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#176 2019-09-11 20:45:09

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,181

Re: Isolationist, Buy American, Trumps Tariff war

The jobs are still disappearing Shares of GameStop Corp. plunged on Wednesday as the embattled videogame retailer turns to closing. The closures will affect between 180 and 200 "underperforming" stores between now and the end of 2019.

25 towns devastated by losing a single company

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#177 2019-09-14 23:29:21

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,181

Re: Isolationist, Buy American, Trumps Tariff war

The tariffs are still hurting american business.... Trump’s Tariffs Drag Down U.S. Solar Industry, Developer Says

I know that the arrays that were going to be erected in my own town did not and probably will not as the site was sold late last year and through the new owner has said they will be still going ahead with a facility there is nothing being done.

AAHhMgG.img?h=208&w=300&m=6&q=60&o=f&l=f&x=2057&y=1866

The San Francisco-based solar developer is paying as much as 60% more for solar panels it’s using in the U.S., compared with costs for projects in other parts of the world,

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#178 2019-09-15 18:19:42

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 3,653
Website

Re: Isolationist, Buy American, Trumps Tariff war

If you discount "information" shared on social media and talk radio,  and Faux News,  then we already know tariffs and trade wars are bad for everybody,  most especially citizens of the countries that impose them. 

Free trade works far better.  There has to be a better way to get the Chinese to "play fair" than Trump's trade wars.  Even if it is the threat of real war.

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2019-09-15 18:20:15)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#179 2019-09-16 19:04:04

kbd512
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Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 2,962

Re: Isolationist, Buy American, Trumps Tariff war

GW,

You'd rather threaten to start a shooting war with another nuclear armed nation than simply give the Chinese a taste of their own bad behavior?

If we succeed in starting a war (and you gotta admit that we're pretty good at that) and destroy our largest trading partner, then what?

Have you even thought that far ahead?

Are Japan and Taiwan and Korea just collateral damage to you?

If you're actually serious about doing that, then I think you've gone off the deep end.

If you think you know more about business than President Trump, then try coming up with some other solution to compel China to play by the rules that doesn't involve getting millions of people killed just to satisfy your own bitter resentment towards President Trump for having the gall to win an election.

Your favorite political partisans lost one lousy election and you're unhappy.  I get it.  The resentment is impossible to miss.  That said, the Democrats aren't the only game in town.  I never thought someone could be more self-absorbed than President Trump, but our beloved Democrats obliterate that notion with every new idea that they come up with.  For reasons I may never understand, they just can't seem to get over themselves.  If they don't return to policies remotely resembling sanity, they're likely to lose another one.

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#180 2019-09-17 03:44:06

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,108
Website

Re: Isolationist, Buy American, Trumps Tariff war

then we already know tariffs and trade wars are bad for everybody,  most especially citizens of the countries that impose them.

Not for everybody. The government's job isn't to maximise GDP. Why should I care if the total number of apples increases, if it means I have fewer?


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#181 2019-09-17 08:54:55

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 3,653
Website

Re: Isolationist, Buy American, Trumps Tariff war

Kbd512:

My choice of words was unfortunate,  but you have way-over-interpreted what I said,  through your own political lenses.  You do that all the time,  and then disparage the rest of us for not sharing far-right beliefs. 

You know as well as I do that there are all sorts of types and levels of war.  Thankfully,  Trump seems to have more of a distaste for real shooting wars than some of his advisers,  such as Bolton (who was part and parcel of the crowd around "W" that got him to needlessly invade Iraq). 

Unfortunately,  Trump only seems to think a trade war is the only successful alternative.  It is not,  and never has been,  and you know that as well as I do. Trump tries to bluster his way through with lies about how his trade wars do not hurt Americans,  when that is pretty much the only people being hurt by it.  China has paid NO price from this.

There's propaganda war,  and there's cyber war,  and I think we should be using both.  We are not.  We did against Iran,  but not under this president,  under the last one.  And it worked,  too.  Then this one undid all that the last one accomplished.  How stupid is that?  (Edit update:  thee's war-by-proxy,  too,  something I meant to include.  There's others as well.) 

As for the occasional confrontations with ships maneuvering too close at sea (or airplanes in the air),  there is the centuries old shot-across-the-bow.  We have not been using this form of communication of late,  and we should.  It has been very clearly understood for over 5 centuries,  since gunpowder went to sea.  (Edit update:  the message of a shot across the bow is quite universal:  "back off and change your behavior,  lest hostilities begin".  Note very clearly that a shot across the bow is NOT a shot AT the other vessel.) 

