By Justin Spittler, editor, Casey Daily Dispatch
The trade war just claimed a new victim.
No… It’s not one of our major trading partners. It’s not a Chinese or Mexican company, either.
It’s an American company.
I’m talking about Whirlpool.
I’ll tell you exactly why this major laundry equipment manufacturer is suffering in a second.
But first, let me address something that you may be asking yourself…
• How did Whirlpool become a loser in the trade war?
It’s a good question. You see, President Trump introduced a 20% tariff on imported washing machines in January…
And just in case you don’t know, a tariff is a tax on imported goods. It’s intended to make domestic goods more competitive than foreign goods.
So, many people thought this tariff would help Whirlpool. The company’s CEO, Marc Bitzer, even said the tariffs were “without any doubt, a positive catalyst for Whirlpool.”
It’s clear he no longer feels that way.
On Tuesday, Whirlpool shared some bad news. It said that its profits for the year will likely come in much lower than expected.
The news sent Whirlpool’s stock into a tailspin. It ended Tuesday down 14.5%. That’s the stock’s biggest one-day decline since “Black Monday” in 1987.
Now, companies cut profit forecasts all the time. Usually, it doesn’t trigger a crash like this.
• But that’s not the only problem facing Whirlpool…
You see, Whirlpool’s operating costs are soaring…
Global steel cost has risen substantially and, particularly in the US, they have reached unexplainable levels.
…as a result, we’re revising our raw material inflation guidance for 2018.
If you’ve been reading the Dispatch, you can probably see where I’m going with this. Trump didn’t just impose tariffs on imported laundry equipment.
Earlier this year, he slapped a 25% tariff on steel imports and a 10% tariff on aluminum imports.
That’s a problem for Whirlpool. Its products require a lot of aluminum and steel. And according to Bitzer, steel prices in the U.S.—thanks to tariffs—are now 60% higher than the rest of the world.
But here’s the thing…
• Whirlpool won’t be the last U.S. company that suffers from the trade war…
Many manufacturers need steel to build products. And just like Whirlpool, their profit margins will be squeezed if U.S. steel prices don’t come back down to earth.
But this isn’t just a problem for Corporate America…
You see, companies aren’t just going to sit back and watch their profits dry up. They’re going to pass along their higher operating costs to everyday people.
• We’re already seeing this happen…
Just look at the chart below. It shows what laundry equipment prices have done since Trump introduced the 20% tariff on imported washing machines back in January.
As you can see, they’ve jumped 20% since March. That’s more than washing machine prices rose in all of 2012, the last time the U.S. issued tariffs on washing machine imports.
That’s a big jump. But it’s likely just the beginning.
Think about it. Whirlpool is just starting to feel the pinch of tariffs. This means it (and other companies like it) could soon have no choice but to hike prices even more.
• This means everyday people will suffer from the trade war, too…
And that’s the last thing the average American can afford. After all, inflation is already on the rise.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI), a broad measure of inflation, is now rising at its fastest pace since 2012. And the Producer Price Index (PPI), another popular measure of inflation, is also climbing fast. In fact, it just had the biggest yearly jump in nearly seven years.
The good news is that you can defend your wealth and profit from the trade war.
To learn how to go on the defensive, check out this recent essay. If you want to go on the offensive as well, read this recent piece. It reveals a special kind of stock that’s poised to deliver huge gains due to the trade war.
July 26, 2018
P.S. I understand that Trump is using tariffs to secure better trade deals for the United States. And that plan could work. But it’s too early to tell. So, for now, I recommend taking the trade war seriously. And that means taking steps to protect your wealth… and getting on the right side of tariffs.
P.P.S. Now, I’m passing the baton off to our good friend John Hunt, Doug Casey’s coauthor in the High Ground novel series. Like Doug, John believes college is a waste of money. If you’re preparing to send your child or grandchild to college in the fall, this is one you’ll want to read very closely…
By John Hunt, MD
College tuition is rising at an extraordinary rate. And we’ve grown accustomed to it, like a frog in water, gradually boiling.
Politicians have decided that unemployed students are deserving of credit sufficient to get them six-figure loans, and thus, the students gratefully borrow as much as their colleges insist they need to. These are signature loans to unknown people without experience, skills, and jobs—entirely not creditworthy. No sane person would offer such loans with their own hard-earned money. But then, government money isn’t hard-earned, is it?
The government obtained their money without any effort on their part. They either printed it through the Federal Reserve processes, forcibly extracted it from taxpayers, or borrowed it.
When the government creates (counterfeits) this money and supplies it to students to pay for college, this increases the money available that goes to tuition. When lots of dollars are chasing tuition, the tuition prices will rise. College tuitions rise each year because the federal government makes it easy for students to get credit and take on debt, and this new money gets directed to the purchase of college tuition. Television prices would rise each year if the feds decided to start providing nearly unlimited, low-interest signature loans to young adults for the purpose of purchasing the best new LG or Samsung 4K HD flat screens.
The students may not be creditworthy, but since the dollars are essentially counterfeit, what difference does it make to the government whether they get paid back? It’s what the government gets with these counterfeit dollars that matters.
And what they get is servitude.
Various government programs provide student debt relief. I think we can count on more of these programs being created by politicians, with which they will buy millennials’ votes. These programs involve student loan debtors working for the federal, state, or local governments in exchange for payoff of part or all of their debt. It is referred to as service: serving your country, government, etc. Remember that the government created the tuition money out of thin air. And with it, they get graduates to work in AmeriCorps, the military, or on a reservation. They give you counterfeit money to get you where you want to go, and you have to pay them back with real work for years of your life.
It sounds an awful lot like indentured servitude. Indentured servitude is illegal according to the Constitution, yet our government has managed not only to figure out how to indenture college students, but they’ve convinced students to be grateful for it and even go lobby for larger loans.
Given that they are now paying five times as much for college as I had to, students today must receive a substantially better education than I did, right? I rather doubt it. The universities now are (and I generalize) a bastion of collectivist groupthink, staffed by markedly progressive faculty who infect the students with collectivist ideologies.
I use the term infect accurately. Collectivism should be thought of as a contagious disease.
Collectivism is contagious because it spreads when people congregate together in one place (such as a protesting mob, political conventions, certain religious activities, a classroom, or in virtual gatherings online). It is a disease because collectivism makes humans and humanity sick and die. For example, socialism has assuredly failed in the largest experiments in human history: the USSR, Mao’s China, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, Hitler’s National Socialism, Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela, Cuba, most of sub-Saharan Africa, most of central and South America, and most of Europe.
These experiments in socialism have resulted in the deaths of more than 150 million people (not including the war deaths that their collectivist governments are also responsible for), along with truly incalculable losses of human dignity, expansion of poverty, and the general fear of living under totalitarianism.
Another example: Racism is a destructive symptom of the collectivist infection, and not surprisingly, college promotes racial discrimination incessantly. Group identity is the collectivist mantra. Focusing on content of character is not only out of style, but it is likely to get epithets hurled at you.
Infectious diseases range in size from parasites, to bacteria, to tiny viruses, to the teeniest prions (responsible for mad cow disease and kuru). The collectivism pathogen is even smaller than the prion. It’s the size of an idea—an idea that is transferred from professor to student and then around society; it invades the brain, and then, as all ideas do, it alters brain chemistry and neuronal connections. A bad idea (a diseased idea) incorporated into a human brain causes the brain to be dysfunctional.
I think it is fair to say that the collectivist professors infect the students, knowingly or ignorantly.
After four years of indoctrination and immersion in political correctness and collectivism, many students have gotten pretty sick. How does this sickness manifest itself? Collectivist-infected students may be very ill, or only mildly ill. The most severely infected believe it is okay for them to take anything they want from you in order to accomplish their aims, which is exactly how the Chinese communists felt under Mao (having no property rights).
Slightly less affected students will believe it is okay for a group to steal from you (like a gang)… or that it is okay for a group to steal from you, but only if the group decides to do so by a majority vote… or that it is okay for a group to steal from you, but only if they allow you to vote, too (democracy)… or that it is okay for a group to steal from you, but only if their elected representative declares it necessary for the greater good.
All of this is theft, plain and simple. And all of it is unacceptable. But various degrees of theft are justified in the collectivist neural processes in their infected brains. The “better” their “education” has been, the more sophisticated their justifications will sound. But it’s all just theft.
