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Economy

If Trump makes a solid deal with China, I’ll admit I was wrong

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If Trump makes a solid deal with China Ill admit I was wrong

Unlike most political commentators, I have no problem admitting when I’m wrong. In fact, I normally like it because being wrong usually means things worked out better than I expected. The latest example of my potential wrongness comes in the form of a trade deal with China that, if it materializes, means the tariffs I’ve been railing against for the better part of a year may have actually worked in our benefit.

Don’t get me wrong. That doesn’t mean I support tariffs. It also doesn’t mean I approve of using tariffs as anything other than a legitimate threat. Even if the deal comes through, I would have preferred to see a very limited form of tariffs used in reality with the threat of worse ones in lieu of a deal. But I didn’t expect a deal to come at all based on the way the President has used them, which means if the deal comes through, I was wrong about the tariffs being completely bad.

In that case, they will have only been partially bad.

As the President has noted, we’ve brought in billions of dollars in “tariff money” since he started instituting them. This isn’t something he should be bragging about, as tariff money is invariably a filtering of money from United States citizens and businesses who pay higher prices to receive resources and products affected by the tariffs. No, China didn’t “pay” tariffs. Their companies simply charged more from U.S. importers (and therefore U.S. consumers) to compensate for the increased expenses.

Nevertheless, the economic effects of the tariffs so far have only been a little bad. They would have turned horrendous if allowed to continue for much longer, and if a deal isn’t made, that’s still their fate. But news is coming in that hopes are high for a trade deal.

We’ve heard similar claims in the past, but there’s actual action attached to this one. By delaying or possibly ending the tariffs that are set to be imposed next week, the President is expressing real hope that an equitable trade deal can be reached. This is the closest we’ve been to a tangible deal. For the first time, I’m actually seeing it as better than 50% odds that we’ll have a trade deal in place sooner rather than later.

Before anyone jumps up and down and says, “See, tariffs work,” let’s temper the enthusiasm a bit. Even with a trade deal, there has still been damage. The United States is seen as a better trading partner when our power as consumers is used to promote free trade with the rest of the world instead of the “fair trade” ideology of Chuck Schumer, Bernie Sanders, and President Trump. But unlike the Democrats’ use of tariffs for revenue and to curtail business growth, the President attempted and may succeed at using tariffs to bolster trade numbers. I shouldn’t have to say this to a conservative audience, but in the era of Trump, nothing should be taken for granted. Trade deficits are NOT bad. In fact, they’re an indicator of the state of the economy. As trade deficits in a consumer nation like the United States go up, that means more people are buying, prompting American companies to import more.

The argument that trade deficits are bad are made strictly by leftist economists and the President of the United States. Fiscal conservatives universally see trade deficits as a key indicator of economic strength.

If this is the path that gets China to import more United States goods, so be it. My concern is never about being right. My concern is about doing what’s right for America. If this is how it’s done, then this is how it’s done and I’m happy as a result.

 


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Economy

Progressive think tanks: If the economy holds strong, Trump should win in a landslide

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Progressive think tanks If the economy holds strong Trump should win in a landslide

Tribalism makes it challenging to gauge where the sentiment of the most important voting blocks stand. Hyper-leftists would vote for a broken refrigerator before voting for President Trump in 2020, while the MAGA crowd would stand in line with no food, water, or a bathroom for two days if that’s what would be required for them to vote for their man.

But these won’t be the people who determine the results of the 2020 election. They never are, even if their numbers are greater on both sides as noted by Ben Shapiro in his new book. The rabid Republicans and determined Democrats may ebb and flow in size, but it’s the people in the mushy middle who win elections.

Knowing this, it’s often difficult to determine what the sentiment is if we go solely based on the news. Just as with the dedicated tribes, so too are media outlets generally spun in how they present the news. This is why a story from today on left-leaning Politico prompted a read. It was worthwhile going through the leftist spin to reach the meat of the story, which basically says if conventional wisdom about incumbents and the economy hold up and the economy can remain strong through the election, President Trump should win in a landslide regardless of who the Democrats nominate.