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2019-09-17 12:36:26)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#182 2019-09-17 15:18:50

elderflower
Member
Registered: 2016-06-19
Posts: 1,122

Re: Isolationist, Buy American, Trumps Tariff war

How many times has Trump and his companies either gone bust or gotten bailed out at the last minute? Trumps business acumen is not what he would like us to believe!
What he did do very well was the difficult art of parent selection!

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#183 2019-09-17 16:23:52

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,181

Re: Isolationist, Buy American, Trumps Tariff war

Yet many that voted had never heard of how bad of a business man he really was...
Saw one article claiming manufacturing was growing but all I see in an area that does lots of it is help wanted on service provider stores for seasonal help....Even seen drug stores failing, doctors leaving there practices along with many other types of businesses alone main street.

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#184 2019-09-17 19:41:26

kbd512
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Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 2,962

Re: Isolationist, Buy American, Trumps Tariff war

GW,

Actually, I think your choice of words accurately reflects your state of mind as a result of your inability to accept that you're not the decision maker here and you don't like the person who is.  I'm quite thankful for that.  Immediately after claiming that your choice of words was poor in your prior post, you're right back to talking about shooting at people we're not at war with.  Thereafter, you then described a second way in which you wanted to physically attack the Chinese.  America would consider either of your proposals acts of war and retaliate against any other country that did the same thing to us.  Well, maybe not under someone like former President Obama if it ran counter to one of his agendas, assuming one could comprehend the bizarre and contorted logic his agendas mandated, but a sane and rational person would recognize that sticking your thumb up your butt after being attacked was an invitation to subsequent attacks.

If someone took a shot at you because he didn't like a business deal that the two of you were involved in, would you just shrug your shoulders and walk away?  Would it matter at all to you if the bullet just sailed harmlessly over your head?

For whatever reason that only you could rationalize, perhaps you would, but the question is whether or not that's what the Chinese would do.  If you're wrong, millions of people could die, including people who had nothing at all to do with your little "communication experiment".  It's pretty obvious to me that your only thought about this matter stemmed from your fervent desire to express your disdain for our President.

Give your "far right" blather a rest already.  Anyone who doesn't want to turn America into something utterly unrecognizable to The Founders must be "far right" by your standards.  You proposed, disavowed, and then immediately doubled-down on committing acts of war against people we're not at war with, and then lectured me about not sharing your political beliefs.  I just keep pointing out the insanity of the people you've tied your cart to and you keep ignoring it because you can't admit to yourself that they're really not anyone's friends, let alone yours.  I think you've lost the ability to analyze events critically and objectively whenever they run afoul of your personal politics.

In terms of total dollars, China does far more trade with the US than the US does with China.  In large part, that's because they price American competition out of the market by imposing substantial import tariffs.  Why it is that you would rather shoot at the Chinese, or in their general direction- as if either are acceptable ways to resolve import tariff disputes, than simply admit that your own ideas are no better than President Trump imposing our own import tariffs until the Chinese start playing by the rules or learn to live with having the same import tariffs imposed on Chinese made goods, which is exactly why President Trump has levied tariffs against them, is beyond my understanding.  To me, this is yet another example where your personal beliefs run afoul rudimentary logic.  We don't require anything the Chinese sell to us to continue life as we know it.

SpaceNut,

If President Trump was so bad at business, then how does he still have so much money?

Let me guess.  He stole it.  His parents gave it to him.  He didn't pay taxes.  Life's totally unfair.  Wah wah wah, all the way home.

Since all of you budding entrepreneurs out there know so much more about business than President Trump, why not start your own businesses, become multi-billionaires like he is instead of incessantly talking about how you'd like to spend everyone else's money, and then run for President?

You could lecture us from the Oval Office about the evils of capitalism and the perils of climate change while you eat meals most Americans could never afford and travel around in your own personal 747 while telling your unemployed voters to suck it up and quit whining.  Wouldn't that be great?  I think so.  I much prefer regressive leftist hypocrisy / thievery / lying to be completely "in our faces" and utterly impossible to ever miss over this 24/7 infantile whining and crying over losing one silly election.

Somehow, a multi-billionaire business man who was "really bad at business" must've "pulled the wool" over the eyes of everyone who voted for him.  It's either that, or maybe Americans just grew tired of the pettiness of our regressive Democrats and voted accordingly.  Nah, has to be the first explanation.  Keep telling yourselves that.

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#185 2019-09-19 12:15:49

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 3,653
Website

Re: Isolationist, Buy American, Trumps Tariff war

Kbd512:

Well,  political blather aside,  the facts show the Chinese indirectly threatened war every time they built an artificial island in the South China Sea.  We didn't, we just sent ships close by to assert freedom of navigation.  So did some other countries.  It was not enough to stop the artificial island-building,  which is the prelude to grabbing much of the South China Sea as territorial waters of China.  How that will play out,  I dunno.

