Shocking Explosion in Trade Deficit in March!

May 9, 2022

On March 29th, in the wake of the release of the January trade data, I wrote that the U.S. economy may be beyond repair. The release of the March trade data this past week should erase all doubt about that. Never in my worst nightmare did I think that what happened in March was even possible. As bad as the trade deficit had become, the March deficit completely demolished the previous record. It didn’t just set a new record; it blew past February’s record by $20 billion, a 22% increase IN ONE MONTH! The increase was driven by imports, which soared $33 billion past the previous month’s record of $319 billion.

No doubt most will think that increase can be blamed on the higher price of oil imports. Well, think again. Oil imports rose by only $1.5 billion, while oil exports rose more, resulting in a $1.5 billion surplus in the trade of oil. No, the increase in the trade deficit was driven entirely by manufactured goods, where the deficit jumped by $24.6 billion, $22.1 billion (21%) higher than the record set in January. The increase was across the board of categories of manufactured goods: industrial supplies and materials; capital goods; vehicles, parts & engines; and consumer goods. You’d better be sitting down when you look at these charts: March trade deficit; March trade deficit in manufactured goods.

If you’ve been wondering why inflation is spiraling out-of-control, this is your answer. The explosive growth in government spending has fueled an equally explosive demand for goods, nearly all of which are imported. Well, you might think, at least American manufacturers must also be enjoying this expansion in demand. Right? Think again. As this explosion in imports has been taking place, American manufacturing is in serious decline. Look at this chart of the U.S. ISM Purchasing Managers Index, a good measure of manufacturing activity. It actually fell through the first quarter and, more recently, plunged in April. Why? “The US manufacturing sector remains in a demand-driven, supply chain-constrained environment.” In other words, U.S. manufacturers can’t get the materials, equipment and parts – most notably semiconductor chips – that they need. For example, auto imports jumped dramatically in March while American production slowed due to lack of “chips.” Living in the Detroit area, I can tell you that once-empty lots are now over-flowing everywhere in this area with unfinished cars and trucks, unfinished because they’re awaiting the installation of computer chips. You have to see it to believe it.

In that same post on March 29th, I speculated on the supply of Javelin anti-tank missiles in the wake of Ukrainian President Zelensky’s request for 1,000 missiles per day to be delivered, and doubted that we had the capacity to produce even ten per day. Yesterday, on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” hosty Margaret Brennan interviewed Jim Taiclet, CEO of Lockheed Martin, maker of the Javelin missiles. Mr. Taiclet reported that his company’s capacity for production of those missiles is 2100 per year which, assuming a 5-day work week, is a capacity of eight missiles per day. (My guess of ten per day was pretty close, huh?) Clearly, there’s no chance in hell of providing Ukraine with the 1,000 missiles per day that they requested.

Mr. Taiclet also confirmed that each missile requires 250 “chips.” He said that they have enough chips today to keep production running at current levels, but would be supply-constrained beyond that. In addition it would take years to scale up significant additional capacity.

Meanwhile, China remains in a lock-down which, they claim, is an effort to stamp out the Covid virus. Does that make any sense to you? Given that the Covid virus no longer exists in its original state, and that we’re now dealing with subvariants of subvariants that no longer have the lethality of the original virus, the pandemic is for all intents and purposes over. Yet we’re to believe that it’s so bad in China that they’ve locked down entire cities? There’s something else going on. I believe that what’s happening is that China is implementing the final stage of a strategy to wipe out America’s manufacturing capability to the extent that it’s even unable to maintain its armed forces. Think about it. The war in Ukraine is sucking up all of America’s munitions while, at the same time, China is choking off our ability to replenish. The day may be rapidly approaching when Russia and China defeat the U.S. without even firing a shot, since we may not have a bullet left to fire.

Our politicians and media may not be able to see what’s happening, but Wall Street sure does. Inflation alone doesn’t explain the ongoing market crash. Not even fear of a recession can explain it. Clearly, there’s growing fear of something much worse – perhaps the end of our economy as we know it, if not the outright demise of the United States itself.

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February Trade Deficit Ties Record Set in January

April 7, 2022

At $89.2 billion, the February trade deficit, released by the Commerce Department on Tuesday, tied the record set the previous month. The all-important deficit in manufactured goods was down slightly at $103.4 billion, but not enough from January’s record of $106 billion to avoid being the 2nd worst deficit in manufactured goods ever. Here’s the chart.

