Trump Winning So Much It Almost Seems Unfair

-edited

Ever since president Trump tweeted that winning trade wars was easy, I've been keeping track. The stats are impressive.

Trade Wars are Good and Easy to Win

Flashback March 2, 2018: Trump Tweets "Trade Wars are Good and Easy to Win"

Victory for Steel Workers

One of Trump's big wins has been the steel industry.

Trump promised more steel jobs.

Today we see Bayou Steel shuts suddenly with loss of 376 jobs in LaPlace; governor blames tariffs

OK, forget about that. Let's check out the latest manufacturing reports.

Manufacturing ISM Worst Since 2009 on Severe Contraction of Export Orders

Please note Manufacturing ISM Worst Since 2009 on Severe Contraction of Export Orders

Say what? That can't be.

Let's move on to agricultural exports where Trump promised big wins.

Corn Exports Plunge but Trump "Not Ready to Make a Deal With China"

I am pleased to report this big win: Corn Exports Plunge but Trump "Not Ready to Make a Deal With China"

Oops, apologies offered. I accidentally read plunge as soar. These things happen.

Instead, let's turn our attention to other notable Trump wins.

Hmm. I am drawing a blank. Does anyone have any wins?

Question is Moot

The question is surely moot and the answer totally meaningless.

We know this for a fact.

How?

  1. Trump says he is "winning big time".
  2. Not only are we winning big, we are also collecting "big tariffs".

This is clearly a double win!

Problem is With You

That farmers, steel workers, the auto industry workers, Apple, etc., and most importantly you cannot spot the wins means one thing and one thing only: You simply do not understand winning.

There is no other logical conclusion.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (56)
No. 1-24
Sechel
Sechel

If you have to tell everyone you're great, big hint, you probably aren't.

ZZR600
ZZR600

Totally agree that trade wars hurt everyone, but I don't think this is just about trade. This is about crushing a potential adversary before they have a chance to become a threat. I don't necessarily agree with this, but this might be the strategy in the longer term. In this context, job losses from a trade war may be more acceptable than actual deaths resulting from a hot war.

Sechel
Sechel

I don't see anything Trump has done that's positive on the economy. Trump was handed an economy that was already expanding.

The Republican tax cut was largely seen as a short term stimulus that blew up the deficit and did not lead to hiring but mostly increases in dividends and stock buy backs. It did not lead to increases in investment.

Trump seems to be messaging that its not Trump but the Federal Reserve that's destroying the economy. He's wrong but he does have the largest megaphone in the room so who knows, some may believe this non-sense.

Trade war has not been a positive. U.S. has lost out on exports which are now declining in part due to Trump's trade war. We've also been priced out of some exports due to not being part of TPP.

Harry-Ireland
Harry-Ireland

I have to agree with you on this one, Mish. I can understand his logic in trying to offset the trade-imbalance and to reverse the obscene export of jobs from the USA to cheap(er) labour countries. I totally get that. But these aren't fair or normal marketconditions. It's all a giant pump-scheme, based on the falsehood of propping up markets with cheap money, while the rest of society falls further and further behind (see Mish's recent articles about wage"growth" and such). Apple is just one example of corporations sitting on huge piles of off-shore cash, whilst not paying their fair share of taxes, like the rest of us. So winning isn't exactly the right word I'd use. And the proposals by the opposing political party aren't 'winning' either. Let's face it, either the whole thing collapses in 12-24 months or the masses will be treated to bread and circuses for the foreseeable future.

Wmjack50
Wmjack50

China is not a developing Country yet still plays that game. China is run by a mafia with an army don't forget who you are dealing with. Low cost labor can be had in India etc. countries not hostile to USA. Short term trade pain for longer term peace.

Augustthegreat
Augustthegreat

You guys still do not get it! Trump is playing 5-D chess that people living in a 4-D world cannot understand! He is winning by losing!

Freebees2me
Freebees2me

Mish, you’re right - changing the status quo isn’t easy and it wasn’t going to be. And, there’s certainly more pain to come.

But the fact remains, the USA got taken to the cleaners in prior “free trade” deals, period.

I (and many others) give Trump a lot of credit for trying to change the paradigm. No other President has had the balls to do it. Question to all the doubters, would Trump have gotten the political support if he said, “well, to be honest, changing the status quo is going to be a total mess, but we have to do! We need opportunities for people here. We cant keep encouraging companies to move ever job overseas.”

And for those anti-Trumpers waiting for sunnier days, it’s only one election away. And I predict the next President will be a total, unadulterated lackey for global interests. Just wait. He or she won’t be able to get on their knees fast enough to please the world on trade and climate change, all while their buddies get super rich and the rest of us wait by the mailbox for our monthly $1,000 free money. That’s what opportunity will look like in “New America”...the right to get “high” and free money because doing anything else would be, well, just too hard.

njbr
njbr

China is a bifurcated country--both developed and developing. Hundreds of millions of people in China live at very low standard of living while millions live life very well. It is not clear that those hundreds of millions will be able to step on the development train in this rapidly changing world.

