By on July 5, 2018

2018 Ford F-150 - Image: Ford

It will be a day or two too late by the time you read this, but: Happy Independence Day! It’s been a very long time since I felt compelled to cloak my appreciation of this country in the kind of irony frequently employed by my autojourno colleagues on Twitter and elsewhere, and I certainly won’t start now. The United States is far from perfect and I am afraid that some of the changes made here over the past fifty years have been profoundly negative in their effects, but it remains the proverbial city on the hill for many of the world’s citizens. As the song says, I’ve been around the world and I, I, I, I… haven’t seen any other place where middle-class families own property, start businesses, and create wealth like they do here.

While I certainly understand how many of my coastal friends and acquaintances no longer feel that the American Dream exists for them or for anyone else, I also feel compelled to note that we are doing just fine here in the Midwest. Where I live, four-year-old children play unsupervised outside and the police shake your hand in the street. Some time ago I accidentally left a $275,000 Ferrari out in front of my house overnight with the windows down, the keys on the center console, and my wallet next to them. Needless to say, nothing happened. I know that’s par for the course inside Mark Zuckerberg’s gates but my neighborhood consists mostly of stay-at-home moms and mid-five-figure household incomes. Come back to the real America, if you like, but leave your emotional support animals, your addiction to food-as-virtue, and your army of domestic staff behind you. Out here, people raise human children instead of “furbabies,” thoughtlessly consume GMO produce, and clean their own bathrooms. It’s considered character-building.

I know you won’t do it. Nobody is going to change sides. We are too deeply divided now into Blue And Red Tribes. We judge incoming information based on how well it conforms to our existing beliefs. Want an example? How about this: For over six decades, the automakers have been predicting that increased emissions, safety, and fuel-consumption standards would have a negative impact on the bottom line. The media alternately ignored and lampooned them for saying so. Now those same automakers say that Trump’s policies will have a similar impact and the media is treating it the way the Catholic Church once treated an ex cathedra pronouncement.

My response to that? It’s this


If you’re at work and can’t click the link, it’s what Rhah said to Charlie Sheen’s character in Platoon: “Wrong? You ain’t never been right!” Automakers, by their very nature, are permanently focused on winning their own little internecine sales squabbles. Everything other than that, from a 5-mph bumper beam requirement to the Tesla Model S, constitutes an Outside Context Problem and is therefore impossible to handle without severe consequences.

There are reasons for this. Competition is bloodthirsty and margins in the business are low, although they tend to rise in lockstep with the ground clearance of whatever is being sold at the moment. There’s more customer loyalty than what you get in most industries, but the penalties for making a mistake are also much higher. Facebook causes one-third of divorces and God knows how many suicides but somehow they’ve never paid a dime in a related liability settlement. Compare and contrast that with Ford’s Firestone/Explorer mess. In other words, the automotive environment is something like the Cretaceous Period. Everything that has survived up to this point is vicious, the stakes are high, and nobody has evolved a defense against asteroids.

No wonder, then, that the automakers consider President Trump’s ideas to be risky. But not all of their reasons are particularly admirable. To begin with, they’re all deeply invested in China and therefore have quite a bit to lose should the (mostly one-sided) torrent of commerce between the United States and China falter in any way. Today’s cars contain more Chinese components than ever before. It is no exaggeration to say that the automakers are addicted to Chinese manufacturing; I can’t think of a single company that could build a car six months from now if China closed its borders today.

The automakers are also addicted to the speedball-like combination of “free trade” (that mostly favors China) and “free movement of labor” (that mostly favors low-wage countries). It’s a hell of a business model: You buy your parts from China for dirt cheap thanks to currency manipulation and you do your assembly in Mexico for half price and then you sell the product in the United States for debt-based American dollars. It literally cannot be a permanent business model, any more than a game of Monopoly can be, but that doesn’t bother executives with an ADHD quarterly approach to profits.

Americans are in no way obliged to ensure the continuation of this strategy. Nor is this country obliged to continue supporting the Chinese economy by borrowing their money and then using that money to buy their stuff. We have been giving away the proverbial store since the Marshall Plan. Nothing’s changed, except for the fact that we can’t afford it any more.

If President Trump’s proposed tariffs are met with equal-and-opposite tariffs from elsewhere, that’s not great news for the shareholders. And your local economist will very sanctimoniously tell you that the return of local production to cities and rural areas across America cannot possibly equal the amazing and delightful utility of paying lower prices for toilet paper at Wal-Mart. But that’s not an outcome I want to discuss here. Instead, I want to talk about what happens if Trump actually manages to flatten some of these astoundingly uneven “bad deals” that we’ve made with everybody from Germany to Japan. Do we have anything to sell that anyone else would want to buy?

A recent discussion on this topic here at TTAC got deep into the weeds of whether an F-350 Super Duty would be easy to park on the Ginza strip. Then, of course, it devolved into an endless parade of holier-than-thou liberal-arts types solemnly assuring us that the superior beings of Europe and Asia would never buy anything as laughable and pathetic as an American car.

Let’s assume they are right for a moment, and that despite the evidence of my own eyes and the eyes of others, there is zero useful market for American cars elsewhere in the world. Could a flat-trade market benefit American autoworkers? Absolutely, for one simple reason: They work longer, and cheaper, than their European or Japanese counterparts. It’s cheaper to build the same car in America and ship it to Europe than it is to build the car in Europe.

Of course, China is cheaper still. But America offers advantages that China can’t match. We take property rights, including intellectual property rights, seriously here. Despite what you see on television, we have far less civil unrest than most nations do. We don’t protest the construction of factories. American workers have proven remarkably able to adapt to modern ideas about quality process and procedures: an American-made Honda Accord is a more reliable proposition than a German-made Ford Focus, for example. We are unlikely to begin nationalizing factories any time soon. You can drink the water in most places. All of these advantages are real.

It is also true that shareholder activism is on the rise, and much of that shareholder activism is environmentally motivated. So why not shut those shareholders up by moving your production to the land of the EPA, which despite the much-ballyhooed reductions in staff and scope still towers over its counterparts in China and elsewhere? Last but certainly not least, where do your executives want to live while they supervise your factories: Shenzhen, Mexico City, or Savannah?

So the desirability of American cars doesn’t need to be a factor at all in these calculations. But let’s not overlook the fact that it is really the combination of tariffs, currency manipulation, and outdated joint-venture requirements that keeps American cars out of China. Don’t you think that all those prosperous middle-class Chinese folk would just LOVE to have an F-150? Sure they would, particularly if they own small businesses. The Chinese market should have been open to whole importation of automobiles for decades now. Instead, the Chinese government made it almost impossible to succeed with anything other than a joint-venture business — and the same firms that are being lions when it comes to Trump’s administration went to the Chinese slaughter like lambs, because they wanted access to that market. Well, maybe we will have a flat trade world where a Chinese person can buy an F-150 for a price roughly equivalent to the American price. When that happens, the Louisville plant will have to double in size to keep up with the demand.

Oh, and wouldn’t they really rather have an American Buick, assuming that Buick can be bothered to build any here? Sure they would, and for the same reason that you’d rather have a Swiss Rolex instead of an American one. Don’t forget Corvettes, Mustangs, and all the other uniquely American vehicles that might find a home overseas once it didn’t cost half again as much to buy them as it does here. That’s why Elon Musk has spoken out in favor of flat trade regulations. Given the choice, he’d rather expand the American Tesla factory than build a satellite in Shanghai. And who can blame him for that?

But wait, there’s more. Even a modest increase in international sales for American sporting cars would drastically increase the business case for making more of them. I’ve been beating the drum for a four-cylinder “mini-Corvette” — that’s a great international product, one that would do very well against the foreign competition if it was priced fairly. We might even see a Mustang that returns to the “international size” of the 1979 Telnack design. Somebody out there might even buy a Cadillac ATS-V. The possibilities are endless.

The point of all this? Simple. It’s not insane for President Trump to want a truly level playing surface. It is insane to think that America can survive a tilted-table approach to trade indefinitely. And America is now ready to compete on the world automotive stage, both as a producer and as an innovator. Stop being ashamed of your own country. Give us some credit. If you’re experiencing some doubt about that, book yourself a test drive in a Corvette ZR1, Shelby GT350, or widebody Hellcat. If you can find any unsold examples, that is. This is still a pretty decent country, filled with good people and good ideas. Happy Independence Day. See you next week.

[image: Ford Motor Company]

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335 Comments on “No Fixed Abode: The Case For the American Car Abroad...”


  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Thank you for this level-headed article. No doubt, a lot of the arrangements we’ve made have been bad deals, as you say. I guess the deciding factor will be whether we really have the clout to equalize things, or whether we’ve backed ourselves into a proverbial wall.

    I also agree that–while there are definitely areas into which our full-size trucks simply do not practically fit–the reason more Europeans in particular don’t buy them is because it’s *really* expensive once import duties are calculated.

    • 0 avatar
      SSJeep

      Totally agreed Kyree. This was a great write up but I have to wonder the same thing – is it even possible to build a car using only domestic components? I honestly don’t think it could happen in today’s climate. Heck, even a Bugatti has brake and accelerator pedals made in China.

      And you are correct regarding Euro import duties. The EU tariffs any American vehicle at 10% today just to get it off the boat, then 16% VAT on top of that. This makes American made vehicles very expensive.

      Interestingly, I have seen a good number of Tesla cars in Germany. Jeep also seems to be popular overseas, both in Europe and Japan. It is not uncommon to find a Wrangler here or there in the strangest places.

      • 0 avatar
        deanst

        Just to clarify – the VAT applies to all vehicles, regardless of place of manufacture.

        The world bank estimates that the average tariff is actually 2.5% in France and Germany versus 2.9% in the U.S. I’ve seen reports that show the u.s. is actually the worst country with regard to non-tariff barriers, although I suspect those stats can be adjusted to show the opposite point of view.

        Saying the u.s. is a cheaper place to manufacture versus Europe is a bit simplistic if you consider the costs in some of the east European countries.

      • 0 avatar
        Superdessucke

        Does it have to be all or nothing? I’m not putting words into the President’s mouth but I don’t think he wants a world where all cars are 100% American content. Rather, he simply wants to level the playing field a bit more. You’d still have cars with Chinese parts, we just wouldn’t have the 25% tariff slapped on the cars we want to sell in China, for one example.

        For the life of me, I cannot understand why this is a bad stance. But because it’s from Trump, the media is all over it as a bad thing. Makes no sense to me (and I was until recently a liberal Democrat).

        • 0 avatar
          Astigmatism

          What does “level the playing field mean,” other than that you’ve made an assumption about the slant of the current playing field? Our weighted average tariff rates are the same as the EU’s and higher than Canada’s; sure, our cars would be subject to a 10% tariff in the EU, but their light trucks would be subject to a 25% tariff in the US. Meanwhile, just try to import one of those sweet pieces of forbidden fruit that they sell in the EU but don’t sell here, taxes be damned. There’s far more rhetoric than reality to how this administration is framing its arguments.

          • 0 avatar
            Superdessucke

            Oh, so you think we’re on a level playing field in terms of trade with China?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            US pickups have a 10 to 22% EU tariff (chicken tax) against them, while Europe has no pickups to offer either way. Euro cargo-vans are imported into the US via tariff (chicken tax) loopholes.

            The US allowed grey-market imports, mostly for (US non-compliant) overseas sports cars and luxo barges, usually extremely limited-editions lacking emissions equipment and US safety testing. By the late ’80s, Mercedes and BMW dealers lobbied to close the grey-market loophole.

          • 0 avatar
            Astigmatism

            @Superdessucke: I’m not sure whether you didn’t read my comment above, didn’t read my comment below, or just didn’t read any of my comments.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          It’s not so much what he wants as it is the way he goes about it. Most Americans want trade that favors America. Most Americans don’t want to pursue that with a mutually destructive trade war that has no end in sight. If Trump were the shrewd negotiator he pitched himself to be, one would figure he could find a much more productive and straightforward way of achieving his goal.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Going over to Europe and begging for lower tariffs against US products doesn’t seem his style. It probably wouldn’t work anyway.

            Doing it his way, he’ll have Europe and Germany racing to the US to negotiate lower or zero tariffs all around.

      • 0 avatar
        Lockstops

        @SSJeep:
        I’m pretty sure manufacturing components is only a matter of cost, not ability. We certainly can make any prototypes. We can make design and manufacture everything needed for the factories for any components (the only iffy one is the immediate ability for the very top level touchscreens). So why not the components themselves? Just cost due to environmental rules, property and labour rights in the civilised world.

        Actually you’re right about EU tariffs having VAT slapped onto that tariff too! And only then do you get to pay the ‘normal’ VAT on the sales price of the product itself. But that VAT depends on the country and is between 17% and 27%, not 16%!!! Then there are national registration taxes that can be more than the price of the vehicle itself in the US. So adding about 11-12% (approximating 10% plus VAT on that tariff) at the beginning has a bit of a leverage effect on the end price to the customer as all the other taxes are calculated based on that tariff-included price.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        Thank
        You
        Jack.
        And Kyree, as for the earlier bad agreements, like all beginnings, they kept going in one direction with the force of the industry as Jack was sayin. The incentives were never about the American economy or people, just business. And the goals of business are way to often driven by quarterly reports, sales bonuses and returns rather than the country.

        Globalism is nothing more than a code word and opportunity for greed in the hands of corporations.

    • 0 avatar
      AVT

      The issue that becomes a larger problem for the consumers over seas is that they pay emissions and road taxes. China taxes you massively on any engine over 2 liters and ever more once you breach 3 liters. Europe requires pollution and road taxes to be paid every year based on the vehicles you own. Anyone living in London trying to rationalize emissions and road taxes on an F150 or like had either better be using it under a business venture for tax purposes or its just unbelievably costly. The price to purchase the vehicle may be the same but the running costs start to really add up once you factor those things in. I’m not saying customers don’t want to buy them because I think they do. Their ability to afford it long term is a totally different problem. Not to mention that getting loans for those things in China and Europe are far different than the American market.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Hence the reason for the turbo nonsense on top of tiny engines, in cars sold here that will also be marketed to the ChiComs! (Looking at you, Honda Accord!)

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Another troll-fest click-bait, Breitbart-esque POS inflammatory essay by one of the Breitbart Brothers.

      “Miidwest amd red state and Trump’voters’ children eat GMO, pesticide-laden foods happily and drive pickup trucks, work hard, while’anyone not voting for Trump is a snowflake and not a “real’American.”

      When is this BULLSH!T letting The Baruth Breitbart Bros publish click bait after click bait article on TTAC GOING TO END, TIM!

      CHINESE AND EUROPEANS ARE GOING TO REALOZE THAT TRUMP VOTERS ARE BRILLIANT AND ARE GOING TO EAT WAY MORE MONSANTO CORN AND BUY FORD F150S AND DODGE HELLCATS BY THE HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS ANY DAY NOW AND CROWN TRUMP 3D CHESSPLAYER EMPEROR FOR LIFE!

      You might as well republish this:

      https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2017/01/barks-bites-time-drivers-march/

      https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2017/01/retraction-article-posted-january-23-2017/

      ENOUGH POLITICAL CLICK BAIT TROLLING BY THE BREITBART BARUTH BROTHERS!!!!

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    Lights ! Camara One- Cue BigTrollFromOz in three, two, one, and You’re on…

  • avatar
    Astigmatism

    That’s an awful lot of words about China in the face of a reality in which Trump is threatening punitive tariffs on cars that would primarily hit Germany, Canada and Mexico.

    Is China a fair player in international trade? Nope. Is acting so belligerently toward our _allies_ that they view China as a more reliable partner than the United States a good way of dealing with it? Put another way, if you and a bunch of friends are walking down a dark alley and someone pulls a knife on you, do you think it would be a good idea to punch your best friend in the face?

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      I agree, Astigmatism, and I hope (though do not trust) that this is part of a broader strategy. Trump’s approach to the EU doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, either, but I suspect he thinks that they’ll be easier to deal with than China.

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      “Is China a fair player in international trade? Nope. Is acting so belligerently toward our _allies_ that they view China as a more reliable partner than the United States a good way of dealing with it? Put another way, if you and a bunch of friends are walking down a dark alley and someone pulls a knife on you, do you think it would be a good idea to punch your best friend in the face?”

      Ah, ok, so no then. I don’t see what’s wrong with Trump’s stance on this, and I think your comment that China is viewed as a “more reliable partner” is ridiculous given their IP theft, protectionist tariffs and other things. And don’t try shouting me down, I’m a Democrat! :-) This isn’t a Facebook echo chamber though. I try to view his policies objectively, not with hyperbole.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    A good starting point for what may turn out to be a rather long and divisive discussion.

    1) Traditional economic political debates turned on who do you trust least, corporations or the government? Remember that it was multinational corporations that provided the impetus for so many of the more recent trade agreements. When corporations were national, they supported tariffs. Now that they are international, they have no national loyalties. They move to wherever costs are cheapest. The legal obligation of corporate executives/directors is to maximize profit, regardless of social cost.
    2) Although Jack lives in a more traditional ‘Leave it to Beaver’ style community, in reality social mobility in the USA has greatly decreased. It is now less than many other democratic nations. The primary determinants of whether you will be in the lower economic strata are (not in order) a) single parent family, b) divorce, c) race, d) bankruptcy due to medical emergency, e) disablity f) the economic status of your parents g) education level.
    3) There was a ‘small Corvette’, the Opel GT. Yes some American vehicles would sell in other nations. But not in great numbers. The Chrysler 300 bombed. So did the small Cadillac. The Caravan/Town & Country was not a success. There is only a limited market for Corvettes and Mustangs. This is not due to prejudice or tariffs. It is due to consumer preferences, fuel prices and congestion. The same reason why Americans don’t buy wagons, or hatchbacks.
    4) Dealing with developing nations or dictatorships, neither of which abide by the ‘rule of law’ is generally a ‘fools game’. The playing field is never level.

    • 0 avatar

      I grew up “LITB” and provide that same lifestyle for my children now. Single parent families and divorce are the greatest predictors of success/failure for families. Big Media, Big Women (sorry) and Big Gov have all destigmatized these things and in a lot cases have glorified them. Hence, upwards of 80% illegitimacy in some demographics. And, thus, stagnation or decline in upward mobility for those same demographics….

