Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Eric Boehlert - Trump is about to drive America's largest nail maker out of business

America's largest nail manufacturer may be forced out of business by Labor Day.

Trump's steel tariffs are backfiring. He is trying to protect the American steel industry but an American nail manufacturer says says it will go out of businesses unless it gets cheap Chinese steel to compete with, you guessed it, cheap Chinese imported nails.

And Harley Davidson says it will be affected by Europe's retaliatory trade tariffs so it might move its production abroad which would be a shame as much of the prestige of owning a Harley Davidson is the genuine made in America label, I would have thought.

Combined, these industries stand to lose hundreds more jobs than the steel tariffs are protecting. KV

Republicans have been warning the White House all year that Trump's reckless trade war is going to hit red states hard, with real job losses, and the evidence is pouring in.

America's largest nail manufacturer, Mid-Continent Nail, located in a Missouri county that voted 79 percent for Trump, says it is shedding hundreds of jobs and will likely have to shut down by Labor Day.

The company, which produces half the nails manufactured in the U.S., uses imported material to produce the carpentry nails, and since Trump slapped a 25 percent tariff on steel and aluminum imports, the company has had to boost its prices. When they did that, sales immediately plummeted.

The company recently laid off 60 of its 500 employees and expects to lay off another 200 in the coming weeks.

One of the company's three plants in Popular Bluff, Missouri, has already been shuttered.

"It's not just us. There will be many, many companies that will pay a price for this," George Skarich, Mid-Continent Nail's vice president of sales and marketing, told the Washington Post. "I'm disappointed in Trump. We didn't see this coming."

And that's why Harley-Davidson, facing retaliatory tariffs from Europe, announced on Monday that it will be sending U.S. jobs overseas because of the huge hit it's taking, thanks to Trump.

According to Harley-Davidson, the tariffs would cost the company an additional $2,200 for each motorcycle it built in the U.S. and then exported to Europe.

OpEdNews

Eric Boehlert - Trump is about to drive America's largest nail maker out of business


66 comments:

Matt Franko said...

Need big tariff on imported nails...

Harley might be moving it’s sport bike operations abroad... they don’t sell here anyway..

Noah Way said...

Harley Davidson sales by country: https://csimarket.com/stocks/segments_geo.php?code=HOG

% revenue from US sales: 85%

https://csimarket.com/stocks/segments_geo.php?code=HOG

#nailedit #winning #doubletriggerfingers

Andrew Anderson said...

Two questions:

1) How is it that the US, with its vast head start, wealth and other advantages, should ever be out-competed by any country?

2) How is it that so many US citizens are dependent on jobs to live that foreign goods and labor are considered a national threat?

Tariffs may be justified for an infant Nation but what excuse does the US have that it should fall back on them now?

Konrad said...

“An American nail manufacturer says it will go out of businesses unless it gets cheap Chinese steel to compete with cheap Chinese imported nails.”

This is why empires built on greed always collapse. First they exploit people for extra profit (in this case cheap Chinese labor) and then they cannot live without the people they exploit. What begins as an exercise in greed becomes a struggle for raw survival.

The U.S. Empire has built up such a massive trade deficit (the biggest in the world by far) that any U.S. attempt to impose tariffs on other nations backfires, and is suicidal.

Of course, the USA can choose to become more self-sufficient, and less dependent on imports. But if we did that, the corporate bosses might make a tiny bit less profit. Therefore self-sufficiency is out of the question.

“America's largest nail manufacturer, Mid-Continent Nail, located in a Missouri county that voted 79 percent for Trump, says it is shedding hundreds of jobs and will likely have to shut down by Labor Day.”

I would laugh at the delicious irony of this if people’s livelihoods were not at stake.

Alas, some morons continue to support Trump no matter what because of sheer selfishness. As long as they are not personally hurt by Trump’s buffoonery, why not have fun worshipping him?

These morons have made a cult out of mindless Trump-worship.

They are as STUPID AND SELF-CENTERED as is the anti-Trump cult -- e.g. the Russia-gaters.

Clint Ballinger said...

Screw him

John said...

Faced with all this, the useless Democrats will push ahead to take New York's 31 designated genders (and counting) nationwide, starting with pre-schoolers looking at genitalia and being asked which they would prefer to have.

