Trump shutdown continues, markets still in freefall

by Chris Becker

Got to hand it to the GOP, they know how to spoil a party. After passing the biggest tax cuts in history, leading to a huge surge in the US stock market throughout 2018, 2019 looks to be the year of reckoning for the increasingly irrelevant party.

The US federal government is now entering its 13th day of shutdown, a new Congress is trying vainly to push the same funding bill the Republican Senate passed before Trump vetoed.

From the ABC:

The 2019-2020 Congress begins work with roughly a quarter of the federal government closed, affecting 800,000 employees, in a shutdown triggered by Mr Trump’s demand last month for the money for a wall along the US-Mexican border — strongly opposed by Democrats — as part of any legislation funding government agencies.

Congressional leaders from both parties held unproductive talks with Mr Trump at the White House on Wednesday and are to return for another round on Friday, a sign the shutdown is likely to continue for the rest of the week.

The bill would have given the Department of Homeland Security $1.3 billion for border fending, but Trump is holding out for $5 billion for a “wall” and the Senate Republicans are following his strict orders on the matter.

Asset markets are not too pleased, following on from the bad news from Apple yesterday cutting its guidance, the latest ISM Manufacturing print was very disappointing, falling to pre-Trump levels.

From CNBC

Activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector expanded at a much slower pace than expected last month, according to the Institute for Supply Management.

The ISM manufacturing index fell to 54.1 in December, its lowest level since November 2016. Economists polled by Refinitiv expected the index to slip to 57.9 in December, down from 59.3 in November.

“Comments from the panel reflect continued expanding business strength, but at much lower levels,” said Timothy Fiore, chair of the Institute for Supply Management, in statement. “Demand softened, with the New Orders Index retreating to recent low levels, the Customers’ Inventories Index remaining too low — a positive heading into the first quarter of 2019 — and the Backlog of Orders declining to a zero-expansion level.”

The Dow Jones lost over 600 points or nearly 3%, as did the NASDAQ but the real action is in Treasuries, as yield inversion – the precursor to recession – is basically here. 10 year yields fell to 2.6% with the 1 year only two basis points away:

Already, tens of billions of spending due to lost income from government employees still waiting for their Christmas paychecks, not to say hundreds of billions of capital destruction have been flushed down the toilet due to Trump’s intransigence over his wall.

A shutdown he proudly called for.

 

 

Comments

  1. What does the US pay in interest on its debt per day? Something like $600 mil isn’t it? So The Wall would be the equivalent of about a weeks’ worth of interest! That the Democrats are hell-bent on ‘destroy Trump at all costs’ is really a smokescreen for ALL politicians trying to do the same. What’s the point of a politician if a businessman could do the job as well/ better than them? It’s not about The Wall – it’s about The Swamp!

  2. ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

    He could have just said that keeping those Mexicans Out was one of his “non core promises” and backed down on the issue.
    But we are talking about Trump here.
    Maybe he’s over the whole gig, sees he gone soon enough anyway and is making it happen on his terms, using his silly wall an easy way out.
    As I said, we are talking about Trump here.

    • its actually relatively smart thinking when your back is against the wall – this chokes up the new Congress, but also takes the attention away from the Mueller and 12+ other investigations….while letting Russia get away with their geopolitical pushing and shoving in Europe

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      Trump have two full years to build his wall when both the House and Senate is under Republican control : he did nothing. Expecting the Democrats Congressman to commit political suicide (via primary challenge) to fund his wall is pure fantasy.

    • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

      One of my great hopes when Trump was elected was that he would blow the US and global debt based economy up – he’s done nothing other than meet my expectations and I love him for it.

      As for the Wall, stupid hypocritical Democrat all live in gated communities or behind their own massive walls; borders for me, but none for thee, and those segments of the public who are neither recent immigrants or pseudo-estrogen infused Hillary happy clappers, know it.

      • Well no they dont, only one third of the public supports Trumps shutdown. Mexico will pay for the wall, how is that working out?

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        One third of the public… mainly the third whose parents were born in the country and not culturally aligned with the new ‘entrepreneurial’ elites who’ve replaced the WASPS.

        https://slate.com/culture/2018/12/why-we-miss-the-wasps.html

        That is the problem when you undertake mass migration purely to sate the entrepreneurial Lobby and a bunch of aggrieved immigrants from WW2 who hate white Christian culture and believe the West and all its achievements are destine by God to be given to them.
        https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/02/racist-sexist-confederate-monuments-new-future

        As for making Mexico pay for the wall – since when have they paid for anything? Pay for it in debt and then blow the debt mountain sky high. Win/Win.

