The Course of the (Ongoing) Trade War: Soybean Prices

As measured by near month futures:


124 thoughts on “The Course of the (Ongoing) Trade War: Soybean Prices

  1. Edward Hanson


    I see you continue to select the dates of your chart so as not to give any recent historical perspective of soybean prices.. Just a reminder to those who care, that a much greater drop in soybean prices happened just a a few years before the beginning date of the above chart. And, just a reminder, that earlier drop in price makes this charted drop quite look small, as it truly is. Oh, and just a reminder, that earlier greater drop in price happened during the second term of President Obama. Which, just a reminder, is why it can not be mentioned.


    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Ed Hanson: Well, Econbrowser readers have heard your complaints in the past, and I’ve plotted data in the past. You omit the fact (1) soybean prices jumped during the Obama administrations, so they were higher the day he left office than the day he entered, and (2) the impact on farm profit vs. loss is much greater when prices were at the levels they were on the eve of the trade war, than in 2014 (consider how many farms would’ve gone under w/o the tens of billions of dollars given to the farmers through the CCC?).

    2. baffling

      ed, the point of the discussion is to remind viewers the latest drop in soybean prices had everything to do with trump policies and actions. sometimes supply and demand create discontinuities-as you noted in the past fluctuations. if you are a free market enthusiast, you accept those dislocations. other times, the dislocations are self inflicted and not a result of free market actions. i assume you are free market enthusiast, ed, so it would seem odd that you embrace the cause and effect rooted in the trump admin actions in the area of soybeans. if you had any internal consistency, ed, you would be appalled by the dislocation caused by trump.

      1. 2slugbaits

        Not to fear. King Donald has decided that the best use of the DPA is to order meatpacking plants to reopen despite the dangerous working conditions. After all, it’s important that those MAGA hat wearing hog farmers keep producing hogs for slaughter even if it means a few of “those brown people” in packing plants have to die. But Trump’s monster truck luv’n base just can’t live without bacon and sausage and pork chops. And Trump’s donor base can’t enjoy live without those juicy ribeyes and 24 oz T-Bones every night.

        1. pgl

          Do soybeans provide protein? If the Chinese are not buying our soybeans, maybe we can eat more of them just in case the pork and beef supply goes down.

          1. 2slugbaits

            No, no, no. Bruce and his fellow MAGA hatters don’t want to eat soybean products. That’s just too vegan for a Trumper. Real men and women only eat oversized portions of pork and beef. It’s almost summertime. Gotta fire up those charcoal grills with lots of meat.

          2. The Rage

            Well meat was important for the development of the human body. Though they never ate meat everyday. This is a large part of the reason people are so fat now.

    3. macroduck


      Choice of end-points is important to understanding relationships in data and it is clear that you are now, as always, insisting on seeing the data in a way that serves the interests of your political masters. Menzie has answered you about the claim you make here in earlier posts and you have left that bit of data out in your comment here. You are a pot pretending to see a kettle so you can call it black.

      One more observation about Edbert’s trolling. He is often swift to comment here in ways that distract from a discussion of the issue at hand. He wants the discussion to be about the nature of the discussion, not about the facts. The tendency to create distraction and eagerness to be first to comment on posts that are unflattering to one’s political masters are hallmarks of the paid troll. The whole point to paid trolling is to prevent honest discussion. Ebert tries to prevent honestdiscussion. Just sayin’.

    4. pgl

      Give it a rest Ed. His chart shows what happened as a result of the Trump trade wars. All the bitching from you does not change that. BTW – we have seen lots of links to data on soybean prices that go back 50 years. I guess you missed that or you are incapable of sourcing it.

  2. Willie

    In the ongoing COVID mess, I had completely forgotten about soybeans. Same with aluminum tarriffs. I don’t remember if those ever got resolved or not. My guess is not, since Trump never fixes anything he broke. Tarriffs aren’t going to make getting out of this economic hole any easier.

  3. pgl

    Trump cannot be bothered to use the Defense Production Act to get testing or protective gear but he will do anything to make sure he gets to eat beef and pork at every meal!

    “Faced with worries of a meat shortage caused by the coronavirus, President Donald Trump plans to order meat-processing plants to remain open, officials said Tuesday. Trump plans to declare meat plants as critical infrastructure, and cite the Defense Production Act to justify an order to keep them open, said two officials familiar with the discussions, speaking on condition of anonymity because the order is not yet completed.”

    But what does this order to with respect to the risk of getting coronavirus?

    “Trump also said he would issue an executive order to shield meat plants from legal liability if they are sued by employees who contract coronavirus while on the job.”

    So basically screw the workers but make sure the companies cannot be sued even though these companies have done nothing to protect their workers. I’m sure Trump got Bruce Hall’s seal of approval for this completely irresponsible executive order.

    1. pgl

      This comment applies here too!

      April 28, 2020 at 2:41 pm
      No, no, no. Bruce and his fellow MAGA hatters don’t want to eat soybean products. That’s just too vegan for a Trumper. Real men and women only eat oversized portions of pork and beef. It’s almost summertime. Gotta fire up those charcoal grills with lots of meat.’

      Me? I’ve tried to stick to my normal routines even as my local Brooklyn grocery stores have struggled to keep a lot of things in supply. Tonight I made salmon instead of a turkey burger and we know – it was a real treat and healthier too. Oh wait – the fish was imported from Asia. Shame on me!

  4. Moses Herzog

    I just hope this means I can get my hard 豆腐 cheap at Wal Mart next time I go. It’s kind of a pain waiting 5-6 hours for it to dehydrate after I cube it though. Oh well, all the time waiting for it to dry and moving it with the metal spatula to avoid it sticking to the pan is worth it when Barkley Junior sneers and calls me his “soy boy”.

  5. Moses Herzog

    I have noticed meat prices have moved up generally in my area. I usually pick up rib-eye and chuck-eye steak for probably around $5.50–$6, In the very recent past (pre-COVID19) I have even picked up good sized chuck-eye in the $4 range if it’s bumping up close to the expiration time. Yesterday getting one ribeye would have cost me a little over $9. So I adjusted and got two good sized T-bone steaks for just slightly over $9. If I can turn everyone’s stomach for a few moments, I can pick up a can of Salmon, for roughly $3.80. You can add a vegetable to that and that’s a meal in my book. I also got a loaf of whole wheat bread for $1.68 (same price for white bread which I’m not above getting and actually enjoy more). I wanted to get the commercially made Jewish rye, but they either didn’t have it or had moved it to another part of the store. I probably should have scrounged more but was a little lethargic yesterday.

    Normally I would never pick up canned salmon, but because the COVID-19 I am looking for stuff with Vitamin D, other than eggs (with the cholesterol, so I limit myself to two eggs in a day). The canned is so much cheaper than the fresh and I got my Vitamin D minus the cholesterol. I also pick up packs of sardines two packs with a veggie added are a meal at 99 cents a piece). Vitamin D will help with lung infections so I load up on that. What really annoys me though is I can’t find my Vietnamese style instant noodles (which are $1.91 a bowl and taste great with a boiled egg) so I have to move up to the Korean Udon gunk which I don’t even like as much and runs me a little over $3. Very annoying and can’t figure out why most of the other instant noodles are there, and the one which is my favorite has magically disappeared.

    Cheapskate pro-tip: Add a few leafs of dry leaf spinach to your instant noodles in the middle of the boiling and you’re adding a bunch of cheap nutrients with little added cost.

    1. 2slugbaits

      I love canned salmon. Great for salmon burgers and salmon salad sandwiches instead of tuna. I use it for salmon shepherd’s pie as well. Haven’t had a ribeye or T-Bone in 30 years and I’d be happy to go another 30. Chuck roasts and ground beef are okay, but for the last year or so my wife only gets the plant based “beef”, which is pretty good. Sardines are good with salads, but I really like the smoked kippers.