Andrew: "How is it that the US, with its vast head start, wealth and other advantages, should ever be out-competed by any country?"

Simply put, the US is dysfunctionally run, with tiny ultra-powerful segments influencing state policy. If the US were run like almost any other modern advanced capitalist democracy, it would be a hundred years ahead of its nearest competitor. Instead, the US is looking increasingly like a tottering empire and a mere gust of wind from any direction levelling the colossus. And the whackiest thing of it all is that it is all self-inflicted: all its so-called competitors aren't really in the same league, yet they all benefit from US arrogance (badly treating allies for no obvious good reason), ignorance (large sections of the populations have been poorly educated, although the powerful elite are so super-educated and have few international rivals), over-reach (stupid wars galore and allying itself to Salafi jihadism) and amazing stupidity (opposing a Medicare for all that would make the US more competitive, signing trade treaties and assuming the populace won't eventually revolt).

Andrew Anderson said...

I'd say the fundamental problem is that the UK and US, though supposedly largely Christian nations, nevertheless thought it safe to ignore the Old Testament wrt economics - essentially throwing away the baby with the bathwater.

Matt Franko said...

“How is it that the US, with its vast head start, wealth and other advantages, should ever be out-competed by any country?“

They’re USD zombies who first hack us to get the tech, in this case the idea of nails, and then use fixed FX policy to suppress the real terms of trade for their own population... FX always is an index of real terms of trade...

So they can sell the nails to a US customer for less as their CB will give them MORE CNY in exchange for the USDs than they could get if it was “floating” ie left to their banks to determine...

Matt Franko said...

Noah I was thinking of their old sport bike line Buell which I just read they shut down years ago...

I don’t ride ... in fact I look at someone who does as a bit off...

Matt Franko said...

Trump will be promoting Indian motorcycles pretty soon:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Motocycle_Manufacturing_Company

MAGA...

John said...

Matt, the US can claim any number of inventions but nails isn't one of them. Nevertheless, if the US produced something the rest of the world desperately wanted the trade deficit would naturally come down. The US has created the international world trading order and is now complaining that the anti-democratic, anti-developmental trading regime it enforced on others hurts the sadist!

Andrew, whatever the benefits of Old Testament economics, our problems are much bigger than can be remedied by the Old Testament, although for the life of me I've never quite understood how any society could function without the charging of interest. Why would anyone lend anyone else, say, $10,000 only to be given back $10,000 in ten years' time? Why would anyone lend anyone else any money in the knowledge that in a few years' time a jubilee would apply? Perhaps I have misunderstood the arguments, in which case I would dearly like to hear them. Anyway, why simply only the economics of the Old Testament, which are a small part of the message? What about the much more important and larger focus of the Old Testament on its laws and morals? Do we really want to put to death someone who rebukes their parents?

Andrew Anderson said...

I said "wrt economics", John. So why drag in anything else?

Andrew Anderson said...

As for interest:
1) It could be charged of non-Hebrews.
2) Loans to fellow Hebrews would be collateralized so the lender need not lose anything and might even profit from a default.

As for debt forgiveness, home loans used to be for 10 years in American history, not a far cry from 7 years.

Andrew Anderson said...

although for the life of me I've never quite understood how any society could function without the charging of interest. John

Common stock is a private money form that is fully consistent with the Bible.

But why should those with equity share it, when government privileges for private credit creation allow them to obtain what is then, in essence, the public's credit but for private gain?

Nebris said...

An Open Letter To The Corporate State et al, [11/22/11 4:41 PM]

Dear Sirs, [as you're almost all guys]

To mix the metaphors, you have screwed the pooch and killed the goose that laid the golden egg.

You had a really sweet deal here in The Republic. A stable and secure nation with a solid industrial base and a capable population that was happy with its goodies and prepared to shed some blood from time to time to protect your overseas empire as long as you could put a proper spin on the shedding.

All you had to do was cough up some extra tax revenue, share some of your profits and do some long term investing in things like The Welfare State, National Infrastructure and Space Exploration, ya know, that Endless Resources thing that's out there.