And, by the way, the people who decided to bring manufacturing to China were the corporations that have been profiting mightily over the past decades. They went on their own free will with the attraction of grater profits that they could escape taxation on.

The US economy has grown on the basis of the arbitrage in labor rates and at the same time wage rates have remained suppressed due to pressure of the unlimited labor supply across the world. A little thought experiment--all those bits and pieces made around the world, would we be able to afford them if they were made in the US with workers who want a living wage? Could the famous American consumer remain so great if they had to be paid China labor wages to make a product that they could afford? There's some mind-twisting trail to the bottom of the canyon of wealth if you discard the option of the lowest-cost provider. If you wanted cheap goods you went where there was cheaper labor to make those goods.

However, this all becoming moot in the era of ultimate automation. The cost of delivery becomes a prime factor rather than assembly labor.

Are you ready for China-owned lights-out automated factories in the US?

JimmyInMinny
JimmyInMinny

Lets remember who runs China-- the CCP has sent entire peoples (Uigyers) to the Gulags, Xi Jinping now wants to be called The Chairman, and his most fervent wish is to complete the takeover of HK and Taiwan. The whole country is now a creepy police state with cameras watching you everywhere. They need to change directions back to the days of Deng Xiaoping.

shamrock
shamrock

And the trade deficit, especially with China, is higher, not lower. Is that winning?

Zardoz
Zardoz

Trump's master plan will be revealed after he is re-elected. If he's not re-elected, we will have thwarted God's will, and shall be plunged into 1000 years of darkness! The bible say so! Bow down, unbelivers!

ksdude69
ksdude69

Problem is if we ditch Trump just think how much "winning" we will have under the AOC clan. I'm starting to think we're just screwed.

lol
lol

Trump simply took a page out of the Obama playbook,talk game and pretend your ass off,it (somehow) got Barak relected!Will it work for Trump?

2banana
2banana

Trump ran on a few key promises.

Build the wall. About a mile of new wall a day is being built. Plus hundreds of miles of upgrade to existing wall. Being fought tooth and nail by democrats. Big win.

Deport illegals and reform America's enforce asylum/immigration laws. Being fought tooth and nail by liberal judges and "sanctuary cities." All should be turned in Trump's favor at higher level courts. Partial win so far.

Repeal obamacare. Came within one vote (John McCain). Parts of obamacare have been repealed. Partial win.

Bring manufacturing jobs back to America. Huge win compared to obama's dismal "the fundamentals of the economy have changed" numbers.

Cut Regulations. Huge win.

Cut the number of bureaucrats. Huge win.

Rebuild the military. Huge win.

Appoint judges who have actually read and follow the US Constitution. Yuuuuuge win.

Plus no new wars. A win over the ISIS caliphate.

awc13
awc13

winning could be considered relative. relative to what would be going on if Hillary had been elected

numike
numike

about that CO2 Declining CO2 price paths Risk and uncertainty are important in pricing climate damages. Despite a burgeoning literature, attempts to marry insights from asset pricing with climate economics have largely failed to supplement—let alone supplant—decades-old climate–economy models, largely due to their analytic and computational complexity. Here, we introduce a simple, modular framework that identifies core trade-offs, highlights the sensitivity of results to key inputs, and helps pinpoint areas for further work. https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2019/09/30/1817444116

abend237-04
abend237-04

The beltway power struggle escalates. The despised, non-beltway usurper who snatched away Hillary's properly-anointed crown on the very cusp of her crowning as Queen of Wars and legitimate heir to the socialist dream for America, lives. This narcissistic usurper sits atop their political rubble and further enrages them by directly, and continuously, twittering heretical notions to the serfs, such as:

1.The fruits of capitalism, led by us, have lifted China from Marxist serfdom in 40 years flat. Let's now insist China play from the tips like the rest of us.

2.If Europe's worth protecting from the Russian Empire, growing at the rate of one Belgium per year since Peter The Great, maybe it's time Europe pitched in on the bill. 3.Is there a reason, other than cosmic scale implied influence peddling, that Clinton Foundation "contributions" imploded upon my election? 4.Sans his relationship with his United States Vice Presidential dad, was Joe Biden's son worth a board seat and $50,000 per month to a Ukrainian firm...or anyone else? 5.Etc. 6.Etc.

Oh! The humanity!!!

.

Country Bob
Country Bob

Mish still doesn't get it, and still views the trade debate through an aloof college professors eyes.