Like HIV and other diseases, the collectivist infection has found ways to bypass human immune defenses. It does so by strengthening an infected person’s denial and defensiveness. These are ego defenses employed to prevent the ill person from seeing a truth that conflicts with some false belief he holds.
Infected people will go into denial instantly when someone exposes evidence that they believe in something stupid. Or increasingly, such people will go on the attack (becoming defensive), with the current trend being to hurl epithets. This method of assuring persistence of the disease is found in alcoholics and other addicts. Denial. Defensiveness. These allow a blatantly obvious disease to persist inside a human who could otherwise be cured.
Infected students or professors who are particularly competent won’t use denial and defensiveness when their internal contradictions are pointed out. Instead, they will suggest to agree to disagree. Beware of that phrase. When a collectivist uses it, it means that they wish to end the conversation so they can get on with the process of forcing their position upon you via government.
College can serve a variety of purposes. It can help a child transition to adulthood (independence) in a way that allows them to separate from their parents and learn to set their own boundaries. A four-year free party may create conditions conducive to forming friendships that last a lifetime. Students can get the big card punched (a diploma) that may help them get their first job. College can provide them some education… However, that can be obtained much better from the very best professors in the world through www.thegreatcourses.com, for one one-hundredth of the cost of most colleges. College can provide laboratory experience that can be useful. Undergraduate degrees are prerequisites for most terminal degrees (PhD, MD, and the like). And college grads historically have, at least until recently, earned higher incomes in the long run.
So college is not without some value.
But the students get all this at the cost of decades of indebtedness, a persistent negative net worth, and at the risk of progressive indoctrination that leaves many students intellectually incapable of recognizing the internal contradictions of the perverse ideology that has infected them.
Think twice about going to (or encouraging going to) college. Make sure it is worth risking your wallet, sanity, and freedom. Of course, many choose to do the college thing despite the negatives. So I advise this: Before going off to those ivory towers so rife with the epidemic of collectivism, consider a protective inoculation with a vaccine that can defend the student against exposure to the disease. Here’s one great way to vaccinate them: have them read the entire Uncle Eric series by Richard Maybury. And treat them to the ethics solutions course. These are easy and inexpensive, and will be the best college-related money you can spend.
These books are like hazmat suits for college students. Reading them can protect students from the collectivist infection. This simple, easy step can help a young adult perceive when he or she is being infected, bamboozled, flummoxed, manipulated, indoctrinated, enculturated, enslaved, and parasitized during the coming years. The student can go to college and gain some useful education, fast friends, and appropriate self-respect while avoiding the disease that has plagued almost all of academia.
John Hunt, MD
Today, readers write in with their thoughts on Tuesday’s Dispatch:“ How Trump Ends the Opioid Crisis”…
I would like to compliment you on your article “How Trump Ends the Opioid Crisis” and your excellent example of Portugal. I believe you are spot on with your analysis. The public has been so brainwashed to believe that drugs are bad and users should be punished.
But the reality is that this doesn’t work. It makes the supply scarce and hence expensive. And the consequence of that is to make unscrupulous people extremely rich and powerful. These now rich but still unscrupulous people invest their ill-gotten gains in legitimate enterprises which of course results in further issues.
In short, we have taken a problem (the issue of people taking drugs) and turned it into a much, much bigger problem. We need to realize that there will always be people that want to take drugs. The BEST we can do is to minimize that number by positive action—education, poverty elimination, employment, etc. Thank you for helping to get that message out there. People need to understand this much better!
Hi. Have you got any thoughts on the fact that Portugal is a functional social democracy that didn’t buy into the neoliberal austerity mythology and is now thriving?
Hey, you forgot to mention that it wasn’t just that Portugal de-criminalized drugs. At the same time Portugal took all the money being spent on their War on Drugs and put it into rehab programs and apprenticeship programs. It was a shift of priorities with an accompanying shift in financial resources. You didn’t mention that. Just legalizing drugs without providing help and opportunities to improve the lives of addicts will NOT get the same results as Portugal.
As always, you can send any questions or suggestions for the Dispatch right here.
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