trump may have believed getting Bolton out of the way was a necessary first step.

(antiwar.com)

Seriously?

This is a repeat of the North Korean gambit.

Lots of tough talk and insults and then a simpler message of a willingness to meet and talk.

As we inch closer to an armed conflict military leaders have made it clear what they want…..

In an open letter, the former officers said President Donald Trump made it clear that “there is no broader strategy to his desire for military conflict with Iran” and warned that it was “past time for Congress to step in and stop Trump’s constitutionally unsupported march to war.” The letter was organized by retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton of the progressive group VoteVets and its nonprofit affiliate, the Vet Voice Foundation.

“A full-scale military conflict with Iran would be a huge and costly undertaking,” the letter reads. “It’s a lesson we’ve learned before as a nation, at great cost. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost us a lot in blood and treasure. We know that war with Iran would require hundreds of thousands of American service members to deploy and could result in even larger numbers of American casualties and injuries ― alongside an unknown number of civilian deaths.”

Iran And Sanctions

Trump and his Boyz are playing the sanctions again….this time it is Iran’s Zarif…..that’s right these sanctions are targeting an individual….so what are the deeds that warrant sanctions?

What are Javad Zarif’s sins that earned him sanctions? In the view of this administration, there are two.

First, he fell victim to President Trump’s obsession with his predecessor. Zarif’s crime was to have been a principal negotiator of the 2015 nuclear agreement (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) between Iran and six other countries, including the United States. The Trump administration has attacked the agreement with special venom, not for its contents, but for its connection to former President Barack Obama. Zarif is collateral damage.

Since it can only denounce, but cannot act, against the JCPOA’s American architects (Obama, former Secretary of State John Kerry, and former Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz), who are now private citizens, the Trump administration has vented its spleen against the main Iranian negotiator, who is still an official of his government. If Trump, National Security Advisor John Bolton, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cannot act against Obama, they will go after Zarif.

Second, like it or not, Zarif is an effective spokesperson for his country and his government. That government may be unsavory, brutal, and repressive, but, in the end, he is doing what any diplomat is expected to do: argue his government’s views as best he can. Like a defense lawyer with an obviously guilty client, he still has a professional responsibility to fulfill.

The fact that Zarif is articulate is a challenge to this administration. Contrast his style with that of Secretary Pompeo at the American University of Cairo in January 2019 when, instead of laying out a policy, he ridiculed his predecessors in front of a baffled and embarrassed foreign audience. His only purpose was to tell the world that his boss is a master negotiator. A most unprofessional performance.

The administration is not punishing an individual. It is rejecting the entire idea of diplomacy. Of course, it is no secret that Trump and company despise the practice of diplomacy, with its careful choice of language, and its emphasis on listening, empathy, and credibility.

Waiting for the Adults: Then and Now

Just another slap at diplomacy….something this president has yet to grasp the need….instead he plays lose and dangerous with the simpliest of solutions….sanctions.

These take NO thought…..these are what morons do when they cannot understand the complexities of diplomacy…..

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Venezuela–Again

OMG!

Might know that after I wrote a post about the lack of concern by the media over Venezuela…..https://lobotero.com/2019/08/05/dont-cry-venezuela-2/  and then His Majesty needed a diversion so he chose Venezuela for that diversion.

President Trump signed an executive order late Monday imposing a full economic embargo against Venezuela, freezing all government assets in the US and forbidding all transactions of any Venezuelan officials.

This is the first major expansion of sanctions against a western hemisphere nation by the US in over 30 years, and is intended to put Venezuela into the same level of economic isolation as similarly restricted Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria.

The order cites human rights abuses, and the fact that President Maduro is still in power in Venezuela, even though the US recognized opposition leader Guaido as the rightful ruler of the country.

This is the latest US effort to try to impose regime change in Venezuela, after a failed military coup earlier this year. It’s not clear how broadly the US intends to enforce the sanctions, for example if they intend to use military force to prohibit naval trade from the Venezuelan coast

(antiwar.com)

Okay I thought we already had enacted massive economic sanctions against Venezuela…..wait this is an embargo…surely that is a different thingy altogether, yeah?

Both sanctions and embargoes mean the prohibition or restriction of an activity. Particularly, an embargo is commonly used when the restriction is a trade-related. Sanctions, on the other hand, are used for all other disciples of prohibitions.

Basically it is the same thing….sounds like an attempt to get the media to look the other way…and is a waste of time…..diplomacy will get more accomplished than Neocon bullshit.

