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    Attribution is such a tough game that I am not posting this to agree with trade being the cause.
    Just a signpost that the manufacturing/economy is taking a breather whatever the reason:

    Manufacturing sector contracts for the first time in nearly a decade

    Additionally, job growth has been slipping for the last three years.
    It seems likely the long data set will show the beginning of the slowdown about mid 2017.

    I guess the thing to watch for is a stumble in the housing market.
    Last edited by Trboatworks; 08-22-2019 at 05:48 PM.

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    G7 is going on this weekend. It is always interesting what comes out. It seems that the EU might also benefit in addressing the same problems with trade issues in connection with China. The EU has contributed in building China up to a strong economy which better suits the Chinese people. No one can fault China for stepping up and changing their country for the better these past 40 years or so. Nixon and the Ping Pong games are some of the first positive changes. It is much better than Korea in the early 1950’s.

    The trade issues are where the EU and the US have similar concerns. Where these issues meet they should work together on this arrangement. No harm in that really.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trueturning View Post
    The trade issues are where the EU and the US have similar concerns. Where these issues meet they should work together on this arrangement. No harm in that really.
    Oh, but there surely COULD be!

    Trump, the Chinese, and the EU?

    Similar to the <ethnic> who catches his wife in bed with another partner.

    Snatches a revolver from the nightstand, points it at his own head!

    Wife in a panic:
    NO! Don't shoot yourself! I really do love you more than I love him!

    Shut up, faithless bitch! I'll still have five shots, and you two are NEXT!

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    And so what happens if the monsoons stop.

    One of the basics of tropical ecology involves the soil depth in these regions and what occurs when the forest is stripped off.

    Desertification is of interest- the soils don’t just dry it actually stops raining.
    I studied relatively small island changes on which streams stopped flowing and the thin soil disappeared after removal of the forest.
    We are now trying this ‘terraforming’ on continental scales.
    We live in interesting times.
    How will things look in one hundred years as the small changes made today in aggregate reach their conclusion.

    5fb7fa48-2239-4342-b3b2-95c8c2a867d9.jpg 50bf7f86-6f67-44e1-a6e4-d6b513a23bd6.jpg 93045641-1517-42c4-a8bf-e51a6c6956f8.jpg

    Tropical Deforestation

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trboatworks View Post
    And so what happens if the monsoons stop.

    One of the basics of tropical ecology involves the soil depth in these regions and what occurs when the forest is stripped off.

    Desertification is of interest- the soils don’t just dry it actually stops raining.
    I studied relatively small island changes on which streams stopped flowing and the thin soil disappeared after removal of the forest.
    We are now trying this ‘terraforming’ on continental scales.
    We live in interesting times.
    How will things look in one hundred years as the small changes made today in aggregate reach their conclusion.

    5fb7fa48-2239-4342-b3b2-95c8c2a867d9.jpg 50bf7f86-6f67-44e1-a6e4-d6b513a23bd6.jpg 93045641-1517-42c4-a8bf-e51a6c6956f8.jpg

    Tropical Deforestation
    Yes there is a degradation decades in the making. National Geographic discussed how the natives in the Amazon enriched the soil so the forest grew all kinds of food thereby allowing a better life. It can be done again.

    During the dust bowl the topsoil just blew away and there was tremendous drought. There were changes that took time to recover the environment on a large scale and the efforts took a lot of time and effort. When things are so bad then the only thing that is left is to just do the right thing so it was done yet it was a lot of work.

    Dust Bowl - Wikipedia

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    I read the The Worst Hard Time a few years back.
    A fairly remarkable and damning tale on the Dust Bowl and the human factors which caused it:

    https://www.amazon.com/Worst-Hard-Ti.../dp/0618773479

    Also a easy read.
    Lord knows I need that these days...

    I’ve heard the ‘native enrichment’ ideal a few times over the years and did some small bit of reading on the topic.
    Is this a well settled ideal now?