In a related piece of news, the March employment report included a tally of which sectors of the economy added workers since the start of the pandemic in February, 2020 and which sectors lost workers. Manufacturing was one of the big losers, shedding 128,000 workers. The biggest loser was leisure and hospitality, down 1.5 million workers. Surprisingly, the next biggest loser was health care, down by 298,000 workers. Manufacturing was the third biggest loser. That’s not a good sign. The trade deficit exploded during the course of the pandemic as government stimulus money fed a healthy appetite for goods. For the manufacturing sector of the U.S. economy to suffer like that is an indication that the long decline in U.S. manufacturing has actually been accelerating during the course of the pandemic, making it obvious that the Biden administration’s talk of a renewed emphasis on manufacturing is a bunch of BS.

The big winners during the pandemic? Professional and business services gained 723,000 jobs during the pandemic. Transportation and warehousing added 608,000 jobs. Retail added 278,000. Construction was flat.

It’s going to be fascinating to see what happens going forward as the federal government continues to run massive budget deficits (driven mostly by the need to offset the drag of the trade deficit) – forcing it to sell huge quantities of bonds – while, at the same time, the Federal Reserve will begin selling off its $6 trillion worth of bonds in an effort to drive up interest rates and slow inflation. It’s hard to see how this ends well. In my opinion, a recession – likely a bad one – is a sure bet.


U.S. Economy may be beyond repair.

March 29, 2022

On top of all of the other depressing developments in the world, this one was just too much for me, so I’ve been sitting on it all month. I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way to deal with it is to finally admit the obvious. America’s economy is broken beyond repair. There is no hope of fixing what’s wrong.

The January trade data, released earlier this month (February data will be released in early April), is the final straw. Here’s a chart of our total goods trade deficit. And here’s the deficit in manufactured goods alone. The records set in both categories in the previous month were bad enough, but they exploded further in January. It’s now abundantly clear that the U.S. has become totally dependent on foreign suppliers for our every need. They have a death grip on our economy.

I believe it’s reached the point where we can no longer fix this problem even if we wanted to which, sadly, no one seems to want to do, because no one cares. Even the basic things we’d need to even try would have to be imported. Even the tools we’d need to make the basic things would have to be imported.

Just this morning I came across this article about a senate bill to fund the rebuilding of the computer chip industry in the U.S.: https://www.foxbusiness.com/technology/us-senate-approves-52b-chips-bill-in-bid-to-reach-compromise. First of all, you need to understand that this is exactly the kind of thing that politicians do to create the illusion that they’re doing something to fix the problem. It’s exactly what the global corporate benefactors of the politicians pay them to do to avoid what they fear most – a turn away from free trade toward a return to tariffs that are so badly needed to provide real incentive to manufacture products domestically.

It’s nothing but extortion, in essence telling America that we won’t even make a show of fixing the problem we created unless you give us $52 billion. Even then, the problem would persist. Most of that $52 billion would be used to import the products needed to build the facilities. Beginning with the heavy equipment needed to develop the sites – the bulldozers, excavators, cranes, etc. – even many of those would be imported. (Caterpillar would get a small piece of the action.) Most of the steel would be imported. Virtually all of the machinery needed to build the chip-making process would be imported. And, once ready to run, virtually all of the raw materials would be imported. Throughout the building process, much of the labor involved would either be illegal or foreign workers here on work visas.

Then, guess what? Once this new chip manufacturing capacity is ready to start up, foreign-made chips will suddenly be in abundant supply again and the customers will shun the new, American-made chips in favor of the cheaper imports, the price of which will have been suddenly cut. The new plants will sit idle because there are no tariffs in place to protect them. The foreign chip-makers will come in, crate up the equipment, and ship it back to their overseas plants for pennies on the dollar. The global corporations will be $52 billion richer and American taxpayers will be stuck with the bill. We’ve seen this same scenario play out over and over.

