Trump for Peace and Prosperity

thIt’s been some time since I blogged.  I have had to deal with a series of health issues …

In any case, I thought I’d share a few quick thoughts about Trump’s historic win.

The day before the election, the New York Times estimated Trump’s chance of winning at 16% – but compared to most other “pundits,” I think they were being kind.  But history had a way of making history.  People voted for Trump because despite Trump!

I agree with pugster that Trump’s win is good for the U.S., good for China, and good for the world.  Here are some reasons.

Trump’s win will bring a more peaceful world. 

One of my biggest problems I have with Barack Obama is that despite receiving a Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 (yes I and others had already mocked the Nobel Prize and associated propaganda about Obama standing for “world peace”…), he went on to become a pretty hawkish president.

Trump – by questioning the basic presumptions of a blanket alliance system from the get-to – of looking at influence in a zero sum way – is finally I think nudging the country toward the right direction again.

In Trump’s election night victory speech, he said:

I want to tell the world community that while we will always put America’s interests first, we will deal fairly with everyone, with everyone. All people and all other nations. We will seek common ground, not hostility, partnership, not conflict.

No non-sense about America promoting freedom, of America on the good against evil, of American on the right side of history…  Things we would have heard had it been Clinton making the speech…

Of course, the interests that have captured Obama no doubt may capture Trump’s administration , whether Trump likes it or not.  But what gives me hope is that the fundamental anger shown in this country – of let’s take care of America first before meddling across the world – resonates deeply with Trump.

Will America turn protectionist?

While Trump can channel that anger in a an unproductive war and engage in trade wars with China and others, I don’t think he will.

Trump will come to realize that even if China were artificially keeping its currency low (the U.S. gov’t says it is currently not, but Trump and others say it is keeping it artificially low, but other says it is actually keeping it artificially high), it makes no sense to talk of it as “manipulation” if only for the fact it has been doing it for decades.

The fear of “currency manipulation” is that countries would – through short term monetary intervention – game each other for short term competitive advantages in the balance of trade – and (sometimes) perhaps a longer term structural advantage by wiping out specific segments of industries abroad.

But keeping its currency low over decades does would not give such advantages because the cost China must eventually incur in importing goods would soon rise.  Rather than gaming for trade advantages, China is actually more correctly characterized as globally subsidizing / benefiting the world’s consumers.

If Trump must think about raising tariffs against China to bring jobs back, he should think just exactly which relatively poor paying, long hour jobs he plans to bring back?

Many of the trade deficit counted against China actually masks U.S.’s deficit with many of its closest allies.

Consider the case of the iPhone.  As I had previous discussed, even though every iPhone is putatively “made in China,” for every iPhone that is made, China contributes only a few dollars of value.  While every iPhone contributes some $200 of trade deficit “in favor” of China, the bulk of the value of that deficit actually goes to Japan, Germany, and S. Korea, not China.

If Trump begins to focus on bringing just the good paying jobs back from around the world, Trump will have to confront the issue of how so many of America’s competitors from around the world benefit from lower employment costs as a result of their governments paying for their workers’ healthcare and education.

Can GM compete against Toyota fairly when Japan offers its workers free universal healthcare?  Can ford compete against Volkswagen when Germany offers both universal healthcare and college education?

Sure – many other nations have higher taxes per capita … but at least most those taxes go back to directly benefit their citizens.  Compared to the U.S., which spends some 16% of its total budget on defense/military, other countries (see, e.g., U.K. and Japan) can afford to spend much more on infrastructural, healthcare, education, and social security than the U.S.

Toward a more prosperous America and a more peaceful world

So my hope is that despite the vitriolic reputation of Trump, Trump by wining the president, by feeling American workers’ plight, will think outside the box and begin a deep re-examination of America’s global role and find ways to re-invent in itself and also make the world also a more prosperous and peaceful place.

So Nobel Committee – the one that gave the peace prize to the Dalai Lama, Liu Xiaobo, and Barack Obama – if Trump does attempt this, are you going to give Trump one???

