Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy on the top 10 things to know about Donald Trump's impending Presidency

Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy on the top 10 things to know about Donald Trump's impending Presidency

Today's Top 10 things to know about the Trump Presidency is a guest post from Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy, a senior lecturer at the University of Auckland. Prior to that he was a research economist in the Office of the Chief Statistician at the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) in Washington DC.

As always, we welcome your additions in the comment stream below or via email to david.chaston@interest.co.nz. And if you're interested in contributing the occasional Top 10 yourself, contact gareth.vaughan@interest.co.nz.

See all previous Top 10s here.

Key posts are being filled. Advisors are being selected. And the Donald is doing his best to act Presidential.

But just what will President Trump’s policies mean for the US and the global economy? Do we even know what they are? Does the man himself? Pundits around the world continue to speculate. Let’s see what they are thinking.

1. Those manufacturing jobs aren’t coming back.

On the campaign trail, Trump promised to punish companies that take jobs offshore. And during a speech at Liberty University, he pledged to make Apple build their computers and devices in the US.

Production may well return to the US. But that does not mean that the jobs will.

Going forward, labourers in the developed world will not be competing with low cost Mexican, Chinese or Vietnamese workers. They will be competing with robots.

Back in May, Foxconn replaced sixty thousand workers with robots. And Adidas is already reshoring production – but not jobs – to Germany

Could Trump’s protectionist policies hasten this trend? Much ado has been made of reports that Apple has asked Foxconn and Pegatron to look into shifting iPhone production to the US. (Although apparently Apple approached its suppliers back in June.)

No doubt Trump will claim a victory should this happen. But Foxconn infamously captures a very small proportion of the value added in the iPhone supply chain, and production on US shores will likely be highly automated.

There may be some symbolic victories over the short term, but unless Trump wants to go full-luddite and start smashing up technology, the long term prospects of large-scale employment in the manufacturing sector remain bleak.

2. And the urban elite will benefit most from re-shored automated production.

The flipside is that by hastening re-shored production and the transition to further automation, Trump’s policies may enrich those that despise him the most: The hi-tech urban elites that design and program those robots.

Silicon Valley must be giddy at the prospect. Perhaps another pre-prohibition era cocktail from your favourite mixologist to celebrate, Palo Alto?

3. The dealmaker is already making bad deals.

But he has already saved one thousand jobs in Indiana from going to Mexico! I’ll admit, I started writing this top ten before the announcement on Wednesday. It’s hard to keep up with the Donald.

Tax breaks to keep jobs in America. Let’s be clear: that is not punishing firms that are offshoring; it is bribing them. No doubt the rationalisations of this brazen bribe will be entertaining. I’m off to get some popcorn.

But more troublingly, this sets a terrible precedent. It creates a big incentive for employers to claim that they are moving offshore. As Justin Wolfers puts it:

These CEOs might need a credible reason for offshoring these jobs, right? I mean, they can’t just say that they are doing it because other firms got a tax break. The fact that the peso has weakened substantially since Trump’s election will help make those numbers look credible. And we know whose fault that is…

And before we move on from this issue, here is Wolfers nailing it again:

Indeed. It’s all a bit reminiscent of some economic policies closer to home. *Coughs* Tiwai point *Coughs* Peter Jackson *cough cough*.


4. That infrastructure stimulus.

On the campaign trail Trump said he’d spend twice as much as HRC to revive America’s flailing infrastructure. But according to this Vox article, Trump does not plan to spend any public money to make the upgrades. He plans to make it all happen through tax breaks.

Privately-funded public infrastructure can work, but one way or another it requires local money to make it worthwhile for a profit-seeking firm to get involved. That likely means no upgrades for the parts of the country that need these upgrades the most, such a Flint, Michigan, which has those nasty lead pipes.

So where should we expect to see infrastructure upgrades? Where the money is. There he goes again, helping those rich urban liberals!

5. Trump’s policies create a greater incentive for illegal immigration.

Tyler Cowen outlines how Trump’s policies actually encourage illegal immigration. First, he will increase demand for labour in the construction sector by splurging on infrastructure. Second, he will throw the Mexican economy into a tailspin by messing with NAFTA.

To paraphrase Martin Brody… You’re going to need a bigger wall.

6. How do you label China a ‘currency manipulator’?

It’s more than a campaign slogan. Ashok Rao takes us through the steps necessary for the US government to label the country a manipulator.

As it happens, there is an existing statute on the books that gives the steps necessary and sets out criteria that any country must satisfy in order to qualify as a manipulator. China probably does not meet those criteria – but some other trading partners such as Japan and Germany just might.

And as Rao points out, Pence and another Trump advisor were not too fond of previous attempts by the Democrats to give Obama the means to punish China for stealing those jobs: They voted against a previous bill that would have authorised countervailing tariffs against China.

Would anyone be surprised if they suddenly had a change of heart? Politics isn’t about policy now, is it?

7. The negative consequences of Trump’s climate policies are probably overstated - at least over the short term.

Putting a climate change sceptic in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency certainly is not a good sign, and Vox says we’ve blown our chance at limiting global warming to two degrees this century. Which seems … remarkably exact. I want whatever they’re drinking, because it apparently gives you more confidence than a red bull and vodka.

Trump has not yet made good on his promise to destroy the Paris Agreement – and even as I write this, the Donald is beginning to reverse his earlier positions on climate change – much to everyone’s surprise, I’m sure.

The Paris Agreement contains nothing binding, and these unenforceable international climate agreements can in fact enable countries to undermine their own domestic climate policies; our companies could only purchase those dodgy carbon credits from the Ukraine and elsewhere because we were part of an international climate agreement.

But even if Trump does withdraw from the Paris agreement, there are a few silver linings from the Trump agenda. This piece from the Niskanen Center downplays the potential damage he can do to the climate, at least over the short term.

