I think Trump’s tariffs are a bad idea and I think all the anti-NAFTA, anti-CAFTA stuff is mostly bullshit. Not because free trade is the be all end all, but because those deals weren’t that important. Krug has said that normal fucking around with free trade could hurt or boost GDP growth by .1 to .2 percent a year tops, and I’ve seen similar estimates on how much Trump’s trade war might hurt GDP growth. The US just doesn’t trade that much relative to the size of our economy.
Brexit is a killer — I’ve seen projections of 8% reductions in GDP over 15 years. But this isn’t the UK.
The GOP base isn’t very keen on free trade, so I don’t think the donor class of the GOP will be able to talk Trump down from his trade war.
Here’s what I find interesting: the steel, iron, and aluminum industries employ a total of about 150,000 people right now. Coal, another Trump fixation, employs about half that.
In other words, in a decent month, the US economy creates a number of jobs that is about equal to the total number of jobs in iron, steel, and aluminum. In a very good month, it creates the same number of jobs that there are in iron, steel, aluminum, and coal combined.
It’s all pretty small potatoes.
The GOP donor class will shits its pants, but then it will jump in and swim and go back to blindly supporting everything Dear Leader does.
Let’s keep raising money to take back the House. Give here to the Balloon Juice fund that is split equally among eventual Democratic nominees in all House districts currently held by Republicans.
Hope and prayers that the donor class shits their pants and runs around in panic. Also fuck Citizens United. I wish we would stop getting punked by a group of people who are actually morons.
They will slow walk the regulations on the tariffs so much a snail could get there faster.
Major Major Major Major
I feel like this might not end up being “normal fucking around with trade”, that the foreign reaction could be larger just to prove a point. Whatever the equivalent of holding all the Brexit meetings in French would be. (I know they didn’t do that but I can easily imagine similar earned pettiness.)
I’m unconvinced that this is anything more than another diversionary tactic. Look over there- a terrible tariff!! A yuuggge, CLASSY tariff!!
I’ve got the tariff!!
But I haven’t got no equity!!
No no OOOOOOOOO
Given time, Trump will ruin the good economy he was handed by Obama. Nothing he does is helpful; much of it is damaging or plain dangerous.
Major Major Major Major
@John Revolta: too much of a clusterfuck.
Nobody in the WH, any other part of the maladministration, the whole mouth breather party, and all their sycophants, hangers on and apologists even knows basic arithmetic. How the fuck did any of them even get out of third grade?
My take is that tariffs will create shortages of needed materials for the majestic infrastructure plans in the offing. The jobs bonanza is bullshit. If I’m not mistaken unemployment is hovering around 4%.
David ??Merry Christmas?? Koch
War, what is it good for?
Say it, again
David ??Merry Christmas?? Koch
What digya do in the trade war, daddy?
The timing of Trump suddenly imposing trade tariffs suggests that he’s desperate to change the subject from the raft of bad news of the past week. It’s what he does.
@David ??Merry Christmas?? Koch:
Ah took up mah AK an’ went an’ shot up a skyewl
Hey, man. As long as I get the heads up and know to sell my steel related stocks, it’s all good.
They don’t act or think like they did.
“This here fella says he’s pro-NAFTA.”
“Maw! Daddy done shot up the AOL agin!”
Boeing employs 175,000 people and they use a LOT of aluminum.
Old Pennsylvania joke:
Q: Why is Marriage like The Tariff ?
A: They’re both ways to
Protect the Domestic Enterprise,
and Encourage the Infant Industry.
I’ve been enjoying Tom NIchol’s feed today. Mostly because I love to have my beliefs challenged. So I saw this this and I was really interested in understanding his parent’s journey from trying to help to become republican.
I assume that there is a lot of boomers who were liberal and turned into assholes later.
@Mike J: Aluminum is a widely used conductor of electricity.
I’ve heard our electrical grid is in need of repair and expansion.
Even if they go ahead with the tariffs, they will drop them as soon as the 2018 midterms are over; this is entirely aimed at consolidating and expanding the white blue collar vote in rust belt states.
Precisely why they shouldn’t be in charge of … well, anything.
According to the MPAA, the movie industry employs about 2.1 million workers across all 50 states.
But we’re the unAmerican ones. ?
@efgoldman: Oh, some of them know math. Steve “The Missing Vowel” Mnuchin knew enough math to foreclose on hundreds of military veterans and others trying renegotiate their rip-off mortgages. Gary Cohn knows enough math to become a billionaire Goldman Sachs banker. Ben”the Knife” Carson knows enough math to order a fancy dining set worth 6x more than the GSA budget for remodeling his whole office.
The steel industry was never really in Allentown – chh hoo hah. Bethlehem doesn’t track or rhyme as well and everyone would have thought it was a Christmas song.
The innumerancy of this crew is pretty ridiculous. Given this stuff is pretty small potatoes I do suspect it is a diversionary tactic, but that may be giving the Trump crew way to much credit given their past performance.
Actually, it’s even smaller potatoes than you suggest. In a decent month the US economy creates 5.2 million jobs and loses another 5.0 million jobs (for a net job creation of 200,000). So, the economy creates the 220,000 jobs in less than a day and a half.
DougJ, pretty much sounds like you’re popping off without knowing what you’re talking about.
US international trade is around $5 trillion. US GDP is around $18 trillion. Hardly insignificant.
#2, it’s not just about the “steel, iron, and aluminum industries.” It’s also about industries that use these resources. So now we’re talking millions of jobs, not your misleading 150K. Then we have industries affected by retaliatory measures. Such as Europe threatening to put tariffs on American products, specifically mentioning Harleys, Levi’s, and Jack Daniels. And that’s just the start. But I guess it’s not your job at risk, so no biggy.
And “the anti-NAFTA, anti-CAFTA stuff is mostly bullshit” — which “stuff” are you referring to? The migration of US jobs to other countries? The incentives to move industries to locations with weaker environmental regulations? Allowing megacorporations to basically write agreements in their favor, to the detriment of small, local business? The sanctions penalty systems that robs sovereignty from localities, especially in developing countries. See Metalclad vs Mexico for a good example.
Which of this stuff is “bullshit”?
There are pros and cons to free trade, and there are “free trade agreements” which reach far beyond the issue of simple tariffs. At any rate, you’re not serving your readers well with this post, in my view.
Damn! And here I am about six months out from starting production on my new line of coal-powered steam shovels and road graders for the big infrastructure rebuild that’s right around the corner.
yes, but a lot of those potatoes are located in a district that’s having a special election next week. and throwing some jobs their way will probably be enough to swing the race to the GOP.
That’s not much. And my estimated on GDP growth are standard
I don’t really have a strong opinion on tariffs but for me the issue is we have a President who knows even less about the issue than the bog standard low info voter.
I don’t believe there was any big plan or deep thinking behind this action. It was probably floating around as some memo suggestion by a staffer and Trump latched on to it in a fit of pique and desperation.