David Cay Johnston: How Soybeans Explain What’s Really Going On In Trump’s Trade War

The Truth Behind His Economic Lies

video 2 minutes

If David Cay Johnston’s dcreport.org is not on you reading list it surely should be. David Cay Johnston has been one of the fiercest critics of the the trickle down economy. At the same time he has for some 30 years been a fierce critic of Donald Trump.

Johnston’s most recent book concerning Trump is the best seller “It’s Even Worse Than You Think.” This book has been out for about 7 months. In that short space of time much has already changed in America and in Trump’s world. Johnston is able to keep the public up to date on events that are going on behind the scene as we and much of the media is distracted by Trump’s tweets, various ongoing investigations and the general chaos of the Trump administration.

Among the chaos of the administration has been the rise of tariff laws and the out of the blue consequences that selected groups of Americans will have to endure. These Americans became the victims of the tariff wars started by Trump  because they were viewed as groups that were loyal to Trump. One of those groups is soybean farmers.

On Wednesday, Johnston explains that what appeared to be good news on the economy today may only be good news on the surface:

There’s good economic news, Donald Trump declared July 27, with the economy growing 4.1% in the second quarter of 2018. That number is accurate, for the moment, provided you don’t look beneath the surface or back at past economic performance or to a horizon about 60 days out.

Johnston notes that what Trump declares to be a “historic” turnaround is in reality not too great:

Obama did better in four of the 32 quarters he was in office. So did every other president back to Harry S Truman.

So where do the soybeans fit into this little web of – uh – pumping up the story by the Trump Administration? Johnston lays it out here:

Trump’s best turns out, in good part, to be an artifact of his trade war with China. In the second quarter, America experienced a massive spike in sales of soybeans. Sales and purchases of other products also soared as “business stockpiled inventory ahead of the impending import duties,” according to a Reuters survey of economists.

Soybean prices in late July stood at $8.72 a bushel, half their June 2012 peak of $17.375. That’s before adjusting for inflation, which would make the 2012 price more than $19 per bushel.

No wonder Trump wants $12 billion of welfare for soybean farmers in areas that favored him in the 2016 election because he promised to put their interests first. If he doesn’t reach into your pocket to give money to those farmers they may be out with pitchforks and many of them certainly will not reward him again at the ballot box.

So there you are – economic numbers puffed up apparently by a one-time buying spree by foreign counties stocking up before Tariffs go into effect.

No one is sure which way the Trump administration may turn next. One thing seems to be sure, though. It is doubtful that what ever direction they choose will most likely not be a carefully considered position nor will there be any thought given to who or what may be affected. As with most decisions we have seen from this administration, most likely any decision will be spur of the moment with only some vague ideological concept in mind – or possibly the approval of a certain Russian dictator.

It is one hell of a way to run a country.

video discussing “It’s Even Worse Than You Think” – 1 hour

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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1 Response to David Cay Johnston: How Soybeans Explain What’s Really Going On In Trump’s Trade War

  1. Anne Duncan says:

    I follow online farm media, and in the tariff stories so far, most Iowa farmers still support Trump. It probably helps that they know the Trump administration will continue to do whatever it can to ensure that farmers will continue to be free to pollute water. In fact, if the Trump gang has its way, farmers will be even freer to pollute water in the future, not to mention continue to use pesticides with increasingly-dubious records for environmental damage, including dicamba and neonicotinoids.


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