The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Trump’s Speech: Not Insane

Donald TrumpOk, let’s analyze what Trump said.

Crime Is Increasing, Cops Are Being Killed, I’m Going to Stop That

I’m more with BLM, but this isn’t a surprising message. In fact, as he’s a Republican, I’d be shocked if he had not used it. (It’s also not true that crime is increasing, but that hasn’t stopped others from proposing hard-on-crime policies. And the perception of high crime is real, because of mass shootings and attacks on police.)

Illegal Immigrants are a Big Part of the Crime Wave, I’ll Deport Them

Immigrants commit less crime than native born Americans, but this isn’t that crazy; he’s just going to do more of what Obama and Bush did. The irony is, of course, that Obama has deported more immigrants than any US president of which I’m aware, but, hey, executing Republican policies doesn’t get you credit with Republicans if you’re a Democrat.

Stop Immigration from Countries Where Terrorists Might Originate

Okay. It’s not going to make much of a difference. But as a logical construct: “There are terrorists over there, we shouldn’t let them come here”, it’s not crazy. I disagree, America has some responsibility (okay, a lot of responsibility) for the refugee crisis, and if you broke it, you get to pick it up. But given how many countries are already refusing Syrian immigrants, this isn’t that far out.

Fix Poverty

He starts with African American poverty stats. He pivots to the fact that Obama is a failure for ordinary people, their wages are down, etc.

Fix Trade

America has lost jobs because of trade and has an 800 billion dollar trade deficit. He’s going to fix that with bilateral trade deals. And an 800 billion trade deficit is a LOT of jobs. And, no, other countries aren’t going to stop selling to Americans.

This is not crazy. It is, in fact, sane.

Better Treaties

He starts with Iran, and moves on to trade deals. He throws a bone to Israel, and so on. The Iran and Israel bits are crazy, but his rhetoric is no worse than Clinton’s.  The Iran deal happened after Clinton was no longer secretary of state for a reason.

Attacking Hillary’s Record

I don’t agree with the entire laundry list, but the argument isn’t a bad one. Libya is in ruins, Syria is in ruins. The Iran nuclear weapons bit is a lie, but it’s one Democrats tell all the time.

And he’s completely right that if Clinton wasn’t so important, the way she handled her email would have destroyed her life. An ordinary person would not have skated on that.

He’s right in the uber argument too: Clinton is corrupt, beholden to various special interests, and to judge on her record in an actual position of power? Incompetent.

I Care for Americans

I’ve hugged this American and listened to that American’s tale of woe. I love you all and I’m going to look out for you.

Any politician who does not say this sort of thing is incompetent.

I am Part of the Corrupt System, but I Will Now Fight for You

Because I’m a billionaire, I know how the system works. But because I’m already rich, I owe nobody anything and I’ll work for Americans. A friend calls this the “sleazy version of FDR’s class traitor.” It’s a good argument, even if one doubts him.


I’ll fix crime by appointing the best people. I’ll fix the inner cities. (Sub Voce: I will care even for those who don’t vote for me.)

An End to Nation Building

Sorry, this is just the right policy. Especially since Libya and Iraq clearly illustrate the results of American “nation building” these days. While I supported the Arab Spring, its success or failure was no damn business of the US’s.

NATO Is Obsolete

People have been squealing about this, but Trump’s position is that Russia is not particularly a threat, terrorism is, and NATO does little against terrorism. He also notes that America foots most of the bill for NATO, while it is intended to protect others (for instance, if Russia does attack, it won’t be sending tanks into D.C.).

I think that the way NATO has been used for the last 20 years (Estonia? Estonia?) has made a nuclear war more likely, not less. Trump’s wrong about the purpose of NATO in a way (control of Europe), but I think Europeans will be better off without large American garrisons.

Bring the Troops Home

They cost less to keep at home.

Sorry, people, but it is way past time for most US overseas bases to be shut down. Sorry.

Immigration Is a Bad Idea Right Now

It can bring in terrorists when it is from countries which breed terrorists, and there aren’t enough good jobs for the people who are here already.

Border Wall

Practically his signature, not surprising it gets a call out.

