How Trump-Era Trade Policy Threatens to Send up the Prices You See on Store Shelves

Here.

Fine with me!

Actually, I think it is a hollow argument. Remember those Nike and other fancy sneakers you used to buy for $70-80? Well some dirtball who was head of Nike was manufacturing those shoes in Indonesia for $7 a shoe. Furthermore, he paid his workers so little that many Nike workers in that land were suffering from malnutrition because they didn’t even have enough food to eat. Import them for $7, sell them for $70. Quite a profit margin for the head of Nike.

I always wondered about how outrageous that was until I went to buy shoes recently. The same sneakers that I had always paid $75 for were now available for $30. I assume they still cost $7 to make in wherever. It’s just that Joe Shoe Company is now making $23 profit instead of $67 profit. I think that’s basically what’s going to happen when we put tariffs on this stuff. They are probably already totally ripping us on most of this stuff anyway, so I figure with the tariffs, they will just make $300% profit instead of $1,000% profit. Oh no, they’ll have to raise prices! Bull.

Anyway I would be perfectly happy to pay higher prices for some stuff, which I doubt are even economically justified. Price competition seems so vicious in retail nowadays that I gather that if tariffs make Joe Ripoff Capitalist feel he has to raise his prices probably for no good reason, I assume that there will be all sorts of cut-rate guys out there just waiting to undercut him. I doubt if it is economically justified in most cases.

And if it means I buy less from China, that’s fine with me. Every single item I have ever bought made in China has been a complete piece of garbage. That includes two floor lamps that each cost me $100. They both lasted a couple of years before they broke. Back in the 1970’s, you bought a lamp and it lasted forever. There was no such thing as “the lamp broke and we had to buy a new one.” It never happened. I do not believe we ever replaced one lamp in my parental home. And I believe my mother still has a lamp that she got from her mother, no doubt purchased sometime between 1920 and 1935. Here it is 80-90 years later, and the damned thing still works. I doubt if it has broken one time. This junk coming out of China must be built with planned obsolescence in mind. I am sure of it.

76 Comments

Filed under Asia, Capitalism, China, Economics, Government, Neoliberalism, Politics, Regional, Republicans, US Politics, USA

76 responses to “How Trump-Era Trade Policy Threatens to Send up the Prices You See on Store Shelves

  1. It depends whether USA people, especially the elites are willing to pay the price of making stuff in USA.

    China produce low cost goods because it is what people can afford.You can buy a Chinese car. Or you guys can go buy a nice ferrari produced by highest white man standards, and most of the payment support 50 days vacation leave, pensions, healthcare insurance of ferrari workers.

    I am sure white man peasant will be ready to do that to build a worker utopia among yourselves, but not white man elites.

    • Noneofmany

      It’s not like that. The cost savings for American consumers that are derived from outsourcing and cheap labor are quite small. Almost all of the gains made from outsourcing went to corporate accounts and CEO paychecks.

      If America repatriated those jobs there would be cost increases in many none essential goods but it would be small compared to the increase in wages and reduction of joblessness.

      • China’s own military aggression in Pacific Ocean/South China Seas might contribute to this trade balance because everything Made in China has to shipped from China and Southeast Asia.

        Chinese factories are not nearby U.S. consumers. You have to ship the products across the Pacific! and then you have interstate trucking fees.

        Even if the worker is paid $1 per day the shipping and handling logistics are sky-high.

        But Chinese thinking is not holistic. In fact, though they have a natural flair for bribery and corruption and trickery they are sort of stupid.

  2. CREADERS China will threaten to mess around with its own currency value again in order to prevent the catastrophic unemployment jump that would result from mass-layoffs from American factories on China’s east coast.

    I’m not sure that Trump could convince one factory owner to build a plant in the United States and pay union-scale wages.

    If all the American factories closed Philippines would get a non-stop flow of Chinese on boats as well as Taiwan, Singapore.