Models from multiple think tanks conclude the conventional model favors the President, but these are unconventional times. It’s still very possible for the economy to remain strong and for the President to be hit with another onslaught of scandals, as he was in 2016. Then, there’s the “it” factor of the Democratic nominee. Someone like Senator Kamala Harris throws in the minority-female combination as an appealing wildcard in the mix. Meanwhile, Beto O’Rourke and Senator Bernie Sanders still have incredible fundraising infrastructures that could help them dominate the money battle through the primaries and during the general election.

Of course, there’s always the possibility the economy could fall. Analysts have been predicting it in a way that’s vulgar, as if they hope the economy falls and people are hurt by it just to make sure President Trump loses in 2020.

If Republicans can put on a full-court press on the economy, something they failed miserably at in the 2018 midterms, they may be able to ride the President’s wave to victories on Capitol Hill as well. November 2020 will sneak up very quickly.

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Democrats

TIL the famous bar AOC worked at shut down over rising costs, minimum wage increase

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TIL the famous bar AOC worked at shut down over rising costs minimum wage increase

Today I learned something that surprised me, not because of the event itself but because so few people have talked about it. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is known for being a leader of the socialist movement in Washington DC after rising from the humble status of bartender to the Congresswoman of the 14th district in New York. Her policies include a push for a “living wage” of $15 per hour. I’ve always thought the wording was odd considering Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and others have been calling for a rise in “minimum wage.” Today, I found out why she’s shying away from that phrase.

When New York City raised their minimum wage $15, many businesses were hit hard, especially in the hospitality industry. Restaurants and bars started cutting hours and often even closing their doors over the increase. One of those hit hard by the massive bump was The Coffee Shop. Owner Charles Milite blamed the closure on high costs, with the rise in minimum wage as the last straw.

“The rents are very high and now the minimum wage is going up and we have a huge number of employees,” he said.

The Coffee Shop is the bar where AOC once worked.

Keep in mind, this wasn’t some random bar. The Coffee Shop in Union Square was considered a high-end establishment, buzzing all the time with “A-list” patrons. It was featured many times in the HBO show Sex and the City and had built a reputation as an “it” spot for Manhattan residents and tourists alike. In other words, this wasn’t a hole in the wall hanging on by a string. It was a vibrant, successful business for almost three decades before New York City’s untenable leftist policies, including a $15 minimum wage, became more than the bar could bear.

On the surface, many voters may see the very basic math of “oh, Democrats want to pay me more” and assume there’s no repercussions for such actions. This is why Democrats prey on those people who currently make lower wages. They feel if they can promise them something that sounds good even if they know with 100% certainty based on empirical evidence that it will actually hurt them, these new socialists are willing to make that trade. They figure they can blame the conservatives later for why the place they were working at before cut their hours, removed their jobs, or shut down because of raising the minimum wage.

As usual, socialists rely on ignorance and emotion as the driving forces behind their plans. They’re not stupid. They know their ideas won’t work. But they’re willing to push them on people anyway in hopes that ignorance will keep them in power.

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Economy

Thomas Sowell makes a clear point about Medicare-for-All

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Thomas Sowell makes a clear point about Medicare-for-All

How was the left able to take heat away from their Medicare-for-All proposal, and more specifically the estimated $32 trillion price tag over a decade? They tripled down with the Green New Deal, which some estimate would cost upwards near $100 trillion.

So, the price tag of the Democrats’ desired replacement for utterly failing Obamacare is to take current government control over healthcare and put it on a regiment of steroids and methamphetamine. When you’re going through Hell, keep going, I suppose.

But all of this could be alleviated if voters and politicians took a moment to think about the prospects of Medicare-for-All logically. Let’s erase, for a moment, the Utopian notion that taxing rich people extreme amounts will give us enough money to make healthcare free for everyone while also improving the quality. That’s the goal, right? Cheaper, better healthcare is what most people want. Conservatives believe it’s best to pull government administration out of the equation and put it all on a competitive capitalist model that has worked for nearly every other industry for over a century. Hyper-leftists want to add more government control.

Conservative commentator Thomas Sowell has some thoughts on the matter. One in particular can be wrapped up into an eloquent quote that should be ideological checkmate allowing us to win the healthcare debate.

“It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.”

Of course, our version of checkmate requires common sense, logic, and basic math skills. These attributes aren’t as readily present on the left, therefore they might hear this logic and still think single-payer makes sense.

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