      This concern with the meat supply is misplaced. Politicians are getting a lot of political pressure from cattle and (especially) hog farmers who are sitting on large herds ready for market. Right now they don’t have any good way to get those stocks off their feedlots. For example, when pressed to explain why she refused to close the Tysons pork processing plant in Waterloo, Iowa, the governor hemmed and hawed before finally blurting out the truth, which was that farmers were telling her they would have to euthanize thousands of hogs if they couldn’t get them to a processing plant. In other words, she valued the lives of hogs above the lives of those “brown people” working in the processing plants. And Trump’s decision to force open those plants will only create bottlenecks somewhere else in the food supply. If plants accept more hogs for processing, then farmers will continue to breed more hogs because they will respond to incorrect price signals. People don’t have a lot of income, so final demand for meet will fall. That means the intermediate supplies for meat must also fall. Trump’s approach is to keep the intermediate supply chain going even in the face of declining final demand. Americans eat way too much meat. If there’s a silver lining in this pandemic it’s that it could provide Americans with a lifestyle change that would be healthier and better for the planet. My daughter is a total vegan and I suspect she could teach her old man a thing or two.

      1. Moses Herzog

        @ 2slugbaits
        I tend to agree with you on the meat supply concerns. But there have been some short term movements in the price. I’m in Southern Plains so I thought I would mention it for other regions’ folks that were curious. I think if they actually had stricter rules on the packers and processors (like they should) it would effect the price longer-term, but I don’t see the legislators or regulators doing that, for the same reasons you mentioned. I’ll look for the smoked kippers, if I’ve ever had those it’s been a long time. We’re in pretty much 100% agreement on all of this.

        I’m a cheapskate SOB, but even I wouldn’t ask people to sacrifice their lives (or their grandma’s or kindly older uncle’s) so I could have meat a couple bucks cheaper. My maternal grandfather worked his entire life in a meat packing plant (he had huge powerful hands and arms and even in his elderly years could do major damage with his hands if he took the notion). And my father’s father (who died before I was born) worked in a meat packing plant a time and my father maybe worked there one summer or half-year (I suspect but do not know with a major intent of impressing his father he could do blue-collar work well). Marshalltown Iowa. It was the “Swift” packing plant. I think it’s still there now but I assume under another name.

        For the record, I think Iowans are much sharper in general than they get credit for, you can see that in the public education system and the universities, so how people like Steve King and Kim Reynolds get elected to office I’ll never know. As someone who considers themselves at base root to be an Iowan, it makes me facepalm and hang my head in shame.

  6. pgl

    Our Trump sycophants have been suggesting that the U.S. should have followed Sweden’s lead, which is discussed in this article:

    It is a long discussion with lots of updates including this:

    Editor’s note: Sweden has a population of 10 million people, about twice as large as its nearest Scandinavian neighbors. As of April 28, the country’s COVID-19 death toll reached 2,274, about five times higher than in Denmark and 11 times higher than in Norway, according to John Hopkins University’s coronavirus tracker.

      1. pgl

        Guess what Brucie – your source vastly understates the confirmed deaths in Sweden. I guess that is because Sweden is still climbing that mountain and is far from the peak. But leave it to our village idiot that this only makes the point.

        Just like Trump – you need to stop babbling because the more you do – the dumber you sound. Which is pretty amazing given you have proven that you are already the dumbest person ever (besides Trump).

        1. Bruce Hall

          pgl, what is your source for the “correct” Covid19 death count in Sweden? I showed you mine; you show me yours. For some reason, I just can’t take your statements at face value because they are never backed up with credible citations.

          1. pgl

            You did provide a source FINALLY but as usual you forgot to analyze your own source. When we did – it showed what I had to say originally was true. To which you decided to go off on some bizarre tirade of blaming darkies for getting this virus. Same old Bruce Hall.

    1. noneconomist

      Sweden’s population is about the same as Los Angeles County. As of 4/28, the LAC death toll was 1000. That would make Sweden’s death toll 123% higher.
      Today’s (4/29) numbers show Sweden’s deaths at 2,462.

      1. Willie

        Don’t discount the fact that Sweden’s population is spread over a significantly larger area than the population of LA county, too. So, if you include population density in your analysis somehow, you will find that Sweden isn’t doing very well at all.

        1. pgl

          My link compared it to Denmark and Norway. But I do try to find reliable comparisons. That is not Brucie’s mission in life as we know Team Trump pays him dearly to spread disinformation. Dumb as a rock disinformation that is.

        2. pgl

          Bruce’s little source shows Norway’s death per millions is only 39. Denmark is closer to 75. Sweden? Over 230? So Bruce’s own little source made my earlier point. Which begs the question whether Bruce actually reads and thinks before he writes his little comments? Evidence strongly suggests no.

          1. Bruce Hall

            pgl, so you conveniently ignored the major differences in minority populations? Parsing again.

          2. pgl

            “pgl, so you conveniently ignored the major differences in minority populations? Parsing again.”

            Another Bruce Hall lie. No dumbass – you ignored the true underlying causes. You remind me of the dumb dog that was given a little rope which he hung himself with. Maybe Moses can find us those Foghorn Leghorn cartoons where Bruce Hall plays the dumb dog.

      2. noneconomist

        As of 4/29, California-with a population 4X larger than Sweden’s—had 1,779 Covid related deaths, 495 fewer than Sweden.

        1. pgl

          How dare you bother Bruce with accurate and meaningful comparisons? Don’t you know this will get our village idiot fired from Team Trump?

        2. Bruce Hall


          Michigan’s population: 10 million –
          Michigan’s minority population (excl. Asians) ~ 20%
          Michigan Covid19 deaths: 3,567 (as of 4/28)
          One of the more restrictive Covid19 policies

          Note: Detroit ~80% African American. On Monday, the city reported there been 8,686 cases of COVID-19 and 947 deaths from the virus. Based on a review of the city’s data, about 20% of the deaths have been nursing home residents. (population: 672,662). 6-7% of Michigan’s population accounts for nearly 27% of Michigan’s Covid19 deaths.

          Sweden’s population: 10.2 million (2018)
          Sweden’s minority population ~ 19%
          Sweden’s Covid 19 deaths: 2,462 (as of 4/28)
          One of the least restrictive Covid19 policies

          Now we are comparing a cooler climate with a cooler climate (re: sunlight and warmer temperatures destroy Covid19 virus quickly) and similar size populations with similar size minority populations (see my response regarding Sweden vs. other Scandinavian countries). Most of Michigan’s cases/deaths occurring in areas with larger minority populations.

          1. pgl

            Are you paying ANY attention? Comparing Detroit to basically a place that is mostly woods? Come on – we know you are the dumbest person on the planet. So no need to remind us over and over again.

          2. Bruce Hall

            pgl I don’t think the analysis was about rural vs. urban, but you should know than of the 138 sq.mi. that constitutes the city of Detroit, almost 30% is abandoned/derelict. Relative to other cities, Detroit is “in the woods”.

            You conveniently ignored all of the other comparisons. That’s your bias showing. Go Bernie!

          3. noneconomist

            Bruce, serious comparisons between Sweden and Michigan should also–at a minimum–mention access to health care, especially in those areas with significant minority populations.
            This site– offers plenty of insight.
            For example: “Swedish policy states that every regional council must provide residents with good quality health and medical care and work to promote good health for the entire population….As of 2019, regional councils also cover dental costs for local residents up to the age of 23. Dental care3 from age 24 up is subsidized by the state.”
            Costs: paid for by regional and municipal taxes.
            Patient fees: limited for primary care, hospital stays, specialist care, and prescription medications
            Prenatal Care: Covered with the result “a sharp reduction in mortality among women in childbirth.” And significant decreases in infant mortality as well.
            Sweden’s municipalities: Responsible for care for the elderly, ” in home or in special accommodation. Their duties also include care for people with physical disabilities or psychological disorders and providing support and services for people released from hospital care as well as for school healthcare.”