    • 0 avatar
      Lockstops

      Arthur Dailey: In your point number 2) you list indicators, not determinants. Correlation does not mean causation. I have not heard of people being barred from a school or a career due to any of those reasons (except education level, which in turn is not caused by any of those things you listed).

      Fact is that American cars don’t have to be an immediate avalanche of success. If the US manufacturers could just ship some of those cars they’re already making into the EU, thus increasing their large scale production even further then their costs barely rise and that is profitable. Consumers win. But they’ve been out-lobbied by the Germans and French, making American-style products massively taxed, therefore the presence of US manufacturers dropped so low as to go under the necessary numbers to support a dealership network and proper marketing.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        @Lockstops: the Germans have already stated their amenability to a zero tariff policy, meaning that the (ready for it) Chicken Tax is removed. Yes that tax is reported to be greater than any corresponding European tariff on American cars. Remember that the auto manufacturers are multi-nationals and therefore their only loyalty is to profit, not to a nation, or a political system.

        There are a great many barriers to success. Credit and criminal background checks for example which are by definition discriminatory. Education level is indeed directly attributable to most of those factors which I listed. There are a great many studies regarding that. Even the summer school break works against children from working poor or single parent families. The lack of a social safety net in the USA has proven to be a barrier to social mobility. Thus its decreased level in the USA, while at the corresponding time it has increased in nations such as Canada, Australia, Norway, Sweden, etc.

        • 0 avatar
          stingray65

          Social mobility will be lowest where meritocracy is highest. You also have to remember that for someone to go up in the social strata, someone else needs to go down. IQ is the biggest single determinant of life outcome, and IQ is between 50 and 80% genetic. So if you are smart and marry smart, you end up with smart kids, and if you are good parents you don’t want your kids trading places in the social order with the kids at the bottom, so you read to them, put them in good schools, send them to summer camps so they also end up having environmental advantages. No government program can make up for bad genes or bad parenting, unless we mandate the smart marry the stupid and ban good schools, summer camps, and parental quality time with their kids.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @Stingray: the major problem with your posting is that it ignores the scientific principle of ‘regression to the mean’.

            So in fact social mobility will be highest when meritocracy is highest.

            An hereditary aristocracy, or emphasis on inherited wealth stifles meritocracy.

          • 0 avatar
            stingray65

            Actually Arthur, I am somewhat of an expert of IQ and social mobility. Reversion to the mean mostly happens when IQ varies by chance – as in stupid parents breed a high IQ child, whose own children will likely revert closer to the grandparent’s mean IQ. If your grandparents were smart, and your parents were smart, you are very likely smart (except by random unlucky chance), and your kids will likely be smart (assuming a smart spouse). Since skill and ability are not randomly distributed, social mobility can only be high when discrimination has been prevalent, which can include hereditary aristocracy on the top-end, but more widely when blacks, Asians, and women are limited to certain professions that artificially keep them in the lower classes. When such discrimination is lifted then you tend to see lots of mobility as blacks can earn big money and status playing baseball, or women can earn big money and status being doctors and managers instead of being limited to nurse and secretaries, while stupid aristocrats fall to the lower ranks. But such mobility will tend to be short-lived in a meritocracy as the various individuals and groups sort themselves out by their true (and largely genetic) levels of talent and contribution to society.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Arthur,
          The Germans will agree to zero tariffs in accordance with WTO guidelines.

          Where is everyone getting there news from? Matt Polsky?

          The Germans will support zero tariffs if its applied to ALL WTO members!

      • 0 avatar
        Ce he sin

        “If the US manufacturers could just ship some of those cars they’re already making into the EU, thus increasing their large scale production even further then their costs barely rise and that is profitable”

        Which ones have you in mind, though?
        Let’s take the Ford European range for a start, beginning with the smallest.
        The Ka+ is made in low cost India. That’s not going to be switched to the US.
        The Fiesta isn’t made in the US as it’s cheaper to make it in Mexico so that’s not going to the US.
        Focus: ditto
        C Max: as Focus
        Mondeo: based on the US Fusion so could be sourced there but won’t be as Ford are abandoning it.
        Galaxy and S Max: as Mondeo
        Kuga: Made in the US as the Escape. Is this cheaper than manufacture in Spain? I’ve no idea.
        Edge: already supplied from Canada but doesn’t sell.
        Mustang: already sourced from the US. Niche model.
        Various US crossover/SUV things that I’m unfamiliar with: The Edge doesn’t sell so bigger, dearer models won’t.
        Transit van: made in Turkey. Producing in the US won’t be cheaper.
        Ranger: already sourced from Thailand. Moving to the US is unlikely to be cheaper.
        Various US pickups: The Ranger doesn’t exactly leap from salesrooms, I can’t imagine bigger models doing any better.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          “…US manufacturers” include Japanese, Korean and German. As long as the build in the US, this is about them too, unless you know otherwise.

          But for “Big 3” automakers, let’s forget about the everyday cars for a sec. Most of those are redundant to Europe’s everyday cars. The logical place to start is US “specialty cars”, including fullsize pickups, electric, muscle, pony and sports cars.

          These should take hold, yes in a niche capacity at first. Then some of them would lead the way for US everyday cars accepted by Euro car buyers.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          “Transit van: made in Turkey. Producing in the US won’t be cheaper.”

          Which Transit? The full size Transit (van and bus) are already made in Kansas City.

          the Transit Connect moved to Spain, I believe.

          • 0 avatar
            Ce he sin

            The larger Transit is made in the US and Turkey. The question asked though was:

            “If the US manufacturers could just ship some of those cars they’re already making into the EU, thus increasing their large scale production even further then their costs barely rise and that is profitable”
            As it’s likely to be cheaper to supply the European market from the Turkish plant I don’t see any reason to switch production to the higher-cost US instead.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          @Stingray; Professional geneticists tend to disagree with your posting. However it is a basic tenet of racists.

          If your post was true, then breeding a genius or a professional athlete with another genius or professional athlete would always result in an offspring either smarter or more athletic than their parents.
          Or the Hapsburgs would still be ruling most of Europe.

          We know that this is not true.

          Or as Sam Bronfman said “shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves in 3 generations”.

          Or you could just watch the movie Twins or Trading Places.

          • 0 avatar
            stingray65

            Arthur – professional geneticists tend to be leftists who want large government programs to fix society, which can only be effective if IQ and other personality traits that effect life success are not genetic. Anyone who disagrees with the leftist position is therefore labelled a racist no matter how much clinic and experimental research supports the hereditary genetic dominance in traits. But obviously citing movies and a saying that dates to times of racial and gender discrimination is all the proof you need for your opinion.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “professional geneticists tend to be leftists”

            when all else fails, try a lazy ad hominem attack.

    • 0 avatar
      SSJeep

      Arthur – While I agree with some of your statements, the main reasons why people fall into the lower economic strata in the United States are as follows (published data);

      1> Failing to finish high school
      2> Having a child prior to marriage and/or financial independence
      3> Inability to maintain full time employment (whether due to motivation, drugs, criminal activity, etc)

      To stay out of the lower economic strata, one must simply take their education seriously and complete high school, avoid having children until they are ready, get a job that is tolerable and keep working – and obviously dont end up in jail or hooked on drugs. Its not easy, hence the number of disadvantaged folks in all societies.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @SSJeep – “To stay out of the lower economic strata”

        The entire foundation of your premise is sourced from one’s typical “middle class” values/norms/ideals/upbringing.

        We all have heard the term, “Thinking outside of the box”.

        You are looking at the low “socioeconomic” demographic through *YOUR* eyes not *THEIRS*.

        I read about an interesting study done on “willpower”. The test was simply this, “Will you take one treat now or wait until latter and get two treats.”

        The study used children from different socioeconomic groups. The majority of those from middle or upper class families chose to postpone gratification for a greater future reward. To feel that the future reward is worth waiting for requires a stable environment where one expects events to unfold predictably.

        • 0 avatar
          SSJeep

          Lou_BC, I don’t disagree with you, but that wasn’t my premise – that premise came from a large study that was done to determine why Americans fall into poverty. Interestingly, being brought up in poverty was not in the top 5 reasons for being poor later in life.

          I hadn’t heard of the study you are citing, but I will take a look as it sounds interesting.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    “It is insane to think America can survive a tilted-table approach to trade indefinitely.” You’re assuming that the goal is for America to survive, as we know it anyway, and it’s not. Not for liberal progressives and certainly not for the socialists who are now hijacking the Democratic Party. The auto industry in this country is itself considered a pariah by many young people, it’s perceived as a symbol of “old stock, white America”, which is the cause of everything evil in the world. I’d like to see U.S. cars succeed abroad, I’d like to see the Rockettes at my next birthday party too.

    • 0 avatar
      Dynasty

      >You’re assuming that the goal is for America to survive, as we know it anyway, and it’s not. Not for liberal progressives and certainly not for the socialists who are now hijacking the Democratic Party

      And that’s why the socialist progressives, and the MSM propaganda machine are in such a butt hurt right now.

      HRC was supposed to win, and the ridiculous establishment policies, rules, regs, and laws would continue.

      Much work to do, little time.

  • avatar
    hreardon

    I’ll echo Kyree: Nice, level-headed take on things. Thanks, Jack.

    Whether we want to admit it publicly or not, we are in a race with China now – and we’ve effectively sold out for the past 30 years. I’m all for any actions that contain them. Speaking with several manufacturers I work with, they’ve been working on alternatives to their existing Chinese factories for about 24 months now. Between labor shortages, rapidly increasing wages, logistics hurdles, transport costs, language and culture barriers, and intellectual property theft – the ‘advantages’ are eroding. Fast.

    Move some of that Chinese production to Central America to help keep those immigrants from needing to move north. Move some of it to Africa, but get it the heck out of China.

    • 0 avatar
      syncro87

      I would tend to agree with you on the race with China thing, although a little voice in my brain tells me we may not have much chance of winning that race at this point.

      Ok, though, so we’re in a race with China. Seems to me that unless I’m missing something, the last thing we’d want to do in this race would be to alienate anyone that might be on our “side”. Alienating allies might lead to some of them becoming friendlier with China, making the race tougher for us.

      • 0 avatar
        Dynasty

        >hunless I’m missing something, the last thing we’d want to do in this race would be to alienate anyone that might be on our “side”.

        You’re making the assumption they are on our side. They like the current arrangement of US mostly providing for their defense, and access to our markets.

        • 0 avatar
          dwford

          Correct. We have been “buying” our friends for the last 60 years with favorable trade deals and cheap defense. Now that Trump wants to alter the deal, they are all butt hurt.

          • 0 avatar
            hreardon

            Totally agree. From the Marshall plan forward, we were ‘buying’ allies to stack behind us, and against the Soviets. It’s taken 30 years for the old alliances to break down, but we’re back to a multipolar world – for better or worse.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            I don’t think you meant to compare our president to Darth Vader.

            at least I hope not, keyboard warrior.

        • 0 avatar
          Superdessucke

          “You’re making the assumption they are on our side. They like the current arrangement of US mostly providing for their defense, and access to our markets.”

          I like you Dynasty. I think you see the truth. We’re basically a generous sugar daddy. It’s like a middle age man. He can throw money at a beautiful young girl and she’ll be his friend alright – until he runs out of money. Then, his attribute is gone and she’ll go elsewhere.

          Same deal here. We’re still a rich nation so that’s why our “friends” like us so. But if we keep it up, China is going to blow past us and guess where our “friends” are going to go next?

          It’s high time the U.S. stood up to China. I’m all for free trade but trade means trade. It doesn’t mean a $500 billion trade deficit and you forcing our companies to build plants in your country to gain access to your markets (and give you access to their IP so you can steal it), and slapping huge tariffs on our big ticket items so they can’t compete in your market.

      • 0 avatar
        hreardon

        synchro87-

        Though on the decline, one of the US’ most valuable assets remains our freedoms: freedom to associate, freedom to try, freedom to fail, freedom to say and do crazy things. I don’t say this in a stereotypical ” yea, ‘Murica” sense, but to point out that our ability to think, create, experiment and *try* is really our most valuable set of assets.

        I’ve lived and worked overseas with people from all over the globe. Our ability and desire to experiment, explore, try and ‘figure out’ surpasses many. It’s a broad generalization, I know, but it’s our ace in the hole.

  • avatar
    spookiness

    “Move some of that Chinese production to Central America to help keep those immigrants from needing to move north.” I thought that was one of the original points of NAFTA. Free trade agreements are usually about preferential trade really, not free trade.

    • 0 avatar
      SSJeep

      It was. The original NAFTA called for Mexico to halt illegal border crossings and beef up its own border security. Mexico has done neither. What NAFTA has caused is an increase in auto and manufacturing employment and wealth along the northern Mexico area, but central and southern Mexico has not seen a similar rise in fortunes. And Mexico is not poor, but many countries south of Mexico are and many migrants pass through Mexican borders using bribes or worse… I don’t know that NAFTA had really helped much in the big picture.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    “Facebook causes one-third of divorces and God knows how many suicides but somehow they’ve never paid a dime in a related liability settlement.”

    I’m pretty sure I’m the only grown man in the state of Ohio (Cleveland area) that doesn’t have at least one ex-wife and at least one DUI-related license suspension.

  • avatar
    threeer

    My mother (born in Germany and naturalized when she married my father long, long ago) has always believed that America always (eventually) does the right thing…after doing the wrong thing repeatedly. Maybe we’ll come around on this, but I’ve said it before: it’s a three-legged stool. Government has the responsibility to provide the legal baseline, industry should provide the opportunities for workers in their own country to succeed and the consumer has the ultimate vote with how they cast their ballots (let’s call them dollars for now). Problem is, we like things cheap. Consumers long-ago voted with their money that they prefer goods made in other countries. Industry loves the higher profits afforded by moving production to China (despite the lengthy barriers, hurdles and outright theft that takes place in doing so). Government hasn’t had the stones to think past the next election cycle to do their jobs and represent their fellow Americans.

    I firmly, deeply believe in this country, often to the point of criticism by others. I can live with that. I believe any country that cannot provide for itself soon becomes slave to those that can. We’re likely close to that point with China. I also believe that, if given the chance, we can out-produce and out-innovate any nation on earth. And I think that other nations would gladly consume products made in America *if* the playing field was more or less level. China is a ballooning market, and I think there would be an appetite for goods made in America to be sold to that growing populace, but (for now, anyway), that option isn’t a viable one. Countries like China preach to be the great bastions of free and open trade, but are anything but, employing the very nationalistic techniques America is being accused of considering.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      “Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing… after they have exhausted all other possibilities.” – Winston Churchill (but likely an incorrect attribution)

      But I like to picture him calmly puffing on his cigar and downing a scotch while he opines as such.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      “Problem is, we like things cheap.”

      Maybe. But what is certain is that big business likes large profits. Consumers long-ago voted with their money that they prefer goods made in other countries, because our native industries cheaped out for the sake of higher and higher profits.

      It’s produced a never ending death spiral of moving production and sourcing components from progressively cheaper sources until all of our jobs are overtaken by automation.

    • 0 avatar
      Willyam

      As this thread builds I am afraid this will be buried, but threeer has nailed the reason we are in this lopsided situation when he says we like things cheap. Why am I qualified in any way to say this? I lived it in Computer Hardware manufacture for about a decade and a half, where the average price per unit went from 2600 to 300 in about 10 years (not exact, but you get the idea).
      We produced a good product (as good as any in the industry and better than most). Our assembly was in the U.S., even though most parts already were imported. We supported multiple factories, multiple call-centers with American workers, and paid fairly if not generously for most positions.
      Why, you might ask, did this utopia stop? The falling price that the consumer chased to the bottom. The custom machine became a niche product, and the pre-assembled, pre-configured, generic Chinese machine became what every customer wanted. Our management was beholden to stockholders, and not to eating losses for its own employees. The desire for the least cost rather than brand cache meant that they would purchase the cheapest product, support or warranty be damned, as long as it was at least basically serviceable. We were walked out in batches as more and more of our company was sold off. My fellow employees cared a lot, and did extraordinary things for customers, but as software improved and cheaper machines would run (slower but reliably) the market dried up and blew away.
      Jack has written before lamenting that American companies CAN build (and sometimes do) the BEST possible products, but what we are NOT good at is making a basic product cheaply.
      Our labor and entrenched other costs just haven’t allowed us to compete in cheap segments, and culture prevented it when tried (example: NUMMI). Even if the tarifs or lack thereof even things up, we still have some basic disadvantages in costs, at least for now. There are multiple reasons much of the people who work on our houses may not hold citizenship, and it’s our desire for the lowest bidder. I’m sorry that after all this text I don’t have a solution to present, as it’s a cultural problem. If you need me, I’ll be at Walmart stocking up.
      Postscript: My last two rentals were (on purpose) American brands, a Malibu and a Charger. I liked both very much.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Willyam. Good post and spot on. America excels in the “cost is not critical” markets where cheap alternatives don’t exist or are rejected because life-cycle costs are high. Think planes, high-end stereo, electrical equipment, medical equipment and the like. America does remarkably well. When it comes to consumer goods, forget it. The vast majority go to price. Sadly, some have no other alternative, but the race to the bottom ultimately puts Americans out of work, and those Americans most affected by those choices are the poorer, less educated class.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      The US isn’t doing the wrong thing repeatedly regarding trade. We are doing the right thing repeatedly, but our actions are coopted to achieve the wrong result. Open and generous trade with foreign nations and protecting their wealth and trading lanes is the right thing to do. Unfortunately, too much of a good thing can cause arrested development.

      We paid for all of these emerging economies to grow by trading with them regardless of how closed their markets were. Now they refuse to leave the house. They’ve become so accustomed to a nice allowance and amenities they’d like to expand US trade welfare in perpetuity. The opportunity costs of their decision are totally unsustainable for the global economy, yet somehow, perhaps due to the ineptitude and corruption of our own leaders, they’ve convinced one another and international legislative/judiciary bodies that they are the responsible decision-makers.

      We are not on the verge of becoming slaves due to an inability to provide for ourselves. We are already slaves, and we are being threatened with the death penalty if we don’t work harder and transfer more wealth out of the US. Pathetically, half of this country is trying to strap us into the electric chair voluntarily.