    And a soft piece in the press for lay consumers:

    How the Amazon'&#39;'s fires, deforestation affect the U.S. Midwest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trboatworks View Post
    I read the The Worst Hard Time a few years back.
    A fairly remarkable and damning tale on the Dust Bowl and the human factors which caused it:

    https://www.amazon.com/Worst-Hard-Ti.../dp/0618773479

    Also a easy read.
    Lord knows I need that these days...

    I’ve heard the ‘native enrichment’ ideal a few times over the years and did some small bit of reading on the topic.
    Is this a well settled ideal now?
    The methods used were valid. It changed the environment to the extent soil was retained and therefore water was also retained along with increasing crops. A lot of topsoil was washed away as. Topsoil can be enhanced. Even rotating crops and the way a field is plowed can reduce carbon emissions.

    There was only one thing to do during the dust bowl and that was hard work to reverse it. It will take a lot of people yet without a good environment then people can not survive. I believe there is a tipping point in regard to ecology and eventually it will have to be addressed. That is in the future.

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    FWIW, I have a friend, an authority on food production, who sees US topsoil loss as one of the greatly underestimated challenges facing us. He's a level-headed guy, grew up on a farm as a kid, got a PhD, pretty famous in his field of microbiology, headed up our university's microbiology dept. for years.

    So, add topsoil loss to clean air, clean water, disappearing coral reefs and fish species, bees, personal and government debt, fires, storms, rising oceans, climate change, loss of truth and trust as challenges for the next generation. Topsoil is like all those challenges -- if we don't tend to it as we go -- we're handing a miserable future to our kids.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteM View Post
    FWIW, I have a friend, an authority on food production, who sees US topsoil loss as one of the greatly underestimated challenges facing us. He's a level-headed guy, grew up on a farm as a kid, got a PhD, pretty famous in his field of microbiology, headed up our university's microbiology dept. for years.

    So, add topsoil loss to clean air, clean water, disappearing coral reefs and fish species, bees, personal and government debt, fires, storms, rising oceans, climate change, loss of truth and trust as challenges for the next generation. Topsoil is like all those challenges -- if we don't tend to it as we go -- we're handing a miserable future to our kids.
    Human labor will be building up the soil with practices like done during the dust bowl and also from the Amazon culture to build up soil for food in the forests. Lately they have discovered a large Volcano which erupted in Guatemala that lowered temperature and left a cloud of dust hurting crops and effecting people. It is estimated up to 60,000 died directly from the explosion. Those survivors made it.

    It will be a lot of people doing things to the soil and newer and better ways to produce food if the temperate does warm.

    If people would just grow a raised Garden in their yard and plant some fruit trees they could save money and compost their whole yard. To me is is fun. There is nothing better than fresh fruit and vegetables. People actually can do this fairly easily and most of the time it is relaxing and enjoyable.

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    Pete I often like your take on many posts. Automation is coming for sure at least to countries which find the ROI of the costs worth it. There are still many many countries who will not have it and will make things with human labor.

    Large infrastructure projects in many countries the US and Russia along with China utilized a lot of manual labor. People must do something and those same people can still provide labor. True automation is more productive and yet human labor still will plant the crops, build roads and houses.

    Even the factories that were around in the 1860’s were powered by steam and were set up in the textile industry to produce large amounts of cloth more than a operator weaving cotton and sewing with a peddle operated machine.

    Increases in any Industrial Age does displace some and yet there are eventually things people will do. I hope that continues to be the trend given how Automation will happen.

    I hope you might see some bright spots in that regard. It is hard to see what the future will hold.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trueturning View Post
    . . . I hope you might see some bright spots in that regard. It is hard to see what the future will hold.
    I think the problems are solvable. We humans - and maybe especially we Americans (yeah, I know . . . USA-ians) -- like to have single simple bold fixes for problems. One thing to fix it all - one slice at the Gordian knot. Trump's blame game on the right and the tax automation and give people a guaranteed income idea on the left might be two examples.

