Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Global Economy is Slowing: Trump’s Trade Wars Make it Worse.

Global Economy is Slowing: Trump’s Trade Wars Make it Worse.

Trump knows twitter; He doesn’t know trade and economic policy, 

From the NY Times.

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s trade war is chilling business investment, confidence and trade flows across the world, a development that foreign leaders and business executives say is worsening a global economic slowdown that was already underway.
Recent softening in Europe, Australia and other parts of the world coincides with Mr. Trump’s intensified trade fight with China and other partners. Economists warn that further escalation by Mr. Trump — like tariffs on more Chinese goods or levies on foreign autos — could slow global growth to a crawl.
“With these trade tensions, the global economy, in a sense, is getting close to a crossroads,” said Ayhan Kose, the director of the World Bank’s Prospects Group.
Weakness in China, driven in part by fallout from the trade war, has spread to Germany, Australia and other nations, raising supply chain costs, chilling exports and worrying political and economic leaders.

On Tuesday, Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, said the bank was prepared to inject more stimulus into the eurozone economy to combat the economic slowdown.

The effects of Mr. Trump’s trade war have been particularly hard on Germany, Europe’s largest economy, which has been bracing for a decision about whether the United States will impose tariffs on auto imports. Trade anxiety has led to a decline in business sentiment and spending: Overall German industrial production contracted sharply in April, falling 1.9 percent on the month versus the 0.5 percent analysts expected.

Read more: 

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

How Kamala Harris Dodged California’s ‘Sanctuary State’ Debate

How Kamala Harris Dodged California’s ‘Sanctuary State’ Debate



The increasingly vocal immigrant rights champion shied away from her state’s trailblazing effort to pass a statewide “sanctuary” policy.



By Roque Planas  Huff  Post

As she seeks the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.) has become an ambassador for her state’s “sanctuary” laws that limit local law enforcement’s power to hold migrants on behalf of federal immigration authorities.

But in her first years as California attorney general, Harris was far more cautious about endorsing policies that protect undocumented people from deportation. From 2011 to 2013, as pro-immigrant California activists and legislators struggled to pass a trailblazing, statewide sanctuary law called the Trust Act over the objections of then-Gov. Jerry Brown (D) and the Obama administration, Harris remained largely silent.

“Around the Trust Act, it was bupkus. It was zilch. It was invisible. There was just no help from that office,” Trust Act author Tom Ammiano, who is now backing Bernie Sandersin the presidential primary, told HuffPost of Harris’ office. “It didn’t land well with the immigrant rights folks.”

Harris is now a leading foe of President Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown. The daughter of immigrants, she has called for the deprivatization of the immigrant detention system and vowed that, if elected, she’d issue a far-reaching executive action that would extend citizenshipto many Dreamers. And Harris supporters, including a spokesperson for her campaign, insist that she harbored misgivings about state collaboration with Immigration and Customs Enforcement since before her election as California’s top law enforcement officer, even if she rarely aired them publicly and declined to take a position on legislation that would have addressed the issue.

Many activists and political figures who pushed the Trust Act see Harris’ growing support of their cause as a genuine evolution that has gained urgency since Trump upended the immigration debate. But they also view her reluctance to get involved as a misunderstanding of where the immigrant rights movement was heading ― and her caution left some worrying she may continue to lead from behind on immigration, Trump’s signature issue.

“The Trust Act was a new way to limit ICE at the state level,” Angela Chan, policy director for Asian Americans Advancing Justice, told HuffPost. “We were at the forefront. She didn’t get why it was important to support it at the time. … She only signaled support when it was safe to do so.”

Caution And Silence


Dating from her time as San Francisco district attorney, Kamala Harris kept discussions about immigration at arm’s length, immigrant rights activists say.

Today, support for sanctuary policies is widespread among Democrats, who now see such laws as a last line of defense against Trump’s draconian immigration measures.

But when Harris took office as California attorney general in January 2011, Democratic leaders were at war with each other over the subject.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Trump's Tariff War

Trump Makes America Irresponsible Again
Why “tariff” isn’t a “beautiful word.”
Opinion Columnist

Donald Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on Mexican exports unless our neighbor does something — he hasn’t specified what — to stop the flow of asylum-seekers is almost surely illegal: U.S. trade law gives presidents discretion to impose tariffs for a number of reasons, but curbing immigration isn’t one of them.


It’s also a clear violation of U.S. international agreements. And it will reduce the living standards of most Americans, destroy many jobs in U.S. manufacturing, and hurt farmers.


But let’s put all of that to one side and talk about the really bad stuff.


Trump says that “TARIFF is a beautiful word indeed,” but the actual history of U.S. tariffs isn’t pretty — and not just because tariffs, whatever the tweeter in chief says, are in practice taxes on Americans, not foreigners. In fact, it’s now a good bet that Trump’s tariffs will more than wipe out whatever breaks middle-class Americans got from the 2017 tax cut.


The more important fact is that until the 1930s, tariff policy was a cesspool of corruption and special-interest politics. One of the main purposes of the 1934 Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act, which eventually became the template for the modern world trading system, was to drain that particular swamp by removing the capriciousness of previous tariff policy.














https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/03/opinion/trump-tariffs.html

Sunday, June 2, 2019

I Know Where I Came From; Does President Trump?


I Know Where I Came From; Does President Trump?
Bernie Sanders


My political agenda has been shaped by my family’s experiences of struggling to make ends meet.


Today our rate of childhood poverty is among the highest of any developed country in the world, millions of workers are forced to work two or three jobs just to survive, hundreds of thousands of bright young people cannot afford to go to college, millions more owe outrageous levels of student debt, and half a million people are homeless on any given night. Over 80 million Americans have inadequate health insurance or spent part or all of last year without any insurance, and one out of five cannot afford the prescription drugs they need.
While wages in the United States have been stagnant for over 40 years, we have more income and wealth inequality than at any time since the 1920s. 
Today, the wealthiest three families in the country own more wealth than the bottom half of the American people and the top 1 percentowns more wealth than the bottom 90 percent. Millions of workers earn starvation wages even as nearly half of all new income is going to the top 1 percent.  read more, 


Saturday, June 1, 2019

Trump's Path to Electoral Victory

The GOP's plan to re-elect Trump in 2020 can only be stopped through unity—and that unity is under threat by centrists in the Democratic establishment. 
BY JOEL BLEIFUSS