Monday, April 02, 2018

Concentrated Pain

The thing about trade wars is other countries aren't stupid and they know how to cause concentrated pain for relatively politically connected industries (due to location or who represents them or likelihood of getting media coverage etc). The tariffs might not overall be a big deal, but they're a big deal for the people directly impacted.

A couple of banker friends who work with farmers every day told me last week that with commodity prices down and the tariffs imposed, approximately 10 percent of our farmers probably won’t make it this year, and 10 percent more will likely fail next year. They also shared the news that in Iowa, larger agribusinesses are buying up smaller farms that are in financial trouble, and that people are starting to make comparisons to the farm crisis of the 1980s, when approximately 10,000 Iowa farmers lost their farms.

Even Representative Steve King, the avid Trump supporter and Iowan every liberal loves to hate, is worried about a new farm crisis.