11 thoughts on “Trump for Peace and Prosperity

  1. The problem with the democrats is that ever since Bill Clinton, they ran as neoliberalists rather than progressives. The only progressive idea that they were trying to adopt was universal health care. The people who voted for democrats were fooled Bill Clinton, to Obama and now to Hillary?

    As for Obama, he is the biggest snake oil salesman out there, even more than Trump and Hillary. At least many Americans knows that Trump and Hillary are dishonest people, even the people who voted for them. People were voted for him thinking he is the next progressive but he is even more neoliberal than Bill Clinton, just go back to Occupy Wall Street movement when he sweep people under the rug by throwing down a gauntlet in their movement. He has favorable ratings of at around 50% despite starting drone wars, extrajudicial killings, and destabilize foreign countries and he got a Nobel Peace Prize?

  2. All I can say to this article is “Dream On”. I agree Obama’s “Change and Hope” was a failure from start, his Nobel Peace Prize was wishful thinking, so is the Trump electorate. The isolation and retrenchment? It’s not going to happen. His generals and advisors are more hawkish than any neocon, I predict his defense budget will rise by 20%, TPP may be dead, but 7th Fleet will sail on with more sailors and ships. He may force the management of United Technology to delay moving Carrier Air conditioner to string along and not move to Mexico for a while by giving them more contracts for F22 fighters, but people in coal country will have a long wait for jobs, and they will have longer lines for the annual charity medical doctors and dentists to fix their diseases and teeth in Appalachia. The 1% will get their tax cuts, the rest will be holding the bag.

  3. One more thing, the North Korea better keep quiet, or they might find nuclear bombs raining down their weapon sites.

  4. @NM Cheung,

    After Trump’s win, Michael Moore tweeted a quote from Bertram Gross resonated with me about “Friendly Fascism.”

    https://twitter.com/mmflint/status/796263199775539201

    “The next wave of fascism will come not with cattle cars and camps. It will come with a friendly face.” – Bertram Gross, “Friendly Fascism”

    This book Friendly Fascism came out in 1980 at around the same time when we see a wave of populism towards Reagan where he won in a landslide vs Carter. Bertram Gross describes Reagan ran as a “friendly” populist vs the establishment, but as a president he was the very opposite.

    Obama was even more of a clearer example of a “Friendly Fascist” than Reagan who ran as a progressive populist and was against the Iraq war. Promised to close Gitmo and help the poor during the economic crisis. With little establishment baggage, he fooled many people, even earning the Nobel Prize for being “Anti-Bush” within the first year of being elected. Gees, just listen at his speech at 2004 at the Democratic Convention, you would think that he is a progressive populist. He fooled many of us.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWynt87PaJ0

    I’m sure that many people who voted for Trump are probably not that enthusiastic about doing it and I don’t think that he is much of a Friendly Fascist. Many people already knows that he is already a fascist, but I disagree with Michael Moore that Trump is a “friendly fascist,” though he ran as a populist.

    As for Hillary Clinton, let’s be clear. She did NOT lose the election because her first name is Hillary, a woman. On the other hand, it had helped her. She lost because she is a Clinton, carry so much baggage as a hawkish corporate elitist. Let’s hope that the Democratic party won’t prop up another Friendly fascist.

  5. Now i dont know what Trump will do for sure, but surprisingly he is the only one who said he will not be first to use nukes during the debates. Of course he could be lying, like all politicians do, but then again why not a single other prez candidate say the same? Every other candidate will use the favorite phrase “i will take no option off the table”! I think Trump is more nuanced than most people think. But if such a view is wrong i diubt there is much downside due to the almost imposible-to-be-worst type of views held by all his detractors. I will just say that “a naked wolf is better than a wolf in sheeps clothing”. Almost everyone view him as the naked wolf, and will be ready to resist anytime. hRC and obama are the latter, and will get away with all kinds of criminal acts (They already did). trump on the other hand, have tons of enemies, including many in the establishment, just waiting to impeasch him….

