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Paul Krugman perfectly explains why Trump’s ‘stupid trade war’ will be a disaster for American workers

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- Commentary

As the United States gears up for a full-on trade war with key allies, economist Paul Krugman has a stark warning for President Donald Trump: It’s not going to go well.

In a column posted Thursday evening, Krugman argues that Trump’s trade war — which he once said should be “easy to win” — will be bad for many Americans, including many that see the president as their defenders.

“So, the trade war is on,” Krugman begins. “And what a stupid trade war it is.”

“[T]it-for-tat trade retaliation will hurt a lot of American workers (and especially farmers), quite a few of whom voted for Trump and will now find themselves feeling betrayed,” he notes.

He also argues that Trump’s view of international trade is overly simplistic. Slapping tariffs on a few industries isn’t an isolated action, and it will have ripple effects across the economy. This is because, as Krugman explains, “it’s a matter of complex value chains, which the Trump trade war will disrupt. This will produce a lot of American losers, even if they aren’t directly employed producing exported goods.”

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Even more worrying for Trump is that prices across the board could rise if the trade war “spirals” further. The Republicans sold their giant tax giveaway to corporations based on minor, temporary cuts for individual payers, but even these measly gains could evaporate if prices rise. That could be disastrous for the GOP heading into the midterms.

And in international political terms, Krugman argues, Trump may be underestimating the downsides of his actions. Many people in other countries really hate Trump, which means they will likely push their leaders to stand up to him. Don’t expect Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to back down easily.

One thing Krugman doesn’t mention, though it is implied by this last point, is that the non-economic consequences of the trade war could also be disastrous. Trump currently needs allies desperately for many of his foreign policy efforts: putting pressure on North Korea, constraining Iran, and countering China. By engaging in a trade war with our allies, Trump weakens the relationships that are crucial to pursuing these objectives.

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Jeffrey Epstein’s IT consultant reveals he saw girls who ‘couldn’t have more than 15 or 16’ on private island

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ABC News broke a story just after midnight Thursday about a former IT consultant of Jeffrey Epstein's who resigned because he couldn't take some of the things he was seeing on Epstein's private island compound.

The island, which has been called "pedophile island" by locals, had "topless women everywhere.

"There were photos of topless women everywhere," said contractor Steve Scully, who began working for Epstein in 1999 and continued for six years. "On his desk, in his office, in his bedroom."

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‘Names are going to start coming out’: New report says more elites will be exposed in the Epstein case — and ‘DC is on edge’

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Will other powerful people — presumably men — get taken down as a result of the sex trafficking case against Jeffrey Epstein?

That’s the hope of many closer followers of the story, but it’s far from clear what, if any, fallout there will be. Epstein’s connections to Presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump have raised suspicions about potential evidence of their wrongdoing, such suspicions remain unproven. Alan Dershowitz has already faced accusations of being involved in Epstein’s crimes, though he denies the charge vigorously.

But a new report from Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman says that “DC is on edge” over the Epstein case, and any elites who have run in his circles could be involved. Dozens of girls, if not more, are believed to be involved in his alleged sex trafficking, and lawyers for some of the women who have accused Epstein are strongly suggesting that other high-profile figures will be implicated.

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‘It’s so un-American’: Internet scorches Trump supporters for racist chants of ‘Send her back!’

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The ignoble highlight of President Donald Trump's rally in Greenville, North Carolina on Wednesday was when his fans doubled down on his racist attacks on four Democratic congresswomen of color and targeted Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), chanting "Send her back! Send her back!"

Political commentators of all stripes were gobsmacked by the crowd's naked racism — and buried them in condemnation:

The crowd at Trump’s rally chanting “send her back” after the President viciously and dishonestly attacked Ilhan Omar is one of the most chilling and horrifying things I’ve ever seen in politics.

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