10 questions about America’s trade deficit Sunday, Jul 21 2019 

Oh woe, the trade deficit is (too high?, too low?, too just right?)

Here are excerpts from an article in “the balance.com,” that will help you come to a conclusion.

US Trade Deficit With China and Why It’s So High
The Real Reason American Jobs Are Going to China
BY KIMBERLY AMADEO

The U.S. trade deficit with China was $419 billion in 2018. The trade deficit exists because U.S. exports to China were only $120 billion while imports from China were $540 billion.

The biggest categories of U.S. imports from China were computers and accessories, cell phones, and apparel and footwear.

A lot of these imports are from U.S. manufacturers that send raw materials to China for low-cost assembly. Once shipped back to the United States, they are considered imports.

Let’s say you market cell phones under your brand name.

You buy the phones from a Chinese manufacturer for $200 each. You apply your brand name and wholesale the phones for $300 each, after which they retail for $500 each.

This process involves a $200 per phone, U.S. trade deficit with China

If the phones had been 100% American made, they would have cost you $300, and you would have had to wholesale them in America for $450 each, after which they would have cost American consumers $750 each.

We’ll lead off with the ten questions. At the end of the article, we’ll discuss the answers.

Question #1: Is this trade deficit a good thing or a bad thing for America as a nation and for Americans as consumers?

Here is more from the article:

China’s biggest imports from America are commercial aircraft, soybeans, and autos. In 2018, China canceled its soybean imports after President Trump started a trade war. He imposed tariffs on Chinese steel exports and other goods.

Questions #2 & #3: Who pays for the tariffs on Chinese steel and other goods? Who pays for the cancelation of China’s soybean imports?

Since 2012, the U.S. trade deficit with China has increased. It was $315 billion in 2012, rose to $367.3 billion in 2015, then fell to $346.9 billion in 2015. In just two years, it’s increased to $419.2 billion.

Question #4: Who pays for a trade deficit?

China can produce many consumer goods at lower costs than other countries can. Americans, of course, want these goods for the lowest prices.

How does China keep prices so low? Most economists agree that China’s competitive pricing is a result of two factors:

–A lower standard of living, which allows companies in China to pay lower wages to workers.

–An exchange rate that is partially fixed to the dollar.

Question #5: Who pays for a lower standard of living? 

China pegs its currency to the dollar using a modified fixed exchange rate. When the dollar loses value, China buys dollars through U.S. Treasurys to support it.

Question #6: Who pays for a stronger (higher value) dollar?

China must buy so many U.S. Treasury notes that it is the largest lender to the U.S. government. Japan is the second largest.

As of April 2019, the U.S. debt to China was $1.1 trillion. That’s 27% of the total public debt owned by foreign countries.

Question #7: Why does lending to the U.S. strengthen the U.S. dollar?

Many are concerned that this gives China political leverage over U.S. fiscal policy. They worry about what would happen if China started selling its Treasury holdings.

It would also be disastrous if China merely cut back on its Treasury purchases.

Why are they so worried? By buying Treasurys, China helped keep U.S. interest rates low. If China were to stop buying Treasurys, interest rates would rise.

That could throw the United States into a recession. But this wouldn’t be in China’s best interests, as U.S. shoppers would buy fewer Chinese exports. In fact, China is buying almost as many Treasurys as ever.

Question #8: Why does China’s purchase of Treasury securities reduce interest rates?

U.S. companies that can’t compete with cheap Chinese goods must either lower their costs or go out of business.

Many businesses reduce their costs by outsourcing jobs to China or India. Outsourcing adds to U.S. unemployment. Other industries have just dried up.

U.S. manufacturing, as measured by the number of jobs, declined 34% between 1998 and 2010. As these industries declined, so has U.S. competitiveness in the global marketplace.

Question #9: Why is a decline in manufacturing a concern?

President Trump promised to lower the trade deficit with China.

On March 1, 2018, he announced he would impose a 25% tariff on steel imports and a 10% tariff on aluminum. On July 6, 2018, Trump’s tariffs went into effect for $34 billion of Chinese imports. China canceled all import contracts for soybeans.

Trump’s tariffs have raised the costs of imported steel, most of which is from China. Trump’s move comes a month after he imposed tariffs and quotas on imported solar panels and washing machines.

