Author Topic: I have the feeling that the whole trade war starts from a pile of nonsense.  (Read 19724 times)

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Offline Marco

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Where did "innocent until proven guilty" go?

People suspected of a crime are obviously detained before being proven guilty in court all the time, presumption of innocence does not preclude it ... and illegally crossing the border is a crime.
 

Offline apis

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This kind of dishonesty is just one example of how low the US right wing has fallen. It's not going to end well I fear.
This kind of dishonesty drives out investment.
Corruption and protectionism does indeed hurt the economy. In this particular case they are undermining the free press and the public discussion which is a crucial component in any democracy. That is far more damaging than scaring away investments i believe.
 

Offline blueskull

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This kind of dishonesty is just one example of how low the US right wing has fallen. It's not going to end well I fear.
This kind of dishonesty drives out investment.
Corruption and protectionism does indeed hurt the economy. In this particular case they are undermining the free press and the public discussion which is a crucial component in any democracy. That is far more damaging than scaring away investments i believe.

Chinese government has passed a free Internet speech act in 2017 that made clear that free speech, as long as not suggesting actions (gatherings, riots, attacks, etc.), are allowed. So if you bitch CCP or you make recommendations or whatever, Chinese government can't touch you by law.

Whether your BBS/forum provider censors it or not is their freedom, but Chinese government can't mandate it. This is the same as American constitution's first amendment.
 

Offline thm_w

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Which is paid for out of the $50B tariff.  Who cares?  From China's point of view, importing farm goods isn't all that important. The part that's outrageous is that we only sell China about $23B worth of produce.  How can farmers possibly lose $16B on $23B worth of business with only a 25% tariff.

With Brazil and Argentina picking up the slack in soybeans, American farmers better change crops.  They will never again be selling soybeans to China regardless of the trade situation.  Now if we could just get China to block almonds.  That would really help California!

fauxbusiness.com/markets/trump-second-round-farmer-aid-us-china-trade

So now you are realizing something fishy is going on?

Quote
According to the Environmental Working Group, in the first round of bailout payments made at the end of October, 68% of the checks went to the top 10% of farm households. Perhaps more concerning, 1,000 of the current recipients didn’t even live on a farm. They are distant big city residents who never drive a tractor and are often absentee farm owners.

Forcing American taxpayers to subsidize billionaires is nothing new. Small farms make up 90 percent of all farms, yet in 2016 they only received 27 percent of the commodity payments. They only received 17 percent of crop-insurance protection payments. Since 1995, nearly 75 percent of all farm payments have gone to the richest and largest 10 percent. Farm programs shouldn’t be manipulated to transfer taxpayer money to make millionaires and billionaires richer.  Trump’s current farm bailout is a continuation of this travesty.

https://iowastartingline.com/2018/12/05/68-of-trumps-farm-bailout-goes-to-richest-10/
https://seekingalpha.com/article/4162033-u-s-soybean-exports-fungible

edit: I agree bigger farm should get more, but there are legal caps in place that are being 'worked around': https://www.ft.com/content/51d4a552-78ce-11e9-be7d-6d846537acab
« Last Edit: May 24, 2019, 10:08:57 pm by thm_w »
 

Offline apis

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This kind of dishonesty is just one example of how low the US right wing has fallen. It's not going to end well I fear.
This kind of dishonesty drives out investment.
Corruption and protectionism does indeed hurt the economy. In this particular case they are undermining the free press and the public discussion which is a crucial component in any democracy. That is far more damaging than scaring away investments i believe.
Chinese government has passed a free Internet speech act in 2017 that made clear that free speech, as long as not suggesting actions (gatherings, riots, attacks, etc.), are allowed. So if you bitch CCP or you make recommendations or whatever, Chinese government can't touch you by law.

Whether your BBS/forum provider censors it or not is their freedom, but Chinese government can't mandate it. This is the same as American constitution's first amendment.
I was referring to the US in this case. In a democracy the people need to be well informed and be able to have a good and honest public discussion, or else they will not be able to make a good choice during election (隔山买老牛). For a functioning democracy you need many more components than a free election. For example you need the rule of law, good education system, freedom to organise a new political party and free press/speech (and other things). I think that is why the Arab Spring failed in many countries, you can't simply introduce free elections over night and expect to have a functioning democracy.