      • As for making Mexico pay for the wall, since when have they paid for anything? Um, dont ask me ask the man you seem to admire so much. He said it. The basis for his shutdown is the wall is an election promise. No that’s another lie, the wall paid for by Mexico was an election promise. It was a preposterous promise and one that obviously could never be fulfilled. I think you will find more than a third of American residents had a parent born there, so two thirds against his shutdown are not immigrants as you implied. And so what if some legal immigrants are against the dumb wall idea. They know its a dumb stunt for dumbies just as much as other Americans know it. The real issues with illegal immigrants is visa over stayers and corrupt employers who give them work, including as has been recently revealed, Trumps resorts. There needs to be sanctions against these employers but we know with swampy Trump, that there will never be sanctions against employers. The whole wall shutdown thing is a stunt to distract from the looming disaster of the multiple criminal investigations, the wall is not even a real thing, as Trumps recently departed Chief Of Staff, General Kelly, stated clearly last week.

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        No building the Wall was a core election promise, so what should he do – shrug his shoulders and say, “Sorry Folks I couldn’t get the Mexicans to pay for it?”

        That might be more appealing to your Open Border notions, but it doesn’t fix the problem does it? Would you leave you fence falling down between yourself and useless ratbag neighbour, simply because they couldn’t afford to pay to put up a new one, even though they are obliged to pay for 50% of it?

        As for the 1/3 who want it – where did you get that figure from, or did you just make it up to sound authorative. Maybe you should have added a few more decimal points to further the illusion of authority?

        The repeated polling I’ve seen suggests it is much closer to 50% – 43% to be exact…. only I have references:

        https://news.gallup.com/poll/235775/americans-oppose-border-walls-favor-dealing-daca.aspx

        https://www.aol.com/article/news/2018/06/21/a-majority-of-americans-oppose-building-trumps-wall-but-83-percent-support-giving-dreamers-citizenship/23464862/

        So NEARLY half the population want it – deeply desire it. The other half? Probably a good percentage of them are virtue signalling poseurs who are only opposing it to be seen to opposing Trump, like half the Democrats who have now flip-flopped on border security.

        Good Government is about leading from the centre – so nearly half have deeply held convictions and desires to build a wall, and of those who oppose, the majority would be lightly held opinions that are being deeply influenced by their political tribes protestations. Leaving it un-built will only further divide and enrage a large percentage of Americans, while building it will outrage a minority and annoy the majority, who will probably forget about when the news cycle moves on, and then come to appreciate it as the benefits become increasingly apparent.

        As for the real underlying issue of excessive legitimate migration – no disagreement there. Baby steps first, start with the easy wins, then after proving it can be done, despite all the screaming and shirt rending that the progressive left and entrepreneurial lobby are carrying on with, try it again with excessive legitimate migration where the inevitable screaming and shirt rending will be seen as just that.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Poor and Working class citizens (the vast majority within all the “liberal democracies”) suffer the greatest disadvantage from the mass and illegal immigration policies supported and enacted by the corporate backed oligarchies that rule the west.
        So i’m on your side with the expectation that our elected representatives SHOULD be protecting the interests of their citizens over the interests of ALL “others”,…but this “Trump Wall” is just a Bull$hit, Trumpian, rhetorical flourish. It’s an absurdly expensive idea that would do little to stem the flow of economic migrants to the United states.
        Its an insincere political gimmick, like Howard’s Bait and switch with stopping a few 10s of thousands of Refos, whilst at the same time almost tripling the annual immigrant intake from less than 80k per year to over 220k.
        His silly and expensive “wall” is just a side show and will achieve little in stemming the migrant flow into the US.
        Policies a little more well thought out and sophisticated than just “Building a wall” is what’s required and not on offer.

      • Stewie, you’re talking kuck. I actually lived in the US, in CA near the border, and Mexicans would line up down at the Walmart while my neighbors —and occasionally me— would drive up and pick them up in the back of our utes. Cheap labor, the type you cannot get from other Americans. That’s how I got all the landscaping done on my mansion overlooking the ocean. Americans love this cheap labor. They all use it. Go to any building site and all you see are Mexicans. Just about every gardener or landscaper is one. Go to the local store and a lot of the help are Mexicans.

        Non-American blowhards like you, who live in an ideological world of pure BS, wouldn’t have a clue.

        To top it off, actual border patrol people don’t want or need a wall. Fences are fine, and much cheaper.

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        Ermo – Nearly half 43% WANT the wall and have wanted the wall for a long time. That Trump is astute enough or Machiavellian enough to pick up with it and run with it doesn’t make it a gimmick. A Gimmick would be to propose a wall, then put up a rabbit proof fence with occasional border patrols or better yet, drones, to hunt down illegal crossings.

        Yes the wall is expensive, but then so too is the cost of illegal immigration (so much so that even if it stems half the illegal immigrant flow it will pay for itself in a year or so):
        https://www.fairus.org/issue/publications-resources/fiscal-burden-illegal-immigration-united-states-taxpayers

        The main difference is that one form of expenditure, the wall, is all cold steel and confronting, while the other is on social welfare and warm hugs and feeling good about being virtuous.

        R2M – I don’t doubt that you are correct. A large majority of elitist, liberal urban dwelling Americans love nothing better than sourcing the very sort of cheap life destroying labor that Ermo is opposed to.

        It allows them to have their nicely manicured lawns and feel good and virtuous about employing poor illegal immigrants, while ignoring the immense social and economic harm that their presence does to the earning capacity of their poorer lower class fellow citizens.