Recently, President Biden warned the Chinese not to help Russia avoid the economic sanctions imposed when they invaded Ukraine, or there would be serious consequences. The Chinese must have been rolling in the aisles laughing after that meeting! Serious consequences? Oh, you mean like the ones for completely ignoring the Phase 1 trade deal? The tariffs that China agreed in writing would be fair consequences? The tariffs that not a penny’s worth has yet to be implemented? Don’t be ridiculous! China owns us lock, stock and barrel and they know it. They fear nothing that America says because America never follows through on anything.

America prevailed in World War II thanks to its industrial might. Its military at the beginning of the war was barely up to the task. However, thanks to its ability to convert its industrial capacity to war-time production, by the end of the war the Willow Run bomber plant in Michigan was cranking out a new B24 bomber every hour, while the shipyards on the west coast were building new destroyers at a rate of one every two days. Today, we have no such industrial capability. I doubt that we could sustain a military effort of any size for much more than a month before we ran out of imported supplies.

This morning, it was reported that Ukraine has asked to U.S. to continue to supply them with Javelin missiles at a rate of 1,000 per day. The reporter noted that our own military’s supply has been critically reduced by what we’ve provided to Ukraine already. Seriously, do you think the Pentagon has been paying the builder of the Javelins for spare capacity to make 1,000 per day when we probably haven’t even been using them in training exercises at a rate of ten per week? I doubt that we have the ability to produce even ten per day. They’d quickly run out of chips. GM just announced a 2-week closure of one of its most profitable pickup truck assembly plants for that very reason.

The federal budget deficit and the national debt are tied directly to the trade deficit, which is now contributing $1.25 trillion per year to each of them. (The federal government has to pour that much back into the economy to offset the drain of the trade deficit in order to avoid a deep recession or depression.) It’s a problem that they could ignore as long as interest rates were near zero, since that made the interest on the national debt close to zero too. But now interest rates are rising fast. Suddenly, the current level of federal spending is a major problem as the Federal Reserve finds itself far behind on inflation and is raising interest rates fast. Now, the economy is boxed in from all directions. We can’t spend our way out of the trade deficit to avoid an economic collapse. It’s right around the corner and coming fast.

I wrote Five Short Blasts and began this blog in 2007 in the hope that my warning of the effects of the relationship I had discovered between worsening overpopulation and unemployment could lend some urgency to the need to protect ourselves from badly overpopulated nations who were preying on our market, and the need to avoid their same fate.

Now, it’s too late. The foreign globalists have achieved their goal. America has been brought to its knees without firing a shot. What’s going to happen next is just a matter of time. It was foolish to think I could make a difference. My time and efforts have been wasted. Maybe something will happen yet to change my mind. At this point, it’s hard to see it. I may continue this blog, but the nature of it may change. The economic collision that I hoped my Five Short Blasts could avert has finally happened. Now, all that’s left is to say “I told you so” as the rest of the world begins to scavenge the wreckage.


U.S. needs to accept its fair share of Ukrainian refugees.

March 24, 2022

Those of you who follow this blog, the purpose of which is to warn of the consequences of the inverse relationship between population growth (beyond a critical point) and per capita consumption – specifically, worsening unemployment and poverty, know that I am opposed to high rates of immigration. Immigration accounts for the lion’s share of population growth in the U.S., half of which is illegal immigration. It’s estimated that as many as 25% of all residents in America are foreign-born.

There are many categories of immigrants, including family-sponsored preferences, employment preferences, diversity immigrants, relatives of U.S. citizens, students, temporary workers, asylum seekers and refugees. The last two categories are similar, except that asylum seekers are already in the U.S. (often as a result of illegal immigration), while refugees are people who have already escaped their home country to another, but now seek to immigrate to the U.S.

Ukrainian refugees fall under this last category. They have already fled the war in Ukraine, arriving in bordering countries which are now overwhelmed by the sheer number, now approaching four million and climbing daily, expected to reach as many as ten million.

The refugee category has been abused for decades. Most who have been granted refugee status are merely economic refugees, fleeing poverty and/or high crime rates in their home country, and not an actual war. However, the Ukrainian refugees are different. They’re peaceful people who must now flee bombs and missiles that fall all about them, and some don’t survive the journey. Horrible atrocities have been committed against them.

