Conservatives Celebrate Stunning Win in Australian Elections…


The Australian election was held today; voting is compulsory as everyone over the age 18 is required to vote; turnout was greater than 95%…  and all the media and pollsters are stunned, shocked, jaws-agape, as the conservative coalition has received a stunning, unexpected, unanticipated victory.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has won the election.  Yes Alice, 2019 media in Australia look identical to media in the U.S. circa November 2016.

The economy, immigration and push-back against the insufferable climate-change nonsense appear to be the top issues that led to Morrison’s surprising win.  None of the pollsters or media saw it coming.  The BBC are stunned:

BBC – […] The final result of the election may not be known for some hours, but with more than 70% of votes counted the [Conservative] Coalition has won, or is ahead in, 74 seats in its quest for a 76-seat majority, with Labor on just 66 seats.

[…] Try finding someone who says they saw this result coming.

For well over two years, the coalition has trailed behind Labor in the opinion polls, and the assumption had been it would be Labor’s turn to govern.

But somehow Scott Morrison managed to turn things around at the 11th hour – and he did it largely on his own.

With some of his cabinet colleagues considered too toxic to appear in public on the campaign trail, ScoMo made this election about him, and his ability to be the trustworthy, daggy-dad Australia needed.  (read more)

Labor leader Bill Shorten , who has led Labor since it lost office in 2013, conceded defeat and congratulated Morrison.  Shorten’s losing moonbat platform was centered on creating a “fairer society”, similar to the social justice movement in the far-left U.S. Democrat party.

The labor movement planned to increase taxes on the wealthy and bring social justice demands to central government.  Their agenda was counting on strong support from college-aged students and climate change activists.  However, the majority of Australians saw the predictable economic damage that was certain from the proposals to raise taxes and institute the Australian version of the Green New Deal.

Australian left-wing media is going bananas….

The progressive movement is crying in the streets.

Regulating Monopolies: A History of Electricity Regulation – Learn Liberty


Published on Feb 10, 2012

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Prof. Lynne Kiesling discusses the history of regulating electricity monopolies in America. Conventionally, most people view regulation of monopoly, such as the Sherman Antitrust Act, as one of government’s core responsibilities. Kiesling challenges this notion, and finds that government regulation of monopoly actually stifles innovation and hurts consumers. The American electricity industry was booming in the 1890s, with several small firms competing against one another. Over time, Kiesling argues that the fixed costs began to escalate, increasing the cost of entry into the industry. Put another way, large competitors gained a significant competitive edge over smaller competitors through economies of scale. Eventually, in places like New York and Chicago, Kiesling claims that the competitive process led to one large firm. These monopolies were feared by the public, and led to demands for government regulation. The electricity industry, knowing that regulation was coming, used these demands for regulation as cover to construct legal barriers to entry. Ultimately, the regulations passed by the government reduced competition by granting legal monopoly privileges to powerful firms within a certain geographical territory. In modern times, we are seeing the real cost of these old one-size-fits-all regulations: 1) People aren’t adjusting their energy consumption behaviors. For instance, in peak hours, technological solutions that could smooth electricity consumption are being ignored. 2) The electricity industry doesn’t evolve and account for new types of renewable energy. 3) Innovations have been discouraged. If these archaic regulations were removed, innovations and improvements beneficial to consumers would flourish. For more information, check us out here: http://lrnlbty.co/zcPIQr

Opportunity Costs: The Parable of the Broken Window – Learn Liberty


Published on Nov 17, 2016

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Some people argue that natural disasters and other acts of destruction create wealth and employment as we repair the damage they’ve caused. Professor Dan Russell explains that this fallacy fails to take into “opportunity costs” into consideration. Whenever we use a resource for one purpose, like fixing a window, we give up the opportunity to use that resource for another purpose. We only know if the use of a resource has created value if we compare it with the the alternate uses we had to forego. forego.