That would not have been such a big deal. I mean, how much do any of you really need? We each can only wear one pair of shoes at a time. Or sleep in one bed at a time or drive one car and so on.

But you guys just got too greedy – truly deeply greedy – and you gutted The Republic with your financial game playing. And it IS all game playing, the childish “He who has the most toys..” bullshit you seem not to have been able or willing to grow out of.

And now even the Hipsters are in the streets and being Radicalized because you've literally dumbed down the cops as a 'cost effectiveness measure'. That use of Force will work for a while. But when millions cannot even feed themselves or their families...?

Well, guys, shit is going to get Ugly. And your gated communities and private security [mercs are historically unreliable] will not protect you from the coming fury. Note too that many of the folks you've aligned yourselves with have some serious Mental and Emotional problems and would quite happily burn the lot of you alive to please their God.

Therefore, unless you really listen to some of your wiser brethren, like Mr Buffet and Mr Soros, your goose is what shall be cooked. At this point, it may be anyhow.

I confess that I am not particularly hopeful. But, as ever, more shall be Revealed...

Yours,
Nebris

Tom Hickey said...

The irony is that Lenin explained this dynamic in Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism (1917).

Here's a link to an English translation at Internet Archive

Of course, Lenin was a creature of his time and therefore limited in what he could foresee. But his influence is still being felt as his basic insight has been updated.

Intellectual influence[edit]

The core–periphery model of global capitalist exploitation, developed by Lenin in the early 20th century, exerted much intellectual influence upon world-systems theory. World-systems theory was developed by the social scientist Immanuel Wallerstein and emphasises world systems of international labour, that divide the world into core countries, semi-periphery countries, and periphery countries. The core–periphery model also influenced dependency theory, whose proponents Raรบl Prebisch, Andre Gunder Frank and Fernando Henrique Cardoso propose that natural resources flow from a periphery of poor and underdeveloped countries to a core of wealthy and developed countries, enriching the latter at the expense of the former, because of how the poor countries are integrated to the global economy.


Summary and influence at Wikipedia

Andrew Anderson said...

They’re USD zombies ... Franko

The debt of a monetary sovereign like the US, being inherently risk-free, should yield at most 0% MINUS administrative costs, i.e. NEGATIVELY, to avoid welfare proportional to account balance in said debt.

Thus the US, with its zero (physical fiat) to positive yields on its National Debt is not only providing welfare for the rich but also subsidizing imports to the US.

Should we not look to eliminate that welfare for the rich and subsidy for imports?

Matt Franko said...

“Nevertheless, if the US produced something the rest of the world desperately wanted”

We do it’s called a USD ...

Matt Franko said...

Definition of ‘shithole’

‘shithole’: a nation that seeks another nation’s currency....

Matt Franko said...

Also at this point I’ll remind you guys ... again ... that you didn’t vote for Trump so you shouldn’t be allowed to comment on his policies...

Tom Hickey said...

Also at this point I’ll remind you guys ... again ... that you didn’t vote for Trump so you shouldn’t be allowed to comment on his policies...

Whose rule?

Matt, it seems that your argument is that those who didn't vote for Trump have a cognitive bias against him and are subject to cognitive dissonance.

How does this not apply to those that voted for him?

And, as a reminder, I said at the time that I would not vote for either DJT or HRC on moral grounds, in the case of DJT promotion of torture, and in the case of HRC, war-mongering. Neither of these have anything to do with economic policy or foreign policy.

Matt Franko said...

“World-systems theory was developed by the social scientist Immanuel Wallerstein and emphasises world systems of international labour, that divide the world into core countries, semi-periphery countries”

Tom, think of these people as Artists painting a picture of what they are observing...

Like let’s say you have the Brooklyn bridge and East River side of southern Manhattan Skyline of buildings in view... THEN you paint that picture...

So these people don’t build the bridge (unqualified), don’t design the skyscrapers (unqualified), don’t construct the buildings (unqualified) BUT they CAN observe them and illustrate what they are seeing....

This is what these people are doing, ie it is not real stuff they are not qualified to deal with the real stuff....

So we should not listen to them about anything real/material...

Tom Hickey said...