    • The biggest currency manipulator is USA and every single currency in the world is a derivative of world reserve currency dollar.

    • Noneofmany

      Umm, actually he can.

      But it’s not the way people think.

      If the US wanted to back it’s corporations with either direct subsidies or cash reimbursements for lost revenues (stemming from foreign intervention and trade restrictions) their would nothing China or any other country, or even block of countries could do about.

      Thanks to China/Germany/India/South Korea etc financial and currency policies the dollar has been made the unbreakable currency king and never goes down significantly pretty much regardless of world events. Even the US treasury couldn’t sink the dollar when tried to in 2011-2012 with quantitative easing and heavy printing.

      That means that unlike China or Germany America has nearly unlimited financial ammo needed to backstop our businesses in a trade conflict.

  3. Then why is China constantly in the news for devaluation?

    Your patriotism reflects how unable to assimilate Chinese are.

    Your family has probably been in Singapore for 120 years but your loyalty is for China.

    • Yee

      TRASH, your information is a bit outdated. A lot of foreign factories have already left during the last decade, to Southeast Asia or India. The unemploymemt crisis has come and gone. I know because I live in GZ city of Guangdong, where China’s largest portion of export business comes from.

      • Yee

        Oh, if anyone is interested in how China solved the unemployment problem, here it is: by building infrastructure like crazy.

        • YEE Why then is Trump so obsessed with trade arrangements with China?

          Apart from building the railroad tracks 120 years ago, Chinese have never had much of an impact in the United States (Compared to Jews, Italian-Americans etc. whose political power in the U.S. is considerable).

          Why then his platform?

        • Yee

          Because blaming China is PC, American public has long ago accepted this concept.

        • Yee

          TRASH, when Chinese products become more expense, don’t you think the factories will leave for other third world countries? What’s point in obsess with us?

          If Trump is serious about bringing jobs back to America, he should go about the kind of real protectionism China put in for the farmers, stop wasting time on currency issue, because it’s useless.

          In a sense, Chinese peasants is the same as US working class: some of them find new jobs in the new era, some miss the train and strand. Whether it’s their own fault or not, you cannot just let them just sink, you must protect their livelihood.

          So China put in the real kind of protectionism:1) waive all agricultural taxes; 2) select some crops(rice, wheat, corn) and put a minimum price on them; 3) forget about tariff, they actully use quotas for thoes three; 4) other subsidies for machinery and fertilizer etc.

          I’m sure US doesn’t need such drastic measures, but some realistic policy should be put in.

        • YEE That’s a fairly short-term solution. At any rate it is a tiny sliver on the East coast of China that keeps the economy stable by employing workers from the interior of China.

          I’ve gone through borders at Laos. China inland is really backward and not much wealthier than Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines.

          Northern border with Russia is different and after all Manchurian Chinese themselves are basically Russians. It’s grim and drab on the Soviet border but not as backward at the Boten border at Laos.

        • Trash can you stop lying? Manchurian are Russian? LOL

      • Yee, are you a speaker of Standard Cantonese? If so, I would like your help on a paper I am writing about Chinese dialects.

        • Yee

          Yes, I am. But my English is not enough to help you with anything, I’m afraid. Ask Lin, HKer are much better in English.

    • A moron and liar like Trash should stop writing as if he is a sage. You are too stupid to believe in USA corporate media.

      BTW USA and white man should send a thank you note for Chinese accumulation of USD reserve, aka “currency manipulation”(perfectly ok for other state like India, Saudi..etc. IMF world bank, Goldman, Soros..etc USA stooge will hammer those who dont).

      What if China accelerate in accumulating Gold? Go figure and the so call “currency manipulation” is what white man want from China.

      Stop wasting all our fucking time.

      • CREADER

        Pray tell why then Trump is so obsessed with trade arrangements with China?

        • This got nothing to do with currency manipulation.

          The real reason everyone are losers vs China on trade is China is the stronger party, because of the intelligence, virtue, discipline and sheer size of Chinese population.

