sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Crystal Balling a Crazy World

Brig asked for a comment on this article. At first I didn't want to do that because the article is long and somewhat windy in its analysis -- but Henry Kissinger has that tendency. I'm not a fan of Kissinger and his love of "new world orders".  However there has been a significant shift in the politics of the US and Britain and Europe is poised to follow. Because of that shift, the entry of Russia into the void left by the US and the failure of the US so-called pivot toward Asia, and what will be seen as a resurgent and more assertive United States, I decided to comment after all.  -- for what it's worth.

Domestically, expect to see Donald Trump work diligently to bring jobs back to the US and increase manufacturing capacity. The threat of having their brands dragged through the mud will influence the big companies. As I mentioned in a previous blog, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (Foxconn Technology Group) reached out to people I know, to secure logistic supplies of 'rare earth' components used in manufacture of iPhones, Kindle, etc. for a new assembly plant in the US. This sort of supply chain effort precedes any corporate move, but I expect to see iPhones made in the US by the end of 2017 or possibly early 2018. There will be similar moves in other industries. I expect that inner city horror shows such as Detroit may be the recipients of these sorts of jobs, mentored through a new Department of Housing and Urban Development that is focused on this sort of activity rather than doling out welfare. 

In the same way, new power structures, underpinned by mutually beneficial trade deals (look for a US/Canada/UK free trade agreement) will change the economic power structure in ways that were unthinkable during an Obamanation. 

In the article, Henry Kissinger discounts the need for an effective physical barrier on America's southern border. There is a new sheriff in town and there will be a wall/barrier that will stem the flow of illegal immigration into the US. US immigration administration (as reflected in the old Immigration and Naturalization Service) has been an unwieldy swamp ever since I've been an adult and worked in government. I'm certain that the Trump Administration will attempt to fix it but that may take more than four years. There may be news today which makes my suggestion anachronistic, but somebody like Mitt Romney would be perfect for the Department of Homeland Security where reorganizational skills like his can be put to work. DHS hasn't worked since President Bush set it up. Maybe it can be fixed and maybe it needs to be devolved into more manageable component parts? 

My sense is that the US will deal more pragmatically with China and Russia than it has in the past. The Trump Administration, will focus on rebuilding the Navy and the military in general because in part, it brings manufacturing jobs, and in part because it's been neglected during Barack's tenure. An American military build-up won't be lost on Asia. The fine details of new relationships with Russia, for example, need to be worked out, but the focus will be on pragmatic cooperation rather than confrontation if that can be managed. Both the Russians and Chinese looked at Barack as an inner city rube. That's not how they view President Trump.


19 comments:

  1. Thanks for the analysis -- let's see if the swamp can be drained, even somewhat, and manufacturing brought back.

    But what about the War on Weather?

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    1. I'm content with the weather today. We must have won.

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  2. Your summation matches mine, so it must be right. ;-)

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    1. At least I won't end up owing you another fancy meal.

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  3. With only superficial knowledge of things Naval, I still wonder why we put so much money into a few ships (Zumwalt, Ford) when quantity has a quality all it's own.

    Army? Bloated O-6 and above billets, too many E-9s, too much staff, too few grunts.

    Air Force? Pisses away money ike a drunken politican.

    Marines? Closer to getting it right than the other branches.

    Foreign relations? Agree Trump will be a pragmatist. Other countries will look at how he has run his businesses, initially.

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    1. The Zumwalt Class is troubled. We should have bought Arleigh Burke Flight 3 (or Flight 4) destroyers instead. One of those could have been a test platform for Zumwalt technology if it needed to happen.

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    2. Trump will probably kill the Zumwalt, and order more Burkes.

      Or so I've heard.....

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    3. That needs to happen. Finish the remaining Zumwalt hull and order twenty or so DDG 51 Class ships.

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  4. Assembling iPhones is a tedious, repetitive and monotonous job, well suited for a low-skilled or semi-skilled workforce - such as is abundantly available in China.

    Detroit would be an ideal workforce for this kind of tedious, thankless crap labor, which used to pay pretty darn good back in the days before the 'new world order' folks decided to forego these jobs in exchange for increased trade: make them overseas, and buy them cheaper than they were made here.

    The trade-off, of course and obviously, is that the people whose jobs are shipped overseas, suffer immeasurably and their communities and cultures are destroyed - like happened to Detroit.

    Bringing back these God awful jobs, of which I would never even think of accepting, would be a God-send to Detroit. They had the highest income per household in the world back in the heyday of Hank Ford's domination of the auto industry.

    And this was primarily due to the influence of Fredrick Winslow Taylor 75 years earlier and his 'scientific management' theories as they applied to manufacturing. Dumb down every part of the manufacturing process, analyze every movement of every worker to see if there are ways they can speed things up, eliminate bottle necks, reduce training time, reduce the skill needed for the task. All the stuff that modern day feel-good new world order types disdain. But the Taylorism of the day had Detroit the envy of the world. Sure, when these assembly line workers got home, they drank like fish, but who wouldn't? At least they could afford their whiskey, and pay their rent, all without government assistance.

    Detroit would be the perfect place to bring back those horrible yet high paying jobs.

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    1. Make Detroit a great place for assembly again!

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    2. ...thanks to Fredrick Winslow Taylor.

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    3. Yes, to his time and motion studies.

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  5. LL
    I realize it is a long winded article, but of some value none the less. My thoughts, are along the same lines as your well done summation. Thank you.

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    1. I could have waxed verbose but I was tired this morning after a long beginning to the week.

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  6. Actually Detroit has been slowly increasing in manufacturing again. Shinola watches and bicycles are made there. I hope Trump does send more jabs/plants there, it will increase the tax base and decrease how much the rest of MI gets hit paying for Detroit's past nonsense.

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  7. jobs not jabs...
    Stupid computer!

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    1. My only real experience came with dealing with the Russian mafia there - successfully, I might add. I found the whole place depressing beyond words.

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  8. Might help to have CCC type jobs in cities like Detroit to tear down abandoned buildings- or turn them into housing units, if possible. Take the people on unemployment. Anyone should be able to sweep or demolish a building with a little instruction.

    Appreciate the post, LL. God bless.

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    1. There is a lot of the place that has been torn down. As you drive down formerly residential streets, there is only dead weeds and some foundations. They did that to mitigate fire.

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