  6. So it looks like Trump and Xi had a good cordial call – despite Trump’s campaign rhetoric that I believe so many take out of context.

    https://www.morningstar.com/news/dow-jones/TDJNDN_201611142147/trump-chinas-xi-set-tone-of-mutual-respect-in-phone-call.html

    BEIJING—The office of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said he spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping in a Sunday night (Eastern Standard Time) phone call in which the two leaders established a “clear sense of mutual respect.”

    Mr. Trump’s office confirmed the phone call early Monday in Washington. Chinese state news broadcaster CCTV elaborated on the call, citing Mr. Xi as saying that cooperation was the “sole correct choice” of the two nations, and that such cooperation in the past had yielded benefits for both nations

    “As the biggest developing nation, and the biggest developed nation, and the world’s two biggest economies, China and the U.S. must cooperate and the matters that can be cooperated on are many,” CCTV cited Mr. Xi as saying.

    News: Dow Jones

    Trump, China’s Xi, Set Tone of ‘Mutual Respect’ in Phone Call
    Print Share Font-size
    11/14/16 03:05 AM EST

    BEIJING—The office of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said he spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping in a Sunday night (Eastern Standard Time) phone call in which the two leaders established a “clear sense of mutual respect.”

    Mr. Trump’s office confirmed the phone call early Monday in Washington. Chinese state news broadcaster CCTV elaborated on the call, citing Mr. Xi as saying that cooperation was the “sole correct choice” of the two nations, and that such cooperation in the past had yielded benefits for both nations

    “As the biggest developing nation, and the biggest developed nation, and the world’s two biggest economies, China and the U.S. must cooperate and the matters that can be cooperated on are many,” CCTV cited Mr. Xi as saying.

    Mr. Trump’s campaign was marked by heated rhetoric targeting China, which he has pledged to declare a currency manipulator. He additionally proposed imposing 45% trade tariffs on China over the course of his campaign and has threatened to withdraw from the global climate-change accord the Obama administration championed alongside Chinese leadership in Paris last year.

    According to Mr. Trump’s office, the president-elect thanked Mr. Xi for his congratulations upon his election. “During the call, the leaders established a clear sense of mutual respect for one another, and President-elect Trump stated that he believes the two leaders will have one of the strongest relationships for both countries moving forward,” his office said.

    In an interview last week following his election, Mr. Trump told The Wall Street Journal that while he had heard from most leaders, he had yet to speak with Mr. Xi. Chinese state media said Mr. Xi congratulated Mr. Trump by telegram shortly after his election.

    CCTV said both leaders would keep in contact and aim to meet soon.

    Some may say … ahh … this is just diplomatic nicety. I don’t think so.

    Trump yesterday also had a similar “good” talk with Putin, in which the transition office said in a statement:

    (New York, NY) – President-elect Donald J. Trump today spoke with President Vladimir Putin, who called to offer his congratulations on winning a historic election. During the call, the two leaders discussed a range of issues including the threats and challenges facing the United States and Russia, strategic economic issues and the historical U.S.-Russia relationship that dates back over 200 years.

    President-elect Trump noted to President Putin that he is very much looking forward to having a strong and enduring relationship with Russia and the people of Russia.

    Sounds reasonable and nice, too … but supposedly that pissed out a lot of hawkish Republication establishments!

    On the frontpage of the Washington Post, it is printed: “Trump’s views on Russia put him at odds with many GOP defense hawks, who are uniformly suspicious of Moscow.”

    On the Wall Street Journal, it annouced: “Intelligence Expert Rogers Exits Trump Transition Team. Former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers has left President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team amid a major shuffle and power consolidation that has pushed out multiple key figures.”.

    On the New York Times, it is printed: “President-elect Donald J. Trump’s transition plunged into disarray with the abrupt resignation of Mike Rogers, who had handled national security matters.”

    These are distractions, but worthwhile distractions if it is a result of taking on the status quo, challenging the establishment, and establishing a real re-think of American policies all around…

  7. There’s growing Right Wing anti-immigration Resentment in US and the EU. The US and EU has been destabilizing countries in the Middle East in Latin America like Honduras causing people to flee to Western Countries. And people complain why are so many refugees coming to the US and EU the reason in the first place?