The Russians and the Iranians are the worst for unsafe close passes to ships and aircraft.  They do it for intimidation.  It has gone unanswered for decades.  So it has gone on for decades.  THAT is what the shot across the bow is for:  to deter dangerous misbehavior.  History shows that 99% of the time,  nothing ensues except better behavior.  The other 1% you got two ships fighting.  But NONE of those ever led to general war.  Not in 500 years.

What does any of that possibly have to do with whether I like Trump (no I do not) or whether I tend to agree with and vote for Democrats (I do not)?  I didn't raise that specter,  YOU did. You are the one with the heavily politically-tinged glasses,  not me.

OK,  that being dealt with,  I see the flooding is severe in Southeast Texas.  Are you OK this time around?  I'm worried about you and yours. It's another storm stalled out dumping too much rain.  And I know how flat and low-lying the coastal plain is. 

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2019-09-19 12:16:16)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#186 2019-09-21 14:41:53

kbd512
Moderator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 2,962

Re: Isolationist, Buy American, Trumps Tariff war

GW,

We made it through the latest flooding unscathed.  I've been a little busy at work, which is why I haven't responded back sooner.

The Chinese building artificial islands is not threatening to start a war.  If that qualifies as threatening a war, then the armed barges we've put in the Persian Gulf is also threatening to start a war.  There's no magic to having a military base on a small artificial island or barge or oil rig versus an aircraft carrier strike group, except that the aircraft carrier strike group is a moving target when it's not moored to a pier or barge.  The Chinese can claim that something they constructed somewhere qualifies as Chinese territory, but it doesn't, everybody knows it, and the ships you referenced that we and other countries have sailed close to their artificial islands is proof of that.

It's kinda funny that you've not made even passing mention about why they're building those islands, but I'll do it in the interest of informing our wider audience about what's going on here.  The Chinese are utterly terrified of another foreign invasion and "humiliating defeat" at the hands of the Japanese / Vietnamese / Koreans / Americans / take your pick.  They're no different than the Russians in that regard.  For the most part, Americans are, unsurprisingly, clueless about their attitudes towards each other and what they'd do to each other absent outside interference, meaning if the US didn't have the most powerful military in the world between them.  After WWII, we promised everyone over there that we'd protect the trade lanes that they depended upon for economic survival.  That was a topic that was frequently discussed and we conducted military operations specifically for that purpose every day of the week, so yes, it's a "real thing".  We stopped doing that under former President Obama.  That made the Chinese feel quite vulnerable to another "foreign invasion", despite the fact that no other nation over there has a blue water Navy to speak of, except Japan.  The Japanese Navy, as currently constituted, doesn't pose any significant threat to China.  However, the Chinese are terrified of what will happen if the Japanese are permitted to operate their own aircraft carriers again, and that belief is not entirely without merit.

Apart from their nuclear weapons, the Russians and Iranians are otherwise impotent, which is why we haven't bothered responding.  They're as much a danger to themselves as they are to others, even though their behavior is quite obnoxious.  Regarding "better behavior", if the possibility of starting a war with a nuclear-armed nation doesn't lead to better behavior on their part, then nothing else will.  Their militaries may be large enough to pose a threat to their neighbors, but under any conventional war scenario they might last a month before we utterly destroy every conventional military asset that they own.  Much like the Russian military, the Chinese military also lacks the coordination required for large scale military operations.  As many other militaries have learned to their detriment, while goose stepping may impress the ignorant public it doesn't mean you know how to wage war.  The numbers of deaths in WWII support that assertion.  Much smaller but significantly better organized militaries ran roughshod over the vastly larger militaries of the Russians and Chinese.  That's part of the reason that they're so hyper-sensitive to every little perceived transgression.

All bluster and saber rattling aside, the Chinese don't really know how to organize for a war and their political leadership is all too aware of that fact.  That's slowly changing as they retrain, but only by emulating the American military to the extent that their social and political structures permit.  Their military leadership has what I'd call an "American military fetish", so they do observe, experiment, and learn.  Apart from technology, very little else has changed since WWII.  This shows up most prominently in their training and tactics, which are better suited for a Viet Nam era battlefield than a modern battlefield.  They still use a rigid centralized authority permission / action operational control model (I suspect this would change out of necessity rather quickly during a shooting war), where they ask for permission from their chain of command before they do anything, making the independent action required to prevail in major battles on a chaotic modern battlefield all but impossible.  In the American military, being in a theater of operations is all the permission required to conduct operations, as required.  Actions must always be reported, but explicit permission is not required.  In another 2 to 3 decades, the Chinese will have peer-level military technology and, quite possibly, the requisite organizational and operational doctrines to use it effectively.

