Trump’s Poor Grasp of Basic Economics Sinks Another American Manufacturer

Trump’s Poor Grasp of Basic Economics Sinks Another American Manufacturer August 7, 2018

Is someone keeping a running count of all the businesses that have fallen under the weight of Donald Trump’s incompetency in governance and breathtaking lack of economic knowledge?

Donald Trump has failed repeatedly at business.

Rather than the keen businessman he bills himself as (and his followers believe so readily), he has been through multiple bankruptcies, as well as a long list of branding flops, like Trump water, Trump steaks, Trump vodka, and Trump University (labeled a scam by prosecutors).

Knowing that an absolute failure Donald Trump is and has been, when it comes to business, why would anyone trust that his tariffs are a good idea?

Yes, I know. He’s listed as a “billionaire,” with his name on hotels and properties around the world. Let’s just keep in mind that most of his success came from reality TV, and that there’s the very real possibility that if we saw his tax returns – something he refuses to let happen – we might be quite astonished to see where his wealth comes from.

Most with even an elementary knowledge of what tariffs are reject the notion that any good can come out of Trump’s ill-advised trade war.

What’s more, there is a growing list of American businesses that can now say that they have fallen victim to the president’s efforts to weaken the American economy.

And yes, I believe this is deliberate on Trump’s part.

Harley-Davidson has been forced to move some production outside of the United States, in order to save their European market.

Soy and pork farmers are looking for government welfare bailouts, in order to keep afloat.

Layoffs have already begun because of the pain caused by Trump’s trade war.

Today, you can add a South Carolina electronics company to that list.

It’s not just a layoff, but a plant closure, affecting 126 employees.

Winnsboro, S.C.-based Element Electronics attributed its move to President Trump’s tariffs on Chinese imports, imposed earlier this year, according to The State newspaper. The company couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

The White House has imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods so far and is considering levies of the same amount on another $200 billion in products, up from a previously announced 10 percent. China, in response, is considering duties on an additional $60 billion in U.S. goods.

So how many of these soon-to-be-unemployed South Carolina workers do you think are Trump supporters?

How many do you think are facing an uncertain future, but are still clinging to their MAGA caps and saying to themselves, “Trump will provide”?

I hate to be glib about it, but we’ve heard from others who are suffering because of amateur hour in the White House that they still feel Trump is going to pull them out of the nose dive, just before they crash.

I’d say their optimism is misplaced.

Element hopes to re-open its plant in the next few months but said it “cannot predict this with any certainty at this time,” acording to the Columbia, S.C., newspaper. Layoffs are slated to begin in October.

Other South Carolina-based plants have also warned of the impact from tariffs, which have spurred retaliatory duties from China, the European Union, Mexico and other countries. Automakers Volvo and BMW have both said the polices may cost the companies thousands of jobs.

South Carolina went big for Donald Trump in the 2016 primary season, as well as the election, grabbing the state with 55 percent of the vote.

Trump has repaid them by threatening their livelihood.

So at what point can we count on the MAGA troops to wake up?


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  • JASmius

    Trump sucks at business. He took the real estate empire he inherited from his father and ran it into the ground. If the Russian mob hadn’t bailed him out, he’d be feeding pigeons on New York park benches and muttering to himself. The one thing Trump is really, really good at is self-promotion. That’s it. Mendacious boasting that convinces people he’s something he’s not and to let him slap his name/logo feces everywhere you look. It got him fame, a tacky tabloid network “reality” television program, and the image of “success” that he in turn used to dupe, bilk, swindle, hornswaggle, and hoodwink his way to the GOP nomination and luck his way to the presidency. He recognized his opening and seized it. All of this is so blindingly obvious and yet so many people adamantly embrace militantly willful blindness and clinical delusion instead. This time will keep the psychology field busy for years to come analyzing the real-life mass psychosis taking place right before our eyes in real time.

  • IllinoisPatriot

    So much of Trump’s list of “successes” is either him taking credit for the work of Congress (tax reforms that increased budget), Trump selectively describing what would be a failure if taken in total (“tax breaks” that actually raise spending and increase our debt, “historic summits” that are more accurately “hysterical summits” – Trump attending summits, then making a complete mockery of the US and of himself, etc).

    So much more of Trump’s list of “successes” is pure make-believe (US will get so rich because tariffs will result in massive influx of cash to the US, best economy ever, Trump leadership on par with President Lincoln, etc).

    This was a good article. I found your arguments believable and consistent with other reporting that has been made public – unlike most of the reporting from Trump Pravda.

    I have also noticed an increase in the desperation of the Trump Pravda to find something ANYTHING that can be spun to put Trump into a positive light. I too have noticed that the unemployment numbers Trump was touting (like those Obama would tout) are the pre-revised numbers and based on the Obama-modified formula that ignores those not in the workforce – unemployment numbers that are ALWAYS lower than the final numbers wind up being.

    Sure enough, at least a FEW reporters (and commenters) are providing history graphs showing Trump’s economy is not all that better than Obama’s (if not worse) and Trump’s unemployment is about the same as Obama’s and even graphs showing consumer confidence falling as Trump’s trade war continues on and while Trump brags about how his tariffs are somehow “winning” for American businesses.

    From a different perspective, I recall that one of the biggest drivers of US Steel failures as an industry was not countries trading unfairly, but customers that found they could not get orders in a timely fashion because US Steel Unions would call labor strikes and often enough to disrupt downstream supply to time-critical projects, that US Steel Unions demanded such high wages & pensions & shorter working hours that they effectively priced US Steel out of the market. This was part of the whole “Look for the Union Label” and “Buy American” campaigns pushed by the labor unions. IIRC, a consume backlash was the result when “union labor” was found to be responsible for shoddy cars that got people killed (Cruze steering wheels come off at highway speeds, Chevy Volt’s self-ignite, Toyota gas pedals stick, unsafe airbags, etc.) – some of which were design shortcuts that took place because of requirements to fund Union Labor, others of which were just union-labor sloppiness in the manufacturing process. The reason I bring this up is now that Trump has guaranteed profits to steel companies, how long will it be before the labor unions start demanding “their fair share” of the profits – profits that will disappear again once Trump’s tariffs are lifted, sticking the companies with unsupportable union contracts once again, resulting in plant shutdowns (again) and loss of jobs. Meanwhile, the steelworkers will have bought new cars, new homes, etc that they will lose when they lose their jobs and cannot afford the payments.

  • Hef Wannabe

    Wow, what a wonderful and lucid analysis of the situation. Yes, I have talked to many people about what I fear will happen in the months ahead. I don’t think the economy is as “golden” as the pundits are saying. I think unemployment numbers are much higher, because the people that are not counted in the unemployment numbers is higher than in the past — or, those who have “dropped out” of the workforce but are employment age/s. And, I also think that many things are brewing and are hidden in the economy that are slowly festering: higher interest rates, tariff ratiliations, etc. So, I don’t think Trump has greatly benefited the economy, but (in many ways) I think that he is making it worse and destabilizing the world for self-gratification.

  • Do you realize, Susan, that Harley Davidson sales have been spiraling downward for FIVE YEARS? Tell me who was President FIVE YEARS AGO WHEN HARLEY DAVIDSON SALES BEGAN TO PLUMMET.

    The demise of HD has NOTHING to do with Trump, and it has NOTHING to do with Obama. It has NOTHING to do with tariffs. It has EVERYTHING to do with the fact that HDs are overpriced, and those people (my age) who used to buy them are now getting too old to ride. Again, their sales have been plummeting for FIVE YEARS.

    Please do yourself a favor, and be informed about facts relevant to the screeds you write. It will help you NOT lose all credibility.