China has become a global leader in solar panel production. The tariffs depressed the stock market when they were announced.

Trump also asked China to do more to raise its currency. He claims that China artificially undervalues the yuan by 15% to 40%.

That was true in 2000. But former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson initiated the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue in 2006. He convinced the People’s Bank of China to strengthen the yuan’s value against the dollar.

It increased by 2% to 3% annually between 2000 and 2013. Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew continued the dialogue during the Obama administration. The Trump administration continued the talks until they stalled in July 2017.

The dollar strengthened 25% between 2013 and 2015. It took the Chinese yuan up with it. China had to lower costs even more to compete with Southeast Asian companies.

The PBOC tried unpegging the yuan from the dollar in 2015. The yuan immediately plummeted. That indicated that the yuan was overvalued. If the yuan were undervalued, as Trump claims, it would have risen instead.

Question #10: Is Donald Trump clueless about international trade?

==================================================================================

Image result for ANSWERS

Question #1: Is this trade deficit beneficial or detrimental for America as a nation and for Americans as consumers?

Our “trade deficit,” as the term is used, means that America sends more dollars to foreign countries than they send to us.

One of life’s enduring mysteries is why this even exchange is known as a “deficit.” It just as well could be called a “surplus” because the foreign countries send us more goods and services than we send them.

The United States is Monetarily Sovereign. It creates dollars at will.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke: “The U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost.”

Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan: “Central banks can issue currency, a non-interest-bearing claim on the government, effectively without limit. A government cannot become insolvent with respect to obligations in its own currency.”

St. Louis Federal Reserve: “As the sole manufacturer of dollars, whose debt is denominated in dollars, the U.S. government can never become insolvent, i.e.,unable to pay its bills. In this sense, the government is not dependent on credit markets to remain operational.

But the United States has only a limited supply of goods and services.

Something you can create at will and at no cost (dollars) is not as valuable as something that is in limited supply (goods and services). To America, dollars are much less valuable than are goods and services.

Therefore, from the standpoint of America as a nation, the so-called trade “deficit” actually is a trade “surplus,” and is beneficial for America.

From the standpoint of American consumers,  the trade “deficit” means Americans have money, and are able to use that money to obtain desired goods and services from other nations. This is a good thing.

Every time you walk into a store and buy something, you run what the economists might call a “trade deficit” with the store. Yet no one suggests that running a “deficit” with a store is detrimental to a consumer.

Questions #2 & #3: Who pays for the tariffs on Chinese steel and other goods? Who pays for the cancelation of China’s soybean imports?

Tariffs are taxes levied on the buyers. The tariffs on Chines steel and other goods are paid by U.S. consumers, and these tariff dollars are sent to the U.S. Treasury, where they are destroyed. (“Does the U.S. Treasury really destroy your tax dollars?“)

Like all U.S. taxes, U.S. tariffs take growth dollars out of the American economy and therefore are recessionary. Trump’s tariffs take money from your pockets.

And China’s cancellation of soybean imports hurts American soybean farmers.

Question #4: Who pays for a trade deficit?

A trade “deficit” reflects an even exchange between dollars vs. goods and services. As discussed in #1, the so-called trade-deficit actually is a trade surplus, that is beneficial to America.

Question #5: Who pays for a lower standard of living? 

The poor. No matter how low a nation’s standard of living may be, the rich always have a high standard of living.

If, to achieve a trade “surplus,” a nation cuts wages, the working poor and the average standard of living will suffer.

Question #6: Who pays for a stronger (higher value) dollar?

Americans, who buy foreign goods, benefit from a higher value dollar. To some degree, every American buys foreign goods, much of which are part of the contents of the goods we buy.

Thus, despite the stock market’s immediate negative reaction to higher interest rates, higher rates strengthen the dollar and fight inflation by making imports cheaper in dollars.

Higher interest rates also are beneficial also because they force the federal government to pay more growth dollars into the economy, when paying interest on Treasury securities.

On balance, higher interest rates benefit the economy and consumers.

Question #8: Why does China’s purchase of Treasury securities reduce interest rates?

The common belief is that the U.S. must sell a certain amount of T-securities, and if China didn’t buy, then the government would have to raise rates in order to entice other people to buy.

In fact, being Monetarily Sovereign, the federal government has absolute control over everything related to the dollar, including interest rates.

