Friday, December 2, 2016

Response to The Transition to a New World

(See: Just Above Sunset: The Transition to a New World)

And speaking of Truthiness...

I guess we should give Kudos to Trump for doing that Carrier deal, but the question remains, how long do we all have to wait before exposing the whole thing as a fraud?

Yes, I realize that it's been three-and-a-half weeks since the election, and I should by now have gotten used to this new concept of "Trumpian Truth” — which apparently is some version of truth that is granted an automatic waver from having to jibe with reality — but in fact (and this presumes “facts” have not received that same waver), it’s going to be interesting around here to watch Trump and his deluded constituency try to deal with reality when this new “Trumpian Truth” comes back around to bite them all in the collective rump.

Some, such as Steven Rattner, in the New York Timesare already at it:
Donald J. Trump spent much of his campaign peddling hope to beleaguered working-class Americans that, on his watch, those old-fashioned, good-paying manufacturing jobs would come back to America. … But the vast preponderance of American job losses has come simply because emerging-market countries have gotten much better at making stuff with workers earning far less. 
In 2015, a typical factory employee in the United States earned $37.71 an hour, including benefits; his Mexican counterpart received $5.90 an hour. And American executives say that the productivity that they get in Mexico is at least as good as what they get in the United States.
The Times imbeds a graph here that illustrates the larger problem by showing the discrepancy of hourly wages around the world, which I will do my best to replicate here:

Where Labor Is Cheap
Average hourly manufacturing compensation, including benefits.

Germany: $42.42 ********************************************
United States: 37.71 *********************************
France: 37.59 *****************************************
Britain: 31.44 **************************************
Japan: 23.60 ***********************************
Brazil: 7.97 *************
Mexico: 5.90 *******
China: 4.12 *******
India: 1.59 ***

Figures for 2015 except China (2013) and India (2012). 
Source: Conference Board
By The New York Times

According to more detail from Rattner, Trump’s Mexican dilemma is even worse than it looks:
Mr. Trump’s recent proclamation that he kept a Ford plant in Kentucky from closing was a mirage — Ford never planned to shutter the plant or eliminate any positions. More significantly, Ford is still going forward with the construction of a $1.6 billion facility in Mexico to assemble small cars, which cannot be done profitably using expensive American labor.
Trump could, as he has promised, slap high tariffs on the cars that come back across the border, but that brings us to another important economic reality that Trump hasn’t really been addressing:
Higher import duties would hurt the very people Mr. Trump is trying to help. Thanks to trade, prices of many goods have fallen. In the decade between 2002 and 2012, the prices of toys dropped by 43 percent and those of furniture and bedding fell by 7 percent. 
All told, one study of 40 countries found that if international trade ended, the wealthiest consumers would lose 28 percent of their purchasing power while those in the bottom tenth, who typically rely on more imported goods, would lose 63 percent. Sure, a small number of manufacturing jobs would return, but at an extraordinary price.
So something Trump, along with those geniuses who voted for him because they thought a businessman like him would have a better handle on the economy, need to realize is that, in this new “globalism” environment these days, you can’t really escape the consequences of living on the globe — you either pay for living by increasing your wages, or you do it by lowering the amount of money you spend on everything, but if you try to do both at the same time, you’re going to end up like a dog chasing his tail.

And as for Scottie Nell Hughes’ Trumpian theory of facts?
And so one thing that has been interesting this entire campaign season to watch, is that people that say facts are facts – they’re not really facts. Everybody has a way – it’s kind of like looking at ratings, or looking at a glass of half-full water. Everybody has a way of interpreting them to be the truth, or not truth. There’s no such thing, unfortunately, anymore as facts. 
And so Mr. Trump’s tweets, amongst a certain crowd – a large part of the population – are truth.
That’s probably because Donald Trump ran a Reality-TV-like campaign that appealed to voters who didn’t care if anything he said was true or not, which tricked you all into thinking there really is no such thing as truth.

But starting in January, there will be a change of the rules, in which Trump’s success will not depend on hoodwinking a gaggle of half-interested red states, but will hang on his ability to make deals with — assuming you people really believe in Him — the Big Man Himself, someone who, I am led to understand, doesn’t take kindly to folks fudging around with The Truth.

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