Meanderings Of Filosofa’s Mind

Today I am feeling introspective, philosophical.  Perhaps it is because my workspace is temporarily at the kitchen table, directly in front of the kitchen window until my new chair and laptop desk arrive sometime next week.  As I glance outside the window, I see the birds, pecking at the feed my darling neighbor, Maha, has put down for them, and I see the children … one kicking a ball, another attempting to fly a kite, while yet another is taking some of his very first steps under his mother’s watchful eye. Life is happening … the nation’s shut down has not stopped that, nor has the coronavirus, nor has the person in the Oval Office, nor have those who support him.  My flowers are blooming … well, some of them, anyway … a few bees are seen hovering, and even a hummingbird!  And so, Filosofa’s mind begins to wander …

I think about all those people screeching for the economy to re-open, for shops, restaurants and bars to be once again open so that they can spend what little money they may have there.  And then I look at the birdies and I wonder … in the grand scheme of things, do the shops really matter?  Do you really need a new pair of jeans or a dress or new toaster oven?  Will you be happier or healthier in the long run if you dine out tonight, and hit the bars tomorrow night?  For some, no doubt, the answer to that question is ‘yes’ … I am glad I am not one of them.

I never enjoyed shops and malls anyway, and I am definitely not a bar person.  I did always enjoy our Saturday afternoon meals at a favourite local casual restaurant, and then a trip to Barnes & Noble afterward, but frankly, I’m finding that I have adapted, that my life is no less rich without that, and my bank account has grown considerably without our weekend spending!

On May 27th, another space shuttle of sorts will transport two U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).  I wonder why?  After all, it isn’t as if it matters to most of us, it is historic only in the sense that it is an outside craft, not a NASA-built craft, but rather one created by Elon Musk’s company, that will transport the astronauts.  It really isn’t important … so many things have been postponed, have ground to a halt, including the education of our children … that IS important … that I wonder why this launch continues as planned.  Probably an ego trip for Trump & Musk.  Ah well, it matters not to me, for there are far more important things for me to focus my attention on.

I’ve largely ignored the efforts by Trump & Co to distract our attention to his circus acts of blaming everyone but Thomas Jefferson for his own failures and shortcomings, but some things cannot be ignored, such as his systematic purge of people in the administration who would hold him accountable for his actions.  He is, in essence, creating a ring of protection around himself, giving himself powers that no president was ever intended to have.  I worry about what’s next on his agenda.  Is not that a far more important concern than heading to the local mall, or sending a couple more men into space?

Look out the window … better yet, step outside.  Look, really look at the birds, the trees, the flowers … would you really rather be at a mall packed full of people, choking on the smell of 100 different varieties of tacky perfume, ogling things that you neither need nor really even want?  What’s really important to you?  Is it more important that you can go ‘do stuff’, or that you are still alive to appreciate the beauty of nature?  Do you really care if planes are flying again right now, or thousands of cars are clogging the highways at rush hour?

Yes, I do realize most have jobs they need to get back to, that the mortgage is coming due, groceries must be bought and paid for, the kids need braces and those aren’t cheap.  I realize the economy of the nation is important.  But is it more important than ensuring that our government is looking out for the people of this country … all the people, not just the wealthy?  Is it more important than ensuring that we still have a voice in our government?  Those who eagerly seek a “return to normal” will be sorely disappointed, for I suspect it will not happen any time soon, if ever.  In mid-March, I cared … now, I hope that we find a new ‘normal’, one where people matter more than ‘things’.

But, aside from all that … are you really so eager to return to the battlefield, knowing that many more will yet die?  Nothing has changed since March.  There still is no cure.  The virus is still just as contagious as it was two months ago.  We still have over 1,000 new deaths per day in the U.S.  Human beings.  Mothers, fathers, children, grandparents … people, not merely statistics.  Do you really care if the U.S. has two new astronauts on the ISS right now?  Wouldn’t next year be just as good?  There is no ‘race for space’, no reason for one.  Money down the tubes that frankly could be put to MUCH better use this year, helping the people who are suffering, keeping the nation safe.

