I have written before that Donald Trump is not a successful "businessman," but rather a successful "criminal" who has made a fortune out of bogus business deals, laundered money, defrauding tenants and college students, and a stint as a television personality. He obviously knows nothing about legitimate business. I have warned my readers that the emotional and ignorant "ideas" flatulated in his tweets, if implemented, would eventually destroy the stock market and our economy. As it stands now, millions of Americans have lost at least 30-40 percent of their investments and, sadly, every penny of gain in the market since 2016 has been lost as well. In short, the fall has been caused by an incompetent and deranged president, a greedy Republican Party, an overly idealistic and unrealistic Democratic Party, an incompetent Fed chairman appointed, ironically, by Trump, out of childish spite for Obama.
As anyone who cares to read history knows, nobody really wins in a trade war. In fact, no one ever seems to win in any war that they start! Consider not only the useless wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq, but the ineffective "Wars" on "Crime," "Drugs," and "Terror." They all have one thing in common: No cogent policy, no reasonable goal or method, no rational endgame. They all represent unrealistic, emotional reactions to practical problems. Consider the "twofold" problem with China. China has imposed unbalanced tariffs on U.S. and other countries' goods to encourage industry in their own country. The second problem is the pilfering of technological intelligence (property) from American companies. These are two separate problems, the second being far more important than the first. In fact, the tariff issue never really significantly impacted our economy until our ignorant and impetuous leader used it to completely tank tech stocks and other U.S. industries in an effort to impress intellectual lightweights in his base. Meanwhile, the theft of intellectual properties is more an issue of our own technology rising to the challenge of cybersecurity and using pressure from our allies as well to control the industrial espionage. Of course that's what a "rational" leader would do, that is one who had not managed to alienate himself from his country's real allies in favor of fellow thugs like Putin, Erdogan, Duterte, and bosom buddy Mohammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia. So now he and his cowardly cohorts are stuck with a totally failed approach, which their psychologically afflicted boss doesn't have the guts to admit was a mistake.
Please correct me if I am wrong, but I cannot help thinking that as the richest economy in the world by at least 200% or more, it only makes sense that we will buy more from other countries than they will buy from us. That's what we do. We buy things! Now to our childish leader, studying how things work is beneath him and everything is a contest or a war. There is nothing wrong with a reasonable trade deficit with less-affluent countries as long as it doesn't really damage our economy. If you are fixated on trade surplus, then devalue the U.S. dollar like we did during the Reagan administration. Of course you'll need a Bush Senior and a Bill Clinton to follow, that is, presidents willing to bite the bullet and raise taxes a bit while cutting spending to begin correcting the massive debt created by inflation (Bush) and eventually achieve a surplus (Clinton). What you won't be able to afford is someone like "W" and his "Born Again Last Night" crew to completely waste the gains through needless physical Middle East wars or a Tillerson's "F-ing Moron" boss starting needless trade wars with THE WHOLE WORLD, for goodness sake, thereby wasting the gains achieved by previous administrations.
Unfortunately, the last bipartisan program in our time was achieved during the Obama years when the economy was turned around. This was possible because both parties were actually forced by the public to admit that they had both contributed to the problems. Unfortunately, the Bush administration did not grasp this fact until it was too late when it finally appointed some of "Daddy Bush's" professional administrators to the son's cabinet, people who actually would do their best to transition to a new president's thankful orientation into an unfamiliar office. The same attempt at a smooth transition, however, was rebuffed by a know-it-all political and economical "ignoramus" eight years later. This has been exacerbated, of course, by the Newt Gingrich-like obstruction clone and lemming Mitch McConnell as well as the slightly better intentioned but severely mathematically challenged Paul Ryan. Worst of all, the "fuhrer" and his cowardly apologists haven't had Hillary and Obama around to account for all of the nitwit positions of their fetid party's administration.
Seriously, much to my surprise, almost a year ago, Pelosi and Schumer wisely offered to give the president his silly wall in exchange for a path to citizenship for "Dreamers." Under pressure from his bigot base, of course, the president declined. He ignored his own administration's statistics supporting the economic benefits of absorbing dreamers and cringed at the fact that those immigrants from "South of the Border" actually contributed more to the economy than they derived from it. Now in a double attack on the country and the stock market, he is willing to shut down the government instead of admitting he should have taken the Schumer/Pelosi deal in the first place. Admittedly, we're all biased, Republicans and Democrats alike, but we're not all bigots--unless we "follow the leader" to both economic and social ruin.
Reluctantly, I have to say that we cannot afford to have such a dangerous and egomaniacal charlatan in the White House. Unfortunately heretofore honorable men such as Generals Mattis and Kelly, Steve Mnuchin and others know that this is the case, but all they are willing or able to do, unfortunately, is to escape a sinking ship instead of arranging to have Trump removed from office on the basis of the man's both mentally unbalanced and treasonous actions. It is not only our stock market that is crumbling beneath our feet, but our leadership role in the world community. Ideologically I am probably more afraid of Vice President Pence's policies than even Trump's; however, I do not believe that Pence is mentally incompetent as is Trump to hold the office of our Commander in Chief.
Al Finkelstein, 12/21/18