First, fracking natural gas is beating the pants off coal, and gas is twice as carbon efficient as coal. Trump’s plans to open-up Federal lands for fracking is only going to make coal less economical – which means that carbon dioxide emissions will continue to decline. The fracking ‘revolution’ is a big part of the reason why CO2 emissions in the US have been declining since 2007. More fracking is not exactly a win for environmentalists, but at least it is helping to reduce carbon emissions for the time being.

Second, if Trump orders the EPA to reverse its position that CO2 is a pollutant, it opens emitters to lawsuits from public interest groups. The US is nothing if not litigious.

Third, many states in the US are addressing the problem on their own through regional emission schemes. States rights and all that, Republicans? Right guys?

8. A fractured nation. But perhaps not fractured communities.

One of the most striking features of the rise of Trump is the divisive nature of his victory.

Hillary won two thirds of the US economy, highlighting how the election exposed the economic fault lines dividing the country. And many pundits have focused on the plight of poor Whites and rising inequality in the wake of Trump’s victory.

Seemingly at odds with this hypothesis is the fact that early polling suggested that Trump voters in fact tended to have higher incomes on average for their demographic.

How can we make sense of it all? The key here is that many of these slightly wealthier Trump supporters tend to be concentrated in communities that are plagued with the social problems of economic stagnation. Perhaps within these localised communities, there is less division between the haves and the have-nots than within the country as a whole.

9. What does Trump mean for Devonport?

Yes, the quaint seaside village just a short ferry ride from downtown Auckland. Snuggly protected as a historic district under the Auckland Unitary Plan, what could Trump possibly mean for this proud bubble of Auckland heritage?

Much of Trump’s rhetoric on the campaign trail was focussed on America’s security partners pulling their own weight when it comes to security arrangements like NATO. That will ultimately translate to more defence spending from its allies.

Don’t be surprised if we are subject to pressure from Australia to up our defence spending in the coming years. It was poignant that the Australian Navy chose to send one of its submarines to the 75th anniversary of our Navy last month. There could not have been a better statement of the stark difference between our defence capabilities.

What does this mean for good old Devo? A ramp-up in our defence capabilities will likely mean more activity on the peninsula – or moving the base altogether. The government is already selling-off the remaining Navy housing further up the peninsula, forcing Navy families to find accommodation from the private sector. Which would seem a bit short-sighted – unless it was the government’s cunning plan all along to move the base.

Either way, our days of free-riding on America’s defence capabilities may be drawing to a close.

10. Alec Baldwin is back

With Thirty Rock done-and-dusted, Alec was probably polishing up the old C.V. No more. Dude has a job for the next four years. And let’s face it, the Donald provides so much material to work with.

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#1. Yep lots of jobs get automated. Have been for a long time. But the world changes and I am not so sure it's the sole cause of unemployment. (Betcha there is a washing machine or two at Downton Abbey now). Somebody made those washing machines anyway.)

I disagree , there are prospects to turn things around .

Why has Texaco oil company (which trades as Caltex here ) got a call centres in the Phillipines and India when there are English-speaking African Americans unemployed in the rust belt ?

Trump will bring these tyoes of jobs back , the real problem lies with strong Trade Unions in America and they need to temper their expectations .

America should tell Japanese car makers if the want to sell Toyota's in the US they must be assembled there or pay 30% duty

Simple Question : - Why should Americans have their prosperity shipped to Mexico and China , leaving Americans in hopeless poverty ?

Japanese automakers already assemble vehicles in the American South where labour protections are non-existent, wages are low, and ostensibly "free-market" Republican State governments offer hundreds of millions of dollars worth of tax breaks and other incentives to entice corporations to base their operations there.


I disagree too, (but just with your assumptions).
1. Texaco will be paying less in the Philippines than in the US, it's not difficult to work out why. Call centre salaries are on average US$640/month (currency converted) in the Philippines. Call Centre salaries in the US start at about US$10/hour

2. I don't know why you think Trade Unionism is strong in the US, it died several decades ago and accelerated during the Reagan years.
Lack of strong Trade Unionism is one (one of several) reasons for the large numbers of working poor there, running 2 -3 McJobs in places like Walmart. Employer anti-unionism is pretty entrenched.

3. Texaco might shift those jobs back if they could get away with paying $4-5/hour. But further technology advances with voice recognition and AI will probably eliminate most of those positions over the next several years anyway.

4. As the author said manufacturers might shift production back but it will largely be robotic with few jobs, and perhaps driven additionally by tax rorts.

5 You wrote "Why should Americans have their prosperity shipped to Mexico and China , leaving Americans in hopeless poverty?" Its all relative I suppose, but you don't have to go far south of the Rio Grande to find what real poverty looks like; thats why many Mexicans risk crossing the border to work for a pittance in the US.

6. I think your last question is the wrong one. "Why is it that not more Americans have benefited from globalisation ? " might be better

7. There was a significant prosperity shift in the US since the 1970's - from the working (and now including the middle) classes but it was upwards - the top 1% saw the biggest gains from globalisation and especially from tax cuts etc.

"Since 1987, US manufacturers have increased their output by 80 percent at the same time as they have reduced their workforce by about 17 percent. In other words, American factories are about twice as efficient today as they were three decades ago. "

"In 1965, 20.6 million people worked in industries that produced goods like clothing, cars, or airplanes. Now, 50 years later, there are a million fewer people working in these same industries — despite the fact that the US population is about 60 percent larger. Meanwhile, jobs in the service sector — like nursing, teaching, waiting tables, and selling real estate — have exploded, with more than three times as many people doing them today as in 1965."

"The US manufacturing sector has enjoyed big productivity gains, but the inherently labor-intensive service sector hasn't seen the same efficiency gains. As a result, the cost of these services — relative to the overall inflation rate — has zoomed upward, consuming more and more of our spending."


Re Caltex, you are factually wrong. It used to be a division of San Francisco based Chevron Oil. It was sold however to locally owned Z Energy.

