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White House intensifies confusion and fear on US-China deal

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White House intensifies confusion and fear on US-China deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration raised doubts Tuesday about the substance of a U.S.-China trade cease-fire, contributing to a broad stock market plunge and intensifying fears of a global economic slowdown.

Investors had initially welcomed the truce that the administration said was reached over the weekend in Argentina between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping — and sent stocks up Monday. But on Tuesday, after a series of confusing and conflicting words from Trump and some senior officials, stocks tumbled, with the Dow Jones shedding about 800 points, or 3.1 percent.

White House aides have struggled to explain the details of what the two countries actually agreed on. And China has not confirmed that it made most of the concessions that the Trump administration has claimed.

“The sense is that there’s less and less agreement between the two sides about what actually took place,” said Willie Delwiche, an investment strategist at Baird. “There was a rally in the expectation that something had happened. The problem is that something turned out to be nothing.”

Other concerns contributed to the stock sell-off, including falling long-term bond yields. Those lower rates suggested that investors expect the U.S. economy to slow, along with global growth, and possibly fall into recession in the coming year or two.

John Williams, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, also unnerved investors by telling reporters Tuesday that he supports further Fed rate hikes. His remarks renewed fears that the Fed may miscalculate and raise rates so high or so fast as to depress growth.

The disarray surrounding the China deal coincides with a global economy that faces other challenges: Britain is struggling to negotiate its exit from the European Union. Italy’s government is seeking to spend and borrow more, which could elevate interest rates and stifle growth.

And in the United States, home sales have fallen sharply in the past year as mortgage rates have jumped.

Trump and White House aides have promoted the apparent U.S.-China agreement in Buenos Aires as a historic breakthrough that would ease trade tensions and potentially reduce tariffs. They announced that China had agreed to buy many more American products and to negotiate over the administration’s assertions that Beijing steals American technology. But by Tuesday morning, Trump was renewing his tariff threats in a series of tweets.

“President Xi and I want this deal to happen, and it probably will,” Trump tweeted. “But if not remember, I am a Tariff Man. When people or countries come in to raid the great wealth of our Nation, I want them to pay for the privilege of doing so.”

Trump added that a 90-day timetable for negotiators to reach a deeper agreement had begun and that his aides would see “whether or not a REAL deal with China is actually possible.”

He revisited the issue later Tuesday with a tweet that said: “We are either going to have a REAL DEAL with China, or no deal at all – at which point we will be charging major Tariffs against Chinese product being shipped into the United States. Ultimately, I believe, we will be making a deal – either now or into the future. China does not want Tariffs!”

The president’s words had the effect of making the weekend agreement, already a vague and uncertain one, seem even less likely to produce a long-lasting trade accord.

“We expect the relationship between the world’s two largest economies to remain contentious,” Moody’s Investors Service said in a report. “Narrow agreements and modest concessions in their ongoing trade dispute will not bridge the wide gulf in their respective economic, political and strategic interests.”

Among the conflicting assertions that White House officials made was over whether China had actually agreed to drop its 40 percent tariffs on U.S. autos.

In addition, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday on the Fox Business Network that China agreed to buy $1.2 trillion of U.S. products. But Mnuchin added, “If that’s real” — thereby raising some doubt — it would close the U.S. trade deficit with China, and “We have to have a negotiated agreement and have this on paper.”

Many economists have expressed skepticism that very much could be achieved to bridge the vast disagreements between the two countries in just 90 days.

“The actual amount of concrete progress made at this meeting appears to have been quite limited,” Alec Phillips and other economists at Goldman Sachs wrote in a research note.

During the talks in Buenos Aires, Trump agreed to delay a scheduled escalation in U.S. tariffs on many Chinese goods, from 10 percent to 25 percent, that had been set to take effect Jan. 1. Instead, the two sides are to negotiate over U.S. complaints about China’s trade practices, notably that it has used predatory tactics to try to achieve supremacy in technology. These practices, according to the administration and outside analysts, include stealing intellectual property and forcing companies to turn over technology to gain access to China’s market.

In return for the postponement in the higher U.S. tariffs, the White House said China had agreed to step up its purchases of U.S. farm, energy and industrial goods. Most economists noted that the two countries remain far apart on the sharpest areas of disagreement, which include Beijing’s subsidies for strategic Chinese industries, in addition to forced technology transfers and intellectual property theft.

Chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow acknowledged those challenges in remarks Tuesday morning.

“China’s discussed these things with the U.S. many times down through the years and the results have not been very good,” he said. “So this time around, as I said, I’m hopeful, we’re covering more ground than ever … So we’ll see.”