As I write this, two young boys walk past my patio, see me in the window, and they give me big smiles and wave as if I were an old friend.  The birdies are pecking away at their food.  The neighbor’s dog is fertilizing the grass in my yard.  And despite all that is wrong in the world right now, I find a reason to smile.

Trump Has A Plan — We Should Be Afraid!

Trump apparently has a ‘plan’, a four-step plan, to open the U.S. for business again. His intent has nothing to do with the well being of the people of this nation, but is a thinly-disguised attempt to restore the economy and thus his approval rating prior to the November 3rd election.  The esteemed Robert Reich tells us why his plan is an abomination, why it will be lethal to the people of this country …


Donald Trump’s four-step plan to reopen the US economy – and why it will be lethal

Robert Reich-4Robert Reich

The president and his allies are hiding the facts and pretending ‘freedom’ conquers all. As a result, more Americans will die

Donald Trump is getting nervous. Internal polls show him losing in November unless the economy comes roaring back.

But much of the economy remains closed because of the pandemic. The number of infections and deaths continue to climb.

So what is Trump’s re-election strategy? Reopen the economy anyway, despite the risks.

Step 1 – Remove income support, so people have no choice but to return to work.

Trump’s labor department has decided that furloughed employees “must accept” an employer’s offer to return to work and therefore forfeit unemployment benefits, regardless of Covid-19.

Trump’s ally, Iowa’s Republican governor, Kim Reynolds, says employees cannot refuse to return to work for fear of contracting the disease. “That’s a voluntary quit,” making someone ineligible for benefits.

GOP officials in Oklahoma are even threatening to withhold the $600 a week of extra unemployment benefits Congress has provided workers, if an employer wants to hire them. Safety is irrelevant.

“If the employer will contact us … we will cut off their benefits,” says Teresa Thomas Keller of the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.

Forcing people to choose between getting Covid-19 or losing their livelihood is inhumane. It is also nonsensical. Public health still depends on as many workers as possible staying home. That’s a big reason why Congress provided the extra benefits.

Step 2 – Hide the facts.

No one knows how many Americans are infected because the Trump administration continues to drag its heels on testing. To date only 6.5m tests have been completed in a population of more than 200 million adults.

Florida, one of the first states to reopen, has stopped releasing medical examiners’ statistics on the number of Covid-19 victims because the figures are higher than the state’s official count.

But it’s impossible to fight the virus without adequate data. Dr Anthony Fauci, the administration’s leading infectious disease expert, warns that reopening poses “a really significant risk” without more testing.

Not surprisingly, the White House has blocked Fauci from testifying before the House.

Step 3 – Pretend it’s about “freedom”.

Weeks ago, Trump called on citizens to “LIBERATE” states like Michigan, whose Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, imposed strict stay-at-home rules.

Michigan has the third-highest number of Covid-19 deaths in America, although it is 10th in population. When on Thursday Whitmer extended the rules to 28 May, gun-toting protesters rushed the state house chanting: “Lock her up!”

Rather than condemn their behavior, Trump suggested Whitmer “make a deal” with them.

“The Governor of Michigan should give a little, and put out the fire,” he tweeted. “These are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely!”

Meanwhile, the attorney general, William Barr, has directed the justice department to take legal action against any state or local authorities imposing lockdown measures that “could be violating the constitutional rights and civil liberties of individual citizens”.

Making this about “freedom” is absurd. Freedom is meaningless for people who have no choice but to accept a job that risks their health.

Step 4 – Shield businesses against lawsuits for spreading the infection.

Trump is pushing to give businesses that reopen a “liability shield” against legal action by workers or customers who get infected by the virus.

This week, he announced he would use the Defense Production Act to force meat-processing plants to remain open, despite high rates of Covid-19 infections and deaths among meatpackers.