        Non-American or not, I’ve lived in America long enough (my daughter holds a US passport) to know that the only blow hard on this thread is yourself. As much as you would like to deny it a sizeable percentage, 43% of Americans, support the building of the wall.

        Now while that may conflict with your elitist ability to sustain a higher quality of life with your tidy manicured lawn, your Mexican pool boy and your other house help, for a great many Americans who are a little less elitist, self absorbed and selfish than yourself, building a wall is, in their opinion, a great option of defending THEIR society from the insidious termite effects of a sizeable, but shallow percentage of the population who’d rather look at tidy lawns, than pay a poorer member of their society a higher wage to do the same job.

      • interested party

        r2m…..
        mate…….

        To top it off, actual border patrol people don’t want or need a wall

        Top of the thread…my reply and link to Janet…….shatters that myth completely. I suggest you watch it.

      • Well played, triage, especially with “grifter” punning on “Griffin”.

        But no, I don’t buy your bait and switch position. $5bn is fkn nothing these days. Crazy multiples of that were doled out EVERY QUARTER to help banlayers with nothing to show for it.

        $5bn for a steel and concrete wall thats good for 20+ Years of securing American middle class prosperity seems like a total bargain.

      • Gimmick would be to propose a wall, then put up a rabbit proof fence with occasional border patrols or better yet, drones, to hunt down illegal crossings.

        More or less the way it’s going. Now he wants a steel slat structure, not the wall. No wait, Fox is mocking him, back to the Wall. lol

        Yes the wall is expensive, but then so too is the cost of illegal immigration (so much so that even if it stems half the illegal immigrant flow it will pay for itself in a year or so):

        What’s costly is getting all those menial jobs done by legal labor. That’s going to crush ordinary Americans. And the low level work the Mexicans do will NOT be done by the fatass, lazy US youths. At any price. Ask me how I know.

        A large majority of elitist, liberal urban dwelling Americans love nothing better than sourcing the very sort of cheap life destroying labor

        Come off it! I was middle class, as were all my Mexican-employing neighbours! We couldn’t find Americans who would do that work, at any reasonable price.

        It allows them to have their nicely manicured lawns and feel good and virtuous about employing poor illegal immigrants, while ignoring the immense social and economic harm that their presence does to the earning capacity of their poorer lower class fellow citizens.

        OMFG, you’re so full of it. I had Mexicans doing the sort of work no local would do, like moving rocks all day long onto my slopes. One of the problems with Oz is that labor is so expensive that jobs like that never get done, unless the homeowner is willing to work like a coolie. Most aren’t.

        a sizeable percentage, 43% of Americans, support the building of the wall.

        Republican rusted on supporters, plus xenophobes, plus the uneducated deplorables (often grossly obese) who would not do the work that the “illegal” Mexicans do if given the chance, plus the brainwashed Fox news drones, plus the unemployed, plus the tattooed unemployable rump. Some constituency!

      • $5bn for a steel and concrete wall thats good for 20+ Years of securing American middle class prosperity seems like a total bargain.

        “For every complex problem, there is a simple answer that is simple, obvious, and wrong.”

        Trump’s wall is his “stop the boats”. How much have things improved here since the boats were stopped ?

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        “OMFG, you’re so full of it. I had Mexicans doing the sort of work no local would do, like moving rocks all day long onto my slopes. One of the problems with Oz is that labor is so expensive that jobs like that never get done…”

        Yes – that’s definately the problem with Oz – not enough people prepared to work for slave wages.

        Just think, we could all have our own little pyramid erected in our back yards, if only we could import enough workers prepared to do it for the pittance we’re be prepared to pay.

        No R2M there are plenty of people who would be prepared to haul rocks all day if you were prepared to pay them enough, heck, if you paid me enough even I’d have a crack at it.

        The issue is that you would have to pay them higher wages, and it would result in a material transfer of wealth from you to those fat slob teenagers who you openly despise – that’s the real issue.

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        “How much have things improved here since the boats were stopped ? ”

        I dunno – I can’t seem to remember being bombarded lately by ABC and Guardian articles lamenting the latest wave of drowning from economic migrants and how we should just throw open our borders to queue jumpers to avert these tragedies…. I suppose there is that.

      • The issue is that you would have to pay them higher wages, and it would result in a material transfer of wealth from you to those fat slob teenagers who you openly despise – that’s the real issue.

        Nope, the real issue is that I could not get anyone to do the heavy physical work they were doing. Nowadays most young people in the US are tethered to iPhones and completely and utterly unable and unwilling to do hard physical labor. I approached casual employment outlets and they simply told me that I would not get anyone, at any price, to work like that.

        One thing that all Americans will admit to you: Mexicans can work hard. They really put their backs into it.

        If all illegal Mexican workers were suddenly removed from the country, the place would collapse.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        The country would not immediately collapse,…maybe a lot of middle class consumption would.
        A bad thing mr environmental R2M?