President Biden announced today that up to 100,000 of these refugees will be admitted to the U.S. That isn’t nearly enough. Poland, a nation 1/25th the size of the U.S., has taken in 25 times that number. Even tiny Moldova has taken in more that that. To do its fair share, the U.S. should be willing to admit at least 500,000. Given the timidity of our response to Ukraine’s pleas for help, it seems the least we can do. That number could easily be offset in less than a year by cutting illegal immigration. These are people who despise Putin and see him and Russia as their mortal enemies. Frankly, we need more people like that in the U.S. as opposed to those willing to accommodate Putin just to make a few bucks.


Russian Invasion of Ukraine Exposes Failed Premise of Globalization

March 23, 2022

Globalization was implemented in the wake of World War II, beginning with the signing of the Global Agreement on Tariffs and Trade in 1947, in an effort to prevent any more such wars in the future. Free trade, it was believed, would make all countries more interdependent on one another and would level out living standards by elevating them in poor countries. The world would become one big, happy country where no one nation could derive any benefit from attacking another. Clearly, at least in the form that has been practiced up to this point, it hasn’t worked. War has once again broken out, a war that could easily turn into World War III.

Trade between Ukraine and Russia isn’t the issue. The issue is the notion that rewarding your enemies with lucrative trade deals will make them your friends, and not just wealthier, more powerful enemies. It’s truly no different than businesses paying “protection” money to a local crime syndicate that’s running a protection racket. When has that not ended badly? You pay until they bleed you out of business.

That’s especially true of trade between the U.S. and China. Experts have been warning for years that China is no friend, and that our trade dollars – nearly $6 trillion paid to China since they were granted “Most Favored Nation” status in 2000 – have built them into a superpower that now threatens our very existence.

Now China and Russia – two superpowers made rich and powerful by our naive embrace of the globalist trade protection racket – have aligned themselves against us. Experts have for years been raising the alarm over what we were doing – surrendering the manufacturing sector of our economy to enrich our enemies and fund their military build-ups. Now the two of them are a match made in heaven, or in hell, to use a more appropriate metaphor: Russia has the resources and China has the manufacturing might. Who can stand against that?

Layer this failure – the misguided hope that cozying up to our enemies will make them our friends – on top of the other failures of globalist trade policy. Foremost is its failure to account for the role of population density in driving massive trade imbalances (see “note” below), turning loose badly overpopulated nations to prey on the markets and manufacturing jobs of those more reasonably populated and, in addition, enabling further population growth beyond sustainable levels.

Globalist free trade policies have created huge economic distortions and destabilizing imbalances around the world and, instead of turning enemies into friends, have enriched despotic dictatorships like Russia and China, building them into superpowers that now threaten the rest of the world. Globalism has back-fired, ensuring that this next world war will be far more lethal instead of preventing it.

Note: I’ve been sitting on the latest U.S. trade data since it was released earlier this month. The explosion in our trade deficit is accelerating at an astonishing pace. I found the data to be so disheartening that I’ve struggled to even post about it. I fear that there may be no hope for the U.S. to avoid economic ruin. Nevertheless, I’ll provide the data soon in one of my next posts. Also, look for posts about admitting refugees from Ukraine and the trade sanctions imposed on Russia.


BUY AMERICAN!!, says Biden

March 2, 2022

During his State of the Union address last night, Biden loudly and emphatically proclaimed that we shoud all “buy American” in support of the mythical resurgence of American manufacturing. It begs the question: American what?

What companies who were importing their products are now manufacturing them in the U.S.? I’ll be damned if I can find them. About the only American-made products you can find are cars and trucks, and that’s only if you do your homework to figure out which ones are actually made here. Few are, and the ones that are contain a lot of foreign content. How about a new Ford Mustang EV? Surely that’s made here, since Biden also praised the work of Ford and GM to build their new electric future in the U.S.. Nope – made in Mexico. How about a Chevy Bolt EV? Nope – made in South Korea. How about a Ram truck? Surely that’s made here? Nope. Unless you’re buying a high end model, most are made in Mexico. My next door neighbor tried to “buy American.” He assumed that if he bought a Buick he was buying American. He was mortified to learn that his new Buick Envision was built in China.

Biden highlighted Intel’s plans to build a new semiconductor plant east of Columbus, Ohio, and introduced Intel’s president who sat in the gallery. They’re not actually building it yet, mind you. That’s waiting on legislation that would essentially pay them to build it with taxpayer dollars. The same is true of the auto industry’s grand plans to go all-electric in the U.S. The plans are there, but will only be executed if and when the government passes legislation to pay them to to it.

