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Tariffs on Turkey: Bad for the economy but damaging to a dangerous dictator

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Tariffs on Turkey Bad for the economy but damaging to a dangerous dictator

Say what you will about President Trump’s foreign and economic policies. Whether you support them or not, it’s hard to deny that they’ve made things much more interesting.

The latest move by the President to impose stiff tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum may seem in line with how he’s been treating the national and world economies recently, but more is at stake with this move than previous ones.

There are two factors at play that make this move different from previous tariffs. First, it is not purely economic but is a response to Turkey continuing to hold pastor Andrew Brunson for allegedly supporting the coup attempt of 2016. Second, the tariffs come at a time when Turkey’s currency, the lira, is in free fall.

It was already starting to show signs of failure when leaders from both countries pushed it even further down. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan added more challenges for the lira when he asked his people to convert their foreign currency and gold, a sign of trouble that will likely have the opposite effect.

Erdogan calls on Turks to convert hard currency, gold into lira

https://www.reuters.com/article/turkey-economy-currency-erdogan/erdogan-calls-on-turks-to-convert-hard-currency-gold-into-lira-idUSA4N1TM024Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Friday called on citizens to convert their hard currency and gold into lira, after the local currency tumbled to a record low this week, reflecting investor concern about a widening diplomatic rift with the United States.

Erdogan, in a speech in Ankara, also said Turkey was diverting to the Chinese market to overcome what he said were “subjective evaluations” from ratings agencies. Erdogan has repeatedly railed against credit raters, saying their downgrades of Turkey’s sovereign debt to “junk” status were politically motivated.

Seizing on the free fall, President Trump made matters worse for for the lira with the sanctions:

Trump authorizes doubling of metals tariffs on Turkey

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/10/trump.html“I have just authorized a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar! Aluminum will now be 20% and Steel 50%. Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!” Trump wrote.

Losses in the the Turkish lira deepened on Trump’s tweet, falling as much as 20 percent vs. the U.S. dollar in Friday trading.

Erdogan is now calling this an economic war with the United States and claims he will not back down. Meanwhile, the Euro and other currencies are also feeling the heat:

Euro tumbles as investors fear bank exposures to Turkey

https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-global-forex/euro-whacked-on-turkey-turmoil-as-investors-scramble-for-safety-idUSKBN1KV07M“You’ve had a fairly sharp move lower in the euro and it’s broken through key technical levels as well,” said Richard Franulovich, head of FX strategy at Westpac Banking Corp in New York.

The euro dropped below technical support at $1.15 to $1.1421, down 0.91 percent on the day and the lowest since July 2017. Against the yen, the euro slid 1 percent to 126.79 yen, a two-month low.

Now, the criticism and praise of President Trump’s moves will be debated for days, maybe weeks.

My Take

As I’ve stated on many occasions, I’m not a fan of tariffs. They are misunderstood by most, particularly the President, and no longer yield the results they did in previous centuries. From an economic perspective, I oppose this move.

The bigger picture is how this is being used as a pressure tactic against Turkey. Currently, I like it a lot. That opinion could change based on how things go, but moves like these that apply pressure against a dangerous dictator of the false ally that Turkey has become are welcome. It isn’t just about securing Brunson’s release, though that’s extremely important. Turkey is a rising power on every spectrum that is increasingly turning to Russia and China for help instead of their “friends” in NATO.

The strategic importance of Turkey as a hub that connects Europe, west Asia, and the Middle East cannot be understated. In an ideal situation, Turkey would still be a good ally as they once were. Erdogan has taken advantage of two past U.S. Presidents and seemed poised last year to start taking advantage of President Trump. That doesn’t seem to be happening anymore.

Is this the right way to handle Erdogan? Probably not. Whether it is or not will be revealed in coming weeks. One thing is certain: we’re seeing things being done from the White House that we’ve never seen before and may never see again. It’s troubling, but at least it’s entertaining.

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Democrats

Justin Haskins: ‘Socialism is completely antithetical to human nature’

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Justin Haskins Socialism is completely antithetical to human nature

Bernie Sanders has a vision for America. A path, as he likes to call it. This path is one that takes us down a winding road of “Democratic Socialism” all the while knowing the end result can be no different from every other path to socialism that has ever been tried. Socialism doesn’t work regardless of what path or which direction you take to get there.

But that’s not stopping proponents of Democratic Socialism, which seems to include the majority of the Democrats running for president today. Led by Sanders and his ideological cohort in the Senate, Elizabeth Warren, the notion that if you take from the rich by force and give it to the poor to “earn” their vote has become the calling card of the Democratic Party. It may have always been heading in this direction, but the 2020 election is shaping up to be either a full embrace of socialism within the party or the (hopefully) final mandate handed down from the people that America refuses to adopt the destructive tenets of a demonstrably poor ideology.

Anyone who thinks socialism will not come full circle if allowed to spring forth in part clearly doesn’t understand the nature of socialism itself. Once the seeds are planted by politicians, fed and watered by voters, and cultivated into laws, it begins the inevitable and unstoppable trend of self-sustained growth. A little socialism is like a plague that spreads until it is all-consuming.

The Heartland Institute‘s Justin Haskins joined Fox News host Tucker Carlson to lambaste the Senator’s repetitive talking points. He and others in his party want to win over the people by offering free stuff. Will voters fall for it?

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Economy

Socialism is the antithesis of the American dream

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Socialism is the antithesis of the American dream

It’s very rare that I get riled up over internet trolls. I appreciate those who read through comments, DMs, Tweets, Facebook posts, and other attempts to spew vitriol on conservatives, Christians, and the things we believe in, but I’m not one of them. I can count on two hands the number of times this year I’ve engaged with the people who try to troll me on social media. Life’s too short.