    In regards to getting rid of illegal immigrants in the US. I am certain that there will be much less of them compared to Obama sent back to their countries under Trump. The Democratic liberals will complain when they do that whereas Obama was under the pressure of the Republicans to send more of them.

  8. Remember when the conservative hawks at National Review all ganged up against Trump and devoted a special issue denouncing him – especially his foreign policy stances (see e.g. this washpost article or this real clear politics article)?

    Several Republicans are among a group of former cabinet officers, senior officials and career military officers who denounced Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Thursday, calling his recent remarks on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Russia “disgraceful.”

    The open letter, released first to The Washington Post, takes issue with Trump statements that appear to question the alliance, encourage Russia to hack and release Hillary Clinton’s deleted State Department emails, and seem to recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea, which the United States considers illegitimate.

    “These are disgraceful statements that betray our long-standing values and national interests embraced by presidents of both parties,” said the letter, signed by former secretary of state Madeleine Albright and former CIA director and defense secretary Leon Panetta.

    “We find Trump’s comments to be reckless, dangerous, and extremely unwise.  They contradict a core, bipartisan principle found in every U.S. administration — that our security in North America is indivisible with our democratic allies in Europe.”

    Signatories include Ian Brzezinski, who was deputy assistant secretary of defense for Europe and NATO policy in George W. Bush’s first term; Damon Wilson, a top NATO and European affairs adviser to Bush; and Randy Scheunemann, a neoconservative foreign policy figure.

    Now it appears Trump’s outcry against those hawk’s failed policy is not just campaign talk.

    See e.g., this wash post article.

    Eliot Cohen, a leading voice of opposition to Trump among former GOP national security officials during the campaign, blasted Trump’s transition team for its treatment of perceived foes.

    Cohen, meanwhile, drew widespread attention for his tweet.

    “After exchange w Trump transition team, changed my recommendation: stay away. They’re angry, arrogant, screaming “you LOST!” Will be ugly,’’ tweeted Cohen, who served from 2007 to 2009 as counselor to then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. He was a driving force behind an open letter last spring — eventually signed by 122 Republican national security leaders — who opposed Trump’s candidacy.

    Cohen, who last week had urged career officials to serve in Trump’s administration, said in an interview that a longtime friend and senior transition team official had asked him to submit names of possible national security appointees. After he suggested several people, Cohen said, his friend emailed him back in terms he described as “very weird, very disturbing.”

    “It was accusations that ‘you guys are trying to insinuate yourselves into the administration…all of YOU LOST.’…it became clear to me that they view jobs as lollipops, things you give out to good boys and girls,” said Cohen, who would not identify his friend.

    Cohen also said the transition official was “completely dismissive” of concerns raised about Trump’s appointment of Bannon, who Trump’s advisors have strongly defended.

    His friend’s email conveyed the feeling that ‘we’re so glad to see the bicoastal elites get theirs,’” added Cohen, who described the response as “unhinged.’’

    This article is written – in standard establishment fashion – of Trump the immature. I think the reality is more like the establishment not being mature when the new boss is not demurring to your oh so good looking resumes!

    I really, really hope Trump can steer away from the establishment and take this country’s foreign policy in a fundamentally new direction.

  9. Fake news is supposedly now officially a big problem …

    Some even say fake news contributed to Trump winning the election!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/18/world/europe/obama-angela-merkel-donald-trump.html

    But it was on the subject of false information coursing through social media and television that Mr. Obama was most impassioned, so much so that at one stage he lost track of the question he was answering.

    “Because in an age where there’s so much active misinformation and its packaged very well and it looks the same when you see it on a Facebook page or you turn on your television,” Mr. Obama said. “If everything seems to be the same and no distinctions are made, then we won’t know what to protect.

    Bogus news stories appearing online and on social media appear to have had a greater reach in the final months of the campaign than articles by authoritative, mainstream news outlets, according to an analysis of Facebook activity by BuzzFeed.