“We’re going to sign an executive order today, I believe, and that’ll solve any liability problems,” Trump said.

The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, insists that proposed legislation giving state and local governments funding they desperately need must include legal immunity for corporations that cause workers or consumers to become infected.

“We have a red line on liability,” McConnell said. “It won’t pass the Senate without it.”

But how can the economy safely reopen if companies don’t have an incentive to keep people safe? Promises to provide protective gear and other safeguards are worthless absent the threat of damages if workers or customers become infected.

The truth – The biggest obstacle to reopening the economy is the pandemic itself.

Any rush to reopen without adequate testing and tracing – far more than now under way – will cause a resurgence of the disease and another and longer economic crisis.

Maybe Trump is betting that any resurgence will occur after the election, when the economy appears to be on the road to recovery.

The first responsibility of a president is to keep the public safe. But Donald Trump couldn’t care less. He was slow to respond to the threat, then he lied about it, then made it hard for states – especially those with Democratic governors – to get the equipment they need.

Now he’s trying to force the economy to reopen in order to boost his electoral chances this November, and he’s selling out Americans’ health to seal the deal. This is beyond contemptible.

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Isn’t it a damn shame that the person charged with seeing to the well-being of the nation actually poses the gravest danger to the people of that nation?  Think about it.

Today’s Toons To …

I seem to have that mind bounce thing again, and am unable to focus on any one thing for more than 93 seconds, just over a minute-and-a-half, or even finish a thought.  So … what better time for some ‘toons, eh?  Perhaps a chuckle or two will clear out the cobwebs in my head!


Earlier this week, a law scholar mentioned Melania’s son’s name: Barron.  He did not do any harm, did not criticize or say anything about the child.  His statement was simply that Trump can name his son Barron, but he cannot make him a Baron.  In other words, there is no royalty in the U.S., and Trump is not a monarch.  But, Melania took umbrage.Barron


The economy … it’s the only thing, really, that Trump has going for him, and frankly he had little or nothing to do with it, and in fact his widespread tariffs are taking a toll already.  But, the fact that he touts a low unemployment rate … well, there’s another side to it all.economy-1


But of course, the main topic of the day is the impeachment process that is taking place in Congress, and the republicans’ attempt to denigrate the process and turn it into a carnival atmosphere.  Frankly, I’m surprised they don’t have a popcorn vendor outside the door.

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Have a great weekend!  Hopefully my bouncing mind will settle soon!

‘Toons To Jump-Start The Weekend!

Whew … what a week, eh?  Take heart, my friends, for it’s Friday and hopefully we’ll have a two-day break from any major screw-ups by you-know-who.  I think he usually spends the weekends golfing and pigging out at one of his golf resorts … on  our dime, of course.  What better way to head into the weekend than with a few ‘toons, mostly at ol’ what’s-his-name’s expense?


Of course the biggest news item of the week was Trump’s idea that he could just pick up the phone, contact Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, and purchase Greenland.  Never mind that Congress had not authorized such a purchase, never mind that Greenland is an autonomous nation … he had a wild hair and acted, foolishly, on it.  Well, at least the cartoon artists had some fun with it.

COLORgreenland-2Nick Anderson cartoongreenland-4greenland-5Bruce Plante Cartoon: Trump and Greenlandgreenland-7


The saddest, most maddening news was that Trump has decided to strip the Endangered Species Act, placing profit ahead of life, ahead of the earth.  All living things are part of earth’s ecosystem and when we lose one species, it disturbs the balance.  Sadly, the only ‘balance’ that Trump and his cronies are concerned about is the one in their investment portfolio.  