      Why do you think the Trump administration enjoys insulting businessmen and foreign leaders to their faces? Foreign leaders have no power. They have threats. That’s it. The Trump admin is trying to break mass disillusionment among the US populace about who wields power and who doesn’t.

      The US treasury has been robbed for decades by people who told us it was for our own good, and that they had a right to do it because America was not smart and was not competing. People like BAfO obviously fell for it hook line and sinker. Sadly, many in the US believe it as well. Time for them to retrain their brains.

  • avatar
    Yay_Cars

    Editors, Jack: The second paragraph is absolute dross. The fact it’s above the link just shows how how far TTAC has fallen. It’s been fun, largely, but I’m voting with my clicks and am out. Thought I’d let you know why.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      Yeah, plenty of Real America in the northeast. Lots of great little communities in Rhode Island, Mass, NH, Maine, and Vermont.

      I was at a cookout in Vermont and a couple of hikers came down the road. They were immediately invited in and given food and drink. They were even invited to go for a swim to get some relief from the heat. Oh, and as a matter-of-fact the beef served was from one of the farmers at the cookout that raises good natural grass fed angus beef. Tastes much better than the stuff you get from feed lots.

    • 0 avatar
      "scarey"

      WHY ?
      Was it too much dross ?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      @Yay_Cars: I thought it was a pretty calmly-written article. Jack was expressing an opinion you may not agree with, but it doesn’t diminish TTAC in any way. It’s a very relevant discussion subject here.

    • 0 avatar

      Goodbye Yay_Cars, I hardly knew you. I wish you success in your future endeavors! May your next adventure bring you peace.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Regarding divorces- they have actually been on a steep decline since Facebook’s introduction, even after the recession ended.

    Social media doesn’t destroy relationships, people do.

    As for the topic at hand, Astigmatism hit the nail on the head. Just because someone can see and speak candidly about problems in ways few others can doesn’t mean they are the person we should task to solve them. That’s the problem half the country made. Anyone who thought Trump was going to “get presidential” must have heard of him for the first time during the 2016 election.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      “Anyone who thought Trump was going to “get presidential” must have heard of him for the first time during the 2016 election.”

      @sportyaccordy: Well, I was one of those people. I didn’t watch his TV show, and over the last few years I deliberately don’t immerse myself in the hyperventilating political juice of the day because I don’t want to expend energy on it. But I knew enough about Mr Trump to wonder how he would perform in the job, and I hoped he would conduct himself in a mature fashion.

      Boy, was I wrong. It’s the only vote I’ve regretted casting. I should have voted for Gary Johnson, but that would have been moot except for my conscience.

      • 0 avatar
        "scarey"

        MUCH more Presidential than one half-American that I could name

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          Ah yes, Obama, the Trump believer scapegoat comfort blanket who is two years removed from his presidency. Yes you could name him but it would serve your credibility better if you didn’t.

          SCE to AUX our collective inability to acknowledge the incompetence of our side is what has dragged American politics to this sorry state.

          “We’re so quick to point out our own flaws in others”

          • 0 avatar
            el scotto

            Sporty, it doesn’t stop there. For some of our commenters Obama only did two things wrong; everything he said and everything he did. They’ll be glad to tell you how “The Clintons” have been committing non-prosecuted felonies for decades; decades!!!! they’ll tell ya. Even ole W is starting to look shaky in their view. He was kinda weak they’ll tell ya and his presidency needs a more in-depth review. If George Will isn’t drinking heavily during all this hub-bub,he must be tempted. Reagan said “Tear Down This Wall”; this president says “Oligarch Invest in My Mall”. William F Buckley would be ashamed of today’s GOP and the general civic discourse.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            …SCE to AUX our collective inability to acknowledge the incompetence of our side is what has dragged American politics to this sorry state…

            Don’t feel so bad. While the Trump Administration is a sad joke, he is managing to pack the courts, and the Supreme Court with hard core conservatives. So even though he won’t likely make much of a long term change, his court picks will. Perhaps that makes some on the right happy. For me, I am very distressed that for much of my remaining life the SCOTUS will side with big business and the super wealthy while the distribution of wealth continues to jet to the top.

        • 0 avatar
          el scotto

          Scarey, Thanks for speaking up for the birthers. The rest of us will keep shaking our heads.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    …that doesn’t bother executives with an ADHD quarterly approach to profits.

    The elephant in the room that no one wants to talk much about (this goes for all publicly traded American Businesses.)

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      That, by far is the biggest issue with US and US-based businesses. This all leads to the death spiral in my previous post…

    • 0 avatar
      syncro87

      Great point.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      Bingo, Principal Dan.

    • 0 avatar
      James2

      ADHD only because of Wall Street’s unfortunate influence/dominance over execs.

      Ford fired Fields (say that three times fast) not because he was too much/too slow into mobility or EVs. It was because Wall Street wouldn’t price Ford’s stock fairly, while Tesla’s went to the moon. Ford has made tons of money since Mulally fixed the company –and even produced the low-margin Focus in the U.S.– but these efforts/results have not been appreciated, if noticed at all.

      My dad is a big believer in “Wall Street” but I think the place ought to be nuked.

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        That would never happen James2 its how you acquire the appellation “old money”.

        Like a nuclear process that reaches critical mass once you’ve amassed a certain amount of money you can hand it off to Wall Street and pay somebody (at least on the surface) smarter than you to earn an income in perpetuity without having to manage all the dirty details or make the hard choices for a few generations at least.

        Of course this includes just about everybody with a defined contribution plan as well. The tricksters on Wall Street have made themsevels indespensible to America and Americans in general.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      Some tried to talk about it. They staged massive protests. They called it Occupy Wall Street. All they heard for their efforts was “shut up and get a job/life, snowflake.”

      I’m anything but religious, but in my mind the one true thing in the bible is that love of money is the root of all evil. (Although I would change “all” to “most” and put booty as a close second)

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        “I’m anything but religious, but in my mind the one true thing in the bible is that love of money is the root of all evil. (Although I would change “all” to “most” and put booty as a close second)”

        Matthew 7:12 seems like a pretty good one too, but I don’t think most Christians read the Bible. the book of Matthew would probably send them into a fit of apoplexy over that leftist “Jesus” guy.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    @ArthurDailey—“2) Although Jack lives in a more traditional ‘Leave it to Beaver’ style community, in reality social mobility in the USA has greatly decreased. It is now less than many other democratic nations.”
    So Jack is not sufficiently socialist for you ? Is that “Leave It To Beaver” ?
    I suggest that you give up your unrealistic dreams of an 1800s Socialist/communist utopia and base your expectations on some real-life facts, such as-
    1)people are responsible for their own actions and must suffer the consequences and/or enjoy the benefits that result from them. ‘Social mobility’ is up to the individual. But on that subject, the U.S. has done more to help those who need help (and also those who can FAKE the need for help) with its hundreds or thousands of giveaway programs than can be reasonably expected in most countries. I have no obligation to pay for anything that anyone else desires, and the government is not there to take money from the citizens to pay for their desires, or yours. Socialism/communism is STEALING. THEFT. LARCENY. FRAUD.
    2) WORLDWIDE SOCIALISM is not inevitable. In fact, Peak Socialism was in 1988, just before the fall of the Soviet Union and the Berlin Wall. BTW, the Berlin Wall was the perfect SYMBOL for socialism. You know why.
    3) socialism/communism is based on lies. The lie is that everyone is EQUAL under their system. Then explain the lifestyle and ‘social mobility’ of the average Russian citizen under communism versus the lifestyle of Leonid Breshnev or Mikael Gorbachev. Another lie is that private property is a crime, and not desired by the ‘working class’. Everyone should have the right to own property of their own. In real life, it is more of a SIN for government to own property, with the exception of equipment used in war to protect the lives, freedom, and PROPERTY of the citizens. And another lie is the one that says people are just as happy under socialism/communism than they are under ‘capitalism’. In the first place, we don’t have capitalism any more. The only true capitalism in the U.S. these days is the trade in illegal drugs. And I don’t want THAT. We don’t have true capitalism anymore because the government REGULATES AND INTERFERES WITH EVERY SINGLE ASPECT OF COMMERCE, TRADE, AND BUSINESS in this country. Capitalism ? No, it is something else entirely. And it is totally FUBARed up. It would take us years to read every regulation that governs just the auto industry. And that is just one business.
    Anyway, people always try to escape from communist countries. Why is that if they are so happy ?
    One last thing- we live in a Representative Republic, not, thank God, in a democracy.
    A democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.
    Now, back to our regularly scheduled program-

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      @Scarey, where should I begin?
      1) You have responded to statements that I have not made.
      2) There is a great deal of difference between socialism and communism. And between socialism and a ‘mixed economy’.
      3) Laissez Faire capitalism has rarely existed. And certainly not in the USA since the 19th century.
      4) Social mobility is not always up to the individual. Horatio Alger was a myth. Different systems prevent it. In other systems it is possible but generally there must be an ‘equality of opportunity’. The greatest benefit to social mobility in western nations was access to free, public schooling. The growing disparity and downward spiral of the U.S. public education system is a major reason behind the decrease in social mobility and income inequality. Just review the pedigree of so many elected officials. Families handing down electoral positions, or the scions of the very rich being elected. The USA is no longer a meritocracy.
      5) Your ‘Freeman of the Land’ positioning is growing more strident, but that does not make it true. You benefited from free education, roads, public firefighting and policing, sewage, waste removal, streetlights, traffic lights, bridges, potable water, a working judicial system, a building/fire code and yes even from government mandated safety regulations for vehicles. All paid for by the taxes paid by others. No nation can exist without taxation.

      • 0 avatar
        BigOldChryslers

        Arthur: Scarey apparently doesn’t understand what “social mobility” means. He thinks it means socialism because it has the word “social” in it, and must therefore be something to rail against.

      • 0 avatar
        Ihatejalops

        @Arthur

        Good god dude. I know why I stopped reading this website.

        I know way too many first generation immigrants (I myself am 2nd gen) who’s stations have improved. In fact the history of this country is similar to these experiences than your lack of evidence. Please STFU about no social mobility. You don’t have be a millionaire to have improved one’s lot or future.

        2. Socialism is the economic system of Maxism in practice. You’re way above your pay grade when discussing law, political philosophy or economics.

        • 0 avatar
          cimarron typeR

          +1 .Arthur might live in a bubble.This is a meritocracy and my whole family is proof of it.
          I’m a kid of an Italian immigrant who left that country because of it’s glass ceiling (he was from the “dirty” Naples region), although he was top of his Liceo ( H.S.) he knew he would never be granted admission to the top universities of Northern Italy being the son of a long shoreman in Naples.
          Incidentally he settled in the Midwest as he knew he could provide a better life for his whole family (mom, 2sibs , and his own )than in Brooklyn. So I definitely agree with JB.
          Life is better in the middle , for pretty much every aspect of life.

    • 0 avatar
      ect

      scarey, you obviously have a lot of time on your hands.

      I know the alt-right likes to trot out the fiction that the US is a “Representative Republic” and not a democracy in order to justify policies that restrict the rights of people they don’t like (such as making it hard to impossible for black people to vote), bit it is a nonsense.

      The Oxford English Dictionary defines “democracy” as “A system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.” That sounds a lot like the US to this American.

      BTW, Arthur Dailey is right.

      • 0 avatar
        "scarey"

        Just because you wish that America was a democracy does not make it so. The fact is that we are a Constitutional Representative Republic. You are a five-pound bag with ten pounds in it. I wholeheartedly disagree with your fanciful dreams of candy canes, dragons, mermaids, unicorns and democracy.

        • 0 avatar
          Astigmatism

          scarey, I’d recommend you read up on the republic-versus-democracy talking point a bit more before you hurt yourself. Here’s a nice summary from the radical leftists at Reason.com: https://reason.com/volokh/2018/01/17/the-united-states-is-both-a-republic-and

          Your primary function here appears to be to insult people on political articles and laugh at your own jokes. The least you could do is try to do so substantively.

          • 0 avatar
            "scarey"

            Hopeless trying to reason with you. You have much worse than astigmatism. The United States of America is, and has always been, a Constitutional Representative Republic. Your ignorant opinions are irrelevant.

          • 0 avatar
            Astigmatism

            Please, lecture me further about why a conservative constitutional scholar is wrong – “ignorant,” even – and you are right.

          • 0 avatar
            Daniel J

            Astigmatism –

            The fundamental problem is that in everyday vernacular, people equate “democracy” with a pure or direct democracy.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_democracy

            We are not a pure or direct democracy. The merriam webster definition is vague at best.

      • 0 avatar
        Dynasty

        What policies restrict black people from voting?

        • 0 avatar
          "scarey"

          Is it Affirmative Action ? Is it the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ? Is it the Voting Rights Act ? Oh, it must be one of the Supreme Court rulings !

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Look at Florida.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            I still blame Ralph Nader. Had he not run, Bush would not have been elected. No Iraq war. NATO would have pushed Russia out of Crimea, and Trumpanzee would have been remembered for a sometimes funny TV show.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            I mean that all holds true if Broward County residents were smart enough to read ballot. They weren’t. Of course had they not called Florida before the polls in the very red Panhandle closed it may have been moot. Florida 2000 was a crap show…it was also nearly 20 years ago. Let it go man, let it go.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            And this is from a guy who mailed Florida his ballot from the USS Lasalle, which didn’t postmark it and makes me legitimately able to claim to have been disenfranchised. It was a Bush vote BTW.

  • avatar
    Lockstops

    Bravo!!

    If US companies could sell without tariff barriers, regulatory or unfair (made by VW lobbyists to favour tiny turbocharged engines’ fantasy rolling road emissions figures) emissions-based taxation then they could even further increase their economies of scale and the European companies could not compete.

    The Hungarian-made Audis and Slovakian-made Mercedes would seem a lot less glamorous. And if not immediately then at least in due course they will lose the ability to utilise their temporary low-country-cost advantages and lose out to the efficiency of a free capitalist economy which genuinely works hard for justice to prevail and corruption to be beat.

    • 0 avatar
      Ce he sin

      In your mythical world where everything was made in the US and the US economy grew at a Chinese rate the exchange rate of the dollar would soon rise to such an extent that made Hungarian Audis, Slovak Mercs (and Indian Fords, Czech Toyotas, Czech Hyundais and so on) would seem a very good idea.

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        Correct in the long run. And the result would be German and American companies moving production to Europe to escape spot exchange instability.

        Now why hasn’t this happened in regards to US-China trade which has had a sustained imbalance of $3T over the last decade?

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Jack,
    There are a couple of errors/flaws in your argument.

    1. I don’t support Chinese trading style.

    2. Currency manipulation? WTF’ing planet are you from. The US devalued its currency after the GFC. Using low interest rates and QE pumping $80 billion a month into the economy. But America did it so its right?

    3. You are very focused on China whilst Trump threatens the EU, Canada, Mexico, Japan, etc. Do you support Trump fncking over these countries?

    4. US auto manufacturers should of matched overseas competitors in design standards and quality. For years US autos were of a shoddy standard and even today US (when I say US I’m talking Big 3).

    US manufacturers are not competive in producing “appliance” pickups, cars SUVs and CUVs. If you were why the chicken tax and where are US built midsizers during this global pickup boom.

    I think you are alt right and a little to biased to be taken seriously.

    Research prior to “influencing”.

    • 0 avatar
      "scarey"

      Take 3 drinks !

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      2. You have severe difficulties understanding the basic chain of events and the economic mechanics of our trade with China. We were running federal “surpluses” prior to our exploding trade deficit with China and the rest of the world. The federal deficit is the result of our massive imbalance of trade and the resulting drag on hiring and consumption. We are printing money to offset our massive net exports.

      At the time of the Great Recession the US was more or less forced to address its monstrous trade deficit, which at the time, was also related to exceptional oil imports. We fixed that problem in 6 years. During the same time, our trade deficit with China and other trading partners has continued to explode.

      We are not the problem. Foreign banks and corporations are buying US dollars to thwart movements in spot exchange rates. This is extremely dangerous, counterproductive, diabolical, and just plain stupid.

  • avatar
    Sloomis

    Hmm…a lecture about civility in the commenting section one day, then a deliberately inflammatory article posted strictly to stir up sh!t the next. Go figure…

    • 0 avatar
      Lockstops

      How was it inflammatory? You found no argumentation against anything JB wrote…

      • 0 avatar
        Jack Baruth

        About 50% of this country is deeply triggered when you say anything positive about this country, its workers, its products, or the acceptability of living anywhere you can buy a house for six figures.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          And about 35% is deeply triggered if someone were to publicly say or print something positive about the previous President, social democracy, the possibility that Heller misinterpreted the 2nd Amendment or the idiocy of the ‘war on drugs’.

          Fanatics are dangerous regardless of where they reside on the political spectrum.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Fanatics is a bit strong, Arthur. We’ve been hoodwinked into thinking that screaming at each other is what passes for political discussion these days.

            Forgive them, they know not what they do.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            @ Arthur

            Even by the analogy you’ve created in partnership with Jack, one group of people is angered by the success of our nation because “their president” isn’t in the White House. The other group is angered by the prospect of people attempting to repeal part of the Bill of Rights and angered by a president who can’t produce a birth certificate or college records or, frankly, anything of use to the voting public.

            We are way beyond the intellectual tenets of political orientation. We are entering a world of high crimes and misdemeanors against the United States, and the people who opposed Trump knew it was coming, hence their crusade to frame him as a Russian agent. They knew what it would take to exculpate themselves from justice.

            Someday, if we’re lucky, we’ll get back to intellectual point and counterpoint regarding civics, but not until some major changes have been made, simply to protect the going concern of our country.

          • 0 avatar
            "scarey"

            @UncleArthur—serious question- (you know, the kind that makes you shout “Troll !”)…
            Are you a Canadian ? I am asking because your answers seem to come from The Great White North, but then you are so sensitive about the slightest criticism of Traitor#44…er I mean BHO…I mean BO…er Barry Soetoro…er…Barak Hussein Obama.
            Is it because you voted for him and supported his policy (communism/socialism/Globalism) ? Or is it something ELSE ? Like maybe you are all ate up with White Privilege. Or White Guilt.
            Maybe I assume too much. You might be only sticking up for a member of your own race. Oh, wait ! That could be WHITE or BLACK ! So ANYONE who disagrees with him is AUTOMATICALLY a dirty racist, whether they are black OR white. OK, you win. I admit that I hate him because he is black. I mean I hate him because he is white. Not because he is a communist or a traitor or anything, or I just disagree with him.

