Mr. Trump’s Problem With Reality

TrumpDonald Trump presented an American worker ordered, after 29 years, to train his foreign replacement. Mr. Trump then offered to much cheering that with his election, American goods would be made in America by American workers. That is the same sort of false political promise that has replaced the current elite with Mr. Trump in the heart of his followers.

Mr. Trump seems willing to bring up important but prickly issues ignored by his competitors, more credit to him. But not even Mr. Trump is likely to bring up the truth of foreign economic competition. Because it was made in the united States, not abroad. This is what we Americans have made:

  1. From the Industrial Revolution, we have made and exported things all wanted but only we could make at reasonable prices. That made us wealthy.
  2. Political corruption organized and politicized mass labor, raising the cost of goods above what the market alone would have provided.
  3. American capital saw opportunity to compete with American suppliers by moving to places where labor was much cheaper. It invested in those places and is now underselling American producers, who have to move abroad too to stay in business in what is now, a worldwide market. Simple, really; Economics 101. We even understand it ourselves.

Put another way, politicized labor unions are political corruption; such is expensive and it creates openings for competitors. As said, simple. But politicians who have relied upon the process aren’t about to bring that up in public, are they? Hardly.

Instead, they talk of raising minimum wages in public and in the background, negotiate quiet trade treaties and encourage foreign immigration and other policies that are reducing the U.S. average household income

Mr. Trump implies that above world average U.S. living standards can be maintained by electing him; the same dishonest illusion that our recent past and present leaders have perpetrated. It was a lie from every president up to and including President Obama; it is a lie from Mr. Trump. When you must compete with the world, that world, not you, sets market prices. If you remain a high cost producer, you fail as the United States has been doing for some years.

There is of course, a way around this debacle. And Mr. Trump hints at that, without quite identifying it. That is likely because it will, if pursued, require decades to show results. Even assuming we aren’t entering a new downturn. Pie in the sky when you die collects few votes, for some reason. Post Christians seem a hard sell sometimes.

That return to times past requires the U.S. to return to inventing and making things that no one else can produce, so that the U.S. sets the market price. It does not have to compete, only to set a price that will sell enough to justify production. We guess that Mr. Trump is ok with that. But our political Left, the folk that actually run this and a lot of other places, is not ok with that; they consider it exploitation and anathema. They will not allow that and replacing a president won’t remove them all from running things. Don’t, in other words, expect too much from such as Mr. Trump.

God is not mocked, we have been assured; nor as we are forced from time to time to see, neither is economics. And for those who see humor in such things, we hear that some expect immigrant workers to be replaced by robots before too long …

About Jack Curtis

Suspicious of government, doubtful of economics, fond of figure skating (but the off-ice part, not so much) Couple of degrees in government, a few medals in figure skating; just reading and suspicion for economics ...
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4 Responses to Mr. Trump’s Problem With Reality

  1. Pete says:

    Though Trump proclaims to not be a politician he is running for a job that will make him the top politician in America. For that very reason he must (like all politicians) promise things that he knows will no doubt never see the light of day.

    • Jack Curtis says:

      All politicians are liars. But Mr. Trump is (now) a politician. Ergo, Mr. Trump is a liar.


      Can’t argue either the truth or the logic. You’re right. More so, now that we don’t go to church anymore. Doesn’t leave much room for optimism, does it?

  2. Michael Curtis says:

    Well, I find myself in a bit of disagreement with you. Globalization has occurred and will result in all the points you have mentioned. Trump is saying one thing that supports what he is claiming and you are not including it in your message. Trump is suggesting that isolation is possibly a way of increasing wealth in the United States for Americans. I agree this is a possibility. Trump wants to match tariffs with other countries. if China charges 30 percent then the US will also charge 30 percent, this will make importing “cheap” foreign products a lot less cheap, when the now much higher Chinese labor is involved and shipping is also included it will be more profitable to make goods back in the US, of course the US tax rate would also have to be lowered to the world average instead of being higher than everywhere else like it is now. The reason Isolation can work in the US is that we have the resources to go it alone, we still feed the world so our food can still be exported to countries that currently have a massive trade surplus from doing what Trump is suggesting, China has made it less and less possible for foreign goods to compete in China. Now if America does the same it is possible trickle down will come back to the US.

    • Jack Curtis says:

      Mr. Trump does seem protectionist but I don’t know to what extent. Channeling the Great Depression, the then famous (or infamous) Smoot-Hawley Tariff was a version of what Mr. Trump’s current recommendations seem to resemble. It has been blamed for some of the worst effects of the depression, though of course folks argue.

      But I can’t see how I an lift myself by pulling up my economic socks and nor can I see ow anyone cannow isolate himself in today’s world. Would not governments that try it not thereby create a huge black market? Also, while I can see the tariffs preventing low costs in the U.S, I wonder whether that will merely lower the living standards in the face of static or declining incomes.

      But Mr. Trump did not become a billionaire being dumb; perhaps he knows something some of us haven’t figured out. But after Smoot and Hawley, no bets … Should we see this, whoever proves correct may buy the drinks … if he can afford it …

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