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sad


Economists have been warning for a while now that there are signs of a pending slowdown … or worse.  Still, da man in da Oval lives in his own little world, listens to nobody, and says he trusts his ‘gut’ more than all the experts.  Sure is enough of his gut, isn’t there.  Anyway … for two weeks now, certain indicators of a potential recession have caused some market fluctuations.  Trump has an economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, who doesn’t even have a degree in economics … he, apparently, listens to Trump’s ‘gut’, too.  Trump has been bouncing off walls … first he’s going to cut payroll taxes, then he’s not.  He’s demanding that the Federal Reserve lower interest rates even more (really bad move, folks), and when Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell indicated that a huge cut was unlikely, Trump called him “the enemy”, said he didn’t know whether our real enemy was China or Powell.  And as if that weren’t enough, so far he has blamed both the democrats and the media for trying to crash his economy just to make him look bad.  As if he needed help with that … 

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As we all knew he would, he reversed course on backing any new gun legislation, such as expanded background checks or red flag laws … {yawn} … it was only a matter of time.  We the People are far less important than his buddies over at the NRA …

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I particularly liked this one …

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And lastly, I just couldn’t resist a poke at the ginormous ego that is part and parcel of Donald Trump.  He was giving a press conference, when suddenly he stopped, looked up at the sky, and declared, “I am the chosen one”.  Please, somebody, shut this man up!!!  First, I have to ask … the chosen WHAT???  And chosen by whom?  Vladimir Putin? 

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Have a great weekend, my friends!

The View From The Other Side …

Earlier this week when I posted some political cartoons, our friend rawgod wrote a thought-provoking comment:

Political cartoonists take aggravating facts and give them life. And laughter.
But what about republican-leaning cartoonists, what are they putting out? How about giving us a glimpse from the other side (if there is one!)? I bet your readers would find them even funnier than these.

And admittedly, I typically don’t post the cartoons I run across that are opposite of my own beliefs, but … that makes me seem not very open-minded, doesn’t it?  In truth, I don’t run across many, for I don’t haunt conservative news sites, but I do see several a week.  So, I thought … “Why not?”  But, a funny thing happened on the way to the right … I became side-tracked by a few headlines …

  • Anti-Semitic New York Times Runs ANOTHER Cartoon Attacking Netanyahu

  • Jews Simply Must Arm Themselves. Now.

  • Parents Who Let Their Toddlers Choose Their Own Genders Are Either Mentally Ill Or Evil

  • Kids In Philadelphia Muslim Society: ‘We Will Chop Off Their Heads’ For Allah

  • Administration Expands Conscience Protections For Pro-Life Health Care Workers

  • Why Facebook’s War On ‘Hate’ Is Just A Thin Excuse To Censor Conservatives

  • Democrats Search for Ways to Downplay Trump’s Great Economy

And on and on and on it goes.  We have asked ourselves so many times in the past 2+ years how on earth Trump’s supporters can be so blind that despite his many atrocities, they still think he is great.  Well, folks, here is our answer.  They are being fed a daily diet of this cow poop.  They are being told that poor Trump is the victim, that Muslims, liberals and democrats are out to get them and they must be constantly on their guard.

I literally had to go take a shower at 2:30 a.m. after visiting several conservative news sites, for I felt filthy.  And while trolling through the conservative sites was enough to make me want to punch something, enough to raise my blood pressure, it also made me realize that … we need to know these things.  We need to know what these outlets are feeding their followers.  It is knowledge we really need to arm ourselves with.  Just a thought.

Anyway, I did not find the plethora of right-wing cartoons that I expected to find, but found enough.  I may do a second post next week, but I’ve spent about as much time on New York Post, Washington Examiner, Breitbart and The Blaze as I can stomach.  The ones I’m presenting today fall into three main areas:  Jerry Nadler’s call for Barr to testify before the House Judiciary Committee; the 2020 democratic candidates; and of course, Nancy Pelosi.

Naturally the invitation to Barr to appear before the committee is a fertile ground …

Nadler-BarrNadler-1

Nadler-committee

And it’s no surprise that both sides, actually, are finding humour in the sheer number of candidates vying for the democratic nomination …

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And then there’s Nancy Pelosi …

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And that is as much as I can take for today … this must be digested in small doses, else it causes massive indigestion, as I have learned.