Every now and then, I do come across a troll who strikes a nerve. It’s rarely about me when it happens; I’ve heard every variation of ad hominem attacks over the years. But one troll in particular made a passionate argument that actually has me concerned. It wasn’t just what they posted but how adamant they were about being correct that has been itching in the back of my mind for several days.

I finally addressed it tonight in a Tweet:

I won’t share the original offending post. There’s no need to draw attention to one of the standard 45-follower troll accounts who like to provoke conservatives and spread their false perspectives in the reply sections of bigger accounts. Instead, I want to address the fundamental issue with the notion of socialism being an “alternative path” to achieving the American dream.

There are definitely multiple paths to achieving it. Most get there by working hard and building a lifestyle for themselves and their families. Some go to college. Some go straight to work. Some get jobs and move up the ladder. Others build their own businesses and struggle through rough times to get to better times.

Some get lucky; I’ve bought a few lottery tickets in my life, just in case I’m one of them. Others are beneficiaries of the hard work and/or luck of their families.

But there’s one way of achieving a false version of the American dream that is often glorified (to some extent) in Hollywood. But it isn’t just fictional. It happens in every American city every day. Theft is not a proper path to achieving the American dream. Just because Tony Montana went from being a low-level pawn to the king of a criminal empire in the movie Scarface doesn’t mean his version of achieving the American dream is acceptable. It’s not.

Al Pacino’s titular character used violence and sold drugs to get there, but sometimes the theft of prosperity doesn’t involve a gun. In The Wolf Of Wall Street, Jordan Belfort used unethical and illegal methods to commit financial crimes. And unfortunately, this depiction isn’t entirely fictional. The real Belfort committed real crimes to steal prosperity from others. Did he achieve a dream? Yes. Was it a version of the American dream? Absolutely not.

As we continue our way down from drug lord to Wall Street criminal, we come to another piece of fiction that I must admit up front I didn’t watch. The Hunger Games series of books and movies depicts a class structure in which the elites are both dependent on and masters over the rest of the people in other districts who are forced to live in poverty without the potential to do more with their lives. It has been heralded as a rallying cry against the Marxist variation of the bourgeoisie and their elite masters. Only through armed revolt are the oppressed able to take their fair share from the bad guys in the upper echelons of this Dystopian society.

And that’s where we’re headed today. The rise in popularity of socialism is driven by a mentality that if the elites can be heeled into contributing their “fair share” to American society, more Americans will be able to achieve the dream that was promised by birthright. In fact, they’ve extended it beyond birthright to include anyone who can make it into the United States regardless of how they managed to get here. This “Hunger Games mentality” is seen by many radical progressives as a way to take prosperity achieved by others and redistribute it to the masses who cannot achieve the dream on their own.

It’s a false notion on multiple levels, but I’m just going to address two. First, achieving prosperity through the work of others is not part of the American dream. This, more than anything else, is why socialism is not an “alternative path” to the American dream. It’s the antithesis of it. Second, the very concept of socialism and the hope that’s now creeping into the radical progressive consciousness that it can actually be achieved is offensive to the supposed beneficiaries. We have big enough problems trying to take care of the portions of society who truly need assistance because they cannot work. By adding in a new group of people who must be taken care of simply because they’re unwilling to work, how can any thinking human being believe this is going to solve problems?

Socialism offers a path to laziness and too many people are starting to buy into the notion that they’d rather be beholden to government for the sake of personal security than work their way to achieving the American dream on their own. This is part of the rising victim mentality. It’s a side-effect of the lies being promoted by the vast majority of Democratic candidates for president. It’s the rallying cry for those who see in Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her hyper-leftist handlers at the Justice Democrats a path to personal economic security that does not require input from the recipients.

What the leaders of the socialist movement know but are unwilling to acknowledge is equality of economic status can only be achieved at the detriment of economic freedom. When economic freedom us subverted, the ability of those who would initially drive a socialist utopia dries up over time. As Margaret Thatcher famously noted, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.

Some people steal the American dream through murder, theft, or manipulation. Others want to make it all legal by installing socialism in America. Just because it could eventually be legal doesn’t make it less of a crime.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Economy

Blue Collar Logic: Most young people have big dreams and no real work ethic

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Blue Collar Logic Most young people have big dreams and no real work ethic

If you want to know why this current generation of young people seem to be embracing the tenets of socialism, we need only to look in the mirror. Granted, not all of us in Generation X and our predecessors are directly to blame, but many have given our children so much prosperity through our own pursuit of the American dream, this new generation hasn’t acquired the work ethic to match their elevated tastes.

They want security and prosperity, but many are unwilling to do what it takes to achieve it on their own. They’re taking out student loans willfully, then turning around and embracing politicians who are offering to forgive the debt they accrued. They look at the bills they’re paying for healthcare and demanding that the rich people in this country make healthcare free for them. They hear promises of higher minimum wage and universal basic income and they think it will benefit them without forcing them to work harder for their lifestyle.

These are all clearly false notions, of course, but when powerful Democrats tell them these notions are true, many progressives hop on the socialism bandwagon because they now have justification for being lazy. It really does come down to that, being lazy.

The folks over at Blue Collar Logic put together another of their thought-provoking videos detailing these. One of the hosts, Jason, recounts experiences in his life that point to a reality of today’s misguided youth.

“How lazy have we become that so many Americans are willing to give the control of their life over to the state for the promise of security? Jason asked. “It’s terribly sad you’re living in the greatest country in the greatest time in history and you want to throw that away all because you just don’t want to work, and that’s a simple truth.”

If you want something badly enough, you work hard to get it. You take risks. You patiently build up your resources and abilities to achieve it. That’s the American dream. Socialism is the antithesis of that dream.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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