            Call me cynical but I doubt the foregoing bears much–if any — resemblance to health and dental care available in the areas in Michigan hardest hit by the virus. Or in most areas of the state in general.
            One interesting note: there can be significant wait time to see a specialist. Not, however, much different than what I have personally experienced here.
            And this: “It Is now common for regional councils to buy services from private health care providers. Those3 patients who do “are covered by the same regulations and fees that apply to municipal care facilities.”

          4. Willie

            So, Bruce, are you saying that minority ethnic populations are somehow responsible for infection and death rates?

    2. Bruce Hall

      Source: CIA – The World Factbook

      Ethnic groups:This entry provides an ordered listing of ethnic groups starting with the largest and normally includes the percent of total population.Ethnic groups field listing
      Denmark – Danish (includes Greenlandic (who are predominantly Inuit) and Faroese) 86.3%, Turkish 1.1%, other 12.6% (largest groups are Polish, Syrian, German, Iraqi, and Romanian) (2018 est.) 65 years and over: 19.91% (male 538,096/female 630,475) (2020 est.)
      Finland – Finn, Swede, Russian, Estonian, Romani, Sami (percentages not shown) 65 years and over: 22.26% (male 543,331/female 697,045) (2020 est.)
      Norway – Norwegian 83.2% (includes about 60,000 Sami), other European 8.3%, other 8.5% (2017 est.) 65 years and over: 17.43% (male 442,232/female 510,594) (2020 est.)
      Sweden – Swedish 80.9%, Syrian 1.8%, Finnish 1.4%, Iraqi 1.4%, other 14.5% 65 years and over: 20.59% (male 974,410/female 1,126,142) (2020 est.)

      I include percent of population 65 years and older because those are generally see as the most vulnerable to the virus and death. In the comparison of Scandinavian deaths/million, the old population differences do not seem that significant.

      Minorities (other) in Sweden have significantly higher infection/death rate from Covid19 than native Swedes. It is suspected that native Swedes are more likely to accept “suggestions” about health and social distancing than minorities.
      The solution, of course, is to punish those who are responsible because of those who are just less aware or inclined or able to follow “suggestions”, jo!

      You might note that Denmark, Norway, and Finland have much smaller “minority” populations.

      Now before 2slug and pgl jump on these data as “racist” or “Trumpist”, these are just data and observations from others. Sweden is less like its Scandinavian cousins because it has had a large influx of Middle Eastern and Northern African immigrants/refugees. This has resulted in a sub-population that seems to be more vulnerable to the Covid19 virus than the native population. Despite this, the overall deaths/million in Sweden remains in line with or less than many other European nations without the forced government shutdown of businesses. Consequently, Sweden’s economy has been far less adversely affected.

      1. pgl

        I see – blame the darkies for getting COVID19. How Trumpian can you get. Yes – the citizens of my city who have to do the essential work tend to get this virus more than those that can sit in their penthouses. People who live in crowded neighborhoods with less resources tend to get this virus more often. Now if you are trying to make a case for a more progressive society than the racist elitist nation that Trump hearts – you have done a nice job. But no – it seems your spreading Trump’s blame game and racism. Which is SO Bruce Hall.

        1. Bruce Hall

          Right on cue. It’s all about race to you, isn’t it? Anyone who points out anything outside of your worldview is racist. Damn, you’re dense.

          1. pgl

            “It’s all about race to you, isn’t it?” This is from the troll who introduced racism into this conversation? Hey Bruce – does a KKK outfit shield you from getting this virus?

          2. Willie

            You made a racist statement, he called you on it, and now you are a whiny snowflake. Typical reactionary.

      2. pgl

        “Now before 2slug and pgl jump on these data as “racist” or “Trumpist”, these are just data and observations from others.”

        Is Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh cherry picking data and your bizarre interpretations of it for you? You have a habit of this intellectual garbage so I figured the Fox and Friends crowd and Tucker Carlson is also pitching in.

        Sort of like that medical doctor from Barstow, California that you put up as your expert. But it turns out that people figured out that your little expert regularly appears on Tucker Carlson’s show and spreads the usual lies.

        1. Bruce Hall

          Point out what was cherry picked. I compared a large state to a small nation: same population; same percent minority population; same mix of urban/rural; same general climate; a few large cities, some farmland, lots of forests.

          You’re the cherrypicker with your parsing.

      3. pgl

        “Sweden is less like its Scandinavian cousins because it has had a large influx of Middle Eastern and Northern African immigrants/refugees.”

        This is the kind of racist dumbass logic that had Trump convinced flights from Europe could still fly into JFK. After all white people cannot transmit this virus. Oh wait – it can and my city got nailed. BTW – there is no evidence that we got this virus from flights from Egypt or Nigeria. We got it from flights from white Europe.

        Hey Bruce – we always knew you were dumber than a rock. But a flaming racist too? OK!

        1. Bruce Hall

          pgl you just can’t help yourself, can you? If data points to anything except your bias, it’s “racist”. If all of the sources I cited regarding how minorities are more affected are “racist”, then I’ll accept your conclusions.
          • Huffington Post
          • LA Times
          • The Guardian

          You are Johnny One Note

          1. pgl

            “If data points to anything except your bias”

            You are the one that started with racial garbage not be. And data points from a cherry picking little liar like you? Snicker!

      4. 2slugbaits

        Bruce Hall Just as I thought your posts had reached bottom, you somehow manage to go even lower. How dumb can your posts get? Minorities tend to be most affected because they are poorer and have less access to healthcare. Swedes at least have the advantage of a social safety net and good healthcare, unlike Michigan’s minorities. And because they have less income, they also tend to have multiple generations living in the same household. That’s one major reason why the meatpacking outbreaks have been so bad. In Sweden’s case over half the households have only one person. And in Sweden more people work from home than anywhere else in Europe. And Sweden has a population density one-tenth that of most other European countries. Kind of a big difference in terms of social distancing capabilities. Still, in spite of all those inherent advantages, Sweden is still performing very poorly relative to its neighbors. Sweden’s per capita death rate is even far higher than the US per capita death rate.

        And your entire argument doesn’t make any sense. On the one hand you have been recommending the Swedish experiment with “herd immunity.” But then with you latest screed you seem to be giving us all kinds of reasons why the Swedish model wouldn’t work in this country; viz., minorities being less “likely to accept social distancing.” And then you reveal your true stripes; punish the innocent…or as you call them, the “less aware or inclined or able to follow suggestions.” Let me add one other problem minority that seems unable or inclined to follow science; viz., loyal Fox Noise viewers.

        And now it’s time to jump on your racist rant, because that’s exactly what it is. You are perfectly happy to see Trump order brown and black people to work in dangerous meatpacking plants as long as you get your steaks and burgers. In your moral calculus those folks don’t count anymore than the cattle and hogs that get slaughtered in those plants. They are only useful to the extent that they can provide you with food. I’ll tell you what. Why don’t you show those minorities how to behave in the right way? Here’s you chance to show them how to be socially responsible. Why don’t you go to one of those upper Midwest packing plants and apply for a job on the production line. It’s unskilled work, so lack of prior experience is no barrier to job entry. You’ll meet lots of new friends because workers stand less than a foot apart. As Dennis Rodman would say, “Do us a solid” and take your place on the production line.

        Sweden’s economy has been far less adversely affected.

        Says who? All of this happy talk about the Swedish economy is coming from one source; viz., the guy who is primarily responsible for the “herd immunity” approach. And even if the Swedish economy doesn’t get hit too badly, do you honestly believe that you could transplant that same “herd immunity” approach here? Or have you just become a Bernie Bro Luv’n Democratic Socialist who wants to expand the welfare state?

        1. Bruce Hall

          Racist rant? You really can’t read a whole paragraph, can you? Don’t project your biases on to me. Pointing out that minorities are dying at a greater rate than the rest of a population is somehow racist? Oh, Huffington Post, LA Times, and The Guardian are going to be so ashamed of themselves.

          You and pgl are really devolving. You used to carry on some pretty worthy discussions. How, dear sir, is data racist?

          1. pgl

            “You really can’t read a whole paragraph, can you?”

            Talking to yourself again? Try reading your own links next time because the rest of us do and have a great laugh at how your own links contradict your serial BS.

          2. 2slugbaits

            Bruce Hall The racist part isn’t in your citing data. The racist part is in your explanation of the data. No one, least of all those of us on the left, dispute that minorities have higher mortality from COVID-19 than upscale whites. The problem is in your explaining that higher mortality rate by appealing to racist tropes about dark skinned people being less able to accept “suggestions” of social responsibility from white folks.

            You used to carry on some pretty worthy discussions.

            Ditto that. There was a time when the old Bruce Hall would have been embarrassed by some of the nonsense coming out of Trump’s mouth. But as Trump has gone from bad to worse to downright bizarre your posts have become increasingly defensive.

            BTW, have you filled out that job application for Tysons yet?

        2. pgl

          You know this is all good stuff but in the future we will need to write one sentence comments as Bruce never gets past the first sentence of anything.

      5. pgl

        When Bruce Hall wants to wind down from his lying for Trump, I have a movie recommendation for him:

        Spectrum’s Manhunt: Deadly Games’ focuses on bomber Eric Rudolph as well as falsely accused Richard Jewell

        Rudolph turned out to be the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bomber who was upset that Atlanta allowed people of color to visit the city. Something tells me Rudolph is one of Bruce Hall’s heroes.

  7. pgl

    Gilead got some good news on Remdesivir which Dr. Fauci noted in some White House press conference. Well it is bad news for those snake oil sales people pushing that deadly and ineffective anti-malari fraud. Which means Bruce Hall likely will take a bath on this one. Alas – he needs to peddle more disinformation for Team Trump just to pay the rent.

      1. pgl

        I am not shilling. You are the one doing that. BTW – I do not own Gilead Sciences shares. I avoid this because in my job I adhere to a strict code of ethics. Something completely foreign to you. So take you lying racist garbage and go hang out with Jared Kushner who actually thinks he is doing a really great job.

      2. pgl

        The Chinese results are a joke. Few patients – so reliability at all for multiple of reasons that smart people have already noted. Oh wait – you would never understand the science.

        My God – you really are a moron after all!

      3. pgl

        You could not get to the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs:?

        “The authors of the study warned that interpreting the trial finding is limited as it was stopped early after they were unable to recruit enough patients due to the steep decline in cases in China.
        The authors conclude that more evidence from ongoing clinical trials is needed to better understand if remdesivir can provide meaningful clinical benefit.”

        Try listening to what Fauci said at the White House just today. Oh wait – you would never understand it anyway. Never mind.

        But for once in your incredibly incompetent existence – could you bother to READ your own damn links? GEESH!

      4. baffling

        bruce, do you even read the articles you link to? it was three paragraphs long. the middle paragraph consisted of the following statement
        “The authors of the study warned that interpreting the trial finding is limited as it was stopped early after they were unable to recruit enough patients due to the steep decline in cases in China.”
        bruce, are you an idiot? other than the headline, which appears to be clickbait, the very limited articled was self defeating for your argument.

        1. pgl

          bruce, do you even read the articles you link to?

          I have asked the same question of Bruce forever. It seems he sees a headline and maybe reads the 1st sentence. Then he goes to the Twitter to see the latest rant from Trump. Trump’s reading comprehension skills are dreadful but he is certainly better at reading than Bruce Hall.

    1. Alan Goldhammer

      the malaria pill takers may be unaware that hydroxychloroquine sits around in your body for a really long time. Serum half life is about 25 DAYS. Most drugs are cleared in a day or two but not this one. I’m amazed as I track research that there are still HCQ trials going on and even with azithromycin which is a double whammy in terms of heart arrythmias. So much for ‘do not harm.’

  8. pgl

    Bruce Hall spreads a lot of lies in the service of Donald Trump here. One of them involved a youtube featuring Dan Erikson and Artin Massihi trying to tell us COVID-19 was not that deadly. Tucker Carlson loves to feature these two frauds. This is not only disgusting and dishonest – it could lead to behaviors that increase the death toll. Just remember Bruce Hall is a lying Trump sycophant who also seems to be a brazen racist!

    Fox News vs. MSNBC: Chris Hayes debunks video of California doctors who downplay the threat of COVID-19 as Tucker Carlson hypes it
    At the top of his prime time show Tuesday night, Tucker Carlson hyped a video featuring two California doctors who downplayed the threat of the coronavirus. The doctors, Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi, are the co-owners of an urgent care clinic in Bakersfield. They went viral in the last few days for delivering a presentation last week in which they suggested the mortality rate of Covid-19 is similar to the flu. The arguments the doctors put forward have been widely criticized. The American College of Emergency Physicians and the American Academy of Emergency Medicine said in a joint statement that they “emphatically condemn the recent opinions released” by Erickson and Massihi. And YouTube removed the video for violating its community guidelines, which have been strengthened to prevent coronavirus misinformation from spreading rampantly on the platform.

    1. Bruce Hall

      pgl Well, then here are more “RACIST” lies from Science News:

      Oh, and then that “RACIST” Financial Times:

      OMG, even The Washington Post is “RACIST” for writing this: The covid-19 racial disparities could be even worse than we think

      Imagine all of those formerly correct-thinking publications even bringing the idea that minority populations were at greater risk of getting/dying from Covid19. And it’s all Bruce Hall’s fault for putting the idea in their heads with data.

      1. pgl

        You read the title of your first link but not the entire article. The entire article is what 2slug wrote. Damn it Bruce – stop posting links that contradict your BS as it is an insult to your mother than you do not have the mental capacity of reading the actual discussion.

      2. pgl

        Your FT article:
        “Inquiries into why racial minorities are so heavily over-represented among those suffering from Covid-19 are under way, although few expect simple answers.”

        Bruce Hall certainly expects simple answers! Of course you did not read the rest of the FT discussion either!

      3. pgl

        Your failure to read your WaPo link was the best. Not only does it confirm what 2slug said, it notes blacks are not getting tested. I guess all the testing must be spent on Pence and his crew so Pence can go into hospitals without a mask.

        Seriously Bruce – do we need you into a good preK reading program?

  9. pgl

    More on Drs. Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi – the two clowns that Bruce Hall used as his experts:

    ‘Drs. Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi, owners of a string of urgent care facilities in Bakersfield and the surrounding area, went viral in recent days after claiming that public health orders to combat the spread of COVID-19 are harmful, and that the disease is much less deadly than public health authorities claim. Fox News has taken to it like catnip: The pair were interviewed by Laura Ingraham in her prime time slot Monday and featured in Tucker Carlson’s monologues two days in a row. Erickson spoke to Shannon Bream in her 11 p.m. slot Tuesday night, and the doctors’ viral local news briefing — which was taken down by YouTube this week after being promoted by Elon Musk and others — was the focus of a “Fox & Friends” segment Wednesday morning.
    And yet, doctors across the country say the pair’s conclusions are just… wrong. The American College of Emergency Physicians and the American Academy of Emergency Medicine on Monday said in a statement that they “emphatically condemn” Erickson and Massihi’s pronouncements, and that the doctors’ “reckless and untested musings do not speak for medical societies and are inconsistent with current science and epidemiology regarding COVID-19.”
    “ACEP and AAEM strongly advise against using any statements of Drs. Erickson and Massihi as a basis for policy and decision making,” the groups said.
    The video that shot the doctors into the spotlight was formatted as a briefing for local media, centered on the roughly 5,000 COVID-19 tests that Accelerated Urgent Care, Erickson and Massihi’s chain of clinics, has conducted on patients from Kern County and the surrounding area. Based on the rate of positive tests among their patients — as well as testing numbers in California, New York, and nationwide — the doctors projected that tens of millions more Americans currently have COVID-19 than public health officials have acknowledged. Using the current number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths, the pair extrapolated that the mortality rate from the disease was much lower than experts believe, and therefore that it would be safe to ease up on quarantine orders. But doctors and experts quickly called foul: Many COVID-19 deaths are unrecorded as such, they pointed out, and estimating COVID-19 infection rates based on positive tests at urgent care centers “is a bit like estimating the average height of Americans from the players on an NBA court,” the University of Washington biologist Carl Bergstrom tweeted.’

    In other news – there may be an explanation why the Trump White House has done so very little to increase testing. He likely does not want the true incidence of this virus to be known. After all – his poll numbers matter. The rest of us do not.

  10. Bruce Hall

    pgl, with all his efforts to divert attention from the facts, simply tries to avoid the obvious conclusion when comparing Sweden to Michigan: those two political entities are essentially twins yet Sweden with a permissive policy regarding Covid19 has only 2/3 the Covid19 deaths that have occurred in Michigan.

    He wants to make everything about race which makes me wonder about his background. He simply can’t address the obvious conclusion from the comparison that Michigan’s highly restrictive Covid19 policies have had less success than Sweden’s permissive policies. He simply can’t accept the fact that multiple credible sources have reported that minority populations have been most affected choosing, instead, to say such data is “racist”. He simply can’t accept the fact that Sweden’s experiment with not shutting down large segments of its economy (so-called “non-essential) has been as successful in dealing with the epidemic as highly restrictive policies.

    There is something truly off about pgl.

    Try data: Sweden’s death rate is comparable to other European nations; it’s new cases are flat to declining.

    1. baffling

      hey bruce hall, lets go with the swedish model. i want you out and about, dining and sharing a laugh with your fellow trumpsters. the virus is targeting your demographic with a vengeance. have at it old man. or are you still hunkered down, getting food delivered while you expect OTHERS to go out and work for you?

      by the way, more data is coming in that indicates this virus is doing significant damage to the cardiovascular system even when it does not damage the respiratory system. we have been hearing about young otherwise healthy folks getting blood clots and major strokes. now the very young, who we thought were not impacted by the virus as all, are developing kawasaki disease. of course this is not a concern for old man bruce. but he should be concerned by the high death rate reported in senior citizens.

    2. pgl

      You are such a liar. You brought up race not me. And you are presenting facts? Hey bruce your own dog is laughing at you!

    3. pgl

      Sweden and Detroit are virtually the same place. I do declare – Bruce Hall is truly a funny little boy!

  11. The Rage

    Covid 19 was very very infectious Bruce. It also was new like previous outbreaks which meant a pandemic. I know it sucks for you, but the US economy was structurally weak. The excess of debt in subprime/nonbank entities was partly because of Trump and its deleveraging like a SOB. was starting. His policies failed and the Trump recession is his lasting legacy.

    Its time for the McConnoll era to end. Its run its course as well.

  12. Barkley Rosser

    As of today, here are the nine nations with a rate of increase in deaths per million based on a three-day rolling average according to :
    Belgium 15.67
    Ireland 10.73
    UK 9.2
    Spain 9.01
    Sweden 8.38
    Italy 7.82
    France 7.32
    USA 6.2
    Netherlands 6.13

    1. Barkley Rosser

      Should have said the nine nations with rates of increase greater than 5 per millioin per day.

  13. sammy

    In a letter to Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) presents a frequently updated table of studies that report results of treating COVID-19 with the anti-malaria drugs chloroquine (CQ) and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ, Plaquenil®).
    To date, the total number of reported patients treated with HCQ, with or without zinc and the widely used antibiotic azithromycin, is 2,333, writes AAPS, in observational data from China, France, South Korea, Algeria, and the U.S. Of these, 2,137 or 91.6 percent improved clinically. There were 63 deaths, all but 11 in a single retrospective report from the Veterans Administration where the patients were severely ill.
    Peer-reviewed studies published from January through April 20, 2020, provide clear and convincing evidence that HCQ may be beneficial in COVID-19, especially when used early, states AAPS.

    1. 2slugbaits

      Peer-reviewed studies published from January through April 20, 2020

      I see. So what’s your understanding of the peer review process? If I slap together a working note and ask three of my friends to look it over at their leisure, would that make it a peer-reviewed paper? The peer review process properly understood takes months if not years. Did you notice that the first paper cited in your link didn’t have anything to do with COVID-19. It was a 2005 paper and was in reference to SARS. And about a third of the other papers were all authored or co-authored by Dr. Raoult, the very Marseilles doctor who has come under severe scrutiny lately for being guilty of some very bad research. And most of the remaining papers come from China. Make of that what you will. A couple of the papers were simply protocol instructions for trials in hospitals and didn’t report conclusions. Finally, a couple of the studies didn’t find hydroxychloroquine was effective, but that didn’t stop the AAPS from looking for excuses as to why things turned out badly. Hmmmm….so just who or what is this AAPS??? Interesting question. Wait. It turns out that it’s actually a very conservative political action committee:

      …its publication advocates a range of scientifically discredited hypotheses, including the belief that HIV does not cause AIDS, that being gay reduces life expectancy, that there is a link between abortion and breast cancer, and that there is a causal relationship between vaccines and autism.

      Now sammy, don’t you feel just a little silly? You were fooled again by some quacks. You Fox Noise viewers never seem to learn.

      1. pgl

        “The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a politically conservative non-profit association founded in 1943. It is opposed to the Affordable Care Act and other forms of universal health insurance.”

        Come on Sammy! At least your partisan clowns are not as absurd as those two Bakersfield doctors that Bruce Hall and Tucker Carlson dragged out as their experts!

  14. 2slugbaits

    Bruce Hall I know you want to do your part in supporting the food supply chain, so I went to the trouble of finding some production job openings at the Tyson plant in Waterloo, Iowa. I encourage you to apply for one of these jobs and explore new career opportunities secure in the knowledge that you’ll be feeding families and ensuring that Tysons only hires people who are in the country legally. I’m assuming that you are not an undocumented alien, right?

  15. pgl

    I think we have all be wondering why Trump has been so damn incompetent at stopping the COVID spread but could it be part of his Make America White Again promise made some 4 years ago? Bear with me as this may be a genius plan from Trump. We know he has dusted off his desire to not let any Hispanics immigrate here even though there is zero evidence that they have had nothing with COVID getting here. He did impose a travel ban on China – bonus for the Stephen Miller types. But no travel ban for those white from Europe even the evidence shows this is why the east coast got ducked. Make America White Again!

    But Bruce Hall’s latest little thesis is that blacks and people from the Middle East are more likely to get this virus. Never mind the causal factors as Bruce Hall is incapable of cause and effect thinking. But think about it – if he is right here then this is a brilliant Trump plan to reduce the number of blacks and Muslims in our nation. Make America White Again.

    Thanks Bruce for clearing up Trump’s Grand Plan!

    1. baffling

      pgl, you need to understand the calculus used by trump and president kushner in addressing the pandemic. both of them have one goal, reelection. the reason trump pushed so hard for a $2 trillion dollar stimulus, is because survivors may be appreciative and vote for him. he even signed the stimulus checks for crying out loud. and why was he not too concerned about jumping on covid treatments? dead people don’t vote. his job is to sell to the people who survived, that their survival was due to him-at least that is what is for sale. and many folks fall for it, even though most folks survive coronavirus anyways. this is why he pushed for hydroxychloroquine. it was abundantly available and accessible to folks, who believe they were saved by his wisdom. but sick people who die are not part of his voting constituency, so they get very little attention from trump and president kushner.