          The Anglo-Jews advocation of free trade, works on their benefit in the past when USA and UK are strong party which they think they could maintain it perpetually.

          Not a single nation state is capable of matching China in trade and white man need to beg China into “managed trade”.

          Hell to all those econs Nobel Prize liars.

        • GulliverFredrich

          “Not a single nation state is capable of matching China in trade and white man need to beg China into “managed trade”.”

          Yeah bullshit, China was a worthless backwater shit hole, before Western elites decided to ship over Western manufacturing to your overrated and completely unoriginal country, to exploit you mongoloids for cheap slave labor. Chinese are great liars and deceivers, and con artists and anyone who has dealt or done business with them can tell you so. Chinks are down there with Indians when it comes to degenerate low brow behavior. Without greedy anglo-Jew elites, China would have been the worthless third world backwards cesspool it was before globalization.

  4. Lin

    No.
    Let me point out two important development:
    The cheap labour low market segment manufacturing in china are moving out to places ike Vietnam, philipines, Bangladesh because of wage increase in china. Trump wants to bring jobs back to US. It’ll happen either in the form of 1) large number low wage jobs in factories without much automation or 2) much smaller number of higher paid jobs in automated factories. Take your pick.. Either way the price increase might not be much.
    2)China is spending big on robotics and R&D and moving up the market ladder.
    http://phys.org/news/2016-10-robots-center-china-strategy-leapfrog.html
    http://qz.com/374039/huaweis-rd-spend-is-massive-even-by-the-standards-of-american-tech-giants/

    Much of the burger flipping jobs in US could be gone within 10 to 15 years.
    A few days ago, I bought a 48″ fluorescent tube at about HK$12 or US$2. Yes,it might not be very durable but I was amazed by how cheap it is.

    • GulliverFredrich2

      China is not going to become number 1 at all, all the signs indicate otherwise. This stupid China Khazars Jew created hype needs to stop; China is the most overrated and over hyped country in the world at this point, and they don’t really meet half the hype. China is a paper tiger and a polluted glorified Wal Mart factory and cess pool…

  5. CREADERS

    People who flip burgers are happy to sit home on welfare and smoke drugs all day. In 15 years this will not bother anybody. China has no welfare system except for Ministers who steal for a living in government positions, so such a technological shift would prove ruinous to them.

    Your silly Overseas Chinese Community patriotism is disproved by how little Singapore accomplished before 1965 and does not quite answer the question of why trade with China seems to be a more important issue to Trump than Bangladesh, if that is where production moved.

    I actually agree with you that China simply is not that important unless they actually disrupt South China Sea traffic which again will affect their own trade more than that of the United States.

    • There is a fledgling universal healthcare in China. Chinese believe if you are able, you go die if you don work.

      No micro states progress as much as Singapore.

      • Singapore is equal parts Indian and Malay, so its success can hardly be tied entirely to Chinese comprising 1/3 of its population only.

        Don’t misinterpret me. I think Malays are naturally lazier and Indians chaotic and if they ran the country it would be second-rate.

        But it is the Chinese adherence to the British legal framework that has kept it running.

    • Yee

      TRASH,
      The very reason Trump cares more about trade with China then with India is that the vast majority of the factories that haven’t moved are unable to move. He is just going on and on about this to fool you.

      Manufacturing is a complicated chain. Products are not made from raw materials but parts. For every product you have 50 suppliers to produce the parts, and you’re not their only buyer. Therefore, if you want a TV making factory to go back to US, you have to move 50 of it’s suppliers too. If there’s not enough business for them in US, which one of thoes 50 will go? Unless US rebuild the whole system, few of the jobs are going back. And I doubt Trump is that ambitious, and it will take years to do so. The most he can do, is ask the factories to import the part’s and then put them together in US. Therefore, you can forget about tariffs.

      Don’t call the Chinese stupid, because we’re not.