Say WHAT???

Just this morning I wrote about how Trump’s daughter-in-law disparaged the federal workers who are not being paid due to the Trump shutdown, and now this …

Commerce secretary doesn’t understand why unpaid federal workers use food banks

wilbur-rossSecretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said he doesn’t understand why federal workers are visiting food banks during the partial government shutdown, saying they should instead seek low-interest loans from banks and credit unions to supplement their lost wages.  Say WHAT???  How many banks or other institutions do you think are going to be eager to lend a substantial amount of money to a person who has no present income???  Even if they were able to take a loan, the first payment would come due in a month, and Trump appears to be gearing up for a multi-month shut down.  What then, Wilbur???  Oh, by the way … Wilbur Ross has a net worth of approximately $700 million.  Just sayin’.

And then … then he goes on to add insult to injury by saying that these 833,000 men and women who are going without pay through no fault of their own really don’t matter very much to the economy.

“If they never got their pay — which is not the case, they will eventually get it, but if they never got it, you’re talking about a third of a percent on our economy. So it’s not like it’s a gigantic number overall.”

What a slap in the face to the people who have worked for this government in good faith, some for decades.  What a weasel of a little ‘man’ Wilbur Ross is.

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I can’t hear you …

This does, however, give me an idea!  In solidarity with the 833,000 workers who are not able to contribute to our economy by buying new televisions, cars, or other ‘things’, I suggest We The People stage our own ‘shutdown’ … a boycott of all non-essentials for the duration of this shutdown.  I was planning to purchase a new microwave within the coming month (I melted part of mine and now the little micro waves leak out), but I have decided to postpone that … and any other purchases … that are not essential.

I say we show Mr. Ross how very wrong he is!  And to our friends across the pond, I hope you will consider foregoing American-made products for the duration of the shutdown … frankly, you’d do better to buy Japanese products anyway.  Cutting off our nose to spite our face, as my mother used to say?  Not really … the one thing that Trump prides himself on is that despite his efforts to wreck it, the U.S. economy has remained relatively strong.  Threaten that, and perhaps he’ll do what he has to in order to open the government again.

And on a related note …

I would strongly urge all of you to avoid flying if at all possible.  Air traffic controllers and TSA employees are among those who are not being paid.  Fed up with the status quo, many have begun calling in sick, or just frankly saying they cannot afford the cost of transportation to come to work each day.  The three unions that represent air traffic controllers, pilots and flight attendants issued a statement:

“We have a growing concern for the safety and security of our members, our airlines, and the traveling public due to the government shutdown. This is already the longest government shutdown in the history of the United States and there is no end in sight. In our risk averse industry, we cannot even calculate the level of risk currently at play, nor predict the point at which the entire system will break. It is unprecedented.”

Let me go on record here and now as forewarning that if there is any major plane crash in U.S. airspace during this shutdown, it will rest squarely on Donald Trump’s shoulders.  I think it is only a matter of time.  Baggage is not being adequately inspected.  Air traffic controllers are spread thin, are frustrated and tired, which is bound to lead to a loss of focus, distraction.  Some are working second jobs driving for Uber or waiting tables. It is a very intense job that requires constant focus, constant attention to every little detail.  A few short seconds of distraction can lead to a disaster.  An un-inspected suitcase or carry-on could contain a bomb.

It is not my intent to be a harbinger of doom, but face it folks, this is serious.  This shutdown is playing with the lives of everyone in this nation.  It’s time we find ways to do our part to show Mr. Trump and the Senate that this is hurting the people they are supposed to represent and that we have had enough!

Ignoring The Lessons Of The Past …

hot stoveAs children, we learn by doing.  When we place our hand on the open flame of a gas burner, as I did at about age 4, we learn that it is hot, it hurts, and it gets us yelled at, so we don’t do it again.  Well, most of us don’t.  As adults, we have developed the ability to learn by not only our own past experiences, but also those of others, and at least in theory, we can use our ability to reason to determine likely outcomes for our actions.  So, when I read that cigarette smoking is responsible for certain diseases, then I can make the decision to not smoke, right?  Okay, bad example, for I am a 3-pack-a-day smoker, but you get the point.  We don’t need to drive our car over a cliff to know that it is not a good idea.