With respect to President Trump, your suggested alternatives to his chosen course of action are blatant acts of war as a form of "communication" with our adversaries.  Your beliefs about how wars start, or don't, are fundamentally at odds with 20th century military interaction between the US and the Soviet Union.  History hasn't shown any improvement in their behavior, irrespective of what we did or didn't do, no matter your claims to the contrary.  Nothing about their mindset, nor resultant behavior, is fundamentally different today than it was decades ago, which would be why they're still pulling the same stunts they've been pulling.

In past posts here, you've droned on, ad nauseam, about how you were worried that President Trump was the next Hitler, how he was going to start a war and kill us all...  President Trump is one of the few adults in the room who won't flippantly send American military personnel to their deaths over ridiculous personal agendas, like former Presidents Bush and Obama did, because they couldn't simply learn to get over themselves.  Anyway, your commentary has largely been a rehash of all the tedious political drivel I hear from Democrats, who are still caterwauling over the results of the last election, because they have nothing to offer the American people except more of their self-destructive idiocy masquerading as "saving the planet" or "social justice" or "socialism" or any of the utterly meaningless self-serving agendas that they promote to the detriment of the American people.  The fact that you think that your own politics is somehow "better" because it's "different" than my own politics is another example of the pot informing the kettle that it is indeed "black".

I'd be tickled pink if you'd demonstrate some command of the issues at play and historical outcomes.  Neither Russia nor Iran pose a significant threat to America or our military, except by using nuclear weapons.  China is only a regional threat for the previously stated reasons, mostly to its even less well organized and industrialized neighbors, and mostly because we've not done what we promised that we'd do.  That was an egregious mistake, in my estimation.  At the end of the day, China is our largest trading partner and although I utterly detest their form of governance because it's so wantonly and needlessly destructive to the people suffering under it, I do not wish to visit any more suffering on the Chinese people.  This idea that we need to punish other people for not being exactly like we are needs to end.  Much like socialism and communism, it's another egregiously bad idea that should be relegated to the scrap bin of bad ideas.  Frankly, I think we'd be better served by allowing America's most cherished ideals of freedom and liberty to take hold of their country at a grass roots level.  The Chinese people already know that their system of governance is rotten at its core, they just don't know how to fix it.  Any solution they come up with to address that problem needs to be their own solution, not a solution that we impose upon them.

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#187 2019-09-22 12:01:50

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 3,653
Website

Re: Isolationist, Buy American, Trumps Tariff war

Kbd512:

Glad you made it through the flooding unscathed.  I was worried about that;  we all were. 

I didn't say that the building of artificial islands WAS a threat of war,  I said (or tried to say) that the Chinese made less-than-overt-but-still-not-subtle threats of war,  to defend a 12 mile limit around those artificial islands.  What transpired was some freedom-of-navigation close approaches to those islands by our ships,  and some from some other nations,  too.  That seems to have temporarily resolved in favor of freedom-of-navigation,  but the long term outcome is in doubt.

I know about the old Soviet perception of being encircled by a hostile world.  Maybe China feels that paranoid,  too,  or maybe not.  I dunno.    But they do have a history of bullying neighbors as well as their own people.  Seems to be a fundamental cultural thing,  aggravated by the evil that is communism.  That means they bear close watching,  with an implied willingness on our part to resist bad behavior on their part,  despite being one of our largest trading partners.  It's sort of a "trust but verify" situation. And yet,  I,  too,  would much rather we be able to peacefully trade with them. 

I think Mr. Trump is right that China does not "play fair" with its trade practices.  I just think his trade war approach is the wrong way to get better agreements.  That's because imposing tariffs upon Chinese products hurts Americans,  not the Chinese.  It's the wrong inducement.  But I'm no expert,  I do not know what is a better inducement.  That's what the State Department is supposedly for. So I don't have to be an expert.  But as a voter,  I do need to recognize something needing expert correction,  and I do.

Like all other Presidents,  Mr. Trump does both good and bad.  What we all want are Presidents that do more good than bad.  I think Mr. Trump does more bad than good,  on that we seem to disagree strongly,  but that's OK.  I am glad we-the-US-under-Trump showed restraint regarding what looks like an Iranian act of war against Saudi Arabia.  The US suffered no damage or casualties from this,  the Saudis did,  which means the onus is on them,  not us,  to do something about it. 