Sorry, this is totally off topic, just wanted to clarify my previous comment.
 

Offline maginnovision

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Which is paid for out of the $50B tariff.  Who cares?  From China's point of view, importing farm goods isn't all that important. The part that's outrageous is that we only sell China about $23B worth of produce.  How can farmers possibly lose $16B on $23B worth of business with only a 25% tariff.

With Brazil and Argentina picking up the slack in soybeans, American farmers better change crops.  They will never again be selling soybeans to China regardless of the trade situation.  Now if we could just get China to block almonds.  That would really help California!

fauxbusiness.com/markets/trump-second-round-farmer-aid-us-china-trade

So now you are realizing something fishy is going on?

Quote
According to the Environmental Working Group, in the first round of bailout payments made at the end of October, 68% of the checks went to the top 10% of farm households. Perhaps more concerning, 1,000 of the current recipients didn’t even live on a farm. They are distant big city residents who never drive a tractor and are often absentee farm owners.

Forcing American taxpayers to subsidize billionaires is nothing new. Small farms make up 90 percent of all farms, yet in 2016 they only received 27 percent of the commodity payments. They only received 17 percent of crop-insurance protection payments. Since 1995, nearly 75 percent of all farm payments have gone to the richest and largest 10 percent. Farm programs shouldn’t be manipulated to transfer taxpayer money to make millionaires and billionaires richer.  Trump’s current farm bailout is a continuation of this travesty.

https://iowastartingline.com/2018/12/05/68-of-trumps-farm-bailout-goes-to-richest-10/
https://seekingalpha.com/article/4162033-u-s-soybean-exports-fungible

I didn't see anything about specific output vs payments just no. Farms vs payments. That's at best a useless metric. If one farm grows 100 carrots and another farm does 100M I'm not gonna be surprised he gets more.
 

Offline windsmurf

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On China, Trump Leads a Coalition of the Unwilling (PDF below)
« Last Edit: May 24, 2019, 10:28:47 pm by windsmurf »
 
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Offline rstofer

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Guys, this tariff business just got serious.  It turns out that 95% of the fireworks we use for the 4th of July celebration come from China and tariffs are set to kick in some time in June.  Wholesalers and retailers are complaining that they can't absorb the costs.

Maybe they should just pass them along like every other business is going to do.  And add overhead and profit to the increased cost at both the wholesale and retail level.  In other words, double the cost of fireworks!

I live in an area outside the city limits.  In our area fireworks are illegal.  A mile away they are legal and somehow the fireworks themselves can't figure out where the limits are located.  For years the city outlawed fireworks but the retailers came up with a scam where some percentage of the profits were donated to charities.  All of a sudden, fireworks were just fine.

Fireworks terrorize my dogs so if we don't have any on sale, it works for me!

There are always a number of residential fires caused by fireworks as well as a bunch of people heading to the emergency room with blown off fingers and such.

Then there is the use of fireworks to mask the sound of gunfire.  There's a lot of shooting into the air.  Bullets come down somewhere...


 

Online BravoV

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For youngsters, all this stunt is not new ...

-> Plaza Accord

Interesting timing, CNN just posted this -> The US won a trade war against Japan. But China is a whole new ball game


Get the bottom line your self, its not too hard.  >:D

Offline rstofer

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Where did "innocent until proven guilty" go?

People suspected of a crime are obviously detained before being proven guilty in court all the time, presumption of innocence does not preclude it ... and illegally crossing the border is a crime.

We used to release the illegal immigrants on their promise to appear at their deportation hearing.  Surprisingly, not all of them showed up.

If we were talking about a few hundred illegals, no big deal.  The thing is, we're talking about 11 MILLION+ with tens of thousands charging the border today.

We need farm workers, no debate.  But what we need is a guest worker program similar to the H1B that covers the farming seasons.  What we don't need is the entire family getting free public housing, free medical care, free education and free everything else.  If it was a few hundred, no big deal.  But it's MILLIONS.

Farming is a big industry and to some extent, we feed the world.  There are conflicting opinions on this because WHAT we export may not be the most healthy things for a diet but it's not an argument I care about.  We export about $140B in farm products.