          • 0 avatar
            Daniel J

            @TW5 – well said

          • 0 avatar
            Ihatejalops

            @Arthur

            1. Heller?! Heller reaffirmed that the 2nd amendment is an individual right (like all the other amendments) so no, our supreme court actually got it right. You should try reading the 2nd amendment, look up the definition of a militia, then re-read it using its definition, you’ll find Heller was correct. Please stop writing.

            2. President’s do some good things, but Obama did a lot more bad than good. People think Nixon was a POS, but he did do some good. You think people are triggered by him? Remember LBJ?

            3. You’re a fanatic.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Jacqui B,
          There are some ridiculous assumptions you have. First you are an arrogant elitist.

          The US is NOT the only country that can make someone with “nothing” into something. Why is the EU having similar or worse immigration issues than the US.

          Why is it more of the wealthy moving to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UAE, etc than the US?

          Just Google the best countries for opportunities for our young and you’d be surprised. You live in the past like many old crusty farts making comments on this site. This ain’t the 50s, 60s, 70s anymore. Many nations have caught up to us “old” wealthy nations.

          To me making it for most is to own a home and car, get a good education and a good job.

          Why is it sooooooo ….. good when the US has high disparity? Obviously it ain’t that fnck’in easy to make it big in ‘Murica.

          Its great you want the US to advance, like most of us. But how is the US going to advance the way its heading? You’re intelligent ( at times) just sit down and look at reality and assess reality, not your dreams and the old golden days.

          I’m thinking you are quite uneducated or advocating Trump’ism.

    • 0 avatar
      "scarey"

      I did not take it as such. There is no reason we (Me included) can’t be civilized while discussing this topic. Just resist the temptation to call your opponent names. Even if they ARE making themselves a BIG target…
      I have noticed, though, that Donald Trump DOES live rent-free in a certain someone’s head

    • 0 avatar
      spookiness

      @sloomis gets to drop the mic.

  • avatar
    jimmy2x

    I just love articles that are full of what an old professor I knew called “glittering generalities”. The idea that any and all of us that reside near either the East or West coasts are a bunch of liberal weenies and that somehow everyone that lives in the “heartland “ are the true Americans is BS.

    I live in the northern Philly burbs. Most of my neighbors are blue collar people that have worked very hard in order to live here. Virtually every adult works full time and most of their younger children are looked after by grandparents. Mean sale price for these 50 year old houses is app. $400,000. Its a good place to live and jobs in the trades are plentiful.

    Tariffs are something that I (and I suspect most of us) are not remotely qualified to see the long-term consequences of. I respect the author of this article and have enjoyed his articles for many years. I doubt that any of us can foresee consequences of a policy that may take years before we can judge how or even if anything good results from it.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “I doubt that any of us can foresee consequences of a policy that may take years before we can judge how or even if anything good results from it.”

      That’s ok, all you need is an opinion and internet access, and you can speak as an expert about everything.

      • 0 avatar
        TwoBelugas

        “I live in the northern Philly burbs. Most of my neighbors are blue collar people that have worked very hard in order to live here. Virtually every adult works full time and most of their younger children are looked after by grandparents. Mean sale price for these 50 year old houses is app. $400,000. Its a good place to live and jobs in the trades are plentiful. ”

        50 year old houses for 400k? That’s inland California prices.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          I am literally building new, all brick, 3 car garage, and a over 4000 square feet on the top of a freaking mountain with a ton of trees on the lot for that. Tell me again how Alabama sucks (and before you instictively blurt out schools I’d implore you to look at the education level of my community which has brought to you, among other things, the Saturn V.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Good point, and I’ve been thinking of ditching Denver for quite some time now – housing prices here are just Looney Tunes. The south might not be a bad option to look at.

          • 0 avatar
            "scarey"

            @ARTVANDALAY—Literally, figuratively, or are you paying someone else to do it for you ? If LITERALLY, I salute you. I worked one summer as a hod carrier. That was hard work.
            Also, were you the Architect on the job also ?

          • 0 avatar

            As to AL
            Crime rate is exceedingly high
            Poverty rate one of the worst
            Schools are awful
            But it is a cheap place to live and does have some beautiful areas.

          • 0 avatar
            Featherston

            Art, I enjoy many of your comments, but c’mon. To imply that Alabama’s educational system underpinned the success of the Saturn V program is laughable. Germany’s, the Northeast’s, the Midwest’s, and the Pacific Coast’s schools had a little something to do with it.

            Congrats that greater Huntsville is doing well, but that’s underpinned by the whole country and is not reflective of the state as a whole.

            blog.prepscholar.com/average-sat-and-act-scores-by-stated-adjusted-for-participation-rate

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      All of this is fair — but the hand-wave in your response is the idea that any moves from the status quo need to meet an outsized burden of proof.

      Mr. Clinton didn’t have any conclusive data when he extended China’s Most Favored Nation status.

      The various tariffs that European and Asian countries impose against our goods and services were imposed with little to no data.

      It’s tempting to think of the current trade situation as somehow enshrined in practice when it is actually the result of myriad recent changes on all sides. Those changes can be undone.

    • 0 avatar
      cimarron typeR

      Um, that neighborhood you live in Philly , a comparable KC house would be about 275-300,for a 20-30 year old home, even in todays hyper market allowing one of those parents to work part time/stay at home to maintain the same standard of living.

      • 0 avatar

        He can just move a bit away from Philly. Here in the Hartford Ct region plenty of housing can be had for sub 300k. Outside of hot areas like Boston, NYC, etc real estate prices have been slow to climb in New England lately.

  • avatar
    genuineleather

    This entire “bad deals” narrative demonstrates how alarmingly effective loudly communicated ignorance can be. Foreign policy is not, as Trump seems to believe, a purely mercantilist endeavor: all deals and agreements involve tradeoffs of financial, cultural, ideological, political, and military capital. In the post-war era, the United States has consistently and willingly ceded short-term economic gain to gain leverage elsewhere: you see China doing the same in the developing world now, pouring billions into shaky, undeveloped states to expand their political power and demonstrate the efficacy of their state-centered economic ideology. When offered the chance to counter this aggressive empire-building in the form of the TPP, an agreement that provided long-sought protection for America’s most viable industries and would draw strategic developing economies closer to the United States, he eviscerates it, much to China’s delight. Later, the president’s ignorance on what constitutes a “good deal” was on display in Singapore, a summit in which he allowed a murderous despot to bask in the prestige of the American presidency, validated DPRK propaganda, and kneecapped American military policy against the interests of his country and our allies…in exchange for the same worthless promise obtained by prior administrations.

    So, no, I do not trust that Trump’s deal-making “expertise” will deliver us from industrial decline and restore the manufacturing heartland to its rightful place in the sun.

    • 0 avatar
      "scarey"

      Lucky for us that YOU are not in charge. I suggest that if Hillary had won, we would be in a war with Russia by now. We would CERTAINLY be in a Civil War too.
      I agree with Trump that 1) war is the ultimate failure of government, and 2) that our biggest and best weapon to use for good is MONEY, and The World’s Largest Economy rather than bombs. We are dealing with Russia, China, and the EU using the Power of Money. And we are WINNING !
      (Dealing with ISIS with bombs because they don’t understand ‘money’ and we are WINNING !)

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        “Lucky for us that YOU are not in charge. I suggest that if Hillary had won, we would be in a war with Russia by now. We would CERTAINLY be in a Civil War too.”

        no, that’s just what you WISH would happen.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Can you actually provide proof for any of these claims????

        ISIS was ‘defeated’ by the Kurdish militia. Who our allies have now turned on.

        China still is the largest owner of American debt. And still supplies a significant portion of consumer goods on the American market.

        The EU included some of America’s staunchest allies. And most of the democratic nations on the planet. The POTUS has now picked a fight with America’s allies. Against the advice of the US military and experienced foreign service and trade professionals.

        Putin’s goal was to re-establish Russia as an accepted international power. And to ensure that NATO did not push farther east. The POTUS is walking in lock step with the Kremlin in regards to these goals.

        The POTUS has also given the Kim regime domestic and international credibility. The biggest public relations win in the regime’s history.

        • 0 avatar
          carguy67

          “ISIS was ‘defeated’ by the Kurdish militia.”

          The US Navy and Air Force helped a teensy bit, methinks.

          • 0 avatar
            "scarey"

            But that doesn’t fit the narrative. The Kurds did a lot, but with MUCH U.S. military help. The Kurds, by the way, should have their own homeland and govern themselves there. Kurdish Nationalism. All the ‘refugees’ should return home and govern themselves THERE. Including the Mexicans and Central Americans. Nationalism. It’s whats for dinner.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            TBH it was Syrian govt forces along with Iranian/Lebanese Shiite militias backed up with a LOT of Russian air support that did the heavy lifting in Syria of wiping out ISIS/Al-Nusra and all of the “moderate” head-chopping off-shoots. Look up the relative number of daily air strikes comparing American and Russian air support, to say nothing of the Russian helo presence (much longer battlefield loiter time).

            It’s like “The US beat the Nazis!” all over again (when 80% of German losses were on the Eastern Front).

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Well, yeah, the Russians were the ones who took Berlin, but they had a LOT of help, and the U.S. definitely did its’ part.

            There’s no doubt in my mind that if the U.S. had sat WWII in Europe out, they’d still be singing “Deutschland Uber Alles” before soccer games in Moscow today.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Make no mistake Mike I don’t at all mean to belittle the US contribution to the war, and Lend Lease trucks and trains were key elements to give the Soviets the mobility to conduct crushing blows like Operation Bagration in 1944. At the same time, the US and really only got rolling with the second front in June of 1944 when the Germans had already been on the run for a year in the East. Moscow had been saved, Paulus crushed at Stalingrad, Kursk had been fought and won before Lend Lease really came into its own. North Africa and Italy had frankly been somewhat of sideshows in terms of the resources the Germans committed to fight there (relatively speaking). Getting reassigned to the Western Front was seen as a vacation by German troops who had seen the meat grinder in the East. Just a different ferocity of fighting given the background on how the Germans behaved on captured “untermensch” territory and how they treated Soviet POWs (and how the Soviets reacted to all of that). So it wasn’t just the fact that the Soviets were the ones capturing Berlin, more so the 4.5 years leading up to that, especially the first 3.

          • 0 avatar
            Sub-600

            Roosevelt and Churchill were willing to fight to the last Russian.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            You’re absolutely right – the Russians did the heaviest lifting against Hitler. But the U.S. played a pivotal role that went far beyond things like Lend-Lease – the bombing and North Africa campaigns had an impact. Even if that impact was incidental to the German war effort (which it was), given how thin the margins of victory were for the Soviets, every little bit clearly helped.

            (Not that the U.S. liked Stalin or something – I think Roosevelt and Churchill’s intent was to keep Hitler and Stalin fighting as long as possible – the endgame was probably to have both sides destroy each other so the western alliance wouldn’t have to deal with either regime anymore. Well, that failed. )

            Here’s another largely overlooked piece of U.S. influence that dictated the outcome of the war: if not for the Japanese offensive against the U.S. and southeast Asia, they might well have invaded the far eastern USSR and Siberia, which would have been Game Over for Stalin, and he knew it. That’s why for MONTHS after Barbarossa began, in the face of insane losses, he kept his best troops and armor in Siberia to guard against the Japanese.

            At some point, due to some kick-a** spy work (and if there’s one thing Russians do well, it’s spying), Stalin learned that the Japanese had no intentions towards his eastern borders, and moved these troops to the western front. These were the troops that saved Moscow in winter 1941.

            Why did the Japanese decide to not invade Siberia? Simple: they were about to be at war with the United States.

            Speak softly and carry a big stick, indeed.

          • 0 avatar
            Sub-600

            Without U.S. command and control the European theater would have had a different result. U.S. and British logistics were decades ahead of the Russians. One thing that agitates me is when people call into question the courage of the French. The resistance was run by men (and women) of stratospheric testosterone levels. They threw several monkey wrenches into German plans.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            A fair analysis Mike. My great grandfather on my father’s side was part of those Siberian divisions that came to defend Moscow in November of ’41. Their officer corps had been spared Stalin’s purges, and combined with the hardy hunting/outdoors backgrounds of many of the men, they were a very effective and tenacious fighting force. I’ve read German memoirs from the Battle of Moscow where they were taken aback at these new units they were facing that would dig into the woods and then fight to the last man. Unit casualties in these Siberian divisions were brutal (as they were everywhere I suppose), but they did what was asked of them. Many of the best Soviet snipers came from the Urals and beyond.

            Missing from your analysis is the big bloody nose the Japanese got in Manchuria at Khalkin Gol in ’39. They had steamrolled much of China and assumed the rest of that neighborhood would be a cakewalk, not so. This made them think twice about opening that can of worms, certainly their other resource commitments for elsewhere in the Pacific were the big factor. Likewise an oft-ignored theater of war (except for the US Army that for a long time included it as a case study for its officers) was the late war Soviet Operation August Storm against the Japanese Kwantung Army in Manchuria/China. Fulfilling a promise to Churchill and Roosevelt to declare war on the Japanese within 3 months of victory in Europe, Stalin redeployed a huge force of seasoned vets to encircle a 1 million man Japanese army over an area the size of France. And they did, spectacularly so. The Japanese were absolutely outmatched and decimated.

            Sub-600 my understanding is that the British were great fighters but lead with mediocrity by Montgomery. He was much less of a dynamic commander than the likes of Rommel, Manstein, Eisenhower, Rokossovsky. Montgomery and MacArthur I think were better self-promoters for the history books than what they accomplished relative to their peers. Zhukov I likewise have somewhat mixed feelings about in terms of his anvil-like tactics with a high threshold for human casualties. He is a controversial figure in Russia today as more and more is becoming known. I had read his memoir that he wrote back in the 70s after he retired (an original edition from my grandfather’s collection).

            If there’s one thing I can talk about even longer than cars its WW2 history and weapons! Tanks, Air war, etc. Fascinated by it all, especially the family connection.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            @ Sub-600

            In the field of logistics, once the Soviets had some nice shiny American 6×6 trucks and trains rolling, they orchestrated one of the largest military operations in the history of warfare, Bagration. They were masters of ‘maskirovka:’ camouflage and deception and misinformation that totally misled the Germans on where the main strike would fall. They moved in armor and troops, made feints with troop buildups and fake tanks for the Germans to photograph from the air, etc. Bagration marked the end of any sort of large scale German offensive capability in the war (exception was the Battle of the Bulge, which was quite small by Eastern Front scale).

          • 0 avatar
            Sub-600

            Which is what the Americans did at Pas de Calais, even employing inflatable tanks, lol. D-Day was an unbelievable logistical nightmare, the fact that they kept it under wraps was a miracle in itself. All this while dealing with the Pacific Theater. Amazing.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            No doubt a mixed amphibious landing of that scale with multiple countries coordinating was something to behold. I will point out though, D-Day in scale was 156k Allied troops facing 50k German defenders. Bagration was about 1 million Soviet troops encircling and destroying (by varying estimates) 1.7-2.5 million Germans/Axis. The scale of fighting on the Eastern Front of WW2 is simply hard to wrap ones’ mind around.

          • 0 avatar
            Featherston

            “my understanding is that the British were great fighters but lead with mediocrity by Montgomery.”

            @ gtem – Good on you for crediting “the British” and not “the English,” as one often reads or hears. Montgomery’s front line at the start of the Second Battle of El Alamein, from north to south: an Australian division, a Scottish division, a New Zealander division, a South African division, and Indian division, an English division, a Greek brigade, an English division, and a Free French brigade.

            https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/01/2_Battle_of_El_Alamein_001.png

            – – –

            “Even if that impact was incidental to the German war effort (which it was)”

            @ FreedMike – Disagree pretty vehemently with that. Examining only casualty numbers overstates the Soviet contribution to victory (which was indeed huge) and understates the Anglo-American contribution. This was a war of machines as well as men, and the Western Allies won decisively in that realm, particularly at sea and in the air. Even acknowledging some glaring blunders (e.g., the Italian campaign, tank design, and so forth), the British and the Americans on balance fought a smarter war than did the Axis or the Soviets. And it was they more so than the Soviets who crippled German mobility and logistics.

            The Soviets deserve far more credit than Westerners typically give them, but the converse also is true.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            @Featherston my apologies for not giving credit to the various UK/Commonwealth actors, everyone put in their due.

            “This was a war of machines as well as men, and the Western Allies won decisively in that realm, particularly at sea and in the air”

            Sea, yes. And the massive “thousand bomber” raids and strategic bombing was something that was unique to the Western Front. But by the numbers, again the Eastern Front was just massively bigger, even though the airwar was closer to the ground and more about tactical strikes/ground support with fighters chasing after Stukas and IL2s respectively. The IL2 ground attack fighter bomber is to this day the single most produced warplane made by anyone, anywhere, ever. 36k planes altogether, most of them chewed up and shot down doing their dangerous work.

            The Soviets tied down the substantial majority of the Germans’ fighting power: most of the Wehrmacht, the best SS units, most of the Luftwaffe, the best armor units, etc. It truly was two goliaths slugging it out with hundreds of thousands of lives lost in each battle (literal millions at Stalingrad, the single biggest bloodiest battle in all of known human history). It’s a rate of loss that is just totally unknown in the US.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Actually Featherston I’m gonna walk back my claim that the total number of aircraft involved in the airwar in the East was bigger than the West, that can’t be right.

  • avatar
    BlythBros

    The cretaceous had just as many sea turtles, triceratops, and duckbills as it did ‘vicious’ dinosaurs. Also, every organism on earth today can thank an ancestor who survived the Chicxulub impact.

    Hellcats (and 392s), GT350s, and powerful Chevys are cool.

  • avatar
    cicero1

    Great article.

