The Last Gasp

“While the year saw the rise of Trump, this is not the beginning of his term, it is the end. As painful as it has been to watch him and his supporters rally, theirs is merely a last gasp of a dying world view.
 
Ten years ago, when my father-in-law was dying of esophageal cancer, we called hospice in. I’ll never forget what they told us: that just before death, we might see a surprising surge of energy in him, something that doctors refer to as “terminal lucidity.””
 
See 2017 was Trumpism’s last gasp
Trump may have squeaked by the post in the election of 2016 but he’s stirred a hornet’s nest for the 2018 mid-term elections. I predict he’ll lose control of Congress and be impeached in 2019 if the GOP doesn’t come to its senses sooner. Even if he hasn’t committed “high crimes” his “misdemeanours” are there for all to see. Trump is wrong for this century, wrong for USA and wrong for this world. It’s time he moved on to retire on some golf-course or other.

Those who supported Trump out of pique at Hillary are regretting their mistake. Those who did too little because they thought Hillary was sure to win are mobilized to fight like their lives depended on the outcome, which may well be the case. Trump has united huge blocks of voters by leanings and demographics to support anyone but Trump next election and that will be that, Pence holding the reigns of the GOP going off the rails. Congress could even impeach Pence for not uniting the cabinet against Trump’s obvious treachery and deceit and insanity. Surely there will be the cabinet-shakeup of the century. Surely the cabinet needs new blood just about everywhere. It has lead USA down a rabbit-hole.

Whatever the outcome of 2018, Congress will start cranking out veto-proof legislation that actually fulfills some sane goals for USA: a solid economy built on industry and free trade, universal healthcare, DACA that works, immigration that makes sense, real justice, taxation that deals with accumulated debt sooner rather than later (for deficits in the good times make no sense), and repairs to the fabric of society including its infrastructure, education and regulation.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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17 Responses to The Last Gasp

  1. Ivan wrote, “Was your mother a scab?”

    Nope. The scabs beat her up. She quit and found another line of work in retail.

  2. Ivan says:

    At the first job my mother was beaten up on a picket line during a strike

    Was your mother a scab?

  3. kurkosdr wrote, “while supporting free trade treaties designed to deny the current working population to find a manufacturing job that pays well like you did”.

    There are lots of manufacturing jobs left in Canada despite cheaper labour overseas: stuff that requires the latest technology, stuff that doesn’t cross borders easily like ammunition and firearms, heavy stuff, bulky stuff, and custom-made stuff. Advanced manufacturing is big in Winnipeg. That makes 13% of GDP and 11% of employment in Winnipeg. There’s lots of work in other sectors too. Unemployment overall is around 5%. We are OK. Stop worrying about us.

  4. kurkosdr says:

    I’ve had two manufacturing jobs in my life. They paid well but I had to work hard in the heat of summer.

    … and being the pretentious baby boomer you are, you are happy to preach from your pensioner high horse that the current working population should find a job while supporting free trade treaties designed to deny the current working population to find a manufacturing job that pays well like you did, because they have to compete with Foxconn factory workers in countries with worse labour laws.

  5. Ivan wrote, “get a manufacturing job to educate yourself how screwed up you are, old man”.

    I’ve had two manufacturing jobs in my life. They paid well but I had to work hard in the heat of summer. Other jobs paid much more and I had all sorts of creature-comforts like padded swinging chairs and Ethernet. At the first job my mother was beaten up on a picket line during a strike and at the second I was fired because the fumes triggered esophageal spasms and my blood pressure plunged. At the first job, when productivity increased pay rates were cut to avoid paying us “too much”. So, there are downsides to manufacturing jobs too.

  6. Kurkosdr wrote, “The hard truth is that wealth is being transferred from the North American and EU middle class to the middle class of China and India.”

    Yes, and the Chinese are doing what with our money? Buying our stuff… Canada sells a bunch of wheat, beef, lumber, petroleum and coal to China as well as lots of technology.

    Tourism is a big thing. TLW visited China once. Accidentally left some jewellery in a washroom at the airport there… So, even TLW exports to China. 🙁

  7. Ivan says:

    has been well balanced by what we’ve been able to produce with our low costs of energy.