        As for Walls, they are easily scaled with ladders,…it just feels fkn dumb to me we are even talking about Trumps stupid wall.

        The immigration issue though, is a real point of importance.
        Its seems odd to me that R2M supports the environmental degrading effects of expanding “Middle class” (and fake middle class) spending power through giving them access to cheap semi slave labourers untaxed and unprotected by law,…just immoral in and of itself.

        Isnt it western middle class consumption that is the main cause of so much environmental damage across the globe R2M,…mmm?

        So what if some fake, wana be little arostocrat does not have access to a subservient local peasantry to mow their lawn or move some fken rocks for fk all,…they should either can do it them selves, pay a fair price or (heaven forbid) acknowledge that maybe they cant afford to pay a fair price,…or that has guzzling SUV either.
        Frugality is the pathway to environmental sustainability is it not?

        You are a walking contradction R2M

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        Nope – you could not find anyone prepared to do the work at the wages you were prepared to pay. As I said, if you were prepared to pay me enough, even I’d consider helping you build your Ziggurat.

        I don’t doubt that the Mexican’s are hard workers, no aspersions there as to their work ethic. Your claims that America would collapse if it wasn’t for cheap labour is the same sort of nonesense that the Growth Lobby have used in Australia “Look 30 years without a recession, fully avoided by stuffing people into the country, crushing wages and keeping asset prices inflated.

        What would occur is that there would be a god almighty recession, and the long process of addressing income and wealth inequality in America would begin to correct, and yes, your lawns might start looking untidier or even worse – you may have to do them yourself?

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        Ermo,

        “…fake, wana be, little arostocrat can not afford to pay the local peasantry to mow his or her lawn or move some fken rocks…”

        Nailed it – pure GOLD. (I’m gunna steal it)

      • Its seems odd to me that R2M supports the environment degradating effects of expanding “Middle class” and fake middle class spending power through giving them access to semi slave labourers untaxed and unprotected by law.

        It’s actually better for the environment to do work with Mexican muscle power, when the only viable alternative is fossil fuelled machinery. And the wages you pay the Mexican peons, paltry though they are, actually keep people alive south of the border. So it’s not as bl×ck and wh×te as you attempt to paint it.

        Nope – you could not find anyone prepared to do the work at the wages you were prepared to pay.

        Correction, I could not find any people to do the work — period. The same applies to many jobs Mexicans do; there are simply no people prepared to clean those toilets, tidy those homes, move those rocks etc. US unemployment is at record lows

        What would occur is that there would be a god almighty recession

        Exactly, and another recession on the back of their record debt would sink the US, permanently, which is why they are fighting tooth and nail to avoid it.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        “And the wages you pay the Mexican peons, paltry though they are, actually keep people alive south of the border.”

        Well thats all very nice R2M,….but the Democratically elected Government of the United States should be representing the interests of the Majority of the citizens of the United states.
        Not the citizens of some other nation state or political entity,…or heaven forbid a small percentage of the population, that serves as the well paid, privilaged toadies of coporate oligarchy,…establishment types like yourself im eluding to R2M.

        Tell me brother what percentage of US citizens employ illegal Mexican labours an a regular (weekly) basis,…mmm?
        Would it be over 10% of the population,…20% even?
        I dont think so, mate.

      • Well that all very nice R2M,….but the Democratically elected Government of the United States should be representing the interests of the Majority of the citizens of the United states. Not the citizens of some other nation state or political entity.

        One minute you’re a humanitarian, the next you’re a nationalist. Make up your mind 🙄

        Tell me R2M what percentage of US citizens employ illegal Mexican labour an a regular (weekly) basis,…mmm?
        Would it be over 10% of the population,…20% even? I dont think so.

        Directly and indirectly? Close to 100%. The Mexicans are everywhere, working at all sorts of menial jobs. Buy fast food, Mexican hands had some part preparing it, even if it was only in helping to grow the beef or slaughter the poultry. Too many examples …. use your imagination

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        It wasn’t debt that made America the greatest nation on earth, but a strong society, perpetually renewing itself and investing in itself…. it’s greatness DOESN’T (or didn’t) rest on the back of slave labor and perpetuating the injustices and inequality that a debt based economy results in.

        Fighting to preserve the status quo is fighting to preserve the evil debt based economy that it has morphed into. Any nation too afraid to do the right thing, least it prick its debt bubble deserves failure…. perhaps you are right? A nation populated by an indolent selfish population who care more about their manicured lawns than ensuring its youth are meaningfully and gainfully employed, and remunerated in proportion to their efforts, deserves failure.

        Perhaps America is no longer the greatest nation on earth?

      • davidjwalshMEMBER

        good on you Stewie …. share your sentiments (based on direct experience based on what I call the ‘real USA’, not the pathetic sink hole that is CA ‘sanctuary state’ …. the sooner that Pelosi and Maxine ‘impeach Trump’ Waters move off the political stage and retreat into their massively protected mansions, the better for everyone in CA)

        keep it up Stewie …. maybe a little bit of balance will appear on MB …

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        You seem to be eluding that All people of Mexican heritage in the US are illegals,…not very “Woke” of you R2M.