You are factually wrong about the ability of call centre jobs to re-shore too. The customer-facing jobs might return (that has been a move world-wide for 3 or 4 years), but the vast majority of these services don't involve the customer-facing role. These are services; there is no way to get these to return. And if they do, they will robotised - another 3+ year trend. 

You are factually wrong about "Japanese car makers" - cars sold under Japanese brands are already made (essentially by robots) in the US. Japan hasn't been a "cheap labour" country in half a century. It is ludicrous to suggest it is. Even in Japan, cars are essentially made by robots these days. In fact, there are hardly any manned-car plants left. That is why the quality standards on even lower-priced cars is so high.

Finally, you are wrong about most Americans being in "hopeless poverty". You have fallen for echo-chamber b.s. here. The level at which you are defined as in poverty is a well classified benchmark. It depends on your family status, and ranges from NZ$17,000 to $75,000 annual income. You can look it up here. These thresholds are hardly 'hopeless'. And the taxes to support lower-income earners is what Republicans rail against. Getting them in jobs would be good, but at a 4.9% unemployment rate there aren't too many left. And tomorrow I think you might find that rate has fallen again. Recall, the median wage is rising fast, and far faster than inflation. It is now NZ$37/hour (NZ$77,000 pa) and will proibably be even higher in tomorrows report.

It's easy to have 'opinions' when you don't bother testing them against the facts.

If an American's job is only 'safe' if it has to be artificially protected from someone on US$3.60/hour (Mexico) or US$4.30/hour (in China), it is a job with zero future. They are right to move on to something that supports a value at US$25.90/hour. Why persist with a dead-end strategy (in fact, why bring it back?) Given the rise in average wages and the fall in unemployment, they are clearly achieving that now. The election rhetoric was based in fantasy.

Good comment David. The odd thing is that all of those from the outside that blast the USA have never been able to explain to me why, if it is so bad, humans are crawling over broken glass to get in there.

I think it was PJ O'Rourke, back in the 80s sometime before the collapse of Soviet Union, who pointed out that the Mexico/USA border was the only place in the world where the third world and developed world were right up against each other, with no buffer zone.

Interesting comment. Don't suppose you can count in those days the two German identities or even now those of Korea. A few years ago congress passed legislation according certain rights to the indigenous people of Hawaii. There is a lot of misgivings about this because part of the justification for that indicated flaws in the process by which the USA obtained the territory. The concern is that this legislation in turn has allowed access to question the legality of the USA's seizure from Mexico of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Florida & yes Texas. Who knows maybe the divide between the two borders will be evened out. Sheer speculation, anybody else?

I summarised it right down, but the gist was that it was the only land border where the third world had its nose pressed right up against the glass of the developed world, with no buffer zone of ocean, or the likes of Turkey and Albania between Africa and Europe.

Oh & PS, correct me if I am wrong was not Caltex originally the NZ arm of TEXACO? I mean in the 1920/30's?

I was under the impression that the name was a portmanteau of California and Texas. Haven't looked it up, though.

That's right. My father worked for TEXACO in the early 1930's. I think that it is a sort of acronym for Texas and California Oil? For some reason they later turned the two state names around to form CALTEX instead.?

I'd have thought Texas/Colorado. Colorado CO, California CA but then Texas is TX. Maybe just a short form of Texas Company would be my pick

Ok according to Wiki TEXACO was originally The Texas Company. Caltex did come out of that, formed in 1939 for operations east of Suez. Quite interesting reading. The owner of TEXACO was highly pro nazi. Anyway you can sort of say that Caltex came out of Chevron, even though the latter came on the scene a long time after, when they and TEXACO merged.

David, the figures you have given here are very deceptive.
I don't think the US median wage is NZ$77,000 pa - that is the median household income.

73% of all wage earners in the U.S. earned less than $50,000 a year
66% took home less than the "average wage" of $42,498 a year.
40% earned less than $20,000 a year—almost 61 million people.

That means that 40% get less than NZ$14 an hour.

You write:

The level at which you are defined as in poverty is a well classified benchmark. It depends on your family status, and ranges from NZ$17,000 to $75,000 annual income.

These figures are sort of accurate but you don't point out that the low figure is for a single person and the high figure is for a family unit of nine or more. Also it is below these figures that classifies it as poverty. Sure, not Bangladesh level, but not great either. 50 million people on these incomes.

The thing is many Americans believe they should be leading the world in income levels, not stagnating or declining. The should be the "Shining city upon on hill", not just 'pretty average'.

You are painting an excessively rosy picture here in order to push a globalist agenda.

You are wrong about the US median wage. It will be updated tomorrow morning, but last month for a single wage earner it was US$25.92/hr. At current exchange rates that is NZ$37/hr, and that is NZ$77,000 pa.

My guess is that these numbers will be higher tomorrow when the November data is released.

That might be the household income David - $US51K/ annum.

Looks like the report shows wages have dropped slightly. Unemployment down but under-employment high still.
Found this link on Drudge!

Quite interesting statistics. A year old but probably relevant. Median hourly rate = US$17.40.

United States Occupational Employment Statistics

Unemployment down but under-employment high still.

Yes, indeed.

The Household Survey, which is the numerator, showed only 160k in job gains in November after declining by 43k in October, for a two-month net of just 117k. In the denominator, the official count of the labor force fell significantly in November, by 226k, for the second straight month. There was a decline of 195k in October, for a two-month net total of -421k.

The result is an unemployment rate that drops from 5.0% to 4.6% because of very weak gains on the top and far, far too many people exiting the labor force on the bottom. This is the same problem the economy has, of course, been facing consistently since the Great “Recession.” Read more

And hollow jobs in Oz.

The report says most Indian nationals working in the IT industry in Australia are sponsored by Indian IT companies and are often transferred within the company from India to Australia.

"They have been successful in winning a major chunk of Australia's IT consulting work on the basis of these 457 visa holders," Mr Kinnaird said.

"They have succeeded in part because they are paying these professionals much lower salaries than the market rate for comparable IT professions in Australia."

