A good friend once shared with me an old musician axiom, “There are two types of bass players: real bass players and frustrated guitarists.” Maybe there are two types of socialists: genuine socialists and failed capitalists.
Trump: The Businessman
Trump clearly identifies as a capitalist. The Trump name has long been synonymous with business, many of which have failed. He hired a writer to compose a book on the subject of business deals and then stuck his name on it. He even had a TV show where he sat in a fake boardroom and pretended to interview ‘apprentices’. And when he ran for President he claimed to be an incredible businessman, even going so far as to assure an audience they were going to be “so rich” because they were voting for him. I would imagine this was the same type of rhetoric potential students of Trump University received when they handed over their credit cards.
The effect of the Trump presidency on the market was almost immediately. It was clear any Republican administration would cut corporate taxes and roll back regulations, assuring nice increases in corporate profits. This would increase share prices which would, of course, raise compensation for CEOs. Everyone would be happy, as long as they were a CEO or a large shareholder. Trump celebrated the passing of his tax bill at Mar-A-Lago, telling his affluent guests, “You all just got a lot richer”. This was clearly a solid win for the no-collar base.
It didn’t take long for Trump to turn our allies into enemies. He started with the two biggest threats to our way of life: Mexico and Australia. After insulting them, he moved on to Germany, France, Canada, and the “shit-hole” regions of the world. While his base of supporters, made up primarily of white, hard-working (or unemployed), uneducated, middle America, who believe in Jesus and guns, and had no problem reconciling those interests, cheered the “tough” stance.
With his tax plan making the country club members of the world richer, and after putting NATO allies on notice of his displeasure, it was time to move onto the next phase of Trump’s ‘plan’.
“Trade wars are good, and easy to win”
In his defense, he didn’t say for whom they were good or who would win. After some back and forth with himself on Twitter, demonstrating that the Wharton grad didn’t seem to actually know what “trade deficit” meant, he finally decided who our opponent shall be in this trade war… everyone.
The fun begins, of course, with China. Trump put the current President of the People’s Republic of China/Emperor, Xi Jinping, on notice saying he would no longer tolerate this deficit. Some might say Trump would have greater success explaining to Walmart the need for Americans to buy more American products, but I guess he had to start somewhere.
Next on his hit list were those villainous Canadians. He let Justin Trudeau have it with new tariffs, which gave Trudeau his ‘Love, Actually moment’ in standing up to the dimwitted, bully American President, and responding in kind with new tariffs of their own. This response was repeated by most European countries.
Trump Supporters Get Nailed
The Trump Trade War has been so far… not so ‘good’. There were early signs of trouble, especially with farming, but the real news began when the first verifiable casualties of the war were reported. The Mid Continent Nail Corporation, a corporation that makes nails in Missouri, or the middle of our continent (everything should be named like this), announced they were laying off nearly half their workforce. The executives at Mid Continent didn’t mince words when it came to assigning blame. They said the problems they are having come directly from the new tariffs in Trump’s trade war. Of course, there is some irony as this is happening in a state Trump won handily. Missouri is red enough to be the first state to earn a travel advisory from the NAACP.
This did not deter Trump supporters. After all, he was going to build a wall that will definitely not be paid for by Mexico. However, things got a little worse.
American by Birth, Rebel by Choice, Outsourcing for Profit
It’s hard to imagine a company, that doesn’t make cheap alcohol, being a more beloved brand for Trump supporters than Harley-Davidson. It’s about as solid an American icon as you get, with more horsepower than Coca-Cola or Mickey Mouse; it’s the ‘real man’s’ machinery. So imagine the dilemma when Harley-Davidson announced they would have to relocate a fair amount of jobs to foreign countries due to the new tariffs from Trump’s trade war.
This must have been a Sophie’s Choice moment for Trump backers. On one hand, you have the most macho, manly, bad-ass symbol of America, complete with a God-loving American Eagle on its product. On the other, a draft dodging trust fund baby who gets spray tans, hair weaves, and mocks POWs. This also came about the same time we discovered the new Trump policy of stealing and locking up Hispanic babies. How do you choose a side in this?
You Reap What You Sow
I don’t imagine most Trump supporters give a lot of thought to soybeans as it’s just the stuff fake liberal milk is made from. But it is a major source of income for our country, and pretty much the sole source of income for soybean farmers. Soybeans provide billions of dollars in American GDP. We have competitors, one of which is Brazil, who is currently in talks with the Chinese and other countries to increase their export by a factor of 3.
Soybeans are only part of the picture. Agriculture is a time-sensitive game, so it’s not surprising that often our biggest trade partners in agriculture are Canada and Mexico. You remember them, those are the countries that just called us bullies and told us they’re ‘not paying for that fucking wall’, respectively.
The problem for Trump, of course, is not that we will see a fair portion of our country’s GDP and trade disappear, possibly to never return. That would require him to care about farmers or people. The real problem is these are the people who voted for him. These are the people who he gets all riled up with his rallies chanting “lock her up”. These are the people that vote for Congress and Senate members who cover Trump’s ass. In short, these are people he can’t afford to piss off.
It was inevitable his policies would hurt farmers and factory workers, and frankly, it’s hard to feel sorry for them. They were just fine when they thought his policies would only hurt those ‘other’ people. It must come as a great shock to the hard working middle Americans that the trust fund reality TV star from New York, who doesn’t pay taxes and spends all his time at country clubs, doesn’t care about them. I’m sure they are usually treated with a lot of respect from golfing billionaires with fake tans and mail-order wives.
When Trump Screws You, Trump Has To Pay You
Nobody likes getting screwed by Donald Trump, which is why he pays so much after. No, I’m not talking about the porn actresses he screws while his pregnant wife sits at home. Get your mind of the gutter. He’s a God-fearing Christian, with a mulligan. I’m referring to the farmers. His solution for the farmers; pay them of course.
Trump’s new plan is to pay farmers $12 billion dollars. Wait, I’m sorry that’s fake news. Trump’s new plan is to have taxpayers (you), pay farmers $12 billion dollars. This is very convenient for anyone questioning how much this trade war will cost us because you can just start right with that $12 billion, and keep going up from there.
Oddly enough, Republicans are for the most part not thrilled with this idea. It seems they get hung up on things like being a “fiscal conservative”, and not a “welfare state”, and dislike “socialism”. After all, they were sickened when Obama bailed out the auto industry after George Bush’s mess. But this is different, Trump created the mess, and he’s fixing it by throwing taxpayer money at it. Wait, I’m sorry that was fake news again. It turns out the $12 billion isn’t actually enough to fix this. As a matter of fact, farmers seem pretty unhappy with the whole thing.
This has been a challenging time for me personally. I thought I was angry with an evangelical conservative who sleeps with porn stars and wants to spend all our money on vanity projects and calls self-proclaimed Nazi’s “decent people”. But then he went to Helsinki, and I figured out he’s a Russian loving commie, oligarch wannabe. But now, I’m not sure if he doesn’t have a bit of Hugo Chavez in him. He’s a mystery wrapped in enigma, wrapped in a cheap Chinese made and ill-fitting suit.
All Wars Must End
Since no one seems incredibly into this war it looks like Trump might be ready to let it go. He’s met with Europe and has happily told us we have won. I can hear the high fiving at Fox News now, Glorious Leader has brought another great victory. It looks like we will go back to pretty much what we were doing before The Great Trump Trade War of (Summer) 2018.
CNN is featuring a front-page story called, “Why Trump Blinked”, while Fox News is dealing with this new development more discreetly by talking about who actually paid off Trump’s porn stars for him.