back to article Prez Trump's trade war reshapes electronics supply chains as China production slows

The ongoing trade war between two of the world’s largest economies is starting to seemingly affect electronics production – with US output growing slightly faster than it did a year ago, and production in China slowing down. According to Semiconductor Intelligence (SC-IQ), the first quarter of 2019 saw electronics production …

  1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    It all gets paid for by We The People.

    The corporations pay more to bring it in, the sellers pay more to stock their shelves, & all of it gets passed along to the end purchaser.

    Those whom fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it, and Trump didn't just fail history class, he skipped it altogether.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: It all gets paid for by We The People.

      But Trump is telling us that the Chinese are paying the duties. I think Economics 101 was also skipped.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: It all gets paid for by We The People.

        He was used to his father paying his failures. Then people he borrowed money from. He still thinks economy works that way.

    2. Chris Parsons
      Headmaster

      Re: It all gets paid for by We The People.

      WHO - it is a subject, not an object.

    3. Balding Greybeard

      Re: It all gets paid for by We The People.

      Yes, initially tariffs are paid by “We The People”.

      And over time China pays as multi-national suppliers move production elsewhere and manufacturers’ goods in other countries look cheaper in comparison.

      I’ve been to China twice on business. On both occasions Chinese government officials screwed with us. Stupid stuff; for example the United Airlines plane I was traveling home on was ‘heavy’. Captain asks for the longer runway. Air Traffic Control says no. Captain taxies the plane to a remote spot, revs up the engines for 20m to burn off fuel to make the plane lighter.

      China will receive its due karma for stealing and f*cking with foreigners.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: It all gets paid for by We The People.

        "On both occasions Chinese government officials screwed with us."

        Then why continue to do business with China at all?

        This is what I don't get about the complaints about China's business practices. Yes, they're generally valid -- but the solution is to not do business with them. A war by the government to force them to do business differently strikes me as unnecessary and arguably immoral.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It all gets paid for by We The People.

        “I’ve been to China twice on business. On both occasions Chinese government officials screwed with us.”

        I’ve been to China about 25 times on business (only counting the last decade, I can’t be bothered to check previous passports), on about 8 different airlines. I haven’t been screwed by government officials at all. I have been to the US on business twice, and on holiday once. On 2 of those occasions I received a third degree interrogation on what exactly I was doing there. In both cases : I am an EU citizen, all paperwork in order.

        So what, exactly, is your point ?

      3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: It all gets paid for by We The People.

        China will receive its due karma for stealing

        Like the US did? First it was the land of the natives, then the British IP..

  2. Dabbb Bronze badge

    Allow me to remind you

    that outsourcing manufacturing to cheaper countries is no different from outsourcing your high paid IT job to cheaper countries, it just affects different people.

    And yet some, if not most, The Reg readers in some stunning act of mental acrobatics support former but oppose to latter.

    Go figure.

    1. Kiwi Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Allow me to remind you

      Allow me to remind you that outsourcing manufacturing to cheaper countries is no different from outsourcing your high paid IT job to cheaper countries, it just affects different people.

      It gets even stupider with the twits who go to Ali Express, Amazon etc rather than using local firms (from a Kiwi perspective).

      Keep trying to get people to understand that if we all buy seemingly cheap stuff from overseas, then no one in our country will be generating any real income. The fewer people in NZ generating income, the fewer people spending with local businesses. The fewer spending locally, the less likely it is they will spend with your business.

      When I was like 9 years old I selfishly drooled over the model trains I could more realistically buy with the massive reductions in trade tariffs/import duties that were going on around that time. I've grown up much since then, and seen many big employers and a hell of a lot of small employers close down or move overseas.

      Horridly, that almost means I'm agreeing with Chump. I'll have to get myself checked into a mental health clinic forthwith to make sure there's nothing seriously wrong with me (well, nothing new anyway)

      (--> El Reg - we need a "wistful remembering[*]" icon!)

      [*] - yeah, you know what I mean. Unfortunately the right word just ain't coming to my mind right now!

      1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Allow me to remind you

        I have no problem with buying local, but no-one is making things locally (save for the Raspberry Pi but that seems to be doing just fine).

        There's also the PHB propensity saw a leg off to save weight thus killing a viable and previously stable (but boring) tech company.

        I'm also curious as to where Malaysia and Singapore fits into that picture since both Intel and Global foundries manufacturer in that neck of the woods.

        1. jmch Silver badge

          Re: Allow me to remind you

          "I have no problem with buying local, but no-one is making things locally "

          ...and the reason for that is that most people go fr the cheaper option rather than spend more for a local product.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Allow me to remind you

            "and the reason for that is that most people go fr the cheaper option rather than spend more for a local product."

            If the local retailers source from abroad rather than locally the punters have no option. The only way round it would have been for your local sweatshop to set up its own retail outlets once M&S or whoever deserted them.

          2. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: Allow me to remind you

            "and the reason for that is that most people go fr the cheaper option rather than spend more for a local product."

            Perhaps, but at this point, that's neither here nor there. Whatever the reason that some things aren't produced locally, if they aren't produced locally, then you can't buy them locally no matter how much you may want to, or how much you're willing to pay.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Allow me to remind you

          "I'm also curious as to where Malaysia and Singapore fits into that picture since both Intel and Global foundries manufacturer in that neck of the woods."

          Under WTO rules, import tariffs on goods apply to those goods no matter where they imported from unless you have a trade agreement with the exporting country for those particular goods. All these "Chinese" goods having tariffs applied to them are almost certainly affecting other exporters to the US market since the US no longer likes comprehensive free trade agreements.

          1. localzuk

            Re: Allow me to remind you

            The problem is @john brown (no body), that the US is possibly breaking WTO rules and applying the tariffs only to China. It is targeting them because it believes China is breaking the rules themselves.

            1. JohnFen Silver badge

              Re: Allow me to remind you

              "It is targeting them because it believes China is breaking the rules themselves"

              Which excuses nothing. If the US really believes that China is violating WTO rules, then there is an existing mechanism to handle that -- which is why I'm severely skeptical about that being the reason.

              But I agree that the current administration probably doesn't care about breaking WTO rules. It doesn't appear to care about the rule of law when that's inconvenient for them or won't result in the outcome they want.

