From THE WEEK Magazine:

“President Trump on Tuesday tweeted that trade negotiations with China are “ongoing.”

“Trump said he wants countries who “come in to raid the great wealth of our Nation” to “pay for the privilege of doing so,” arguing that tariffs will “always be the best way to max out our economic power.”

“Dubbing himself ‘a Tariff Man,’ the president threatened to impose tariffs once again if the two nations can’t reach a “fair” agreement in the next 90 days.”

The above, in typical Trumpian style, demonstrates either abject ignorance or intentional perfidy. Tariffs never have been even a good way, never mind “the best way,” to “max out economic power.”

And by calling himself “a Tariff Man,” Trump merely is saying, “I am willing to punish Americans so I can fool them into thinking they are winning.”

Let’s examine tariff reality.  The idea behind tariffs can be visualized by this invented example:

China, because of low local wages or material costs, and/or superior manufacturing skills, is able to produce a pot that is significantly cheaper than, or superior to, similar pots produced in the U.S.

So to protect the U.S. pot industry, and the jobs therein, the U.S. levies a tariff on pots imported from China.

The President then boasts that he has saved the U.S. pot industry and prevented China from “taking advantage of us.”

What really has happened?

  1. The U.S. government has levied a tax on Americans, punishing people who buy Chinese pots.
  2. The U.S. consumers’ cost of all pots has been increased, which is inflationary.
  3. Dollars have flowed from the U.S. private sector to the U.S. government. Taking dollars from the private sector is recessionary.
  4. The U.S. pot industry, being protected from foreign competition, does not need to strive for efficiency, and thereby stagnates, while other nations improve their pot-making efficiency.
  5. China retaliates by levying an import tariff on American pans, which hurts the U.S. pan industry, thereby costing jobs in the U.S. pan industry.

    Image result for water fight

    Trump says we’re winning.

Bottom line results for the trade war: Taxes on Americans have increased; inflation has been stimulated; the pot industry has been protected, but the pan industry has been hurt; and no net jobs are produced.

Trump, and most Americans, do not understand, that punishing Americans with higher taxes, is not a good way to protect Americans. The irony is that Trump boasts about cutting taxes, while his tariffs increase taxes.

If Americans’ income and jobs, and/or a particular American industry, need to be protected, there are far better ways than the self-destructive, pissing contest that Trump and his predecessors have initiated over the years. To:

I. Increase and Protect Americans’ Income: Initiate the Ten Steps to Prosperity (below). Step #1 alone (Eliminate the FICA tax) would increase the incomes of all salaried people. The other Steps would protect the incomes of Americans’

II. Protect Americans’ jobs: The elimination of FICA would cut employment costs, thereby encouraging employment in all industries, not just specific industries.

III Protect American Industries: Step 6. (Eliminate federal taxes on business) would benefit American businesses at no cost to anyone. The U.S. government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses tax dollars. It creates new dollars, ad hoc, every time it pays a creditor.

Additionally, the federal government could assist vital industries via direct subsidy.

In summary, all tariffs, whether import or export, hurt all nations involved. They are inflationary and recessionary, and being protectionist, they inhibit innovation.

Our Monetarily Sovereign federal government has the unlimited power to protect its citizens, not by punishing them, but by rewarding them. This is a lesson yet to be learned by politicians and the American people.

Tariffs never, never, ever are a good solution to any Monetarily Sovereign government’s trade problem. Tariffs always are harmful to the  people. They are the ultimate nose-cutting, pissing contest.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell; Search #monetarysovereignty
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

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The single most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the have-mores and the have-less.

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.

Implementation of The Ten Steps To Prosperity can narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:
1. Eliminate FICA

2. Federally funded medicare — parts a, b & d, plus long-term care — for everyone

3. Provide a monthly economic bonus to every man, woman and child in America (similar to social security for all)

4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone

5. Salary for attending school

6. Eliminate federal taxes on business

7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 

8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.

9. Federal ownership of all banks

10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY