The art of the big lie

To the editor:

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the state can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the state to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the state.” — Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s chief of Nazi propaganda.

In June 2018, at a G7 economic meeting in Charlevoix, Quebec, the president of the United States, a G7 member, sauntered in late, riled up the other G7 members, and then left early, not attending the climate change portion of the summit. It was all theater.

Then Trump proceeded to attack Canada, our European allies and Justin Trudeau.

On June 9, Trump tweeted, “Based on Justin’s false statements at his news conference, and the fact that Canada is charging massive tariffs to our U.S. farmers, workers and companies, I have instructed our U.S. Reps not to endorse the Communique as we look at tariffs on automobiles flooding the U.S. market.”

Then on June 10, he tweeted, “Fair Trade is now to be called Fool Trade if it is not Reciprocal. According to a Canada release, they make almost $100 Billion in Trade with U.S. (guess they were bragging and got caught!) Minimum is 17B. Tax Dairy from us at 270 percent. Then Justin acts hurt when called out!”

Both of these tweets are misleading.

First, the United States had a trade surplus of $2.8 billion in 2017, according to CNN Money. The U.S. also had trade surpluses with Canada in 2015 and 2016, according to the Bureau Of Economic Analysis. The U.S. had a deficit of $23.2 billion with Canada in goods only. It also had a surplus of $25.9 billion in services (tourism, medical, education, etc.). Subtract the two and you get a $2.8 billion surplus — Canada spent more in America than America did with Canada.

Now consider this. China traded $636 billion with U.S. for a U.S deficit of $375 billion. Canada traded $582 billion with an $18 billion deficit (in goods only). That would make Canada the biggest trader with America dollar wise. And here we have Trump attacking Canada.

Trump is basically attacking our trading partners and free trade. He attacks and denounces our allies, while siding with our enemies Russia and North Korea. Trying to impose 19th century protectionism, austerity and isolationism in a 21st century world economy, is next to almost certain economic failure and global economic collapse.

Yes, we may return to those nostalgic (NOT) “good ole times” but with resulting huge human suffering and misery: it will only benefit the few wealthy and well off, and help destroy America as we know it.

James Chasse
St Agatha

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