JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AN INSIGHTFUL LITTLE ARTICLE RAISES FURTHER THOUGHTS ON TRUMP’S TRADE WAR AGAINST CHINA – TRUMP’S METHODS – ON GLOBALIZATION AND THE LONG-TERM INEVITABILITY OF MUCH GREATER TRADE AND MIGRATION – THE BACKWARDNESS OF “MAGA” – ON EXCEPTIONALISM – THE IMPORTANCE OF COMPETITION IN THE WORLD ECONOMY   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY STEPHEN S ROACH IN CHECKPOINT ASIA

 

“How Will the World Look After the US-China Trade War?

“Even a full decoupling from China would merely shift the trade deficit to other countries”

 

https://www.checkpointasia.net/how-will-the-world-look-after-the-us-china-trade-war/

 

Quite an insightful little article.

Trump must be hearing from many sources what a risky thing he has done, and at a time of many world economic weaknesses.

Even this man of so very little understanding is likely looking for something of a peaceful retreat. Nothing affects him more than the ego-driven fear over re-election, something that has motivated him to give away half of the Middle East, and any substantial economic downturn does just that.

It is a Trump pattern already well-established in many failed or incomplete efforts: a big explosion of words and acts gradually followed by a retreat into something quieter and vaguer, even undefined – what we saw with North Korea, Iran, you name it.

I very much hope the author is right about de-globalization not being a major risk, as it was in the 1930s. In the short term I mean. That has immensely destructive potential. In the long term, I have no doubt, no matter what the noise coming from the nationalist-populist-patriot crowd, globalization is the world’s inevitable and increasing future trend. It is just as certain as the approaching dominance of Artificial Intelligence and all that that that implies for employment and careers and professions and even higher education.

Saying anything else puts you squarely with the Luddites who tried to stop the effects of the Industrial Revolution by smashing its new machines. It is easy to laugh at the Luddites now, but Trump’s sad MAGA crowd represents much the same thing, trying to put Humpty Dumpty together again. Only their numbers, many millions, make them momentarily seem something they are not.

World trade and migration are only going to grow long-term, and all parties need accepted agreements and rules and international organizations for conducting affairs. Trump’s attacks on many international organizations and practices represent an effort to please this crowd, but in the end, it is a politics going nowhere, rushing towards a dead end, because this is a crowd with no meaningful future.

Humility is not a style in America, but if the average demanding person of very limited skills and education and native intelligence could consider a moment the millions in, say, just India with humble jobs today, not having been born into the lucky lottery America was after WWII, but sometimes people of remarkable skills and talent, they would know the future does not belong to MAGA, not at all.

Several times in my life, I have met remarkable people from Third World countries, people doing the humblest jobs imaginable, but people, as a few moments conversation revealed, with great innate talent, greater than considerable numbers of our ordinary college graduates. A competitive economy tends to provide opportunity for such talent, and a competitive economy is what makes our total society better off. Arguing against globalism is much like arguing in favor of anti-competitive industries.

China already has done a great deal to release this immense human force, and it will do more as its middle class swells into hundreds of millions, but then there are a number of other countries coming along in waves of development.

Globalization has contributed to this possibility offering new opportunities and lives to countless millions. It has nothing to do with anyone “taking,” something from someone else, jobs or technology or anything else. It represents competition on a vast scale, competition with huge rewards. It is opportunity. It is the future.

The bellowing of the Trump crowd in the United States I think represents a last gasp for people with no understanding but a lot of attitude. The nationalist, populist events we’ve seen are going to remain just that, events, not foundations for our new reality. They have no substance to provide foundations for anything.

A sense of exceptionalism, unwarranted by any facts, but existing owing to years of just extraordinary good fortune for Americans after WWII, permeates both America’s privileged classes and ordinary people. They each have demands and expectations based on little more than the fact of being American. That is going to have to fade a good deal before America can comfortably slot itself into the world’s new realities, the multi-polar world.

That is why the international political difficulties are not going to go away for a while, but they do not have to take the form of self-destructive economic warfare. Almost every claim made by Trump about China as a world economic force and world trader is simply incorrect, and if you pursue sweeping policies based on false premises, it gets you nowhere except somewhere you really don’t want to be.

Trump does in all such matters remain a kind of joker in the deck however. Because, as many close observers have told us in books and articles, he simply does not listen to anyone.

 

Posted November 29, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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