        As for your issue with Democratic responsibility to voting constituencies, your frequent anti democratic rhetorical flourishes make it clear to all, your contempt of democracy and support of some kind of overarching technocracy that ignores the will of the people and is instead guided by a “better” kind of people,…people who are more educated and enlightened and thus entitled to rule and pass moral judgments apon on the vast bulk of the wretched.

        You sir are part of or at least an advocate for the establishment mentality that will lead to humanitarian disaster.

        We dont have a Global democracy,…yet,…but if we can’t get Nation state Democracies to represent the will and interests of its citizens, then how do you think a Global Democracy will do so?
        The thing that will destroy Civilization and our environment more than anything is unchecked Power,…something you seem to advocate for.

        Your attempt to paint Democracy as “Nationalist” ie Fascist
        Is the most contemptible thing about you,..IMHO comrade.

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        I can’t beat that comment Ermo, so I will leave it there, but before I go there is one comment R2M that I would like to address:

        “Correction, I could not find any people to do the work — period. The same applies to many jobs Mexicans do; there are simply no people prepared to clean those toilets, tidy those homes, move those rocks etc. US unemployment is at record lows

        This is the often-made argument that immigrants only do jobs Americans don’t want. If the argument is correct, there should be occupations comprised entirely or almost entirely of immigrants.

        What does the actual research (as opposed to hot air) indicate?

        “Of the 465 civilian occupations, only four are majority immigrant. These four occupations account for less than 1 percent of the total U.S. workforce. Moreover, native-born Americans comprise 47 percent of workers in these occupations.”

        https://cis.org/Memorandum/Jobs-Americans-Wont-Do-Detailed-Look-Immigrant-Employment-Occupation

        Well fancy that, the claims that there are a large number of jobs that Americans won’t do is just a straight out lie…. one that the Growth Lobby and Immigration Ponziters regularly trot out, but very rarely get called out for.

        R2M – from your comments I gather, you are spreading lies, you hate your fellow Americans, especially those who you down upon or consider beneath you and you rely on cheap foreign labour to afford you a standard of living that you clearly do not deserve.

        But I’m the bad guy.

      • interested party

        Stewie..
        “But I’m the bad guy.”

        No you are not.
        You are a breath of fresh air in this place. Don’t think you are not supported here…….many will agree with everything you have stated above.

        Kudos for calling it out.

      • FiftiesFibroShack

        “It wasn’t debt that made America the greatest nation on earth, but a strong society, perpetually renewing itself and investing in itself…. it’s greatness DOESN’T (or didn’t) rest on the back of slave labor and perpetuating the injustices and inequality that a debt based economy results in.”

        If you’re referring to person debt pumped into speculation, then I agree. Government debt has produced some good outcomes e.g. the “New Deal” and various infrastructure and social programs post world war. Also, I disagree on American greatness not resting at least in part on slave labor. I mean, they literally packed them onto ships and worked them under whip and gun. It’s hard to estimate how much that contributed to the building of the America, but clearly not insignificant.

        “Fighting to preserve the status quo is fighting to preserve the evil debt based economy that it has morphed into. Any nation too afraid to do the right thing, least it prick its debt bubble deserves failure…. perhaps you are right? A nation populated by an indolent selfish population who care more about their manicured lawns than ensuring its youth are meaningfully and gainfully employed, and remunerated in proportion to their efforts, deserves failure.”

        Agree with that. Although, if breaking the status quo is what you’re after, the target has to be reforming election financing and political donations. After all, it’s the lobbyists crying out for slaves and opposing any legislation that might provide low paid workers a liveable wage.

        “The wall”, while a good symbol for various public frustrations, is a cruel joke: it’s not going to remove the real impediments to those at the bottom of the economic and social ladder. If anything, it pushes any reforms that could actually help the lower classes off the table as all the attention is on a f#cking big fence.

        “Perhaps America is no longer the greatest nation on earth?”

        Perhaps a country is only as great as its people, values and institutions.

      • Arguments based on the premise that the whole US economy will collapse without a supply of cheap Mexican labour remind me of the same arguments the South made before and during the American civil war.

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        Hi FF,

        there were many individual fortunes made in the South thanks to Slavery and it definitely played a role in the development of those states.

        However, given the complete destruction of the South following the civil war very little of America’s current prosperity has anything to do with slavery, indeed, there are a number of studies that suggest the use of Slavery actually acts as a handbrake, inhibiting a nations wealth, as it stymies the development of a strong middle class and the process of re-investment and renewal that I referred to previously.

        It is a strong middle class that supports the institutions that make a strong and prosperous nation. A societies STRENGTH is dependent on a strong middle class – slavery doesn’t make for a stronger society, it makes for a weaker one directing wealth upwards and hollowing it out in the same fashion as I have argued above.

        A decent minimum wage offering the largest portion of the population the opportunity to build wealth, invest and take chances is the surest way to build a nations strength.

