Trade Wars and Poker Games: Who Wins?

Who will win a protracted trade war between the US and China? Longtime readers have noticed that I’ve purged all policy and political commentary from my site, and have removed most of the economic analysis that I’ve worked on for the last 30 years.

Today we live in a climate where dialog has broken down, facts are fake, and science is sidelined. Anyone criticizing the policy of those in power are threatened to the point of losing their livelihood.

These days, I keep my opinions largely to myself.

DATA SCIENCE, PROJECTIONS, AND REALITY

That said, I can’t help reading articles I wrote over a decade ago and chuckle to myself. I came across an analysis where I projected that China was on a path to surpass the US in economic power in 2014.

When I originally posted it I received an overwhelming amount of vitriolic email questioning not my science, but my patriotism. Despite that, the data was correct and China did indeed exceed the USA in economic power in late 2013.

Six years later China has more economic influence in the world than the USA does. They still far outpace the USA in economic growth and available cash. The American public is still blind to this fact because we use skewed GDP numbers to make it seem like America is still #1.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

Today when I see our leaders play tariff games like it’s a poker match, I have to laugh: I know a bluff when I see one. I know who has the biggest pile of chips and who the winner of this contest will be.

Those of us using science and facts knew this in 2005 while the bulk of the public was happy to just listen to Fox News and regurgitate what they’d heard.

I don’t really like to say “I told you so,” particularly in this case. But… I told you so.