That may all be true, Matt, although I would dispute it. Even so, it is rather irrelevant in world affairs in that it is people like this that shape the foundation of thinking about international relations and foreign affairs. Policymakers and military staffs organize their thinking about the world in term of these kinds of paradigm.

If the US policy makers and military understood more about this aspect of world affairs instead of being influenced by ideology, standpoint perception and group think, they may have done better in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria and are about to commit similar errors of analysis and judgment in the case of Iran. It hasn't been for lack of funding or material systems that the world's superpower has done so poorly in these engagements.

Matt Franko said...

Well he won so that is the main (only?) difference...

iow you guys aren’t going to understand much of either his goals or methods ... I may not really understand his methods (dialectic) even though I voted for him I would maybe go to Scott Adams for that..

Matt Franko said...

“It hasn't been for lack of funding or material systems that the world's superpower has done so poorly in these engagements.“

Yes the material systems have performed very well ....

But then say in perhaps the Vietnam conflict where someone in leadership would say “we had to bomb the town in order to save the town” then it becomes a non-material issue/problem...

It becomes a cognitive or methodological problem there ...

Tom Hickey said...

Why is it so hard to understand this goals when he is on record about them?

It looks to me like he has a checklist of them and is in the process of checking them off.

Scott Adams explains his tactics in terms of persuasion, along with why most people don't get what DJT is doing even though it is obvious from the POV of persuasion and Trump self-identifying as a deal maker.

When DJT appears to be contradicting himself, he is usually addressing several interest groups simultaneously. He appreciates the concept of many levels.

HIs basic m. o. is to suss out where people are, what they way, and what their boundaries are. Then he works on a "deal" that he can get across which meets his preferences as closely as he can manage.

Tom Hickey said...

It becomes a cognitive or methodological problem there ...

Which it should not have been, since the French had made similar mistakes based on similar misperceptions, as Bernard Fall point out early enough for the Americans to have avoided going down a similar path.

Instead, the US got blindsided by ideology, standpoint thinking, and group think.

Tom Hickey said...

BTW, when I was on active duty (June 1964-1967) I gave a presentation on this, including references to Fall. After the two hour presentation, there were no questions and no one ever mentioned it again afterward. It was like they didn't hear it.

Matt Franko said...

I’ve never said these people aren’t stupid Tom...

Matt Franko said...

“Why is it so hard to understand this goals when he is on record about them?”

You have to ask the people exhibiting the TDS...

Matt Franko said...

“Which it should not have been, since the French had made similar mistakes ”

The dialectical method doesn’t allow the fails to be completely discarded... it’s a methodological problem as I see it....

So when you find yourself saying “we had to bomb the town in order to save the town” you should think “wait a minute... did I just say that????”

Matt Franko said...

It’s a tip off...

Matt Franko said...

Here Tom it’s scriptural:

“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully”. Eph 4:25

So US comes in and instead says “hey I got it let’s go in and try the same thing that the French just tried and it didn’t work!” “Great idea!”

This is not the A Team at work here...



Matt Franko said...

PUT ... OFF.... FALSEHOOD....

You have to (completely) shit can the false...

John said...

Andrew: "I said "wrt economics", John. So why drag in anything else?"

That's a fair pint, but it isn't altogether clear that many of our economic problems are not associated with "values", and that the general culture has been turned into something so repugnant that it becomes an economic problem. Economics will only go so far. The values of comradeship and brotherhood have been effectively destroyed, not least by the "Christian" right who worship mammon, war and state.

Matt: "Also at this point I’ll remind you guys ... again ... that you didn’t vote for Trump so you shouldn’t be allowed to comment on his policies..."

Leaving aside the authoritarian nature of this remark, you didn't vote for Obama but quite rightly that didn't stop you commenting on his terrible policies. I'm sure you can give us chapter and verse about hypocrisy...

Andrew Anderson said...

and that the general culture has been turned into something so repugnant that it becomes an economic problem. John

You've got it reversed; the economic injustice precedes the cultural breakdown and is a major cause of it.

The values of comradeship and brotherhood have been effectively destroyed, John

You remind of Progressives who support government privileges for the banks whereby the richer may legally loot the poorer and then complain when they proceed to do so!

