115% of Trump's tariff revenue goes to angry farmers

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/12/21/115-of-trumps-tariff-revenu.html


Who would have thought brain-dead protectionism sold to the rubes would have gone wrong. Although it would seem that some of those rubes are being taken care of … for the moment.


Perhaps this means Trump has re-energized a portion of his fanbase?


No they aren’t. The payments go to certain kinds of farmers - not all of them. And the ones left out are, shall we say, displeased.


The American economy hasn’t been based on manufacturing for generations now. A service and retail-based economy depends on cheap imports of goods. Those things we do still manufacture depend on imported components and raw materials. The things we still export depend on friendly trade relations with other countries.

Focusing on closing the so-called “trade deficit” with countries like China betrays a fundamental ignorance of how the 21st Century economy works. But Trump can’t even claim ignorance as an excuse: he knows damn well that importing Chinese-made products is good business practice because that’s where all of his own products are made.


Do you actually think he knows where his own merch is made? Trump give every impression of a boss who doesn’t know or care how things get done- he just barks orders and expects them to happen.


David Letterman explicitly called him out on it on live TV years before Trump ran for office so yes, at some point Trump was made aware that all his tacky shit is made in China.


But reality has a way of sliding past his brain like water off a duck’s back. You can quote his own words back at him and the response will be “that’s not true, I never said that.”


Yes. by all appearances he lacks “object permanence.”


Had an uncle who was a farmer. Tiny little Kansas farm as these things go, but apparently he made it work. That was half a century ago. Would not work today, which is a shame. Everyone should experience the delayed joys of farm boredom. I am serious.


What I “like” is the response of many Trump-supporting farmers, that “Trump needs to do this so we’ll be even better off in the future.” The problem being that, best case scenario, the affected farmers will be lucky to sell almost as much to China as they were before. More likely they’ll be selling substantially less to China and the rest for less money to other countries that are exporting their crops to China. China is switching suppliers and even when the tariffs are gone, they’ll have no reason to go to the effort of switching back to the US sellers. The whole selling point for US farmers was reliability, and Trump screwed that up.


I’m sitting here wishing that he would tackle the problems of gravity next, and be flung into the sun.


“I love it. I’m for it. I’m for it.”

If the truth ever found its way into his mouth, it would be horribly lost and terrified.


It’s too easy to see this as a series of wacky blunders, the halfwit president whose cab driver level understanding of the economy means that he ends up having to desperately patch the holes he’s made by paying out more than his ill-advised tariffs earn. Yuk, yuk, what a maroon.

But it’s not really like that. This is just another calculated wealth transfer, in this case from US taxpayers and consumers – who pick up the cost of the tariffs in the form of higher prices – to the giant agribusinesses who are the main beneficiaries of these hasty subsidies. I don’t imagine Donald Trump is involved in the calculation – although he may be responding to the concerns of the CEOs and lobbyists who pay to sit down with him at Mar-a-Lago between rounds of golf – but there’s sure-as-shit someone in the administration who’s charged with seeing that Donald’s impulse of the day doesn’t ruffle any oligarchic feathers and, ideally, gets turned to their advantage. Trump gets his – you can’t really call it a talking point, it’s more like a posturing point – and the money men have their interests protected or even advanced. Everyone wins, for certain values of ‘everyone’.

There’s no way of knowing how much of the process is pre-planned, and how much is purely opportunistic, but the overall trend is still firmly consistent: a flow of money toward a certain class of people, away from everyone else.


Hell, he lacks abject permanence.

He lacks a lot of things.

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I haven’t laughed that hard all year.

Goddamn Trump is a schmuck, and Letterman a mench!

There’s a good reason New Yorkers overwhelmingly voted against the hometown candidate.

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Nah, this doesn’t add up. A Trump deal that loses money? Come on, that never happens.


Thank god Donald John Trump is president.
And props to Trump for forcing the Fed to raise interest rates last week because the economy really needs higher rates.