    Get off your dead ass and get a manufacturing job to educate yourself how screwed up you are, old man.

  8. kurkosdr wrote, “Pog thinks he can be rich in a country that doesn’t make anything and imports almost everything.”

    Canada makes lots of stuff, like energy, plastic, machinery, tools, ammunition,…

    Ever heard of the “division of labour”? In an economy, any economy, it’s most efficient if people and organizations specialize somewhat in producing what they can at the lowest price, greatest quality etc. Now, think of Earth as a global economy. The same thing applies. It’s best for everyone that free trade occurs so that what is made in one place can be shipped to many places. There are tradeoffs. It doesn’t make sense to ship low-valued heavy products long distances so there will always be some manufacturing everywhere. My backyard doesn’t need to be a steel-mill for instance. There’s one in a nearby town recycling scrap steel. It would be silly to ship the scrap to China and then bring it back refabricated. China is even refusing to take lots of scrap. So, free trade doesn’t kill jobs. It just allows jobs to move around to where they make sense. Folks who are laid off at a steel mill here can fabricate aluminium frames for solar panels or install same or distribute same. It’s all good.

    Further, if free trade were indeed bad for economies, why has the GDP of Mexico, USA and Canada all exploded upwardly since the NAFTA?

    “In 2015, total trilateral merchandise trade, as measured by the total of each country’s imports from its other two NAFTA partners, amounted to over USD $1.0 trillion – more than a threefold increase since 1993. In 2015, NAFTA partners represented 28% of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) with less than 7% of the world’s population. Since the implementation of NAFTA, the North American economy has expanded, with the combined GDP for Canada, the U.S. and Mexico reaching USD $20.7 trillion in 2015. Canadian merchandise exports to the United States grew at an annualized rate of almost 4.6 percent between 1993 and 2015. Canada’s bilateral merchandise trade with Mexico nearly reached CA$37.8 billion in 2015. Some 78 percent of Canada’s total merchandise exports were destined to our NAFTA partners in 2015. Total merchandise trade between Canada and the United States more than doubled between 1993 and 2015. Trade between Canada and Mexico has increased over 8-fold over the same period.”

    What Canada and USA have let go to Mexico has been well balanced by what we’ve been able to produce with our low costs of energy. Unemployment is not much of a problem most times.

    “The unemployment rate in Canada declined to 5.9 percent in November of 2017 from 6.3 percent in October and well below market expectations of 6.2 percent. It is the lowest jobless rate since February of 2008 as the economy added 80,000 jobs. Unemployment Rate in Canada averaged 7.68 percent from 1966 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 13.10 percent in December of 1982 and a record low of 2.90 percent in June of 1966.”

  9. Kurkosdr says:

    And anyway, let’s not lose our focus too much. Even if the move of manufacturing jobs to Asia and the loss of middle-class wealth to Asia does not affect Pog much because he is retired (and that’s a big “if”), it does affect people who are still in the workforce or entering the workforce, which explains why so many people saw in Trump the anti-hero who will take down the TPP and other “free-trade” deals designed to move jobs out of the country. Which is why Trump managed to break out of the traditional bible-and-guns voter base that every other Republican candidate was confined to during the previous elections and win the presidency.

    Let’s see how 2019 goes and keep dreaming of that impeachment Pog.

    Keep in mind that Trump has a secret ace up his sleeve: He was elected as the “move fast and do things” president, so he can always claim that Congress is preventing him from doing so and that “his guys” have to be elected to make that happen. BTW, can you tell me what narrative of the anti-Trump camp is, beyond stopping Trump from doing things to keep things stale?

  10. kurkosdr says:

    Only part of my pension comes from CPP anyway. Like many pensioners we are asset-rich and cash-poor, sitting on $600K worth of real estate here and with a decent stock-portfolio not to mention furniture and stuff accumulated over decades. I’d like to have one humongous yard-sale and retire to a shack in the bush.