Mr Kinnaird said the 457 minimum salary is set at $53,900 a year, almost the same as the median starting salary for Australian ICT graduates under the age 25.


What is Oz up to? Because the business profits from contract go off shore as well.
What do they know, we don't.

Holden ends V6 production

Seems like not a good thing.

An issue we feel is that this same Austalian intelligence (noted above) is being applied to business operations here.
How is this on the national interest. Our interest.
Does OIO complete compliance reviews successfully.

Imagine if the NZRFU was controlled out of Melbourne or Sydney.

You are still not correct David and the link you have provided quite clearly states average, a very different animal from the median.
Median (50th percentile) annual income was $US37, 848 well short of $NZ77,000

That page doesn't mention the median wage. You are referring to the average wage, a horse of an entirely different colour.

#2. "the urban elites will be the ones who benefit from automation." Yes and No. Yes - if they are the only ones who own and control those processes. No. if the processes are widely owned by individuals and start up companies. It's not the automation stupid. It's the ownership and control

#5. "Trumps policies will increase illegal immigration by creating jobs" Quite a good problem to have.

Good , if there is an increase in jobs , Trump just needs a higher wall .

There is so many unemployed people in small-town America its going to take years to create enough jobs for them

Yeh, the guy whose companies have brought in over 1,000 temporary workers into the United States since 2000 is going to create jobs for American workers. Don't know how he's going to invest in the infrastructure projects he promised when the Federal government will lose billions of dollars from the savage tax cuts he's proposing. Ah the magic of supply side "voodoo economics".

If you hope to cite the much touted example of Reagan's economic record to demonstrate the success of supply side economics, I suggest you read this.

"The numbers tell a rather difficult story for proponents on the Reagan side. First, you’ll notice that Obama’s entry into office also coincided with job figures already marching skyward, while Reagan inherited a flat jobless number. (President Jimmy Carter‘s four years saw the number barely move between a lackluster “low” of 7.2% and a high of 7.8%.) Reagan supporters also generally credit his cutting taxes as the main reason for his low job figures, but as you can see from the data, that clearly isn’t the case. His tax cuts — passed into law in July of his first year — were part of the Economic Recovery Tax Act. The results were immediate and obvious. Employers started shedding employees at a record pace, culminating in the highest unemployment rate (10.8%) since the Great Depression and higher than Obama’s high water mark of 10.1%. In response, Reagan and Congress passed the Tax Equity & Fiscal Responsibility Act a year later. It was the first of several major tax increases during his two terms, and like the first act, its impact was quickly felt, resulting in a decline in joblessness nearly identical in sharpness to its previous rise."


So, you're a Hillary supporter?

Anyway, it's not about money.

Even if I weren't an anarchist I couldn't in good conscience vote for either of those deplorables

You're not an anarchist. Why would an anarchist be upset by Trump's philandering (re your comment below)?
You're someone who believes we should all follow the rules and as soon as someone comes along and breaks the paradigm you're all indignant. Not an anarchist, more like a special snowflake.

# 8. "Trump voters in fact tended to have higher incomes on average." Not what the ivory tower media have been telling us.

#8. "Trump voters in fact tended to have higher incomes on average."

This is true, because GOP voters are generally richer. What happened in the election of Trump is that the swings were odd.

In 2012 poor people voted Democrat over GOP in a ratio of about 3:1. In 2016 Clinton only beat Trump in the poor by about 7:5.

With the rich it went from Obama losing to Romney by about 1:2; to Clinton losing to Trump by about 5:6.

@KH ...The US news Media are so full of themselves they are a delusional bunch who believe their own BS

They sit in newsrooms feeding off one another, regurgitating BS stories from other media outlets or simply making up stories ( which they call investigative journalism )

They spend far too much time trying to bend and reframe the narratives to their idealistic dreams and attempt influence public opinion this way.

Unfortunately most of them have never had real jobs where they have had to really fight to earn a dollar to put food on the table. They are out of touch with public opinion , so they dont know what Joe public is even thinking

Actually, you are completely wrong on this. It is you who is in the echo chamber. A journalist's job is to seek out all the competing views on an issue and report them, and only doing so when they are verified.

That contrasts completely with the type of rumours that social media and insular organisations peddle as fake news.

If you want news, read stories by professional journalists.

If you want memes that reinforce your world view, stay in your echo chamber. Just don't call it 'news' or 'journalism'.

But not those employed by The Washington Post - right? Read more

So do they go straight to Breitbart , Drudge etc for fake news now?

Yes. I completely understand why Sean Hannity likes unverified & fake news sites and directs his viewers to them. He wants them in his echo chamber.

You would have to admit that there has been an awful lot of fake news in the mainstream media itself. Even their big story about fake news had fake news in it. Journalists are restricted in what they can and can not write about, often having editorial policies that forbid certain words and phrases in order to manipulate the narrative.
We need to be very careful about this whole thing. Private web sites have been invaluable in calling out mainstream media on their fake news. A most famous case being Dan Rather and the Killian documents controversy.

If I had to choose one or the other I would discard the likes of BBC, CNN et al. Of course we don't have to do that but I do find I go to them less and less.

#9 Devonport. Who cares about the New Zealand navy. After they let that poaching fishing ship get away in Antarctic I would not care if they turned the Devonport site into a retirement village. Why have ships with all that capability but just wave to the bad guys.
Actually as we speak the Wellington is away down south again. A new Captain. I hope this one has some spine.

oh good grief. "Waving at the bad guys..." there is an issue of the UN Law of the Sea. The NZ Navy can't just blast a ship out of the water because it is fishing illegally. There are conventions and laws by which our Navy is required to abide by. Nothing to do with spine... whinge at our government for signing on to the toothless fish of an agreement... get it toothless fish? Toothfish? Dang I'm funny!

Doesn't seem to stop Sea Shepard having a go at stopping the Japs whaling. We have a Navy but apart from pomp and ceremony what do the do all day?

and didnt our admiral have to abandon his berth at the defence building due to feeling queasy.

