Thursday, May 30, 2019

Trade Wars

I am intrigued by arguments about who will win a trade war between China and the United States. Those who think life is only about winning and losing have watched too many Westerns.

There are few real winners in a trade war. Just like military wars, the winners usually find out too late that the costs of winning were much greater than they expected. For example, Britain and the United States thought that they won the second world war (started to defend Poland), but found that all of Eastern Europe was controlled by the Soviet Union.

In the same way, no one really wins a trade war. There will be winners and losers in the United States, and there will be winners and losers in China. We can be certain of two things. The winners in both countries will be the businesses that collude with government to protect their patch.

The unintended secondary consequences will fall far and wide in unexpected places and be more severe than expected. Just as with military war, the losers in both countries will be the ordinary people who get caught in the crossfire.

We should not trust political leaders who think that war is a good thing, whether military or economic.

The questions that Christians should be asking is what are the spiritual powers of evil intending to accomplish through a trade war. War of any kind increases their freedom to operate.

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