 

The Unprecedented Equality of the 21st Century


Published on Aug 7, 2017

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The rich get richer, and the poor get … cell phones, cars, and nice TVs? Prof. Mike Munger says we’re actually more equal than ever. Full interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FlQ1… SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/2dUx6wg LEARN MORE: Debate: Is There Too Much Inequality in America? (video): The question of income inequality has become a key issue in contemporary politics. The Institute for Humane Studies asked two professors– Prof. Steve Horwitz, economist at St. Lawrence University, and Prof. Jeffrey Reiman, philosopher at American University- to answer questions about wealth, fairness, and inequality in the United States. This is their debate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p047t… Income Inequality and the Effects of Globalization (video): Income inequality in America is a serious issue. People are worried about a widening gap between the rich and the poor in the United States. But is the global story the same? Professor Tyler Cowen explains how globally, income inequality worldwide is on the decline. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ja15p… How to Fight Global Poverty (video): Have you heard the news? The number of people living in abject poverty—defined as living on less than $1.25 per day—has been halved since 1990. How did that happen? Prof. Stephen Davies explains that extreme poverty has been on the decline in part because two of the world’s most populous countries, China and India, have embarked on a path of economic liberalization and development over the past two to three decades. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzmxQ…

5 Inequality Myths


Published on Oct 2, 2017

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If you really want to understand how the world works today, you need to rethink almost everything you’ve been told about inequality. Prof. Antony Davies explains.

“Strategery” – President Trump Instructs Ross and Lighthizer to Focus on Auto Sector….


Further evidence there will be no further engagement with China surfaces in an announced specific shift in directive from President Trump today focusing Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and USTR Lighthizer on a sector, not a specific nation.

The auto industry is the key sector on two specific trade fronts: the EU trade reset and the ongoing negotiations with Japan.  Both trade agreements center heavily on the auto-sector; and both Japan and the EU have cemented intransigent trade positions.

Enter President Trump to cut the Gordian knot.

It’s a small but important note that President Trump had previously assigned geographic trade responsibilities.  Wilbur Ross has the EU as his primary focus and Robert Lighthizer has authority over Asia.  Today the White House connects the objective of both Ross and Lighthizer as President Trump instructs the U.S. Trade Representative to engage in discussions around the specifics of the auto-sector:

White House – […] Following an extensive review of the Department of Commerce’s Section 232 automobile report, President Trump today issued a proclamation directing the United States Trade Representative to negotiate agreements to address the national security threat, which is causing harm to the American automobile industry. (more)

The President has designated the auto industry as a critical component of national security [More Here].  With Ross’s report in hand, the possibility of increasing tariffs on foreign automobiles is the leverage POTUS gives to Lighthizer along with the mandate to engage.

This sector-specific approach makes buckets of sense when we consider the intransigence of both Japan and the EU on the larger trade issues. [Note: in this example the EU is controlled almost exclusively by Germany and Angela Markel.]  Interestingly, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe knows President Trump as a friend, and they both respect each other immensely as trade and economic strategists.  Merkel, not-so-much.

Prime Minister Abe is a tough adversary for President Trump because it’s like having to negotiate with a brother/competitor who really understands your strategies.

Like Chairman Xi and China, Angela Merkel and the EU is an easier challenge for President Trump.

Trump knows the EU pressure points and he’s pre-constructed the Section 232 review for just this purpose.  Quite simply wherever the German auto-industry goes, so too goes the fortunes of German political leadership.

As a result, unless the EU is going to align with communist China, the EU cannot lose U.S. market access.

Now…

There is a possibility that Germany will force the EU to economically align with China; that is part of the current geopolitical dynamic taking place over the tech industry.  However, PM Shinzo Abe, will never allow the Japanese economy to be held captive to the influence of China.  So each trade partner involved in the auto-sector may diverge on that key issue.

Merkel and the EU may decide manufacturing exports to China are worth more to them than manufacturing exports to the United States.  However, as Trump pummels the Chinese economy, he is also changing the dynamic of possible future benefit within the mind of those constructing the EU economic plan.

A weakened (more poor) China presents a less valuable economy for exported consumer goods.  As China devalues their money to retain export leverage, they simultaneously drive up import costs.  Those German cars become much more expensive and the Chinese consumer won’t be able to afford them.  It’s an interesting dynamic.

There’s always been a good chance that President Trump would apply auto tariffs on the EU in order to leverage trade reciprocity, eliminate non-tariff barriers and protectionism, and simultaneously force Germany to pay for their own NATO defenses.

