Readers bombarded me this week.
I wrote several stories about the new steel and aluminum tariffs President Trump formally imposed on March 8, and on Trump’s penchant for industrial-age smokestack industries. I described Trump as “’70s Man.” I quoted trade expert Gary Hufbauer telling me the Trump tariffs are a “complete sham.” I mused about whether economists who predicted Trump’s protectionist impulses could ravage the economy might turn out to be right.
First, the hate mail, presented without comment:
From Jerry: “You are dick [sic]. I do want to see Trump continuously attack the globalists because they are constantly pushing for a weaker America.”
From Bob: “I predict you will win a Pulitzer for fake news.”
From Hugh: “You are a hard left liberal. Hope you will like an eventual socialist/communist state in the near future!”
But amid the put-downs, there are usually insightful comments from thoughtful people. And it turns out globalization remains a potent issue that gets people fired up.
From Greg: “The economic woes of the middle class over several decades lie solely on the Fortune 1000 leaders who exploit middle management and lower level workers with little/no training, low wage increase, reduced benefits, etc. Wall Street firms run the show and are only interested in profits.”
And Tony wrote that “tariffs are a scam to get votes in the rust belt. [Trump] is playing checkers, the game is chess.”
Trump is right about one thing: voters care a lot about globalization, and many blame it, rightly or wrongly, for their own problems. Expect him to keep going back to that well.
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Rick Newman is the author of four books, including Rebounders: How Winners Pivot from Setback to Success. Follow him on Twitter: @rickjnewman