TGIF. Of course, when you’re retired, Friday’s do not hold the same meaning. But, let’s celebrate anyway. Here are a few follies for this Friday.
I read today Donald Trump was a huge Brexit proponent but is now blaming Brexit for his Scottish golf courses losing money to the tune of 3.7 million pounds. He should have realized this beforehand as the EU facilitated easy travel to play his courses. But, that would have required more rational thinking as a business person. Someone should have explained it to him. Of course, the banks tried to tell all Britons about the dilutive impact of Brexit, but too few believed them. This is not a surprise, except to Boris, Nigel, Donald and crowd.
Speaking of making it difficult to transact commerce, when said golf course owner placed tariffs on everyone as US president, he failed to understand history that tariffs don’t work, as they punish the wrong people – the customers and those who serve them. When it costs more money to buy something or replenish inventory to sell, buyers find a different path forward. For example, when the US made it difficult to do business with our buyers and sellers, people went elsewhere. So, it disrupted markets that had taken years to build. As an example, tractor sales in the US declined, while they increased in Brazil. Why? China was getting more food harvest from Brazil than before due to retaliatory tariffs.
One thing that Republican House leadership should have realized when they put some of their extreme members on Committees, is they elevated the platform of these folks. A key thing the House leaders failed to learn about Trump and are failing to realize now, is the past inane comments are only part of what they need to worry about. The future inane comments or the undiscovered past ones are the ones that should keep them up at night. But, the known past ones are fair game, as well. AOC noted in response to GOP criticism of Democrats about Jews that it is hard to take that comment seriously when the GOP put a woman on a committee who has commented on Jewish space lasers as a source of problems.
What troubles me about these committee assignments of the more extreme members of the House is it is one thing to have a gerrymandered district being represented by someone unqualified to do so given their bent toward inane and denigrating comments, but when they are placed on committees, they are representing us all. That is harmful to our country. Whether it is the Republican or Democrat party, they must police their own, otherwise it harms the party and country. Republicans like to pick on AOC, Ihlan Omar Nancy Pelosi, eg, but they are not on the same level like some of the extreme folks representing the Republican party. I can disagree with AOC, Pelosi and Omar and still respect their opinions. I cannot say the same for more than a few extreme folks in the House.
The sad part about these follies is they all are true. We are the ones who have to suffer the fools and foolish behavior. We need to stop following fools’ errands. We deserve better governance than we are getting. We deserve civil and truthful discourse.
I worry about two things, Keith: how long it will take to undo the damage in the States, especially in the world view; and the madness creeping into Canada, as sadly we are affected.
VJ, unfortunately, a bad habit of the US is to export more bad habits – fast food, addictive processed food, gun violence, toxic environmental behavior, uncivility, political inanity and insanity, etc.
When I worked for a global firm, some of our best ideas came from outside the US. Keith
You’ve pointed out full well Keith the descent in madness at allowing these folk of little common sense or true perception being in these positions of responsibility, while they show little of this themselves.
Naturally I cannot summon up any sympathy for Trump and his Brexit woes. Currently Brexit is something that some sections of the governing Conservative Party would rather not mention or have discussed. Those who do have the courage to mention it describe the whole business of the referendum and the post-Brexit era as a colossal waste of time, effort and capital. A folly damaging to the economy, culture and by far worse looking to endanger the fragile politics of Northern Ireland.
Roger thanks. You raise a good point about those who are trying to mask their endorsement of Brexit. I hope people don’t let them get away with it as they harmed the economy for several more years to come. Keith
Thanks to the Brexit surge, coded racism and the incompetence of Labour under Corbyn the conservatives won the 2019 election with a solid majority of 89.
Johnson chose a cabinet designed for Brexit only, people came and went as each demonstrated an inflexibility to deal with other issues. Johnson’s true nature as simply a Bon Vivian was exposed, Truss’ election demonstrated a party out of touch with Reality and split between MPs and the membership.
Sunak and Hunt (Chancellor) demonstrate a path back to common sense and hard decisions, but not truly in control of the Party.
We are now in the situation where it is technically a possibility that Labour might win the next election. Conventional history would normally indicate they would greatly reduce the Conservative Majority.
Thus for Labour to win demonstrates a remarkable sort of incompetence and detachment from reality by The Conservatives.
And yet they managed two great challenges. However they should not get too many plaudits.
It has to be said that:
1. Since a Russian invasion of Ukraine would be a natural affront to the Conservatives, the correct response happily coincided with a knee-jerk one.
2. Covid quite rightly awakened everyone. The technocrats happily took over, though questions have been asked about the farming out of private contracts to deal with the crisis.
In addition Hunt to his credit has managed to do the economic version of magic and summon up funds to bail out people during the energy price rises.
This said to return to the original point, there is much dissatisfaction in the UK which indicates the voter base feels a lack of confidence in the Conservatives as a safe bet for a very uncertain future. They will have to work very hard to win back the 2019 enthusiasm; either that or Labour might go into another round of civil war- not likely under Stammer who appears to have a diluted version of a Stalinistic hold. (Not a problem as far as I am concerned)
Where the UK goes from now is in the hands of the electorate.
Take care Keith both or nations head into turbulent waters.
Thanks Roger for the greater context. I did see something sadly bemusing. Some Republicans here were embracing Liz Truss. Have they not been paying attention to the shortest stint ever as PM? I think people don’t pay attention when it matters and then get surprised when things go down hill. Johnson surrounding himself with Brexit sycophants opened up the holes in the dyke even further. I admired Abraham Lincoln who set-up a cabinet of dissenting voices to garner their feedback. Johnson could have learned from this. Keith
Maybe Trump should have taken that economics class after all. On the one hand, his decisions as president would have been more sensible and forward-looking, and on the other, he would probably have had a better handle on his own finances.
Erika, one of the most surprising things about the former president has been how little he knows about economics and finance. Case in point – on about twenty occasions he would say “China is paying for the tariffs” and in each article his position would be corrected by real economists. Importers pay the tariffs and pass them along to customers who foot the bill.
His greatest talent has always been selling, especially himself to investors, lenders and buyers. These folks should have kicked the tires more. Keith
That’s how I see it too…
Note to Readers: While not Brexit, a funny story occurred long after Donald Trump lost a long court case against windmills being built visible offshore from his Scottish golf courses. These windmills were designed to ameliorate climate change which he actively naysayed. The story is Trump’s golf courses petitioned in writing the Scottish government to build a sea wall to protect his golf courses from rising seas due to (wait for it) climate change.
I have always felt that at least one course in economics should be required in high school. Now, I wonder if it also needs to be a required course each year someone is in office. Magical thinking is bad enough in day-to-day life, it can be a disaster if decisions are made that way for the whole country.
Janis, I agree on both counts. The high school class could focus on budgeting, credit, investing, etc. The one for legislators could be more macro. Many moons ago, I felt elected officials did more homework and knew more things. Today, there are too many that do neither. Keith
As a co-retiree I relish a fish dinner to celebratefor TGIF a fish dinner to celebrate TGIF
David, fish on Friday is the way to go. Keith