But Wait!

We have a Supreme Leader that has NO idea what is meant by diplomacy….because it will not translate to a TV Reality Show.

Not to worry it will be something new next week.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Sanctions! Hit ‘Em Where It Hurts!

Every president that I recall during my many years of age have used the tried and true penalty of sanctions against nations that has pissed the US off.

Sanctions?

Let’s look at just what this entails……https://lobotero.com/2019/03/04/those-inevitable-sanctions/

The reason I touching on this is that our president has decided to hit Iran with more sanctions as a punishment….these are directed at the so-called nuke program that Iran is supposedly developing…..

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), together with the U.S. Department of State, designated 14 individuals and 17 entities today in connection with Iran’s Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research (SPND), which has provided support to designated Iranian defense entities and whose key personnel played a central role in the Iranian regime’s past nuclear weapons effort.  This action targets current SPND subordinate groups, supporters, front companies, and associated officials.

“The U.S. government is taking decisive action against actors at all levels in connection with Iran’s Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research (SPND) who have supported the Iranian regime’s defense sector,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.  “The United States will continue applying maximum pressure to the Iranian regime, using all economic tools to prevent Iran from developing weapons of mass destruction. Anyone considering dealing with the Iranian defense industry in general, and SPND in particular, risks professional, personal, and financial isolation.”

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm634

And then there are the sanctions against North Korea (a country that has a nuke capability)……

President is reversing his administration’s decision to slap new sanctions on North Korea and ordering them withdrawn. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders says Trump “likes Chairman Kim and he doesn’t think these sanctions will be necessary,” per the AP. Trump himself addressed the move on Twitter: “It was announced today by the U.S. Treasury that additional large scale Sanctions would be added to those already existing Sanctions on North Korea,” he wrote. “I have today ordered the withdrawal of those additional Sanctions!”

The White House did not immediately respond to questions about which sanctions Trump was referring to. However, his administration on Thursday sanctioned two Chinese shipping companies suspected of helping North Korea evade sanctions—the first targeted actions taken against Pyongyang since Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met in Hanoi last month. The Hill sees it as “remarkable” that Trump would publicly rebuke his own Treasury Department, especially after national security adviser John Bolton praised the sanctions announced on Thursday. The Washington Post describes the move as an “apparent effort to salvage nuclear negotiations.”

This illustrates just how moronic Trump’s foreign policy truly is…..he emboldens the nation that has a capability and punishes a nation that does not…..

His Neocon cronies….Pompeo and Bolton…..are leading Trump down the primrose path and his lack of comprehension is hurting the US at every turn…..and he, Trump, is too ignorant to see it.

 

Venezuela: Ocean Of Lies

Venezuela is still brewing and the MSM wants you to believe the lies spread by the Neocons and the Neo-liberal twats….

Venezuela Lies #1: The Venezuelan People Have No Food and the Shelves Are Bare

In these videos (here and here) on the ground in Caracas, Max Blumenthal exposed one of the lies about Venezuela that is constantly repeated, i.e. that the people have no food and the supermarket shelves are bare.

(read on….the lies snowball from here)

https://www.globalresearch.ca/8-venezuela-lies/5670534

The summit between our Beloved Leader and the Beloved Leader in North Korea has sucked all the energy out of the situation in Venezuela…..the US is still pretending to care about the people of the country and trying to sell the idea that Maduro (Tell me…does Trump’s buddy Calamari look like Maduro?) is driving the country to ruin.

The US Neocon-led strategy is increasingly clear: establish a ‘beach-head’ on the Colombian-Venezuelan (and Venezuelan-Brazilian) border under the guise of providing humanitarian aid. Use the aid to get Venezuelans on the border to welcome the US proxy forces to cross over. Set up political and military structures thereafter just inside the Venezuelan borders with Colombia and Brazil, from which to launch further similar efforts deeper into Venezuela. Repeat this province by province, step by step, penetrating Venezuela space until enough local units of the Venezuelan military change sides and convince one or more of the Venezuelan military hierarchy to join them. Establish a dual state and government within and along the border of the Venezuelan state this way. A breakaway State and dual power within the country. Make it appear, by manipulating the media, that the Venezuelan people are rising up against the Maduro government, when in fact it is US proxy forces invading and using opportunist local politicians, military, and others in the ‘conquered’ zones, as the media covers for their invasion.