If there was any real resurgence in American manufacturing, it would show up in our trade results. Imports would be down and exports would be up, resulting in a declining trade deficit in manufactured goods. Look at this chart: https://petemurphy.files.wordpress.com/2022/01/manfd-goods-balance-of-trade.pdf. Our deficit in manufactured goods is exploding. Clearly, American manufacturing remains in rapid decline. People aren’t buying American because they can’t find any American-made products to buy.

If I need a tool, for example, I can get cheap ones at Harbor Freight. Everything at Harbor Freight is made in China. But I want to buy American. So I go to another tool store that carries high-quality brands that used to still be made in America. I pick up the box and, sure enough, find that it’s made in China. It’s definitely a better-made tool, but still made in China – just to more stringent specifications.

Regarding the economic sanctions being imposed on Russia in retaliation for their invasion of Ukraine, one that Biden mentioned is that he has cut off their access to high technology products. What a laugh! Hardly any such products are made in the U.S. any more. Computers, cell phones, semiconductors – you name it – everything is made in China, and the U.S. has no control over Russia buying them from China.

Biden rattled off his long list of initiatives to support American manufacturing. All of them are trivial and ineffective, designed only to create the illusion of supporting American workers. The one initiative that he could take that would be effective is to slap tariffs on imports of all manufactured goods, not just from China but from any over-populated country in the world who preys on the American market to support their bloated labor forces by stealing manufacturing jobs from Americans. But has he? He doesn’t even have the guts to impose tariffs on China – tariffs that even the Chinese agreed would be fair – in the wake of China’s abject failure to meet a single goal of the Phase 1 trade agreement.

Biden also took credit for creating six million jobs during his first year, linking this to the mythical resurgence in manufacturing. The truth is that the economy recovered that many jobs from the pandemic-caused depression a year earlier. However, through November of last year, the U.S. employment level still remained 3-1/2 million jobs below the level of February of 2020. By that measure, we remain mired in a deep recession, thanks in no small part to the decline in American manufacturing.

It makes me sick to hear these politicians playing the American people for fools. We sure got another heavy round of it last night.


China Reneges Badly on Phase 1 Trade Deal Commitments

February 9, 2022

In January of 2020, China signed a trade deal known as the “Phase 1” deal. They committed to increasing their imports of four classes of American-made goods during 2020 and 2021. Those four classes of goods were manufactured products, energy products, agriculture products, and overall goods. The deal used their purchase of those goods in 2017 as the baseline for their new quotas.

Prior to signing this agreement, the U.S. had levied 25% tariffs on half of all imports from China. The effect was dramatic. Imports from China fell from a record of $52.1 billion in October, 2018 to a pandemic-induced low of $19.8 billion in March, 2020, after which it leveled off just below $40 billion per month by mid-2021.

Under threat of having those tariffs extended to cover all of Chinese imports, China agreed to the “Phase 1” deal which delayed the implementation of those additional tariffs for two years in exchange for China’s agreement to significantly bolster their imports of American goods. The agreement was clear about the rewards for meeting the quotas, or the consequences for failure. Meet the quotas, and the U.S. would begin reducing the already-in-place tariffs. Fail, and the U.S. would extend the tariffs to cover all imports from China. China agreed to the quotas and to the terms of the deal and signed it.

The final verdict is in, with yesterday’s release of December’s trade data. Here is a table showing the 2017 baseline trade data, the quotas for 2020 and 2021, and the actual results: Click to access phase-1-china-trade-deal-goals-vs-results.pdf.

China reneged on the deal in spectacular fashion! They didn’t come even close to meeting a single quota for any of the four categories of goods in either year. By the end of last year, China was barely importing half of what they had agreed to do. Their imports of energy products were nearly 80% short. Clearly, they never had any intention of meeting their commitments. They had won the delay in tariffs that they wanted, and they were betting that, when the two years were up, whoever was president at the time wouldn’t have the gumption to enforce the agreement.