Let's go through it again and from the Old Testament:

He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice,
to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?
Micah 6:8 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Yes, we are commanded to "love kindness" but before ALL we are commanded to do justice!

So what the Bible says about economics, including the Old Testament, is to be taken very seriously especially in light of what happened to Judea because they didn't.

Matt Franko said...

I never commented on Obama policies outside of perhaps one time he said we are “out of money”... which is fair game here under any circumstances...

Tom Hickey said...

I’ve never said these people aren’t stupid Tom...

I am just saying that STEM and material systems are insufficient in relation to the whole. They are important, of course, but if they are overestimated, as the policy and military people have been doing, then the result is often failure, as in Vietnam or bottomless quagmire as in Afghanistan.

There is a place for the different types of thinking and problem solving, and also a need for generalists that understand how they interact.

The opposite is silo thinking, wishful thinking, and magical thinking. When this turns into group thin, it is disastrous.

Tom Hickey said...

You have to ask the people exhibiting the TDS...

Scott Adams has already done a good job of it, and I posted links to his blog along the way here at MNE.

Tom Hickey said...

So US comes in and instead says “hey I got it let’s go in and try the same thing that the French just tried and it didn’t work!” “Great idea!”

This is not the A Team at work here...


Actually, their logic was "perfect." They concluded that the French had not brought enough force to bear to prevail, so their strategy was to double down on every setback.

Actually, they never realized their mistake because they conduced that the anti-war movement had turned public opinion sufficiently to force withdrawal politically. Many of them probably still think that if the war had continued and they brought more and more force to bear, they would have won in the end.

This is apparently how many of them still think.

Matt Franko said...

" STEM and material systems are insufficient in relation to the whole."

I agree there is also Arts to look at...

" They are important, of course, but if they are overestimated, as the policy and military people have been doing, then the result is often failure, as in Vietnam or bottomless quagmire as in Afghanistan."

I wouldnt look at "nation building!" as a material endeavor...

From a pure material perspective, post 9-11 we should have identified enemy nations involved in that (Afghanistan for sure..) and bombed a lot more stuff into dust and probably kill a lot more people there ... and then just left and threatened them to not do it again or it would be even worse next time and then keep an eye on them...

But I am not biased anti-war (non material matter) like you guys are... but the people running it are also biased towards "nation building" which is opposite the way you would want to go in war...

Tom Hickey said...

From a pure material perspective, post 9-11 we should have identified enemy nations involved in that (Afghanistan for sure..) and bombed a lot more stuff into dust and probably kill a lot more people there ... and then just left and threatened them to not do it again or it would be even worse next time and then keep an eye on them...

Al Qaeda is a non-state actor. The objective was to get the US to do exactly as you recommend in order to foment a rising up of Islam against the liberal West.

Matt Franko said...

No al-queda was domiciled in Afghanistan with impunity we should have held that nation and its citizens responsible and wiped out Afghanistan big time not tried to nation build there...

they should still be trying to dig out...

Matt Franko said...

" in order to foment a rising up of Islam against the liberal West"

We could kill all of Islam in like a day...

Tom Hickey said...

We could kill all of Islam in like a day....

That what the military thought about Vietnam. How did that turn out?

There are limiting political considerations, for instance.

When asked what it would take to secure Iraq, he said an occupation force of 500, 00O. "They" responded that Iraqis would greet US troops with flowers. Who was more correct?

How would the voting public react to an all-out war with all Islamic nations and suppression of all Islamic people outside of those nations, which would very likely also affect the flow of oil and gas from the middle east? And look at the refugee situation with just the disruption of a few nations, chiefly Libya and Syria, whose populations are not all that large in comparison with Islam as a whole, comprising over a billion people.

Nebris said...

One thing IS for certain: Franko ain't sharing his drugs. ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ˜ˆ๐Ÿค‘๐Ÿ‘น⭐⭐️๐Ÿ‘น๐Ÿค‘๐Ÿค“๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜ˆ⭐️๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘…๐Ÿ‘⭐️๐Ÿ˜ธ๐Ÿ˜น๐Ÿ•ฏ๐Ÿ”ฎ

Matt Franko said...

"There are limiting political considerations, for instance."