Further, it is not forced to sell any amount of T-securities. If the government wished, it could stop accepting deposits into T-security accounts at any time.

Thus, it would not “be disastrous if China merely cut back on its Treasury purchases,” as the article’s author claimed.

Dollars were a creation of the U.S. government laws. The U.S. government is not permanently bound by the laws it alone creates.

Interest rates are what the government wishes them to be, as the Fed demonstrates every day.

Question #9: Why is a decline in manufacturing a concern?

It is a concern only to those who hold the outdated belief that the American economy relies on manufacturing.

While manufacturing employment has declined, employment in non-manufacturing industries has grown.

Today, unemployment is at historic lows, demonstrating the declining importance of the manufacturing sector.

Question #10: Is Donald Trump clueless about international trade?

Without a doubt. His pressure on the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates, and his trade wars, are ample proof of his ineptness.

He continually needs someone to blame for something — anything — to deflect any blame from himself, so he wrongly blames the Fed for less than impressive economic growth.

Business hates uncertainty.

The rapid turnover in Trump’s administration, plus his erratic flip-flopping on issues, plus his character attacks, plus his trade wars, plus his sudden and arbitrary withdrawals from international agreements, plus his nativist bigotry, all contribute to an adverse business climate.

Bottom line: The so-called “trade deficit” is a benefit to the United States.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell
Search #monetarysovereigntyFacebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

The most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the richer and the poorer.

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

Hitler’s lesson: Bigotry didn’t end with the Gypsies Tuesday, Jul 16 2019 

Trump wanted to send 4 people of color “back to where they came from,” though three of them were born in America. Trump feels that because they are not white, they are not real Americans.

Trump is a bigot.

There may be a bit of bigotry in most of us, with members of the various religions and nationalities often feeling some antipathy toward each other, and with skin color being a separation issue for America’s majority.

But most people understand what’s right and wrong, so they mask what may be in their hearts, and perform with civility and decency.

Unfortunately, when any nation is burdened with a leader who puts his stamp of approval on bigotry, the populace tends to follow, and that is where we are now, with a leader who makes no secret of his bigotry.

I am Jewish and many of my friends are Jews. Some are Trump believers. When I ask them why, they say things like:

“He made our military strong” (Despite the revolving door of Defense Secretaries, but who needs leaders, anyway?)

“He cut taxes” (for his rich pals and himself, not so much for the middle classes and the poor.

“He grew the economy” (continuing with a friendly Congress what Obama accomplished with an enemy Congress)

“He’s been good for Israel” (by moving U.S. facilities to Jerusalem, which accomplished nothing for Israel or for peace).

“He’s tough on terrorists” (meaning he’s tough on Muslims and Latinos).

And of course the inevitable,  “I hate Hillary and Obama.”

But the real reason, I am sorry to say, is that Trump hates the same people some of my friends hate — the Latinos, the blacks, and the Muslims — and so long as he is tough on Latinos and Muslims, he always will have backing from his followers.

Sadly, many people have not learned the lesson that Hitler taught us: Bigotry didn’t end with the Gypsies.

First, they came for the Communists, And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist

Then they came for the Socialists, And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist

Then they came for the trade unionists, And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist

Then they came for the Jews, And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew

Then they came for me, And there was no one left
To speak out for me

by Martin Niemoller

Hitler himself, never killed a single person, but he managed to convince the German people to imprison and kill gypsies, gays, Catholics, liberals, blacks, Jehovah Witnesses, the physically disabled, the mentally disabled, the elderly, prostitutes and their children, and anyone who spoke against the leader (Fuhrer).

Are you a member of any of the above groups?

Perhaps, if you neither are Latino nor Muslim, you might feel safe in America. And if you also neither are gay nor black, you might feel even safer.

But my warning to my Jewish friends is, do not accept bigotry. History shows that wherever any people are brutalized for being members of a race, religion, nationality or culture, eventually the ax falls on the Jews.

For more than two thousand years, it’s always been the Jews.

You may feel safe, because Trump’s daughter is Jewish, and perhaps that has modified his behavior.

But Trump has made bigotry acceptable. He has normalized hatred. Will the next President follow Trump’s hate script, but add the Jews?

There are crazies out there — many seemingly average folks, who would ignore, cheer or participate in the imprisonment, torture, and even murder of Jews. History is replete with examples. Will they be egged on by the next American fuhrer?

