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The Wrong Conversation about Trump’s Tariffs


The Wrong Conversation about Trump’s Tariffs

Susan H. Bragdon, Jennifer Clapp

In a back-to-the future kind of way, the President’s haphazard and imprecise approach to trade policy not only causes nervousness among the US's trading partners and uneasiness across the business community; it also appears to impose a framing of the debate on globalization, narrowing the media’s lens of analysis to the impact on corporate America, investors, and Wall Street.


Not to be flippant, but that is often my nature, I shall state the obvious based upon the posted picture and the historical record. Oliver Wendell Douglas, his wife Lisa, and (bless him) Arnold the pig would serve this nation so much better now than what we’ve got.


Not to mention that to allegedly “offset” the losses US farmers are incurring as a result of Trump’s tariffs the US gubmit is further increasing gubmit debt and deficit by borrowing billions more dollars from China to pay affected farmers corporate welfare. All of those farmers who have been interviewed by the media to date continue to be 100% behind Trump.


It’s a treasure to see Trump and a pitchfork in the same image.
What I don’t hear, that Mr. Douglas WOULD hear from time to time, is the faint sound of fife and drum playing a patriotic tune.
All we hear is the sound of cash registers going berserk at Treasury, banging out goodies for the rich.


Love is strong…except from this Clown.



G, another $1 in your pocket…


This early Noam Chomsky seems appropriate enough here. It’s only 1 minute and 23 seconds.

Please admire his intellect.


Another good bass line. Hee-Haw? Thought that was my line.


Always dig Nina Simone. Great blues version. Or is it quiet jazz?


Sounds like a 60’s guru. As he aged his delivery became a bit more cautious yet wiser.
Reminds me of listening to early me with guitar on tape VS now. Then was livelier, now more subdued.


No “Sticky Fingers” but how about a little ditty from “Aftermath.”

Lady Jane, or another also from “Aftermath.” Flight 505.

Flight 505 was the number on their very first flight to the United States.


Mountain dulcimer (electric)?
505 is a rocker.
Smiling guy with hat @ 3:05 is a trip.


Pain and agony on us.


Talking about Trump as “The President” is the wrong conversation, just as wrong as was the conversation in 1933 Germany about Hitler “The Chancellor.” Both had their formal titles, but referring to those characters as Chancellor or President makes as much sense as referring to Al Capone as “Monsieur l’entrepreneur.” Calling Trump “President” obscures what he actually is, and the same goes for his supporters, who are not “people” in the conventional sense of the word.
Will the New York Times or the Washington Post ever have the bravery to refer to Trump as The Dictator and to his supporters as Trash? I doubt they will ever sprout the civic courage. Civilized Americans will come to regret their passivity. The Trumpist Trash are still in the minority, but that won’t last long, the contagion spreads and it won’t be long till total submission.


Trump is the "Con-Artist Of The Deal."


Someone has to dispel the fear as fast as it is laid on us or it will be the contagion that washes through the country as you say Monckton.


A good article. I try to point out how the corporate farms get the majority of the subsidies, got an argument that it wan’t true and that small farmers needed the subsidies. The latter point I was not in disagreement with. But I was accused of that because I argued about corporate farming subsidies.
Trump complained about the canadians subsidizing their dairy farmers while ignoring how much we do the same. The US is a hypocrite about subsidizing.


Thanks for the Stones, guys. Still my all time favorites. $5.50 to see them in 1975, $450.00 for my wife, son, and I to see them in 2015. Worth it.


What the farm bill subsidizes is the buyers of farm products, but not with government money. Here’s how it works. Free markets chronically fail for agriculture on both supply and demand sides, so farm prices are usually low, especially for the “subsidized” crops. this was fixed in the Democratic New Deal with minimum farm price floors, (similar to minimum wage). No government subsidies were needed. But then under pressure from corporate buyers, Congress reduced (1953-1995) and eliminated (1996-2023) these programs. Subsidies for farmers were added over the years, but always added up to much less than the reductions, so the net result is that farmers do the subsidizing of everyone else.


The article makes many excellent points, but is wrong about some important issues, especially farm subsidies. Like everyone else, farmers should be paid at “living wage” levels. The problem is that free markets chronically fail for agriculture on both supply and demand sides, so prices are too low. This was fixed in early farm bills, especially 1942-52, with “living wage” minimum farm price floors (at 90% of parity). No subsidies were needed. Congress reduced (1953-1995) and ended (1996-2023) these programs. That took away trillions of dollars from farmers and gave it to agribusiness buyers, (buying cheap,) and through them, consumers. as the dominant exporter, the US sets major global farm prices, so there have been trillions more in global farm income reductions. After years of reduction, subsidies were then started in 1961 for corn, wheat and sorghum, 1962 for barley, 1964 for cotton, 1977 for rice, 1982 for oats, 1998 for soybeans, never for rye. Over all these subsidies have made up for only about 1/8 of the reductions from living wage standards. Even with subsidies, the 5 crops listed, (wheat, cotton, corn, soybeans, rice,) have consistently gotten paid less (even with subsidies added on top of prices,) than 45 fruits and vegetables. This is the much larger trade war that no one is talking about. It’s been a race to the bottom against all other farming countries, the opposite of what OPEC has done for decades with it’s export market clout. The US Congress has chosen for us to lose money on farm exports. So “U.S. economic policy” causes these changes, but not by “support” of a “type of agriculture.” It’s by penalization of agriculture, which subsidized the loss of value added livestock from most farms, and the diversity of livestock feed crops, (grass, alfalafa, clover, feedgrain nurse crops like oats and barley). So farms lost sustainable crop rotations and permanent pastures on fragile land. By penalizing corn, soybeans, etc. By forcing farmers to subsidize the corporate buyers.