    The President is right on many trade points but gets several things wrong. Its just stupid to have any tariffs on Canadian timber, aluminum, etc.

    As for Euro cars – the offer by Trump of bilateral zero tariffs shows the real goal. There is no reason to have any tariffs on cars between EU and USA. To the articles point, yes, there would be additional US vehicles sold with zero tariffs in Europe. Not hundreds of thousands, but even if its just 50,000 specialty vehicles (F-150s, mustangs, Rams)the effort is worth it.

    Mexico and China are different. 20 years is long enough the draw conclusions. NAFTA failed as to Mexico. 20 years of open access to the world’s largest market has not resulted in the country becoming less corrupt, richer or more free. In fact, in many ways, its a near-enemy state.

    As for China – There is absolutely no reason that the US should not have the same tariffs and ownership quotas on Chinese goods/companies that china has on US goods/companies.

    The argument that the benefits of lower cost goods outweighs the costs of closed factories is easily defeated. go to the grocery store and look at the Mexican made toothpaste from Colgate and Crest vs the US made Aim and ultra bright. The Mexican made ones are more expensive. the only benefit is to the corporations (short term only). The same applies to cars – the Buick suv made in china is not priced at $10,000.00.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      Yes. Tariff-free trade only works between similarly advanced economies. When you have tariff-free trade between a first world nation and a third world nation, the jobs naturally flow to the cheaper country while the profits go to the corporations. The middle class then NEEDS the cheaper goods because they are all working new lower wage jobs than they had before.

      The Buick Envision is the PERFECT example. Built in China yet somehow wildly overpriced for what it is. When you can get a German built AWD turbo Regal TourX for less than a Chinese built FWD 4 cylinder Envision, you know something is wrong.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      The current Canadian government is not our friend. We are struggling to renegotiate NAFTA because Mexico and Canada have been using NAFTA to help US companies and foreign governments launder non-NAFTA content into our trade area.

      Unlike Nieto and AmLo, who fight in the sunshine, Trudeau fights in the moonlight by cloaking his belligerence in press conferences highlighting our longstanding history of cooperation and friendliness.

      Trudeau is a serpentine sock puppet serving seditious American plutocrats and foreign governments. If he cannot be bothered to represent the interests of Canadians and Americans alike, we must turn up the pressure until he is marooned on Elba.

  • avatar
    Jason801

    “Where I live, four-year-old children play unsupervised outside and the police shake your hand in the street.”

    a) I presume both the citizen and the police officer are caucasian in this example.
    b) Unsupervised four year olds isn’t exactly my benchmark for a nice location.

    • 0 avatar
      "scarey"

      What does race have to do with it ? All people want to live where their kids are safe.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        You didn’t know? If you move to suburbia rather than a trendy urban area and don’t sacrifice your kid’s future by putting them in failing inner city schools in order to show the world that you are hip, well you are a racist.

        You say you like land, low crime, and semi functional government? Nope, racist.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Interesting points on “the case for the American car abroad”. Hypotheses yet to be proven, but interesting nonetheless.

    I’m not fond of the irrelevant stereotyping that preceded these arguments, though. I do not like the Trump Administration but do not fit those frequently used shallow descriptors of the coastal elite. 51% voted against him and they cannot all be liberal 1-percenters and journalists any more than his supporters are all duped yokels and greedy Wall Street executives with an ADHD approach to quarterly profits. If you want to bring someone over to your line of reasoning, beginning and ending with an insult will turn our tendency to not change sides into a near-certainty.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      “51% voted against him…”

      54%, actually.

      • 0 avatar
        "scarey"

        Including at least 3 million illegal voters.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          This has been disproven. Trump lied to you.

          https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/three-million-votes-in-presidential-election-cast-by-illegal-aliens/

          • 0 avatar
            "scarey"

            Snopes lied to you. You are 90% propaganda and 10% wishful thinking.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            Sorry Scarey, up is not down, the world is not flat, and even your brand of insult doesn’t change that. Some lies are so transparent, so obvious, so easily disproven that the only way some people can believe them is to avoid the discomfort of knowing they’ve been caught up in the cult of personality.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Aaaand, in the 1996 World Series the Braves scored more runs than the Yankees. Yet the Yankees got the rings. There are rules and you cant just change them when they don’t suit you. It is impossible to say how it would have turned out without the Electoral college because each candidate would have campaigned differently. How many Trump voters in rural California and other blue states stayed home because there state was already decided. The same could apply the other way with respect to states like Texas.

        I would be curious to see turnout rates in states like California versus the states like Ohio that were actually in play. Even so, as contentious as the whole election was, only 58 percent of the electorate could be bothered to show up. Bet more than 58 percent is out there complaining about the result though.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      ” I do not like the Trump Administration but do not fit those frequently used shallow descriptors of the coastal elite. 51% voted against him and they cannot all be liberal 1-percenters and journalists any more than his supporters are all duped yokels and greedy Wall Street executives with an ADHD approach to quarterly profits. ”

      doesn’t matter. you MUST pick a side and ardently support all of that side’s beliefs. Every single one.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      Why do you take up the mantle of defending c-suite executives who outed themselves during the last election cycle?

      The plutocracy is not the intended audience. It’s the 99% who don’t answer to hedge fund managers, and who aren’t incentivized to earn compensation bonuses and stock awards by selling out their fellow citizens.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Another troll-fest click-bait, Breitbart-esque POS inflammatory essay by one of the Breitbart Brothers.

    “Miidwest amd red state and Trump’voters’ children eat GMO, pesticide-laden foods happily and drive pickup trucks, work hard, while’anyone not voting for Trump is a snowflake and not a “real’American.”

    When is this BULLSH!T letting The Baruth Breitbart Bros publish click bait after click bait article on TTAC GOING TO END, TIM!

    CHINESE AND EUROPEANS ARE GOING TO REALOZE THAT TRUMP VOTERS ARE BRILLIANT AND ARE GOING TO EAT WAY MORE MONSANTO CORN AND BUY FORD F150S AND DODGE HELLCATS BY THE HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS ANY DAY NOW AND CROWN TRUMP 3D CHESSPLAYER EMPEROR FOR LIFE!

    You might as well republish this:

    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2017/01/barks-bites-time-drivers-march/

    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2017/01/retraction-article-posted-january-23-2017/

    ENOUGH POLITICAL CLICK BAIT TROLLING BY THE BREITBART BARUTH BROTHERS!!!!

    • 0 avatar
      "scarey"

      @DW—I was under the impression that reading any one particular article on TTAC was not MANDITORY, and that one could skip over certain topics, much as I do on most reviews of Electric Cars, foreign cars and trucks that are not for sale here, and any other topic which fails to fire my imagination, to quote Mick Jagger.
      In fact, even if you feel the need to read every article, you can surely skip over the comments if they upset you so much. I realize that some people are more sensitive than others, and not all topics are suitable for them. But don’t spoil the fun for everyone else. Lighten up !

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        “Lighten up!”

        All due respect…I like talking cars with you. But you need to take your own advice when it comes to politics.

        • 0 avatar
          "scarey"

          No, what really pushes my buttons is attacks on Trump and his supporters as “stupid”, “unhinged”, and other attacks which are still occurring. Re-read DeadWeight’s post. Mucho capital letters, and upset about the topic that we are discussing. DW, buddy, skip over the topics that get you started. I have refrained from starting fights since teacher scolded us all (and I can’t really argue with that). I will not refrain from making my points, only from abusive language and such. If I fail to so, the mods will ban me. I get it. But I will continue to stick up for my President and his supporters.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            “No, what really pushes my buttons is attacks on Trump and his supporters as “stupid”, “unhinged”, and other attacks which are still occurring.”

            And that sucks. But, with respect, that’s what you and other Trump supporters are doing to me, and people who don’t agree with you.

            You can be part of the problem, or be part of the solution. Your call.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      DW, after a 3 year absence I just returned to TTAC, I felt sure I would find you in a perpetual state of euphoria with the demise of Johan de Nysschen. I’m rather shocked to find that is not the case… *sigh*

      /just kidding ;-)

    • 0 avatar

      Actually, they should republish that. It was a limp-wristed decision to take it down.

  • avatar
    gasser

    This used to be a site wherein people of diverse backgrounds were together in their interests in cars. Now its becoming just another format for squabbles. Even on TTAC, anything said or espoused by someone with different politics is, by definition, wrong. Can we not be a bit more civil on this little spot of the internet?

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Funny how virtually every well-educated, middle+ income foreigner I’ve met in the States drives a big American car. They literally can’t believe how cheap a large, comfortable, powerful vehicle can be purchased for in the USA – a loaded Durango or Impala sells for about the same price as a spartan 1 liter Golf or Focus in Europe. So I definitely think America could sell a lot of $25-40K F-150s, Mustangs, and 300s in Europe or China if they were actually allowed to sell for near US prices in those places. And if draconian taxes on fuel and licensing were lowered to US levels – Detroit couldn’t ship them over fast enough.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      What you’re ignoring is that the market for vehicles in a place like Europe or China is very different than it is here, and a lot of that’s driven by place. Europeans don’t buy huge cars because lots of them live in crowded cities.

      And if you want to sell lots of cars to China, then you should be all in for electrification, because that’s where they’re headed.

      Having said that, could we sell something like a 300, or a Mustang in volume overseas? Yes. F-150s? Probably not, unless they’re for commercial use. There simply isn’t much demand for that kind of vehicle as personal transportation outside North America.

      • 0 avatar
        stingray65

        I’m not ignoring it at all. There are lots of places in Europe that are not crowded cities – not everyone lives in London or Paris or Rome. European cars are smaller and wimpier because of taxes, not because of different preferences. Most Europeans don’t drive BMW 316ds (instead of a 335i) or Fiat 500 (900 cc) Twin Airs (instead of a Hemi 300) because they want to, but because that is all they can afford due to high taxes at purchase, on fuel, and annual licensing. Open the market up and lower the taxes and you would see a VERY different sales mix including a lot more American pickups than you would expect.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          OK, maybe it’s taxes, maybe it’s because of driving conditions, but the bottom line is this: Europeans don’t want full size pickups. If they did, FCA, Toyota, Nissan and Ford – all of whom have plants in Europe and Asia – would be making them there.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Just ’cause the don’t, doesn’t mean they won’t. Europeans don’t blur the line between commercial “light trucks” and person use vehicles. But that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t if given the choice of having one “truck” that does it all.

            Europe’s “midsize” light-duty vans are really close in size to F-150s, but lack “pickup” versatility. Vans are simply “one trick ponies”, and forget about “style”. Never mind the trim/options/engine possibilities, 4wd, sportiness, or even a combination work/play/family/holiday/luxo/muscle car.

            US pickups are certainly something Europeans haven’t been exposed to much, especially not in a “dealer” delivered/serviced/supported capacity.

            As a US fullsize pickup OEM, you purdy much have to give them a shot at the Euro market, at least as a niche product. So who knows? It’s much bigger market anyway.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          In Europe the Pontiac G8 (Holden) and Ford Mondeo (Fusion) were considered to be ‘large’ vehicles and therefore unsuitable for the daily use of most Europeans.

          • 0 avatar
            stingray65

            Not true Arthur – the Mondeo was for years a best seller in the UK (Tony Blair coined the term Mondeo men to describe a key segment of the electorate), and also popular in Germany and Scandinavia. The Holden was always marketed as a specialty car with a big V-8, which was not taxed very nicely in Europe, but the 1990s Opel/Vauxhall Omega was based on the same platform and sold very well in Europe (mostly in 4 cylinder form). The Mondeo has dropped in popularity in recent times for the same reason as in the US – Europeans are now buying SUV/CUVs.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            The Mondeo sold plenty in Europe. It was it’s “Europeanness…read tight interior dimensions” that ensured the US version…the I’ll fated Contour was a flop. Still the SVT Contour was a wonderful vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        stingray65

        As for China and electrification – we will see since most (62%) of their electricity is coal sourced, and putting several million EVs on the road each year will require huge amounts of reliable (i.e. not solar or wind) new capacity.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          That number is dropping rapidly.

          https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=33092

          They have no other choice, really.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          @ Stingray, sorry but what I posted regarding both the Mondeo and the Holden was quite true. You must not have much experience of Europe. The Mondeo was successful in Britain as a ‘company car’. And it was considered to be a large, entry level luxury vehicle there.

          The Holden was also available in the UK with the ‘bigger’ engine.

          If you do not believe me then just watch or read Jeremy Clarkson in regard to this.

          • 0 avatar
            stingray65

            Yes I guess my 25 years of living and driving (and paying $10 per gallon) in Europe just aren’t enough experience to know what is happening in the automobile markets. I should just follow your example by using drunken entertainer Jeremy Clarkson and movies as the source of all my knowledge.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      @Stingray: The 300 was a sales flop in Europe. F-150’s are too large for most European cities and farms, which tend to be much smaller than American ranches.

      And the distance Europeans tend to travel are much shorter.

      Sales figures and history have largely disproved your theory.

      • 0 avatar
        stingray65

        Arthur – sales figures only prove that European vehicle and fuel taxes discriminate against American vehicles.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          @Stingray: that statement was totally ludicrous.

          Otherwise we could claim that Lada/Dacia/Yugo/Citroen/Peugeot/Renault/Fiat or British Leyland sales figures in the USA were proof of American government discrimination against them.

          • 0 avatar
            stingray65

            Arthur – you are out of your league on this topic. Virtually everyone around the world wants the most comfortable/sporty, powerful, quality vehicle they can afford. Americans don’t buy the brands you mention because they are either junk or because they are too small/uncomfortable/slow, and Europeans only buy them because of their tax advantages and local patriotism. American cars were top sellers (Model T) around the world until governments put in taxes to discriminate against them and protect their local industry. Nobody in 1930s Britain wanted an Austin 7, but taxes made a Model A Ford an expensive luxury. No US industry has been more discriminated against by other countries than the US auto industry.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “Arthur – you are out of your league on this topic.”

            absent any credentials, this just sounds like posturing.

        • 0 avatar
          Lockstops

          Correct: taxes on fuel, yearly taxes based on CO2 emissions (thanks to BS EU emissions testing methods which are designed to favour small turbo and diesel engines), sales and registration taxes based on vehicle price, and also how those vehicles are valued and regarded in company taxation. Those make them completely uncompetitive with European competition. It’s not coincidence that all of that structurally favours European vehicles.

          The pre-tax price is elevated due to tariffs, VAT on the tariff (yes, that VAT is only for imports since it is VAT on the tariff). In addition I’d imagine such low presence and sales volume mean they have to keep the prices much higher in relation to the US prices to cover the costs. Then all of that elevated price is exacerbated by having the high VAT % calculated on that already higher-than-European-competition price. With such high taxes it’s a big deal if your pre-tax price is a few thousand lower!

          A huge percentage of new cars sold are company cars. Taxation of those in most EU countries is _egregiously_ high on anything but the lowest CO2-emitting cars (calculated with the VW-lobbied BS emissions tests which means all large NA engines are a no-go). Most companies have self-imposed CO2 value caps on their employees’ company cars. That’s why basically anything big has a small diesel engine. For the large mass of company car drivers they simply aren’t even allowed the choice of something with an ‘American engine’ in it. If you can’t go over 140g/km of CO2 for example then you can’t.

          Only people who really want one or who can use the expensive truck beneficially in the taxation of their own company buy US trucks. And many of us consider them the lucky ones. If you think everyone really rather buys Opel and Citroen 1.9 diesel vans than an F-150 or Ram then you’re kidding yourself! Of course a huge segment at least would want to buy a US pickup! But they are, due to the above mentioned obstacles, priced completely out of consideration of most tradesmen and small business owners! It’s just that some people like them so much that they don’t buy the tiny 1.9 diesel Nissan (also nowadays available as Mercedes…) and Volkswagen pickups but a Ram or F-150 instead. But most can’t afford that choice, since they don’t have disposable income. This is socialist Europe after all: they don’t want people to have disposable income, they want people to live exactly as they are ‘guided’ to with strict taxation steering them every step of the way.

          • 0 avatar
            stingray65

            Wow, a comment from someone that actually knows something. A sincere thank you for bringing some real information to the discussion.

        • 0 avatar
          deanst

          Conversely, low American taxes “discriminate” against European cars. Yet European luxury cars sell better than American. Hmmmmmm….

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      It sure as hell isn’t like that in D.C. A great many of my neighbors are Indians or Koreans and drive high-end Euro/Japanese iron. Or you may be the guy they go “yeah, sure” and go about their day.

      • 0 avatar
        stingray65

        DC is a separate planet from the rest of the US, but if your DC Indians and Koreans are driving BMW 750s or Lexus LS460s or Range Rover V-8s or MB G-Wagen V-8s, then they are driving cars they couldn’t afford to own back home because of high purchase and fuel taxes.

        • 0 avatar
          Lockstops

          Yeah, at least in the past diplomats of many countries actually imported their vehicles in their homeland spec to the USA. I don’t know how the system would work if you bought a car from the US, but I believe diplomats could import for example European cars without any tariffs or taxes. Then I believe they were required to export the cars after a certain time period or as they themselves returned home in order for that import tariff and tax free status to be fulfilled.

          I do know that some people sold their diplomat-imported cars in the US, I’m not sure if that meant that they still retained a part of the tax or import benefits but had to pay some. Perhaps the benefit was the tariffs and taxes being calculated at a lower rate after the car was imported and considered ‘used’ after it having been registered and ‘in use’ by the diplomat owner for a few months (whether being driven or not)?

          It would make no sense to buy an American-made car from for example Europe or South Korea, then import it to the US to use while living there, then export it back to Europe or South Korea when you return home.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      …Funny how virtually every well-educated, middle+ income foreigner I’ve met in the States drives a big American car…

      I work in a place that is full of people just like that and I am constantly trying to get them to open their eyes and try test driving something American. Dosen’t work. Virtually all of them buy German or Japanese. I hear comments like “I don’t like American cars”. I ask them when did they last drive something American. Most haven’t even driven one modern US branded car. Hard to discuss something if they aren’t even open to looking…old stereotypes die hard. And most of these people never heard of a Citation.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    ***”Come back to the real America, if you like, but leave your emotional support animals, your addiction to food-as-virtue, and your army of domestic staff behind you. Out here, people raise human children instead of “furbabies,” thoughtlessly consume GMO produce, and clean their own bathrooms. It’s considered character-building.”***

    THIS IS GROSS OVER-GENERALIZATION and I can’t believe this type of sh!t is still allowed to be published on TTAC.

