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Tag Archives: President Trump

Most important event of 2020? The US election

TweetAn interview question from Chosun Ilbo (the #1 Korean newspaper) for the New Year:   Which political event of 2020 should concern us the most? (E.g., the U.S. presidential election, the geopolitical crisis on the Korean Peninsula, Brexit…?) My response: Perhaps I am too US-centric.  But out of all events in 2020, I see November’s presidential election in the United States as warranting the greatest concern, not just for my home country but for the world. To recap briefly a familiar...

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RMB reaches 7.0; US names China a manipulator

TweetAugust 12, 2019 –The US-China trade war heated up in the first week of August.  On August 1, Donald Trump abruptly announced plans to impose a 10 % tariff on the remaining $300 billion of imports from China that he had not already hit with earlier tariffs.   The Chinese authorities then allowed their currency, the renminbi (RMB), to fall in value below the highly visible line of 7.0 RMB/$.  The US Administration promptly reacted on August 5 by naming China a “currency manipulator” —...

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Comparing Presidents Reagan and Trump: The Case of International Trade

]]> “I am a tariff man...” President Trump, December 2018 “We should beware of the demagogues who are ready to declare a trade war against our friends—weakening our economy, our national security, and the entire free world—all while cynically waving the American flag.” President Reagan, November 1988 (If you have five extra minutes -- and tissues to wipe away tears of joy, affection, and patriotism -- watch the full Reagan defense of free trade.) Many people would end the...

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Trump escalates China trade war

TweetAugust 5, 2019 — The China’s People’s Daily in an interview had three questions about the US threat of August 1 to apply tariffs on the remainder of Chinese goods. As the tariff list of Trump now covers all the goods from China, economists are warning that consumers will pay more for the tariff. Do you share this concern? JF Answer: Yes, the additional tariffs — 10% on the remaining $ 300 billion of imports from China — will clearly raise the price that American consumers have to pay...

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Comparing Presidents Reagan and Trump: The Case of Regulation

]]> Thanks to a book written in 1986 by former Reagan CEA member William Niskanen, it is easy for an economist from the Trump CEA to rigorously compare economic policies and processes between the two presidents.  On these pages I will compare regulation, trade, tax, spending/deficit, and “draining the swamp.”  I will also look at policy processes and personalities.The results surprised me and will likely surprise readers too.  The amount of deregulation in health, banking,...

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Marxist Perspectives on White House Staff Turnover

The labor theory of value (a.k.a., law of value) is an aspect of Marxist theory that still thrives in the marketplace of ideas.  It values anything and everything according to how much labor went into it. Therefore, for example, Ben Rhodes contributed at least thrice more to the Federal government than, say, Brian Blase because Rhodes served 96 months in the Obama White House (as Deputy National Security Advisor) while Blase served only 29 (as Special Assistant to President Trump for...

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Who recognizes economic history first: politicians or economists?

]]> Figure 1 is the familiar chart showing the “Laffer curve” relationship between a tax rate and the net revenue from the tax.  A small tax on, say, wireless internet service is expected to provide more revenue (point B) than would be obtained without any tax on wireless internet service (point A).  It is conceivable that the wireless internet tax rate could get so high that further increases in the rate actually reduce revenue (point C) as consumers take steps to evade taxation...

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The Trade War Resumes

TweetDonald Trump on May 5 suddenly revealed that a trade agreement with China was not imminent after all.  To the contrary, the Administration on May 10 raised its earlier 10 percent tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25%, and threatened to extend 25% tariffs to the remainder of imports from China by late June (roughly $300 billion of goods).  China, of course, retaliated against US exports [announcing reciprocal 25% tariffs on $60 billion of US goods, to start June 1.  Surprised...

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Moore Troubles for the Fed

TweetApril 30, 2019 — Of the two men whom Donald Trump had intended to nominate to empty seats on the Federal Reserve Board, Herman Cain has now withdrawn his name.  This leaves the other one, Stephen Moore. The Senate would have to decide whether to confirm Moore. He has some problems roughly analogous to Cain’s:  he is considered to be under an ethical cloud and he often gets his economic facts wrong.  Cynics might respond that he would thereby fit right in with the roster of Trump...

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Six right predictions in 2018

December 30, 2018 –– I realize that compiling a list of one’s own past forecasts is self-indulgent.  But perhaps there are readers who will indulge me too, as I run through six predictions that – it seems to me – were mostly proven right this past year. Volatility, as measured by the VIX, had been too low and would rise. The stock market was too high and would fall. Trump would switch from attacking the Fed for low interest rates, as he had during 2010-2016, to attacking it for raising...

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