The EU and the US’ Tariffs

Valdis Dombrovskis, European Commissioner for Trade, is demanding that we remove our WTO-sanctioned punitive tariffs on EU products, or he’ll start a trade/tariff war with us.

He isn’t even trying to be serious about trade. Leave aside the fact that the current tariffs have been explicitly approved by the WTO, and Dombrovskis’ own duplicity:

Of course, if the US is not withdrawing their tariffs we have no choice but to then introduce our tariffs[.]

Because it’s entirely appropriate for the EU to retaliate against WTO-approved punitive tariffs.

Consider, instead, the larger picture.


In an op-ed in Friday’s Wall Street Journal centered on the foolishness of “sustainable” investing, Burton Malkiel had this remark:

The most effective way to reduce an economy’s carbon intensity is to change the economic incentive to pollute.

Not at all. The most effective way to reduce an economy’s carbon intensity—even assuming that’s a useful thing to do—is to provide viable alternatives to carbon intensity. So far, all the Left and their Progressive-Democratic Party is willing to offer is punishment for carbon intensity.

All that does is punish the successful because the less successful don’t or can’t keep up or do better.


Recall that Oracle and ByteDance have a proposal on the table for Oracle to take a minority partnership position in ByteDance’s TikTok.  In response to objections to that, some

Trump administration officials are looking to give American investors a majority share of the company that will take over the Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok[.]

Senators Marco Rubio (R, FL), Rick Scott (R, FL), Thom Tillis (R, NC), Roger Wicker (R, MI), Dan Sullivan (R, AK), and John Cornyn (R, TX), object to that, too.

A TikTok Partnership

Oracle Corp has become the frontrunner in the race to do a deal with the People’s Republic of China company ByteDance, which owns TikTok, for an acquisition of that app. That status seems solidified by ByteDance having submitted a proposal to the US government that lays out the terms of a deal in which Oracle would become the junior partner in a TikTok-Oracle(-ByteDance?)…alliance.

Recall that President Donald Trump has required that ByteDance divest itself of TikTok as a condition of TikTok’s being allowed to continue operating in the United States. Trump’s objection to TikTok is centered on the app’s scooping up of a vast range of personal and personally identifying data and the subsequent transmittal of those data to back to ByteDance inside the PRC.

Maybe It’s Time

On two fronts. First is the Eu’s nakedly bad faith and extortionist attempt to interfere in Great Britain’s internal affairs.

The European Union on Thursday demanded that the United Kingdom immediately rewrite a new Brexit bill that would change parts of a divorce agreement it signed with the EU last year—threatening legal action if the outgoing member does not comply.
European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic met with UK Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove for crisis talks after the UK government proposed a new Internal Market Bill, which would allow ministers to “disapply” certain rules related to Northern Ireland agreed to in last year’s Withdrawal Agreement.

Economic Evolution?

In a Wall Street Journal Letters offering, one writer, in supporting the Chamber of Commerce’s change of position regarding massive government intervention into our private economy, wrote

The 2020 economy is far different than that of 1980, and so what is good for business now is necessarily different.

This is wrong on two counts. The first is that the reason the economy of 1980 seems different from that of 2020 is the explosion of government intervention and intrusive regulation over those 40 years. That’s not actually an economic difference, though; it’s a government behavior difference, with the economy changing in result, not from its own intrinsic evolution.

Let Them Pound Sand

Here is the Marie Antoinette double standard of the Progressive-Democratic Party rubbed in our faces. In Nancy Pelosi’s (D, CA) San Francisco, yet.

Gyms within government buildings in San Francisco have been open for months, despite privately owned establishments being ordered to close due to the coronavirus.

Wow. The brazen chutzpah of Party.

You Bet

British Prime Minister is hiring Tony Abbott, ex-Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, to be a senior adviser on trade for Johnson’s government.

Abbott, a Brit by birth and an Australian by citizenship, had some words for the Oxford Union’s debating society back in 2018, then regarding Brexit [emphasis added]:

This is the country that has seen off the Spanish Armada, the French emperor, and the German Kaiser, won against Louis XIV, against Napoleon, against William II, and then against Hitler. This country did not need Europe—it saved Europe. No country on earth should be more capable than Britain of standing on its own two feet.

They Shouldn’t Let the Door Hit Them

on the way out.

Norway’s largest private money manager, Storebrand Asset Management, excluded and divested itself of more than two dozen listed companies under its new climate change policy, citing concerns with lobbying, coal, and oil sands.

Virtue signaling climate justice is more important than making money for a company’s owners. Which money and associated investment profits are the only means of amassing the wealth necessary to do anything substantive about our environment (which is useful) or about our climate (which need is dubious at best).

Facebook’s Targeted Ads

Facebook is upset with Apple because the latter, with the privacy changes (improvements?) it has made to its upcoming iPhone software, will greatly hinder the former’s ability to generate targeted ads on apps outside of Facebook’s.

Note, though: Facebook can’t deliver targeted ads without first tracking us.

Apple’s move, then, to the extent Facebook’s characterization is accurate, can’t be all bad on two counts: users won’t be limited in what they see regarding specific products or products in general, which is what targeted ads do, and users won’t be tracked as effectively, which is another purpose of ad targeting.