With Trump’s impetuous move to start an international trade war by imposing tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, the stock market plunged because investors know that in a complex economy one variable can have unforeseen repercussions for the larger whole.
Yes, tariffs may make American-produced steel and aluminum more competitive versus product from global players and create more jobs for blue-collar workers in this country, but the subsequent rise in prices for everything made of those ubiquitous metals will act like a stealth tax increase that will affect those with the least incomes the most.
Everything from cars to construction materials to aluminum foil will see drastic increases due to Trump’s poorly thought out trade policy. Trump tried to explain his logic in a 280-character tweet, but his simplistic rationale, which Wall Street had already obviously rejected by its reaction, didn’t make any more sense to non-financial professionals.
When a country (USA) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win. Example, when we are down $100 billion with a certain country and they get cute, don’t trade anymore-we win big. It’s easy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 2, 2018
With a level of economic thought worthy of a children’s book, Trump’s stewardship of the economy inspires even less confidence than the last Republican President who nearly caused a long-lasting worldwide depression before the Obama administration took enough action to have it cap out as a particularly bad recession instead.
Actor Ron Perlman, a politically and economically astute observer of current events, saw the President’s tweet and couldn’t help but comment on the President’s motivations and capabilities.
Keep saber-rattling, the base loves it. Especially considering that understanding consequences requires being able to think past step 1. Isn’t ignorance just bliss!!! https://t.co/jAwNefbf4t
— Ron Perlman (@perlmutations) March 2, 2018
While Perlman’s analysis of Trump’s trained seal performance for his supporters is spot on, the President seems anything but blissful in his ignorance.
Somehow, “ignorance is willfully defiant and angry” just doesn’t have the same ring to it, though.