However, the potential for auto tariffs on Japan has been more singular in focus. Trump wants fair and open access for U.S. agriculture goods as a hedge against China refusing to purchase.  President Trump was always positioning Japanese auto sector tariffs as straight one-for-one leverage toward more exports.  Trump doesn’t look at Abe’s cars as anything other than ordinary leverage toward a traditional trade deal.

Guess what?  Shinzo Abe knows this…

Like I said, it’s like negotiating a better position with your brother as your competitor… he knows your objectives.   Cue the audio visual:

Japan has agreed to lift longstanding restrictions on American beef exports, clearing the way for U.S. products to enter the market regardless of age, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Friday.

The news comes on the heels of other important trade developments on Friday, including the Trump administration’s plans to delay auto tariffs on the EU and Japan and lift steel tariffs on Canada and Mexico.

In 2005, Japan imposed restrictions on cattle over 30 months old for U.S. beef imports in response to the outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, sometimes known as mad cow disease.

According to the USDA announcement, Japan agreed to remove that age limit for U.S. beef imports. The new terms, which take effect immediately, allow U.S. products from all cattle, regardless of age, to enter Japan for the first time since 2003, the government said.

“This is great news for American ranchers and exporters who now have full access to the Japanese market for their high-quality, safe, wholesome, and delicious U.S. beef,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a statement. “We are hopeful that Japan’s decision will help lead other markets around the world toward science-based policies.”

American beef sales to Japan topped $2 billion last year, representing approximately one-fourth of all U.S. beef exports. (read more)

Trust me… Grab a Snickers with these two challenging each-other…. it’s gonna be a while.

…Brothers

President Trump Remarks to National Realtors Association…


President Trump delivers remarks to the National Association of REALTORS Legislative Meetings and Trade Exposition.

President Trump Removes Steel and Aluminum Tariffs From Canada and Mexico….


A combination of the NAFTA “Fatal Flaw” & transnational Chinese shipments, was always at the heart of President Trump placing steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico during negotiations that culminated in the USMCA trade agreement.  The goal was to block China from dumping product into the U.S. through the doors of Canada/Mexico.

Within the USMCA President Trump and Robert Lighthizer placed a specific rule Article 32:10 which grants the U.S. the right to veto (control) Canadian and Mexican purchase agreements with “Non FTA Market Countries”, ie. China.

This Article 32:10 rule is at the core of the USMCA agreement.   However, after the USMCA agreement was reached President Trump kept the Steel/Aluminum tariffs in place.  For those who don’t understand Trump (insert Chrystia Freeland here) the question was always: why?

Quite simply the answer behind the question was President Trump’s retention of leverage. Yes, in 2018 the USMCA was agreed to; however, the USMCA was not ratified by either Canada or Mexico…. it was only an agreement.  Why would Trump remove critical leverage on an initial promise.

Trump is not a politician; he’s a businessman who knows promises are paper until they become action. Additionally, President Trump is a tactician; the tariff leverage was held until such a time as removing it would generate an immediate gain in national compliance toward his trade objective… That’s the action.  Today:

(Bloomberg) President Donald Trump said the U.S. will lift steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico, boosting efforts to encourage lawmakers to ratify a new North American trade deal.

“I’m pleased to announce that we’ve just reached an agreement with Canada and Mexico and will be selling our product into those countries without the imposition of tariffs or major tariffs,” Trump said at an event Friday. “Hopefully Congress will approve the USMCA quickly.”

In a joint statement Friday, Canada said it will lift retaliatory duties on U.S. products as part of the deal, which will take effect within two days. Mexican Deputy Foreign Minister Jesus Seade, in a Twitter post, welcomed Trump’s removal of the duties. Both nations suggested it would open the way for their lawmakers to approve the new trade pact.

The move will lift the 25% steel and 10% aluminum tariffs the U.S. placed on the two trading neighbors almost a year ago in the name of national security. The decision sparked tit-for-tat duties from Canada and Mexico on U.S. farming goods and other products, and became an obstacle for lawmakers in all three nations to ratifying the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

As part of the agreement, the U.S. will be able to re-impose the tariffs on metals imports if not enough is done to prevent any surge of metals imports beyond historical levels. The nations have also agreed to ramp up efforts to trace where the metals have come from originally, to stop the diversion of shipments from other nations to dodge tariffs.