      • Noneofmany

        Yeah so? We’re not calling for an imidiate halt to all imports. Tariffs are levied to increase cost of imports so businesses have motivation to move manufacturing, not stop it all together.

        Likewise parts manufacturers are spread all over. The target is Chinese exports not just anyone’s.

        • You can raise tariff so long your elites are willing to pay you guys higher wages.

          Go day dream.

        • Yee

          Because the parts are made in China, even if you move the assembling lines to England or India, you don’t hurt China much, unless you asked England or India to raise tariff too.

      • YEE

        At that point China would then try and keep its economy propped up by militarily occupying the South China Sea to place its own tariffs on the sea lane trade.

        Reducing it to an outsource trade nation keeps its aggression towards Southeast Asia in check.

        Trump’s generals and military advisers will have already told him this, I’m sure.

        • It would be foolish for Chinese to better oneself materially by starting a war, and building military infrastructure, that contributes nothing to an additional IPAD.

          Trash your mind is cluttered by USA imperialist nonsense and no Chinese is that stupid.

        • Yee

          TRASH,

          You don’t know the long term plans of China. We will not remain a outsourse trade nation, because we have built up a full industry system. We are’t just a nation that only provide cheap labour, we are capable of making our own products.

          Using military power to collect tariff is the last thing on our mind. Our plan is to develpe 2 trade routes, one to Africa by sea the other on land to Europe, dumping all kind of goods along the way. Who cares about tariff?

  6. CREADERS Anglo-Jewish investment was what pulled Yew’s Malaysian tropical hellhole out of the toilet bowl in 1965. Chinese would still be growing tapico and drunk all day and living in gross poverty if Britain had not foot the bill for the start-up money to bring Singapore into the 20th century.

    Singapore did not even have a decent shipyard until the Brits built one. And they had to remain there until the late 70’s when Chinese/Indians were finally educated and trained enough to function themselves.

    Hong Kong and Singapore function as city-states because Britain was a baby-sitter.

    Because it was city-state and small, this was possible but Britain still had to invest millions in Singapore and build its factories and modernize its shipyards.

    • Why dont British modernized their own or India shipyard?

      • India wanted the British out. Singapore was happy to be a protectorate with the flow of money and arms and materials that this ensured from Britain.

        Lee Kwan Yew maintained a good relationship with the Brits while India waged a guerrilla war to expel them.

        Chinese and Indians went to Singapore BECAUSE it was a British colony with a vibrant colonial economy. Prior to British colonization it was simply another Malay settlement in the jungle.

        Britain voluntarily left Singapore in the 70’s because the tax payer did not want to pay the bill for some Malaysian city-state.

  7. GULLIVER For a great insight into how the OCC (Overseas Chinese Community) trade and business has benefited Southeast Asia one can visit the Philippines where Chinese who comprise about 1% of the population live in various degrees of wealth while Filipinos sleep in the road.

    Southeast Asian development has been stunted because the Chinese bribe the worst politicians possible to sit in government and do nothing so that the average laborers have no option but a) sell their ass if they are female or sometimes male b) have no job because there aren’t enough Chinese business people running businesses to give everyone a job c) leave the country which most of them want to do even if they have to marry an 84 year old man.

    Chinese love their drugs and selling drugs. This has of course led to narco-states like the Philippines where low-level addicts and dealers can be blown away on the street while the Chinese labs shift offshore.

    People complain about a few horny Jews dominating the porn industry in the U.S. or Irish-Catholic corruption on the East Coast political scene in the Boardwalk Empire days?

    You ain’t seen nuthin until you’ve been to Southeast Asia where the Fuji Chinese flooded in.

    • Malaysia Kelantan has no Chinese. Go figure what happen.

      • CREADERS If Malays should love you so much for “building their country” why are they always rioting and chopping your heads off and burning you alive? Malaysia 1969? Indonesia 1997?

        Filipinos are such a mixed race that it is hard for them to rally up any sort of nationalistic fervor. Instead the POLICE kidnap your children for money in the Philippines.