Never feel you’re safe if you live amidst bigotry. The Jews of Germany felt safe until they weren’t. The Japanese of America felt they were safe. The American Indian felt safe after each treaty was signed. Legal immigrants felt safe.

Just because you are a white, Protestant male does not prevent a bigoted President from declaring you an enemy.

Trump has declared Latinos and liberals, gays and Muslims and even the free press enemies.

Are you Catholic or Buddhist? Black or yellow or red? Did you or your parents immigrate from a “shithole” country? Have you ever criticized Trump?

You could be declared an enemy.

First, they came for the Communists, And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist

Then they came for the Socialists, And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist

Then they came for the trade unionists, And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist

Then they came for the Jews, And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew

Then they came for me, And there was no one left
To speak out for me

by Martin Niemoller

Bigotry ignores boundaries. It is a contagious disease. It floats in the air. It creeps under the door and through the floorboards, uncontrollable, often invisible and deadly.

Though the horrors at our southern border might be happening to other people now, once the bigotry beast is loose, you are not safe.

Bigotry never is satisfied. Cruelty never is satisfied. Enough never is enough. Allow Trump’s bigotry to continue and it will engulf the whole nation. It will engulf you.

It already has begun, and before it’s done, who will speak for you?.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell
Search #monetarysovereigntyFacebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

The most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the richer and the poorer.

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

 

How Forbes Magazine misleads the public Friday, Jul 12 2019 

Forbes is a highly respected financial magazine. Like too many other highly respected financial magazines, it often publishes articles espousing utter nonsense.

Here are excerpts from one such article.

Trump’s Big “Win”: The Largest Budget Deficit With A Strong Economy
Chuck Jones, Senior Contributor

Federal deficits are one way to measure how well a President manages the economy.

However, for a number of reasons a President can’t control the deficit; Congress is the governing body that decides the budgets (but the President does have to approve them), entitlement programs will grow unless they are changed and the economy goes through expansions and contractions (sometimes violently).

A President can propose and get policies implemented that impact the budget and therefore deficits, but to a large degree, economic forces can overwhelm the best policies and intentions.

It is true that “federal deficits are one way to measure how well a President manages the economy” but, as you will see, not in the one way author Chuck Jones claims.

While most people tend to look at the amount of the deficit in billions (or even $1 trillion plus) of dollars, a better way to gauge it is to look at the deficit as a percentage of the nation’s GDP.

This removes the impact of inflation on the government’s revenue and spending and makes for a better comparison.

Here is an example of Jones’s graph showing the deficit as a percentage of the nation’s GDP:

Deficit/GDP. Vertical lines are recessions

Please note that recessions almost always begin when the Deficit/GDP ratio goes down, and recessions almost always are cured when the Deficit/GDP ratio goes up.

The above graph diametrically contradicts the point Jones tries to make: The deficits are negative for the economy.

As seen in President Trump’s tax bill, there has been a fairly sizable reduction in corporate tax receipts, which negatively impacted the deficit in fiscal 2018 and the first three months of fiscal 2019.

Correct Translation: ” . . .there has been a fairly sizable {reduction in the amount of money corporations are forced to send to the federal government], which [increased the amount of money left in the economy] in fiscal 2018 and the first three months of fiscal 2019.”

Image result for giving dollars A simple picture of what happens to the economy (left) when the federal government (right) runs a deficit.

I never have spoken to anyone — professional economist or layperson — who doesn’t understand that putting dollars into the economy helps the economy grow, and taking dollars out shrinks the economy.

Yet that is exactly what Jones implies.

Federal deficits add dollars to the economy, helping the economy grow, yet Jones wants smaller deficits. It makes no sense at all.

President Trump’s budget deficits as a percentage of GDP will exceed any other President’s during a time of economic expansion.

From the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget or CFRB, at the projected 4.6% for fiscal 2019 it will the be largest in a non-recession year and is expected to stay above this level in the future.

It will only be worse if the 2017 tax cuts that are scheduled to expire for individuals and the increased 2018 discretionary spending caps are extended.

This is a good thing for the economy. Unfortunately, Trump doesn’t know it’s a good thing, otherwise he would boast about it.