    In the three months before Election Day, the most popular stories produced by hoax sites and “hyperpartisan blogs” generated more engagement — likes, shares and comments — on Facebook than the most popular articles by major news websites, the analysis found.

    Among the 20 most popular fake election stories identified by BuzzFeed, all but three favored Mr. Trump or denigrated Hillary Clinton.

    Facebook and Google, which has also faced mounting criticism over distribution of fake stories on its platforms, said this week that they would take aim at the fake news sites’ online sources of revenue.

    In Berlin, Mr. Obama pointed a second time to the potential dangers of false news reports.

    “In the United States, if 43 percent of eligible voters do not vote, then democracy is weakened,” he said in response to a question about the recent election.

    “If we are not serious about facts and what’s true and what’s not, and particularly in an age of social media when so many people are getting their information in sound bites and off their phones, if we can’t discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, then we have problems.”

    Hmm, hmm…

    Many of us here thinks the likes of NYT and WSJ and Washington Post, CNN, BBC and Economist, etc., etc., regularly carry fake fraudulent news against China and the developing world.

    Also look at this:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/18/technology/fake-news-on-facebook-in-foreign-elections-thats-not-new.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=b-lede-package-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

    Facebook’s power is often stronger overseas than it is in the United States. In many developing countries with populations new to both democracy and social media, experts said, fake stories can be more widely believed. And in some of these countries, Facebook even offers free smartphone data connections to basic public online services, some news sites and Facebook itself — but limits access to broader sources that could help debunk fake news.

    One such place is the Philippines, where a spokesman for its populist president, Rodrigo Duterte, shared on Facebook an image of a corpse of a young girl believed to have been raped and killed by a drug dealer. Fact checkers later revealed that the photo had come from Brazil. Despite the debunking, proponents of Mr. Duterte’s bloody crackdown on reported drug dealers and addicts still cite the image in his defense, according to political analysts.

    In Indonesia, where Facebook is so popular that some people confuse it with the broader internet, the service has considerable sway.

    When Joko Widodo, Indonesia’s president, was running for office in 2014, he was accused through social media of being a Chinese Christian and a communist — severe criticism in the deeply Islamic country. The Indonesian politician released his marriage certificate to prove he wasn’t Chinese and made a pilgrimage to Mecca just before voting.

    “The fake news had a very big impact in our campaign,” said Tubagus Ramadhan, who helped Mr. Widodo run his social media campaign during the election.

    The online misinformation has not been limited to elections. In Colombia, Facebook users widely shared a crudely altered photo of a pop singer, Juanes, wearing a T-shirt suggesting he opposed a peace deal with the country’s largest rebel group. On Twitter, Juanes denied it. Colombia’s voters narrowly rejected the deal in a referendum last month.

    But when Chinese gov’t steps in to regulate what people agree are fake news, all we here are shrills how that is “censorship”!

    Note also: the above excerpt shows how immature the readers of these developing and poor democracies are in reality. So what’s the value of spreading democracy to the developing world when the electorate is so easily manipulated??? Are all these beacons of human self determination – or just poor rigged systems for U.S. and her many puppets around the world to exploit?

  10. Long time no post too! Hope you’re healthy and well Allen. I’ve also been busy killing time with remarkable success.

    Regarding Trump, I don’t think one person can do much to change a humongous and ingricate network such as the USA. Imagine being appointed God Father in Sicily tomorrow, what’re you going to do about your new job? You’re talking about the MIC and Wall Street here. I think he’ll disappoint his supporters just as Obama disppointed his. Fortunately, most supporters on either side don’t seem to be very senstive to the fact that they’ve been duped again, and again, and again. They’ll just wait another four years and repeat the election carnival.

    Back in March, I wrote a post “Trump for President” which many considered implausible. “Trump will never be president!” was the overwhelming opinion. I should have syndicated it here I suppose. Here it is: http://guo-du.blogspot.hk/2016/03/trump-for-president.html

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