    Seems to me some problems, say energy and climate or automation and jobs, just need scores of 1-5% fixes diligently applied. Sure, it would be great if we found simple-affordable-safe nuclear fusion (besides the sun) or invented the next great industry and economic system that will happily employ billions. But if and until then, there's work to be done.

    On the jobs front there are new high tech jobs -- so we need to fix education. We can also find ways to pay for stuff that needs doing - fixing potholes and infrastructure, doing a better job raising and teaching kids, renovating the nation's housing stock and so on. And we can recognize the problems of urban life (good jobs still, but traffic, pollution, crime, $$$ housing) and rural life (fewer high paying jobs, but more affordable living) need different solutions. It's good we have fifty experiments - the states -- working on things and freedom to move to the ones that might suit us better. As several here demonstrate, it's now possible to run a fairly high tech machining business most anyplace near an Interstate Highway - at least as long as trucking is affordable. And it's also possible for a kid to leave a dying rural community, get an education, and find a high tech job - at least as long as they get a decent primary education and college is affordable.

    Another part of this wanting simple fixes, is a growing disregard for implementation. Lots of our problems are due to inefficiency, poor quality, and too many skimming stuff off the top rather than doing the hard work day in and out. If there is ever a third political party that gains traction, I'd hope it would focus on improving the quality and cost-effectiveness of our military, health care, education, infrastructure, etc. Hire good people, measure results, fix what needs fixing and keep continuously improving.

    Of all the "first thing to do" fixes now being proposed by politicians, one I think is pretty simple and gets us furthest ahead is Bullock's idea for getting the hidden money out of politics. Do that and maybe we start having more honest discussions about energy, climate, drug prices, financial regulation, arms purchases, health insurance, etc. etc.

    Anyhow, I don't know of any silver bullets, but can think of a couple hundred smaller scale improvements. Do a bunch of those things and we could do just fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trueturning View Post
    Yes there is a degradation decades in the making. National Geographic discussed how the natives in the Amazon enriched the soil so the forest grew all kinds of food thereby allowing a better life. It can be done again.

    During the dust bowl the topsoil just blew away and there was tremendous drought. There were changes that took time to recover the environment on a large scale and the efforts took a lot of time and effort. When things are so bad then the only thing that is left is to just do the right thing so it was done yet it was a lot of work.

    Dust Bowl - Wikipedia
    And just what was it that "People did" to end the dust bowl? Leave?

    You attribute to man what should be reserved for the gods
    A

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    Quote Originally Posted by CalG View Post
    And just what was it that "People did" to end the dust bowl? Leave?

    You attribute to man what should be reserved for the gods
    A
    There is a big list of things from what is planted and when to very noticeable things still in place today. Notice on farms and ranches areas look squared off with green belts so to speak. These were wind breaks and can be seen all over the US.

    Planting trees and also native grasses helped stabilize the soil. It is thought the change in weather along with the area which is drier anyway in Texas, Oklahoma and middle American states in the plains.

    Many left their farms because it was all just dust and towels were put into the cracks of buildings and windows. A lot of people migrated to other parts of the country and worked as migrants.

    It is nice to review how climate will cause problems and how people survive and repair damage. Hopefully there are things we can do faced with environmental changes.

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    Those remidies take time. I grew up in North Dakota, farmed in S.Dak, It;s still a fight to get a shelter belt to stay.

    You can't just "show up" on a plot of land that is bone dry and swept of top soil and live there while "restoring the land".

    You need moisture! That's the part that we can take no credit for.

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    Apologies for departing from the discussion of topsoil decline etc., but

    Food for thought:

    Will a 25% tariff on some hypothetical Chinese-manufactured item result in some factory springing up in the US to produce said item here?
    What if nobody here makes said item?
    What if the US factories who presumably could make said item are too effing lazy to answer the phone or to reply to email inquiries requesting a quote for said item?
    What if you can sell the Chinese-manufactured item for 10-12x cost and still be competitive with the most comparable US-made item—which isn't exactly what you want anyway?