I’m Going to Look after Americans FIRST

That’s the job description, people. That is not going to go across badly. If America can’t employ the people already in America, decreasing immigration until that is fixed is not insane. And it especially doesn’t look insane to the poor and working class who compete with immigrants for jobs.

The economics on this is dodgy, but the case can certainly be made (in England a BOE study found that immigration was decreasing wages for the poorest 20 percent).

Bring Back the Manufacturing Jobs

Covered above: Initiate bilateral trade deals to bring these jobs back. It’s not insane, despite what the neoliberals and economists who have given you the wonderful economy will say.

Cut Taxes and Regulations

I disagree, but this is a Republican nominee. And many Dems have said (and done) the same thing.

Fix the TSA

Ummm, any politician not for this is committing political malpractice. (Correction: Turns out the platform says this means not allowing unionization. Sigh.)

Allow Political Churches

I disagree, but he’s the Republican candidate. In any case, he just said he’ll fight for it, he’s unlikely to be able to do it except that he will tell the IRS to stop going after said churches, which was the status quo under Bush.

I Love You, I Love You, I Love You

“I grew up around regular people, even if I’m not one now, and I think you’re wonderful. Honest!” This is at least as believable as Clinton trying to pretend to like working class people. Slightly more, even, as with Trump it’s obvious that if they make him feel good about himself, he’ll like them.

Clinton Is the “More-of-the-Same Candidate,” I’m the “Candidate of Change.”

Whether you agree with Trump’s plans or not, if he follows through on even half of them, this is completely true.

My Concluding Remarks

Pundits have been screaming about the conflation of crime and terrorism, and wailing about his NATO remarks. I don’t like the first, and I actually agree about his NATO remarks, but I am not super worked-up about this.

“I’m going to super deport illegals” is not a radical idea. “I’m going to be tough on crime,” which I disagree with about 95 percent, is not a radical idea. Clinton’s husband was responsible for one of the toughest on crime bills ever passed in America.

Now, depending on how far it goes, Trump’s NATO policy could be radical, as could be bringing back troops to America. But it’s not a radical I necessarily disagree with, as noted above.

His trade policies: Well, these could go disastrously wrong, or could go brilliantly right. They’re certainly not stupid prima facie. But if you’re a working class or poor American, the status quo is not in your favor, period. You need a roll of the dice.

I don’t support Trump, nor do I support Clinton, but the demonization of Trump is off the scale. I very much doubt he is Hiter reborn. He actually seems less likely to start a nuclear war than his opponent. I despise some of his policies, but some of what he is proposing is not in the least nuts, it is just not acceptable to the guardians of the neoliberal status quo.

Trump’s positions are reasonably consistent.

Trump is a nativist populist authoritarian. He does not believe in the American Empire.

More on Trump later. And judge for yourself, read the transcript of Trump’s speech.

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Full Transcript of Trump’s Acceptance Speech


It’s Clinton’s Election to Lose


  1. David Stein

    I largely agree that Trump’s position (nativist populist authoritarian) is reasonably consistent and that demonization of him is off the scale. However, if you don’t see that demonization of Clinton is off the scale, you have issues. (“Demonization” should be a clue, here.) More to the point, context makes Trump’s position, whatever it is, irrelevant. He doesn’t have any intention of actually being President, even if elected; he has disclosed his intention of outsourcing all executive function to his Vice President (probably a good thing, from a risk management perspective). And Republicans in Congress will in any event take care of business, in every sense of the word. Trump just wants to win the election and then be done with it, except to the extent that winning, and thereafter having the office, enhances and aggrandizes the Trump brand. “Making America Great Again” is really more about that than anything else. We are along for the ride.

  2. Eattherich

    First time posting on your blog. Always been a lurker. Like your perspective, Ian.

    My take. Trump appeals to the white working class, because he talks directly to white working class issues. Clinton represents the white managerial class (specifically college educated, white professionals). We have a major, major rift between the white working class and the white managerial class in this country. This election makes that abundantly clear. The white managerial class refuses to acknowledge the pain of the white working class. So, no one can blame them for supporting a candidate who speaks to their pain. The so-called liberal left has failed them, as Chris Hedges has so trenchantly pointed out.