Now the question is, what will Biden do? It doesn’t look promising. Through most of his first year in office, he didn’t even acknowledge that the deal existed. As the end of 2021 drew near, his Trade Representative even hinted that they were considering dropping the tariffs altogether, clearly feeling pressure from globalist corporations and pro-globalism organizations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Then, a couple of days ago, this appeared: https://www.reuters.com/business/exclusive-us-calls-concrete-action-china-meet-phase-1-purchase-commitments-2022-02-07/.

U.S. officials said they would continue to press China to show “serious intent” to reach an agreement on their purchase commitments, but conceded the framework of the deal offered them little leverage to enforce the purchase commitments.

You’ve got to be kidding me! “… to reach an agreement on their purchase commitments?” They already agreed to meet these commitments! Now we need another agreement to comply with the agreement?!?! “Little leverage?” Read the damn agreement, Biden! It gives you the ultimate leverage; it tells you exactly what to do – what China had actually agreed would be fair – to slap 25% tariffs on ALL imports from China. This kind of weakness absolutely sickens me and it should sicken all Americans! Biden talks about how he supports American workers. This is his chance to prove it. Instead, he chooses to cower before the power of China and its pro-globalism lackeys.


America’s economy is locked in a downward spiral toward socialism.

January 12, 2022

Empty store shelves. Runaway inflation. Labor shortages. Auto production way down for lack of chips. The Federal Reserve ready to start jacking up interest rates and start dumping bonds into the market. And have you noticed what’s happening with the trade deficit?

Probably not, so I’ll fill you in. It exploded in September, soaring to $81.4 billion, crushing the previous record of $73.2 billion set the previous month. As announced by the Commerce Department last week, the trade deficit in November was just shy of that September record. But that doesn’t begin to tell the story. The deficit in manufactured goods soared to a new record of $96.3 billion in November, eclipsing the previous record set only two months earlier by a whopping $5 billion.

Look at this chart of the trade deficit in manufactured goods: https://petemurphy.files.wordpress.com/2022/01/manfd-goods-balance-of-trade.pdf. We’ve been told that those empty shelves are due to Covid-related labor shortages at overseas manufacturing plants. In light of the trade data, that’s clearly a lie! If it were true, imports would be declining instead of shattering records. And the trade data is corroborated by the massive backup of container ships waiting to unload at west coast ports.

The fact is that warehouses across the country are stuffed to the rafters with goods, so much so that they can’t keep track of where everything is. Items that you see missing from the shelves are here in abudant supply, but buried so deep in the warehouse by more recent shipments of other things that they can’t even get at it. As a perfect example, the state of Florida recently discovered a stash of a million Covid test kits that had expired, buried so deep amid other stuff that they had completely lost track of them. So they’ll head straight to the landfill.

Our economy is stuck in a downward spiral. Trade deficits suck money out of the economy – money that can only be pumped back in through deficit spending. A trade deficit of $96 billion per month requires federal deficit spending of at least a trillion dollars per year just to keep it from sinking into recession. The only way to pump that much deficit spending into the economy is through social programs – socialism – that only fuels more demand for imported goods, making the trade deficit bigger. More deficit spending, more inflationary pressure and higher interest rates, more disincentive to work for a living. More labor shortages. More socialism.

The U.S. ran its last trade surplus in1975. Thanks to both parties’ embrace of globalism and free trade since the end of World War II, we’ve now had forty-six consecutive years of trade deficits that have transformed America from the richest country the world had ever seen – the world’s preeminent industrial power – into a skid row bum, begging the rest of the world, especially China, to loan us money by buying our debt. The optimism I felt when the Trump administration recognized the problem and began slapping tariffs on Chinese imports is gone.

There’s no hope that Biden will lift a finger to address the trade deficit. Trump left him a perfect tool to tackle it – the “Phase 1” trade deal with China, in which China itself agreed that if they didn’t meet quotas for increasing the purchases of American-made goods, then the U.S. would slap a 25% tariff on the half of Chinese products that weren’t already hit with tariffs. By the end of 2020 they had failed miserably, making a mockery of the deal. Not only did Biden not follow through on the deal, it was many months before he even acknowledged its existence. With only one month of data left to be tabulated for 2021, China’s performance vs. their obligations is even worse. Still the Biden administration won’t act. Not surprising. Biden’s decades of experience in the Senate make him one of globalism’s architects.