However, as you’ve often heard me say, it seems that we … the human race in general … fail to learn the lessons of history.  We keep making the same stupid mistakes, over and over.

Yesterday, Donald Trump imposed new tariffs on Chinese imports, to the tune of $200 billion, in addition to the $50 billion previously imposed.

“Today, following seven weeks of public notice, hearings, and extensive opportunities for comment, I directed the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to proceed with placing additional tariffs on roughly $200 billion of imports from China. The tariffs will take effect on September 24, 2018, and be set at a level of 10 percent until the end of the year. On January 1, the tariffs will rise to 25 percent. Further, if China takes retaliatory action against our farmers or other industries, we will immediately pursue phase three, which is tariffs on approximately $267 billion of additional imports.

We have been very clear about the type of changes that need to be made, and we have given China every opportunity to treat us more fairly. But, so far, China has been unwilling to change its practices. To counter China’s unfair practices, on June 15, I announced that the United States would impose tariffs of 25 percent on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports. China, however, still refuses to change its practices – and indeed recently imposed new tariffs in an effort to hurt the United States economy.

As President, it is my duty to protect the interests of working men and women, farmers, ranchers, businesses, and our country itself. My Administration will not remain idle when those interests are under attack.”

Even on the surface to those of us who are not economists, there are some obvious flaws with his plan. Make no mistake … there is no “if” here … there isn’t much doubt that China will impose retaliatory tariffs. But let’s take a look at another case, one from which we might have learned a lesson.

tiresIn 2009, American tire makers persuaded the Obama administration to impose tariffs on Chinese tires, and imports of tires from China fell sharply. But Chinese companies did not stop making tires in response to the tariffs — they simply moved production to other places, including to the United States.

Chinese tire manufacturer Giti, built a factory in South Carolina to make low-cost tires for Walmart.  Did the move keep some jobs in the U.S.?  Sure, but a study by the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) showed that consumers paid a hefty price: an extra $1.1 billion on tires as a result of a tariff that preserved, at most, 1,200 jobs. That is almost $1 million per job, for jobs paying an average of about $40,000.

The 2009 tire tariffs — and similar efforts by past administrations to tax everything from socks to solar panels — have generally failed to protect existing factories and jobs. The Chinese factory in South Carolina created new jobs for American workers but, in effect, the tariffs only moved jobs from one place to another … at a very high price.

Steel tariffs imposed in 2002 by President George W. Bush yielded similar results, penalizing not just consumers but companies that use steel to make other products, like construction companies and carmakers.  There are about 140,000 jobs in the U.S. steel-making industry, but by contrast, 6.5 million who work in industries that buy steel and will be hit hard by Trump’s steel tariffs.

GMDid you know that General Motors sells more cars in China than in the U.S.?  What do you suppose happens when China imposes tariffs on U.S. autos?  Or when the Chinese government calls for a boycott on U.S. goods?  As an authoritarian government, they do not operate under the same constraints as the U.S.

Trump claims that thus far his tariffs have not had much impact on the U.S. consumer, but if you are a savvy food shopper and pay attention to prices, you will have noticed that certain items have increased, some by quite a bit.  And … on 18 December 2017, the price per gallon for regular fuel was $2.16.  Today it is $2.84, a 31.5% increase.