    I knos many people all over the U.S.,’including east and west coasts, of every income bracket, and societal bracket, who despise Trump AND Hillary Clinton (and despise Schumer, McConnell, Pelosi, Nunes, etc.) and who care, nonetheless, the quality of food they feed their kids/family, and don’t shy away from hard work regardless of their political beliefs.

    Jack is TROLLLING HARD AGAIN.

    Enough!!!

    • 0 avatar
      stingray65

      Haven’t you seen the new Gallup poll on whether Americans are proud to be American?

      Participants are asked how proud, if at all, they are to be Americans, and this year’s poll found 47 percent of Americans checking the “extremely proud” box (compared to 70% in 2003). Democrats, liberals, college graduates, and people ages 18 to 29 are the least proud to be American. Only 32 percent of Democrats are extremely proud. That’s down from 42 percent in 2016, when Barack Obama was still president. Only 23 percent of self-described liberals are extremely proud to be American, which is down from 36% during the Obama era. In contrast, 65% of conservatives say they are extremely proud to be Americans, and 74% of Republicans (and even during the Obama era Republicans never dipped below 68%). Trump won the states that love America, Hillary won the states that hate America – and yet none of those America hating Hillary voters have left the country as they promised – Sweden is waiting with open arms for immigrants desiring to pay $10 per gallon for gas, 60% income taxes, 26% sales tax to help pay for the welfare needs of other recent immigrants in Sweden.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        You’re conflating national “pride” with “love/hate” and doing so in a way that aligns with what you want to believe about self-described liberals and Democrats. A mess of factors will influence the answer to that question, and you’re discounting all of them to make your insults convenient.

        Not sure what this behavior coming from someone who is extremely proud to be an American means.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          And how many in the Confederate states are proud of their heritage and what it stood for?

          Pride and intelligence do not always (often?) correlate.

          “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            As the resident Samuel Johnson fanatic, I feel compelled to point out that Johnson was referring to the eighteenth-century practice of offering convicted criminals a stint in the British Navy as an alternative. He then noted, “No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned.”

          • 0 avatar
            "scarey"

            What are you saying about the Confederate States ? I would wager that you have never lived in the South and are UNQUALIFIED to judge what their heritage is because you know nothing about it. And don’t give me that schoolbook crap about the Emancipation Proclamation- it only freed the slaves in the “rebellious territories”, while the slaves in the North- Abraham Lincoln’s North- were still enslaved. They were not freed until after Lincoln’s death. So what was Lincoln’s legacy ? The Confederate States have MUCH to be proud of.

          • 0 avatar
            rocketrodeo

            He’s saying that the Confederacy was formed explicitly on the basis of white supremacy, to protect the social, political, and economic basis of race-based chattel slavery–no matter what its latter-day apologists say about states rights. Most southerners focused on this brief aberration in US history are unable to disentangle honoring the courage, valor, and sacrifice of the southern soldier and honoring the vile cause that he served, regardless of his personal reasons for fighting.

            There were no northern slaves, except for a couple dozen “apprentices for life” in New Jersey. The southern states of Kentucky, Missouri, (West) Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware remained loyal to the United States. As everyone knows, the 13th Amendment ended slavery, not the Emancipation Proclamation–which was a war measure aimed at enemy logisitics and served a variety of political, military, and diplomatic goals, and was overwhelmingly successful on each count. It disrupted rebel manpower in the rear, created fears of servile insurrection, satiated the abolitionist wing of the Republican party, and forestalled diplomatic recognition of the southern conspiracy.

            But please, tell us how it was a revolt against big government, when the southern states were the biggest abusers of federal power–when it suited them, and while they still had the power.

        • 0 avatar
          stingray65

          30 mile – I’m just repeating what the poll results say and what thousands of lefties said about leaving the country if Trump was elected. Of course I can see their point about not being proud of a country that almost everyone around the world is trying to get into. A country with the best universities and technology companies in the world, and the best military. A country that pretty much invents and pays for all major medical advances. A country that bailed out the world in two world wars, and then paid to rebuild them. A country that fought a major war to free the slaves. A country that makes the TV shows, movies, and music that much of the world watches and taps their toes to. The country that every other country turns to when the sh-t hits the fan. Hard to see anything that an American could be proud of.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            “I’m just repeating what the poll results say”

            No you’re not. There was nothing in the poll about “hating” America. You also chose not to repeat the poll result where only one in ten people claimed to be “only a little” or “not at all” proud. Strangely missing from your argument is a demonstration that answering “moderately proud” instead of “extremely proud” on this poll is analogous to “hating” America.

            What you have done well is ascribe negative attributes to wide swaths of people you’ve never met by interpreting fuzzy polling data according to your biases.

            This continues with your list of America-positive attributes. They are valid and even a persona non grata like myself won’t deny them despite my pride in country declining since the campaign began. But it is a list carefully cherry-picked and crafting a contrary one wouldn’t be hard.

            Wouldn’t be productive, either.

          • 0 avatar
            carguy67

            I didn’t know Sean Hannity–aka ‘stingray65’–read TTAC.

          • 0 avatar
            stingray65

            30 Mile – I’ve met plenty of those people – I work in academia where 90%+ are a lefties. Lefties focus on the negatives, which is why they can’t really love their country because it is less than perfect – they didn’t love it when Obama was in charge, and they love it even less when the Americans they deplore voted Trump in.

            Lefties are in general just unhappy people:

            http://freakonomics.com/2008/04/23/conservatives-are-happier-than-liberals-discuss/

            https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0191886914004553

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            Frankly, you don’t seem like a very happy person yourself, stingray. You spend a lot of time here focusing on the negatives of others. Conversely, I live in a very conservative state and have met my share of embittered angry conservatives and conservatives happy because they essentially live their lives in a bubble with heads in the sand. But I try not to post about that and make general aspersions.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Stingray, maybe instead of assuming that people who don’t agree with you politically are unpatriotic, maybe you should ask us what’s making us ashamed of what’s going on.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          unfortunately, “patriotism” doesn’t seem to go any further than waving flags and bellowing “USA!” “USA!” “USA!” “IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT GET THE F*** OUT!”

          “Stingray, maybe instead of assuming that people who don’t agree with you politically are unpatriotic, maybe you should ask us what’s making us ashamed of what’s going on.”

          simple. they honestly, truly, and deeply believe that being politically liberal means you “hate America.” You see it regularly in these comments. And on some level I can understand it. I used to be a daily listener of Limbaugh’s, back in the ’90s. And yeah, I can see how if someone subsists on nothing but a steady diet of that, they come to truly believe only they and like minded people are “Real Americans” and only they get to decide how this country should be. thankfully, when I started working and actually started interacting with people from different backgrounds (instead of hiding from them in the outer suburbs) I found that most people are generally good to some extent, most people here- liberal or conservative- don’t “hate America.”

          the notion that only one political party/ideology “loves America” is AM talk radio dreck. But it sells so well to people who want their own beliefs reinforced.

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            “thankfully, when I started working and actually started interacting with people from different backgrounds (instead of hiding from them in the outer suburbs)”

            Now, you see, I went in the other direction. I started my life with a full dose of interaction, in a neighborhood that was so ghetto it was used as the template for Sesame Street. Then somebody shot at my mom for having the audacity to wear her Class A officer’s uniform outside the house. Now I’m hiding in the suburbs, surrounded by people from all over the world who are also hiding. My son’s school has kids from 21 different countries. I guess we would need to move downtown in order to learn about people from different backgrounds.

          • 0 avatar
            stingray65

            A lefty is someone that can only love their country if it is perfect by their own definition of perfect (i.e. perfect history including no slave owning founding fathers or Indian wars; open borders; “free” schools, housing, medicine, abortions; equal outcomes for everyone regardless of talent or effort; feminized males and matriarchy; Democrats controlling all branches of government, etc.).
            The fact that most voters don’t like the lefty vision of perfection is also why most lefties are miserable most of the time.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “A lefty is someone that can only love their country if it is perfect by their own definition of perfect”

            which is different from Republicans…

            how, exactly?

            only in their respective definitions of “perfect.”

            “The fact that most voters don’t like the lefty vision of perfection is also why most lefties are miserable most of the time.”

            I dunno, Alex Jones (who you apparently get most of your opinions from) seems to be pretty angry and miserable most of the time.

          • 0 avatar
            "scarey"

            Unfortunately, the left has demonstrated over and over, for about 50 years, that they DO hate America. During the VietNam war, democrats lost the war for us. The U.S. military lost very few, if any battles in VietNam, but our position at the Paris peace talks was constantly being undercut by democrat politicians in congress and by war protesters at home, paid and organized by communists. John Kerrey claimed that American soldiers “cut off ears and genitals” of civilians in testimony to congress. After we won the cold war, in 1991, democrats in congress stripped ONE BILLION DOLLARS from the defense budget and gave it to RUSSIA. Bernie Sanders had hanging on the wall of his Washington office, A SOVIET FLAG. Barak Obama “normalized” relations with Cuba- selling out the many thousands of political prisoners in Castro’s prisons. Rahm Emanuel vacationed in Cuba. Bill Clinton took trips to the USSR while a student in England. Jimmy Carter expressed sorrow at the death of Fidel Castro. On and on and on and on…

          • 0 avatar
            stingray65

            There are huge differences between Republican and Democrat visions of perfection. The right is more tolerant, which is why we tend to want limited government that is strictly focused on protecting the country (military and border control) and protecting civil liberties and property rights. You don’t see Republicans beating up leftist speakers on college campuses, or trying to curtail free-speech. Republicans tend to think immigrants should be legal and taxpaying contributors, not illegal, welfare mooches. Republicans believe in equal protection under the law (for citizens), strive for equal opportunities, but do not expect equal outcomes because of individual differences in ability, work ethic, and luck. Republicans also believe in respecting election results – they don’t go to court to overturn elections, they don’t try to intimidate electors and judges with violence – only lefties do that.

            As noted above, Republicans/conservatives are also happier than Democrats/liberals, which is why we can still love America even when a Democrat we dislike is elected President.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @stingray:
            “A lefty is…”

            Let me finish that for you. A “lefty” is his own person and doesn’t need you to define what he is and what he believes in…just as a “righty” is his own persona and doesn’t need a “lefty” to define what he is and what he believes in.

            Want respect? Start giving it.

          • 0 avatar

            To Scarey
            As the son of a Vietnam Vet your description is very inaccurate. The length of the war meant both R and D were getting flack from their constituents. Nixon negotiated the Paris deal with a plan to support the war with continued air power. In the end congress passed bipartisan legislation (Case -Church) requiring a complete pull out unless Nixon came back to congress to authorize force.
            Here is the voting record
            https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/93-1973/s253

          • 0 avatar
            Featherston

            @ mopar4wd – You seem unaware that Nixon actually was a double-secret registered Democrat both when he undermined the Paris talks as a candidate and when he signed the EPA into law.

            ;-)

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          Support your country always and your government when it deserves it.

          Country is not a synonym for government.

          • 0 avatar
            stingray65

            Which is why conservatives and Republicans still love their country even when wacky lefties like Obama, Pelosi, and Reid are running it.

          • 0 avatar
            Astigmatism

            “Which is why conservatives and Republicans still love their country even when wacky lefties like Obama, Pelosi, and Reid are running it.”

            What a funny thing to say in the wake of an election in which conservatives and Republicans elected a guy who literally ran for president on the argument that America isn’t “great,” ranted about “American carnage” in his inaugural address, and weeks later slandered the United States to excuse the Russian government murdering journalists.

        • 0 avatar
          stingray65

          OK Mike – I’ll bite, what is making you ashamed about being an American? I really want to know, so please don’t disappoint me.

          • 0 avatar
            Sub-600

            Being ashamed of being American is a public admission that you care what other countries think. Which is really effing pathetic. Socialist pogues believe their feelings are a good barometer for action. Watching a ponce like Obama tearing up on tv every five minutes made me feel pity, not shame.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            Sub, knowing that our nation is capable of producing people with your level of arrogance, incivility, bitterness, anger, willful ignorance, and glee in dehumanizing others doesn’t increase my national pride.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        There’s a khaki Navy Chief’s hard cover setting on top of my kitchen cabinets. People like you think we listen to Hannity or Limbaugh and go find a place to masturbate. Repeatedly. Guess what; you’re very, very wrong. It’s usually guys who lead lives of sad suburbanite desperation who go all gaga waving flag and buying “Live Free or Die” (VA) plates for their brodozer. ” Trump won the states that love America, Hillary won the states that hate America” There is a lot of political, well hell; just about any kind of diversity in the militarily. You also didn’t give a link to the Gallup Poll so we can see all the data; you cut-n-pate, we’ll decide. You have just made some very incorrect assumptions about my brothers and sisters who come from ALL of our United States. Don’t you even dare to question any active duty military/veteran’s patriotism. Yeah, we come from blue states too. You Sir, can go shyte in your chapeau.

        • 0 avatar
          jimmy2x

          @ el scotto
          Am also CPO,USN Retired and agree with you. Loving and serving the nation does not automatically one a Trump supporter. Like most military careerists I am fairly conservative by nature. But I cannot support this President. He is a man without principle or knowledge.

          James D Schaefer, ACC, USN, Ret. 1967-1987

          • 0 avatar
            ;quot;scarey;quot;

            @jimmy2x—
            ” Loving and serving the nation does not automatically [MAKE] one a Trump supporter…”
            Fixed that for ya. That is KNOWLEDGE. You were without it. You know, like you accused our President of being. But you demonstrated something other than that. Like ignorance or maybe carelessness on your part. You know ?
            Thank you for your service anyway.

        • 0 avatar
          stingray65

          Thank you for your service to the country, but it seems to me you are reading a lot in my comments that isn’t true. You don’t have to be a Trump supporter to love the US, but much of the left seems to dislike America because Trump won the election. Conservatives love America even when their preferred candidate loses, and don’t get into violent protests, or try to intimidate electors, or use the courts to overturn election results. As Obama famously said – elections have consequences and the left just can’t peacefully handle being on the losing side. Given the peaceful transition between parties based on election results is one of the greatest features of the US Constitution, such “resistance” to the will of the people is just plain un-American.

          Here is a link to the study results (you should try Google sometime and you could find it yourself):

          https://news.gallup.com/poll/236420/record-low-extremely-proud-americans.aspx

          • 0 avatar
            pdog_phatpat

            And here we have it, TTAC housekeeping in full effect.

          • 0 avatar

            Of course Trump was one of the largest question marks on that transfer if he had lost.

            “I would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supporters and to all of the people of the United States that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election…… if I win.”

            Donald Trump 10-20-2016

  • avatar
    Ce he sin

    “It’s cheaper to build the same car in America and ship it to Europe than it is to build the car in Europe.”

    I’d like to see the evidence for that, but even so it’s a mighty simplistic argument. Cheaper to make a car in the US than in Germany? Quite likely depending on current exchange rates – which don’t forget are subject to wide fluctuation. Cheaper than Slovakia or the Czech Republic? Dream on.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    And Jack just bought a $56,000 pickup that contains, by far, the least number of parts made in the United States.

    TROLL HARD.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Interesting article, but I’ll call complete, utter BS on this:

    “A recent discussion on this topic here at TTAC got deep into the weeds of whether an F-350 Super Duty would be easy to park on the Ginza strip. Then, of course, it devolved into an endless parade of holier-than-thou liberal-arts types solemnly assuring us that the superior beings of Europe and Asia would never buy anything as laughable and pathetic as an American car.”

    Lame attempt to make this a silly left/right issue aside, let’s delve into this a bit further. In the final analysis, it’s not that European and Asian beings are superior, it’s that they just don’t want pickups. Maybe that’s heretical for someone of an American rightist bent to think, but it’s true.

    Ford, FCA, Nissan and Toyota all make large pickups for the North American market, so they have the vehicles ready, and last I checked, they all have plants in Europe and Asia, so if there were a demand for large pickups over there, they’d be building them. But they aren’t. And there’s only one reason that makes any kind of sense: their buyers in those markets don’t want large pickups. Period. Maybe that’s due to fuel taxation, or the fact that European and Asian cities tend to be tougher to get around in using large vehicles (the “Top Gear” episode where they try to navigate central London in a Rolls coupe comes to mind), but they have their reasons.

    Score one for the liberal-arts types.

    Otherwise, good article, but I don’t think we’ve thought through what the actual impact of all this re-onshoring of carmaking jobs will mean, and I think it’s a safe bet that one of those impacts will be higher prices for lower-margin products.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      I have a novel idea. We should let the individuals who live in those countries make the decision for themselves, rather than finding ways to ban products the government doesn’t see as useful.

      Literally no one reads your posts, that’s how I know you should be banned. Maybe the intrinsic human cost of this sort of specious rhetoric is more evident if it is personalized?

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Just for the record, and I am not suggesting that this number should be extrapolated, but:

      Last year I spent two weeks in Germany, Italy, and Switzerland. On about day four of that trip I started counting American-branded full-sized pickups.

      Around day 10, I lost count — but it was well over 100 at that point.

      There is a nontrivial number of people who want a full-sized half-ton or 3/4 ton in Europe, particularly outside the cities. I was flabbergasted by this.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        That surprises me too. But my question is this: if there’s some pent up demand, and these manufacturers have the product and the plants to satisfy that demand over there already, why aren’t they doing it?

        I’m sure some of it has to do with taxation. But it’s not like they don’t make big vehicles that get iffy mileage overseas as it is. I’d have to think that if their customers over there wanted something like a F-150 in any kind of volume, it’d be a done deal already.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          How many decades have Mustangs been around, with fans/owners all over Europe, and they’re still not built there? They have plenty of Ford factories in Europe, so what gives?

          Grey-market Fullsize US pickups in Europe aren’t likely to be daily driven, partly for their fuel economy and like any exotics, a lot more probably exist than you see everyday used as commuters. Meaning they won’t rack up many miles.

          As long as the F-150’s Euro grey-market is reasonably healthy, what better indicator do you need?