I'm not going to do it here but, for giggles, I took 11 MILLION people and assumed how many are kids.  Then I divided by class size and came up with how many extra schools, teachers, administrators and retirement accounts the taxpayers had to fund.  Pretty interesting calculation.

This subject never gets far in congress.
 

Offline rstofer

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For youngsters, all this stunt is not new ...

-> Plaza Accord


I remember the Carter and Reagan years vividly and in particular the outrageous interest rates of the Carter years.  I wasn't in a position to invest much but 18% on short term notes would have grown a 401(k) nicely.

Mortgage interest was huge, topping out at 18.45%!

I also remember that Carter kept us out of the Olympics in 1980.  This was regrettable because the fellow who taught me to shoot skeet had won the Pan American games and was likely to do very well in the Olympics.  If he had had the opportunity.

I hadn't heard about the Plaza Accord but I did realize that something was going on.

It happened again when Greenspan told Germany that the US would not artificially support a high dollar.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2010/nov/11/alan-greenspan-weak-dollar-viewpoint

We still have exchange rate issues.

 

Offline SilverSolder

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@rstofer,  no worries, sooner or later we will have an international currency and won't have to deal with exchange rates!
 

Offline rstofer

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@rstofer,  no worries, sooner or later we will have an international currency and won't have to deal with exchange rates!

I don't think that solves the problems of productivity and wages.  One of the reasons that the US is at something of a disadvantage in the world market is our standard of living.  The other is wages although that is related.  The median electronics engineer in Silicon Valley earns $125k and the median in Shanghai is $20k.  We need to be 6 times as productive to complete if the playing field is completely level.  That's tough to do!  Not impossible, but tough!

We are not going to reduce our standard of living to compete with Bangladesh.

Scanning Google, I see programmers at AirBnB are averaging $312k.

https://www.inc.com/salvador-rodriguez/tech-software-engineers.html

The Euro is an example of a multi-national currency and it is a disaster for some of the countries.  Germany holds the exchange rate for the Euro at a high level and Italy can't devalue it to make their products competitive.  This problem gets worse year over year.  Countries need to be able to set their own exchange rate (or allow the market to set it for them) if they are to be competitive.  There are quite a few countries in the EU that would gladly scrap the Euro.

 

Online vk6zgo

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Guys, this tariff business just got serious.  It turns out that 95% of the fireworks we use for the 4th of July celebration come from China and tariffs are set to kick in some time in June.  Wholesalers and retailers are complaining that they can't absorb the costs.

Maybe they should just pass them along like every other business is going to do.  And add overhead and profit to the increased cost at both the wholesale and retail level.  In other words, double the cost of fireworks!

I live in an area outside the city limits.  In our area fireworks are illegal.  A mile away they are legal and somehow the fireworks themselves can't figure out where the limits are located.  For years the city outlawed fireworks but the retailers came up with a scam where some percentage of the profits were donated to charities.  All of a sudden, fireworks were just fine.

Fireworks terrorize my dogs so if we don't have any on sale, it works for me!

There are always a number of residential fires caused by fireworks as well as a bunch of people heading to the emergency room with blown off fingers and such.

Then there is the use of fireworks to mask the sound of gunfire.  There's a lot of shooting into the air.  Bullets come down somewhere...

When I was a kid, we used to celebrate "Guy Fawkes Day" in Western Australia.
It was something we inherited from the Brits, & was originally meant to celebrate the foiling of a dastardly plot by Fawkes & some others, to blow up the Houses of Parliament in England.

I got it wrong as a kid, & thought we were celebrating the fact that he tried! ;D

Anyhow, it was a lot of fun, but kids did get bad burns from time to time, plus the whole idea of people lighting bonfires right at the beginning of the "bushfire season" was a bit stupid, to say nothing of the smoke pollution throughout the city from all those bonfires.
And it freaked dogs out!

For all these reasons, the authorities said "enough!" & banned bonfires & fireworks, except in the hands of experts.
The other States all had similar "Bonfire nights", but they also eventually banned them the same as WA.

I remember going into the big chain stores in Perth, which had special counters bulging with fireworks, from "Penny bangers", or "Tom Thumbs" upward to the more spectacular "Showers of gold", skyrockets, etc.

"Jumping Jacks"were a special favourite!