Well right but that is not a material matter..

" to secure Iraq, he said an occupation force of 500, 00O"

the idea in war would not be to secure Iraq it would be to destroy Iraq (not advocating that I never saw the connection either... I'm probably with Trump "we invaded the wrong country...")

"How would the voting public react to an all-out war with all Islamic nations "

well not very well... now... but it is going on 20 years past 9/11... there is a statute of limitations ... you have to react immediately or not at all..

We had a big green light to really F their S up and kill a lot of them and didnt take it...

The response to 9/11 was tepid and weak imo based on historic precedent ... just an observation not advocating any alternative..

Matt Franko said...

Neb I am not biased anti-war like you guys...

Probably 25% of mankind is warrior class ... you guys cannot keep going all around pretending these people dont exist.. what do these people think? what do these people do?... c'mon... get in the real world...

Matt Franko said...

Nebs here you are advocating war in the up thread:

"Well, guys, shit is going to get Ugly. And your gated communities and private security [mercs are historically unreliable] will not protect you from the coming fury. "

You might be warrior class yourself ever consider it????

Tom Hickey said...

The objective was not to destroy Iraq. It was sitting on 15USD in oil reserves at the time. That is what the war was about and the US failed to accomplish that objective.

Sure, the US could just kill everyone, clean up the oil field and own the place. But good bye to US soft power for ever. US soft power is used to justify liberal intervention.

Lacking that the world would be back to great power politics and the threat of MAD.

Where things is now heading since the US is indeed abandoning soft power.

This doesn't bode to end well.

Matt Franko said...

I think Bush2 attacked Iraq because Saddam tried to have his dad assassinated... period... this actually what Bush2 said... dont over think it...

Ryan Harris said...

Just dumb, spreads between us and foreign ports prices will contract as US plants continue to reopen and ramp production. Our energy costs are lower, our coking coal is cheaper and better quality, we don't even have Dems in Washington trying to regulate the plants out of existance to reduce footprints. Our ore deposits aren't world class, but we've abundant cheap scrap for rebar. These nail guys had every opportunity to hedge their prices for a couple years, steel prices have been rising for a few years now.

Nebris said...

Franko, you Trumptards are such fucking whiners, geeze. You voted for a fucking Fascist asshole who's enacted a policy of Ethnic Cleansing and screams about “bombing the shit outta people” but then start simpering like a fucking baby because I predicted the outcome of relentless oppression would lead to violence as 'war mongering'. Well, fuck your gaslighting bullshit, spud.

And yer gaddam right I'm Warrior Class. On mum's side, professional NCO's in the English and British Army going back to the 1680's. Over two hundred of them died fighting the Huns in the Retreat from Mons in the summer of 1914. And my daddy's people rode with Bobby Lee in the Army of Northern Virginia. All of them died in that was well.

As for Fascist theocrates, my grand fathers knew what they needed; hot lead and cold steel. As a Hard Left Radical, that sounds just right to me. No civility for Nazis.

Matt Franko said...

"I predicted the outcome of relentless oppression would lead to violence"

If you're on the non-materialist (left) side you are going to lose hate to break the news to you... the materialists (right) will have the better weapon systems...

"hot lead and cold steel": hello these are materials, left doesnt know how to produce them... they can draw pictures of them for sure but not produce them... its not a strong position...

Thanks for the insight into how Warrior class thinks btw.. scary!!!!

Tom Hickey said...

Never a dull moment here at MNE lately.

Nebris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nebris said...

Once again, Franko blows smoke up his own ass. You're thinking of Urban Petite Bourgeois fake liberals because that's who the Corporatist Dems cultivate and Fox News et al believe are The Left. But there are whole Radical groups out here who are not part of that demographic and who do know how to make things...and they have guns, etc. But go ahead, stay in yer lil Nazi bubble. You'll wind up just like they did, too; charred meat.

Nebris said...

@tnielsenhayden
One of the hardest things to understand about graft, corruption, and self-dealing is how extraordinarily wasteful they can be. Grifters don’t care how much value they destroy, as long as they make money on the deal.

For example: no-bid contracts for disaster relief supplies that never get delivered. Result: no help or repairs now; no way to minimize further damage. Real cost: hugely more than the price of those missing supplies.

