Get the balance right

Re: Trump haters ‘deranged’

The writer is correct in his general observations that the current U.S. president hasn’t wrecked the American economy yet. As with anything, his performance should be put in context, though.

U.S. oil production has skyrocketed since about 2012, and natural gas production had seen steady increases since 2005. New technology did this, not a president.

Diplomacy – North Korea has started on an enhanced missile and nuclear weapon program as of news reports on July 28. Russian friendship is personally ‘great.' Iran – diplomacy or threats? Canada’s relationship is at a historic low. Europe and Britain? Don’t start with saying China and the U.S. are great friends. 

His GDP growth rate has been relatively low since Q4 2016. The recent 4.1 per cent rate does not beat out 4.5 per cent Q3 2010; 4.8 per cent Q4 2012; or the 5.7 per cent of Q4 2014. Recession is suggested for the 2020-2022 time frame, possibly accelerated by tariffs.

Wall Street has been on a bull run since July, 2010. The stage was set by previous administrations. Big tax breaks dominantly to the rich and companies have given 2018 a short-term boost.

Tariffs and major tax cuts will probably only benefit the rich. The U.S. economy is at full employment – if tariffs are to create jobs via a restart of shut-down industry, who will be working these jobs? Increased immigration, I suppose. All the cheap goods Americans (and Canadians) crave from Asia are going to cost more – they’re cheap for a reason. The lumber tariff has increased U.S. building costs; aluminum and steel tariffs raised world wide prices hugely, and prematurely.

Imagine the effect of a 25 per cent increase to U.S. vehicle costs imported from Canada. Harley-Davidson is moving an operation overseas – too bad it wasn’t to Canada.

U.S. unemployment has steadily decreased since Q4 2010. If anything, the last year or so has seen a decrease in that rate toward flattening of the curve. 

The southern border has seen a huge decrease in illegal crossing activity since 2000.

Health care, welfare, and the poor really haven’t been addressed.

I don’t think Trump ‘haters’ hate him as much as his apparent acceptance of bullies, and a following that approves of poor treatment of minorities, women, allies, and the environment. 

Canada’s leaders should not think preaching to the world we are the antithesis of the American president is a commendable way forward for our economy and citizens. There is a balance required, and we aren’t there.

Neil Stephenson, Kelowna

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