Yes, we have all been indoctrinated by two generations of college professors. Free trade is always and everywhere a good thing, and you must never ever question this. The Smoot Hawley mistake caused the great depression, because it sure as heck wasn't the failed central planning and free money the Fed handed out in the 1920s. You can't get tenure on a college faculty if you don't drink the socialist Kool Aid. You will not get tenure if you blame the Great Depression on FDR's socialism or the Fed's money printing.

But GASP!! what if the clueless faculty trying to ingratiate themselves to one another are wrong? What if the stock markets are not effecient? What if there is a risk in buying MBS bonds? Could the never want to grow up Peter Pans of academia have flawed models on trade too? Yes, its blasphemy to question the priests of academia.

The USA wasn't winning the trade war before Trump. China was (and is) stealing intellectual property rampantly, and they were not giving equal access to their markets. Looking at one year like the academics, US consumers are better off by getting lower prices.

Looking at longer time horizons, one has to balance cheap Chinese goods on Amazon versus losing a good paying factory job -- and the income stream that paid for all products (not just Chinese). Academics just raise tuition double digits every year, so they can't grasp the longer term picture.

Free trade is only a good thing when it goes both directions, and when the US education system (the same quacks!) educates US factory workers to shift to other jobs when the factories move to China.

Academia focused on political activism, and failed to train even the Ivy League for the post-factory economy. Nope, ordering a chai latte with coconut milk while complaining about safe spaces in the genderless bathrooms is not free trade.

The US was losing the trade war before Trump, and still is. The education system failed to do its job. US workers are ill equipped to do "old" factory work, and ill equipped to do post-factory work --- all for $70K per year for four years!!!

We don't have a student debt problem, we have an ineffective education system. But I doubt sanctions or tariffs on China can ever fix the education system.

Oh, and Mish still has TDS.... so we must blame Trump for forcing us to realize China isn't the root of the problem. We were so happy pretending that student debt and lost industries were some other country's fault. Why did Trump have to make us realize our own education system doesn't prepare our workers to compete?

Duabuidee
Duabuidee

If Trump is NOT winning, why will the Chinese want to negotiate? Working in Asia these last few years, I believe the current measures are not a “Trade Conflict” but a war between two nations with very different values clashing. Perhaps the battles are not successful at the moment but the commies are everywhere deflecting every social economic norm into the disaster like their own.

jivefive99
jivefive99

We need to truly know how China is doing for the worse for us to know if we are doing better. It's zero sum.

Jzjyang
Jzjyang

Evil American elites, and dumb American populace! First of all, I'm from China and have been to two Western countries for many years. Regarding to this trade war, my option is:. It is definitely necessary for the US and even the whole Western world if the Western countries still want to live a free and rich life style. The only pity here is that Trump is not a strategist, nor does he have a strong will to fight against China (Chinese Communist Party-CCP-controlled China) - the most dangerous and evil country in the human history. I did not exaggerate anything here, just look at the situation US and the Western are facing here:. A country that has the biggest population on Earth, a country that has the extremest nationalism on Earth today due to its thousands of years closed social environment history, a country that is the second largest economy on Earth today, a country that doesn't have any belief in its over 90% of majority population, a country that has a deep-rooted tradition of power worship, a country that doesn't share the common values with the main stream international communities, and the worst thing for the West, a country that is married with all major Western power on almost every aspectts. And this monsttrous Frankenstein is People's Republic of China, or short way , China. Based on above facts, if anyone in the West still say in public that fighting with China in a trade war, or any other kinds of wars is wrong , he or she either a really dumb human in this space age, or he or she is a very evil person who, like most of Wall Street tycoons ad typical, just wants to gain their personal benefits from China by sacrificIn their own country and peoples interest in a long run. Now the US has finally understood that he has married a bitch who not only wants to steal all of his wealth, but also in the end wants to kill him. So he is now trying divoring, rather than trying to divorcing, with this eveil wife. As every knows that divorces are never an easy event, especially for rich people. To summarize all the phenomena you see in this US-China trade wall exactly mirror the divorce analogy mentioned above. In the end, as a person living in the West world, you must stand your ground firmly tagainst China his time, otherwise, when the WWIII comes, we all will become dust‼. Good bless America!

JoeBonds
JoeBonds

Why should China negotiate in good faith with Trump when the entire establishment is knifing him in the front? Imagine if instead they were standing firmly behind him in his efforts. I think China would be singing a very different tune and many of the losses you happily piled on to would have been wins by now.

Seniormonk
Seniormonk

Heh, Mish, if everything's as "bad" as you say it is - How come I feel so good? The economy is great, and we have a President who is the only person standing between us and a full-blown communist revolution. I think you've wired yourself not to like Donald Trump, and you pick and choose bits of information you believe puts The Trumpster in a bad light.