        Filipinos are the most awful people I had the good fortune to meet in Southeast Asia, don’t get me wrong. There’s enough Hispanic blood to give them all the bad qualities of Latin Americans in addition to those of the Malay. They are violent, stupid, macho, dishonest, alcoholic, illogical, promiscuous if female, shiftless, aimless, inclined to steal.

        • You give free food free monies free school free healthcare free house to Sunni Muslims, they will even want to kill you more.

          Whats happening in Europe.

    • People can talk whatever they want. Utimately China will be no 1 country.

  8. Daniel

    The original Westinghouse refrigerator (made in the USA or course) that my grandmother bought in the 1950s was still working in the 1990s – never needed a single repair – when my friend – to whom I was leasing our old house – threw it out and bought a new one. I asked her if it was broken. She said no, she just wanted a bigger refrigerator. I wish she had informed me of her plans, I would have taken it home, put it in my basement and I have no doubt that it would still be working in 2016.

  9. William

    You nailed it here.

    In addition to what you outlined, notion of “trade war” is silly because there is nothing to kill here at home.
    If China jacks up prices as a protective measure,it would just make manufacturing here at home slightly less unprofitable for businesses.

    China would suffer somewhat, and it would really have no long term effect here at home. It would damage the U.S. of course, but not in the genres China would care about, which is the point.

    • Noneofmany

      A trade war would devastate China.

      It would hit them very worst time possible.

      It would not only harm there exports but it also effectively nuke their ridiculous financial, debt, asset, and housing sectors bubbles.

      Even worse though is that if all those sectors tanked they wouldn’t be able to fall back on exports because no one on Earth would be willing or able to absorb another export wave.

      In such downturns it’s the deficit countries that are best positioned to weather the storm.

      China would likely end up with a weak currency and a drop in exports.

      That would be more than enough to finish off their already anemic consumption and services sectors.

      Considering how old China’s getting is be surprised if they ever recovered

      • China actually may welcome kind of trade war because she is sick of giving white man stuff FOC, in exchange of the worthless paper, aka USD.

        • CREADERS You’re Singaporean so I assume your own currency is the dollar tied to the US exchange rate.

        • Every single currency in this world is derivative of dollar.

        • William

          Our monetary policies do tie into the free trade agenda;

          When a currency is not being rapidly devalued/inflation is low relatively, it means essentially foreign powers will sell a good to the low growth country at lower values because the Domestic/foreign exchange rate is much, much higher.

          This has made it so we buy East Asian goods, while East Asia really doesn’t take in foreign goods so much (from other East Asian countries, Latin America, etc).

        • William

          It ALWAYS comes back to monetarism/Thatcherism/Krugmanism.

          This is the primary enemy.
          Maybe Trump can put a ball buster in the Fed Chair in lieu of the kindly old Jewish lady.

        • William

          I’m largely an amateur but this is my understanding.

      • Yee

        Noneofmany

        Do you know how ignorant you are? Don’t you even learn some facts before you make your wonderful plan?
        No wonder the west are screwing themselves. Too many fools.

        China has a TOTAL export amounts to 22% of GDP, which is a lower percentage than quite a few countries, incl Germany, South Korea, Mexico, France, Italy, UK, India etc. Among that 22%, about 20% is export to USA.

        Do your math, what is 20% of 22%?

        Even if US don’t import one single thing from China, we lose 5% GDP at most. Less than our yearly growth.

        And you expect that to devastate China? Very funny.

        • Noneofmany

          China would be vaporized.

          China is still very much dependent on exports. It just doesn’t appear that way because as China’s export sector declined the government spent a fortune on so many investments that it essentially covered up the losses with growth in assets and fixed investments.

          But there’s a big BIG problem with that.

          China’s “investments” are all very unprofitable. In fact the China has the highest debt to productivity growth on the planet. It takes about three yuan of investment to make one yuan of productivity.

