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Image: © Amelien Bayle via Flickr

The EU is hitting back with tariffs on US goods

Your midlife crisis Harley Davidson shopping spree just got a whole lot more expensive...

If you were thinking today's the day to just go for it, follow your dreams, and treat yourself to that Harley, the tight blue jeans, and the bourbon flask, think again: EU tariffs on US goods come into play this Friday.

What it means: Trump made good on his promise to put tariffs – basically a tax on goods from other countries – on steel and aluminium coming from the EU to the US.

So the EU made good on its promise to retaliate, putting tariffs adding around 25% to current prices onto steel, aluminium, and a bunch of other stuff (like bourbon, jeans, and motorbikes, but also orange juice, cranberries, peanut butter, sweetcorn...).

The idea behind it is to incentivise us as customers to buy products from our own producers, and also for countries receiving goods from abroad to get a bit of extra cash from the trade.

But not only are we not entirely sure whether this is going to help most people's personal finances our hurt them; it also represents a big shift in our mindset of how we trade with other countries – from trying to make it as easy as possible, to putting up deliberate barriers.

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Reader Comments

  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?