Complicating the challenge, Trump’s complaints strike at the heart of the Communist Party’s state-led economic model and its plans to elevate China to political and cultural leadership by creating global champions in robotics and other fields.

“It’s impossible for China to cancel its industry policies or major industry and technology development plans,” said economist Cui Fan of the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.

Trump had tweeted Sunday that China agreed to “reduce and remove” its 40 percent tariff on cars imported from the U.S. Mnuchin said Monday that there was a “specific agreement” on the auto tariffs.

Yet Kudlow said later that there was no “specific agreement” regarding auto trade, though he added, “We expect those tariffs to go to zero.”

___

Associated Press writer Joe McDonald in Beijing contributed to this report.

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Democrats

Bernie’s $16.3 trillion Green New Deal is NOT about climate change

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Bernies 163 trillion Green New Deal is NOT about climate change

The world will end in a decade, or something like that. This massively debunked claim is still circulating through radical progressive circles for one reason and one reason only: To terrify the gullible into willfully handing over the power of choice to a redesigned version of Washington DC. This is manifested in part by the Green New Deal, a variation of which Senator Bernie Sanders unveiled yesterday to the giddy excitement of leftists across the nation.

Much of their glee came from his declaration that it will only cost $16.3 trillion. “Only.” Non-partisan estimates have calculated the actual costs of the massive government overhaul as requiring between $50-$110 trillion, so hearing that Bernie’s plan only costs $16.3 trillion is wonderful news to his supporters.

“Only.”

Many Republicans and most Democrats (other than the ones “in the know”) have made the mistake of believing the Green New Deal is a plan to tackle climate change. In reality, climate change is the backdrop upon which apocalyptic changes are to be made to nearly every facet of American life. From how we travel to what we eat to how we build to where we get our power is part of the plan, and as is often the case, the devil is in the details. Daniel Turner, Executive Director of Power the Future, broke down the lunacy behind Sanders’s plan on Fox News.

Bernie Sanders’ Green New Deal is an impossible dream that would be a nightmare

Sanders said Thursday that his plan is designed to battle climate change. But a thorough reading of the document makes it clear that the real goal of the proposal by the self-described democratic socialist is a Big Government takeover of America’s economy.

That’s because the real root of climate change for environmental extremists and socialist radicals like Sanders goes much deeper than our actions and lifestyle choices. They believe our free-market economic system and America itself are at fault – and think a second American Revolution is needed.

Sanders’ plan calls for a complete transition to electric vehicles and green energy by 2030. This deadline is impossible – not because of opposition by the “evil” fossil fuel industry that Sanders demonizes, but because of physics.

As the old saying goes, “facts are stubborn things.” Sanders can’t simply wish them away, nor can anyone else.

There are common sense ways to address climate change, particularly at the local level, that can be achieved sensibly to make communities cleaner. One of the ways the federal government can participate (though their participation is about as unnecessary as the EPA itself) would be to incentivize energy companies to commit to researching affordable ways to harness clean energy. Rather than demonize the oil, coal, and natural gas industries, we should be taking advantage of their energy expertise. Make it worth their while to explore transitioning away from fossil fuels when it makes sense to do so instead of forcing the issue with arbitrary deadlines manufactured through fake science for progressive political expediency. If we harness the energy understanding of these industries to strive for incremental replacements, it will make for a much easier transition when clean energy becomes practical.

Today, as nice as it is to imagine everyone driving a Prius, it’s not realistic. Until clean energy technology becomes much less expensive and logistically feasible, we mustn’t try to force an issue to solve a problem that has been blown out of proportions.

Sanders’s Green New Deal proposal is economic shock and awe. We’re supposed to be shocked by its ambitious (and unnecessary) scope and in awe at the audacity of radical progressives to propose it. They want us to believe it’s transformative. What they don’t want us to know is that it will transform everything, especially the capitalistic principles that have made our nation strong.

The Green New Deal is a pathway to socialism that has been painted green so the gullible will believe it’s about preventing Greenland from melting away. The only things that will melt away if it ever sees the legislative light of day are are freedoms and prosperity.

Make no mistake about it: Bernie Sanders’s “climate change” plan is 100% about establishing a government takeover (takedown?) of the entire United States economy. It will not save the whales. It will make DC a bigger whale than it already is.