          China has nearly the highest corporate debt in the world as well 250% and climbing at a whiplash rate.

          Because of this China’s asset economy has become a bigger sector of their economy than the financial sector was to America in 2004.

          As result, China can barely avoid a recession without GDP growth above 6.3 percent. So even a 4% loss could crater the gigantic asset/investment bubble.

          But it gets even worse when you consider that most of those asset/investment’s inherent value is based around anticipated growth in Chinese domestic consumption (which is the lowest in the industrialized world), and it needs to grow a LOT to supply sufficient demand for all those company’s drowning in debt.

          Guess what sector of China’s economy makes up the biggest employer by far?

    • China might then amp up its military aggression in the South China sea in order to extort the sea land traffic.

      • The Chinese is not incline aggression unlike USA or the white man colonial powers.

        • Taiwan’s history of Chinese Eastward expansion is very similar to what Britain did in North America. Natives were shot and a few of the Native women were married. Today a tiny percentage of Taiwanese natives live up in the hills.

          China would do the same thing in the Philippines, I’m sure.

        • Chinese dont care about doorstep Taiwan for 2000 years.

          Portuguese and Dutch came and took Taiwan, right at China doorstep, after sailing 20,000km. Then China decide to repel the white man.

          You bring chutzpaz to grand new level.

        • Taiwanese would argue with you there.

          Chinese immigrants from Amoy to Southeast Asia HAD to behave themselves because they were so outnumbered and eventually clustered as business family syndicates (Spanish in Philippines already ran politics and owned all the land so Fuji Chinese are stuck being a merchant class there).

          Chinese would be like Europeans and Malays would be like Africans, to draw a racial comparison.

          Except that Africans are strong, physically stout and naturally tough people. Malays are soft and lazy and prone to alcoholism.

        • Chinese behave ourselves everywhere commiting the lowest crime and acing in studies, until the Malay Muslims piss-off with our virtue.

          We are too good and we get hated.

  10. Yee

    TRASH,

    Of course the inland is poor. How can you not be, farming 1-2 acres of land? We have less arable land than India and a bigger population, a harsher climate as well, more like US while India mexico. But I can gurantee you that Chinese peasants has by far an easier life than the Indian ones.

    You’re right that economy is mainly on the east coast. If everywhere is doing as well as the east coast, we’ll be able to tell the US president to go to hell. Do you kow that Guangdong province alone has a GDP same as Russia, half of India, 45% of California? And we have 29 provinces.

    Manchurian are not Russian, and they certainly don’t look Russian. They look just like Northern Han. Anyway, Northeast 3 provinces are not doing well, they’re in deep shit. It’s the rust bell of China. The central govt is pouring truckloads of money into the area trying to help them.

    • YEE Manchurian people come from Siberia somewhere and no they do not look like a Finn or Estonian Russian but it is clear that their ancestors are Eurasians from somewhere outside China to the West.

      That part of China BORDERS the Soviet Union anyhow.

      Chinese East Coast economy is largely a result of trade and foreign investment.

        • Taiwanese would have been better off accepting Holland or Britain as their colonial administration, wouldn’t they?

          They might still be alive today.

        • Go figure Dutch colonies like Indonesia.

          There will be no TSMC, Mediatek or Foxconn without Chinese.

        • “Chinese behave themselves” China made 1/3 Filipinos between the ages of 20 and 45 a Methamphetamine addict for about 30 years (1985-2015). I don’t argue that Malays have ZERO VIRTUES-the women are inclined to be sluts who will sleep with anyone for $25, both sexes are inclined to every kind of addiction (gambling, drugs, alcohol), both sexes are liars and thieves, males are wife-beaters and child molesters in the bargain.

          Chinese-Filipinos however made the situation worse.

        • Where you get these statistic. You are not credible and always lie. Go give me a proper source.

  11. Jason Y

    Most Republicans are globalists so they may not go along with Trump. Note, Carter had an all Democrat congress, yet couldn’t get anything done.