We have written about the CFRB many times. It is a group supported by the very rich, whose sole mission seems to be to make you believe that the more federal taxes you pay, and the fewer federal benefits you receive, the better off you will be. 

Multiple organizations ranging from the Congressional Budget Office to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget are projecting that the Federal deficit will increase even as the economy grows.

Their projections are for it to increase less in 2019 than 2018, but still have many years of growth even though the current economic expansion is about to hit a decade.

Correct Translation: ” . . . the Federal deficit will increase [which will help the economy grow].” Their projections are for it to increase less in 2019 than 2018, but still [cause] many years of growth even though the current economic expansion is about to hit a decade.

The scary thing is if the economy stumbles and growth slows more than expected or enters a recession, the deficit will increase even more than what the chart shows.

Yes, if the economy stumbles, the deficit must increase to add dollars to the economy and to resume economic growth. Otherwise we will have a recession or a depression.

Tariffs will have a positive impact on the government’s receipts but these are really a hidden tax on consumers and corporations.

Here Jones seemed to tangle in his own beliefs. He says tariffs have a “positive impact.”

Then he says, they really are taxes, which have a negative impact on the economy (unless Jones thinks taxes have a positive impact on the economy.)

So, why does he describe tariffs as “positive”? They are not “positive” in any way.

Trump seems to believe (or at least that is what he says and his advisors have told him) that reducing taxes and cutting regulations will grow the economy enough to solve the debt problem.

The above paragraph is so mixed up, it almost is impossible to disentangle.

“Reducing taxes” does grow the economy by leaving more dollars in the private sector (the “economy.”)

“Cutting regulations,” especially regulations that protect the middle-classes and the poor, most likely will hurt the economy over the long haul, but greatly widen the Gap between the rich and the rest.

And then, Jones switches from “deficits” (which are the annual difference between federal income and federal spending), to “debt,” which is the historical total of deposits into T-security accounts at the Federal Reserve Bank).

The two are unrelated except for regulations requiring them to be equal. Other than that, we could have federal deficits without federal debt, and we could have federal debt without federal deficits.

Federal debt, being nothing more than interest-paying savings accounts, easily are paid off by returning the dollars in these accounts.

Unfortunately, in the first year of the tax cuts, the deficit increased from $666 billion in fiscal 2017 to $779 billion in fiscal 2018, an increase of $113 billion or 17%.

It looks like they are on a path to $1 trillion or more as far as the eye can see.

Translation to the facts: [Fortunately,] in the first year of the tax cuts, the deficit increased from $666 billion in fiscal 2017 to $779 billion in fiscal 2018, an increase of $113 billion or 17%.

It looks like they are on a path to $1 trillion or more as far as the eye can see.

While it will take a few years to play out it appears that the tax cuts gave the economy an initial boost in the June quarter but that it may have fallen off in the September and December quarters.

In the end, Jones admits that “the tax cuts gave the economy an initial boost.”  Why did that happen?

Because tax cuts allow more growth dollars to remain in the private sector (aka “the economy”).

Similarly, spending increase put more dollars into the private sector.

Since federal deficits result from federal tax cuts and spending increases, federal deficits grow the U.S. economy.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell
Search #monetarysovereigntyFacebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

The most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the richer and the poorer.

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

Why it’s OK that Trump is an ignorant, bigoted, mean, immoral, lying, pompous adulterer. Saturday, Jul 6 2019 

I have friends who are Trump backers. They mystify and frustrate me.

Many times in the past three years I have thought, “Finally he has gone too far. Finally, you will have to admit that he has no business being in the White House,” only to be shocked that they still love him.

Trump: “Continental Army ‘took over airports’ in 1775.”

How can you continue to back someone who is of such low character, intelligence, and competence?

How can you keep inventing excuses for this clown’s abhorrent behavior?

What do you love? Is it his tax cut for the rich? His backing of Israel? His position on abortion? His appointing of conservative judges? His bigotry?

Yes, to all of those “assets” perhaps, though in my humble opinion they are far outweighed by his massive flaws.

I now have found an article in the Economist that explains the illogic roaming far beyond rational thought.

Excerpts shed a bit of light on the mysteries of Trump’s appeal.

Hate thy neighbour
When American evangelicals fall out
A twitter-spat over Donald Trump’s immigration policy reveals a deep cleavage in America’s religious right. Erasmus, Jul 5th 2019

(There is a) widening ideological and personal schism within the very group of citizens who should be a conservative president’s most natural supporters.