Did you actually write that without your tongue firmly stuck in your cheek, Frazz? So you propose as a sovereign nation we either flout international law by-
1. Firing on and sinking foreign flag vessels.
2. We force our sailors to put their lives on the line, by running interference on Japanese whalers?
Both are in contravention of the Law of the Sea. If you have issues, take it up with your mates in government don't pick on the Navy who do just a little more than pomp and ceremony... Think Kaikora, Fiji, Christchurch (google them if you can't). Watch 1News' story on mapping Lake Rotorua from last night... Wil Hine was the journalist...

2bob, your comment is just silly and not worthy of an answer...

Kaikoura. Lets not get started. Military halted on the inland route by rain. Private people blasting thru, only problem was evading the bureaucrats.

it's called rock and hard place... or to keep with the nautical theme, the devil and the deep blue sea.... can you imagine the hysteria, hand wringing and Naval gazing (get it) ... if a family was smashed by rocks after an aftershock on a road that should have been closed...?

NOTHING will happen in Devonport , home to our uniforrmed sailing club or to Whenuapai , home to our uniformed flying club .

Quite simply we dont anywhere near enough resources to house our poorest citizens , there is no way in hell we could ever embark on a huge military and Naval spend-up

But we are here. To serve if required.
That we are are small nation with limited resources, I'm sure is taken into consideration, in the greater scheme of things.

Of course , we have always done more than our bit to make to world a better place .

We do however have other priorities , and we need to be inwardly focused for our own people's wellbeing through housing the poor , etc

You don't have to kill people. But you could put it alongside, and board. Yes it's going to mess up the grey paint to the cost of several hundred thou, and yes it's physically dangerous, but is that what you spend years in training knowing that someday you actually have to.
But ..... no chance. So Devonport base can become a magnificent residential suburb. Will be really good.

doh! Head hits key board! Sigh... That sighed... I agree about Devonport, am sure there are lots and lots of overseas investors who would love to buy property there...
Wanganui would make for an excellent Naval Base!

Precisely , why is Devonport a Naval base ? The Navy should move

I told them what you said and they replied they are on their way and wish you'd ordered them to do it sooner!

History, it was established in 1840 across the harbor from the settlement. made sense then, if attacked far enough from the population to not affect them, had the mountain for lookouts so could see approaching threats before too late.
now must be a nightmare in todays terrorist world to stop any crazy that decides to have a go
they should have moved up to whangarei harbour where they could build a much more and bigger secure facility

"Trump supporters concentrated in communities plagued with economic stagnation" is a core comment. These are the people who see the the real impacts of current economic policies. The lower classes have always struggled, the upper have the "I'm all right Jack ..." attitude, but those in the middle are being kicked off their perch and for most if not all, the only way is down, so they actually stand to loose the most. Same in NZ. Jobs and opportunity are being denied them as the world bypasses them in the name of greed. Not an easy problem to fix, anywhere.....

This is true , but only in as much as if you have a government that does not care and allows it to happen .

Trump is the only hope in rescuing an industrial empire in decline , and I think we will all be okay .

Good luck turning that clock back Boatman.

Trump is promising a tariff on imported manufactures of 35% and a low corporate tax rate. This should be more than enough to lure lots of production back to the US from the likes of Mexico. To do so he will need to rip up NAFTA and bluff the WTO. However, I suspect he will do it and if he does your analysis will be so wrong. Guess you are joining the liberal elite in way underestimating the actions and ability of Trump. This would not matter if the US did not matter - however, the US does matter and so your comments are not at all helpful to those making decisions.

Imperialism is no stranger to the USA whether it be geographically, commercially, or industrially. Usually it has been the Democrats as champions of protectionism, think the tariff on our sheep meat under Clinton. Trump is something else again. Simply he is saying what suits the USA suits the world & first & foremost he/ we will do what suits the USA. Economically who knows how long it will take for the impact of that to show up. Just like Reaganism. Where Trump & the USA are going to be really put to the test is internationally, and particularly in terms of security & military brinkmanship. For instance Putin grabbing what he wants in Ukraine, moving onto the Baltic states. Russia is now a lot stronger than in Reagans time & Europe depends on her energy. And then there will be China moving on Taiwan & the South China Sea, Nth Korea something stupid with Sth Korea. If Trump thinks he can just have the USA be isolated like their economy, in this arena, then whether we like it or not the whole world is in a power of trouble.

#1."Going forward, labourers in the developed world will not be competing with low cost Mexican, Chinese or Vietnamese workers. They will be competing with robots.

Back in May, Foxconn replaced sixty thousand workers with robots. And Adidas is already reshoring production – but not jobs – to Germany."

The unemployment rate in Germany is 4.1%. Not a devastatingly high figure.

FIH Mobile is a subsidiary of Foxconn offering many services such as product development and after-sales support. It was incorporated in the tax haven of the Cayman Islands in 2000.[70]


#9 Helen Clark killed the strike wing of the air force and thereby constrained our defence forces to a level somewhat below those of a third world country. There are three legs to a military structure that require offensive capability Sea, Land and Air. With out all three, particularly Air, the others become increasingly vulnerable, not to mention our ability to contribute to regional defence. The US and China appear to be tracking towards a show down, Aussie is firmly in the US's camp, but JK appears to be talking defence agreements with China????? Does not bode well at all. the question came up yesterday - do the people of NZ see us as a western country or an asian one? Do the politicians understand the implications of the answer to this question/ Do they have the courage to even ask it?

I suspect that before too long we're going to have to choose sides in a war, and it's unfortunate that govt is potentially alienating us from traditional allies.

Really, I think WWIII is already underway, but we're just not calling it that yet.

With that air capability, who do you think NZ could protect itself against? A couple of speed boats with Somali pirates? We have no hope of defending ourselves militarily against any country that has its mind set on us. The only thing our armed forces are any good for is diplomacy - larger powers use our presence as proof that they are right in invading another country. Personally I think we would be better off without a military, maybe beef up Civil Defence instead so when there is a large earthquake we have more than the local police force to help people out..