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Culture and Religion

After indignant virtue signaling costs billions, Gillette quietly ‘shifts’ away from social justice

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After indignant virtue signaling costs billions Gillette quietly shifts away from social justice

Social justice backfired for Gillette. Despite innumerable complaints and an exodus of customers, the razor maker remained fervently proud of their ad campaigns attacking “toxic masculinity” to the point that CEO and president Gary Coombe said it was a “price worth paying.” They’re standing by their ads and are claiming they helped them reach a younger millennial audience, increase brand awareness, and put forward the type of company message they want portrayed.

If losing $8 billion was worth the message, they’re stronger activists than most.

“P&G reported a net loss of about $5.24 billion, or $2.12 per share, for the quarter ended June 30, due to an $8 billion non-cash writedown of Gillette. For the same period last year,” Reuters reported, “P&G’s net income was $1.89 billion, or 72 cents per share.”

Despite the massive loss over the controversial ads. they claim to have no regrets. This claims were made three weeks ago and delivered with bluster in multiple interviews for damage control. This week brought a different tone as they’re now “shifting the spotlight from social issues to local heroes.”

The new campaigns have already launched in Australia with a slow rollout in the United States expected next month. Here’s the local Australian hero they’re focusing on. Needless to say, he’s not representing a social justice cause, nor is he worried about exuding toxic masculinity.

This is an unambiguous attempt to escape the controversial corner they painted themselves into that cost them billions, but don’t let progressive media know because they’re certain the social justice campaign was wonderful. They’re so certain about this that they’re blaming the loss on men suddenly loving beards. Seriously.

Companies like Gillette are learning being “woke” makes you broke. That’s how business works; alienating half of your customers for the sake of politics is never a good move. Stick to business. Leave social justice to the basement warriors.

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Conservatism

Was the Inca Empire a successful example of socialism?

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Was the Inca Empire a successful example of socialism

As socialists pivot from one failed example of socialism to the next failed example of socialism to the welfare state that decries claims of socialism, perhaps we should prepare ourselves for when the socialist reach the bottom of the barrel with examples of the collective ideology’s past successes. And before you say, “well that’s silly, there’s no way a pre-French enlightenment civilization could have practiced a successful form a socialism, sufficient enough to use as an example by the left” consider the fact that a French academic by the name of Louis Boudan penned an extensive treatise entitled “A Socialist Empire: The Incas of Peru” in 1962.

Now, this work does not appear to be an endorsement of communism, though the author seems to have a vested interest in the using the “no true Scotsman” fallacy given that this was written post World War 2 and in the Cold War with regards to true socialism. However, the very title, provocatively named, is certainly a sign that the political Left in contemporary times could refer to the Inca as a successful example of socialism, that only fell by the technologically advantaged Spaniards. But Louis Boudan is not the only one who has made this comparison, leaving us wondering why the Left has not seized on the Inca who seem to have had a more successful run than any contemporary Marxist regime. The likeliest reason that that Inca are not used as an example of successful socialism is likely that the proponents of socialism, to be blunt, are not historically informed. Still, this is a foreseeable argument in the imminent future and we best know what we are talking about when it inevitably comes because when the Left popularizes an example of alleged socialism practiced by non-whites they will pounce, but until then we await a Vox video.

The Inca Empire could prove to be the only example of socialism that did not self collapse, other than the Catalonia socialism which lasted only three years. But of course, all of this is conditional on the premise of whether or not the Inca Empire was truly socialist country. Perhaps it would be best to grant the Left that premise. Even if the Inca were a socialist empire, the ensuing result was a constant need for war, which is a commonality with the Stalinist ideology. Kings and Generals does a good job breaking down the Inca society for the laymen to understand. Key points discussed in the video are:

  • The Inca were highly adapted to their living environment with regards to agriculture, construction, and irrigation
  • The Inca had what appears to be a welfare state
  • The Inca worshiped their dead
  • The “corporations” of dead bodies accumulated disproportionate amount of wealth
  • The wealth belonging to the dead bodies necessitated the Emperors accumulating wealth of their own through war. This cycle repeats.

As you can see, there were multiple flaws in the Inca society that had a trajectory of collapse because of the pyramid scheme the system creates for its ruling class. The inevitable demise was expedited by the Spaniards. But going back to the foundational premise as to whether the Inca were socialist or not, the contrasts are enough to fail a purity test; had there been an organic collapse, the modern socialist would deny this as true socialism. It’s a never ending fallacy, though the dead corporate estates of the Inca goes against everything socialist preach. However, as human history has shown, socialism has always led to the personal enrichment of those in the innermost circles of power. Socialist or not? You decide, but be prepared to argue that the Inca were not a successful example of socialism.

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