        (agree with your other points, even with regards to the wall to some degree)

      • Also, I disagree on American greatness not resting at least in part on slave labor. I mean, they literally packed them onto ships and worked them under whip and gun. It’s hard to estimate how much that contributed to the building of the America, but clearly not insignificant.

        People also forget (or ignore) a huge amount of America’s power was built upon espionage (corporate or otherwise) and ignoring copyrights and patents, exactly the same way China is doing in contemporary times.

      • FiftiesFibroShack

        @SG

        The money made off the backs of slaves didn’t just stay in the south, though.

        Anyway, I’m not sure how anyone would even go about estimating overall impact of slavery on America. It’s probably a waste of time arguing over what is essentially an unknowable counterfactual.

        It’s Friday. I’m off to soak my nads in the cooling Dee Why waters.

      • FiftiesFibroShack

        @Drsmithy

        I’m not familiar with the history there, but don’t doubt you’re right. Still, it’s hard to imagine it being as blatant as what’s going on in China. FWIW, a friend of mine runs a business building audio equipment. He got some of his PCBs made in China and before he got them shipped back a Chinese company was selling equipment made with his PCB design. I mean come on!

      • Still, it’s hard to imagine it being as blatant as what’s going on in China. FWIW, a friend of mine runs a business building audio equipment. He got some of his PCBs made in China and before he got them shipped back a Chinese company was selling equipment made with his PCB design. I mean come on!

        There’s some truth in that, but it’s mostly a product of now vs then. Modern technology makes examining/copying/manufacturing/distributing much easier and quicker, and more importantly, for a good couple of decades businesses (in general, appreciate small operators like your mate probably don’t have a lot of choice any more) have been falling over themselves to offshore most functions to China, thus wilfully exposing themselves to appropriation of their IP (which of course they expect the muscle of Uncle Sam to come in and protect).

      • You sir are part of or at least an advocate for the establishment mentality that will lead to humanitarian disaster.

        Say what? For a plumber, you spend an inordinate amount of time engaged in intellectual onanism.

        R2M – from your comments I gather, you are spreading lies

        Fine. I’m a liar who simply recounts what he saw. Whom do I believe, you or my lying eyes? Illegals are everywhere in the US. They did my landscaping. They changed my tires. They work at the local 7-11. They tiled my house. They built the houses in the development next to my house. I could go on … but Stewie has found something on Google that says I’m a liar, in Stewie’s interpretation. [facepalm]

        Final message to all the Don Quixote pro-wallers like Stewie: THE.WALL.WILL.NOT.BE.BUILT.

        M’Kay?

      • Hi Stewie

        Good to see you back and firing on all cylinders.

        Love the way you clinically “eviscerate” your targets with facts and humour.

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        R2M – I note you didn’t rebut my other opinion:

        “…you hate your fellow Americans, especially those who you look down upon or consider beneath you and you rely on cheap foreign labour to afford you a standard of living that you clearly do not deserve.”

      • I ignored it Stewie because it’s simply your opinion, and you know what they say about opinions (like a_holes, everyone has one). Believe what you want. I am too old and too rich to care.

    • FiftiesFibroShack

      If Trump gave up on the wall it’s unlikely he would gain support from the less unhinged end of that silly country, and without the wall he doesn’t have much to fall back on. He might as well go all in.

      • The wall, like our stop the boats, is purely symbolic. It’s a way to distract from the underlying problems that no one in power seems to want to deal with

      • And let’s not forget that in most cases, the people playing political distraction tactics are usually the ones most involved with creating the problems we face today, and the people voting for them because of their distractions, were also happily voting for them while they were busy fvcking everything up.

  3. But Rush Limbaugh told him it would be a good idea. And given his mental decline somebody has to come up with the ideas. My favourite aspect is that he is saying the wall was an election promise. No, the wall paid for by Mexico was an election promise. Mexico will pay for the wall.

    • And that exact point, a wall paid for by Mexico was Trump’s election promise, is lost on his supporters. A wall paid for by the US was not the election promise.

      • interested party

        I can see that perspective and it is a valid claim……but I would also consider the actual costs, financial and social, of protection spent now against the expected costs/savings, financial and social, from having a wall in place. It is not a simple cut and dried equation. I can see that the benefits outweigh the costs, and the savings ( financial….and ongoing ) will be far more than the construction costs.
        Trump could/should have stated it more clearly…but here we are. I don’t see it as a reason to hate on the bloke. Fun to watch the madness here though…….almost everyone is unhinged…lol.

  4. Build the wall!

    Trump is not going to lose out in the long run on this issue. It will become an election issue next time around as the elites actively try to prevent him spending (by US standards) a trivial amount on it.
    Meanwhile all these same elites have huge walls around their own properties.

    • “Elites”, “swamp”, “deep state”, “fake news” … you morons show up here with your right wing garbage talking points. Please go back to the icky blogs that spawned you

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        Yes – go back to the icky swamps that spawned you.

        Your presence in this conversation is distracting me from admiring the Mexican pool boy and gardener’s who are trimming my wife’s hedge.

