The tariff nose-cutting, pissing contest Wednesday, Dec 5 2018 

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


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.


Who are these men? Friday, Nov 30 2018 





Even more uncanny.


The biased hypocrite twist Thursday, Nov 29 2018 

♫ C’mon baby, let’s do the twist. C’mon baby, the biased hypocrite twist. ♫


The “biased hypocrite twist” is the attempt by a guilty party and/or his acolytes to shift the conversation about his guilt to a conversation about the bias and hypocrisy of his accuser. For example:

Mother: “Donald, you created a fake university to steal money from those innocent students.”

Donald: “Where were you when little Timmy took a nickel from your purse? Why didn’t you criticize him? You’re a hypocrite.”

Mother: “But I did criticize him.”

Donald: “And, you’re biased against me.”

Note how Donald uses his claims of bias and hypocrisy to twist the conversation away from his guilt to a conversation about the guilt of his accuser.

Right-wing columnists like the Chicago Tribune’s John Kass and those from Breibart or Fox “News” use this device all the time. The concept is this:

If I can point to anything at all that Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton did wrong, this proves Donald Trump is innocent and his critics are biased hypocrites.

Here are excerpts from a recent Kass article:

If there is one thing worse than that photograph of a little Honduran boy breathing through an oxygen mask after being hit with tear gas on our Southern border, it’s this:

Using that image as a sentimental weapon to fend off or obliterate clearheaded immigration policy.

No, Mr. Kass, tear-gassing hundreds of innocent men, women, and children is worse. Your and Trump’s lack of compassion is worse. And as for “clearheaded immigration policy,” kindly explain what Trump’s policy is.

As best as I can discern, the “clearheaded” policy is to exclude everyone from Central and South America, and to enforce that policy by separating thousands of children from their parents and keeping the children in jail. The “clearheaded policy” seems to be to keep as many out as possible, and to make people wait endlessly for a decision about their applications.

That’s a “clearheaded immigration policy”?

But that’s where we are now, aren’t we? The caravan of thousands of Central American migrants is finally at the border. Mexico is keeping them back. The other day, after rocks were thrown at American border officials, several hundred migrants bolted through, trying to illegally rush their way into America, and some were hit with tear gas.

Wrong. The gas was shot illegally into Mexico, not at those who “bolted through.” And “some were hit with tear gas” makes it sound almost accidental, rather than intentional.

The left has no answers to what’s going on along the southern border. Instead, we’re given shrieks of rage at President Donald Trump. They conveniently forget that under President Barack Obama, migrants who tried crashing the border and threatening border officials were hit with chemical agents.

Some journalists conveniently forgot this, or perhaps didn’t even bother to look at what Obama had done.

And there it is: The “biased hypocrite twist.”

So long as Obama did it, then it’s O.K. for Trump to do it. Up ’til now, the right has been telling us that everything Obama did is wrong. Isn’t it ironic how the right wing now has made Obama the example of what to do? 

Now I can’t think of any responsible person who likes the idea of children suffering. I don’t think you like it either. Parents brought the little ones into that chaos on the border. I wouldn’t have done it, and perhaps you wouldn’t subject your children to that danger. Yet still, it tears at the heart to see it.

And what would you have done, Mr. Kass? Would you have stayed in your failing nation, and doomed your children to lifetime victims of crime and misery? Or would you have tried to escape to where your children could have better, safer, more productive lives?

And if Trump doesn’t like the idea of children suffering, why does he separate them from their parents, put them in a huge jail, and keep them there for months?

Is there anything wrong with mandating that immigrants legally apply for asylum rather than break into the U.S. and fade into America? I happen to think that’s fair, and it’s legal.

Nothing is wrong with mandating they legally apply,  except Trump has rigged the system so that waiting times are not in the days, weeks, or even months, but years. It is a system rigged to exclude. A fake system.

Yet where are the liberal Democratic solutions to address those in the migrant caravans determined to push illegally across the borders?

How about processing them faster. That would be fairer, cheaper, and easier than sending thousands of troops to the border, firing tear gas across the border, separating children from their parents and doing everything possible to exclude everyone with brown skin?

Political asylum is reserved under law for those who are threatened or attacked because of who or what they are. Asylum doesn’t apply to the majority who’d like to come here for better paying jobs and social welfare benefits.

The Trump/Kass solution is to exclude everyone and to torture children and their parents.

What we have in place of Democratic policy is a steady stream of wailing, anger and virtue signaling. 

Yes, the stone hearts of the right wing wail and anger only when the white rich have to pay more taxes.

Remember that for several weeks leading up to the midterm elections, as the migrant caravan formed in Central America and made its way north, Trump, in his typically heavy-handed and overstated Trumpian fashion, kept loudly insisting that the caravan was a danger, replete with “criminals” and “Middle Easterners.”

Are there “Middle Easterners” among them? It sounds far-fetched. Are they all “criminals”? No. Some are thugs, but many want a better life.

“Heavy-handed, overstated, far-fetched, not criminals” — yet Kass defends it.

The Democratic response to the caravan as it trudged north was also cynical. Democratic politicians insist they’re not for open borders, but they don’t support strict border enforcement. Theirs is a let-them-in-and-sort-it-out-later approach. This is a de facto open borders policy.

No, there is a “follow-existing-law-and-process-the-applicants-faster” policy. It is Trump who has instituted a cruel, mindless, “heavy-handed and overstated” policy — an unAmerican policy. 

And just weeks ago, those who dared suggest that a country should have secure borders were subject to media shaming. Caravan? What caravan? They’re just women and tiny children in strollers. How dare you say otherwise?

But that wasn’t true either, was it? You read the pundits, you heard the snickers over the radio, and saw the smirks on TV. Americans got the point: Shut up about securing your own borders or be shamed.

And that’s not sound policy, either, is it?

And in typical right-wing, Kass-speak, it isn’t honest either, is it? We can have secure borders, while showing compassion and allowing entrance by valuable contributors to America.  Those are the people who built America.

Immigrants are the real people who “made America great,” not the criminal phonies like Trump and the Trumpian apologists like Kass.

History will remember you, Mr. Kass, as one of those who supported the Trump lies and insanity. Your legacy is well-established.

Now, tell me again how it’s O.K. for Trump to do anything so long as Obama did something even vaguely similar — but Obama was a bad President.


Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

Monetary Sovereignty

Twitter: @rodgermitchell; Search #monetarysovereignty

Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

This is what I do when I’m about to tell a lie. Wednesday, Nov 28 2018 

Image result for trump with arms crossed
I do this several times a day. Gamblers call this a “tell,” but my followers haven’t caught on to it.

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