              1. Bugsy11

                Re: Allow me to remind you

                "If the US really believes that China is violating WTO rules, then there is an existing mechanism to handle that"

                The existing mechanism is a joke and takes years to get anything done. Trump's method seems to be hitting the nail on the head much faster.

                1. Kiwi Silver badge

                  Re: Allow me to remind you

                  "If the US really believes that China is violating WTO rules, then there is an existing mechanism to handle that"

                  The existing mechanism is a joke and takes years to get anything done. Trump's method seems to be hitting the nail on the head much faster.

                  Only it's a screw, not a nail, and it's getting wrecked.

                  When you're bozo the groping clown everything looks like something you want to nail....

      2. Da Weezil

        Re: Allow me to remind you

        The problem with buying locally for me is the lethargy of local suppliers....

        You recall the Simpsons Stonecutters episode? In the flooded basement scene, where the plumber says "If I ordered the part today.... which I wont..." That sums up local suppliers here, if I want it in less than 3 days I have to go online... where generally I can get it in 24 hours.

        No.. not Outer Mongolia or the middle of the Sahara.... this is West Wales!

        Wait longer AND pay more... yeah Im gonna do that out of altruism....

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Allow me to remind you

          My problem with buying local is it is a pointless objective in of itself. I want the best, the one that does the job and does it well without breaking the bank. On a single income supporting an out of work disabled dependent is not cheap, and I wont go out of my way to make it more expensive.

          I dont consider buying local a pro or con. I am glad for a reliable car instead of what the UK used to produce. I am glad for food that costs a small percentage of my wage and I dont care how many trips it had to make. I am glad for the mobile phone which is only a mass produced and ubiquitous technology because of global trade (and many of us remember it being a new technology with battery pack).

          I care about the quality, the price, sometimes the time it takes to arrive, the quality of service and customer care. If it is made in Britain or not is so far down my priority list it practically doesnt exist. But then in my line of work we cater for the domestic and international market.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Allow me to remind you

            "But then in my line of work we cater for the domestic and international market."

            As a matter of interest what do you anticipate the impact to be when part of your domestic market becomes part of your international market?

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: Allow me to remind you

              @Doctor Syntax

              "As a matter of interest what do you anticipate the impact to be when part of your domestic market becomes part of your international market?"

              It wont. This is why I am happy to ignore a lot of crying and toy throwing from the cradle because a fair amount of it is nothing more than hot air. I wont be surprised if there is an upsurge in domestic work but unless the EU literally decides to cut itself off from the UK market then there will be little difference. Of course the USSR and N Korea have gone with the lock-down approach so it is possible the EU could but do you think thats likely?

              1. Kiwi Silver badge

                Re: Allow me to remind you

                "As a matter of interest what do you anticipate the impact to be when part of your domestic market becomes part of your international market?"

                It wont. This is why I am happy to ignore a lot of crying and toy throwing from the cradle because a fair amount of it is nothing more than hot air.

                Seen that..

                NZ will always have it's ability to service large ships as we're too remote to go anywhere else and.. Wait, why are you buggering off to Singapore? Why is that tanker being towed by a sea-going tug? Why are our passenger ferries being drawn off?

                At least we'll always have our airline service industry, one of the best and most respected in the world. Plus it's kind of a captive market, once they land if they need work they have to have it done here and.. Hey, where are all those planes going?

                Oh well.. At least our local power infrastructure will be serviced by local companies, also world respected and.. What's this container load of imported switch gear doing in what used to be the factory floor?

                NZ innovated very well and punched way above its weight because we had to. We were way too far from anywhere to get anything imported, so we either had to make it ourselves or make do with what we had. We had some of the best engineers and innovators, people used to taking a little and making it do a lot. We exported much of our technology and imported relatively little. We also had 0 unemployment and low crime rates.

                But then shipping got cheaper and faster, and coms got much faster. We now have high unemployment, high crime, and most of our production has gone off-shore. Entire industries have disappeared from our shores and the products are now made in Chinese sweat shops. I saw a number of places suddenly sell up their local stake and ship all of their production to China. And as someone else pointed out, there was suddenly no reason to keep the head office here either. Oh, and the knowledgeful engineers and coders and the like? Well those who could speak Chinese got to stay on and train their replacements. Those who weren't able to train their replacements got an early redundancy package.

                We do produce a surprising amount of "hot air" with our political aspirations and our "knowledge economy".

                Used to be one person working 40 hours/week could easily feed a family of 5 and pay off the mortgage in 5-10 years. Now 2 people with no kids working full time and on >150K between them could just as well be sleeping in their car because they cannot find a place they can afford to rent.

                If it can happen to a place as remote as NZ, there's a fair bet it can happen to your firm. Keep some spare boxes near your desk. Or do something to prevent following in our footsteps.

          2. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: Allow me to remind you

            "My problem with buying local is it is a pointless objective in of itself."

            It's only pointless if you don't care about how well your local economy does.

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: Allow me to remind you

              @JohnFen

              "It's only pointless if you don't care about how well your local economy does."

              And as I said, I dont. When I get in my car I want to know I can safely get from A to B. There is no comfort in breaking down but knowing I kept people in jobs they dont do very well.

              I want a good and healthy diet without it leaving me unable to pay other bills, that is far more important to me than keeping someone in an overpaid job.

              Who I keep off the dole is less important to me than something that works, I can afford and is reliable. I have 1 wage for 2 adult people. I can imagine how much worse parents have it especially single parents who would probably prefer to survive than have a warm fuzzy feeling of keeping someone else living well for doing a bad job.

              1. Kiwi Silver badge

                Re: Allow me to remind you

                "It's only pointless if you don't care about how well your local economy does."

                And as I said, I dont.

                You should.

                Some years back I used to support a couple of kids. The wrecked economy of their land meant both parents (him a doctor and her a school teacher) working full time could not even match the paltry $10NZ I was contributing each week.

                Look at the places that've had massive inflation. Think your car will keep running when you cannot afford to buy petrol? Or when expensive parts like spark plugs are each worth a few years of your salary?

                As to healthy eating, if you have space grow your own food - as much as you can. It is something I can honestly say was life-changing for me - much less stress (when the missus pisses me off I can piss off out the back and do something creative, productive, fulfilling and de-stressing at whatever pace suits - not to mention tasty!), got me back into eating veges after a couple of decades of being a meatetarian (though I did eat plenty of delicious and healthy white bread...),

                Certainly, when you food is produced locally you can bet it's fresher and less likely to have been exposed to pollution. Of course, you could also import your melaninmilk powder from China, but it might taste a bit odd and you might feel a bit funny for a while.

                Being able to get stuff done locally is a lot more convenient for someone who has to work. Knowing your local tradie can get the job done and will do it well is much easier than hoping the cheap knock-off firm will not only send you the right parts, but also that the parts will actually work.

                I purchased a "rotary tool" (wot we used to call 'Dremels") today, and spent some time talking with the people behind the counter to be sure the tool I brought and the accessories with it would do the job I wanted. Turns out there was some stuff that'd be really useful that's NOT in the standard kit. I could've sat at home and ordered it, but no matter what I got I'd have not had the expertise avaiaalble that got me a much better product for only a little more that is much more likely to do what I want, and with the best accessories for the job I will be doing this weekend as well. If I got it online, in a weeks time I'd get something that would turn out to maybe do the job, but not as easily as I'd like.

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: Allow me to remind you

                  @Kiwi

                  "Some years back I used to support a couple of kids. The wrecked economy of their land meant both parents (him a doctor and her a school teacher) working full time could not even match the paltry $10NZ I was contributing each week."

                  A few decades back we had rolling blackouts, crap cars and high unemployment. That was protectionism at work. The US has high employment, the UK has high employment and the EU proper is still not great. Economically the US and UK are doing ok (even with Trump's trade protections) and the EU is barely above recession.

                  "Look at the places that've had massive inflation. Think your car will keep running when you cannot afford to buy petrol? Or when expensive parts like spark plugs are each worth a few years of your salary?"

                  Well said, that would be a horrific situation. Luckily buying from the global market brings down prices and lowers inflation because the local provider has to provide the product and not rip people off as they do. Otherwise they lose out to someone else even in other countries. This is why the US tariffs against Chinese steel has cost the US population not China.

                  "As to healthy eating, if you have space grow your own food - as much as you can. It is something I can honestly say was life-changing for me - much less stress"

                  That is a great hobby if your into it. Tbh I would kill it all off, I am not green thumbed at all. But for the price of seeds, effort and purchasing items to do it I can buy much cheaper and much more varied choice from many outlets competing for my business by providing globally sourced options.

                  "Certainly, when you food is produced locally you can bet it's fresher and less likely to have been exposed to pollution. Of course, you could also import your melaninmilk powder from China, but it might taste a bit odd and you might feel a bit funny for a while."

                  The UK doesnt and probably cant produce enough food for its population. Growing at home is a hobby but it wont sustain you for any real length of time without a large garden dedicated to food. And of course there have been a number of scandals just from within the EU for food. I also dont have room for a slaughterhouse and to keep the raw and walking food.

                  "Being able to get stuff done locally is a lot more convenient for someone who has to work."

                  Really? I found it convenient to order food, well crafted tools, entertainment, electronics, etc all online. I find it convenient to read reviews of products before buying and I would hate to look to buy a car before the age of internet shopping, because I remember it.

                  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                    Re: Allow me to remind you

                    "A few decades back we had rolling blackouts, crap cars and high unemployment."

                    Yes, I remember it. Then we joined the EEC and to take the place of the moribund motor industry the Japanese manufacturers arrived in the UK to set up European manufacturing bases.

                    We did well to avoid the Euro - we're in agreement there. I doubt that we'll be able to dodge that bullet next time round.

                    1. codejunky Silver badge

                      Re: Allow me to remind you

                      @Doctor Syntax

                      "Yes, I remember it. Then we joined the EEC and to take the place of the moribund motor industry the Japanese manufacturers arrived in the UK to set up European manufacturing bases."

                      And so with open markets looking far and wide things improved. And then the EU was created... go back to the US/UK/EU comparison and we should avoid the EU isolationism.

                      "We did well to avoid the Euro - we're in agreement there. I doubt that we'll be able to dodge that bullet next time round."

                      With the severe desire to remain we may possibly not dodge the bullet. But the fact that we voted out shows a lot of us are trying to dodge that bullet.

                      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                        Re: Allow me to remind you

                        "But the fact that we voted out shows a lot of us are trying to dodge that bullet."

                        I think the consequence of that vote will be a need to get back in once the economic consequences of that work through. The price of that is a long term worry.

                        1. codejunky Silver badge

                          Re: Allow me to remind you

                          @Doctor Syntax

                          "I think the consequence of that vote will be a need to get back in once the economic consequences of that work through. The price of that is a long term worry."

                          I know thats what you think. Just as I am trying to avoid the same economic consequences by supporting leave.

        2. Kiwi Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Allow me to remind you

          The problem with buying locally for me is the lethargy of local suppliers....

          There's your problem. You've done nothing to improve the local suppliers, instead you've dumped them altogether without even letting them know you exist.

          What sort of work do you do? Do you rely on locals buying your product? Maybe they should all go overseas.

          Have you tried to get decent knowledge on vehicle parts or other things recently? Last year I went hunting for valve lapping tools. None of the big-box "auto enthusiast" car parts stores sold them or even had staff who knew what they were, despite running adverts where they show someone who can tell you what car an oil filter fits just by the stain a used filter leaves on a sheet of paper (or something like that). A slightly more expensive but much much much much much more quality parts/tools etc seller that is also local (not nation-wide or international such as the big-box lot) had what I needed and also the appropriate compounds to go with it. And as it was my first go with a bike head we sat down over a coffee and chatted while I worked in their shop under their experienced eyes (though it was also their first go with a bike as well).

          So talk to your locals. Let them know they've lost business thanks to being slow, and give them the chance to improve. Make them your first port of call.

          I prefer to have bits in my hands and people I can talk with especially when I am doing something out-of-the-ordinary (hey, one of my bikes once was part Suzuki part Railway station so....[*]) The knowledge of experience and having someone to take stuff back to when it doesn't fit is invaluable. I have gone the ebay route sometimes, but either when stuff simply isn't available or - like in the case of Honda - stupidly expensive, eg another bike's gasket kit is $80 delivered from Ebay whereas from Honda local it's >$700 - but even the local dealers say "Don't buy Honda parts". OTOH, consumables and common parts are easier to obtain, I get to have a friendly chat with knowledgeable people, and I know it'll fit and if it doesn't I can have it back to them and swapped for the proper part inside an hour.

          Or.. everyone can go to overseas firms (or Amazon et al) for their stuff. Just bear in mind what that will do to your local economy - your house prices, the options for and quality of food, and of course your own job which might disappear to one of those foreign firms you prefer. In the long run, buying from overseas isn't cheaper, but when you learn that it's far to late.

          [*] A remodel of the station.. An item that was in the scrap pile that fitted exactly[2] what I needed to replace on the bike that, due to age, wasn't available as an OEM part'

          [2] Well near enough to exactly. Only someone familiar with the bike would notice, if they looked hard enough.

          1. A.P. Veening

            Re: Allow me to remind you

            So talk to your locals. Let them know they've lost business thanks to being slow, and give them the chance to improve. Make them your first port of call.

            Been there and done that, net result a flat zero as it invariably is a part I won't need for at least another year once I have it, but when I need it, I both need and want it asap, speed usually being more important than how much I really need to pay for it. So yes, they know they lost a sale and gained a reputation for selling "no", meaning in the future I am less likely to even see if by any chance they have it, sparing me wasted time and effort. On the other hand, the rare shops that have what I need can count on return visits from me and I am not shy about letting them know that either.

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Allow me to remind you

            "None of the big-box "auto enthusiast" car parts stores sold them"

            Chain stores all work like that these days. They are almost all servicing debts due to expansion, acquisitions or they've been bought out and are run by bean counters. This means they look at the revenue generation per square metre and optimise it for maximum profits. Any product that doesn't have a fast turnaround gets dropped which means you can only buy the same things the majority buy.

            The days of the small local shop, especially hardware shops, which stock everything, including that special sized tap washer that's been on the shelf or in the back store room for a decade, are either gone or going.

            Our local supermarkets have gone the same way. Gradually, more and more products are disappearing from the shelves only to have their spaces filled with larger displays of the common stuff, usually one brand name, and two "own brand", one cheap one "premium". This even includes the local ASDA/Walmart superstore with something like 30,000 lines or the local B&Q DIY. If you want anything slightly out of the ordinary, they don't stock it.

          3. Da Weezil

            Re: Allow me to remind you

            Ah.... $ currency, you are clearly unfamilar with the situation in the rural UK. Successive recessions have left the place devoid of small stores, just the big chains that will happily serve you with what they think you want, but not anything that I NEED.

            For Example, the local motor factor that serves the trade prefer to batch order so my part may not be even be ordered for near 24 hours, the alternative is Halfords, who have a great range of camping gear and cycling gear and oils and fuzzy dice and even stupid racing pedal sets, but NOT the rear wheel bearing assembly I need for my car.

            Additionally, in many fields, the Stupidity and shortsighteness of the government in power throughout the 1980s means we lost most of our engineering skills and capability in the rush to become the nice clean "service economy" while common grubby and dirty engineering was sold off to overseas companies or left to wither and die because the country didnt need it in the bright new future that somehow never arrived.

          4. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: Allow me to remind you

            "None of the big-box "auto enthusiast" car parts stores sold them or even had staff who knew what they were"

            Even if they did, the big-box stores are almost certainly buying them from Chinese manufacturers, so that doesn't count as buying from a local producer.

            1. Kiwi Silver badge

              Re: Allow me to remind you

              "None of the big-box "auto enthusiast" car parts stores sold them or even had staff who knew what they were"

              Even if they did, the big-box stores are almost certainly buying them from Chinese manufacturers, so that doesn't count as buying from a local producer.

              If it's made locally then buy locally. If not, at least by buying from a local store I have it immediately and I help someone to eat locally. Especially if the company is fully locally owned even if they import most of their wares.

              As mentioned above, the stuff you need is not stocked by the bigger firms because it's not common. At least with some real knowledge they know what I want and can order it in if they don't stock it.

              The big focus on cheapness and convenience will only make "Idiocracy" a documentary. We're already seeing scary amounts of that today :(

          5. Chris G Silver badge

            Re: Allow me to remind you

            "There's your problem. You've done nothing to improve the local suppliers, instead you've dumped them altogether without even letting them know you exist."

            I live in Spain, where to get basic car spares or electronic parts will involve a week or weeks of waiting and then paying at least double what I would pay ordering myself from the UK or other parts of Europe, Spanish workshops have their systems and won't change so they lose my business.

            For some items nobody can compete with Chinese (or indeed US) goods on value for money so I buy there, why would I buy locally and get goods that are either overpriced or inferior?

            Any business worth the description ought to be aware of it's potential and actual markets and have some idea of where it's successes and failures are, if they want my help in supporting their business they need to provide the customer with what they want not rely on patriotism.

            1. JohnFen Silver badge

              Re: Allow me to remind you

              I understand what you're saying and yes, if I can't get adequate quality from a local producer, then I don't buy from that producer (cost is a different issue).

              That said...

              "not rely on patriotism."

              Buying as local as possible is not a matter of patriotism, it's a matter of economics and your own self-interest. Buying things that are produced as local to you as possible improves the economy near you. That directly benefits you in a material way.

              It also encourages new products to be manufactured in your area where they weren't before. If companies see that there is a market, they will address that market.

              We all affect and are affected by the economic behavior of our neighbors, and the closer those neighbors are to us, the greater that effect.

        3. Kiwi Silver badge

          Re: Allow me to remind you

          In the flooded basement scene, where the plumber says "If I ordered the part today.... which I wont..."

          Oblig Dilbert

      3. m0rt Silver badge

        Re: Allow me to remind you

        "(--> El Reg - we need a "wistful remembering[*]" icon!)

        [*] - yeah, you know what I mean. Unfortunately the right word just ain't coming to my mind right now!"

        Oh how I am so nostalgic for the wistful remembering we used to get when I was young...

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Allow me to remind you

          And when we were young the right word came more easily.

          1. Sanguma
            Unhappy

            Re: Allow me to remind you

            Nothing's like it used to was, mostly my memory and my grammar ...

        2. Kiwi Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Allow me to remind you

          Oh how I am so nostalgic for the wistful remembering we used to get when I was young...

          I don't think that's quite the word I was after, but it is somewhat reminiscent of it.... :)

      4. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Allow me to remind you

        "It gets even stupider with the twits who go to Ali Express, Amazon etc rather than using local firms (from a Kiwi perspective)."

        For everything I buy, I buy from the most local producer that I can. But there is a wide swath of things that there are no local producers at all for.

        1. Kiwi Silver badge

          Re: Allow me to remind you

          "It gets even stupider with the twits who go to Ali Express, Amazon etc rather than using local firms (from a Kiwi perspective)."

          For everything I buy, I buy from the most local producer that I can. But there is a wide swath of things that there are no local producers at all for.

          I'm much the same. Priortise on made near me, made in my country, made by a locally owned company, made by a NZ owned company, sold by a local/NZ owned company, sold by somewhere overseas.

          Quality and price can come in to it - but there has to be a significant price difference or quality difference for me to choose non-local over local. I'm also quite happy to wait patiently for stuff. There really is very little I need "right now".

          But I am one of these stupid people who will pay $70 and wait 3 weeks for a well-made part that I could get in an untested Chinese made version for $50 and wait one week off ebay. Then again, I have known people who've come to grief with the cheap Chinese stuff.

          I do have bits of cheap Chinese stuff in my loaner and road toolboxes (so if it gets nicked so what? Serves them right if it snaps on them and hurts them!), but that was simply a matter of buying what I could afford at the time, and as I get better quality stuff I put the lower quality stuff into other boxes.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Allow me to remind you

      You are right, but it's exactly people like Trump & C. only interested in maximizing their profits at the expense of everybody else, while avoiding to pay taxes and killing state services like education and healthcare , that led to the actual situation.

      There are many good reasons to adopt a stronger stance with China, but pure political self-interest is not one of them - especially while trying to kill the few workers' rights US still have.

      1. deadlockvictim Silver badge

        Re: Allow me to remind you

        LDC: but it's exactly people like Trump & C. only interested in maximizing their profits at the expense of everybody else

        A recent investigation into the president’s taxes found that his businesses lost over $1 billion from 1985 to 1995, suggesting he lost more money in those years than nearly any other U.S. taxpayer. Trump & profits don't always go hand-in-hand.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Allow me to remind you

      "outsourcing manufacturing to cheaper countries is no different from outsourcing your high paid IT job"

      Hmm. Maybe from an accountants point of view. I think there are some differences. In many cases, you will have to outsource manufacturing to cheaper countries because either the expertise is not available in the locale or the price difference is astronomical. However, if you divest your company of all its expertise, then there is little point in having anything in the locale and therefore you ship R&D, Development, IT, Manufacture to cheaper country. At this point, there is no point in holding the company in the locale because you can be taxed less if you move the headquarters and listing too. At which point, you have lost everything to the cheaper country.

      You could argue that the cheaper country then becomes richer and the cost of manufacturing goes up and the locale becomes the cheap country because it no longer has any high paying jobs.

      None of this matters if you keep the management, r&d, engineering, etc in the locale. But that is not what is happening in my locale because slowly we are all turning into service industries for the new manufacturing/IT/design/technology hotspots developing elsewhere.

      The Middle Kingdom and others understand this, which is why they throw money at education, infrastructure, R&D and business grants at the expense of the majority of their population.

      I think we have much to learn and fear from the Middle Kingdom.

  3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    It's the economy stupid

    So we borrow money to pay the hardworking midwest farmers hit by retaliatory sanctions in order to boost the Taiwanese electronics industry?

    What's it called when the means of production all work for the government ? I'm pretty sure it isn't capitalism

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: It's the economy stupid

      The "hardworking midwest farmers' aren't going to see any of that money.

      As Trump very well knows, the money collected from tariffs is not his to give away to them even if he wanted to (and spoiler: he wouldn't if it was). That would be "spending", which needs to be authorised by Congress. All he's trying to achieve with that promise is to make himself look good at Congress's expense.

    2. NATTtrash
      Joke

      Re: It's the economy stupid

      The mind boggles! Things are changing so fast that I can't keep up any more!

      So, if I understand correct...

      So we borrow money to pay the hardworking midwest farmers hit by retaliatory sanctions...

      That means that Trump, the Republican, the capitalist is actually a socialist/ communist? Because I think i can remember some discussions about "let the market sort it out", "state intervention", or even "state sponsoring". Accompanied by pointing fingers that was.

      Then again, maybe The Donald™ is just doing this so he eventually can have his big (communist) military parade...

      1. el kabong

        Not exactly, Trump is a capitalist but he wants all others to be socialists

        Trump's ideal world would look like this: 1) Trump on the receiving end of socialism and Trump on the sending end of capitalism; 2) All others on the sending end of socialism while simultaneously on the receiving end of capitalism.

        That's Trump's vision and to him it looks beautiful, absolutely beautiful. I suspect Trump will not be able to execute fully on his vision but he's trying hard to get it done, you cannot blame Trump for not trying.

        A country (ideally the whole world) of socialists working harder and harder for the benefit of the only capitalist left standing: Donald Trump.

        Beautiful!

      2. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: It's the economy stupid

        "That means that Trump, the Republican, the capitalist is actually a socialist/ communist?"

        Trump and the modern Republican party are all in favor of socialism so long as it only applies to corporations.

    3. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: It's the economy stupid

      I'm not sure that we're even helping the Vietnamese/Taiwanese economies that much. I can't help suspecting that all that's being accomplished in many cases is to cause Chinese produced goods to make an short stop in Hanoi or Taipei on their way from Chinese factories to the port of Wilmington-Long Beach.

  4. aberglas

    Trump's logic is skewed

    But there is potential for real trouble with China which is growing ever more repressive domestically, and somewhat more aggressive internationally.

    So reducing one's dependence upon them for all things makes some sense from a security perspective, even if it will cost a bit economically.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Trump's logic is skewed

      It will cost more than a "bit". Far more.

      Those industries than can will move, but most will not. Prices will rise and stay there.

      A great example is consumer electronics. 85% of which are made in China.

      Also China has a world market, not just America.

      This is last ditch move by a country which can no longer innovate in the consumer market by trying to stop the new up and comer.

      1. vtcodger Silver badge

        Re: Trump's logic is skewed

        "Those industries than can will move"

        Perhaps. But mostly not to the US one suspects. Those with long memories will perhaps recall that the original arguments against NAFTA focused on the cheap labor available in Mexico. The initial result of NAFTA was the construction of numerous factories (Maquiladora) along the Mexican side of the US-Mexico border for the manufacture of consumer goods for the US. Maquiladora can surely return.

        BTW, anyone have any good recipes for soybeans? I'm told they are going to be real cheap in the US this year.

        1. A.P. Veening

          Re: Trump's logic is skewed

          BTW, anyone have any good recipes for soybeans? I'm told they are going to be real cheap in the US this year.

          Just convert them to tofu and export (but not to PRC).

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Trump's logic is skewed

      It could make it even more aggressive, especially the gorilla way Trump thinks is the only way 'to make deals'

      1. vtcodger Silver badge

        Re: Trump's logic is skewed

        It does appear that The Donald learned his "negotiating skills" on the school yard extorting lunch money from the pockets of eight year olds.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Trump's logic is skewed

          Pretty much. Trump learned how to business in the New York real estate market, which is notoriously corrupt and believes that "negotiation" means "beat people up until they cave".

  5. DougS Silver badge

    China has the upper hand and Trump is too stupid to see it

    They know he faces an election next fall, their president does not. They can easily weather 18 months of economic disruption, knowing that as Trump's tariffs raise prices in the US and cause inflation, forcing the Fed to raise interest rates at the same time the economy risks entering a recession before election day since so much of US economic output is dependent on inputs from China he's screwed.

    His approval rating is so low, and without any prospects for increasing to even 50%, his only hope for winning re-election is to have a very strong economy and successfully attaching enough negatives to his opponent that he knocks their approval rating down to his levels. Without the strong economy, even Hillary would win against him next fall.

    I'm sure once his advisors talk him off the ledge he'll cave to China's demands to get a deal done, proclaim it a "GREAT DEAL!!!" in a flurry of tweets, and his drooling supporters who believe everything he says will believe that too. But it may be too late by the time they make him see reason, if he waits too long the economic impact will still be felt next fall and blaming the democrats won't get him anywhere with the swing voters he needs.

    1. Jemma Silver badge

      Re: China has the upper hand and Trump is too stupid to see it

      I think he'll get in again - and if the Shitgibbon gets in then his winding up China will be the least of our problems.

      I think it's time for the UK to take the "special relationship" gently out behind the woodshed and do what comes naturally.

      Trump is Tommy Midgely Jr times a thousand. He is toxic in every possible way. The trouble is he's freed the inbredistanis inner racist asshole and a lot of them will vote for him just so that can continue.

      Ironic isn't it, 4.6 billion years to get to an intelligent life form and the first thing it does? A mass extinction, including very likely causing its own extinction.

      PS: for the millionth time Inbredistan, glyphosate does *not* cause cancer. If it did my dad and everyone he worked with since 1977 would be dead, especially the guy who used to drink the concentrate as a joke (who would now be 85 and is living in Ireland), and my brother and I would be riddled with it. $1 billion compensation for something that didn't happen..

      1. deadlockvictim Silver badge

        Of course not

        Jemma: PS: for the millionth time Inbredistan, glyphosate does *not* cause cancer. If it did my dad and everyone he worked with since 1977 would be dead, especially the guy who used to drink the concentrate as a joke (who would now be 85 and is living in Ireland), and my brother and I would be riddled with it. $1 billion compensation for something that didn't happen..

        Of course it doesn't. Sure, didn't my granda smoke 20 a day and it was his heart that did him in. I never did think that smoking caused cancer.

        1. Jemma Silver badge

          Re: Of course not

          Sigh.

          Your grandparents genetics did him in, via cigarettes. People come in three types. People who aren't affected by nicotine (me) who tried smoking once and never again; people who are half way addictive to nicotine (social smokers); people who will get addicted and will smoke like the Blucher steaming on lignite till they drop dead. I would bet he was the 3rd group - and of all the things it was cancer that killed him. With me it would be, were I to smoke like a class 37 on a cold morning, most likely a heart attack, because of my genetics. I've been exposed to glyphosate and the sun. I've had cancer - in the middle of my right forearm - which was the most exposed part of my body to the sun. But not anywhere else.

          If you use glyphosate properly it quite literally *cannot* cause cancer - you can't get cancer from it if you bung it in a knapsack sprayer that leaks like a seive at 10x the recommended active concentration. It's being blamed probably because it's the only active that the greentards can pronounce.

          The cancer that couple have and the black gardener claimed is from roundup sounds more like KS or something or even something from skin contaminated by asbestos dust - there is no way of proving its from glyphosate - even if you could be 100% sure that the person had used no other herbicides or insecticides or fungicides you have *no* idea what they've been exposed to.

          Let's put it this way. The cancers seem to be similar. Fair go. So we assume that because of 3 patients assume that they got it from glyphosate then that's correct. All well and good. Apart from one fucking huge problem. Farmers aren't dropping like flies, and they should be, since glyphosate was introduced in 1977 and every single arable farmers used it, gardeners, council employees, you name it. I can remember holding a box of the stuff as a kid on the back seat of a 1981 Cavalier SRi. Yeah I've had cancer but because I have fair skin and get sunburnt. There are much worse chemicals that people have been exposed to - my grandad was doused from head to toe in neat DDT powder by army policy, my dad used to clean up DDT spills with a bloody yard broom and/or a hose. There is still a bloody huge store of DDT in the UK retained for killing locusts.

          But the important part is this and its simple enough even for you to understand. No chemicals, no yield, no yield, no food, no food, fuckwits like you rioting and whingeing and turning Basildon high street into a Mad Max re run. There are too many people not to use agrochemicals and fertiliser if we want to feed them and scream and shout all you like but understand this - glyphosate is effective, it is reasonably priced, and it is one of the few that don't need multiple applications. It is therefore cheaper, wastes less fuel and causes less compaction and land damage and it works because if it didn't farmers wouldn't touch it. It's the least worst option, but by all means ban it because three dumbass inbredistanis and their lawyers conned a judge and a load of people who have no agricultural knowledge whatsoever.

          I will say it again slowly. If Glyphosate causes cancer like HPV or Dioxin (contaminant of agent orange) then show me 35+% of arable farmers dropping dead from that precise cancer. You can't. Giving a chav a BJ is more likely to give you cancer than necking a litre can of glyphosate.

          The court screwed the pooch in this case because it's innocent until proven guilty. You can't prove guilt without testing every single thing they've been exposed to over a lifetime. That simply isn't possible. So two people got a completely spurious pay out of $1 billion for something that is completely umprovable at best and a less than 1% probability at worst.

          Hell, if your grandpa did the same job as mine during WW2 he'd have been elbow deep in 140 octane (purple petrol) half the time - and that stuff ate aluminium fuel tanks like xenomorph blood and the additive is a definite carcinogen - grandad never got cancer - because it's not in our genetics.

          Short version - you want food for 7 billion people? You use agrochemical. You cull that back down to 3.5bn like the end of the war you could *just* about get away with organic - but then you'd whine about using GMO'S etc when you fail to realise that every single crop you plant has been genetically engineered by crossbreeding - what you thought carrots were always orange? Nope either white or purple is the natural colour. You think the original strains of wheat got 6 tons an acre? Not a chance.

          I wouldn't mind so much if it was argued from a position of knowledge but it never is - dribbling cockwomble would be giving the greentardistas far too much credit. Less than that is due if they drive a tesla. The manufacturing and use of a 100kw tesla in CO2 emissions using UK style mixed energy generation - would take 17.6 *years* to equalise the CO2 emissions of a clean petrol or diesel (engineering explained) - so the production and use of 2 muskkretinwagen for 17 years (on our current genset mix) would be reasonably equivalent to the CO2 produced by the manufacture and running of my carburettor Wolseley 18/85 for 46 *years*. Oh very clean!

    2. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: China has the upper hand and Trump is too stupid to see it

      forcing the Fed to raise interest rates

      It appears that China is already looking at more direct ways of doing this - such as offloading US Treasury Bonds at a discount in competition with the sale of fresh US debt.

      The US is far from alone in believing that China needs to play by different rules now that it is no longer an emerging economy - so you'd think there might be a better way to approach the problem.

      1. Sanguma

        Re: China has the upper hand and Trump is too stupid to see it

        That's interesting. got any details, news urls, etc? I thought China would do it if pushed.

        In a world where the US Sec of State - Clinton - publicly begged China to buy more US Federal Securities and Bonds, you'd think even shitgibbons would notice, but he's got his head too firmly wedged up his rectum to notice anything except hims own smell.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: China has the upper hand and Trump is too stupid to see it

          "Mmm. I have a great smell, the best smell. Everyone says so."

          1. Jemma Silver badge

            Re: China has the upper hand and Trump is too stupid to see it

            Have an upvote but I so so so didn't need that mental image. It's not so much a case of brain bleach as molecular acid..

            Giving Trump a presidency is like giving Jimmy Saville his own primary school. You know it's going to go to hell - you just don't know when.

            I wonder what would happen to Apple if the Chinese government banned trading with the US, ditto every other US company that trades in electronic parts and engineering equipment.

            I see Trumpvilles on the horizon - Great Depression II: The Search for Who to Blame.

            Sadly the one person who *won't* get the blame is Donnie Dickwit.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: China has the upper hand and Trump is too stupid to see it

      "I'm sure once his advisors talk him off the ledge"

      I thought his MO was to throw the advisors off the ledge.

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: China has the upper hand and Trump is too stupid to see it

      "They know he faces an election next fall, their president does not. They can easily weather 18 months of economic disruption, knowing that as Trump's tariffs raise prices in the US and cause inflation, forcing the Fed to raise interest rates at the same time the economy risks entering a recession before election day since so much of US economic output is dependent on inputs from China he's screwed."

      China are masters of the long game. You'd almost think they goaded Trump into this action for the reason of creating a trade war that may well lead to his own downfall. This Chinese trade surplus and the US national debt mean the Chinese can far more easily weather the storm.

    5. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: China has the upper hand and Trump is too stupid to see it

      "I'm sure once his advisors talk him off the ledge"

      I believe that he has replaced all of his advisors with yes-men. There's nobody left that would be willing to talk him off the ledge.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: China has the upper hand and Trump is too stupid to see it

        Kudlow was speaking truth last weekend, admitting that consumers pay "most" of the tariffs and the Chinese don't pay them at all. Supposedly Trump flipped his lid on him over that, so he might be next to be tossed overboard from the SS Orange Clown.

        Business people will support all his stupid stuff until he interferes with their bottom line. Then the line is drawn - and they'll make that clear to senators who are groveling to the rich guys for campaign funding. If there's anything that will break the wall of shame of senators who've traded in their scruples to be Trump's yes-men, it is Trump's policies causing campaign contributions to dry up. If the trade war carries on too long, you'll start seeing some of them speaking out against Trump's handling of China.

  6. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

    Vietnam

    Meanwhile, at last some good news for the country that was wrecked by American imperialism.

    And which, I imagine, is about to get some hefty investment.

    Where from?

    I suspect China.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Vietnam

      Was the Vietnam war not caused by North Vietnamese imperialism?

      1. A.P. Veening

        Re: Vietnam

        Was the Vietnam war not caused by North Vietnamese imperialism?

        First of all, that Vietnam "war" wasn't a war in a legal sense as war was never declared (on either side). The USA got sucked in that situation because the South Vietnamese government asked for help against the North Vietnamese communist regime. President John F. Kennedy realised it was an already lost situation with the thoroughly corrupt South Vietnamese government and wanted to get out. For that he was killed and Lyndon B. Johnson quickly escalated the whole situation with the by now well known results.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Vietnam

          Do you have evidence that Kennedy wanted to get out? I'm going on pretty old memories here, as this isn't really my period of history. But he had got at least 50,000 "advisors" (I think it was closer to 75k) but was unwilling to go for the full military committment that some people wanted. That's serious numnbers of troops already committed - just in a less intense way. Kennedy wasn't, so far as I was aware, talking about abandoning the whole US Cold War policy of Containment, just that he didn't currently think it was worth going in all guns blazing.

          However his Secretary of Defense was McNamara, who he appointed, so it's got to be considered that he might have been persuaded in the future.

          As Enoch Powell said, "All political careers end in failure." Because you tend to leave frontline politics when you've messed up or become too unpopular/discredited. But if you get killed, while still popular - then you can be a repository for everyone's feelings of hope - even if you're just as likely to eventually screw up as any other politician. So Kennedy might have made the same mistakes as Johnson, he had many of the same advisors, or he might have done very different things in Vietnam.

          1. A.P. Veening

            Re: Vietnam

            Kennedy got cautious after the Bay of Pigs fiasco and the number of "advisors" rose both quickly and sharply under Johnson. I must admit I have a tendency to see it from the Vietnamese point of view.

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              Re: Vietnam

              Which Vietnamese though?

              It wasn't just a war with the US. It was also a civil war. And the VC were horrible. Massacres were not just aberrations of failing discipline but deliberate policy. Nobody comes out of it well. To call the US "imperialist" is just childish though. They weren't there for profit or territory, they were there as part of an ongoing Cold War with communism.

              Sadly that was often interpreted into a policy of backing equally awful military regimes, because they were somehow "better" than the communist alternative. But while criticising the West for some of those horrible decisions you can't lost sight of what the Communists would do in order to subvert democratic governments they wanted to overthrow. Look at what happened in Eastern Europe after WWII for example. That's what Kennedy was trying to oppose.

              North Vietnam's policy was to murder anyone who opposed their takeover - it might have been publicly sold as plucky freedom fighters against the US - but they killed an awful lot of Vietnamese people to get what they wanted.

              As Churchill said, democracy is the worst system in the world, except for all the others that have been tried.

  7. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    FAIL

    As we say in the UK

    Trump couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery :(

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: As we say in the UK

      @Mystic Megabyte

      Out of various presidents he is the one I would expect to be able to organise a pissup in a brewery. He isnt a career politician he is a businessman. We can hate his methods too but they are successful. And we can dislike his tariffs and trade policy but look at what caused his election. He was the best option available.

      Things could be a whole lot worse. Even though they could be better

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm not so sure

    As much as I dis-like trump, I think he's on to something here. I work. for a large US corp who were importing from China - now we've switched to buying the same products assembled in Vietnam, Philippines and Taiwan. Seems like it's going to hurt China more than the US. I think China know this too by the way they have retaliated

    1. A.P. Veening

      Re: I'm not so sure

      There isn't an alternate source for everything currently sourced from PRC. And PRC didn't only retaliate with tariffs, but also with some import stops (from USA, not from other countries), which will hit a lot harder.

    2. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: I'm not so sure

      "now we've switched to buying the same products assembled in Vietnam, Philippines and Taiwan."

      But where were the parts that are being assembled actually manufactured? My bet is China.

      1. confused and dazed

        Re: I'm not so sure

        Nope ... Korea

  9. herman Silver badge

    Nothing gets passed on to the end purchaser

    The vendor stops buying from China, buys from America, Taiwan, Japan or Singapore instead and the Chinese factory goes bust. The end purchaser gets a different product with the same form and function, at the same price.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Nothing gets passed on to the end purchaser

      Nope. If that were true, the stuff would already be being made in Vietnam or Taiwan. What tariffs do is to make the global economy slightly more inefficient (see your Ricardo textbook on Comparative Advantage) - so supply chains will be moved around to cope with the new tariff regime, and everything will become slightly more expensive for everyone, and the world will become slightly less productive (efficient at using resources).

      This is basic mainstream economics. Mercantilism was intellectually destroyed by Smith and Ricardo a couple of hundred years ago. So far as I'm aware there's no mainstream economic theory going nowadays to challenge that.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nothing gets passed on to the end purchaser

      I tend to agree. China is not the low cost manufacturing site it was 20 years ago. They are many skilled and talented engineers - for sure, but now they're also increasingly expensive. There has been a drift to other lower cost neighbours and this has certainly accelerated that.

      1. Sanguma

        meanwhile, back at the ranch ... Re: Nothing gets passed on to the end purchaser

        Our Dear Fat Friend US President Donald Trump had once declared something or other about Making America Great Again, and the assumption was that he wanted the United States of America to rever5t to being the manufacturing giant it used to be, when its supply chains were solidly sourced within the contiguous CONUS.

        Is Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, whereever next, part of CONUS? No, I didn't think so.

        If anyone who reads this is in Washington DC, could you please ask when we can see US President Donald Trump's Lalaland Birth Certificate and Passport? I want to know if it's true that his Date Of Birth is "Yesterday".

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Retaliation

    If China and some other countries affected by the oil embargo being forced upon them of Iranian oil, decides not to buy American planes & cancel current orders citing national security ,(Boeing and some military hardware), this will have a bigger impact than the 60 billion in tariffs that China is imposing.

    Will bring Trump to his senses overnight.

    1. A.P. Veening

      Re: Retaliation

      Will bring Trump to his senses overnight.

      Now you are supposing Trump has any wits whatsoever.

  11. TrumpSlurp the Troll
    Trollface

    Trump knocking - a view

    There is a lot of disparaging comment about Trump on here.

    Not knocking that per se.

    However the commentards here are mainly (not exclusively) in the top 10% of intelligence and education.

    Most of the arguments would completely float over the heads of the 50% or more of the population with significantly lower intelligence and education.

    Those people vote.

    Trump has highlighted that the message is more important than any fact and nobody really cares if you lie and are found out. You just need a few simple slogans and upbeat evangelical road shows.

    I wouldn't be surprised if he won again. Show me the opponent with charisma to appeal to the masses and also solid financial backing.

    Apologies for the mention of the B word. Look away now!

    The phenomenon isn't limited to the USA.

    Look at Farage and the Brexit party.

    A charismatic publicity specialist with a single message.

    No policies; to be announced after the Euro election.

    Now show me someone with equal charisma who can match him.

    Tessa?

    Jezza?

    Whoever that bloke is from the Lib Dems?

    Bozza? Please $Deity, no. Less trustworthy than Farage by a country mile.

    The Leave campaign has been shown to have lied repeatedly and then gone against their promises but nobody resigned and many are trying to become Prime Minister.

    Again, not defending the Remain campaign which did some equally dodgy things.

    In my totally biased opinion these insincere rabble rousers are coming to the fore because of the complete lack of competition from more rational opponents.

    It has been said repeatedly that "Crooked Hillary" was the only person who could have lost to Trump. Where was the charismatic leader to outshine her?

    Jezza seems to be lining up to do much the same in the UK.

    So bet with the rabble rousers. There is an awful lot of rabble out there and most read and believe social media.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019