My generation got our first introduction to "Chinglish" from the instructions on these fireworks, which were all made by firms with Chinese names--- I remember "Chung Man Ling " as one manufacturer.
Whether they were from the PRC, or Taiwan, or elsewhere, I don't know.

Many years later, after fireworks use was firmly in the hands of Pyrotechnicians, & in the jittery months after 911, Perth was jolted by the explosion of the local fireworks factory.

I was on the front lawn, when there was this huge "Bang".
I looked up, & there was this grey "mushroom shaped" cloud just rising above the Escarpment to the East of the City.
Scared the pants off me!

« Last Edit: May 25, 2019, 04:41:38 am by vk6zgo »
 

Offline rstofer

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I love the commercial fireworks displays.  Many times the best place to see the display is on the water, either in the Delta (a long way east of San Francisco) or in the Alameda estuary (just across SF Bay from San Francisco).  Another choice spot was the top of any building near Marriot's Great America (theme park) in Santa Clara.  Disneyland has a show every night during the summer and on weekends during the winter.  This is a really big show!

My first encounters were at the beaches of San Diego.  They would always have a huge program.  Lots of Navy retirees around San Diego.

I don't like the residential stuff and I have considered getting a prescription for a sedative for my dogs.  Fireworks are really hard on them.
 

Offline windsmurf

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...We need farm workers, no debate.  But what we need is a guest worker program similar to the H1B that covers the farming seasons.  What we don't need is the entire family getting free public housing, free medical care, free education and free everything else.  If it was a few hundred, no big deal.  But it's MILLIONS.
...
I'm not going to do it here but, for giggles, I took 11 MILLION people and assumed how many are kids.  Then I divided by class size and came up with how many extra schools, teachers, administrators and retirement accounts the taxpayers had to fund.  Pretty interesting calculation.

This subject never gets far in congress.

The problem is with those who hire illegal immigrants.  If we started to lock up those who hire them, then the problem will disappear, since there wouldn't be any jobs for them here.
As for your calculation on educating illegal immigrants, its up to those who hire illegals to withold taxes so they can contribute to the system.  Those who hired illegals without withholding and paying their taxes need to be fined for all back taxes used to fund their education... in addition to incarceration.






 

Offline blueskull

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The problem is with those who hire illegal immigrants.  If we started to lock up those who hire them, then the problem will disappear, since there wouldn't be any jobs for them here.

I know a Chinese restaurant owner, who has a friend who was also a Chinese restaurant owner. That guy hired a Mexican illegal worker, provided him with shelter and food, but then was raided by immigration service.

What he didn't know is the illegal immigrant has a long rap sheet, and he unknowingly accepted a guy with a few felonies on his head.

Still, he was charged for knowingly sheltering felonies, because illegal immigration is a felony. All other felonies that he was not aware of were also counted towards his sheltering.

Combined with other offenses raised around the illegal immigrant worker, such as OSHS violation, tax violation and food safety violation, he was punched hard.

He was sentenced 17 years, his son sentenced 6 years, and his wife sentenced 3 years, plus his $600k saving and his shop were forfeited.

And FYI, the family who ran the Chinese restaurant were naturalized for decades.
 

Offline Marco

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We need farm workers, no debate.
Some US farmers might need them to stay in business, but the US doesn't need them.

There's something screwed up with systemically having huge amounts of foreign workers who will never get citizenship ... whether they are there illegally or on some visa.
 

Offline rstofer

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We need farm workers, no debate.
Some US farmers might need them to stay in business, but the US doesn't need them.

There's something screwed up with systemically having huge amounts of foreign workers who will never get citizenship ... whether they are there illegally or on some visa.

Why do you say that?  It is an opportunity to come here, make decent wages to send home with the only stipulation being that when the planting or picking season is over, you go back to your family.  Nobody is forced to come, nobody is enslaved, if they want to work for the farms they have the opportunity.  If they object to the Guest Worker program, fine, stay home.  Somebody else will pick up the slack.  The good news is that nobody has to hide from Immigration.