    It is entirely possible that a 50% tariff would not be a deterrent to having the said hypothetical item made in China, nor even a 100% tariff—particularly when the response of the typical US manufacturer is to raise prices and negate both the intent and the effect of protectionism. That happened with the ball bearing industry, although its demise was probably inevitable because of the devolution of ball bearings into a commodity product, thanks to modern automated machines being available everywhere. I remember not shedding a tear for those arrogant mofos and I buy ball bearings by the half ton.

    As for me, I'd just love to patronize a US manufacturer of the hypothetical item in question, but until one demonstrably wants my patronage, I guess I'll be cheerfully paying a 25% surcharge to the treasury.

    Maybe it'll be put to good use.

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    I just watched an 11 min clip. "Steve Hilton, Real populism vs fake populism". It's somehow connected to FOX news, I couldn't see a way to copy a URL .

    Any way, if what is presented is true, Trump is doing well FOR Americans.

    It is Fox News, but facts are facts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CalG View Post
    I just watched an 11 min clip. "Steve Hilton, Real populism vs fake populism". It's somehow connected to FOX news, I couldn't see a way to copy a URL .

    Any way, if what is presented is true, Trump is doing well FOR Americans.

    It is Fox News, but facts are facts.
    I looked up a bit of this Cal. At 1:50 his chart shows one thing, and he says the exact opposite. Later he suggests the average worker got a 42% wage increase under Trump. You get yours? The statistic, if true, is more likely that average wage increases coming out the recession might have been something like 1% and eight years later were a whopping 1.42%?

    What people seem to miss is that we've injected a couple trillion into the economy, of either one-time "finds" or borrowed money. Basically living on a credit card and thinking Trump must be a genius to have us "earning" so much. Sure, it's been a stimulus. But that stimulus is already wearing off -- and leaving us further in debt, with a weaker position in terms of the dollar, allies, trade, trust. Even manufacturing has contracted in the first time in a decade.

    Trump pledged to save US factories — but a key measure of manufacturing just contracted for the first time since 2009 | Markets Insider

    Meanwhile, despite all that spend, we're still paying 2x for healthcare, zip on repairing infrastructure, the world is less stable, we've rolled back regulations on the banksters, instead of draining the swamp we have the most corrupt cabinet in recent history, we've worsened the crisis at the border, Mexico still hasn't paid for the wall, Trump's bromance with Putin means the Russians are having their way with us, we have a new nuclear arms race, and our trade deficit has actually been up.

    Those would be the facts one can actually find credible sources for.

    As for many of the Democratic candidates - yeah there's plenty not to like among several of them. There's at one I seriously dislike, several without sufficient experience, and others who would heighten rather than heal our partisan divide. But we do have some better choices. Bill Weld, challenging Trump on the Republican side, is a better choice IMO. Bullock and Sestak are competent and moderate choices, perhaps alongside Biden, on the Democrat side.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteM View Post
    Meanwhile, despite all that spend, we're still paying 2x for healthcare, zip on repairing infrastructure, the world is less stable, and our trade deficit is actually up.
    You make it sound like this is a bad thing. Oh, wait...

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    I just finished watching Cal's link to the end.

    The Fox commentator's main assertion is that Trump's tariffs on China are working -- and he challenges anyone to come up with their own plan.

    For several years that plan has been clear. Aim to have the US be the top quality workplace-safe producer AND acknowledge the reality of climate change and the need to put fewer greenhouse gases into the air during manufacturing. Put countervailing tariffs on China to level the playing field (to the extent they steal IP, employ child labor, don't honor warranties, and especially burn billions of tons of coal in manufacturing). Might end up with the same level of tariffs, but it's done in a predictable and justified way that passes muster with allies and trade partners. It also dings despots (Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia) whose main source of income is oil (by reducing the value of their prime export). That leaves China scrambling on two fronts. First to stop polluting, stealing IP etc. -- and open up their records. Second, to face US manufacturers now competing on a level playing field.


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