  16. pgl

    Trump said this week that kids do well even if they get COVID-19. European doctors warn this is very wrong:

    Doctors in Britain, Italy, and Spain have been warned to look out for a rare inflammatory condition in children that is possibly linked to the new coronavirus. Earlier this week, Britain’s Paediatric Intensive Care Society issued an alert to doctors noting that, in the past three weeks, there has been an increase in the number of children with “a multi-system inflammatory state requiring intensive care” across the country. The group said there was “growing concern” that either a COVID-19 related syndrome was emerging in children or that a different, unidentified disease might be responsible.

    Bruce Hall would say no worry as he could care less about your kids. MAGA!

  17. pgl

    Catch this:

    CHICAGO (Reuters) – Concerns over leaks compelled the top U.S. infectious disease official to reveal data on Gilead Sciences Inc’s experimental drug remdesivir, the first in a scientifically rigorous clincial trial to show benefit in treating COVID-19.
    The dramatic announcement by Dr Anthony Fauci in the Oval Office on Wednesday prompted concerns among scientists that the Trump administration was raising hopes about a coronavirus treatment before sharing the full data with researchers. As a cautionary example of inflating the potential value of a therapy, some pointed to President Donald Trump’s repeated endorsements of malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment, with no evidence that it works. Newer data suggests the malaria treatments may carry significant risks for some sufferers of the respiratory disease caused by the virus. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which is running the trial, said he took the first opportunity to get the word out that patients taking a dummy treatment or placebo should be switched to remdesivir in hopes of benefiting from it. He expressed concern that leaks of partial information would lead to confusion. Since the White House was not planning a daily virus briefing, Fauci said he was invited to release the news at a news conference with Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards(D). “It was purely driven by ethical concerns,” Fauci told Reuters in a telephone interview.

    Trump is all about confusion.

  18. Edward Hanson


    My continued request that you show perspective of price drops that producers deal with. During the 2nd term of President Obama the 2014 price drop was greater than $4.50 a bushel over 6 months. The price drop during the President trump 1st term was about $2.00 over a similar period in 2018. My point being, producing farmers deal with these sudden price changes, including those much greater than the one you continually write about.

    There may be a difference to consider between the two events. The President Obama time is a result of Supply and Demand, while the President Trump time has the added element of a political attack by the Communist Party of China directly aimed at farmers. Because of this, farmers may have been less prepared in handling price change.

    So assuming it was more difficult, and the President Trump administration as well as Congress properly recognized this; it justifies the additional direct payments through the CCC (?) as you mentioned. But how does this fit President Trump policy? First of all, the policies of President Trump, are to achieve free trade, not the freer trade where large GDP counties have tariffs and regulations causing greater cost on American producers exports than the US have on them. What President Trump understands is this inequity causes lost of jobs and producers. And these losses are often unseen in the statistics. What is Seen and Unseen is very important concept in economics, and is too often missed by economists who are statistically minded. So the tariffs of President Trump is in recognition of thes.

    Question, was President Trump correct in his policy? I would say the historic unemployment rate achieved by the US before Covid-19 is a strong indicator he was correct. The effort to achieve real free trade, by making these large economies to be fair in there trade policies, demonstrates that the US can be truly competitive and bring manufacturing back to higher levels.


    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Ed Hanson: It was posted previously, here. I’m sure I’ve done longer time spans incorporating 2008-2016 several times before. So, your point is this time is different because it’s a “political attack by the Communist Party of China directly aimed at farmers.”? Does it make the impact on net farm income any different? And I’d say farmers had months to prepare (from the time Trump started sabre-rattling w/China) as opposed to weather which is unpredictable to a high degree.

      Wow. Just wow.

      1. Edward Hanson


        So, in other words, you have no intent to answer my questions. A reference to a year ago post is hardly adequate. Macrotrends have up to date interactive charts. As anyone should be able to tell, prices are subject to periodic large changes and then remain at the level for quite a while. Prices are holding despite Covid-19.

        No, they did not have months to prepare to the Communist leaders who tyrannically made its citizens to pay higher prices than the should have by not buying from the US.

        As usual anything that happens throughout the world to you means blame America first. How soon are you going to past the Communist propaganda that the US brought the virus to China?


        1. Menzie Chinn Post author

          Ed Hanson: I definitely do not blame America first. I blame Trump and his administration full of incompetents for squandering 70 days of alerts. This will be verified when the Presidential Daily Briefs are declassified (unless Trump & Co. shred them all first).

          I have answered your questions, but just for you, I will devote an entire post to your mendacity.

          I don’t think I’ve ever commented on the argument that the US brought the virus to China; if you continue to assert that I did without proof, you will be banned.

          1. Moses Herzog

            @ Menzie
            I wonder if Ed Trinculo Hanson knows about something called nominal rigidity. I can tell you, a gas station near where I live, has had unleaded at $1.28 for what certainly seems like a solid 3 weeks now. Must be some kinda magical MAGA occult magic, eh Menzie??

          2. Edward Hanson


            Do you know how to read? I wrote “How soon are you going to past(sp. post) the Communist propaganda that the US brought the virus to China?”

            Then you wrote, “I don’t think I’ve ever commented on the argument that the US brought the virus to China; if you continue to assert that I did without proof, you will be banned.”

            Exactly how did I assert that you have agreed to the claim of China that the US brought Covid-19 to China. I simply asked when in the future you will. You newly found power to ban reasonable disagreements with you has gone to your head.


          3. Menzie Chinn Post author

            Ed Hanson: If you can’t type correctly, I can’t be expected to figure out exactly what you’re getting at, especially since so many of your previous comments have been incomprehensible.

          4. baffling

            i suppose i could also ask when menzie is going to post the trump propaganda about ed hanson and his fetish of dressing up in pink dresses with ribbons and bows in his hair.
            ed, your bigoted comment was meant to be disparaging and elicit a response. if i were menzie you would be banned for bigot trolling. be thankful he has a nicer demeanor than me. you are not after open discussion, you want to be a troll.

          5. 2slugbaits

            Comrade Ed Hanson Happy May Day.

            Do you know how to read? I wrote “How soon are you going to past(sp. post) the Communist propaganda that the US brought the virus to China?”

            Do you know how to write? Are you asking Menzie to post “Communist propaganda” or are you asking him to write a post about “Communist propaganda”? See the difference?

            Frankly, I don’t know why Menzie would want to waste his time writing about “Communist propaganda” when he’s already fully occupied correcting propaganda from Trump Pravda, a.k.a., Fox News. C’mon, give the man a break. He does have a day job too.

        2. pgl

          “Macrotrends have up to date interactive charts.”

          Yes they do and we have asked you to link to them. You have not done so even after repeated requests so I started doing it for you. And guess what – looking at the longer term charts does not support your partisan BS. It undermines it. Come on Ed – you do have get a better argument if you want to play with the grown ups.

        3. pgl

          “they did not have months to prepare to the Communist leaders who tyrannically made its citizens to pay higher prices than the should have by not buying from the US.”

          You do realize that the Chinese started buying soybeans from Brazil and Argentina duty free. No? Then you have not been paying attention to the market data for the past 20 plus months. Come on Ed – the sources for this data have been noted many times. Do try to pay attention.

        4. baffling

          “How soon are you going to past the Communist propaganda that the US brought the virus to China?”
          just for clarification, i will interpret this statement from edward hanson. he is saying that menzie chinn is not a proud american, but a tool of the chinese communist government because his heritage is……chinese… by default he cannot to be trusted and we should assume has nefarious intentions. i call ed the bigot that he is.

        5. Menzie Chinn Post author

          Ed Hanson: Now that you’ve clarified what you intended to type, I think you’ve illustrated clearly your view of the world. Agree with Ed Hanson, and you’re a true American. Disagree (and by the way criticize Mr. Trump’s performance), and you are a propagandist for an enemy power. I wonder why when Trump sides with the Russians over American intelligence agencies you don’t apply a similar criterion.