Simply put, tariffs are taxes ultimately paid by American consumers, in the form of higher prices. In addition to the latest round of tariffs on China, there are the steel tariffs on nearly every nation, plus the retaliatory tariffs imposed on the U.S. by other nations.  Remember back when Trump said that trade wars are ‘easy to win’?  Guess what, folks … there are no winners.  Trump has not only failed to learn the many lessons of history but is seemingly unable or unwilling to apply reasoning and logic in his decision-making process.  And guess who’s going to pay the price, my friends.  Not Trump, not his rich cronies …

Trade War Without Ammo

Donald Trump has started a full-blown trade war with his tariffs on both allies and others. He claims that “a trade war is easy to win”, but nothing could be further from the truth, and frankly Trump’s simplistic view is tiresome and dangerous. I have a good grasp of what the short-term effects of this trade war are likely to have here in the U.S., but beyond that, my understanding of macro-economics is sketchy. Fellow blogger Erik Hare, on the other hand, is an economist and therefore understands far better than I what is likely to happen on the global scene. Please take a few minutes to read Erik’s assessment of the current situation. Thank you, Erik, for your keen insight and for allowing me to share this post.

Barataria - The work of Erik Hare

The trade war is definitely on, no matter how Wall Street wants to deny it. Serious investors have downplayed recent events as part of a grand strategy, a negotiating tool that will all work out in the end. The reality, that there isn’t really a good strategy in place here but simply petty tactics, has not sunk in yet, at least in America. But the rest of the world knows better.

For the purposes of this discussion, the European Union will be diminished to Germany. After all, this is the economic engine that powers the continent right now, and Merkel’s leadership is critical. Where is Germany going? The long and short of it, the strategic and the tactical, is to the east. This response is proof enough that there is no US strategy which makes any sense.

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How Does President Trump’s Economy Compare To That Of President Obama’s?

Today, Donald Trump wrote an OpEd for the Washington Examiner, extolling his many ‘accomplishments’. One of those was the economy, as he is taking credit for an economy that was doing quite well before he came on the scene. He rides the coattails of the accomplishments made during President Obama’s 8 years in office. Please read our friend Gronda’s post to see how Trump’s economy compares to that under President Obama … thanks Gronda!

Gronda Morin

When the American public listens to the republican President Donald J. Trump braggadocio  about how the economy is booming under his watch with soaring stock prices, low unemployment numbers and an uptick in GDP numbers, they would never guess that the president’s economy is not measuring up to President Barack Obama’s performance in almost every other economic metric.

In addition, because of the republicans’ partisan 2017 “trickle down economics” tax cuts, and the US Congress republicans apparent intransigence in governing with compromise, that there are bound to be some economic hiccups in the president’s portrayal of the “best economic numbers” ever in the near future.

Image result for photos of president obama and president trumpAs per a 9/27/17 Politico report by Tyler Fisher, “The Congressional Research Service published a paper in 2012 that found no correlation between top tax rates and economic growth. Congressional Republicans protested the findings, and the service briefly withdrew the paper.”

These same republicans…

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Good Season(al Adjustment)

This morning’s news is all about the February job report, which is favourable. In under an hour after the release of the report, Sean Spicer broke the Office of Management and Budget’s Statistical Policy Directive No. 3, which states that “employees of the Executive Branch shall not comment publicly on the data until at least one hour after the official release time.” But of course, the Trump administration could hardly wait to take credit, even though the credit is not truly theirs to take. Fellow-blogger Erik Hare, writing as Barataria, is my ‘go-to’ person for economic insight, and as always, he is one step ahead of the game with his analysis of this morning’s news, so I am sharing his post with you today. Thank you Erik, as always, for your valuable insight!

Barataria - The work of Erik Hare

By the time you read this, the big news is likely to be jobs. It hasn’t been a hot topic since the election, and most of what was said during that strange period wasn’t exactly true. The big job gains for February, along with a large round-up for January, make it impossible to ignore.

The economy has definitely turned around.

It’s all over but the shouting, of which there will be a lot. There is little doubt that Republicans will claim credit for a big turnaround in 2017, which will be utter crap. This has been a long time in the making and things have not been actually bad for a long time. Nevermind. Positive news will feed on itself and everyone will be happier.

But there is one final twist to the very good news – it’s really in the adjustment.

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