Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Has the World Ended? No, but the Potential For Shitty Times is High

Trump won and for a host of reasons this is not going to be good

Canada and Trump
From Canada's perspective the single big issue is "what will be do with NAFTA?"  More NAFTA trade is between Canada and the US than the US and Mexico.   I suspect to Trump NAFTA only means Mexico.   I am not sure what he thinks needs fixing but from how he has talked.  Do not forget that NAFTA can be cancelled with six month notice.

Loss of NAFTA would be devasting to Canada because trade is so important to our country.  Canada's economy grows by around $40,000,000,000 per year in a typical year.   The loss of free access to the American market would likely be in the range of $75,000,000,000 to $150,000,000,000.in exports.   If it is anything like this scale it would mean the most severe recession Canada has seen in close to 90 years.   Many Canadian companies would have to shut up shop.  Anyone wanting to import machinery to make things would see their costs rise.

If the Canadian part of NAFTA survives, something that may become an issue is that becuase of CETA it makes sense for European companies to base themselves in Canada so they get access to the US market.  At the same time many US companies could move to Canada to be able to get better access to the EU, and in the case of some business leaders to get out of the US.   If Trump and crowd get what CETA means something will be done to harm the benefits to Canada.

Whatever happens with NAFTA I suspect that there will be no deal for softwood lumber unless Canada agrees to utterly surrender to the US.

The next thing that impacts Canada is the US dollar.    Canada really thrives where there is along term stability between the two dollars.  The purchasing power of the Canadian dollar is about 80 cents American.   If their dollar drops Canada becomes noncompetitive - the film and television business would be hard hit by that.   If the US dollar rises our food costs will go up as will the costs of things like phones, computers and other equipment.

Ultimately I suspect Trump has not thought about Canada at all and the one thing that will benefit is that Trump is awe of celeberties and Justin is currently the only celebrity political leader in the world.

Within the US
Within the US the first and foremost problem comes from the relationship between Trump and Congress.   Yes they are both GOP controlled but the agenda's are different.   A number of points in Trump's plan go counter to what the GOP Congress wants.  At his heart Trump is not a conservative.   He has a lot less political capital with Congress than a new president normally has.   There are high expectations that Congress will do as Trump asks, I am skeptical of that happening.

Trump is well known for holding grudges.   He is not going to let the slights against him in the election go, he is going to seek ways to exact his revenge against people.   He will end up diminishing the presidency through personal vindictive agendas.

This brings up the press and Trump.   He does not have the skills to communicate with the press and as president should be treating them differently than he did during the campaign but if he does not the media will spend years looking into him in more detail.   He will lose control over the narrative.   He will likely flip out without just cause.  He will become an embarrassment.

The budget - I honestly think he is going to try and pass of any responsibility for it to someone else.  Within his plan he is calling for tax cuts while at the same significantly increasing spending on the military.   This is not a way to balance the budget and will only lead to higher deficits.  It also becomes a political nightmare for the GOP because it will be 100% under their control.

Obamacare is gone but no plans for what will replace it and Trump says he wants to replace it   The easiest and most affordable model is the Canadian one but that is going way too far for the GOP.  Also last time I checked the GOP wants there to be nothing at all.

Trump and the World
I honestly can not tell you what Trump will do and during the election he made it clear over and over again that he knew nothing about the issue and had no ideas at all.  All he has made clear is that he has an irrational fear of people that are Islamic and that he wants to destroy ISIS.

How do you destroy ISIS?  It would take a dramatic increase in US military intervention.   Think Iraq on steroids

I worry how he will interact with Putin because I worry he may need to prove himself tough.  It may sound crazy, but Trump puts nuking Moscow on the table

Iran - I have no idea what he will do
Isreal - maybe he will stand with the country?   He sort of said so
NATO - the alliance is more important than ever before because of the threat of Russia towards NATO members.   He wants more military spending by NATO partners.  In the case of Canada he would expect the country to go from $18.6 billion in military spending to $46 billion per year.
China - I see a trade war coming and that could plunge the global economy into a recession

Trump as a Social Conservative
One big reason social conservatives voted for Trump is because of the US Supreme Court.    Ttump is not a religous man and has never shown himself to engaged in the US culture wars.  Sure he will appoint a conservative to the Supreme Court but whoever he appoints will not be as awful and fundamentally incompetent as Scalia.

As it comes out he is not a social conservative he will lose support on the right in the US and feel betrayed by them.   A cornered Trump lashes out unpredictably.

Victory for the Elites
Trump's win was a win for the political elite in Washington and Wall Street.   There is nothing in his plans or the statements from the GOP that will actually improve things for the average American.   Not a single thing they have talked about will add jobs.

Trump as a person has always tried to only hang out with the elites of society.  He has gone out of his way to court celebrities and powerful people while at the same time not blinking for a second as he destroys honest small business people

All the names floated for the Trump cabinet are multi-millionaire Washington insiders.  Even worse, the people being suggested for cabinet are either unqualified, deeply flawed, mean spirited, or vindictive - in most cases almost all of it applies.  We are looking at an insider cabinet that does not care for the people in the United States
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