      • So is it that the American youths wouldn’t move your rocks at any price or at a price you considered reasonable and were willing to pay.
        Interestingly, you assert both in your posts.
        Because, if the latter, who is the right wing exploiter of unprotected labour?

      • Would not move the rocks AT ANY PRICE. Work was too fkn hard. That’s only one of many jobs young Americans WILL NOT DO. You people are completely ignorant of what’s going on there.

        The labor I was “exploiting” was keeping their children alive with my money. Without “exploiters” like me, they’d starve.

      • R2M – – “Correction, I could not find any people to do the work — period. The same applies to many jobs Mexicans do; there are simply no people prepared to clean those toilets, tidy those homes, move those rocks etc ”

        You are telling porkies (again) – the above is total BS. I have NO doubt that unemployed Americans would have done your work for a decent hourly rate – – but YOU only were prepared to pay $4 or $5 an hour . USA wage rate are low compared to Oz so even 10-15 Dollars an hour would have got an non Mexican. Then you brag about your Mansion. What a tool.

        “That’s how I got all the landscaping done on my mansion overlooking the ocean. Americans love this cheap labor. “

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        “The labor I was “exploiting” was keeping their children alive with my money. Without “exploiters” like me, they’d starve.”

        So your saying you would be an altruistic Slave owner,…like Frederick Douglass had when he was a boy,…how very Woke of you R2M

        Frederick Douglass, in his more balanced second autobiography, fondly described his boyhood. “Thus, freed from all restraint, the slave-boy can be, in his life and conduct, a genuine boy, doing whatever his boyish nature suggests; enacting, by turns, all the strange antics and freaks of horses, dogs, pigs, and barn-door fowls, without in any manner compromising his dignity, or incurring reproach of any sort. He literally runs wild . . . he may trot on, in his joyous and roguish tricks, as happy as any little heathen under the palm trees of Africa. . . . and our sable boy continues to roll in the dust, or play in the mud, as bests suits him, and in the veriest freedom. If he feels uncomfortable, from mud or from dust, the coast is clear; he can plunge into the river or the pond, without the ceremony of undressing, or the fear of wetting his clothes; his little tow-linen shirt — for that is all he has on — is easily dried; and it needed ablution as much as did his skin. His days, when the weather is warm, are spent in the pure, open air, and in the bright sunshine. In a word, he is, for the most part of the first eight years of his life, a spirited, joyous, uproarious, and happy boy, upon whom troubles fall only like water on a duck’s back. And such a boy, so far as I can now remember, was the boy whose life in slavery I am now narrating.”

        https://www.quora.com/Did-any-Southern-slave-owners-have-good-employee-relations-with-their-slaves

        Your losing credibility with your ridiculous stance R2M,…but Im also wondering if your maybe just taking the Pi$$

      • I have NO doubt that unemployed Americans would have done your work for a decent hourly rate

        Again, whom do I believe, a flapjaw know-nothing on an Aussie website or my own experience in the US? 🙄

        So your saying you would be an altruistic Slave owner

        More onanism from the plumber. If you’d told those Mexicans not to work for me, they’d have cut you bad.

      • Looks like the tables and sentiment have indeed turned on our resident pro-endless war, slave labour endorsing, mansion owning ‘environmentalist’. Reverting to mean perhaps? But tell us more about that CO2.

    • Shutting down the government to get the money to pay for the wall is NOT a winning political move in the short or long run.

      Trumpy is going to pay politically.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        “Trumpy is going to pay politically.”

        He couldn’t give 2 fks about that.
        He fluked it in the most incredible way,…Hillary, the Wall street candidate basically threw the election for being so insincere and revolting.
        Trump winning the election, is the “political price” of having Washington lobbyist completely corrupt the Democratic system in the United states.

  5. Republican President with rising popularity and 50% approval. Republican Senate. Conservative majority in Supreme Court. House lost, but that always happens in mid-terms, and it happened with less damage than suffered by Obama-era Democrats. Please explain to me how Republicans are an “increasingly irrelevant party”?

    • Trump’s approval rating is 41.4% and falling from 43% high pre midterms.
      Source: fivethirtyeight
      Republican Senate only because the third of the seats that got re-elected were safe (and in most cases gerrymandered and vote obstructed) Republican areas. Conservative majority because of McConnell’s blocking of all of Obama’s choices and ramming through Kavanaugh without due consideration
      2018 mid terms were biggest loss for a sitting party since 2002, the biggest gain for the Democrats since 1974, the biggest youth voter turnout – a near 10% surge – an overwhelming majority of whom voted Democratic or non GOP (only 30% of youth under 29 voted GOP – that’s fucking scary if you’re a non-80 year old Republican) – and the most elected number of women ever – almost all Democratic Congressmen.
      Source: wikipedia via US federal voting records
      It was also the biggest turnover in the House, with many GOP Congressmen retiring, a trend that appears to be accelerating in the Senate.
      Of the 33 States up for governor elections, the Democrats picked up 9, while the Republicans got Alaska (which was independent).
      The Republican demographic is shrinking very very fast (lots more younger people coming into voting age – many of whom whipped up by the in-action on gun laws, more women involved in politics, more minorities who vote Democratic as the nation gets less White) as is their tight grip on electoral gerrymandering so looking longer term the most lasting impact post-Trump is the conservative majority in the Supreme Court and the other lower courts. That will be the only legacy, hopefully.