    • Jason Y

      Note it takes selling out to get power. Most politicians of both parties, and certainly the ones in congress have to answer to globalists.

  12. CREADERS A proper source for the involvement of Chinese running meth labs in the Philippines? Read the papers. Their busted every single week.

    Not now though. The Aquino/Arroyo era when I was in the Philippines was a lawless, corrupt Wild East era.

    I lived in the Philippines for three years.

  13. SHI

    Reposting it in its entirety as so many spooky things happened last week. Good way to summarize.

    http://www.salon.com/2016/12/12/science-reason-and-decency-all-under-threat-5-nightmarish-things-donald-trump-did-just-last-week_partner/

    Science, reason and decency all under threat: 5 nightmarish things Donald Trump did just last week

    The mind reels with the mounting horrors and the sheer pace at which they com

    The mind reels with the mounting horrors and the sheer pace at which they come. How could one mere week contain so many terrible and impulsive actions from a man who has managed to get elected leader?

    At the beginning of the week, Donald Trump did everything he could to completely piss off the Chinese government, which holds billions of U.S. debt. At the end of the week, he dissed the entire U.S. intelligence community, when they suggested he might not have won the election fair and square. In the middle, he tweeted bullying threats to people who had the audacity to criticize him, and unfurled a string of ghastly cabinet appointments destined to undo hard-won progress on labor rights, environmental regulation and more. Terrifyingly, he and his transition army of bigots, deniers and destroyers sent out a questionnaire designed to ferret out civil servants who worked to help mitigate the Earth’s climate crisis in what might be the first of many witch hunts.

    Science, reason, the First Amendment and decency are now all under threat. Clearly, this is not one of those nightmares from which you can just wake up and say, Phew, glad that’s not really happening!

    This week, Trump…

    1. …made some of his most terrifying cabinet picks yet.

    Trump got off to a flying start when he named the dangerous lunatic General Michael Flynn (Ret.) as his national security adviser. While people wrap their minds around the horror that the man Trump will listen closely to on matters of national security is a rabid Islamophobic conspiracy theorist who even other conservative generals like Barry McCaffrey call “demented,” Trump distracted everyone by saying, Look over here! Look, I appointed not just a climate change denier, but an air pollution denier to head the EPA! And a known exploiter of workers and women to head the Labor Department! Bet you didn’t think it could get any worse!

    Those cabinet announcements followed on the heels of Trump’s appointment as education secretary a woman who detests and wants to dismantle public education (Betsy DeVos), and a housing department pick of a man — Ben Carson — who has said he has no business running a federal bureaucracy and that the government should not be involved in helping people get housed fairly anyway.

    The sound you are hearing is millions of heads dropping into hands, and saying, “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, make it stop, please. Get me off of this funhouse ride to oblivion!”

    And no points for feeling relieved that Rudy Giuliani will not serve as chief diplomat, since the frontrunner for the Secretary of State job is now Rex Tillerson, CEO of fossil fuel giant Exxon Mobil and good friend to Russia. And militant nutjob John Bolton is to be No. 2.

    2. …made it clear that there will be a witch hunt to ferret out people of science who performed scientific work in their jobs for the government.

    The Donald allowed various people to come and kiss his ring at Trump Tower this week, which was big of him. These included former Vice President Al Gore, who pled the case that climate catastrophe is all but certain without keeping and expanding global agreements to mitigate it. Silly Gore said afterward that the discussion had been “productive,” obviously forgetting that nothing a malignant narcissist says is ever to be believed. Environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio was granted an audience with the Trumpster as well.

    Obviously, both got a careful hearing. The announcement of the appointment of climate denier, fossil fuel industry shill and EPA-suer Scott Pruitt came Wednesday, a clear signal that Trump fully intends to dismantle President Obama’s efforts to counter climate change as well as the whole concept of environmental protection. The fossil fuel industry cheered as one of their own champions, who has argued that pollution regulation is a matter of states rights, ascended to the helm of the agency charged with regulating them.

