New information has emerged regarding North Korea’s latest missile, provided by North Korea itself. President Trump, however, despite loud Twitter threats to destroy North Korea if it continues to threaten the US, has astonishingly failed to roll out the most important weapon it has against North Korea and its Chinese protector, short of war: all-out sanctions on the Chinese banks that have been financing the Kim Jong-un regime. Reportedly it is Trump’s advisers from Goldman Sachs who have been curbing such action for fear of jeopardizing their former firm’s deals now being negotiated with the Chinese government.
During his presidential election campaign, candidate Trump pilloried his leading rival Ted Cruz as a Goldman Sachs proxy. Once elected, however, President Trump appointed a number of Goldman Sachs alumni to top posts.
The administration is, however, quite correctly joining the European Union in rejecting China’s application to the World Trade Organization (WTO) for market economy status. If granted, market economy status would shield China from billions of dollars in duties levied against its exports. But China, with its huge state ownership of both state firms and partial holdings in the private sector, isn’t even close to being a market economy. If the US and European Union win this important case now before the WTO, the Trump administration’s spurious claim that the WTO is biased against it will have little credibility. (Claims that President Trump is just emulating President Reagan’s protectionism are also ill-supported.)
The Chinese dictatorship meanwhile is trying to pretty up Beijing by evicting in the middle of the cold Beijing night farmers who migrated without permission to the capital city in hopes of escaping rural poverty. The government’s cruelty is being widely criticized by Beijing inhabitants, who of course are seeing their web criticisms immediately taken down by the dictatorship’s censors. Thus, the rural population is kept in feudal servitude by being tied to the countryside or economically undesirable smaller cities, while the more educated urban population is denied any speech rights in the public square. In this respect, the Xi Jinping regime’s domestic policy mirrors its sponsorship of the region’s most oppressive regimes, such as North Korea and Myanmar.
Japan stepping up
One country in East Asia that is not kowtowing to Xi Jinping is Japan under recently re-elected Prime Minister Shinzō Abe:
“Japan will now start deliberately rearming and aiding her neighbors, with the pace determined by China’s aggressiveness. If China does not abandon her current expansionist territorial policy, but rather attempts nuclear blackmail against her neighbors, at the end of the day, Japan will match that too, with her own nuclear force, checkmating China. This will bring an armed peace.”
US economy thriving
“The U.S. economy’s growth rate last quarter was revised upward to the fastest in three years on stronger investment from businesses and government agencies than previously estimated, Commerce Department data showed Wednesday,” Bloomberg Markets reports. This was seconded by the Wall Street Journal, which notes:
“The U.S. economy is running at its full potential for the first time in a decade, a new milestone for an expansion now in its ninth year….This is a measure of the economy’s potential to produce goods and services based on the supply of people working and how productive they are. It was the first time actual gross domestic product had exceeded potential GDP since the fourth quarter of 2007, suggesting the nation’s economic resources are being used efficiently.”
Democratic Party corruption
The Democratic Party has not only been reeling from sex scandals that have hit its celebrity supporters — the latest being NBC’s Matt Lauer — but shocking new evidence has emerged of the Obama administration’s cover-up of the security scandal surrounding Hillary Clinton’s private email server. This short Fox News video has the story.
Meanwhile such bulwarks of rigorous Democratic Party intellectual support as Vogue and the Huffington Post are powerfully retaliating — with criticism of First Lady Melania Trump’s Christmas decor for the White House! Perhaps a future Democratic administration will combat racism by renaming the presidential mansion.
Hat tips: Eaglebeak, Nicomachus
Click here for yesterday’s Founders Broadsheet (“North Korea decision time: deter or prevent”)