          1. noneconomist

            Ever get the feeling Ed is waiting for the U.S. to “unleash” Chiang kai shek so he can retake mainland China from the Red Chinese?
            Chet and David May have an update on tonight’s news.
            If not, certainly Walter Cronkite will.

          2. Barkley Rosser

            You are fine here, Menzie. To Ed, all US commentators quickly rejected the clearly false claim coming out of PRC that the US was responsible for creating the virus and sending it to PRC. Is this what you were referring to when you insulted Menzie so incredibly stupidly? To demand that Menzie somehow above all others must go out of his way to denounce something that nobody outside of the PRC propaganda bubble ever remotely took seriously is racist. That you said this shows to me that you are a worthless disgusting racist.

            That said, I urge Menzie not to ban you. We should have free discussion here, even garbage from racists as you apparently are, all the more to expose your rotten filth to the world.

          3. Edward Hanson


            Feel free to criticize me for being one sided. It is a natural response to your one-sided posts and slant. You become better at writing a issues in a fairer manner and I will try, too.


          4. Menzie Chinn Post author

            Ed Hanson: I’m not criticizing you for being one-sided. I’m criticizing you for being economically illiterate, racist, xenophobic, and impervious to data.

          5. baffling

            i would once again reiterate, for those like ed hanson and corev and bruce, who intentionally lie on this board to push their own propaganda, i would have no problem banning them. there are plenty of other places in cyberspace for them to spread their ilk. ed hanson is not on this discussion board to learn and broaden his mind, he is here to troll and spread the gospel of trump. there are many on this board who read but do not comment. they should not be subject to the falsehoods some spread on this blog, intentionally. as i have said before, menzie is far more tolerant than i am of ignorance.

          6. Menzie Chinn Post author

            Ed Hanson: In response to your comment:

            …you hate the United States of America, the best and freeist [sic] country in the history of the world, that is unless you can change it to a worse and less free socialist tyrannical state. You are a socialist at heart. And love name calling people you do not know know at all. And as for data, you are so afraid of putting data into perspective you continue to create charts and graphs aimed at hiding such perspective.

            You are banned (at least by me). If you are going to repeatedly accuse the host via subtext of siding with the Chinese Communist Party, then your comments have no place here.

          7. noneconomist

            Other than writing that you are an America hater , a wannabe tyrannical socialist, and a dishonest manipulator of incomplete data, Ed would never resort to name calling.

    2. pgl

      “Trump time has the added element of a political attack by the Communist Party of China directly aimed at farmers.”

      Trump started the trade war. Of course China countered. I bet the Emperor of Japan back in the 1940’s could get you to blame FDR for the invasion of Pearl Harbor. After all – the U.S. Navy eventually attacked the Japanese military after 12/7/1941.

    3. 2slugbaits

      Ed Hanson During the 2nd term of President Obama the 2014 price drop was greater than $4.50 a bushel over 6 months.

      Yep. It also went up sharply before that fall. So are you complaining about the fall or cheering the rise under Obama? And you could say something similar about soybean prices during the mid-80s back when St. Ronnie was in charge.

      producing farmers deal with these sudden price changes,

      Well, not quite. They “deal” with sudden price changes by appealing to their congressional representative and Big Ag lobbying groups. I remember when farm prices were unusually good and farmers were chanting the old “Freedom to Farm” line wanting less government regulation in price supports. Then when prices collapsed those same farmers were whining because the government wasn’t bailing them out. Apparently they didn’t believe in the “Freedom to Fail.”

      the policies of President Trump, are to achieve free trade, not the freer trade where large GDP counties have tariffs

      That has never been Trump’s policy. Trump has always, and I mean ALWAYS been a proponent of tariffs. He didn’t campaign on free trade; he campaigned on tariffs. If you believed Trump was a free trader, then you simply weren’t paying attention. Opposition to free trade was one of the few things about which Donald Trump was being entirely honest. I suspect that you were simply hearing things that you wanted to hear and not what he actually said. And BTW, whether or not another country imposes tariffs on our goods is irrelevant to whether or not we should impose tariffs on their goods. We don’t make ourselves better off by retaliating with tariffs. It’s just a braindead stupid policy.

      What is Seen and Unseen is very important concept in economics

      So important that I’ve never Seen a chapter devoted to it. I guess I’d have to find it in the Unseen chapter.

      I would say the historic unemployment rate achieved by the US before Covid-19 is a strong indicator he was correct.

      If a low unemployment rate is your metric for judging how well an economy is doing, then you must not only be a big cheerleader for “Communist China” with its chronically low unemployment rate, but also the old USSR with its negligible unemployment rate. According to the CIA Factbook the unemployment rate in the old USSR was between 1% and 2%. Are you saying that this low unemployment rate is evidence of a successful economic policy?

      The effort to achieve real free trade, by making these large economies to be fair in there trade policies, demonstrates that the US can be truly competitive and bring manufacturing back to higher levels.

      So in order to be competitive US industries need protectionist tariffs. Is that your argument? And I’ll note that manufacturing jobs flatlined shortly after Trump launched his tariff tirade. But what’s special about manufacturing?

      Look, it’s clear that you’ve never taken an econ course or read an econ textbook, so let me help you out. The simple free trade argument assumes that the economy is operating at the long run steady state production possibility frontier. In other words, it’s operating at full employment. Free trade policies effectively allow each trading partner to shift resources to its comparative advantage (don’t confuse this with absolute advantage). If each trading partner does this, then both trading partners will be better off in terms of economic welfare. And even if only one trading partner shifts production to its comparative advantage that economy will still be better off irrespective of what the other country does or does not do. The best case for tariffs is when the economy is not operating at full employment; however, there are significant retaliatory risks if a country does impose tariffs and those follow-on reactions can make everyone even worse off. But since you’ve been praising Trump’s handling of the economy and the low unemployment rate, you’ve also undermined the argument for tariffs. The absolutely worst time to impose tariffs is when the economy is doing well. Which puts you in an uncomfortable position because you seem to be arguing that the Trump economy was doing very well while simultaneously arguing for tariffs. That doesn’t wash. You need to think things through. That might help you with those “Unseen” aspects of economics.

      1. Edward Hanson


        I will try to respond., and not be to long winded. As for graphing the rise in soybean price before the large drop in 2014, I have no problem with that. In fact that is my point. Menzie tried to by his graph, to limit the discussion to among other things, to how terrible the tariff war price drop was. And he did this by not showing perspective of the periodic volatility of soybean prices. If his graph was expanded by just a few years, the impact of the charted price drop would have shown as less significant.

        Yes, both parties respond to the call to protect farmers. The periodic farm bill is really something to observe.

        The policy of President Trump is to achieve a fairer trade deal for the US among the major economies. And amazingly, his policy of responding to higher tariffs on US goods by our tradings partners, worked. Trade between our most important partners, Canada and Mexico improved with the new deal modifying NAFTA. He got the socialist leaning EU bureaucrats sweating and hoping that by stalling, they could keep their unfair trade practices intact through the first term with the hope of returning to the light weights the US trade negotiators have always been. What a shock when our unemployment rate went down to historic levels and manufacturing and its associated industry responded so quickly. President Trump knows our economic system is quite capable of competing internationally through trade as long as the platform was fair and even. Because the other large economies assumed that it was their uneven trade practices that was good for them, they refused to make the playing field more even by lowering their tariffs and fixing other unfair trade practices. That left the only response of the US if they wanted to fix the problem, by raising our tariffs. You can not criticized President Trump for not being a free trader without realizing and also criticizing the EU also not believing in free trade, with their Custom Union, and of course, China.

        You need to realize one thing, it can never be said often enough. The US was not dealing in a world of free trade. And whether President Trump is a free trader is irrelevant, his policy is achieving that goal by being a tough negotiator.

        Seen and Unseen. Start with Frederick Bastiat. You don’t know everything about economics. And I never claimed to.