Temporarily getting control of a business, then running a bust-out fraud (as seen in Goodfellas and The Sopranos), wastes big value for little profit — but that profit goes to the guys running the bust-out. The cost goes to everyone else.

In order to make sense of Trump, you have to understand that he went broke a long time ago, and has essentially been a con man ever since.

It’s why he’s got that long history of bankruptcies, unpaid bills, hastily offloaded projects, and premium-priced but ultimately valueless products. He flat-out does not care about other people’s consequences.

I honestly believe he initially ran for president because he heard that candidates get to keep unspent campaign contributions. That’s certainly how he ran his campaign.

Then he got drunk on egoboo and made Con Man Mistake #1: not getting out in time. It couldn’t have been clearer that he had no idea what the job entailed.

My point: don't assume Trump’s actions are random, even though some of them undoubtedly are.

I believe he’s enthusiastic about his wall because he likes being in control of large, hazily-understood construction & development projects that are being paid for by other people. He’s made a lot of money that way.

I believe he appoints unqualified people because he figures they’ll be loyal to him, not the job, and won’t have natural allies there who do care how the job gets done.

Actually getting things done is complicated, because you have to deal with the real world. Con games are simpler, because they’re about patterns of human behavior.

Trump generates the appearance of complexity because he’s gotten into the control room of a very complex system. Except for those times when he’s pushing buttons at random, he’s got a very finite set of moves.

He has five job skills: figuring out how he can derive personal benefit from situations, looking vaguely like an important guy who knows stuff, doing favors for guys who can do him favors, getting out before he has to pay up, and punishing noncompliance.

In a pinch, just assume his reasons for doing things are simpler, dumber, and more appallingly venal than you initially thought. [End.]

John said...

Matt: "We could kill all of Islam in like a day..."

Leaving aside the syntax, the US can't even beat the Taliban, so what on earth are you even talking about, unless you simply want to exterminate Nazi-style every Muslim on the planet? Almost every Muslim had never even heard of Al Qaeda, let alone had some role in assisting it. The only people assisting the jihadis were Washington's storm troopers. So perhaps you should advocate the destruction of Washington.

Matt: "No al-queda was domiciled in Afghanistan with impunity we should have held that nation and its citizens responsible and wiped out Afghanistan big time not tried to nation build there..."

Really, where do you get your information? The 9/11 plot was hatched in Hamburg and Miami, not Afghanistan. The Taliban offered to hand over Al Qaeda, and the US refused because it wanted war. Millions of people should be held accountable for the actions of a few. That's Bin Laden's philosophy: there is no such thing as innocent Americans; they've voted for American policies and should therefore deal with the consequences. Washington at no stage has ever had any nation building, and anyone who believes that is living in a fantasy world. Given that Bush, Obama and Trump have decided to do a deal with the Taliban, it shows that they never believed the Taliban were responsible for Al Qaeda's actions. Otherwise, why let the Taliban take control of Afghanistan and again allow jihadis to plot attacks on the US? Washington doesn't believe the propaganda it churns out about Afghanistan. That bullshit is for the dumb plebs who salute the flag fifty times a day, wear tiny flags on their lapels, have flags on their porches, bumper sticker flags on their cars and vote for hypocrites who claim Jesus is their favourite philosopher.

John said...

Andrew: "You've got it reversed; the economic injustice precedes the cultural breakdown and is a major cause of it."

That isn't entirely obvious. I would agree that there have been attacks that have been economic and if these could be reversed then many things would change for the better. But there has been a major attack on human values that have little to do with economics. Forgive me if I offend anyone, but there aren't 31 genders or 101 or, give it a few years, a 1001 genders. That has nothing to do with economics, but a truly depraved attack on human evolution, or the image of God if you are religiously inclined. And why small children who can't tell the difference between a carrot and a potato are being taught gender fluidity is beyond me. If you can tell me what that has to do with economics, I'm all ears. Not everything has to do with economics. Not even the most vulgar Marxist insists on that.

Andrew: "You remind of Progressives who support government privileges for the banks whereby the richer may legally loot the poorer and then complain when they proceed to do so!"