That group is the white evangelical Christians, of whom 80% are thought to have voted for Mr. Trump.

Evangelicals argue perpetually about many things: for example over whether the fate of a human soul is predetermined, or how exactly a believer can be redeemed from the “total depravity” which is, in the view of John Calvin, the natural state of humanity.

When people energetically argue about things that cannot be determined you know that reason has lost the battle and departed.

According to a new book, “Believe Me”, by John Fea, a history professor at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, all these theological disagreements are being transcended by a more salient issue: whether or not to support Mr. Trump wholeheartedly and therefore overlook his character flaws.

These days, by far the most important distinction is between what Mr. Fea calls “court evangelicals”, who stridently support the president and are rewarded with access to him, and every other kind of evangelical.

And now we come to the part that really gets weird, at least in the eyes of someone who is not an evangelical:

Among those who inhabit the court, Mr Fea discerns three main groups: first, a section of the mainstream religious right whose origins go back to the 1980s; second, a cohort of independent “charismatics” who claim the gifts of the Pentecostal tradition (visions, miracles and direct revelations from God) but do not belong to any established Pentecostal group; and third, advocates of the “prosperity gospel” who resemble the second category but put emphasis on the material rewards which following their particular version of Christianity will bring.

What defines all these “courtiers” is an insistence that loyalty to Mr. Trump must be unconditional.

In their world, the president is presented not just as the least-worst political option whose merits outweigh his flaws, but as a man assigned by God to restore America to its divinely set course, and therefore almost above human criticism.

In short, there are groups of evangelicals who have elevated Trump to a god-like status.

If Trump is above criticism, all conversation is closed. You must march like little robots. Do and believe whatever Trump tells you. He has been anointed by God.

To get around the problems posed by Mr. Trump’s ruthless business career, messy personal life, and scatological language, they use several arguments, of which one is a comparison with Persia’s King Cyrus, who liberated the Jews from captivity in Babylon and allowed them to return to Israel.

From the Jewish or Christian point of view, Cyrus was a pagan, not a worshipper of the one God, but he was still an instrument of God’s purpose.

Likewise, Mr. Trump can be regarded as a divinely ordained ruler, regardless of any personal flaws.

In essence, Trump and God are interchangeable. Think: Jesus.

But amazingly (If anything wholly illogical can further amaze), it goes even beyond that. 

Another popular view holds that Mr Trump’s rude and rumbustious character is really a merit in a time of great geopolitical and spiritual danger.

As Robert Jefress, a megachurch builder and Trump favourite, told a newspaper in his native Texas: “When I’m looking for a leader who’s gonna sit across the table from a nuclear Iran, or who’s gonna be intent on destroying [the jihadists of] ISIS, I couldn’t care less about that leader’s temperament or his tone or his vocabulary. I want the meanest, toughest son of a gun I can find.”

At its purest, Mr Fea adds, pro-Trump sentiment among evangelicals exudes a kind of fascination with political power as an end in itself.

Thus, the worse, meaner, less intelligent, less moral, more bigoted Trump is, the more he is to be loved.

Even torturing children at the border is seen as a sign of toughness — an admirable thing. His bigotry against browns, blacks, gays, Muslims, et al is welcomed by bigots, who hate those same people.

Trump is loved by bigots because he hates the same people they do.

If you ever foolishly have attempted to argue religion, then you understand the impossibility of arguing Trump. He is God or appointed by God.

Trump is perfect in every way. To the “courtier” evangelicals, Trump is above the law and above criticism. He is Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Kim, and Pharoah, all rolled into one.

You also understand why nothing seems to affect his followers. Trump caught cheating with porn stars? Who cares?

He lies compulsively? So what?

Takes from the poor and gives to the rich? Why worry?

As he himself said, “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters.”

Now you know why despite his repeated demonstrations of unfitness (claimed the Continental Army “took over the airports” from the British during the American Revolutionary War in the 1770s) his followers never will leave him.

Note to Democrats: Demonstrating that Trump is unfit to hold office, will not change his followers’ minds. An unfit god is exactly what they want blindly to follow.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell
Search #monetarysovereigntyFacebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

The most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the richer and the poorer.

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

Next Page »

%d bloggers like this: