Monday, September 3, 2018

A wall between Trump and the rest of the world


NAFTA is mostly a form of the old AUTOPACT, regulating an industry that will bring us less and less jobs mostly due to automation and extremely low profit margins. If the U.S. puts tariffs on oil and forestry it will only increase the input costs of its own products and lowers its competitiveness. It needs our oil and our lumber at low but reasonable prices. The U.S. is not even self-sufficient in terms of energy. If it would ‘drop Canada’ as a reliable energy supplier, it would be depending on OPEC once again. I don’t know who else would supply its needs for lumber if it wasn’t for Canada. 
We buy their services and a lot of their agricultural products. I love those avocados and grapes and whatever else they can grow much better than us. They will need our grain and our beef. Sorry, Canadian beef is the best there is and it is sometimes even affordable. That despite their tariffs! If you put a tariff on what you need, you only hurt yourself and why put tariffs on stuff you don’t need? 
Yes, we want to do business with the big guys in the South, but in fact, just like with oil and gas, we should try to build up markets elsewhere in the world as well. That would make us, as the 10th largest economy in the world, a lot less dependent on the U.S.  That is really what makes the stalled Trans Mountain pipelines and future LNG plants on Canada’s west coast so important. That is why Canada East is so essential. Interprovincial trade barriers, nearly as bad as the current pipeline situation, prevents Canada to be more competitive. We MUST let goods and people move freely ‘a Mari usque ad Mare’ or from sea to sea and not play the NIMBY game. 
Canadians seem to be standing in their own way when becoming more competitive.  Yes, the automotive industry is providing currently a lot of jobs – but are those the jobs of the future?  Probably not. Are those industries very profitable?  Is Bombardier, apart from some jobs in return for heavy subsidies, really providing our country with a lot of profit and benefits?  No. Over the coming decades, many products, including transportation and food become cheaper and cheaper. Those don’t provide us in the future with economic prosperity. So what does?
Exporting resources is a natural for Canada, but it is capital intensive not people intensive. Yet, the profits can be used to provide us the means to build prosperity in the future by funding new industries, education and research. Our land is so large, especially on a per capita basis, that we may be able to not only make money on real estate but also to attract many talented people to live here and assist us in building future prosperity and to build the society we Canadians aspire.  Many Canadians, Liberal, NDP and Conservative want the same, although we often disagree on the means to achieve it. After all, we all have different points of view. 
To use Obama’s favorite expression, we need the ‘audacity’ to pursue our Canadian dream(s) rather than getting ‘bullied’ by Trump into a NAFTA that he feels will screw us and benefits the U.S. This one-sided view of ‘they lose we win’ turns the whole continent in a bunch of losers.  We need to focus on the industries and skills that create a stronger future Canada not that preserves a Canada of the past. A lot of our efforts should be directed at new technology, pharmaceutics, health – physical and mental, tourism, environmentally responsible resource development, sustainable use of industrial input materials, searches for alternative and affordable energy, science and a humane society not one paralyzed by excessive bureaucracy. Our need to kill every loophole in the law is destructive instead we must focus on creating a humane livable society where people use mostly their moral and ethical compass to achieve their aspirations.  
We need to enable our people to live of their money and other resources rather than being dependent on a public teat. We need to empower Canadians, not make them slaves of bureaucracy. We need self-reliant people who in case of real trouble can fall back on a public safety net – not a people of self-entitlement!  I cannot stress enough that skills and habits of sound personal finance should be taught to our children at school and in our homes.
That is one of the reasons, I have this blog. I don’t tell the ‘TRUTH’ or whatever that is, I just provide insights that may motivate you, the reader, to become financially self-reliant.  Strange as it may seem, that self-reliance is more attitude than having a super high income. If you manage your resources on this world well, you will have, especially here in Canada, the means to achieve your dreams and your potential. Isn’t that what life is really about?
People like Donald Trump think they can only win when others lose. Not so!  That is why we as a country, should support Canada and our Government so they can show the back-bone that Canada really has! And scr.. Trump.  Everyday, Trump shows us why we need a NAFTA with Chapter 19 dispute mechanism. Many people south of the border are sympathetic to our goals and dreams.  If we stand up against the bully, they will too. Because in the end, we all aspire similar dreams and there is room for all 7, eh… 11 billion of us as long as we deal with win-win. Win-lose only results in war and as such, the Donald is at the wrong side of this issue. He has built a wall between himself and the rest of the world.

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