However flawed they are,  and they are very flawed,  the Saudis are our ally in the region.  We are therefore obligated to help them after this attack.  We are not obligated to do it for them! We will see how this plays out.  I hope Mr. Trump and his administration continues to do this right.  We will see how that turns out,  too.

The Iranians have been a thorn in nearly everyone's side after the mullahs took over from the ousted Shah.  Make no mistake,  the Shah was an evil,  but the mullahs are worse.  Religious theocracy dictatorships always are.  Their proxy armies Hamas and Hezbollah have been doing evil in the region for 4 decades now. 

It was a serious mistake on "W's" part to topple Saddam Hussein in Iraq.  He had the wrong advisors,  a so-called "neocon" group that wanted to go conquering for oil in the middle east after 911,  and Afghanistan had none. Evil as he was,  Saddam was the stronger of our two brakes upon the mullah's Iran,  the other (the Saudis) having proven fairly ineffectual over the last 15 years since our Iraq invasion.

The previous president and leaders from other countries (including Russia and China!!) had worked out a deal to limit Iran's ability to nuclear-arm its Revolutionary Guard and its proxy armies.  The deal was far from perfect,  but it was effective,  in that uranium enrichment was restricted,  and at least some inspections were taking place.  Mr. Trump has undone that by walking away from the agreement,  which completely unshackled Iran,  since the Saudis are far less of a brake on them than Saddam's Iraq once was.  That's a very bad thing Mr. Trump did in my opinion,  although my guess is you disagree strongly with that assessment.

Those are some specifics.  As to general approaches,  I am reluctant to start wars,  except at great cause.  But once they start,  I believe you jump in with both feet and finish it quickly.  Sort of an "overkill" approach.  That's why we won WW2,  and it's lack is why we lost Vietnam (although we should not have been there in the first place,  as it turned out).

Meanwhile,  there are always countries that will misbehave,  bully,  and intimidate in this world.  Turning the other cheek encourages this.  Shots across the bow (NOT at them) discourage it.  That is why I advocate its increased use.  Russian ships at sea and aircraft in the air have been the worst offenders over the decades since I was a boy.  The armed small sea craft of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard are also a very serious offender in this regard (not discouraging them has led to attacks upon tankers,  and now a strike on a Saudi oil facility).   

We are here because we have not deterred bad behavior.  That's why I said what I said.

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2019-09-22 12:15:27)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#188 2019-09-22 14:24:31

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,181

Re: Isolationist, Buy American, Trumps Tariff war

Quite so for KBD512's well being....

But a terorist attack is not an Iran declaration of war on the Saudis...there are no troops marching over a border...unlike Iraq versus kiawait when we were asked to intervene....

Many companies that are being hurt by being required to pay the tariffs have requested waivers some 15,000 as these impact there auto and other industries that they sell to.

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#189 2019-09-22 15:29:00

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 3,653
Website

Re: Isolationist, Buy American, Trumps Tariff war

Spacenut:

I'm waiting for more definitive information to surface.  But what I have seen so far shows what is supposed to be the Iranian Revolutionary Guard setting up equipment and launching drones and missiles. 

The Revolutionary Guard is considered to be THE elite units of the Iranian military,  plus they are literally what keeps the mullahs in power.  This is not the typical terrorist group,  it is literally an arm of the government of Iran.

There is no doubt that if the Revolutionary Guard is really who launched this,  then the orders to do so came from the the head of the Iranian government:  the top mullah.  If so,  then this is what it appears to be:  an attack by one nation upon another. 

An actual declaration of war is not required.  Japan attacked without one in 1941.  So did Hitler in Poland in 1939.  And Japan in China in 1931.  It's not the paperwork we should be worried about,  but the actions.  You just have to be sure who did what.  Then you act.

I think we will see the truth soon enough about this Saudi oil facility thing.  Once the truth is known,  then it is time for someone to act.  Once the truth is known,  then it is clear who that someone should be.  Not acting guarantees increasing future aggression,  just like it did in the late 1930's with Mussolini and Hitler.  And Imperial Japan.

Assuming my assessments are correct,  I hope the Saudis lead the way in this retaliation,  for the onus is on them as the injured party.  I would hope they would not ask us to do it for them the way the Kuwaitis did.  There's really no excuse for the Saudis being unable to take on the Iranians,  not after all the 100's of $B worth of weapons we have sold them over the decades. 

