Grind for August 8th, 2018
“I’ve learned that you learn best by modeling. If you want people to learn, do it!”
– Leo Buscaglia
China imposes new tariffs on $60 billion worth of US products
China announced it would add more taxes to $60 billion in US goods just days after Trump told officials to increase tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods from 10% to 25%.
The increase is supposed to push China to the negotiating table on issues regarding trade and intellectual property theft.
China’s new policy adds a tax of between 5 and 25% to more than 4,500 US products including tequila, wine, peanut butter, chewing gum, optical cables, tractor parts, speedometers, and formaldehyde.
The new taxes will also apply to Canadian products – a move designed to cut down on the transshipment of US products through Canada.
“China’s announcement shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone,” says Americans for Farmers and Families, a coalition of agriculture companies opposed to tariffs. “Every single time we propose new trade barriers, China never fails to do the same.”
Trump’s latest tariff increase comes less than a week after he said he would give $12 billion to the agriculture industry to make up for damages caused by retaliatory tariffs – a move in part designed to mollify voters ahead of the midterm elections in November.
On the other side you have Chinese President and Communist Party leader Xi Jinping, who doesn’t have to worry about the effects of increased prices on his voter base. He also has the ability to handpick which US industries are harmed by tariffs without worrying about losing support from political donors.
In the meantime, Trump continues to assure voters the trade war will be over soon and that all US industries will be in a better position when it ends.
Ontario abandons its experiment with universal basic income
On Tuesday, the Canadian province of Ontario said it would be ending what was supposed to be a 3-year trial of “universal basic income.”
The $115 million experiment, which was designed to last until April of 2020, was launched at a time when liberal politicians controlled the provincial government.
Conservatives took control in June and decided to end the program despite earlier promises to continue it.
“It was certainly not going to be sustainable,” said Ontario politician Lisa MacLeod. “Spending more money on a broken program wasn’t going to help anyone.”
Universal basic income or “UBI” is a controversial program that provides all citizens with a basic living stipend regardless of income or social standing.
The primary argument for UBI is that it will reduce poverty and crime. The main arguments against UBI are that it will cost too much, remove the incentive to work, and hand money to criminals.
Ontario’s failed experiment was the first UBI program to be launched in North America since the 1970’s, but more are in the works.
If all goes according to plan, the city of Stockton, CA will launch a similar program later this year that will provide 100 local families with $500 per month just for living there.
GOOD TO THE LAST DROP:
Did you know… If two pieces of metal touch in space, they become permanently stuck together.