  3. “And 800 billion trade deficit is a LOT of jobs.”

    Well, according to Paul Krugman and Dean Baker, it actually isn’t. The latter has enough sense to admit that the trade deficit is bad for the economy, while Krugman just pretends it doesn’t exist, but Baker has some convoluted theory that the lost jobs are replaced by consumer spending which creates jobs itself. To me all he does is prove that economics is bogus “science,” but…

  4. I’ve always loved the “consumer spending creates jobs” thing. Sort of the quintessential self-licking ice cream code. The people who need jobs get those jobs by spending money in order to create the jobs which will provide them with the money they need to spend in order to get the jobs they created by spending the money.

  5. Tom

    @ Bill H

    Economics is bullshit science. I requires rational people to work, but such people don’t exist. Take outsourcing for example. When you outsource a person’s job, he becomes jobless and can’t afford the new cheaper price and furthermore is no longer spending money in his community which causes others to lose their jobs and so forth till equilibrium is reached.

  6. RJMeyers

    Bill H:

    “I’ve always loved the “consumer spending creates jobs” thing. Sort of the quintessential self-licking ice cream code. The people who need jobs get those jobs by spending money in order to create the jobs which will provide them with the money they need to spend in order to get the jobs they created by spending the money.”

    But it does work. E.g. money could be taken out of savings and brought into circulation, increasing the total amount of consumer spending and creating jobs to meet the new demand. E.g. no new money could be put into circulation, but people could redirect spending into an area that must expand to meet demand, creating jobs. E.g. one economic sector could see an increase in salaries/wages, which leads to an increase in their spending, which leads to job creation to meet higher demand. E.g. people could take out loans to finance increased consumer spending (or use credit), increasing demand and leading to job creation. E.g. the velocity of money circulation could increase, leading to greater overall activity though no increase in the total monetary base, leading to more job creation (note: I’m a little fuzzy on how one does this via policy or even individual actions, but it is a thing).

    It doesn’t have to be the same people spending more who need jobs–there are lots of people already employed who can alter spending habits to create jobs for those who don’t have them. Consumer spending does create jobs–it just creates jobs that are consumer-oriented, and it doesn’t do so in a vacuum. There are other processes at work that keep the wheels turning.

  7. wendy davis

    @ Bill Stein: On the transcript thread, you’d said at the end: ” Warts and all, the Democrats would make things less worse. Keep building a movement for progressive change, but for God’s sake and ours, don’t allow Trump to win”.

    You seem to be in agreement with Paul Jay and Henry Giroux on the second part of their interview on TRNN. (i won’t bring the url, forgetting if two kicks a comment into moderation or not.) ‘Trump will put us in camps!’ hysteria.

    And this may fall on deaf ears, but if you or any here choose to read it, please read it to the end. It’s not that I agree w/ all that Taylor says, but in the main, he makes the case I wish I could have made, and along the way defines terms, chronicles both Clintons and Obama’s misrules, etc. He’s also very aware that he’s writing from a perch of white and economic privilege, rare for anyone in the Intelligentsia class. I’d say he’s very softly brilliant.

    ‘The Time is Now: To Defeat Both Trump and Clintonian Neoliberalism’, by Mark Lewis Taylor

  8. wendy davis

    My apologies, David Stein, for getting your name confused w/ Bill H’s.

  9. Kaonashi

    > Fix Trade

    > America has lost jobs because of trade and has an 800 billion dollar trade deficit.
    > He’s going to fix that with bilateral trade deals. And 800 billion trade deficit is a LOT of jobs.
    > And no, other countries aren’t going to stop selling to Americans.

    > This is not crazy. It is, in fact, sane.

    Imports are real benefits, exports are real losses. ‘Fixing trade’ by reducing imports and increasing exports *is crazy*. You ‘fix trade’ by making sure there’s enough domestic demand to utilize domestic capacity. If everyone else in the world wants to save your currency, it’s safe to print.