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2019-09-22 16:13:30)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#190 2019-09-22 16:03:04

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,181

Re: Isolationist, Buy American, Trumps Tariff war

Truckers are becoming more pessimistic about the US economy

America's $800 billion trucking industry has been in a recession since the beginning of 2019, according to ACT Research. The culprits: President Donald Trump's trade war and a glut of trucking capacity.

Article then goes a bit wishy washy on details not staying consistent with this industry also needs to see 
How the GM strike of nearly 50,000 could start a Midwest recession

10,000 American companies supply it with products and services The auto industry's supply chain operates on a "just-in-time" basis. That means parts are delivered as close as possible to the time they are put on a car.

So there is no need for surplus orders to arrive for work that is not happening....
which will continue to cascade into other industries over time.

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#191 2019-09-22 16:16:42

kbd512
Moderator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 2,962

Re: Isolationist, Buy American, Trumps Tariff war

GW,

The Chinese are every bit as paranoid as the Russians are.  All dictatorships are constantly paranoid about someone else seizing power, because while a dictator is in power, they're busily murdering all of their potential political rivals.  This is what's happening in China right now, and Russia too, if we're being totally honest with ourselves.  I would like to see their dictatorships replaced with constitutional republics, but I do not wish to achieve that end by killing them in another needlessly destructive shooting war.  There's enough enmity between Americans, Russians, and Chinese to begin with and adding more fuel to that fire will not help matters one little bit.

If the tariffs only hurt Americans, then surely the tariffs placed on American goods sold in China only hurt Chinese people.  So, if we have to temporarily suffer through higher prices on imported products so that both Americans and Chinese citizens can enjoy the benefits of true free trade, then that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make in the interest of better treatment for all.  All American foreign trade, which includes trade with China, only amounts to 7% to 8% of the American economy.  As far as economic impact on America, trade with China accounts for 1% of our economy.  Around 7% of our exports go to China.  $179B of our economy is trade with China.  $558B of China's economy is trade with America.  Even the IMF says our trade dispute will hurt the Chinese more than Americans, so your assertion that we're only hurting ourselves is patently false.  Past experience shows that control of exchange of money through banking and trade is a far more persuasive argument for better behavior than mass murder through waging war.

With respect to Saudi Arabia, we should support our allies rather than telling them how to respond to the Iranian's act of war, even if committed by their proxies in Yemen.  If the Saudis want to use the power of the purse to compel better behavior from the Iranians, then I think we should be onboard with that.  If they want a retaliatory strike, we have the assets over there for that, too.  That said, the Saudis seem reluctant to start a war with the Iranians.  I think all sane and rational leaders should be reluctant to start wars.  Wars should always be a last resort, only to be used when all other reasonable options have failed.  If I'm honest with myself, I think a war with Iran is inevitable at some point in our future, but we shouldn't seek to hasten that day.

For reasons that can no longer even be blamed on oil, we have a strong interest in that region of the world and we will not let it go.  If it's not religious in nature, then our leaders (all of them, including President Trump and former Presidents Obama and Bush) certainly could've fooled me.  You know, the Iranians used to be our allies.  Women were wearing skirts and makeup in Tehran in the 1960's.  Hell, women were wearing skirts and makeup in Kabul, Afghanistan in the 1960's.  Although I almost never say this, I think this is one instance where returning to the way life was in the past would actually be an improvement.

Invading Iraq, without the intention to stay there permanently until all the bad actors were dead, was always a mistake.  Going into Syria was a similar mistake on a smaller scale.  That said, I never voted for former Presidents Bush or Obama.  I knew before either ever took office that their behavior would be personal-agenda-driven.  I thought, for a brief while, that perhaps former President Obama would be fundamentally different, but was bitterly disappointed.

The "deal" that was worked out with the Iranians was that the same countries that were previously selling nuclear technology to them would perform "inspections", the US would simply have to take the word of the inspectors that the Iranians were not enriching Uranium, that "deal" was only in place for another 10 years, they continue to develop and test ICBM's in the interim, and our illustrious former President, Barrack Obama, gave them hundreds of billions in cash as bribe money to even accept that "deal".  I can't speak for you, but that's not much of a "deal", more like "bribery" with the only effect of delaying the inevitable until after former President Obama was out of office.

With respect to winning and losing wars, in Viet Nam there was never a battle that our military fought where we didn't inflict casualties on the North Vietnamese out of all proportion relative to the number of people we lost.  The North Vietnamese confirmed this after the war was over.  As to whether or not we should've been there, America had a policy of opposing the spread of communism.  The policy wasn't partisan and it was deemed to be in the best interest of our national security across both Democrat and Republican administrations.  So, how is it that we won every battle we fought and still lost the war?  Oh, right, I keep forgetting- because the communist sympathizers in our media said so.  Whether or not you or anyone else here considers the result worth the price we paid is another matter entirely, even if most of us do not.  Decades later, the US military is back in Viet Nam, this time to prevent the communist Chinese from invading the communist Vietnamese.  We live in a really strange world.

