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Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Trumpidency Would Trigger A Foreign Protectionist First Strike On U.S. Economy

by JASmius

That is what tends to happen when countries abandon capitalism and free markets and turn to big government statism - or, in our case, even bigger government statism.

But look on the bright side, folks: As those of you who still have jobs in the Obamaconomy rapidly lose them, you'll at least have the solace of the "trade deficit" (i.e. investment surplus) being reduced, right?:

Foreign corporations would dramatically scale back their plans to invest in the U.S. if [m]illionaire Donald Trump is elected president, according to a survey conducted in January for global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney.

The election of a "populist" such as Trump or Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders would prompt fewer companies to increase their spending in the U.S. and more corporations to scale back their outlays over the next one to three years, the survey found....

“The rhetoric of the 'populist' candidates of the right [sic] and the left has been very much anti-open global economy, wanting to renegotiate trade deals,” Paul A. Laudicina, chairman emeritus of A.T. Kearney, said in an interview. “That gives people reasons to pause.”...

"Anti-capitalist," that is.  A turn against free markets makes a nation's economy a less safe place to invest and do business by ratcheting up uncertainty.  And economic uncertainty is a death knell for an economy, because investors will shelter their cash instead, or put it it in friendlier, more stable alternatives.  Which is what makes a global economy so gosh darn useful and handy.

The possibility that an unproven "populist" candidate might be elected president in November though is a “wild card” clouding the outlook, Laudicina said.

“If you had a candidate of the extreme right [sic] or left elected there would be greater concern about the openness and therefore the vibrancy of the U.S.,” he said.

Trump, of course, is not of the "extreme right," but rather a revived wing of the left known as "state corporatism," or fascism.  Nationalist, authoritarian, protectionist, and in this case, the champion of white identity politics, as Ben Domenech was warning nine months ago:

The phenomenon is real, and the danger Trump presents for the Republican Party is real. Even without winning the GOP nomination....his statements have tapped into a widespread anger that has the potential to transform the Republican Party in significant ways. Ultimately, Trump presents a choice for the Republican Party about which path to follow: a path toward a coalition that is broad, classically liberal, and consistent with the party’s history, or a path toward a coalition that is reduced to the narrow interests of identity politics for white people....

And remember that white people are becoming a smaller and smaller demographic in this country all the time.  That doesn't sound like a "winning" long-term strategy, does it?

What Trump represents is the potential for a significant shift in the Republican Party toward white identity politics for the American right.

“Identity politics for white people” is not the same thing as “racism”, nor are the people who advocate for it necessarily racist, though of course the categories overlap. In fact, white identity politics was at one point the underlying trend for the majoritarian American cultural mainstream. But since the late 1960s, it has been transitioning in fits and starts into something more insular and distinct. Now, half a century later, the Trump moment very much illuminates its function as one interest group among many, as opposed to the background context for everything the nation does. The white American with the high-school education who works at the duck-feed factory in northern Indiana has as much right to advance his interest as anyone else. But that interest is now being redefined in very narrow terms, in opposition to the interests of other ethnic groups, and in a marked departure from the expansive view of the freedoms of a common humanity advanced by the Founders and Abraham Lincoln.

Trump, in other words, is "fundamentally transforming" the Republican Party from constitutional conservatism to reactionary-ism, no substantially different in its racialist, big government, statist, gimmie-gimmie attitudes from any racial demographic in the Democrat crazy-quilt.  Or "identity politics for white people".  Which may sound like "fighting fire with fire," but amounts, in reality, to dooming one's selves to demographic, and therefore political, irrelevance, especially seeing as the growing minority demographics are all on the other side.

The same dynamic is being applied to economic issues.  Rejecting "globalism" is rejecting overseas markets for American exports and job-producing overseas investment in the U.S. economy.  Cut off foreign trade and you get an even worse economic depression than the one in which we are currently languishing.  As I've pointed out many times  before, the more accurate name for the Great Depression was the Great Trade War.  Within eighteen months of the enactment of the Smoot-Hawley tariff in the summer of 1930, which provoked the inevitable retaliation from our trading partners and clanged down trade barriers in every direction, global trade crashed by two-thirds.  The global economy effectively collapsed.

One difference  between now and eighty-six years ago is that today there is a global economy worthy of the name, which means foreign investors and firms have other options  besides the U.S.  Not as good or lucrative, but still superior to that from which a Trump trade war would have cut them off.  What hasn't changed is that the U.S. still needs foreign markets and overseas investment to maintain the standard of living to which we've been accustomed since the end of World War II.  "America First," in other words, means "America alone" - and America impoverished.

So Trump, as he declared yesterday, declaring free trade to be "a thing of the past" would accomplish literally nothing other than to punish U.S. consumers with higher inflation and destroy the remaining jobs of countless Americans.  It's a massive fraud of criminal proportions that he is perpetrating upon the Republican Party and trying to do the same to the broader electorate.

Foreign investors and companies - unlike Trumplicans - are simply not waiting around to get buggered.  Lucky bastards.

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