Trump’s Tariffs: A Move in the Right Direction

When Donald Trump won the US presidential election the whole world was dismayed. Few people outside of the USA expected anything good to come of it and for a year and a half one disaster followed another. Millions of US citizens were deprived of affordable healthcare, nothing was done to lessen the widespread slaughter caused by lax gun control, a ban was imposed on immigrants from selected Moslem countries, the USA was withdrawn from the Paris Agreement on climate change to give free-rein to the polluting oil and coal industries, and America’s NATO allies were subjected to severe criticism while President Putin of Russia was treated as a friend. These were all actions that many people both expected and feared. But now, in introducing tariffs on imported goods Mr Trump has taken a small step towards a better world.

With the great increase in international travel and communication, and especially since the arrival of the Internet, there are engineers in every land with advanced design and manufacturing skills. So we should be moving towards a situation in which everything a country needs is made in that country by the people of that country. By this means the need for international trade is minimised, restricted to essential raw materials and food items not available in the destination country. Vast reductions could be made in fossil fuel consumption, lessening sea and air pollution and slowing global warming.

Big business has for several decades been hopping from country to country in search of cheap labour while at the same time, seeking to sell its products in every land. As a result, wage rates have been rising in poor countries and held more or less stagnant in the advanced countries from which the industries have fled. As the gap closes, the advantages of chasing the cheapest labour become less. At the same time, to sell more products and services requires customers to have incomes at a level that makes them affordable. As Henry Ford is reported to have said: if you don’t pay your workers well who is going to buy your cars? This is how the USA grew rich in the first place with American companies selling to American people.

Now every country can begin to become like the old USA: providing a good life for its people with a vibrant internal market and minimal external trade. Putting tariffs on imports to protect American jobs and persuade Americans to buy more home-produced goods is a step towards this Utopia which other countries are quick to follow. Every cloud has a silver lining and Trump’s promised trade war could herald a better peace for all.

Building Your Business – Are Politics and Peacemaking Mutually Exclusive?

It is easy to assume that all politics and peacemaking can be mutually exclusive. The truth is that there are many situations that in order to keep the peace, politics may be involved or even get in the way. Where there is a dispute of uncommon interests, whether it is to gain control, power or leadership that is politics. God teaches us on how “we should be” if we are to be His children. As human beings created by God we are asked to be images of the Father. In doing so, we bring peace to ourselves and to others.

In many organizations, there are internal conflicts, and even key leaders begin to make their case and use politics in what they hope may either bring the peace or put an end to what they believe is disrupting their peace. Vice Presidents will threaten other departments by flexing their control should those departments not do as they are told. When we discuss politics, we discuss the policies and processes that are brought up for debate. These same policies dictate the path towards peacemaking as a societal whole. But it is also important to remember that it also brings about additional conflict within the groups and hence another opportunity for peacemaking. Take a look at what took place in Ireland in 1997.

“In August of 1997, less than a month after the second cease-fire took hold in Northern Ireland, thousands of Presbyterian pastors and lay leaders gathered in Belfast to make a, historic public recommitment to peacemaking between Protestants and Roman Catholics.

Michael Cassidy, a South African evangelical influential in producing open elections and the end to apartheid in South Africa, challenged them to a new level of personal responsibility for bringing about reconciliation and tolerance. At his invitation, nearly two-thirds of the 3,000 in the audience stood up to signal their pledge to peacemaking. Earlier this year, the Anglican Church of Ireland took similar steps when its general synod voted to condemn the presence of sectarian views within their denomination and to conduct an inquiry to determine how severe the problem is” (Morgan, 1997).

Without politics they would not have taken the additional steps to really determine what the problem was and rededicate themselves towards peace. But there are other examples where politics and peacemaking are not mutually exclusive. Take the military for example. Our leaders wage war on other countries that have different political views than ours. We are sent to war using force. And only as the victor can we then define what we believe peace to be. Whose war were we fighting? Whose definition of peace were we attaining? Ours, the people, another nations?

5 Ways, Today’s Politics, Threaten America’s Future, And Ideology

We are going through times, which seem, unlike any others, in recent memory! Instead of any coherent, real attempt, at bringing us, together, for the greater good, it seems, we are observing, the politics of division, and polarization! Unless/ until, our nation’s priorities, emphasize creating about, a meeting – of – the – minds, instead of the overwhelming degree of partisan politics, we will all, be losers, in the long – run! President Trump’s emphasis, on, America – first, and Make America Great Again, while opposing the ethnic diversity, which has distinguished our history, and existence, combined with his anti – women’s rights, rhetoric, steps to minimize consumer protections, environmental protections, etc, are dangerous, both, at present, and in terms of creating a sustainable future! Abandoning traditional allies, and, aligning with certain autocrats, and dictators, is certainly, a focus, unforeseen by our Founding Fathers. With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, 5 ways, how this behavior, and atmosphere, threatens our future, as well as core ideology.

1. Climate change: While the rest of the world, appears to recognize and appreciate, the reality, and threats, arising from Climate Change, and the need to pay keen attention, and take timely actions, our nation, under President Trump, has denied its existence (even though, the vast majority of scientists, feel strongly about this)! We have always felt, and acted, as a nation, as if, every generation, is a caretaker, protecting the future generations, not only has Trump, minimized his efforts, but, appears to be, at best, ignoring this clear, and prevailing danger!

2. Environment: In terms of future ramifications, as well as the health, and well – being, of our citizens, and the overall world, it is inherent, and necessary, for us, to take better care of our environment! In the late 1970’s, President Carter recognized this, and created a strategic oil reserve, auto gas mileage standards, and emphasized, the need to consider, alternative, and renewable energy, and energy sources. Instead. this administration, has used the Environmental Protection Administration, in its apparent war, against doing so, and reduced many protections, aimed at ensuring cleaner air and water, etc.

3. Liberty, justice, and freedom, for all: We are unique, because of our emphasis and focus on the principles of liberty, justice, and freedom, for all! Indeed, instead of this mindset, we’ve witnessing, pitting one segment of society, against others! Even the so – called, tax reform legislation, passed in 2017, was supposed to help the citizens, especially the middle class, but, in reality, has significantly favored the wealthiest Americans, and largest corporations, to a much larger degree!

4. Human/ women’s rights: Whether, it’s the message, this President, articulates, regarding issues, such as women’s, and human rights, etc, or, his level of vitriol, etc, about his enemies, and adversaries, this isn’t normal, nor helpful to a quality discourse, etc, the nation needs, and deserves!

5. Prejudices; biases: What happens to our, Bill of Rights, if the prejudices, and biases, we are witnessing, become the norm?

Wake up, America, and demand, a return to sanity, and adherence to the American principles, and priorities, which make us, great! Act now, before it’s too late, for a quality future, etc!