“The Real Threat to American Democracy”

January 7, 2022

https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/real-threat-to-american-democracy-by-michael-lind-2022-01

I came across this opinion piece a couple of days ago as I browsed Marketwatch, which reprinted it with the permission of Project Syndicate. In the opinion of professor Michael Lind (clearly no fan of Trump) at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, the real threat isn’t Trump, even if he were to re-take the presidency in 2024. The real threat is what led to the rise of Trump: “… the disconnect between what the bipartisan US political establishment promises and what it delivers.”

Embraced by both parties for decades, globalization has failed to deliver any benefits for the American people. Instead, it has transformed America, once the richest and greatest industrial power the world had ever seen, into a skid row bum, broke and utterly dependent on the rest of the world – most notably China, a communist regime that would like nothing better than to destroy the U.S. and assume its role as the most powerful nation in the world – for its most basic needs.

Both parties are equally culpable for getting us into this mess, not because they believed in it, but because it’s what their corporate benefactors paid them to do. They went along because they didn’t understand how disparities in population density drive massive global trade imbalances, making it certain that badly overpopulated nations, desperate to employ their bloated labor forces, would ravage America’s economy. Globalization was never about benefitting Americans. It was all about using America’s wealth to boost corporate profits by turning such nations into western-style consumers at America’s expense.

Lind closes with this:

Many of the architects of these colossal disasters have gone on to establish lucrative careers as respected experts. Few have suffered financial or reputational losses. When a national establishment fails so often and at such cost, and when mainstream media sources remain complicit in those failures, no one should be surprised if citizens look to alternative media sources, including crazy ones, or turn to outsider politicians, including narcissistic demagogues like Trump.

… the real long-term threat to American democracy is the lack of popular trust in conventional politicians whose policies have repeatedly failed. And for that lack of public trust, American elites have nobody to blame but themselves.


Tucker Carlson’s Surprising “Take” on Overpopulation

January 5, 2022

https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/tucker-world-we-live-in-cannot-last

While browsing the news on the internet this morning, I came across a couple of very interesting and surprising opinion pieces from two different commentators. They deal with different subjects, but subjects that share the common link that is the focus of this blog. I’ll first address the opinion piece by Tucker Carlson of Fox News (link provided above) because I found it to be the most surprising.

Now, before I start, and so that I don’t lose half of my readers right out of the box, don’t get the impression that, because I read Fox News, I’m a Republican and posting this just to advance the Republican agenda. I scan all the major news outlets, including Fox, in order to get stories that the others often won’t even cover. I’m an independent and have bashed both parties especially hard for doing the bidding of their corporate benefactors when they champion policies designed to keep growing our population when it’s increasingly evident that, while boosting GDP and corporate profits, it’s eroding our quality of life.

That said, I was curious where Carlson was going with this piece titled “The word we live in cannot last, but that’s not necessarily a tragedy.” What is it about our world that he thinks can’t last? Too many liberal politicians? Too much “wokeness?” Too much drift toward socialism?

It’s none of that. Yes, he gets in a couple of digs aimed at Democrats – nothing surprising there. What is surprising is that it’s an overpopulated world that he sees that can’t last. He asks the question, “… how many people is too many?” I was shocked! That’s exactly the question that my proposed amendment to the constitution would force politicians to consider when setting immigration policy. Why can’t politicians see it and do something about it?

He then goes on to answer that question:

In Washington, you will never hear that question. More bodies in a country mean more power for the people who run it. Big nations need big governments. Politicians always want more people to rule, so the incentive for unrestrained population growth is baked right into the system. 

The consequences of that?

The larger a bureaucracy becomes, the more impersonal it gets. Past a certain size, organizations of any kind lose their regard for people. As they get bigger, they get blunter, more soulless and cruel. 

It’s true. If there’s one thing that economists get right, it’s the law of supply and demand. As the supply of anything increases, the cheaper it gets. Humanity is no different. The more our numbers grow, the more devalued and cheaper human life becomes, to the point that an individual is practically worthless. You don’t matter. There’s plenty more eager to replace you.

It’s gratifying and encouraging to see that other people with influence are beginning to see the big picture and ask the right questions. I encourage you to read the whole piece yourselves, and I’ll leave it at that.