          Fullsize pickup owners in Europe went to great expense and red tape to get them there, with a voided warranty, zero dealer support, something buyers of “legit import” fullsize pickups wouldn’t have to deal with in Europe.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I’m sure a market exists for full size pickups in places like Europe or Asia, and I’d love to see us exporting any kind of goods there, but frankly, it sounds like the Mustang market to me – a niche. And I’m willing to bet money that the automakers that make full size trucks have already done their homework and determined that’s the case.

            Otherwise, you’re telling me that these guys are simply passing on a golden opportunity to sell more of their most profitable products to a brand new market. I don’t buy that.

            Maybe if tariffs were lower, they could sell more things like pickups overseas. And if that’s the case, then huzzah. But I just don’t see these vehicles being particularly big sellers overseas.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            They haven’t been “passing” on a golden opportunity. I’m guessing you know nothing about the European Chicken tax on pickups.

            It’s not cheap to set up a factory overseas for expensive to build BOF, full feature, fullsize pickups. And just for a niche market?

            Who said anything about them being “big sellers”? Niche sales would be fine, but that could likely increase as Europeans discover, despite the hype, wives tales, they’re not so humongous, and their fuel economy isn’t so bad.

            Some buyers simply fear what they’re not used to. But once discovering fullsize pickups wear many hats, they displace 2 or more vehicles, even if not the perfect for every category, it’s way more economical to have a single vehicle to do it all.

            Yeah besides the European Chicken tax (currently) there’s a lot of petty fees, taxes, etc, aimed at larger vehicles in Europe, but what do you have against them trying to sell them in the EU.

            It may have to start mostly with European business owners, contractors, ranchers, farmers, etc, that are used to bigger vehicles and normally own several.

            Common sense would tell you they have to test the market, while disregarding their wild success in North America.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        @Jack: Interesting that you saw so many trucks there.

        I’m not well-traveled, but in 2015 I spent a week in Prague, and counted exactly zero American full-size trucks, and less than a dozen US-branded cars. It was a Skoda-fest, but they also have a plant nearby.

        A Silverado, RAM, or F-150 would have really stood out.

        • 0 avatar
          Sloomis

          I’ve been to Ireland, England, France and Italy, some more than once. I too have seen exactly zero American full-size pickups in any of those countries. I did see a single older Suburban in rural Ireland, and an old Ramcharger in London, of all places, but that would be it. If big American pickups are now selling in the hundreds over there, things must have changed dramatically since my last trip across the pond three years ago…

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            I have seen more in Eastern Europe to be fair, but I did see an entire Muslim family in Brussels piling into an F150 which I thought was funny because of so many stereotypes being smashed in that. I didn’t envy them…I had an Opel Corsa and Brussels was no picnic.

      • 0 avatar
        stingray65

        Fair number of US pickups in Scandinavia also – the Swedes and Norwegians in particular love American vehicles but punitive taxes prevent them from buying them in even larger numbers.

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          Very, very late to this party..but in 2005, in Stockholm, I saw the FUNNIEST bumper sticker in the windshield of a showroom-condition 1979 Olds Delta 88 Holiday Coupe:

          “Touch this car, and I’ll [engage in “relations” with] your dog!”

  • avatar
    TW5

    Excellent read.

    People tend to focus on competition as though it were function nominal cost, but currency exchange also matters. As Americans convert dollars to renminbi, the structural trade deficit in the US will make each US dollar less valuable to the Chinese recipients. Therefore, the cost of Chinese produced goods will rise relative to the cost of American exports to China. Unfortunately, this natural balance has not happened because China’s politburo has more or less adopted policies that trap excess capital in the US, rendering the trade deficit null, as it pertains to currency exchange.

    China views natural currency movements as a threat to their industrial base and they’ve chosen to protect themselves by manipulating the US capital account (Wall Street loves it), while rationalizing their decision by pointing out America’s flaws. I suppose this is one way to deal with the problem, but there is another way. If companies invest in US domestic production, they aren’t as exposed to currency fluctuations. This is perhaps the most compelling reason to hire your customers and produce domestically.

    Roosevelt said the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. I’m not sure that was true during the Great Recession, but it is true of the trade wars today. Humanity will make great progress when people stop indulging their visceral fear of invincible trade hegemons, and they stop fretting about the tough negotiations required to achieve equitable and open trade. The markets panic because this fake-trade regime benefits them almost exclusively to the detriment of ordinary Chinese and Americans. The average person doesn’t need to panic. If done correctly, global wealthy will increase dramatically in the short run. Long run development will take longer, but that’s the way capitalism works. It never quite delivers everything we want during our lifetimes, and some of the economic benefit is reserved for our undeserving heirs.

    That’s life.

  • avatar
    St.George

    Now, getting back to US vehicles in Europe and away from the political BS, here are my thoughts (in no particular order):-

    – It’s a cliche that everyone in Europe lives in a tiny apartment in a medieval city. There is quite a lot of room, roads have to be large enough for 40T trucks, an F-150 would be do-able.
    – Europe sells a lot of CUV’s & SUV’s. Jeep as a brand is popular, slightly lower pricing would help sell Wranglers etc etc. Would also bode well for manufacturers (BMW/Mercedes etc) that build those vehicle types in the US and could then import them into Europe tariff free.
    – My neighbor in Germany had a Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, all the other local Germans loved it. An anecdote for sure but there you go!
    – During my time in Germany, it was quite surprising how often you would see Dodge Rams. Not sure why, perhaps a lot were imported by military service folk?
    – Mustangs, Corvettes etc are popular and a decent value compared to Euro competitors, making them a little cheaper still can’t hurt
    – The above shows me that US made vehicles can be desirable in Europe

    PS I thought Jack’s article was pretty level headed, anyone that gets their panties wadded because of something this tame needs to chill out with a glass of something relaxing.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    The problem with America is that the only people who know what’s going on are barbers, cab drivers, and bartenders. Fascinating economic discussion though, if there were an audio component it would sound like Paul Krugman on nitrous oxide, reading a Matt Taibbi expose.

    • 0 avatar
      "scarey"

      “The problem with America is that the only people who know what’s going on are barbers, cab drivers, and bartenders.”–I love George Burns.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Many I miss the Bertel Schmitt era

  • avatar
    markymark91182

    I usually just lurk and never comment but after reading the author’s first couple of paragraphs I felt the need to respond. His view of the mid west is the view of it from his white conservative bubble. I live in Cleveland where a 14 year old black boy was murdered by the police for playing with a toy gun, while about 40 minutes south at Kent State University a white female who had just graduated was parading around the campus with her rifle and posting on social media about how she should have been able to have it on campus when she was a student. See this is the problem with the right wing they only choose to look at things from their prospective, they only care about what affects them and damn everyone else whose suffering because it has nothing to do with them. The issues that the author claims people on the coast are only worried about affect the mid west he just ignores it because it probably only travels to the city to watch is sports teams or have dinner in some gentrificated neighborhood.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Does this mean that I have to tell the African-American, Eritrean, Indian, Chinese, and Japanese people in my neighborhood to move out?

      Yesterday I saw my kid riding his bike with our 7-year-old black neighbor. Should I have called the police?

      The sheriff in my neighborhood doesn’t treat the people of color any differently than he treats the white people. Maybe that’s because we haven’t had a serious crime here since the first house was built in 1997. I do appreciate your effort to educate me on urban issues, however. When I lived in New York and Baltimore and Philly I never really got a taste of that Cleveland-level thug life.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        @JB: does this mean that you are accepting the theory that ‘class’ plays a much greater role than race?

        And isn’t that what ‘intellectuals’ and leftists have been claiming for decades.

        • 0 avatar
          Jack Baruth

          * If I had to hazard a guess as to what made people succeed or fail in a certain way, I would say that it was 50% raw IQ, 25% parenting, and 25% the surrounding culture.

          * The correlation between race and IQ is not something I’d like to touch with a 10-meter pole, other than to notice that the “Science Is REAL!” folks tend to get wobbly when the science involved has to do with IQ.

          * Perhaps I’m not paying as much attention as I should, but hasn’t the entire progressive platform for the past fifty years been based on the idea that race trumps everything else?

          • 0 avatar
            OneAlpha

            Progressives only say everything is about race because they’ve managed to convince the public that the worst possible thing one can be is a racist.

            I can think of objectively worse things than being a racist, but my point is that the progressives only scream “racism” because they know it’ll shut down a debate they know they can’t win.

            Regarding motivation, I’ve noticed that, as a college professor once told me, “the hardest part of any project is WANTING TO DO IT. After that, everything else falls into place.”

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            I would say that true leftists blame everything on class, not on race.

            And the problems in the USA are because the ‘ruling class’ have since Independence pitted the working class whites against first the African Americans and now against the Latinos.

            Therefore unlike in Europe the ‘class struggle’ was never properly addressed by politicians or the public.

            As for 50% of success being based on high IQ, there is also a strong correlation between high IQ and some mental illnesses.

            In the immortal words of Lefty Gomez: “I would rather be lucky than good”.

          • 0 avatar
            tnk479

            It’s also conscientiousness and industriousness but I get that both are downstream of good parenting and culture.

        • 0 avatar
          Daniel J

          @AD

          Jack Baruth’s neighborhood sounds very much like mine, except mine is in North Alabama. I’ve personally always believed its a class issue, not a race issue.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        Jack you know nothing ’bout the Thuggish Ruggish Bone! Straight outta Cleveland…

        youtu.be/iw7OINGjm5c

    • 0 avatar
      Sub-600

      You got all that from the first two paragraphs? No wonder LeBron left again. Lighten up, Francis.

    • 0 avatar
      "scarey"

      “See this is the problem with the right wing they only choose to look at things from their prospective, they only care about what affects them and damn everyone else whose suffering because it has nothing to do with them”-
      This is a large generalization, and sounds like you are doing some projection as well.
      I am sorry about the little boy who was killed by the police, but after at least 10 years of hearing similar stories, can’t parents make their kids play with their toy guns INDOORS, or at least leave it their pockets when the Police car drives by ? Police have enough problems with REAL guns being pointed at them, and sometimes the police are overworked, tired, or just too busy to look closely to see if the gun is real or not and may fire before the situation is clear. And bringing up the race of the boy is irrelevant. Not everyone worships at the alter of heavy pigmentation. Colorblindness is the best that you can count on. And the girl at the University was not showing the best of judgement but the Second Amendment is on her side as long as she is not a criminal. Also, your statement about gentrified neighborhoods and sports teams- what was your POINT ? Are you saying that one must live in a place like Detroit before you are allowed to notice that it is a third-world “outhouse” (like they even HAVE outhouses in the third world.) ?

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      Funny too how there’s a common assumption by people on the left that everyone on the right lives in some insulated lily-white bubble from which they celebrate minorities getting abused. I’ll posit it’s every bit as common (more so?) for the people on the left to live in nice safe lily-white neighborhoods where they can advocate for strict gun control and put up Black Lives Matter signs up to virtue signal at one another.

      I used to live in a very ‘diverse’ neighborhood where I called in gunfire a few blocks over, got to see police setting up perimeters, had an officer who lived a few blocks over get his house sprayed with gunfire by a felon out on parole (wearing a BLM t shirt for whatever that’s worth). Our Dollar General would get robbed, people (involved in drugs) would get shot at gas stations. We had a drug house a block and a half away from our rental. I got to see peoples’ shopping habits at the local “Kroghetto” and learned not to let my wife go there by herself. Living in that environment certainly was instructive and helped me form my views and opinions.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        “…Funny too how there’s a common assumption by people on the left …”

        The left. The progressives. The lefties. And on and on. Funny how we’ve begun categorizing people as a group, not individuals. You hate it when “the left” categorizes you as a racist for being a Trump supporter, and it’s the same silly thought process behind it.

        It’s easier to generalize than it is to just take people as individuals.

        Jack’s right – this is tribalism, nothing more, nothing less.

        Want to know how to fix our country? We can start by not labeling each other, and assuming what another person thinks because of that label. At that point, maybe we can stop yelling at each other, and start listening.

        You’re smarter than this.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          Fair enough Mike, I was instinctively reacting to someone talking about a “conservative bubble.”

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            The bubble is tribalism. It’s groupthink. And we’re all guilty of it. We all need to take each other at face value as individuals, not as a member of a group.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Amen! Let’s say tariffs make things more expensive. What will happen? People will still go out and buy the things the NEED. But all the cheap junk we fill our houses with that we just WANT will be bought less frequently. Think about all the Chinese make crap that HomeGoods or Pier1 sell. Or the new TV every few years just because we want the latest model. Yeah, those stores will have trouble. But people will still buy all the durable goods they need – stuff that we still make here competitively.

    As for the car industry, the concept of the undesirable “American” car is outdated. Almost every foreign automaker manufactures here, and most of the Big 3 cars are built using common platforms with cars sold in Europe and Asia, so the automakers could easily sell the cars built here all over the world (and they already do if you look at their international websites).

    Trump’s “bull in a china shop” approach may be disconcerting, but it is long overdue for all our trade deals to be updated.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      it’s funny how many people in these comments are

      – economists
      – industry analysts
      – financial advisers/experts
      – engineers
      – political scientists
      – executives
      – sociologists
      – psychologists

      all at the same time. You must have spent most of your lives in university! I’d hate to see your student loan debt.

      • 0 avatar
        deanst

        it’s funny how many people in these comments are

        – economists
        – industry analysts
        – financial advisers/experts
        – engineers
        – political scientists
        – executives
        – sociologists
        – psychologists

        Well, my wife has a PhD in psychology, a daughter is working on a masters in engineering, and I’m an executive with a minor in economics who works in the financial service industry analyzing firms and industries. I’ll invite some poli sci and sociology friends over to consult before my next post!

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      OK, so people will stop buying things they don’t need because they’ll get more expensive.

      How, precisely, does that create jobs?

      • 0 avatar
        Lockstops

        Because a whole lot of people without jobs will get jobs thanks to manufacturing returning to the US. Along with all the services, suppliers etc. that will be needed for that increased manufacturing. Those people will start consuming more, instead of trying to scrape up enough for the basics.

        In addition to that immigrants will have more jobs on offer, not just the crappiest ones left over. Their purchasing power will increase. Then there will be a better draw for skilled labor from abroad thanks to more high status jobs on offer. Also foreign investment into US businesses increases further.

        It all comes down to the basis of US economy: hard working people who don’t take freedom and justice for granted but are willing to continuously work hard for them. They don’t just take the easy route and give away their freedom and control over their lives due to being scared of some nightmare scenario of ‘suffering due to not having socialist safety nets’ that is being sold to them. Corruption is always a problem everywhere there are human beings, but the US system is the best in the wold in dealing with that, keeping the business environment healthy enough even for SMEs.

        The more government controls, the more they have to sell through corruption too.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          “Because a whole lot of people without jobs will get jobs thanks to manufacturing returning to the US.”

          presumes facts not in evidence.

          it’s folly to believe that if manufacturing was pulled back from China, companies would hire the same # of people for $15/hr that were doing the same job in China for ~$1/hr. what would really happen is they’d automate as much as practically possible. No matter how much you desperately wish it to be true, there’s no situation where we return to people lining up to work at Ford’s for $5/day.

          • 0 avatar
            Lockstops

            You’re right, it’s not a 100% predictable outcome at least in scope/value. And of course the manufacturing won’t always/often be done with the same strategies and methods.

            I’d say it’s better to have 100 skilled workers designing and maintaining the automated production systems in the USA than having 1000 basic labourers’ hands in a factory doing the work in China. Not to mention the investment and growth is within the USA not China, and everything is done under US environmental rules and overall governance.

        • 0 avatar
          deanst

          America is making more stuff than it ever has. However, look at the history of agriculture. At one point, over half the country was working on a farm. Today, more food than ever is being produced, but only 2or 3% of the workforce is needed. The same is true of manufacturing – even if you get industries to return or expand, the number of people needed is simply going to be a lot less than most hope/assume.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    @JimZ—but it is so nice to have your perspective also- the perspective of a completely unbiased, pristine, unadulterated, pure-as-the-driven-snow, tabula rasa, (blank slate). How refreshing !

  • avatar
    Zipster

    Jack:

    I frequently travel in Europe and the sight of an American pick-up is rare indeed. How dumb do you think Europeans are that they will spend the equivalent of $200 to fill a pickup with gas? I suspect that the average European has a significantly higher IQ than some of the commentators on this site.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Oh my Fu({ing God what in the heck happened to this place. Thank the Fu(king God in Heaven that we have yet another place on the internet for every $#itbird to gather and talk politics. Screw this place.

    • 0 avatar
      "scarey"

      Did it ever occur to you that Almighty God might not like being referred to the way you just did, and twice ? The way that you referred to Him is offensive to people of faith. Many faiths. Or was that your intention ? So long !

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        Neither of those calls are yours to make.

      • 0 avatar
        kvndoom

        It’ll get over it.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        “Did it ever occur to you that Almighty God might not like being referred to the way you just did, and twice ? The way that you referred to Him is offensive to people of faith. Many faiths. Or was that your intention ? So long !”

        one of the great things about living in this country is that I don’t have to care one bit about your faith, or anyone else’s. And especially that I can’t be compelled to live by its rules.

        and besides, I’d think that a being who is powerful enough to create the entire known universe has better things to do than worry about what someone says on a blog. if He doesn’t like it, He can deal with Mr. Vandelay Himself.

        if He exists at all, that is.

        • 0 avatar
          "scarey"

          Ah, but as has been pointed out to me at least twice, at least once by UncleArthur, this blog is run by a Canadian outfit, and Canada has criminalized speech that is offensive to religious groups. So “hate speech” directed at people of faith could create a liability that they might not want to condone.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    The more of B. Hussein Obama’s legacy that’s repealed, the more the economy soars. Running a country isn’t the same as organizing bake sales or whatever else that ponce did.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    Whether you see made-for-American-conditions American cars overseas obviously depends on how much a country’s conditions are like America’s. So yeah: no 4WD Ram pickups in Paris or Prague. But a metric ton of ’em in Sweden, a large country with lousy weather and big people and rural farmers and very long drives between major cities, just like the US.

  • avatar
    juehoe

    As an European I can agree in some points, but not in others.