  10. Ian Welsh

    800 billion dollars is a lot of jobs. Since you aren’t actually going to redistribute money to those people, they need jobs and reducing the trade deficit will help give them those jobs.

    I’m aware that the above argument is orthodoxy in certain parts of the econosphere, but it fucks ordinary people in the real world, and to make it not do so would require radical changes to how we distribute goods.

    This sort of BS “Trade is wonderful” is why Trump, Sanders and Brexit. It works for /some/ people, it hurts large numbers of other people really badly.

  11. Memory

    Again, I nominate Trump for the Doublespeak Award.

    You’ve read Bernie’s live-tweeting of the speech, #RNCwithBernie? I would find your piece much more compelling were you to debate Bernie instead of Trump on this, Ian.

    I’ll be sure to tell my comrades in BLM that they are just being hysterical about Trump. Like me, right?

    You can do better than this.

  12. V. Arnold

    wendy davis
    July 22, 2016
    You seem to be in agreement with Paul Jay and Henry Giroux on the second part of their interview on TRNN.

    Yeah, I saw that as well and for once, I strongly disagree with Giroux and Jay’s conclusion.
    Hillary/Killary is the devil incarnate.
    Trump is very distasteful to my life’s values but both candidates represent the absolute worst possible choices in my lifetime (I’m 71 yo) and, frankly, I would not vote for either.
    In fact, I haven’t voted since 2000. That’s when I got kicked off of the voter registration in Astoria, Oregon and was treated like a common criminal when I strongly objected to my exclusion from the voter roles.
    I left shortly after that, fuck’em…

  13. realitychecker

    @ RJ Meyers

    Fascinating and comprehensive analysis, except you forgot to include all the societal benefits that would obviously accrue when many of those people who started the various desirable mini-cycles you describe by LOSING THEIR JOBS, respond to that trauma by COMMITTING SUICIDE, thereby making the remaining society leaner, meaner, and more efficient in ways we cannot even begin to measure.

    Got widgets?

  14. okanogen

    Sure Ian,
    On the face of it, it all seems so innocent. Law and Order. Don’t let illegal aliens in to take the jobs of struggling working Americans. Black people don’t have jobs, it is because of illegal immigrants We can’t allow immigrants who may hate us or be terrorists into the country. Those are the themes he goes back to again and again. Seems legit, even honorable. But, unfortunately, those three problems have a common undercurrent. Can you guess what it is? Yeah. Brown and black people. Inner city crime is on a major downward trend, but how can you scare white people without it? Immigrants are, when you listen to Trump, gang-banging drug-dealing drive-by shooters, here to rape our white women. That poor white woman in Nebraska? Obama doesn’t care about her. Obama doesn’t care about white people. Radical brown Islamists are going to bring Sharia law and chop the heads off your children.They should be put in pens somewhere. No more Mr. Niceguy. It is the fault of people being too politically correct that we don’t have law and order in our inner cities. I’ll hire better head crackers to put the monkeys down. With Donald in charge, we won’t have to worry about hurting people’s feelings.

    Of course, since I’m hispanic, that is just my insane paranoia coming through. White people don’t hear his dog whistles in quite the same way, especially when they can’t possibly hear it if they want to bury Clinton. But, for the sake of argument, you might want to at least try to listen to what Trump says through prism. You might then understand why people who are otherwise sane, might decide he is a threat to them personally.

    My favorite was when he threatened retribution against a judge who, while still an American-born US citizen, dared to have a “Mexican” last name, which should have been a disqualification for him to be a judge in the first place. Can’t possibly be impartial with a “Mexican” last name. That was just two months ago.

    I apologize for double-posting this in the thread below. It belongs here instead.

  15. Ian Welsh

    Oh no, not at all. I was talking to an acquaintance the other day and said “of course, being brown, you’d be insane to vote for Trump.”

    Nor would I vote for him if I were American, and I’m lily white.

    But the liberal echo-chamber is fatally missing the point that he has plans/stories that resonate with a lot of people.

    All Clinton has is “first woman”. Trump has “here’s how I’m going to make your life better.”