    Then damned if it didn’t get worse. On Thursday, Bloomberg revealed the existence of an extensive questionnaire circulated by the Energy Department designed to ferret out anyone who might believe climate change is real and ever worked toward its mitigation, whether as an employee or contractor. Employees at the DOE told The Washington Post the clear message is that the Trump transition team is intentionally singling out individuals in an obvious purge of climate scientists (or even just those who believe in climate change).

    No, McCarthyism is not even close to being too strong of a word to describe this.

    3. …decided to stay on as executive producer of his NBC reality show while being president.

    At the end of the week, Trump decided he’d keep his job and paycheck at “Celebrity Apprentice.” Previously, he had said he’d shed his other business commitments and conflicts of interest because being president and running the country is such a big and important job, but since when have any of Trump’s promises gotten in the way of Trump doing precisely what he feels like doing?

    Not even Trump apologist Newt Gingrich thinks this “Apprentice” decision is a good or even normal idea, but shocker of shockers, spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway says it is A-OK, in part because Trump is always such a wonderfully “transparent guy.”

    Also, Conway pointed out, nobody complained about the fact that President Obama sometimes played golf. And playing golf is exactly the same as taking money from a major network that also has a news division that is supposed to cover you, right?

    4. …tweeted insane and bullying things to anyone who criticized him and incited violence and harm to them and those related to them.

    Never thought we’d have a lot of sympathy for aircraft manufacturing giant Boeing, but Trump’s vindictive behavior toward the company’s CEO — who dared gently criticize the president-elect’s hostile rhetoric about trade — managed to make us brief bedfellows.

    When Trump got wind of CEO Dennis Muilenburg’s mild suggestion that trade is important to his company and others, Trump immediately retaliated, tweeting: “Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!”

    That caused the shares to plummet. Never mind that Boeing doesn’t even have a $4 billion order to make Air Force One planes. It’s a post-factual world, remember.

    Worse still was when Trump went after Chuck Jones, an Indiana union leader who criticized Trump’s much-vaunted, hugely over-hyped Carrier deal. Trump tweeted, “Chuck Jones, who is President of United Steelworkers 1999, has done a terrible job representing workers. No wonder companies flee country!”

    Never mind that suggesting unions are responsible for corporate flight flies directly in the face of candidate Trump’s oft-repeated and resonant claim that companies leave because of bad trade deals. This was petty vindictiveness taken to a new level.

    Since then, Chuck Jones and his family have been getting death threats from Trump’s lovely legion of supporters.

    5. …said he was just kidding about that whole jail-Hillary thing.

    In Grand Rapids, Michigan, on yet another leg of Trump’s creepy post-election thank-you tour (clearly he prefers appearing before adoring crowds to learning how to be president or getting security briefings, say), the jazzed crowd began to jeer and sing one of its, and the RNC’s, favorite refrains about Hillary, chanting, “Lock her up, lock her up!”

    Trump does not want to sing that tune anymore, however.

    “No, it’s okay,” he told them. “Forget it. That plays great before the election. Now, we don’t care, right?”

    Translation: Nothing I ever said should ever be taken seriously, you idiots.

    Lest anyone forget, Trump said at the second presidential debate: “I didn’t think I’d say this, but I’m going to say it, and I hate to say it, but if I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation because there has never been so many lies, so much deception, there has never been anything like it and we’re going to have a special prosecutor.”

    Yes, the most jaw-droppingly dishonest, deceptive and corrupt person who has ever run for and apparently been elected president thinks a special prosecutor should be appointed for behavior such as his.

    We agree.

  14. If Huma was Vice-President I am not sure things would have been much better with Anthony sexting his “wiener” all over the place.

    We’d send him to the Ukraine and he would flash everyone and the Russians would flee in disgust.

    Trump might blacklist a few people but there is no way he will deliver 1/4 of what he promised.

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