    You write that «an American-made Honda Accord is a more reliable proposition than a German-made Ford Focus» and you will probably say, that US workers are better than Europeans? The Honda Accord is more reliable because it is a Japanese design. The Ford is worse because it is US design.

    All the great cars you mentioned are not suitable for the European market. They are ok for some fans and will stay in a niche market. Most US cars are too big for Europe. A F-150 o a full-sized SUV makes no sense in Europe. It is to big in any circumstance. You won’t find a place to park such a monster. European craftsmen prefer vans and just nobody uses pickup tracks.

    Corvette and similar are nice cars, but the Europeans normally don’t like this big muscle cars. We prefer smaller and more agile sport cars.

    The (big) US cars may have some market in Asia, especially in China, indeed. I am living in Thailand I would like to have a full-sized SUV for my family, but they are not available…

    • 0 avatar
      WallMeerkat

      As someone on the same side of the Atlantic as you…

      Best car I ever owned was a US built Accord coupe

      Worst car I ever owned was a German built Ford Orion

      (both UK reg)

      SUVs and pickups are hugely popular here, people don’t care that the roads are too narrow, and that they don’t fit in parking spaces, it’s all about image now.

      The F-350 might only be suitable for Tow Truck duty, but I could see the F-150 as a popular step up from the Ford Ranger.

      It surprised me that Fiat didn’t try to sell a RAM here, instead rebadging a Mitsubishi L200…

    • 0 avatar

      Funny. I recently drove a Focus RS. It was the ultimate european expression of a fast, over the top sports car. Compare to the Mustang, Charger, or Vette as the ultimate US expression of same…..I had 2.3 liters, a BIG engine in Europe, (ahem, a four over here, ahem) . I can only imagine the registration taxes on the displacement, but the car still had a small footprint.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    So let me get this straight. You Americans who are the self-proclaimed greatest in the world at everything, especially capitalism and business have made so many “bad deals” you are now impoverished and are going to kick everyone’s asses with tariffs and everything is going to be super-awesome. I dont think I can add any more to that.

  • avatar
    WallMeerkat

    A nice piece.

    From this Eastern side of the Atlantic…
    One of the best cars I ever owned was an American built Accord coupe. Honda UK imported them for a few years in RHD, truth be told it wasn’t popular as the engines were too thirsty for expensive fuelled UK/IRL/EU, and it was too much of a cruiser when for some reason everyone here wants their car to lap the Nurburgring.

    Your point about making Buicks in the US may come sooner than you think.

    PSA Peugeot-Citroen are keen to replace the European Regal – Insignia – most likely based on their upcoming 2nd gen 508 (a gorgeous car itself). GM wanted them to build it until the mid 2020s, but PSA are now looking to replace it by 2021.

    Given that sedan sales in the US are at rock bottom, and the Australians aren’t keen on their “new Commodore” (also a rebadged Insignia / Regal), it is possible that the production line of the current model could be shipped to the US, to allow GM to produce the model, while PSA produces their own – now unrelated – next gen Insignia.

    GM are paying for production volume X, sales are only hitting a fraction of X, so it would get them out of that. It would allow PSA to get rid of the GM platform (together with the Corsa which is to be 208 based), win-win for everyone.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      GM are paying for production volume X, sales are only hitting a fraction of X… I’m usually the last guy to say this but… Source?

      If that were true (and it would logically make sense to me from a business contract standpoint – GM promises to absorb __% of production from the factory building Insignia and Regal) – why isn’t Buick pushing the car harder? As has been documented a few places online it seems like Buick dealers could give two $hits about the new Regal in any flavor.

  • avatar
    gtem

    For what it’s worth, I’ll give a bit of insight on a sort-of-European (Russian) market perspective: There’s simply not enough people that could afford anything more than a Sonic or Focus/Cruze as far as the bulk of consumers is concerned. HOWEVER, American makes are generally highly regarded, specifically older used SUVs and cars that were imported in the 90s. Grand Cherokees and Tahoes are absolutely beloved, and things like Panthers have their fans. They are generally associated with big thirsty understressed engines that can handle questionable Russian fuel quality, are long lived, and are easy to wrench on (although parts supply can be questionable). Any review of an older Explorer or big diesel F250 brings out a lot of praise “Americans know how to build a sturdy car!” Compared to the finicky older German cars that most of Western/European Russians are used to, American cars come across as being closer to Russian vehicles in terms of design and engineering simplicity, but much better built. Speaking more of the moneyed people, the bigger and more powerful and tougher the better. V8 Land Cruisers are the top luxury vehicles, German luxury vehicles are just too fragile. ’07+ Tundras have made some inroads even into Siberia (where JDM Toyotas had won people over in the 90s). Last time I was in Novosibirsk I saw a single newish F150. In Western Russia Rams are definitely a novelty but people really like the big size, the Hemi sound, etc. New Tahoes and Escalades are likewise not exactly rare and are well liked but nowhere as common as Land Cruisers. There is a sizeable horsepower related annual registration tax (anything over 250hp) unfortunately.

    So the tastes are different than most of Europe and actually more similar to America: worse infrastructure and more open space makes people like big trucks and 4wds. However there is a big constraint on how many people actually have money to buy a big crew cab truck.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    These discussions are more about politics than cars. Many cannot have a civilized discussion without reverting to political sides. It is much easier to label people. I don’t know what the demand for US made vehicles in Europe would be but we should at least negotiate with Europe and get a better deal than what we have now. I believe in the long run a trade war would hurt the US more than it would help.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      I think even the most ardent Trump opponent would agree we need to revisit/renegotiate many of the trade deals we’re in. But the approach of “I’m going to make bombastic demands and insult you up front, then we’ll work it down to closer to what I really want” might work when buying a building or property. Doesn’t seem like a good way to approach foreign relations.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        Less than ideal, sure. But previous efforts had failed (or were not genuine efforts at all).

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          “But previous efforts had failed (or were not genuine efforts at all)”

          there’s a huge number of other possible approaches between those two.

          it’s like playing poker; if you start out with a weak hand, you have more options than just “fold” or “go all in with a bad bet.” you can check the first time through, play on to see what you get dealt, bluff, etc.

          what we’re doing is akin to getting a weak hand, kicking over the table, then hoping the others want to continue playing the game.

  • avatar
    barksdale

    Ford should build a sports sedan and CUV based on the Mustang, although something tells me they would have already if the platform allowed it. In that case, develop a new platform (that allows AWD…) and leverage the Mustang brand to make something Europeans will be interested in.

    If built in the USA and executed well (a big “if”) it would sell like crazy domestically and in Europe (and other places cars are sold). Purists will hate the idea of co-opting the Mustang brand for this but I think it would be awesome.

    Chevy should double-down on the Volt. But rework the body style. It doesn’t have to be a “0-60 in 3 seconds” Tesla fighter, but it does need to look good.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @JimZ–Exactly couldn’t agree more. Why make enemies out of allies. Renegotiate without the bombastic remarks and insults.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Jeff,
      I have little time for Trump and I’m centre right, or in the US a little to the right.

      I think Trump has blown a great opportunity to bring China and some of the more unsavoury countries (Russia) into what is to be expected in a more connected world.

      The US needs all of the West to take on China as America can’t do it on its own.

      He’s slowly eroding the trust the US has built and this trust can be directly linked to US leadership and influence.

      I hope the US can repair the damage Trump is causing.

      Luckily the US has the most extensive network of global multinationals with connections and some very good civil servants to tidy up after Trump. But this will take time.

      Don’t forget there are many free countries in the world and the people when voting might vote for political parties with negative views towards the US. I hope this doesn’t occur as it will take a generation to fix up Trump’s ill concieved ideals regarding others.

  • avatar
    DougD

    As the song says, I’ve been around the world…

    You’ve been to Europe, right? Driving an F150 there would be torture. Where are you going to store it? Park it? How will you keep it fed? Would non-enthusiast drivers appreciate trying to keep it inside tiny lanes with stone walls while going 60mph? The biggest car I’ve driven in England was a Jetta and it felt like an absolute whale.

    And speaking for the rest of the world, this whole polarization schtick is getting old. Try to be a little nuanced, people.

  • avatar

    Too many comments came in too late but some random thoughts.

    Trade war with China is unfortunate but I agree may be required to solve the issues. Our current trade war within NA and with our friends in Europe and Japan is just dumb. These were groups you sit down to negotiate with throwing a bomb in to the works was unnecessary, specifically with Brexit on there will be a renewed push for trade deals in Europe. This will hurt american jobs and was really not required.
    The China thing well they do need to have change but honestly they have been slowly working on it. So an all out assault was probably not warranted. One of the reason passed administrations haven’t done this (beyond many being free trading globalists) is that it will come with a huge short term political costs. Sure right now the HD worker who will likely be on the unemployment line thanks to the trade war may still vote Trump but when he’s seeing his walmart bill jump 15% a month thanks to trade issues he might not be so kind. Not an issue if you have Jacks income but his 50k a year neighbors a change like that can lead to bankruptcy awful quickly.

    Also it should be noted on the Defense side I think we need domestic production for defense, but in the case of steel and Aluminum thanks to things like the Jones Act and Buy American act we already have enough American production to handle that.

    On the American dream. No doubt we still shine on the hill. I love my country but part of that love involves recognizing problems. In the last decade and a half we have slipped from the lead on things like Income mobility and Entrepreneurship rates. Countries like the UK , Canada, Denmark, Chilie,and Italy, are starting to pull away from us.

    One more thought. I don’t think Jack is doing the country any favors with his constant midwest vs coasts arguments. Plenty of working class small business owners on the coasts. Plenty of perfectly safe neighborhoods on the coasts too. In fact the top 5 lowest crime states are almost all on the East coast. And 4 of them are in left leaning New England (Vermont Maine NH and Connecticut). Ohio comes midpack around #20. Also note here in New England gated communities are an oddity unlike the South and parts of the Midwest.

    • 0 avatar
      Sub-600

      Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire are very sparsley populated and are not welfare giveaway states, thus poor examples. Big leftist giveaway states such as NY, CA, and IL are crime ridden sewers. One strange exception is San Diego, for a city of approx. 1.5 million people the homicide rate is minuscule, in 2015 they had nine more murders than Syracuse, NY which has 1/10 the population.

      • 0 avatar

        Sure but CT is one of the most dense states. It’s more diverse then anywhere in the midwest, has more immigrants then any where in the midwest. Is reliably blue has super high taxes and would fall under what most would consider welfare states. RI, NJ and VA also beat out OH on the list. Should note Kentucky places high. Looking at the list crime does not seem as correlated to the factors you list with the exception of dense super cities (NY Boston, Chicago, LA, Miami) do make the numbers worse.

        • 0 avatar
          Sub-600

          NYC actually makes NYS numbers *better*. The Thruway Corridor; Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, and Albany have severe crime problems, NYC is realatively safe. City-Data.com is a good place for crime numbers.

          • 0 avatar

            I see yeah looking at the city by city vs state changes the picture a bit. The rust belt of upstate NY does have issues. Also same effect in MA where some of the old mill towns have worse crime rates then Boston.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            NYC is probably the safest big city in the country. Frankly, if you just avoid certain parts and use a bit of common sense, you would likely never be a victim of crime.

      • 0 avatar
        Sloomis

        “Big leftist giveaway states such as NY, CA, and IL are crime ridden sewers. ”

        Yet when you look at the actual statistics, the top ten high-crime states are mostly Red states…

    • 0 avatar
      Sam Hell Jr

      Intended only as commentary and not as cause-effect identification, but: You had better be wearing Kevlar and run in a zig-zig pattern if you’re planning a crime spree in rural New England.

      Re: Ohio crime, it doesn’t make much sense to talk about Ohio’s aggregate crime numbers when Jack’s point of reference was a middle-class Columbus suburb. I don’t recall him recommending that anyone move to Over-the-Rhine or Glenville or LaGrange.

      And to tie the thoughts together, Jack may be suggesting, and I certainly am, that crime and income immobility and all the rest is much less problematic if you’re even modestly employable and willing to move somewhere unglamorous. It would in any event be a higher-probability play than working service-industry gigs in, say, Portland, and complaining about the rent and the auto theft.

      • 0 avatar

        Truth there. And yeah moving from Powell OH to Bridgeport CT is a bad idea. But in general as I understand the trends higher paying jobs have begun moving back to urban years after a spreading out in the previous 5-6 decades. This creates issues as the COL comes back into play. There are calculators online where you can see COL vs income. This is one I like because you can adjust for career.
        https://www.rasmussen.edu/career-center/career-research-hub/salary-by-state/
        I have found this accurate in my line of work. I could move to a lower COL state but in general when I have looked into jobs I have found it often puts me right back where I am vs COL. Of course moving to some place like CA or Boston would make it even worse for me, there is a fine middle ground there.

    • 0 avatar
      PandaBear

      The reality is, a “leveled” playing field will help the share holders and the consumers but hurt the manufacturers’ labor in the importing country. Trump is there to help his core voter base, the under employed and left behind whose job got exported to Japan, Europe, China, etc. Let’s be honest, the money in the last 20-30 years were made by the share holders, the coasts, but not the manufacturing workers. You need to understand this to understand why would Trump decide to take on a “bad deal” for the “right people” that voted for him.

      Now regarding to why China forces JV, you need to look at Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan, Philippine, etc to see what happen if you let foreign companies coming in to setup factories, and not build up any local technologies or ownership. These countries have been building factories because of cheap labors, but never move up the food chain, and remains a “low cost” factory forever. As soon as their cost goes up they de-industrialize, and falls.

      The world is not ideal, we are selfish, so we’ll never have a perfect solution that ends all the problems. Nice read Jack, too bad things will never happen the way or the reason you think should.

  • avatar
    Whittaker

    Jack has that ability to write a piece in which he intentionally shows glimpses of himself, flaws included…enticing scores of commentators to unintentionally paint self-portraits so glaringly robotic & juvenile as to render Jack’s flaws endearing.
    It’s rare, and getting rarer.

  • avatar
    Robbie

    The same people who make fun of attempts to sell European cars here now seem to think that US cars can be sold there.

    Different markets, different vehicles, guys. This is not a left vs. right issue. This is about wide vs. narrow lanes; expensive vs cheap gas; high vs low population density; and also, pickups being in fashion vs. considered in poor taste. This is about 50 mpg vs 20 mpg vehicles. BMWs and other luxury vehicles will work here in the US to some extent, and increasingly less so ever since the SUV craze. But we have very little to offer the European market at this time.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Actually EVERYONE laughs at Euro cars that failed in the US. Except there are no cars that get 50 mpg in Europe, not even hybrids, and only niche buyers would accept their downsides if there ever was.

      Sorry, Europe isn’t one big Medieval stonewall village. Show actual “public” traffic lanes narrower than 120% of an F-150’s width. If there was, drivers of Jettas and similar would freak out trying to navigate them.

      This isn’t about bigger/thirstier Big 3 trucks/SUVs. Or Big 3 anythings, necessarily. “US cars” include autos from Toyotas, Nissans, Hondas, BMWs and others, of various sizes.

      But hey, a lot of US cars and trucks are considered “in poor tastes” in the US too. Europe doesn’t have a lock on judgemental A-holes. This while others enjoy the ruffling of feathers.

      Those than can use a truck’s work capabilities, and extremely reliable, long service life, and unmatched resale value, may be shocked to find out it can replace a whole stable of cars, or One Trick Ponies.

      So if a particular “car” sells in the 900,000 range (just in the US), annually, 90,000 in the EU isn’t totally far fetched, especially once the old wive’s tales about US autos/trucks are myth busted.

  • avatar

    Each car is designed to the market. Practically, most US cars won’t sell “over there” because they are too big. I’ve had many experiences in Europe where you drive/park to under six inches tolerance. I could not have driven my CTS in many places I’ve been. I once had a parking space in Berlin which would fit a Golf, but put an E class there. Escalade ? Nope. Pickup Truck ? LOL.

    Displacement. We don’t charge for it, but many nations (France, Italy) do. That’s why you have 1.4, 1.6, 1.8, and 2.0 versions of so many engines. We generally get only the biggest one, which we view as ” a four “.

    Carbon. Carbon taxes tend to follow displacement as well.

    You can import to our side something easier than the opposite way. A small BMW, a 1.4 liter VW, whatever, is no problem here. I recently drove a small Suzuki van in another place. It seated six easily. Engine under front seats, 35 mpg, five speeds. Great on the island it lived on, but would you want to hump this across the Prairies with the 1.8 droning on ? NO.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      UK/London parking spaces are a generous 94 inches in width normally and the F-150 is 80 inches wide. I’ve actually parked in spaces less than 80 inches in US big cities and beach communities.

      I didn’t measure them but my F-150’s (nearly stock) tires were completely on top of both lines.

      For the EU, their rules/tariffs have always been about protecting their domestic automakers from potential US imports, or since the ’60s and long before EU cars had any kind of emission equipment or anyone cared about the environment.

      If they also punished European car buying consumers, it’s an added bonus.

  • avatar
    nitroxide

    Excellent article and great insights. I hate to quibble and this is a very minor point that does not impact your thesis, but Louisville has two Ford assembly plants, one that makes the Escape and MKC, the other that makes Super Duty trucks as well as the Expedition and Navigator. F-150’s aren’t assembled there.

  • avatar
    WildcatMatt

    I hear arguments on both sides of the fence here and find things to agree and disagree with in both major policy interpretations. I don’t know which side is right and I’m willing to entertain the idea that a course correction may be a good idea.

    Here’s the thing: I get paid in part to see patterns in data. And the only pattern I see here is the creation of uncertainty at every possible opportunity.

    I get the idea that Trump could be cultivating chaos deliberately to stake out an untenable negotiating position that he can quickly abandon when the other side moves.

    The problem I have is this uncertainty has very real short-term costs. Any system that has been in place for any length of time finds an equilibrium where the loopholes and nuances are understood and exploited.

    Blowing that up on short notice rather than in a measured phase-in means everyone involved except the fat cats at the top will get squeezed and many smaller companies that live in those loopholes may not be able to weather steep changes in material or compliance costs until infrastructure shifts to meet the new parameters.

    You may feel safe enough in your situation that you think you won’t be affected, but that’s a feeling I don’t share.


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