Hudson, who, by my primitive criteria, is one of the best (true) economics and economic history brains of our time doesn't mince the words and calls it as he sees it (correctly): Trump’s Trade Threats Are Really Cold War 2.0. Hudson correctly identifies the issue:
He opens negotiations with a threat. That costs nothing, and you never know (or at least, he never knows) whether he can get a freebee. His threat is that the U.S. can hurt its adversary unless that country agrees to abide by America’s wish-list. But in this case the list is so unrealistic that the media are embarrassed to talk about it. The US is making impossible demands for economic surrender – that no country could accept. What appears on the surface to be only a trade war is really a full-fledged Cold War 2.0.
Let's see: by now Trump and his gang of misfits and chicken-hawks headed by knightly Bolton and sophisticated Pompeo threatened pretty much most of the economically viable world. The issue here (for Trump and, by implication, the United States) is that nobody really is quaking, as Pat Buchanan put it, in their boots. Here, Hudson gives some really good rationale for this lack of quaking:
Trump’s trade tantrum is that other countries are simply following the same economic strategy that once made America great, but which neoliberals have destroyed here and in much of Europe. U.S. negotiators are unwilling to acknowledge that the United States has lost its competitive industrial advantage and become a high-cost rentier economy. Its GDP is “empty,” consisting mainly of the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate (FIRE) rents, profits and capital gains while the nation’s infrastructure decays and its labor is reduced to a part-time “gig” economy. Under these conditions the effect of trade threats can only be to speed up the drive by other countries to become economically self-reliant.
I am sincerely happy that my diagnosis of the United States, of which I am writing for years now, follows so closely Michael Hudson's. In fact, we still do not know the true scale of the loss of the key enclosed technological cycles in the US. We all know it is bad, as this terrifying report to this very same Donald Trump testifies to. Did Trump even read it? Did he get the gist of it? I am beginning to believe he didn't. Someone in his Administration did, but not him. With each passing day I only reinforce my opinion on him as one trick pony fed on a steady diet of American exceptionalism and values of New York's shady real estate business--this is not enough for trying to save such country as the United States, let alone declare and win Cold War 2.0. One really has to know the real battlefield, be that economic or, which is a whole other story in the US, military one.
The trick, however, is to explain it to the cabal of "political scientists", sociologists and other foreign relations "experts" infesting fat remuneration greased corridors of Establishment, that they know shit about either battlefields. Those who know, or understood finally, however few of them, they are out of ideas precisely for being those proverbial one trick ponies--US establishment can not produce anymore someone different. Delusion still abounds, though, with professors in basically nothing continuing to wax strategic and military when having zero qualifications for that. The world is complex, it is getting even more complex with astonishing acceleration and new ideas are needed to preserve it peaceful, even if relatively, and with some hope for the future. Current American political class cannot do it and will increasingly find itself at the curb of the humanity's highway. So, it will be left with only one thing to do, as one trick ponies know, to threaten until, as Hudson points out, they self-destruct and take the country with them. I have no problem with this cabal going down, the country? We may need to discuss that separately--I know some prescriptions are out there, the main question--WHO is going to implement them.
P.S. In a wonderful news: sue their asses into utter financial destruction! Somebody started doing this. Read excellent piece by real left-wing American:
About fvcking time.Campus Wokesters with boundary problems got “woke” for real on Thursday when an Ohio jury laid an additional $33-million for punitive damages on top of $11-million in compensatory damages already awarded against Oberlin College for running a “social justice” campaign to ruin the business of a four-generation small-town bakery that followed the shoplifting arrest of three black Oberlin College students there in 2016.