The main ideological justification being used for the invasion and regime change is that the Maduro government has grossly mismanaged the Venezuelan economy and driven its people into poverty. With Democrats now joining Trump and Republicans in support of invasion, the liberal mainstream US media, as well as the rightwing alternative media, are both pushing the same line, to blunt US opposition to invasion and yet another war before the final military assault is launched. Somehow the democratic elections less than a year ago, which returned the Maduro government to power, did not represent the ‘will of the people’. Explanations how they did not are thin and unconvincing, moreover. Nor is any explanation given how US policies and actions have played the central role in destroying Venezuela’s currency and economy. And the financial measures used to destabilize the economy are especially opaque.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/03/05/financial-imperialism-the-case-of-venezuela/

The typical case is being made by Neocons…..similar to the case made to invade Iraq in 2003…..how long will the American people continue to support such crap?

With that said……

If you repeat your own lies enough—so goes the apocryphal Goebbels quote—you start to believe them yourself. For two decades, the Venezuelan opposition and its supporters in Washington have smeared Hugo Chávez and now his successor, Nicolás Maduro, as despotic strongmen kept in power solely through military force and paltry payouts to the poor. So it’s no surprise that they are once again underestimating both Chavismo and the resilience of its supporters today.

https://inthesetimes.com/article/21785/venezuela-guaido-maduro-lima-group-pence-trump-coup-chavista-opposition

Don’t believe the crap that the MSM passes off as fact…..in most cases they are just propagandist for the system….

Those Inevitable Sanctions

Sanctions seems to be the word of the Trump administration…..we have imposed sanctions on Iran, China, Russia, Venezuela and several others…..sanctions are the only diplomatic tactic the president and his band of slow thinking slugs have in their book of “things to do”…..

Recently the Trump admin has issued more sanctions against Venezuela….because they are subverting democracy (at least that is the excuse….this time)……

Personally I do not believe that these sanctions will work without covert action by one of our shadowy groups…sanctions do not work as a sole penalty…..they are basically a feel good attempt to control another nation.

Economic sanctions are the penalties of choice for the start of hostilities with any given nation…..the US uses this penalty liberally (that is with a small “L”)……in recent history sanctions have been imposed in Iraq, Iran, Venezuela (most recently) and in all that time what has it accomplished?

Good question, right?

But what is included in “sanctions”?

The Council on Foreign Relations defines sanctions as “a lower-cost, lower-risk, middle course of action between diplomacy and war.” Money is that middle course, and economic sanctions are the means. Some of the most common punitive financial measures include:

  • Tariffs: Surcharges on imported goods, often imposed to aid domestic industries and markets.
  • Quotas: Limits on the number of goods that may be imported or exported. 
  • Embargoes: Restrictions on or cessation of trading with a nation or bloc of nations. These can include limiting or banning travel by individuals to and from nations.
  • Non-tariff barriers: These are designed to make foreign goods more expensive by complying with onerous regulatory requirements.
  • Asset seizure/freeze: Capturing or holding the financial assets of nations, citizens, or preventing the sale or moving of those assets. 

If the US is honest then they would also state that sanctions only work about 30% of the time…..that is not a good chance for success.

If the reader would like more info on what sanctions are about………https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/what-are-economic-sanctions

I am opposed to these types of punitive action because they seldom have the intended result of punishing the elites and leadership of any given nation instead the average person suffers far more than the intended targets.

Economic sanctions have long been used as a foreign policy tool, sometimes perceived as the tool of choice for nations where diplomacy has failed to yield desired results. Yet as widely used as they are, and despite the fact that some sanctions may remain in place for years, they generally fail to achieve their objectives. One of the most definitive studies on the effectiveness of sanctions — covering the period from 1915 to 2006 — has shown that comprehensive sanctions are effective at best 30 percent of the time, and that the more comprehensive the level of sanctions, the lower their degree of success. In spite of this, sanctions remain one of the few internationally accepted means (short of military conflict) of attempting to change the behavior of national leaders.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-wagner/do-sanctions-work_b_7191464.html

Again the people of the targeted nation suffer far more than the elites…..so the conclusion is that economic sanctions have a dismal record of success…….of course the establishment will point to the success of sanctions against South Africa in the 1980s…..they will ignore the failures like Iraq in the 1990s, Iran since 1979……

In short economic sanctions, in my opinion, are a worthless exercise that punish NO one but the people to the targeted nation……diplomacy is more effective (at least it was prior to the Trump presidency)……