  16. tony

    Have you seen Clinton’s twitter? Most posts include “Trump”. Trump, being everything from Hitler to Stalin to Pinochet to Chavez and Osama bin Laden, is supposed to scare people into voting for her, because there is apparently no real argument for her.

  17. mc


    “Better Than This”?

    Nice work, both trolling and getting Hillary’s new campaign theme into the post semi-covertly. Go pick up your check from David Brock now.

  18. ProNewerDeal

    Ian, if you were a USian in a swing state like OH or FL, who WOULD you vote for? I respect your judgement & wisdom.

    It is interesting & baffling this election in that I’ve read intelligent politics experts that have generally social democratic type policies, & voted for Sanders in the D primary, conclude all 3 possibilities:

    1 Lesser Evil Voting (LEV) for H Clinton (“Trump is a racist fascist, SCOTUS, preserve abortion rights & ACA Medicaid, etc)

    2 LEV for Trump (“H Clinton supports the TPP, & might start a nuclear war with Russia, need a wildcard like Trump to “disrupt” the 36+ yr duopoly’s neoliberal Reaganomics Era, etc)

    3 vote for Dr. Jill Stein (Green Party): social democratic policies similar to Sanders + -50% MIC, & it is unclear anyways who actually is the LE between the duopoly candidates, so might as well vote your conscious, some evidence in US history that 3rd party votes drives policy leftward/pro-99% direction (Socialist Eugene Debs’ existence influenced FD Roosevelt’s New Deal to be somewhat better than it would’ve been without that 3rd party’s existence, etc)

    Thanks in advance for any reply!

  19. Kaonashi

    The orthodoxy is to enact trade deals that end up reducing our ability to distribute the windfalls of trade effectively — to privilege foreign holders of U.S. dollars over U.S. citizens. The correct thing to do is reject the trade deals, have trade, and enact capital controls to privilege domestic holders of domestic financial capital.

    Then again, this may just be me describing the other end of the elephant.

  20. Lisa

    I have a different take on this and have always though it was Trump’s election to lose.

    But we are seeing some bad strategic mistakes by his taking up the mantle of the standard GOP politics.

    The trouble is the 25% of right wing, authortitarian votes (mostly white, poor/working and quite a lot of middle class) has been mined to death by the GOP over the decades. They were an easy and useful target since they could be well organised to vote, thus having a greater electoral impact than their raw numbers suggest.

    A simple strategy that worked, push identity politics (demonise everyone not male, white and ‘christian’) rape the economy and them. The trouble was to keep those votes they have had to become ever more extreme, at a time when (overall) US society was becoming more socially liberal and the churches, the core of those people, are dying.

    This ended up alienating a lot of people and the Dems, doing their own identity politics, sucked them up.

    So there are 2 economic right parties, one of which wedded to a dwindling right wing faction of society, the other grabbing the growing part of society.

    Bit by bit a lot of people were waking up to this, that they had been totally conned. Hence Trump’s initial success and of course Sanders.

    Worse while the Dems were happy to (and endlessly did) betray most of those ‘left’ and kept them well out of the top power levels (using the ‘where else can they go to’ logic), the GOP made the mistake of letting the crazies into their own higher levels, not just the oligarchs representatives. I mean what political organisation would let a nut job like Ted Cruz gain any influence at all?

    Trump was a way out for them, to break that Faustian bargain they had made. More socially liberal and economically nationalist, capable of attracting lots of people that have been pushed away from the GOP because of its extreme social polices and attracting a lot of traditional Dem voters because of his economic policies (and to a lesser extent foreign policy).

    Provided he stayed on track with that then he was a certainty to win.

    However (and I identified this weakness of Trump’s ages ago) unlike Sanders he has no effective organisation around him. To win (and if he won to govern) you need a lot of people and a national organisation. It looks like he is belatedly realising this, BUT his choice of using the traditional GOP structures, long dominated by the extreme right wing, means he thinks he has to appease them, hence using more of their policies and hence his drift socially rightwards..shedding voters at every pronouncement.

    He is wrong in that, he could do a Dem tactic of ‘nowhere else to go’ and face them down. They would still turn up because he would be the ‘lesser evil’ to them, while solidifying the rest of the votes. In simple terms go ‘centre right’ socially and moderately ‘left’ economically.

