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Matthew Chapman
Believe it or not, Trump's insane proclamation that he will keep tariffs in place until there are no more Mercedes on Fifth Avenue gave me a moment of clarity. I think I finally understand Trump's economic philosophy now. And we are absolutely screwed.
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Matthew Chapman 1 Jun 18
Replying to @fawfulfan
The one thing that you need to understand about Trump is that he is, at his core, a con man with no empathy. Therefore, he assumes that all other people are also con men with no empathy, and every exchange of goods and services that exists in the world is, on some level, a con.
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Matthew Chapman 1 Jun 18
Replying to @fawfulfan
Trump assumes every transaction in the world — between people, businesses, nation-states, even between two different agencies of the same government — has a winner and a loser, a scammer and a sucker. He believes if you're not ripping someone off, you're getting ripped off.
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Matthew Chapman 1 Jun 18
Replying to @fawfulfan
From an economist's perspective, this is complete nonsense. Unless there are major information asymmetries or distortions of market power, and often even then, most transactions are generally to the mutual benefit of both parties. Otherwise no deals would ever get made.
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Matthew Chapman 1 Jun 18
Replying to @fawfulfan
But Trump — the man who created a fake university, made stiffed contractors, hired the mob, and filed for bankruptcy six times — cannot believe his. So he goes out of his way to cherrypick how he sees the world, so that everything we do looks like either a ripoff or a steal.
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Matthew Chapman 1 Jun 18
Replying to @fawfulfan
It's not simply that Trump *doesn't* think the Paris Climate Agreement, Iran nuclear deal, TPP, NAFTA, or luxury cars from Germany are a good deal for America. It's that he *can't* think that. It's an alien concept to him that a deal other people want with us could also help us.
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Matthew Chapman 1 Jun 18
Replying to @fawfulfan
To Trump's mind, the mere fact other countries sought out these deals with us, and that their own economies benefit, is unassailable proof we got ripped off. He can't see the evidence they helped us too. His mind will only cherry-pick potential ways it could be bad for us.
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Matthew Chapman 1 Jun 18
Replying to @fawfulfan
This is why Trump will never, ever, be able to negotiate with the rest of the world. He doesn't believe in mutual benefit. The second anyone tells him "this is your end of the deal" he'll rip it up. He believes only one party can have an end of the deal, and it shouldn't be him.
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Matthew Chapman 1 Jun 18
Replying to @fawfulfan
So folks, I hate to tell you this, but he's only getting started. He will forego billions, maybe trillions, of dollars in world trade. He will forego bilateral security agreements. And if he ever gets something from another nation it will be by force. As I said: we're screwed.
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Matthew Chapman 1 Jun 18
Replying to @fawfulfan
And we're not just screwed on foreign policy, but domestic. This explains his behavior over DACA, spiking two bipartisan deals even though they were what he asked for. He assumed if Democrats were willing to talk, his deal wasn't ripping them off, ergo it would rip him off.
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Matthew Chapman 1 Jun 18
Replying to @fawfulfan
That implies if Democrats win Congress, we are going to enter an all-out legislative standstill like we've never before seen. Our system is entirely reliant on compromise and compromise isn't compatible with Trump's beliefs. We will struggle to pass even basic reauthorizations.
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Matthew Chapman 1 Jun 18
Replying to @fawfulfan
So yeah: our nightmare is not going to end until we get this pathological con man out of office. He is not just bad at being president, he has a defective way of seeing the world that is not compatible with being president. And we will pay for it.
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