A Thought on Tariffs

The tariffs as used by President Donald Trump are viewed by many as having no impact on our overall trade deficit, and much is made of Trump’s disdain for trade deficits.

Thirty months into the Trump Presidency, the US economy continues to import more than it exports. This isn’t a problem, since the trade deficit is of no great consequence as an economic measure.  But in President Trump’s telling this is a clear and present danger….

Suppose something else, though.

Ducking Problems

Now the Catholic Church says it’s willing to be held accountable for its history of child abuse—but only if it can control the accountability.  The Church has offered cash payoffs to its victims, but the article’s subheadline says all there is about the Church’s cynical offer:

A potential flood of lawsuits has spurred the Catholic Church to offer mediation, only if accusers agree not to sue

That’s reason enough for mediation to be rejected and the lawsuits pushed forward apace.  And for many, many more lawsuits to be brought.

Be Like Europe, Progressives Say

Here’s another example of the Europe the Left demands we emulate.

Vincent, the 42-year-old man’s name is, had a terrible accident 11 years ago that left him a brain-damaged quadriplegic.  He’s been in a French hospital, in Reims, ever since, variously rated as “semi-conscious” and “in a vegetative state.”  Yet, he eats, sleeps, and responds to his mother’s conversation.

The French medical system is not the central, government-as-single-payer “medical” system that is the ideal of our own Left, but the French government does decide on euthanasia. That government has made the decision that Vincent is no longer worth the trouble of helping to live.  His feeding tube is to be removed, and he’s to be killed by starvation.

Hypocrisy of the British Left

Yes, ex-Prime Minister John Major claims himself a Conservative, but he’s acting more and more Left.  Boris Johnson, British Prime Minister wannabe and front-runner to replace the resigned Theresa May, has said that if needs be, he’ll prorogue Parliament to block an anti-no-deal Brexit vote, if a no-deal departure is necessary.

Prorogue: a temporary suspension of Parliament following petition of the Queen by her first minister—the Prime Minister—for permission to suspend Parliament and her granting that permission.  This use is unusual; prorogation is normally used for normal terminations of Parliamentary sessions; the term also describes the interval between that termination and the normal opening of the next session.

“Diverse Community”

The City Council of St Louis Park, MN, a Minneapolis suburb and in Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s (D, MN) district, has objected to our nation’s Pledge of Allegiance to the point of voting to stop their practice of reciting it prior to Council meetings.

The mayor objected, and so did 100 protestors present for the vote—when was the last time 100 protestors assembled for a city council meeting?  Despite that, the Council’s vote was unanimous: 5-0.

The amendment to the council’s rules was characterized as an effort to serve a more “diverse community….”


Hong Kong Chief Executive and People’s Republic of China Senior Employee Carrie Lam claims that her Extradition to the PRC Bill is “dead.”

However, the subheadline says it all:

We hope people will not read a different meaning just because we are using a different word

She continues, after all, to refuse to explicitly withdraw her bill.  “Trust me.”

The people of Hong Kong are right to be…skeptical.  Lam really does need to go, as do most of her subordinates down through several layers of her hierarchy, but PRC President Xi Jinping is unlikely to permit it.

Progressive-Democrats’ Minimum Wage Push

Progressive-Democrats want to raise the national minimum wage to $15/hr.  Here are some back of the envelope numbers that could result.

The CBO says that the new minimum would cost 1.3 million Americans their jobs (in the optimistic scenario; their more pessimistic scenario had 3.7 million Americans put out of work): their current wage would go from $10.10/hr (CBO’s 2014 minimum wage which formed the core of their that-year outcome analysis) to $0.00/hr. The CBO also says that the $15/hr minimum wage would lift 1.3 million American workers out of poverty.

Forced Busing

Lance Morrow wrote about forced busing in a “back to the future” piece in The Wall Street Journal. Here’s the larger, more important thing about that early forced busing, of which Senator and Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate was so proud and about which Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate Joe Biden was so helpless to comment on.

Forced busing, as bandied about today, is all about using children as tools to achieve a political goal. As in other milieus, we see an example of the Left not seeing people, here children, as human beings, but only as machines for achieving the Left’s goal.

Economic Misunderstanding

The broad Keynesian misunderstanding regarding government spending is continuing.

Spending by consumers and businesses are the most important drivers of economic growth, but in recent years, government outlays have played a bigger role in supporting the economy.
The level of the federal component of GDP in the first quarter of 2019 was $78 billion, or 0.4%, lower than what forecasters expected it would be following the February 2018 budget deal….
The government is spending much less on disaster relief than it did in fiscal 2017, and a partial shutdown temporarily stalled outlays in January. Those factors explain about one-third of the missing stimulus, Mr [Ernie, an Evercore ISI economist] Tedeschi said.

Gone Quiet

Last February, I challenged Howard Schultz to run or be known for what he is, and to be shown to be vindicating the Progressive-Democrats’ political tactics of smear and personal destruction.

He’s gone quiet.

He won’t even say what his intention is.  He’s made plain who he is.

Related to that, Tom Steyer has resumed nattering on about making his own presidential run–after promising that last winter and then chickening out.

Update: Steyer says he’s in. His purpose is to use the primaries to be louder on his impeachment push and with his climate hysteria.