So disillusioned was I with Obama’s broken promises to address the problems with our trade policy, his broken promise to double exports in five years, his signing of the awful trade deal with South Korea and, more recently, his pursuit of bigger, more expansive trade deals with Pacific rim nations and with Europe, I vowed to myself that I would stay out of politics on this blog going forward. However, as discoverer of the inverse relationship between population density and per capita consumption, as author of the book Five Short Blasts that explains the relationship and its ramifications and, consequently, as an advocate of policies that would restore a balance of trade and move us toward a stable population, and in the wake of Donald Trump’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention last night, I feel I can no longer ignore the elephant in the room.
Now more than halfway through my seventh decade on this planet, I have spent my whole life watching our country being sucked into the vortex of “globalism” in which the United States has evolved from a beacon of hope and prosperity into a host upon which overpopulated nations, unable to sustain themselves, could feed and thrive. Our political parties evolved into one “Republicrat” party, supporting the trade and open-border policies that are central to making “The New World Order” tick. The “hope and change” that Obama spoke of, especially his promise to fix our trade policy, I thought, might be our last chance to stop that madness. In the wake of his betrayal, I figured that was it – that I’d never live to see an America again that was something other than the hollowed-out shell we’ve become.
On more than one occasion, I have called Donald Trump a “buffoon.” We’ve seen him dip his toe into politics before, only to self-destruct through outlandish pronouncements and behavior. He got my attention with his vow to “build the wall,” but I figured the same thing would happen again. He’d soon self-destruct. I thought that those who gave him a 1% chance of winning the nomination were being generous. He was just grand-standing and having fun, enjoying another brief stint in the spotlight like he’s done before.
Then he vowed to rip up our trade deals and start over on trade, making new deals that actually worked for us. He got my attention again. I wanted to get my hopes up, but figured that, surely, his antics during the primary race would sink his chances. To my amazement, they didn’t. He was saying the right things about illegal immigration and about trade, but I was dismayed with the personal attacks.
Finally, last night, I saw the Trump I’d been wanting to see. He was still Trump and, defying predictions that he’d back away from earlier promises in order to broaden his support, he actually doubled down on each one. But gone were the personal attacks.
Trump was exactly right when he pointed out that our trade and immigration policies have done more harm to the poor, to the inner cities, to blacks and Latinos than to anyone else. I hope the folks from these demographics paid attention and kept open minds.
Unlike the Trump I’ve seen in the past, he seems truly sincere in his desire to turn the country in a very different direction. At least that’s the way he came across last night. It’s hard to imagine that a man 70 years old would subject himself to everything that goes with winning this nomination and waging the campaign to follow unless he really has a fire in his belly to do what he says.
But can he? Can he get the political establishment to go along with with his plans – plans that seem radical and dangerous to many of them? Can he back us out of trade deals in the face of threats from these other countries that will probably scare the hell out of people? I have said that restoring a balance of trade would not be without pain, driving up the cost of goods until our own domestic manufacturing can get re-established. Can he, a total Washington outsider, do this without mucking it up and perhaps forever sinking any hope that it will ever be tried again? Will he be brain-washed into joining the ranks of the globalists as Obama was? (That would seem unlikely with Trump.) Does he really have the energy and drive to make all this happen?
Or am I just being suckered again? I hope not. As one who understands that the effects of our enormous trade deficit and our immigration policies on our economy dwarf all other factors – including currency valuations, Fed policy, stimulus programs, and so on – I have to at least give the benefit of the doubt to candidates who are at least claiming that they’ll tackle these issues. Only time will tell.
In the meantime, I’ll keep doing my small part to convince you and others of the perils of our free trade and open border policies.