Steel, Tariffs, Trade War – Beyond Trump

7 Mar 2018

If you are interested in the issue, beyond using it as leverage to bash Trump, here is more info…

The Problem With U.S. Tariffs On Steel And Aluminum That No One Is Talking About – Forbes, 2018/03/05

Critics of the U.S. action have enumerated a number of reasons for concern, including the possibility of tit-for-tat retaliation from impacted trade partners, a further weakening of the WTO, domestic economic distortions in the U.S. as a narrow industry is protected at the expense of downstream producers, and ultimately, higher prices for consumers.

Most of these points have at least some validity, and some are entirely valid. All should be carefully weighed.

But at the same time there is another side to this coin which doesn’t receive as much attention. The simple fact of the matter is that a number of countries are undeniably engaging in unfair and even predatory trade practices in the steel and aluminum sectors which are damaging to their trade partners.

To put the magnitude of the overcapacity issue in perspective: experts maintain that the world needs about 400 million tons of excess steel capacity. Today, we have roughly 730 million tons. About half of that is in China, which has grown to be the world’s largest steel producer.

So Trump may be fighting a larger issue that goes beyond the simple relationship with other countries and the immediate impact that this would have on jobs.

Back in 2016, we put a bunch of duties and levies on Chinese steel because of their strategy to create an advantage for themselves by overproducing and lowering prices. The EU did the same thing last year.

China produces half of the world’s steel, and we now have an oversupply that’s almost double. If no action is taken, then they could likely increase their share of the world’s steel market and wipe out much of the international competition. Because of the levies and duties, we only import around 2% of our steel from China. However, they still import steel to all of the other countries and that has an effect on the global market.

There is going to be pain one way or another. Jobs would be impacted if the Chinese corner the overwhelming majority of the steel market. Jobs will be impacted if we rock the boat with these tariffs. It seems like the tariffs takes the short term pain now approach, instead of the long term pain of the Chinese cornering the market and forcing international steel producers out of business.

I am not an expert on this… I am just researching to understand the issue.


Trump Economic Adviser To Leave Trump Administration

7 Mar 2018

Trump’s top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, is leaving the White House – Business Insider, 2018/03/06

Gary Cohn, the director of the National Economic Council and President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser, is leaving his post at the White House.

The move comes after an up-and-down year in the administration that included public spats with the president and a large legislative success in the form of a tax-code overhaul.

Recently, Cohn was unable to persuade the president to forgo tariffs on steel and aluminum. Cohn attempted to convince Trump that such tariffs would be damaging to the US economy, but Trump went ahead with the new trade barriers over the objections.

Cohn’s relationship with Trump hit a rough patch when it was reported that he had been dismayed at the president’s response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August. He criticized the president’s statements about the violence in an interview with the Financial Times.

4.2 Earthquake in Oklahoma

5 Mar 2018

Damage reported after earthquakes in Oklahoma – Fox News, 2018/03/05

The U.S. Geological Survey reports the quakes hit Sunday evening near the town of Breckenridge, about 70 miles (113 kilometers) north of Oklahoma City.

Garfield County Emergency Management Director Mike Honigsberg says bricks were split or pulled from walls of homes and buildings, while cracks were reported in walls and ceilings. Smaller quakes were reported in the same area early Monday.

No injuries were reported.


Connecticut Looking For New Tax Revenue to Counter Rising Debt and Deficits

5 Mar 2018

Lawmakers Review Malloy Tax Plan – Hartford Courant, 2018/03/02

A key legislative committee debated Friday over Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s revenue package that covers hiking taxes on cigarettes, gasoline, real estate sales and hotel rooms.

As the state is facing a deficit of nearly $200 million in the current fiscal year and higher deficits in the future, the tax-writing finance committee is facing a deadline of April 6 to craft a tax package in order to balance the state’s budget.

As part of the budget, Malloy is also proposing establishing highway tolls in Connecticut for the first time in three decades and raising the gasoline tax by 7 cents per gallon over four years.

The SALT deduction in the new federal tax plan is also a factor.

The new law, signed by President Donald Trump, imposes a cap of $10,000, but many large properties in Fairfield County and around the state have real estate taxes of more than $10,000 per year. The owner of a waterfront mansion in Darien, for example, can pay as much as $80,000 per year in property taxes.

Sullivan said that 66 percent of the $10.8 billion in impact in the SALT deduction is from people with incomes ranging from $200,000 to $500,000 per year.


Think You Want To Make A Career on YouTube… Think Again

5 Mar 2018

‘Success’ on YouTube Still Means a Life of Poverty – Bloomberg, 2018/02/27

96.5 percent of all of those trying to become YouTubers won’t make enough money off of advertising to crack the U.S. poverty line, according to research by Mathias Bärtl, a professor at Offenburg University of Applied Sciences in Offenburg.

Breaking into the top 3 percent of most-viewed channels could bring in advertising revenue of about $16,800 a year, Bärtl found in an analysis for Bloomberg News.

The top 1 percent of creators garnered from 2.2 million to 42.1 million views per month in 2016, Bärtl’s research shows. Those top-tier performers often earn side money through sponsorships or other deals, so calculating their earnings is more complicated.

YouTube’s ad rates are opaque and have changed over time, but Bärtl used an income of $1 per 1,000 views for an average YouTuber to calculate his earnings estimates. That rate is a good rule of thumb, said Harry Hugo of the Goat Agency, an influencer marketing firm in London. “I’ve seen as low as 35¢ per 1,000 views and work with some YouTubers who can earn $5 per 1,000,” he said.

News millennials can use…


Services for Billy Graham Today

2 Mar 2018

Billy Graham is laid to rest – Yahoo, 2018/03/02

Evangelist Billy Graham, who preached to millions around the world in a 70-year career, will be laid to rest on Friday in his native North Carolina following a funeral service that will draw thousands of mourners including President Donald Trump.

The service for Graham, who died on Feb. 21 at age 99, comes after he lay in honor at the U.S. Capitol in recognition of a clergyman who counseled presidents and was the first noted evangelist to take his message to the Soviet bloc.

The 90-minute funeral service is scheduled to start at 12 p.m. EST.

First Crusade

Last Crusade


Two Dead at Central Michigan University

2 Mar 2018

At least two killed in shooting at Central Michigan University – The Hill, 2018/03/02

At least two people were killed on Friday after a gunman opened fire on the campus of Central Michigan University, the school said.

The two people killed were not students, and no additional injuries were reported, according to the university. The shooting is believed to have stemmed from a “domestic situation.

Authorities in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., where the school is located, were searching for a suspect they identified as 19-year-old James Eric Davis Jr., a black male, who is still at large and is considered armed and dangerous.