The enforcement system will aim to advantage primary steel and aluminum producers in the three-nation trading bloc to ensure that the metal is melted, poured or smelted regionally. (read more)

President Trump is strategic.  The timing is perfect as the U.S. has shown the world the administration’s response to China is unrelenting.  As a result of Beijing failing to uphold their end of the prior agreement between Vice-Premier Liu He and USTR Robert Lighthizer, the negotiations with China have stopped.

The consequence of China failing to reach a free, fair and reciprocal trade agreement with the U.S., with strong enforcement mechanisms, means that China remains a “non market-based economy”.  Tariffs against China now increase, and both Canada and Mexico are specifically accountable under the USMCA to retain the U.S. market position toward Chinese goods.

In essence, if Mexico or Canada violates USMCA Article 32:10, they will suffer similar consequences as currently visible toward China.  The U.S. will enforce all the regulatory and compliance verification to ensure that Canada and Mexico do not engage in transnational shipments of Chinese products.  That is the “enforcement system” that both nations will adhere to enjoy the benefits of steel/aluminum tariff removal.

Mark Knoller

@markknoller

The resulting trade dynamic, an inherent lopsided benefit to the U.S, is genuinely brilliant as executed by Trump’s team.  Notice who wins.

President Trump and Secretary Wilbur Ross created the tariffs out of thin air. Yes, they simply created killer trade leverage…  Now, two years later, in exchange, for removing a punishing trade restriction that (A) previously didn’t exist; and (B) was crushing both economies; Canada and Mexico remove all countervailing duties which further opens their markets to U.S. goods…. and, simultaneously, agree to the terms which were at the core of the original demands, intents and purposes of President Trump.

USTR Washington, DC –Today, the United States announced an agreement with Canada and Mexico to remove the Section 232 tariffs for steel and aluminum imports from those countries and for the removal of all retaliatory tariffs imposed on American goods by those countries.  The agreement provides for aggressive monitoring and a mechanism to prevent surges in imports of steel and aluminum.

If surges in imports of specific steel and aluminum products occur, the United States may re-impose Section 232 tariffs on those products. Any retaliation by Canada and Mexico would then be limited to steel and aluminum products.

This agreement is great news for American farmers that have been subject to retaliatory tariffs from Canada and Mexico. At the same time, the Agreement will continue to protect America’s steel and aluminum industries.  (USTR)

Canada and Mexico can no longer broker themselves as back-doors to the U.S. market; and at any given time, if either nation flinches, a future administration can pull out Article 32:10, enforcement entirely in the control of the United States, and POOF insta-leverage.

Don’t forget President Trump’s entire purpose for eliminating NAFTA was to stop Canada and Mexico from exploiting their access to the U.S. market at our expense.  Initially both nations said they would never agree to terms that undercut their independent abilities.  Here we are two years later, and they have agreed to the exact terms that underlined the original foundation of Trump’s position.

President Trump, Secretary Ross and Ambassador Lighthizer took the entire North American business community on a scenic two-year tour deep inside the land of leverage.

Greatest economic President in modern history.

A businessman.

A Titan.

(LINK to Article 32 pdf)

…”Complicated business folks, …complicated business”….

Why Trump Will Win the US China Trade War—Stephen Moore


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Can China really hurt the US with its financial weapons in the US China trade war? Is the US in a “fantastic” position, as US President Donald Trump says? Is dumping US Treasury bonds really an option for the Chinese? And how does all this impact the 2020 election? This is American Thought Leaders and I’m Jan Jekielek. Today we sit down with Heritage Foundation economist Steve Moore, who played a major role in the development of President Trump’s economic policy, and is co-author of the book, “Trumponomics: Inside the America First Plan to Revive Our Economy.” More on US China trade! See: US China Trade War: ’Trump is Not Going to Back Down… This is a War of Values’—Curtis Ellis: https://youtu.be/oSjlGNaWPbc