“So China is now paying us billions of dollars in tariffs”

How does a tariff work? A tariff is a tax on imported goods, so if a Chinese good is sold to an American, the American literally has to pay the tax.

The quote above is from Mr. Trump, as recounted in Peter Coy’s “The Real Pain From Trump’s Tariffs Trickles Down to Consumers” in Bloomberg Businessweek; it clearly highlights the fact that either (1) Mr. Trump has no understanding of how tariffs work, or (2) he does understand, and he’s lying.

Now it’s true that when the importing country is large relative to the exporting, then in economic terms it’s true the exporting country is losing out by having to sell goods at a lower price than they otherwise would (see graphs in this post). But even then, there’s no guarantee that the burden on exporters is substantial.

Who actually ends up footing the tab for the tariffs isn’t as obvious as it might appear at first glance. There’s no guarantee that the full levy will be passed along to the consumer via a higher price. The retailer, wholesaler, shipper, foreign manufacturer, and even the manufacturer’s suppliers may choose to, or be forced to, swallow some of the cost. The division depends on each player’s bargaining power, says Menzie Chinn, a University of Wisconsin at Madison economist. In the extreme case that the Chinese side absorbed the entire cost, it would be as if China paid the tariff. In reality, economists and company executives say, the U.S. side is mostly bearing the brunt.

One reason Americans often pay the lion’s share of a tariff is that foreign suppliers have nothing left to give. Their margins are already squeezed by hard-bargaining American retailers such as Walmart Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. Also, switching suppliers to avoid tariffs isn’t easy, says David French, chief lobbyist of the National Retail Federation Inc. China has a large, skilled workforce, reliable energy, and an excellent transportation network, he says; retailers “have looked elsewhere in the world, and there aren’t many” other sources immediately available.


Source: Coy (2018).

Foreign retaliation against US exports can lower the terms of trade for US goods; soybeans is the case in point, as confirmed by the spread between US and Brazilian soybean prices.

73 thoughts on ““So China is now paying us billions of dollars in tariffs”

  1. joseph

    Trump today: “We will always protect Americans with pre-existing conditions. We’re going to take care of them. Some of the Democrats have been talking about ending pre-existing conditions…You know what I say? We get a little more money from China. It’ll be just fine.”

    The Chinese are going to pay for our healthcare.
    The Mexicans are going to pay for the wall.

    I wonder what the Russians paid for.

    Reply
    1. Moses Herzog

      Yellow stains on hotel mattresses mainly. And video……

      You have to remember, Orange Excrement has a “germaphobe” reputation to uphold, and that tends to get killed when people know you’ll fornicate with near anyone.

      Reply
  2. Moses Herzog

    When I was in China, one of my bigger fears was people thinking I was “the average American” or “the typical American”. It was actually a recurring thought that caused me more consternation than regular readers of this blog might imagine. Why?? Because many Chinese will rarely rarely ever meet a foreigner, or certainly have personal interaction with them. So either they will base their thoughts of Americans based on how you as an individual behaved, or use something you did to verify already preconceived (often times negative) impressions they had from China television and books published in China. Without going into details, I didn’t always act/behave in the most “idyllic” ways. And no matter how many times you hammer into your regular long-term Chinese friends you are not a “diplomat” or the “typical” American, they will take away certain impressions. Eventually (or in my case) you give up and just try to “live as normal” so in order to keep your mental health when largely alone overseas.

    I remember telling my students and friends “Don’t listen to George Bush’s grammar”. “Please don’t study George Bush’s speeches” (a common Chinese practice is to study American Presidents’ State of the Union Addresses as an English learning tool). They spend literally months of their lives sitting at desks in unheated (until LATE November) classrooms doing rote memorization of their own leaders words, and think of this as a “normal” part of “academic achievement”. When you tell them, in essence, “Don’t listen to or study the current U.S. President’s speeches because his grammar and vocabulary is crap” Chinese often took this as some kind of joke, a kind of self-depricating humor, when in fact I couldn’t have been more dead serious in advising them to ignore “W” Bush for their studies.

    Now I read things like the above, Orange Excrement saying “China is paying us billions” I think Chinese must think of Americans as mostly blathering morons. If I were still there I would probably try to discourage Chinese from this line of thought. And yet….. watching MAGA rallies I’m not entirely sure myself this isn’t accurate in a general kind of way.

    Reply
  3. pgl

    Trump pulls out the optimal tariff argument? Does he even understand this argument? Does he even know what a tariff even is? Yea – – I know, 2 rhetorical questions.

    Reply
  4. 2slugbaits

    For the benefit and continuing education of the CoRevs of the world, when talking about who pays for a tax sometimes it can be helpful to distinguish between the impact of a tax and the incidence of a tax.

    Reply
  5. dilbert dogbert

    I am older than dirt and need electrical assistance to keep up with my wife when riding the bikes on our daily 10mile loop over hill and dale. A RADpower bike. They just raised their prices by $200 because of the tariff. Winning trade wars is so easy!!!

    Reply
  6. Bruce Hall

    The intent of the tariffs seem more strategic than economic. China is an untrustworthy trading “partner” and the U.S. does well to separate China as a source of its products:
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-10-04/the-big-hack-how-china-used-a-tiny-chip-to-infiltrate-america-s-top-companies
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/other/chip-hack-a-sign-of-chinese-cyber-threats-to-us-officials-say/ar-BBNYaN2

    Yes, it does cost the consumer extra money for products made in China. That’s the whole idea. It’s not about traditional economics. Menzie was correct that ZTE should have been essentially banned by the U.S. … but that is just a fraction of the problem in dealing with this nation monstrosity.

    Yes, tariffs are counter-productive from an economic standpoint, if your trading partners are not trying to undermine you at every step. It’s time to MoveOn from China.

    Reply
      1. Bruce Hall

        Well, “D”, it has taken 50 years to build up a dependency, but it doesn’t have to take that long to dismantle it. Obviously, certain items should be priorities: electronics the highest, industrial tools, hardware… items that have high value and can be sourced within the U.S. or elsewhere, even if the cost is higher. Low value consumer goods not in those categories could be phases out more gradually, but there might be real value in eliminating those quickly, as well.
        http://archive.boston.com/business/gallery/china_watchlist/
        https://www.industryweek.com/global-economy/made-china-tops-eu-list-unsafe-products
        https://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/sites/default/files/Dangerous%20Food%20Imports%20China%20Report%

        Where would I find replacements?

        Well, from a strategic point of view, North America would be my first choice. My top priority would be to work with Mexico to establish labor-intensive value-added facilities, pretty much the way the U.S. did in China. You’ll remember that the Chinese workers in the factories were not educated or used to working in a western-style facility. That took training.

        Why Mexico? Well, with 22 million illegals (mostly from Mexico) https://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2018/09/mit-yale-study-of-govt-data-finds-22-1-mil-illegal-immigrants-in-u-s/ , it would be to the benefit of both the U.S. and Mexico to have a strong industrialization effort with strong U.S.-Mexican government support… including the eventual destruction of the cartels. Mexico has a surplus of poor; the U.S. has a surplus of poor Mexicans who are here illegally. The win-win is the buildup of a much stronger Mexican economy and, perhaps, a decline in the illegal activity emanating from Mexico. Eventually, this type of economic development could be expanded to Central and South America which is potentially a deeply troubled area for the U.S. in the future.

        I don’t presume this would be easy, but it makes sense strategically and logistically. It would go a long way in healing the political divide in the U.S.

        Reply
        1. baffling

          your approach sounds less like a free market approach and more like a central, planned economy, bruce.

          of course, democrats and unions argued many years ago that outsourcing was bad for the nation. but republicans went along with the business owners, because they argued it improved profits (which would trickle down to help the entire economy?!). ironic that republicans are now embracing what democrats and labor new a few decades ago-and reinventing it as their own ideal solution today!

          Reply
          1. Bruce Hall

            2slug, one doesn’t have to be a central planner to have policies encouraging and discouraging various paths. That’s done with treaties and tax codes and regulations all of the time. I think the Progressives are much more enthusiastic about central planning, however. I was simply giving my opinion on what I perceive to be a course in the long-term best interest of the U.S. And that doesn’t include dancing with the devil.

            Sometimes cheapest is not best.

        2. Benlu

          China’s long term and consecutive 5 year plans, as part of the goals, have geared towards avoiding the risks of over dependency on limited foreign parties. and in matter of national security, self dependency. It appears to me that both US and China are seeing eye to eye here. I guess once China and US achieve their respective desired goals, and a new equilibrium in place, then the trade war should be over?

          Reply
          1. Bruce Hall

            Benlu,

            You have one version of “national security, self dependency”; much of the Far East has another. China has been overtly militarizing the “South China Sea”, while quietly providing “aid” to the Middle East, Africa, and South America in the form of loans that are exceedingly difficult to pay back and come with many strings attached. Some will argue that China is simply being altruistic with the hope of new markets and resources. They also believe in unicorns. https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/chinas-aid-to-africa-monster-or-messiah/

            Naturally, China has a legitimate expectation of a “quid pro quo” for loans that many of these countries could not obtain elsewhere. China sees loans as a bridge to economic expansion. It less apparent that China also see loans as the basis for expansion of its power. To that extent, it is a subtle colonial power seducing rather than overrunning these countries. You can expect to see Chinese military presence in many of these countries in the future. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/27/china-increases-defence-ties-with-africa.html

            If you are okay with that, fine… but I see a direct and dangerous power challenge to the West and the U.S. in particular, and that’s not fine with me. China is not a democracy or republic, it is a dictatorship and considers human rights a mere annoyance. Anything that hinders their expansionary dreams is fine with me.

          2. 2slugbaits

            Bruce Hall Anything that hinders their expansionary dreams is fine with me.

            Please read Thucydides.

    1. baffling

      curious bruce, how would you feel if the us infiltrated the IT they export as well as domestic supply? would you have any problems if the us government conducted such devious steps to intercept and control us technology products, possibly to advantage information obtained from overseas governments?

      Reply
      1. Bruce Hall

        baffling,

        If the U.S. government “infiltrated the IT they export as well as domestic supply”, there would be hell to pay once it was discovered. If you can provide the link to such actions, I’d be more than interested in reading about it. But I’m not sure what IT the U.S. government is exporting/infiltrating to China. Should we be looking at Google or Apple or Microsoft or AMD processors or Intel chips that the government has “infiltrated”? Or is this a hypothetical to create some false equivalence between the U.S. and Chinese governments?

        The U.S. has sufficient expertise at various three-letter agencies to bypass most foreign software/operating systems when seen as part of national interest. If I were one of the countries targeted, I would look to retaliate or make relations worse. I propose the U.S. react that way to China in a way that is very expensive to them. It would be even better if the EU joined in.

        Reply
        1. CoRev

          “I propose the U.S. react that way to China in a way that is very expensive to them. It would be even better if the EU joined in.” Add USMCA, S. Korea, and any other ASEAN nations willing to enter fairer/more free trade agreements to provide a more united front for China negotiations.

          Reply
        2. baffling

          “The U.S. has sufficient expertise at various three-letter agencies to bypass most foreign software/operating systems when seen as part of national interest.”
          you don’t think this is a backdoor approach? bruce, you are not being naive, you are intentionally behaving hypocritically with respect to the us and china governments access to technology. the us has far more technology access than the recent chinese chip situation. you are criticizing china for doing exactly what you implore the us to do.

          Reply
    2. 2slugbaits

      Bruce Hall But yet Team Trump is still buying all of their 2020 re-election campaign banners, signs and paraphernalia from those wicked and untrustworthy Chinese. If the problem is computer chips going into US government property, then quit buying computer chips that are going into US government property, not automotive parts going into Fords and Chevies. Fit the solution to the problem.

      Reply
      1. Bruce Hall

        2slug,
        That’s the traditionalist speaking. Economics has to recognize that the Chinese government (and, hence, a large part of China’s industrial complex) doesn’t view trade in a traditional way… especially with the U.S.

        Ford and Chevy can get along just fine without China. Trump can get his banners printed in the U.S. As for computer chips (electronics)… the problem goes well beyond government facilities (if you read the article).

        China is more than an economic competitor; China is a a political and philosophical adversary and ignoring that fact for the sake of saving some money in the near term is very short sighted.

        Reply
      2. CoRev

        Whoa there 2slugs: ” If the problem is computer chips going into US government property, then quit buying computer chips that are going into US government jeck with him first. property, not automotive parts going into Fords and Chevies. Fit the solution to the problem.” Please in the future, if you are going to refute pgl, check with him first. China does NOT provide parts going into Fords and Chevies. Nor does Buick import some of its models from China.

        Reply
        1. pgl

          CoRev is still alarmed that a U.S. affiliate of SAIC is making door handles. American made but I guess the ENORMOUS profits from door handles will destroy the U.S. automobile sector.

          CoRev gets excited about the weirdest things!

          Reply
      3. Bruce Hall

        2slug,

        I thought I had posted a reply, but it’s been a few hours and I don’t see it so I’ll try to generally recreate it (Menzie can delete this one if the other one gets approved).

        The problem goes well beyond a few computer chips going into some government servers as the Bloomberg article details. The Chinese government through their proxy companies have worked diligently to either undermine corporate America through IP theft or used corporate America reliance on Chinese contracting to plant the spyware/spy devices within products used by American consumers and government agencies. Excusing that as an aberration is the equivalent of hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.

        Ford and Chevy do not need Chinese made components. Sure, they can lower product cost, but as automation progresses, they don’t need the Chinese as suppliers.

        The lesson the Chinese government needs to learn is that when you f*** with us, expect the same in return… in just a different way.

        Richard Nixon and corporate America built the Chinese industry and enriched the Chinese government; this and future presidents don’t have to continue supporting that mistake. You can refer to my answer to “D”.

        Reply
        1. 2slugbaits

          Bruce Hall I don’t have an issue with the US government boycotting Chinese components based on national security needs. That’s fine. I’m quite familiar with the issue of Chinese counterfeit parts in the DoD supply system. But I do have a problem with the US government telling private companies where they can and cannot get components for their products. And I don’t think the US government should be deciding whether the risks of IP theft outweigh the potential benefits of doing business in China. Most corporate CEOs are big boys and girls and quite capable of making those risk/benefit tradeoffs without any help from Donald Trump. And the best way to deal with IP theft is to work within the WTO and TPP.

          plant the spyware/spy devices within products used by American consumers and government agencies. Excusing that as an aberration is the equivalent of hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.

          Good to know that the US government doesn’t do any of those dastardly things.

          Reply
          1. Bruce Hall

            2slug,

            When the U.S. government attaches tiny chips in your phone, computer, house security system, and cars to monitor and collect data about you and your business, let me know immediately. There are millions of Americans who would descend on D.C. if that were exposed.

            As far as I know, electronic surveillance still requires a court action which generally requires specific cause of action… unless it’s the Trump campaign, of course.

          2. Menzie Chinn Post author

            Bruce Hall: As far as I know, surveillance of foreign nationals does not require FISA order. Are you saying surveillance of the Trump campaign US citizens was conducted w/o FISA orders? If so, documentation would be welcome.

          3. 2slugbaits

            Bruce Hall When the U.S. government attaches tiny chips in your phone, computer, house security system, and cars to monitor and collect data about you and your business, let me know immediately.

            Okay, I’m letting you know.

            BTW, it’s been well publicized that the US government has been planting viruses in computers against foreign governments and tapping phones, so it’s not just the Chinese who do it. Just ask the Iranians. Or ask Angela Merkel.
            https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jul/08/nsa-tapped-german-chancellery-decades-wikileaks-claims-merkel
            And while you complain a lot about the Chinese infecting US computers, it’s strange that you don’t seem to have an equally strong reaction to the Israelis doing the similar things to us.
            https://www.businessinsider.com/israelis-bugged-the-us-for-the-nsa-2013-6

            So start descending on D.C.

        2. CoRev

          Bruce, don’t be surprised if your reply NEVER shows up. There is some selective comment editing going on limiting counter point comments.

          Reply
          1. Menzie Chinn Post author

            CoRev: I do not think any of Bruce Hall’s comments have been edited — he can correct me if I am wrong — as he does not post comments with nothing but personal attacks. You on the other hand have resorted to numerous substance-free ad hominem attacks.

    3. noneconomist

      Simple. All we have to do to move on is find another country with 1.4 Billion consumers and an annual growth rate of 6-7%. Problem?

      Reply
      1. Bruce Hall

        non,

        Well, we could encourage business with India and let China crash and burn. The Chinese government needs the U.S. economy much more than we need the few Chinese consumer the U.S. get (compared with its overall consumer purchases). Yeah, it’s a big market and some of our companies (like Google) are selling their souls to try to get a small piece of the pie. But ultimately it’s a big mistake.

        Reply
          1. Bruce Hall

            Benlu,

            The Indian government and people have shown themselves to be philosophically much less belligerent and adversarial than their neighbors to the east and west. They have social problems, of course, but that can be addressed and is not a threat in the sense that China is.

            Additionally, creating economic prosperity in China would provide a counterweight to China’s expansionist efforts.

        1. noneconomist

          Looking, Bruce, at “Top 15 U.S. Agricultural Export Destinations”. Missing from the list is India.
          Top 5 are Canada, CHINA, Mexico, EU-28, Japan.
          Bottom 5: Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, Turkey.
          Letting China crash and burn would likely also involve the crashing and burning of more than a few farmers far from China. Trump might be able to get away with–in his words–shooting somebody on 5th Avenue. But bankrupting a few thousand almond (walnut, pistachio, et. al.) growers–many his supporters– may not go over so well,
          BTW, India’s GDP is currently a bit LOWER than California’s. And, about 6X LESS than China’s.
          Added BTW: According to the California Chamber of Commerce (CalChamber), in 2017 “China continued as California’s third largest export destination….” According to them, %16.4 Billion. No India on that list either.

          Reply
          1. noneconomist

            Plus, if you’re seeking profits—who isn’t?—India has far less to offer American exporters.
            China’s per capita GDP is low, India’s abysmal. Or, how much our debt is India purchasing?

          2. noneconomist

            Bruce, Related question, how long did it take to “normalize” trade with China? Fair answer would be: beginning with the Carter Administration and continuing through the Reagan years. That would be, oh, a seven to fifteen year time span.
            Building up markets in India would not happen overnight and likely not for a few years. Or more. Nation building–what you seem to be advocating–is (and has always been) expensive.
            I certainly am not an experts on markets, but neither apparently are you. Promoting, in your words, the crashing and burning of Chinese markets would have severe impacts on American industry and agriculture. And the jobs therein.
            Said crashing and burning, I’m sure, would be equally unpopular with Midwestern corn growers, coal miners in Kentucky and West Virginia, aerospace workers in Washington, and dairy farmers in numerous locations from California to Wisconsin. Then there are all those soybean growers too.
            If markets search out consumers, India would seem to be now–and for the near future–far down the list. We’re likely looking at a fairly long time span for per capita incomes in India to top those in either Guatemala or Bolivia.

    4. plp

      How does ” untrustworthyness” of a trading partner excuse our abandoning our free market way of life? Shouldn’t companies decide for themselves whether the bargain that the trading partner offers was worth it or not and whether this partner is trustworthy or not? Instead the government chose losers (those who produce things in China) and winner (those who produce in North America). It is state capitalism pure and simple. Also, this idea that security considerations suspend capitalism is opening a way for further erosion of free market…

      Reply
  7. Paul Mathis

    “The trade deficit with China increased to $38.6 billion in August, from $35.0 billion in August 2017.”
    Read more at https://www.calculatedriskblog.com/#u7FIZA2PqDSeuUk6.99

    The Trump trade deficit is the worst in 10 years and far worse than any trade deficit under Pres. Obama.
    The gap in goods trade with China rose to $38.6 billion for August and hit $8.7 billion with Mexico – both the highest monthly totals ever. Soybean exports plunged $1billion in August from July.

    Yup, trade wars are easy to win!

    Reply
  8. pgl

    Doug Irwin is a very good international economist. His paper on the incidence of the sugar tariff:

    http://www.nber.org/papers/w20635

    Tariff Incidence: Evidence from U.S. Sugar Duties, 1890-1930

    “Direct empirical evidence on whether domestic consumers or foreign exporters bear the burden of a country’s import duties is scarce. This paper examines the incidence of U.S. sugar duties using a unique set of high-frequency (weekly, and sometimes daily) data on the landed and the duty-inclusive price of raw sugar in New York City from 1890 to 1930, a time when the United States consumed more than 20 percent of world sugar production and was therefore plausibly a “large” country. The results reveal a striking asymmetry: a tariff reduction is immediately passed through to consumer prices with no impact on the import price, whereas about 40 percent of a tariff increase is passed through to consumer prices and 60 percent borne by foreign exporters. The apparent explanation for the asymmetric response is the asymmetric response of demand: imports collapse upon a tariff increase, but do not surge after a tariff reduction.”

    Reply
  9. PeakTrader

    To go with the strong growth as we close the output gap – today’s jobs report:

    “Nonfarm payrolls rose just 134,000…labor strike weighed on the numbers…August’s initial jobs count was revised up dramatically, from 201,000 to 270,000, while July’s numbers came up as well, from 147,000 to 165,000.”

    GDPNOW: 4.1%

    And, many more men and women angry at how Kavanaugh was treated and fired up to vote.

    Reply
    1. pgl

      Let’s see – the employment to population ratio as of Sept. 2018 = 60.4%, which is where it was as of Sept. 2017. Only PeakyTrader could see this is a HUGE improvement. I guess my pre-K teacher lied when she taught us that 60.4 minus 60.4 equaled zero!

      Reply
  10. PeakTrader

    Pgl, obviously, you ignored the link I posted before from the Fed in response to your ridiculous assumption about employment-population (and demographic changes). The U.S. population increases slightly more than 200,000 a month. The Fed estimates 50,000 to 110,000 enter the workforce each month at full employment. Yet, we’re creating 175,000 to 195,000 jobs per month. Also, part-time employment fell by over 800,000 in the past year (i.e. moving to full-time employment).

    Reply
  11. PeakTrader

    And Pgl, Trump already gained concessions on trade from the E.U., South Korea, Mexico, and Canada.

    Here’s what Navarro (a Trump economist and Democrat) said:

    “Our view is that these actions [tariffs] are necessary to defend this country, and that they are ultimately bullish for Corporate America, for the working men and women of America, and for the global trading system.”

    I know, you want people to believe Kavanaugh was a serial rapist or running some type of sex ring, and worse than Harvey Weinstein. It’s all nonsense. The facts, which I’m sure you’re ignorant of, prove that. Of course, you like fake and biased news, along with censoring reality.

    Reply
    1. pgl

      As Menzie noted – Trump has basically pulled off TPP. Good to see you and CoRev onboard with what Obama proposed.

      Now as far as Kavanaugh, I never said he was a serial rapist. But I guess the fact that he went after one 15 year girl is OK by you. After all – in their own words she was a “Holcom Hosebag”. Good to see you enjoy demeaning women from the other side of the tracks!

      Reply
      1. 2slugbaits

        PeakTrader probably believes “boofing” refers to flatulence and “devil’s triangle” is a drinking game.

        Reply
          1. 2slugbaits

            PeakTrader You’re either very gullible or you slept through the early 1980s. Or maybe you’re just way too old to know what those terms meant back then. Every teenager and twentysomething knew perfectly well what those terms meant.

  12. PeakTrader

    Actually, the increase in U.S. population from September 1st, 2017 to September 1st, 2018 was 192,500 per month. Yet, we’re creating 175,000 to 195,000 jobs per month.

    Reply
    1. pgl

      Did you even pass first grade arithmetic or what? If E/P (employment to population) < 1 and both grow by the same amount in absolute terms, then E/P rises. Everyone first grader knows this but not you.

      BTW – there is a big difference between household surveys v. payroll surveys. It seems you have no clue how BLS calculates the employment to population series. Even though every economist blog out there might help you on this score if you actually bothered to read economics. But you will not.

      Reply
      1. PeakTrader

        Pgl, when you get to second grade math, maybe, you can show how employment to population can be unchanged with a high level of job creation, and learn employment to population is always less than one.

        Also, I’ve explained the difference between the payroll and household surveys before, along with the trends or moving averages are similar.

        Reply
        1. Menzie Chinn Post author

          PeakTrader: I thought the deviation between NFP and civilian employment is what drove development of the alternative civilian employment series adjusted to conform to NFP concept in the early 2000’s…

          Reply
          1. PeakTrader

            Menzie Chinn, isn’t nonfarm payrolls more reliable and better reflect job growth in the economy?

            Anyway, haven’t the trends of both been similar, at least in the last couple of years.

  13. PeakTrader

    For Pgl, how the employment-population ratio is calculated:

    “The employment-to-population ratio is a macroeconomic statistic that indicates the ratio of the civilian labor force currently employed to the total working-age population of a region, municipality, or country. It is calculated by dividing the number of people employed by the total number of people of working age, and is used as a metric of labor and unemployment. For example, if 50 million people are employed in an area with 75 million people of working age, the employment-to-population ratio is 66.7 percent.”

    Obviously, demographic changes affect the ratio, i.e. changes in the population of older and younger people.

    Reply
  14. Benlu

    Bruce,

    “The Indian government and people have shown themselves to be philosophically much less belligerent and adversarial than their neighbors to the east and west. They have social problems, of course, but that can be addressed and is not a threat in the sense that China is.”

    From what I know about wars involving India and wars involving China, post WW2, it is hard to support your view above.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Hall

      Benlu,

      The India-Pakistan conflict (to which you obviously allude) is a long-standing issue between aggressive Muslims and Hindus.

      Meanwhile, China has used it’s dictatorial powers to crush its own people, support a rogue proxy in North Korea, and attempt to illegally grab international waters.

      China is expansionist; India is not.

      Reply
      1. Benlu

        The current China was formed after some 2 hundred years of partial colonisation, WW2 Japanese invasion war, then civil wars, badly war scarred. The current China went through a lot of trials and errors running the new government, with many mistakes and some very costly. The current China is one that was won by war at the price of tens million Chinese lives and fortunately China has been progressing rather positively in the last ew decades. China is now on its way to rejuvenate itself and I don’t think China will not stop no matter what difficulties are ahead. Talking about global hegemony, the number one country no one else could surpassed got to be USA. How many countries US have invaded already since WW2?

        Reply
  15. pgl

    “PeakTrader
    October 6, 2018 at 6:26 pm
    Menzie Chinn, isn’t nonfarm payrolls more reliable and better reflect job growth in the economy?”

    Let’s return to this by giving the official Lawrence Kudlow definition after we point out to PeakTrader for the 1 millionth time that the employment to population ratio uses the Household Survey measure of payrolls as opposed to the Employment Survey measure. Yes Peaky – there are TWO surveys. Get this into your head before babbling more numbers you do not comprehend!

    Now Kudlow’s approach is to use whichever survey gave him the highest increase for that month. Kudlow is a lying fool just like his boss – Trump. Which seems to be how PeakTrader approaches these matters as well.

    Reply
  16. Benlu

    Bruce,

    “Anything that hinders their expansionary dreams is fine with me.” it seems that anyone on the way to becoming better, stronger, smarter, more attractive looking, richer,.. is threatening. No wonder the west fought two ww with tens of millions deaths in less than 50 years, with no apparent benefit of preventing more in future, just delaying.

    Reply
  17. don

    Trump “How does a tariff work? A tariff is a tax on imported goods, so if a Chinese good is sold to an American, the American literally has to pay the tax.”

    Do you have your quote correct?

    Reply

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