        Communist unemployment rate? Slug, you are usually more seriously minded. The word in the old Soviet Block was, “They pretended to pay us and we pretended to work.” Were you one of those proclaiming a belief in the Soviet Economy just before it collapsed. Sounds like it.

        And that leaves it to a fundamental disagreement. You believe the US is noncompetitive in a free market world and I do.


        1. pgl

          “Menzie tried to by his graph, to limit the discussion to among other things, to how terrible the tariff war price drop was.”

          I see after all of this babbling by you and explanations from our host that you still do not understand the concept of an Event Study. Your refusal to grasp this basic concept is beyond dumb.

      2. 2slugbaits

        Ed Hanson I think you missed my point about the unemployment rate under the old USSR. You were the one who pointed to a low unemployment rate as evidence of a well run economy. I was simply pointing out that the USSR had a low unemployment rate. I was not saying it had a well run economy. In fact, I once took an advanced course on the Soviet economy. The professor explained why the Soviet economy would collapse by the late 1980s. He said this more than a decade before it happened. And it happened just as he predicted; viz., the satellite countries would become an unbearable imperial burden that would put pressure on the first generation of Soviet leaders who were not part of the Bolshevik Revolution. When a professor makes a prediction like that you are likely to remember it.

        As to soybean prices, the volatility in 2014 was due to ordinary supply and demand factors. The 2018 drop was a self-inflicted would and entirely avoidable.

        As to the trade deal between the US, Canada and Mexico, it was no more than NAFTA 1.1. And almost everything that was in that agreement had already been agreed to before Trump ever took office. Trump’s only contributions were to make it slightly worse and to drag out ratification longer than it should have taken. An updated and improved NAFTA was ready before Trump took office. Trump only made the final product a little bit worse.

        You still don’t understand basic trade theory. “Fairness” is irrelevant to the economics. In practice talk of fair trade is just a euphemism to protect some special interest. If you were really concerned with economic fairness, then you should be arguing for policies that redistribute the gains from free trade to those who lose out because of free trade. But Trump’s base isn’t interested in that kind of fairness. They only believe in the “Me First!” kind of fairness.

        You can not criticized President Trump for not being a free trader without realizing and also criticizing the EU also not believing in free trade, with their Custom Union, and of course, China.

        Sure I can. The EU and China both have plenty of anti-free trade practices. So what? That’s their problem, not mine. Any move we make towards freer trade improves our welfare irrespective of what China or the EU does. You seem to believe that our removing tariffs only makes sense if it’s conditioned on other countries reciprocating. I realize that’s how the uneducated man-on-the-street sees things, but it doesn’t make it right.

        And that leaves it to a fundamental disagreement. You believe the US is noncompetitive in a free market world and I do.

        Wow. So in your world tariffs are all about free markets and my opposing tariffs means I don’t believe the US is competitive. Yikes. How Orwellian of you. Or should I say, how Trumpian of you. That’s even better than Kellyanne Conway’s “alternative facts.” You should get a job in the WH press office. You can twist the English language even better than Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

        1. noneconomist

          I think I get it. In Edworld a free market exists when government can restrict buying and selling by designating (and restricting) those it approves to buy and sell.
          Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in a nutshell.

  19. pgl

    Greece was not hit hard by COVID-19 in large part because its approach was the polar opposite of the herd immunity approach of Sweden:

    “The key to Greece’s success, analysts say, was the government’s early steps to contain the virus ahead of most of Europe. In late February, before a single death from the disease had been recorded, carnivals were canceled. Schools and universities nationwide were closed on March 10, when there were just 89 confirmed cases in the country. Cafes, restaurants and tourist spots were closed three days later.”

    This story details the other steps Greece took to mitigate the consequences of a health care crisis in a nation where one might have expected lots of deaths. These actions seem to have worked.

    Now of course Bruce Hall is consulting right now with Tucker Carlson on some spin that notes Greece is somehow different in its ethnic makeup from Italy and Spain.

    1. 2slugbaits

      Now of course Bruce Hall is consulting right now with Tucker Carlson on some spin

      I hope not. Bruce should be filling out that job application for a position on the Tyson pork processing plant production line. I’m sure that Brave Boy Bruce won’t wuss out on us.

      1. noneconomist

        Every patriotic American should be heading to the Midwest to make sure I, er we, have a sufficient supply of bacon. I would go, but my bone spurs won’t allow it.

  20. Moses Herzog

    Have any of the regular readers of this blog ever wondered what Barkley Junior’s world and commenter pgl’s world look like, if you could live it from behind their own eyes?? I have found the PERFECT visual representation:

    And there you have it kids, that’s your “I am a perfectly self-righteous SJW, and you dare said I stated something nonfactual, so nyaaaa nyaaaa nyaaaa” lesson in magniloquent gymnastics for today. Take notes, and you too can be a supreme hypocrite.

    1. Barkley Rosser

      I am sorry, pgl, that somehow you got dragged into Moses’s sick obsesson with fighting with me. Oh well. At least 2slug remains clear here, that he is not involved with the now cleaarly no-good Econospeak probably helping him out here.

      So, Mose, I did click on. Duh. I have no idea what the truth is, but nobody else has come forth to make serious sexual claims against boring Joe Biden. Yeah, Bill Clinton was bad news, and arguably Hillary was a hypocrite. But none of them come close to POTUS on this studff. You are posting about this? Seriously iil.

      OK, I am going to be really bad. IIt is just screamingly obvious that you have this major problem with older powerful women: Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, and Nancy Pelosi (and maybe Oprah Winfrey as well). It is just screamingly obvious wherre this is almost certaintly coming from, fullout a Freudian cliche. Recently you have been telling us all these storie about your late father. Fine. Are you going to tell us anything along similar lines about his spouse?

      1. pgl

        I generally ignore Uncle Moses when he does this. But that picture he provided is being used big time by the Roger Stone wannabes. Yes Uncle Moses is working to re-elect Donald John Trump.

        1. Moses Herzog

          How dare you use my own self-assigned moniker against me. Totally out of bounds. If you keep this up I’m gonna ask William Barr to referee disputes on this blog.

    1. pgl

      CoRev has sort of disappeared. Rumor has it he went to North Carolina in the hopes he could star in that new movie about his hero Eric Rudolph.

      The bearded dude in your picture is too young to be Bruce Hall.

      So it is a toss up between Ed and Sammy. Unless PeakTrader as returned.

    2. baffling

      i would simply encourage all those protestors to congregate, shout and otherwise breath on themselves as much as possible, then wait about 3 to 4 weeks. you will see their numbers dwindle. i would give them some prime real estate locations to congregate, give them no excuses for not showing up, and put no time restrictions on their protest activities. the longer the better. let them exercise their constitutional rights. give them what they want. just request that they stay away from hospitals for the next few months. give them a place to froth. in fact, if i were governor of michigan, i would even sponsor an in person event and invite president trump to lead the rally in person, costs fully covered by the taxpayers of michigan.

      by the way, you forgot my favorite troll in you list: rick stryker. i find dick to be the most insidious of the group.

      1. 2slugbaits

        Rick Stryker is too smart to run that kind of risk. In Rick’s view those dimwitted MAGA hatters are simply clueless sheep to be shorn. God put them on earth to be manipulated in order to advance the interests of the GOP donor base.

    3. Moses Herzog

      @ 2slugbaits
      Did you remember Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels?? “Who was that UNmasked man??”

      I knew when I saw the video at the state capitol of Michigan, that the dumb Okies were not to be “outdone” in embarrassing themselves to the entire nation and they would “take up their mantle”. <<——journalist who lives in Tulsa Oklahoma.

    4. Moses Herzog

      @ 2slugbaits
      This most amazing thing about this tweet photo?? That the woman was out doing shopping at a regular retail outlet AT ALL

      You have to give her credit though, she’s following in the footsteps of the great Christianist Mike Pence. Who says “Why read a science book when you can watch Mike Huckabee on TBN.”

Comments are closed.