It is that progressive Dems some time ago glommed onto the idea that protectionism is “progressive.” It has been going on so long and has become so ingrained that Bernie Sanders has been running around bragging about how he is more protectionist than Trump. Elizabeth Warren has been a bit more subtle about it, calling to renegotiate all existing US trade agreements to make them super strong on labor and environmental standards.
The problem is that one of the biggest disasters of the Trump presidency has been his trade wars, now pushed further with his latest move to raise tariffs on another $300 billion in Chinese imports. Stock markets and oil markets took huge dives all over the world on this. The Fed has just cut interest rates to offset the negative effect on the world economy of Trump’s trade wars. Trump has delivered a big fat zero in terms of anything positive from his protectionist moves, and even industries that were crying for protection, such as steel and and autos, are now complaining about his trade wars. And this has done a big fat zero for workers as well, whom supposedly our great “progressive protectionists” claim they are spouting their now completely irrelevant drivel.
This is going to be one of the biggest issues in the coming campaign, and while so far almost nobody is focusing on it, both Sanders and Warren are complete and totally worthless disasters on it. I find this very frustrating given that on so many other issues they make a lot of sense.
Dems have serious problems…….. Warren and Sanders are the least.
Here is an alternative view on Warren’s trade stance:
Tulsi Gabbard received a condemning piece by Josh Rogin for bringing up Harris’ faults as AG in Cali……. so she gets attacked for not supporting Prince bin Salman in Syria!
Dems have serious problems.
Certainly agree that protectionism is not the way to go. Really fun fact that China’s biggest offenses are currency manipulation and the theft of intellectual property and neither directly impacts jobs. To the extent the trade wars are having any impact it is accelerating manufacturing moving to even lower wage countries like Vietnam and Bangladesh. My own view is neither Sanders nor Warren would engage in much protectionism as president, and although I do not see Yang ever becoming president I suspect that he will serve a Democratic President in some capacity and he clearly understands the real issues with technology and employment. I am not a historian but was there a move to protect the United States from foreign manufacturers of buggy whips in the early 20th century? That is what much of the political discussion these days sounds like, but it is hard to win elections telling people they have to retrain throughout their working lives or face extended periods of unemployment or very low pay menial jobs. One of the reasons I retired somewhat early was difficulty in adjusting to the tech evolution in my profession.
I wish I believed this was the biggest problem the Democrats have. His name is Joe Biden. He is ahead in all the polls and will probably lose to Trump by double digits. But sure, trade policy why not.
Eh, Biden is old, one termer by age. He also has the best support up north of the M/D line in terms of rural support in those areas where Clinton had problems due to the Ag bust and just being Hillary. Older rural northern white voters and blacks are why he is ahead in the polls. He is using his pull from being Obama VP as expected. Fact is, he is not Obama’s choice however. He will be open to consolidation by other people. Something I am sure Bernie S is thinking about when it comes to VP’s and the 2024 election when said VP will be the frontunner to run as general nominee.
Trump has economic problems. Auto and Energy are headed toward large layoffs. Their rapid debt expansion financed by junk corporate debt is over. Now comes the layoffs as the overcapacity is worked off. For Trump, that will be devastating. Shedding manufacturing jobs in 2020. It will hit the tech sector as the downturn in industry blows out spreads stopping buybacks. The stock market implodes. I suspect this will happen in a 6 month time period. Overcapacity and debt buildups related to the boom create a toll. This is what happened in the last cycle related to mortgages and the consumer bubble.
Then we have a EU pushing for UK default……..they must know. They simply must. This will constrain new lending in the US. Further putting downward pressure.
I don’t think Biden would have trouble beating Trump and frankly, I hope somebody else rises from the pack not named Biden,Warren,Sanders or Castro. But it doesn’t look likely.
Maybe well before my lifetime. My formative years were during the 1980s. This was about when Milton Friedman, the godfather of the Progressives, stated so clearly:
“The Japanese, by imposing tariffs and other restraints on their international trade, hurt themselves; but they also hurt us. No doubt they diminish the efficiency of the international division of labor, they hurt us and themselves. But if we impose tariffs in return we only hurt them and ourselves still further.”
Ronald Reagan pretty much held that line, but much to his surprise, the trade deficits that resulted didn’t go away They grew. And jobs continued to disappear from the midwest. Saving jobs, and keeping wages up, were things Democrats were concerned about back in those days. They were positions that Mondale and Dukakis ran on.
This is not my area of expertise, but I believe the position of the Democrats in the 1980s was pretty much the same as it had been since the passage of the Reciprocal Tariff Act of the 1930s. That position seems best described as tit for tat with a grim trigger.
I can see how it’s protectionist to slap tariffs on English steel to let the U.S. steel industry bulk up by manufacturing railroad tracks, but I’m not seeing how it’s protectionist to renegotiate “all existing US trade agreements to make them super strong on labor and environmental standards.” Are anti-dumping and anti-subsidy regulations protectionist too? If they are, so what? What’s the problem with prohibiting child labor, or discharging lead into the atmosphere?