      The Republican party needs to reform itself very very quickly or it will not last the next decade. Can’t argue with the facts and reality that is demographics and voting trends…

      • Republican Senate only because the third of the seats that got re-elected were safe (and in most cases gerrymandered and vote obstructed) Republican areas.

        Senate seats can’t be gerrymandered, as the vote is counted state-wide, based on boundaries (state borders) that do not move. Failure to understand this basic point makes it difficult to take anything you say about American politics seriously.

        Gerrymandering creates over-representation in the House, where district boundaries are periodically re-drawn (by both sides, the Republicans have merely made it an art form of late). Conservative over-representation in the Senate is baked into the constitution, as each state gets two senators. There are a lot of small, not so populous Republican-leaning states; and fewer large, very populous Democrat-leaning ones.

      • OK, you’re right on the approval rating, thank you for the pick up. But who are the Democrats going to beat him with? Creepy Uncle Joe? Additionally, Trump’s Republicans lost way fewer seats in the mid-terms than Obama’s Democrats in 2010 (26 vs 63) or Clinton’s Democrats in 1994 (52). So I’m not sure what you’re defining as a “loss”. Either way, they’re still predominantly in charge, and almost half the country are voting for them. They don’t sound irrelevant to me, except perhaps if you’re an overly optimistic Democrat cheerleader. It’s exactly this kind of hubris that cost Hillary the Presidency.

      • Hi MattOt3

        Correct !!! but no point trying to educate Becker who drinks the commie cool aid and only sees red.
        He forgot to mention that after 2 years Obama lost both the Congress and Senate majority and the fact that Trump increased his Senate majority, something very rare in US politics.

        Becker the conservatives will hold the majority in the Supreme Court in 2019 a first since 1936 from memory.

        On the plus side Becker is good at verbal abuse……hahaah.

        Do some research and report the facts not your biased BS.

      • apologies Matt, I used the word gerrymandered in the wrong spot when talking about Senate elections, I meant obstruction and tampering. And the Democrats have used it to their advantage many times as well (both in the House and in local elections), they are not innocent, but the GOP makes it their core way of getting around the growing demographic change.
        Shylock – I backed up all my stats with hard sources. I mentioned the increase in Senate majority at the top because it was mainly Republican areas (i.e small conservative leaning states) that were coming up for re-election. You might have missed that.

        Im no Democrat, Ive stated that many times here, I’m a centrist, which in American politics has me labelled a “libtard” or “leftie”, shows how polarised things are…. IMO Conservatives have a vital role in politics and national identity/security/values, its unfortunate that there’s no real conservatives in US politics anymore….

        Also, Im not a communist – just as bad as calling me a Nazi – communism is a vile ideology. Can’t get much more of a worse insult that either of those. Do that again here at MB and you will be banned.

        EDIT: I got a bit hot under the collar there, long day, shouldnt have said it, I apologise. But I wont stand for being called a Nazi or a Communist by anyone.

      • – I can agree with a lot of things you have said here.
        – “……. many of whom whipped up by the in-action on gun laws” ??? Disagree.
        – My opinion is that things like 1) giant student loan debts, 2) the high price of Healthcare 3) the “weak” economy (think: well paid jobs) 4) the price of education were much more important for young voters (read: Millennials) than those “in-action on gun laws”. Just remember on what platform Ocasio-Cortez was elected.
        – I think the Republicans are so involved in gerrymandering/obstruction/voter fraud because they want to increase their control over government in the US. But I see it also as a desperate move to cling to power in a country that is changing in so many ways. It remains to be seen in which direction the Republicans will be moving and in which (political) direction the US will be moving in the next years.

  6. Do you mean that you shouldn’t have said that you would physically assault a reader who implied that you have communist leanings? I agree. That’s why I took screenshots before you deleted it. Incidentally, threats of violence and exclusion and suppressing the truth are all tactics used by communist regimes.

    • Yes I shouldn’t have said that and admitted to it, as it goes against the rules here and now I’m explaining and apologising again. Im pretty open about my faults, I make mistakes all the time and indeed yesterday was a tough day, and getting called a Communist did not cap it off well, but no excuse.
      Ill explain to you how I expect these comment threads to operate when I make a post – this is my living room or at worst, its like being at the pub, so sometimes things get heated, but usually you can calm down and explain your way through things, but if you say to my face something vile or disgusting – or call me a liar – I will ask you to leave. Most of the time I wont ask you back.
      If you dont like those conditions, please dont enter into the comments section when I make a post, do it elsewhere or not at all. This is not a public forum – read the rules about commenting here. https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/comment-rules/

      Thats the end of it, going to try to enjoy my weekend and Ill be back on Monday.