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#192 2019-09-22 16:26:14

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 3,653
Website

Re: Isolationist, Buy American, Trumps Tariff war

Well,  the number 1 risk for a recession is just that the good times have gone on as long as they have.  All prior history points to cycles of boom and bust.  Trump's trade wars and tariff debacles just increase the basic risk. 

The fact that there are boom and bust cycles merely indicates that we "free capitalists" still have not yet devised the right fair-play regulations upon our "free capitalism".  That being said,  capitalism is still,  and by far,  the most powerful engine of creation ever devised by man.  No doubt about that at all.

Usually the bust phase of the cycle is not too bad,  but the Great Recession certainly was,  and the ensuing recovery for "Main Street" lagged the recovery for "Wall Street" by about a decade.  Which illustrates the wisdom (actually the lack thereof) of the $1.4 T worth of corporate/banking bailouts applied together by Bush 43 and Obama. 

"Main Street" might have recovered faster if more of that $1.4 T had been given to them instead.  But that's now water under the bridge,  and yet another lesson our do-nothing Congresses fail to learn. 

To me it is do-nothing politicians who prioritize party advantage above the good of the people who are the worst threat we face.  Some of them also are the ones who keep a misbehaving Trump beyond the reach of the law.  THAT is why they are the greater threat we face.   More so than Mr. Trump himself,  actually.

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2019-09-22 16:30:43)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#193 2019-09-22 19:06:07

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 3,653
Website

Re: Isolationist, Buy American, Trumps Tariff war

Kbd512:

I quite agree:  avoid wars if possible. 

I never claimed only Americans were hurt in these trade wars.  I claimed Americans were hurt by tariffs on imported Chinese goods.  I never said anything about Chinese being hurt by tariffs on imported American goods,  but yes,  they are.  That shoot-self-in-the-foot effect works both ways,  and it is why tariff wars have always solved little to nothing. 

Invading Iraq was initially justified as dealing with weapons of mass destruction.  That was false,  as the only rockets with nerve gas warheads ever found were 6 small ones long-lost in the sand from the stocks we gave Saddam for the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war.  They had "made in the USA" stamped on them.  When that surfaced,  the whole "WMD" thing died in 2 days flat. There's some real "managed news" for you.

I quite agree with you that it is the Saudis who must deal with this Iranian attack,  if it is confirmed that is what it was,  and I think it will be.  They are the injured party here,  not us.  It is up to them.  It is only up to us to support our ally in the region. 

I quite remember Iranian and Afghan women being freer to choose in the years prior to the mullahs and the Taliban.  All that proves is that religious theocracy dictatorships are as bad as I claim.  That's not to say the Shah was not evil,  because he was.  But the mullahs (and the Taliban) are worse.  Far worse.

I do regret how we teamed with the Taliban and Al Qaeda against the Soviets in Afghanistan,  and supported the Shah for so many years in Iran after toppling his elected predecessor in 1953.  Those were really bad choices to have to make,  and in my humble opinion,  we did a really bad job making those decisions. 

As for the Iran nuclear deal,  yeah it was poor,  but it was (and is) a lot better than nothing at all.  The tales about delivering $B's to Iran to make it go through are false.  Those funds transfers went 2 ways:  they paid off debts to us,  and we paid off debts and returned impounded funds to them.

The Red Scare policies are an artifact of the early 1950's,  not 1945.  At the close of WW2,  we decided to give the French what they wanted,  which was "Indochina back from the Japanese" (knowing that it had essentially freed itself from the Japanese,  as our OSS people reported),  rather than letting it become independent.  Ho Chi Minh came to us to support Indochina's independence,  before he turned to the Russians.  Yeah,  he was a commie,  but communism was not then,  and never has been,  a monolith.  In fact,  in 1945,  the Russians were still nominally our ally. 

And THAT sordid little tale is why we should not have been there in the first place. Another case of "managed news",  in that those details did not surface until we had about left. 

The oddest thing about the whole Vietnam thing is that Vietnamese and Chinese were enemies for centuries.  Long before there was ever anything called communism.  That is why North Vietnam's biggest ally during that war was Russia,  not China. Their best Mig pilots were initially Russians,  who trained well several North Vietnamese. 