    I get the feeling with Trump that half the time his instincts are correct, but he gets terrible policy advice. But if he goes down the ‘Ted Cruz’ route he will lose by playing right into Clinton’s very well known strategy of appealing to the ‘moderate’ Republican.

    The key question, since this is early days yet, will he realise it in time?

    Also will the GOP leadership realise that they are at real risk now of becoming a rump party, so far to the ‘christian’ right that they are unelectable to 75% of the population, with that core base dwindling over time as the demographics are against them. In a very real sense Trump is their last chance to save the party. The signs are not good, their national policies that they just came out with are a total sell out to the ‘christian’ right and the oligarchs, Nixon is turning in his grave at the stupidity.

  21. Kim Kaufman

    Except, it appears, Trump has no intention of doing any of it. If what Donald, Jr. supposedly said to Kasich (you can have domestic and foreign policy if you take the VP – Donald will be making America great again) was also said to Pence, then we should be looking more closely at Pence, who is a toxic standard Christianist right wing nutjob.

  22. David Stein

    @Wendy Davis Thank you for the link. I will listen to the end.

  23. Tony Wikrent

    The negative impacts of trade have been acknowledged by some orthodox economists the past few years. In April 2015, the Royal Economic Society summarized the work of two economists, Hufbauer and Schott, who had written a 1992 study on the expected effects of NAFTA, and then reevaluated the effects of NAFTA in 2005. According to the RES summary, Hufbauer and Schott found that, as expected, “Investment largely shifted from portfolio investment to FDI [foreign direct investment],” they also found “FDI mostly flowed into existing assets, not into increasing production.” And, “There was a sharp contraction in the number of small and medium sized enterprises, consistent with increased exposure to competitive pressure.”

    “Another unexpected development was related to dispute settlement: ‘In practice, however, the rules … have fostered litigation by business firms against a broader range of government activity than originally envisaged’. Thus, concentration in enterprise ownership, changes in poverty/inequality, and the extent of dispute settlement, as well as the devaluation, were not even included in the list of predicted effects. And as we have seen, that list of predictions did not turn out to correspond with what actually happened post-NAFTA.”

    In late 2013, economists David H. Autor, David Dorn and Gordon H. Hanson published a study in The American Economic Review, The China Syndrome: Local Labor Market Effects of Import Competition in the U.S. They concluded that from 1990 to 2007, the share of all manufacturing imports coming from low-income countries increased from 9 percent to about 28 percent, and that this increase in cheap imports accounts for about one-quarter of the aggregate decline in United States manufacturing. Which, of course, has severe negative effect on wages and standards of living of American workers.

    If free trade is so disastrous in its actual effects, the question that must be asked is: Why do political and economic elites continue to cling to free trade? Ian Welsh explained about a year ago, in “Free Trade Is Elites Betraying Their Own Populations.”

    South Korean economist Ha-Joon Chang’s 2007 book Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism, revived what I think was the actual history deliberately forgotten by mainstream economists: every nation that has successfully industrialized has done so by rejecting free trade, and shielding its industrial development and the earning power of its workforce behind tariff and other trade barriers.

    The leading American economist of the mid-1800s, Henry Carey, explained that the ability to import is based on the ability to pay. The ability to pay, in turn, is based on the earning power of the nation’s workforce. If the workforce has to compete against cheaper labor in other countries, then its earning power will be diminished. Carey even anticipated the situation we find ourselves in today, noting that as earning power diminished, the U.S. must buy imports on credit, creating a bubble of indebtedness that must sooner or later burst.

    In September 2013, three economists at the Brookings Institution–Michael Elsby, Bary Hobijn and Ayşegül Şahi–“ooked at a broad measure of employee compensation capturing all of labor’s share of GDP, and tested it against several different models to figure out what exactly led to this kind of decline. Unsurprisingly, as the chart above shows, they saw a fall in income paid to workers in manufacturing, trade, transportation and utilities starting in 1987, reflecting fewer workers and lower wages…. They ran the regressions, and they found the biggest single thing responsible for falling wages across the entire labor force was import competition. This, they found, explains 3.3 percentage points of the 3.9-percentage-point decline in wages as a share of GDP (that graph at the top) over the past 25 years.”