It's actually about contribution to a collective defence policy, not being able to act in isolation. With the Skyhawks we were able to punch well above our weight, but they were getting too old and needed replacement. Now we have nothing.

Believing in no military is like saying other people will pull us out of trouble. Problem is we may not like who those other people are. It also assumes we are strategically unimportant, a fallacy that ignores our proximity to Antarctica and the major population centres of the Australian east coast.

The peaceniks are up in arms about the American ships that came here because they "might" be carrying nuclear weapons. I didn't hear a word about the Chinese ones, and the Chinese are also a significant nuclear power. The question you need to be able to answer is whose jack boot do you think you would prefer - an American one or a Chinese one?

Shooting Somali pirates in a speed boat. Not our navy. They would have to get said pirates to attend a Health and Safety meeting first. And what if said pirates made a complaint to Susan Devoy.

they could move the navy up north, the amount they could sell Devonport for would easily pay for a much bigger base in a deeper harbour

Whenuapai as well, there's a decent sized WW2 airfield in the mid north that could be redeveloped at a reasonable cost and any threats are more likely to originate from the north rather that the Antarctic.
It doesn't seem like a great idea to have your economic and military centres in the one vulnerable town.

Already looked at moving Whenuapai to Ohakea. In the late 80s costed at close to a $billion. Hobsonville was still open then too. A large part of that move has now occurred with 3 Sqn now there. But how wise is it to park all your military assets in one location? Learn from history.

Ryan you need to tighten your arguments somewhat. You seem to be blaming Trump for things that will happen regardless of who is president. Fellow posters have done a pretty good job in pointing out some of the holes in your case. One of the silver linings of the Trump victory is that a lot of the glamour has been stripped from the media and publicity-hungry academics. Rationality is needed to convince people in an argument (well the swing voters at least), and the emotionally partisan stance of media and academe has cost them their credibiity.

Thank you for pointing out the obvious BS , Trump is currently being blamed for ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING

Now this morning I see a bloke on Bloomberg TV blaming the BOND MARKET ROUT on Trump .

The FED has been signalling the normalisation of interest rates for 2 years almost , so a Bond market adjustment was a long time coming , now everyone says its due to Trumps policies

WTF is it with the Media ?

He only takes office next year , and everyone is saying its TRUMP , TRUMP , TRUMP ..........

It's the "Abbott, Abbott, Abbott" strategy honed across the ditch.


NZ spends less that 1% of GDP on defense - this isn't actually enough to have a defense force that most NZers think we currently have (a lot of delusions out there). As I see we have three choices 1) give up our defense force completely 2) spend the money it needs 3) keep going with facade of a defense force while we hide behind the US and Australia. Unless we spend the money we will always rely on the Americans to defend us - despite what the anti-American mob thinks.

the anti American mob are a small minority and shrinking daily... Did you see the "rage" when USS SAMPSON arrived in Auckland? Nada, there was nothing... the good ship sailed in with her Stars and Stripes flying high! Her signal flags proclaimed "Hi NZ. Kia Ora."

Totally agree - it was great to see the US Navy here and I hope many more visits to come. I unfortunately think it is the default position for those on the hard left such as the Greens. But given yesterday's poll not much chance of them in power.

Yes !!!!!!!!!!

Why do you need two profiles on here? So you can like yourself?

Who me? Even I don't like my posts and like them! Am too close to the truth every time!

Ahah, local defence,local iniatitives perhaps. One would suppose that likely threats to NZ would be sea borne forces, maybe Rocketlab can look at tweaking their design for a hypersonic anti-ship ballistic missile weapon. Surely with our wide expertise here in carbon fibre composites we could be manufacturing a dozen a day of those? From detection to impact is only seconds, at 10km/sec and they come in swarms. Our navy could get busy just picking up survivors.

Sounds fun, too. Could we practice on jet-skiiers?

Well the airforce still has their strike force. Saw both of them fly over just the other day.

Re #6 , China is a currency manipulator , ABSOLUTELY NO QUESTION. They are to use a Trump term "crooked "

Trump must just repeat it over and over and over again like he did in calling Clinton crooked over and over again .

Eventually it will sink in to those thick skulled Americans that China is cheating in world trade and until its currency is freely traded it cant have its cake and eat it .

Quite simply , Chinese products entering the US are a huge potential source of tax revenue to pay for the repairs to infrastructure ( and the wall )

If China didn't recycle its trade surplus into US Treasuries the American consumer would be paying through the nose for their credit cards, mortgages, student debt, and car loans. It's a co-dependent relationship.

Jeez Boatman. I figured you too smart to be a Trump supporter. My bad.

I think you will find most Trump supporters are in that sweet 110-130 IQ spot. Not "too" smart but nevertheless the ones that keep the wheels turning.

We're Not Gonna Take It Anymore

That's great, saved it.
I think I might get more into Lynyrd Skynrd. It's time for a great American revival.

Then you should read "of mice and men" and "the great gatsby."

And yet ya'll still stand by the pathological liar, philanderer, racist dog whistler, and boated of having sexually assaulted multiple women? And he's repudiating virtually every campaign promise he made before even entering the Oval office. People with high IQ voted for Mussolini and Hitler too, because they endorsed their fears, prejudices, petty resentments, and offered salvation in a time of uncertainty and economic distress.

The Romans too revered the simple, uncultivated virtue of the Germanic barbarians, despairing of the "degradation" and "moral decline" of the Roman Empire. Don't forget the Romans offered the barbarians land and recruited them into their armies for this very reason. That is what led to the fall of the Roman Empire. Not the "depravity" or decline of moral standards in themselves, which Christian chroniclers later ascribed to be the cause of the Fall of the Roman civilization. Lesson is. Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it. https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/source/salvian1.html

There's no point going on and on about it now. This has all been done to death here. Time to wait and see. In the meantime watch Trump's victory rally:

President-Elect Donald Trump Rally in Cincinnati

It's great that he is still doing the rallies.

