Archive for April 4th, 2017
These days it seems as if the world is one large cyclonic toilet. Issues circle, disappear, others surface, circle, disappear, just to be replaced by others. It’s too much for even the media to say grace over.
So I’m not even going to try.
There’s a big picture issue coming up this week and it is instructive on a larger level. Chinese President Xi Jinping and the ambulatory orange bath mat are scheduled for a tete-a-tete at Mar-a-Lago this week. Column A on the menu is North Korea and Column B looks like trade.
Since the North Korean issue is a crazy town convention, I’ll stick to Column B. It is far more manageable.
First and foremost, Dolt 45’s life is transactional. Marriage is a prenuptial contract. Child rearing is a child support agreement. Business is one deal after another. He sees everything as transactional. Many commentators have mislabeled him as an authoritarian, but to be an authoritarian you must first have beliefs.
Umber Dolt has no guiding principles beyond winning. As we’ve discussed before, his competition means he measures everything – from the size of his paws to the number of floors in his buildings. His whole concept of self-worth is a ledger entry. Numbers serve one purpose – as a mirror of his self-esteem.
This is not lost on the Chinese. Dolt 45’s Chinese trademarks were miraculously approved after years of being blocked. Jared and Ivanka were courted by making them guests of honor at the Chinese New Year celebration in February. There are even new applications to market Ivanka’s jewelry in China.
The big leverage, the Chinese Anbang Insurance multi-billion dollar sweetheart real estate deal for the Kushner family, collapsed after much deserved Congressional and press criticism.
It’s against this backdrop President Xi matches wits with 70-year old Orange Herbert. And I forgot to mention, Xi is being prepped by the Chinese ambassador, a U.S. educated, professional diplomat with U.N. experience. The Orangeloupe is being prepped by the administration’s Swiss Army Knife that always dreamed of being a real boy, Jared Kushner.
A story would be helpful.
Let’s say there’s a school PTA holding a bake sale to raise money. The parents are divided into two groups because competition, like greed, is good. One team is led by Ivan Rottencrotch and the other is led by Holly Woodstar.
Ivan’s group goes the traditional route and bakes, bakes, bakes. They have lots of cupcakes to sell. They sell them for market price considering the cost of all the ingredients.
On the other hand, Holly’s group gets most of the ingredients donated. Holly is really just an aggregator, but since the ingredients cost her nothing, she can sell her cupcakes for much less and produce many more.
Holly’s group wins the competition. When her great victory is written up in the PTA newsletter, they only mention the overall sales figures between Ivan and Holly’s groups. They fail to mention the breakdown of just how Holly won – by having cheaper ingredients and bringing cheaper cupcakes to lots more rotund ‘Muricans.
That is trade in a nutshell. America is Holly Woodstar’s team. Since the good old ‘Murican dollar is the world’s reserve currency, foreign businesses and countries like to invest in ‘Murica. It allows domestic manufacturing to spread its supply chain globally and take advantage of cheaper components. That’s one of the reasons you can get a 55-inch television for $329. It’s why Walmart is Walmart. It’s why FedEx and UPS are not delivery companies, they are global supply chains.
These complexities are understood by the Chinese. As Sun Tzu said, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.” President Xi need not fear Dolt 45. We, on the other, should.
The carotene cone head is a transactionalist. If the Chinese offer to buy a few more jets from Boeing or Alibaba makes more meaningless promises, that’s all it is going to take for someone who is tweet-happy. What’s more, that’s all it takes to assuage a base always ready to blame the others.
Look for some grand trade announcements this week. It will be face-saving. While Dolt 45 is looking for his next tweet, Xi is looking ten-years into the future. Don’t for a minute think Xi doesn’t realize there is a tiny brained creature roaming the Mar-a-Lago grounds. By the end of the visit, he will have tamed and trained the tyrannical tranny.