    The idea of free trade was never conceived or implemented as a means to the end of nation building. Rather, the doctrinal bases of free trade were created as a justification for the pillaging, plundering, and outright murder committed by oligarchs: the slave trade, and the opium trade and Opium War of the British East India Company. (See Adam Smith: ‘Intellectual Prostitute’ For British East India & Slave Traders

    Free trade was never intended as a justification for sovereign nation states seeking to develop their own economies in their own interests by steering their own course in human affairs in defiance of the international masters of trade and finance. Rather, the doctrine of free trade has always been the excuse used by oligarchs to suppress, subvert, and squash any independently minded program of actual national economic development.

    A few years ago, Stirling Newberry wrote a brilliant, concise explanation that since World War 2, global trade policy was developed not for the purpose of actual national economic development, but merely to facilitate the flows of capital, materials, and goods–and the profitability–for the emerging new world order of multinational corporations.

    The entire system of world trade (WTO, etc.,) must be dismantled, and replaced with is a program of minimally $100 trillion to build new global industrial and transportation systems that do not use fossil fuels. That is a massive undertaking, and will require close cooperation and collaboration from all nations. In fact, China has already proposed a $50 trillion global renewable energy plan. We need to replace trade of “plastic dog shit from Hong Kong” with trade in the wind turbines, solar panels, urban rail trains and transit equipment, the world actually needs.

    $800 billion WILL create a lot of good, high paying jobs. Imagine what a $100 trillion will do for the world economy.

  24. Billikin

    Bill H:

    “I’ve always loved the “consumer spending creates jobs” thing. Sort of the quintessential self-licking ice cream code. The people who need jobs get those jobs by spending money in order to create the jobs which will provide them with the money they need to spend in order to get the jobs they created by spending the money.”

    Which is why it takes government spending to create jobs. Or the government gives money to people who do not have jobs, who then spend the money to create jobs. (They cannot afford to save.) If the government puts enough money into circulation, enough jobs will be created that these people will be able to get jobs. Under circumstances like today, the government needs to prime the pump.

  25. Peter*


    The problem with this type of economic sophistry is that if these people spend their windfall it will more than likely be on products made by Chinese workers because no one is going to set up sweatshops in the US to make consumer junk and especially the more profitable value added products although they might take advantage of this government subsidy to set up fully automated production and those on the dole will remain on the dole.

    We are in the eighth year of the worldwide Great Recession and the indicator arrow is still pointing down, the end of growth is here and now.

  26. NRG

    He’ll have to bring home tens/hundreds of thousands of overseas-based soldiers if he wants to have the manpower to forcibly deport 11 million Americans, and test millions more for religious purity/thought crimes. Hey, at least he’ll have solved low-income housing, once the millions of dwellings of the dead/deported are available. We may have different definitions of “not insane.”

  27. Billikin

    @ Peter*

    Economic sophistry? You do not disagree with the point that government spending of new money stimulates business and job growth. You make a good point. Some of that business and job growth will happen in countries that export to us. But only some of it. These things are measurable. For instance, each dollar of unemployment insurance during the Obama stimulus created almost two dollars of US GDP.

    Peter*: “We are in the eighth year of the worldwide Great Recession”

    I would call it a second Long Depression. Austerity does not work.

  28. Peter*


    There might be a measurable boost from this stimulus to our growth industries if you can find one that isn’t minimum wage but I doubt these folks are up to building bridges or many other skilled jobs. The meth and booze industries might benefit but even they are mostly foreign owned.

    If you are going to claim that unemployment payments produce growth in GDP you have to ignore the fact that that same unemployment produced a much greater drop in GDP and taxes collected due to that loss of jobs and productivity.

    Austerity was never intended to work for you or me and it is working as planned for the small number of people it was designed to benefit. They only chuckle about the fact that the rubes believed the PR that this was about helping them and they laugh when rubes complain that it ‘isn’t working’.

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