I quite agree that we won every battle and still lost the war.  Ex-North Vietnamese military figures confirm this,  and have,  for many years now.  That loss was not the media's fault,  although the tone of the reporting did change after the Tet offensive (the prime example being Walter Cronkite himself).  It was bad "limited war for political purposes" policies that lost the war,  on top of a lack of public support at home.  And the same motivation among the Vietnamese that enabled us to win our own independence against all odds:  the fight to be free of foreign domination.  They had this powerful motivation,  most Americans had little-to-no-idea why we were there.  That makes a huge difference.

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2019-09-22 19:27:51)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#194 2019-09-22 21:15:03

kbd512
Moderator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 2,962

Re: Isolationist, Buy American, Trumps Tariff war

GW,

The story with the plane loads of cash paid to Iran was all over every news channel and the person from former President Obama's State Department even said, "and I'm not going to deny it".  The hostage negotiations, the cash, and the nuke deal all happened at the same time, but somehow those were all just random, un-connected events.  Yeah, right.  And I got a bridge in Brooklyn I'd be willing to sell to you for a great price.  Stop trying to pretend this stuff didn't happen or wasn't related.  We bribed them to get them to agree to anything at all.  We don't owe a terrorist organization, which is what their theocratic government has become, one red cent.

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#195 2019-09-23 07:48:05

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 3,653
Website

Re: Isolationist, Buy American, Trumps Tariff war

What part of "Those funds transfers went 2 ways:  they paid off debts to us,  and we paid off debts and returned impounded funds to them." did you miss before you went off in your diatribe against me? 

There was one planeload of actual cash sent to Iran.  The rest of those transfers were done through the banking system.  These were unpaid debts on both sides,  and impounded Iranian bank accounts,  all dating from the time before and during the Shah's fall. It was in the tens of billions. 

And yes,  settling these accounts was part and parcel of the deal.  Of course they were.  I never said they weren't.  The mullahs may be fatally evil,  but they're not fatally stupid.

The differences in the various news stories about this reveal only the editorial slant of the reporting organization.  There was a lot of what they call "poor optics" about this set of transactions,  which the political opposition (of course) picked up on.  Why would anyone think different?  You need to hear versions from more than one source before you are able to separate facts from political agendas (which are mostly fictions).

All that being said,  yeah,  it was a flawed deal,  but it was better than no deal before the deal was made.  And it was better than no deal after the president walked away from it.  My own opinion is that walking away did more harm than good.  Most of our allies agree with me.

And NOTHING about any of all of that detracts from my opinion that Iran's government is an evil terrorist organization.  It most clearly is.  I agree with you! 

I did forget to add the Houthi rebels in Yemen to the list of terrorist proxy armies Iran uses.  So that's (at least) Hamas,  Hezbollah,  and the Houthis. The Saudis have been under attack for a long time by Iran from Yemen.  But they,  in their incompetence,  have botched how they handled this attack from Yemen. (They've botched a lot of things.) 

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2019-09-23 08:01:21)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#196 2019-09-23 14:26:01

Terraformer
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,108
Website

Re: Isolationist, Buy American, Trumps Tariff war

If the Saudis weren't attacking Yemen, then maybe they wouldn't be attacked from Yemen. The Saudi's picked this fight - let's not let them cower behind America when their victim fights back.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#197 2019-09-23 16:12:39

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,181

Re: Isolationist, Buy American, Trumps Tariff war

The self inflicted wounds from the tariffs are coming to america as a automobile company strike linger on now with GM furloughs 1,200 more workers as UAW strike enters second week but this could go higher in the coming days as the new round of cuts is on top of an estimated 4,500 temporary layoffs GM and its suppliers handed out to employees as of Friday

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#198 2019-09-23 19:38:08

kbd512
Moderator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 2,962

Re: Isolationist, Buy American, Trumps Tariff war

SpaceNut,

Given what you just posted, I'm not real sure you understand the definition of the term "self-inflicted".  These UAW people walked off their jobs.  Their jobs already paid better than any of the auto manufacturing jobs in non-unionized states.  And if they weren't... well... figure it out.  As a result, the company they worked for eventually had to lay them off.  Shockingly, that "more money than god" schtick only applies when the money keeps rolling in... because even GM has to pay its bills.  Unsurprisingly, you're here blaming import tariffs on something that the UAW people did to themselves.

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#199 2019-09-29 15:44:55

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,181

Re: Isolationist, Buy American, Trumps Tariff war

When the recession hits our recovery will be very slowly as its done in the past.. Trump's global trade war comes to Alabama

The conflict with China has already caused a collapse in grain exports from Mobile.

So where are the crops going?

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#200 2019-10-01 23:38:20

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,181

Re: Isolationist, Buy American, Trumps Tariff war

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