The Triumph of Trump by Chris Knight

President Donald J. Trump’s inauguration speech was magnificent. He basically said that the power mad Washington DC elites had rule like tyrants for too long, and now it ends. It was a speech that brought tears to any patriot’s eye. Bill Clinton, on the stage with the rest of the folk Trump was attacking was looking with lust at Trump’s daughter Ivanka (you can see it on YouTube), and Obama looked like he had been kicked in the guts. He had.

There seems to be even a slight awareness that a profound revolution against globalist ideology is occurring. Here are some interesting words from someone who needs no introduction to this site,  Greg Sheridan, The Australian’s foreign editor, “Trump’s Triumph Explained: Xi and Obama Fuel America’s Revolt,” The Australian, January 19, 2017, p. 1.
“Two presidents, China’s Xi Jinping and America’s Barack Obama, have taken actions which do much to explain why Donald Trump is triumphant.
Xi Jinping, at the World Economic Forum at Davos no less, posed as the champion of globalisation, even preaching against protectionism and populism.
“Just blaming economic globalisation for the world’s problems is inconsistent with reality, and will not help solve them,” he said.
You have to admire Xi’s chutzpah. If every nation in the world practised globalisation in the way the Chinese government does, it would be a world of constant chaos and near inevitable conflict.

Let’s be clear: China does not practise free trade. It rigidly and politically polices foreign investment, frequently showing foreign investors the door once it has achieved technology transfer. It controls its currency. It directs capital from its banks, often unprofitably, to favoured industries. It shamelessly subsidises industries.
If foreign businessmen in China transgress often extremely opaque regulations, and fall out with the local powers that be, they can find themselves in jail with months and months going by before charges are even identified, much less laid.

If Trump implements globalisation along those lines the world almost certainly is headed for real trouble. By comparison with Beijing, Trump’s proposed economic nationalism is mild and even old-fashioned, quaint, with talk of tariffs and the like. It is just because mercantilist economic systems like China’s have been in part free riders on the global free trade system, taking its advantages but not living up to its disciplines, that there has been such a reaction in the rust belt states of America which led to Trump’s triumph.”

Maurice Newman (“Rome’s Alight – We’re Reaching for Fiddles,” The Australian, January 18, 2017, p. 10) also recognises that “nationalistic, anti-immigration, and anti-establishment governments are likely in The Netherlands, France and Italy.” Add to this that in 2017 China’s banking system could collapse or unravel as the IMF sees a “growing risk of a banking crisis, or sharply slower growth or both.”
A “deflationary credit crunch” is inevitable Newman believes, with industrial unrest and massive unemployment. He does not point out the obvious consequence of a semi-collapse of China for Australia: we are next in line to be executed.

Even without China’s woes, Australia has problems enough on its own, he notes:
“Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s expresses pessimism about Canberra’s ability (in a relatively stable environment) to deliver a balanced budget by 2021. Unmoved, the government keeps whistling its happy tunes.
Truth is, Turnbull is frightened of negative opinion polls. Rather than prepare, he prefers to run the risk of a global crisis and leave it to his successors to clean up should one occur. Meantime, his Labor opposition represents yesterday. It still dreams of a mythical workers’ paradise controlled by trade unions, big government and, Keynesian economics. It appears quite unsuited for tomorrow’s challenges.

Twenty-five years of uninterrupted growth and unprecedented terms of trade have papered over the structural rigidities that now rob Australia of purpose and competitiveness. To quote the Business Council of Australia’s Jennifer Westacott: “The alternative to purpose – inaction, cynicism and inertia – usually means at best muddling through, and at worst being overwhelmed by external forces or allowing others to imagine your future for you.”

Interesting times certainly lie ahead.



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Wednesday, 24 July 2024

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