Still doing the rallies? That'll be because that's the only thing he is capable of.

#10 Who did Alec Baldwins job during the Obama presidency?
"Colin Quinn, stand-up comedian and former cast member of “Saturday Night Live,” went after his cohorts for taking it easy on the President, saying, “in this country, for the last five years, nobody has made a joke about the President of the United States.”

In conversation with host Josh Zepps on HuffPost Live, Quinn claimed that “the only person who’s making jokes about President Obama in the last five years is him. He has to do it at the White House Correspondents dinner, that’s how bad it’s gotten.”

The changing US energy landscape. Predictions of gas demise greatly exaggerated. "The U.S. natural gas market in the past two years has undergone massive change, from breaking storage records and crossing long-held thresholds to flipping flow patterns and pricing relationships on their heads. This November, the market crossed yet another milestone: the U.S. became a net exporter of natural gas for the first time ever on September 1, 2016."

Stephen Hawking
We face awesome environmental challenges: climate change, food production, overpopulation, the decimation of other species, epidemic disease, acidification of the oceans.

Together, they are a reminder that we are at the most dangerous moment in the development of humanity. We now have the technology to destroy the planet on which we live, but have not yet developed the ability to escape it. Perhaps in a few hundred years, we will have established human colonies amid the stars, but right now we only have one planet, and we need to work together to protect it.

To do that, we need to break down, not build up, barriers within and between nations. If we are to stand a chance of doing that, the world’s leaders need to acknowledge that they have failed and are failing the many. With resources increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few, we are going to have to learn to share far more than at present.

With not only jobs but entire industries disappearing, we must help people to retrain for a new world and support them financially while they do so. If communities and economies cannot cope with current levels of migration, we must do more to encourage global development, as that is the only way that the migratory millions will be persuaded to seek their future at home.

We can do this, I am an enormous optimist for my species; but it will require the elites, from London to Harvard, from Cambridge to Hollywood, to learn the lessons of the past year. To learn above all a measure of humility.


Here's a lesson they never learn:

The militias, who the West supported in overthrowing Moammar Gadhafi five years ago, are now turning the capital into a veritable Mogadishu.

Together, Trump and Putin can undo years of terrible foreign policy

Not a fake news site either!

True enough. Egypt is no much better & of course with Syria they didn't even get half way into it. Now Syria falls to the control of Russia & Iran. Western allies with these so called Spring revoluitions have achieved nothing but destabilisation and strengthened the opposition powers such as Russia & Iran. So you cannot really blame Trump in saying what the hell was the point in the first place. If he thinks he has got some strategy or tactics to destroy ISIS & suchlike, it's too late, that territory has fallen into the orbit of the opposition. It cannot be far away but Putin is surely going to call Trump's bluff and that is where real critical danger lies.

It's not at all surprising that the authoritarian Republican "Alt Right" will come to an accord with Russia under Putin, because Russia is in fact the ultimate Red State writ large.


Stupidest thing I ever watched. Thank God Jon Stewart is no longer on the air, the guy was just endlessly mocking America. One of the reasons Trump is going to be President, haha.

I'm sorry if the truth hurts. Unfortunately the world is regressing back to the 1930s. I thought the Tea Party were the pinnacle of nuttiness and nastiness. Well the Alt Right have managed to trump even them.

Don't be fooled by the golden wig! Trump voter has buyer’s remorse after Steve Mnuchin picked for treasury secretary. So much for looking after the working US working classes.

It's more ominous than that on a national scale.

Hedge Fund Managers Expect a Return on Their Investment in Donald Trump Read more

but... but... He said that he'd #draintheswamp!

Will his base even care? I think so many people have invested so much in him, at this point their very identity depends on him. Just scroll up and down this comments thread, you'll find a few.

So The Donald just got off the phone from the Taiwanese president.
He is believed to be the first president or president-elect who has spoken to a Taiwanese leader since 1979, when the United States severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan after its recognition of the People’s Republic of China.
Hopefully, the signs are that the soon to be President will reverse some of the outrageous and obscene excesses of American foreign policy of the last 50 years.

Brilliant , the Chinese will be pleased. First foreign policy reset.

The title of the NYTimes article says it's "...an Affront to China". More fake news from the MSM it seems.
The Chinese are like , meh.
Why the hell should a President kowtow to China anyway?

Sounds like if China view this as a blunder, they could move quickly to exploit Trump’s inexperience and incompetence in foreign affairs, and Obama’s lame-duck status.

China will be rubbing their hands in glee.

Never happen.
The President will always be backed up and advised by old hands who are familiar with the prevailing situation.

Fair enough but JFK was backed by Curtis Le May, Thankfully the latter did not hold sway over the former!

I think the Chinese will see this as a sign of Trump's strength if they find themselves dwelling on it. Trump will take phone calls from whomever he damn well likes. Do people seriously think being afraid to take phone calls because it might upset unelected leaders is being strong? Trump is not going to be all smarmy and diplomatic, saying sweet words while planning other things behind closed doors. He will just say it how it is. The US will support Taiwan militarily in the event of Chinese aggression, don't even remotely think otherwise. The US will continue to supply Taiwan with weapons. The US doesn't need China's friendship as it was originally done to assist with the debacle in Vietnam and to try and thwart Soviet power by getting the Chinese over to the Western side.

As a politician Trump is something totally novel. For example it was rather refreshing during the Republican primaries, when an old guard journalist stated rather than asked him something like " this means you are not going to have very good relations with the press doesn't it" to which Trumps response was "That's right." Not sure how that is going to go on the world stage. It is all so easy to put the boot into the USA for being the world's so called policeman, and admittedly the USA has made some disastrous mistakes, but who else was/is there. Russia & China are being unashamedly imperialistic it is going to depend on Trump to contain that whether we like it or not. He will be tested very soon one would think.