The H2A visa program does exist but apparently nobody uses it.  It was designed specifically for farmworkers but it seems to have problems since the worker is tied to the farmer who obtained the visa.  Abuses are alleged but I wouldn't know anything about it.  I don't necessarily doubt it.  But I wonder if the 'undocumented' approach is any better.

https://www.farmworkerjustice.org/advocacy-and-programs/guestworker-programs

I can tell you with absolute certainty, farm work is hard and the people who do it earn every dime.  I spent 3 days on a cattle feed lot working for enough money to pay off a speeding ticket.  There was no way I could keep up with the regular workers.  At the end of 3 days I was done.  I did enjoy my time with the other workers and I respect them for their effort.  It's really hard work!  And feed lots stink!
 

Offline Marco

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Why do you say that?
It's essentially apartheid.
 

Offline technix

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The problem is with those who hire illegal immigrants.
Here is a burden of proof problem: how are you sure whoever you are going to hire is not an illegal immigrant, in face of all the privacy laws and potential forgery? Is there a central registration where employers can search for an applicant and find out his/her immigration status?
 

Offline windsmurf

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The problem is with those who hire illegal immigrants.  If we started to lock up those who hire them, then the problem will disappear, since there wouldn't be any jobs for them here.

I know a Chinese restaurant owner, who has a friend who was also a Chinese restaurant owner. That guy hired a Mexican illegal worker, provided him with shelter and food, but then was raided by immigration service.

What he didn't know is the illegal immigrant has a long rap sheet, and he unknowingly accepted a guy with a few felonies on his head.

Still, he was charged for knowingly sheltering felonies, because illegal immigration is a felony. All other felonies that he was not aware of were also counted towards his sheltering.

Combined with other offenses raised around the illegal immigrant worker, such as OSHS violation, tax violation and food safety violation, he was punched hard.

He was sentenced 17 years, his son sentenced 6 years, and his wife sentenced 3 years, plus his $600k saving and his shop were forfeited.

And FYI, the family who ran the Chinese restaurant were naturalized for decades.

I'm speculating here, but I'm sure he was easy pickings for some politician who wanted PR creds for "being tough on illegal immigration" while letting the large illegal employers (mostly in agriculture) that do the "proper lobbying" slide...

Speaking of lobbying, the biggest issue in our government is lobbying, which is nothing more than legalized bribery.  It really needs to be stopped, but neither D nor R want to give up the infusion of $.   https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/index.php






 

Offline technix

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I was referring to the US in this case. In a democracy the people need to be well informed and be able to have a good and honest public discussion, or else they will not be able to make a good choice during election (隔山买老牛). For a functioning democracy you need many more components than a free election. For example you need the rule of law, good education system, freedom to organise a new political party and free press/speech (and other things). I think that is why the Arab Spring failed in many countries, you can't simply introduce free elections over night and expect to have a functioning democracy.
While US have good rule of law and freedom of speech, some other components are certainly missing or compromised. The two-party system is not going to change under the generally first-past-the-post voting system since people will vote tactically. As of education it is severely undermined by worsening underfunded public education, high quality education increasing in prices, and certain talking heads campaining against any form of systematic education.

I can see democracy backslipping from a mile away and the election in 2016 certainly shows it.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2019, 05:12:59 am by technix »
 

Offline windsmurf

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The problem is with those who hire illegal immigrants.
Here is a burden of proof problem: how are you sure whoever you are going to hire is not an illegal immigrant, in face of all the privacy laws and potential forgery? Is there a central registration where employers can search for an applicant and find out his/her immigration status?

An employer should be safe from prosecution if they did their due diligence in good faith.
https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/legal-pitfalls-hiring-undocumented-immigrants.html

What If You Didn’t Know Your Employee’s Papers Were No Good?
Employers are required to confirm the work authorization of every new hire at the time of hire, using Form I-9 for the purpose. You are not, however, expected to be an expert on the documents that establish work authorization.

In fact, an employer can be penalized for discrimination for checking documents too zealously or insisting on a particular document, such as a green card. The way the rules put it, you should accept documents from the I-9 lists that “reasonably appear on their face to be genuine and to relate to the person presenting them.”
 
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Offline technix

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Speaking of lobbying, the biggest issue in our government is lobbying, which is nothing more than legalized bribery.  It really needs to be stopped, but neither D nor R want to give up the infusion of $.   https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/index.php
You may want to look up an organization called Justice Democrats, who are politicians that sternly refuses any money from lobbying or PAC's backed by megacorporations. I am not aware of any Republican equivalent of this organization.
 
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