    If manufacturing jobs keep moving to Asia (aka if the Canadian working middle class keeps bleeding wealth to Asia) prepare for your assets -primarily your real estate- to be more heavily taxed so the government can pay for any unemployment benefits, and for any BS jobs they create in the public sector to artificially lower unemployment rates and for any early pensions they give to public sector workers to artificially reduce the workforce population.

    Ask me how I know… (hint: it happened to Greece)

    Pog thinks he can be rich in a country that doesn’t make anything and imports almost everything. This can work if you are Tim Cook or Jeff Bezos with most of your property stashed in offshore accounts that cannot be taxed, but not if you are Robert from Manitoba with all your assets located in Canada, within reach of the Canadian government.

    We have many middle-class friends and relatives who struggle to pay their real estate taxes because it was an expense they hadn’t planned for just to keep their real estate from being seized by the government. So much for being “asset-rich”. My family is still doing well because my parents were smart enough to stockpile cash (not in Greek banks obviously) when they could instead of buying expensive cars (like many of our middle-class friends and relatives had been doing at the time).

  11. Kurkosdr says:

    Free trade stimulates the Canadian economy providing jobs moving, selling, installing, servicing and recycling goods manufactured anywhere.

    Ahh… the fairy-tale of import-fueled growth. Let those Chinese and Indian people work in Foxconn factories to manufacture stuff for North America to import and also let them design the stuff themselves (Huawei, Xiaomi etc), having the designers work the same long hours as the factory workers too of course. No import duties to compensate for the poor labour laws which give Chinese and Indian companies and unfair advantage, yay!

    Then those Chinese and Indian people will send the products they produce to North America in exchange for… what exactly? This is the point the fairy-tale you ‘ve been fed by cable TV anchors falls apart. I ‘ll admit the US used to be able to create wealth out of thin air by making sure all oil futures were in USD, and depose any tin pot dictators that tried to change this, but this is now changing.

    The hard truth is that wealth is being transferred from the North American and EU middle class to the middle class of China and India.

    Which is the reason so many people are becoming homeless or poor despite in North America and EU massive government programs like food stamps and unemployment benefits.

    Which means less demand for moving, selling, installing, servicing and recycling goods manufactured anywhere… oops!

  12. Kurkosdr wrote, “you who depends on young people having jobs (not just the university-educated ones but all young people) so that your pension fund stays above water you should be wary of supporting any “free-trade” deals, also known as “let’s move manufacturing to countries with worse labour laws like China and India” deals, if anything out of pure self-interest.”

    Free trade stimulates the Canadian economy providing jobs moving, selling, installing, servicing and recycling goods manufactured anywhere. Anything that stimulates the economy is good for everyone, not just retired folks. Only part of my pension comes from CPP anyway. Like many pensioners we are asset-rich and cash-poor, sitting on $600K worth of real estate here and with a decent stock-portfolio not to mention furniture and stuff accumulated over decades. I’d like to have one humongous yard-sale and retire to a shack in the bush. Then, I’d be fixed for life. As it is I trust the Canadian economy will continue to function well. I don’t know anyone who is unemployed but there are one or two under employed. It’s all good.

  13. kurkosdr says:

    he working population = the working population

  14. Kurkosdr says:

    Dear Pog, someone like you who depends on young people having jobs (not just the university-educated ones but all young people) so that your pension fund stays above water you should be wary of supporting any “free-trade” deals, also known as “let’s move manufacturing to countries with worse labour laws like China and India” deals, if anything out of pure self-interest.

    All you pensioners demanding that young people (and he working population in general) find jobs to pay for your pension while at the same time supporting “free-trade” deals designed to move jobs out of the country fail to grasp that this is the exact kind of attitude that united Trump supporters against Hilary and the other TPPers.

    Not every Trump supporter is a bible-and-guns anti-vaxxer anti-choice lunatic, some US citizens saw him as the anti-hero that would stop the TPP and more jobs from moving abroad in general.

    Let’s see what happens in 2019.

    BTW, I don’t think Trump will be impeached. Americans like their anti-heros.

  15. Grece says:

    Robert, we all know that your predictions are junk.

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