The flaw in your argument is that you believe Trump will listen to the establishment on foreign policy, particularly art China and Taiwan. If that's true then he would be afraid of pushing China too far.

If Trump lives up to his rhetoric then he will become isolationist and leave Taiwan out to dry.

He can't have it both ways.

I don't think Trump has said he is going to be an isolationist. He's just not going to fight pointless wars like they have been doing in the ME. Wars that you are guaranteed to lose.

Its beginning re China.... Did he call Taiwan??..He cant seem to remember.
China are getting into gear now...He's gunna get a lesson!

tell China to get stuffed

Can't be done. The West has become to soft.

Beijing expressed hope Saturday that the call would not “damage” or “interfere with” Washington-Beijing relations.

I see CNN are really exaggerating this, saying its a new "Cold War". Again the MSM is stirring up trouble. Not just fake news with these guys, they're real low lifes. The sooner everyone stops taking any notice of these idiots the better.
I reckon Trump knows exactly what he is doing and again the MSM look like fools. They would like nothing more than to turn this into an incident. They've been trolled.

Do people know that just off the coast of China, visible from the mainland, is a small island called Dadan that is still controlled by Taiwan? China hasn't even taken that back.

It's quite amusing really that the Chinese are terrified that the US will stop pretending that they care about the One China Policy.

China exports starting to falter, big falls in exports to the USA. who needs who the most.

The US is well and truly capable of efficiently providing all of its own needs - food, fuel, timber, minerals and manufactured goods of every description. The largest and most diverse economy with many of the worlds premier companies and the deepest financial market in the world.
Why would they want to run a continuing trade deficit with their natural rival (enemy?) - a deeply corrupt, currency manipulating totalitarian regime with no regard for its own people or their environment. Trump is quite right; tax the crap out of them.

If the USA stops running deficits how will the rest of us get funding?
Expressed in this puristic fashion, we begin to understand a few key points.

Globalisation is a highly capital intensive economic set-up due to the sheer amount of working capital needed to make it work. It’s not necessarily optimum in a more equal world.
The beneficiary consuming states (the ones with the capacity to create hard currencies to fund the working capital and run trade deficits) effectively provide the rest of the world with the hard currency credit they need to source the global commodities and resources required to fabricate the end-products they themselves mostly end up consuming.
This credit is squared off with repayments in hard currencies once the manufactured goods arrive at location, with enough of a respective hard currency payoff to keep the manufacturing countries incentivised to keep the set-up going.
So what happens to international global supply chains if and when beneficiary countries decide the capital locked up in maintaining global trade can be put to better use domestically or that outsourcing production half way across the world doesn’t make sense when there’s untapped spare capacity at home, which is now much more cost effective?

The answer is that supply chains shrink, but the underlying credit arrangements live on. As the manufacturing hubs face up to the respective shortage of hard-currency repayment flows this brings — and potentially default — their hard-currency credit deteriorates. This compromises access to resources and hard-currency resources in general, especially if those countries which would like to keep producing for their own consumer benefit almost entirely.

Debt built on debt, is a pyramid of cards. There was once a long long time ago something called the South Sea Bubble. Trouble is Trump's own empire itself is exactly that. That's why he has gone broke before, spectacularly so. Creditors have paid for it in the end. You can understand though, just like Brexit, there is a move to nationalism, self protection of you like. The USA has already achieved this with energy reserves. It appears Trump intend to make the USA self contained, self reliant. Might work. I read somewhere that the economy of California is as large as that of Russia??

Debt built on debt, is a pyramid of cards. There was once a long long time ago something called the South Sea Bubble. Trouble is Trump's own empire itself is exactly that. That's why he has gone broke before, spectacularly so. Creditors have paid for it in the end. You can understand though, just like Brexit, there is a move to nationalism, self protection of you like. The USA has already achieved this with energy reserves. It appears Trump intend to make the USA self contained, self reliant. Might work. I read somewhere that the economy of California is as large as that of Russia??

The interesting bit is the inflation, last time I was running a business in a high inflation environment, assets were cheap, as no one could save a decent deposit and debt wasn't your friend.

"The USA has already achieved this with energy reserves.."

No. Not even close.

Deficits or debts, it doesn't matter. The trillions and trillions of debt globally is out of control and unaccounted for. In this day and age things have become so convoluted that through all the mergers, takeovers and other manoeuvring you can end up becoming your own creditor. There was more than a little bit of that in Enron.

Kiwidave - you are joking right? The US consumes around 25% of the worlds resources at present - they dont go policing the world for goodwill reasons .. self sufficiency would turn them into a basket case.. They are still net importers of Oil and have been since the 50's , have huge water issues coming up having drained their aquifers.. Trump cant fix the underlying problem - America doesnt have the (easy) plentiful energy resources to make America great again.

but they can get access to the vast reserves in Alberta, although the Canadian government is getting sick of getting ripped off and looking to export to India and China. in the Ag world they are huge exporters they could just export a little less to fix a lot of environmental issues.


Alberta tar sands is typically low grade sour Oil with far more refining required. ie you need money printing to make it viable - the reserve means nothing - its the price the economy can afford that dictates the level of reserves.
"Sick of getting ripped off" equates to no none wants to pay enough for its extraction.

No, I'm not joking, they could be entirely self sufficient in petroleum without any hardship just by reducing consumption to our levels for example.
I'm not suggesting they stop trading altogether but wrecking the environment, bankrolling your enemies, filling the country up with Chinese junk carted from thousands of miles away, having your own folk idle while running a massive military to protect a totally unnecessary supply line makes no sense whatsoever.
We here are being fed a lot of bullsh!t with this extreme globalisation nonsense as well.

And here is 2015, in which the U.S. imports a whopping 1.37 billion barrels of oil from Canada, while Mexico provides 277 million (a 44.9% decrease from 2000 levels), and Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait combine for just 544.9 million barrels, a 39.6% decrease from levels in 2000.