I don't support the banks. I don't know where you got that from. In fact, like most here, I was for nationalising the banks in 2008, breaking them up into thousands of not-for-profit local banks which would be run as a public service. That would have been big finance's worst nightmare. The question about banks is not whether there will or won't be banks. Of course banks have to exist. The question is what would be the least dangerous, most useful banking system. Any private banks would eventually lead to some disaster and/or criminality. Local not-for-profit banks and nationwide post office banking would is by far the most economically productive.

Andrew Anderson said...

But there has been a major attack on human values that have little to do with economics. John

Those attacks have traction in the US, for example, because Christianity has discredited itself wrt economic justice. Let Christians embrace economic justice for all citizens and they'll be listened to in other areas as well. Instead, Christians are largely seen as part of the problem, not part of the solution.

I don't support the banks. John

Then you are for the abolition of government-provided deposit insurance and other privileges for the banks, even if they are non-profit, whereby the richer may loot the poorer, i.e. the lessor or non-creditworthy?

Nebris said...

Night of The Living Dead Thread

John said...

Andrew: "Then you are for the abolition of government-provided deposit insurance and other privileges for the banks, even if they are non-profit, whereby the richer may loot the poorer, i.e. the lessor or non-creditworthy?"

Deposit insurance wouldn't be required because the banks would be severely curtailed. It wouldn't be a question of passing laws telling the banks what they can't do. There will be very few laws on what the banks would be allowed to do, with an automatic life sentence if found to have broken those laws. There would be no shareholders (and so no stock options), no performance related pay, no fancy derivatives etc. It'd be the most plain vanilla banking known to the history of man. So boring that people would run to become exciting accountants. It'd be no better paid than a civil service job. Audits would be done almost every day, and the people of the community would be on the board. There would be no profits. There would also be no problems. Anything else is bound to end in tears. Christ assaulted the money lenders (and the money changers); his was a principled stance, not a marginal one about insurance. Let's get rid of the money lenders. Period. Lefties and true Christians may find common cause in this.

Andrew: "Instead, Christians are largely seen as part of the problem, not part of the solution."

The more vocal are certainly THE problem, not part of the problem. The so-called "Christian" right is truly demonic: the rabid nationalists, warmongers and money worshippers. Real Christians - you know, the message of Christ, not the message of rightwing multimillionaire televangelists - are another matter. They're an entirely different matter. I'd like to think we can agree on that at least.

Tom Hickey said...

@ John

Right.

Banks would be agents contracted by government that are responsible for credit assessment under tight regulation and supervision.

Banks could take deposits in competition with public banking by the central bank through the national post offices.

Ideally, settlement would be real-time through a digital system.

John said...

Tom, the left is really doing itself a disservice by not focusing on this issue like a laser beam. Like Medicare for all versus private health care, people can be given a choice between private and public banking. Then watch everyone stampede towards public banking and public healthcare. Imagine a real choice back in 2008 between those who wanted to keep the criminal banking system as it was against those who advocated a not-for-profit public banking system and large-scale post office system. No competition. Similarly those coal miners who could be put to work on clean energy, and steel workers put to work on mass transportation and high speed rail. On any issue you care to mention there is never any competition between right and left. The "conservatives" are wrong on everything; the real left, not the phoney awful "liberals", is right about everything! Yet look at how useless they/we are at getting their/our message across, or exclaiming hold your nose and vote for the corporate Democrat: war and plunder by liberals is far preferable to war and plunder by conservatives. I must say that argument is not the most convincing I've heard, but we do hear it!

Everyone's an instinctive leftwing libertarian social democrat, and with some education and experience probably a full throttled libertarian socialist. For now, the former would be good enough as it may leave a planet habitable for the human race: a large welfare state and a comparatively smaller cut-throat free market capitalist system where it effectively doesn't matter who's producing the unnecessary luxuries of life. Give everyone a house, free health care, free education and training for life, a decent pension, excellent transportation and clean energy, and who cares for now who makes computer games and whatever other trash people waste their time and energy on.

Tom Hickey said...

There is no actual left in US politics at this point. All corporate shills. They are just aligned with different and sometimes opposing factions of the elite.