Daily Bread for 6.1.19

Good morning.

Saturday in Whitewater begins a new month with scattered thundershowers and a high of seventy-five.  Sunrise is 5:18 AM and sunset 8:26 PM, for 15h 08m 17s of daytime.  The moon is a waning crescent with 4.2% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the nine hundred thirty-fifth day.


On this day in 1864, Wisconsinites defend the Union at the Battle of Cold Harbor, Virginia:

On June 1, the 5th Wisconsin Infantry arrived after a long march, barefoot and exhausted. Nevertheless, they charged enemy lines and captured a number of prisoners. By the afternoon, the 36th Wisconsin Infantry lost 140 of  the 142 men who tried to take an enemy position.

Recommended for reading in full:

Catherine Rampell writes Just a few of the reasons that Trump’s Mexico tariffs are deeply stupid:

1. Americans are paying these tariffs. We already have two studies by teams of top-notch trade economists who have found that the costs of Trump’s earlier tariffs are being passed along to American businesses and consumers. An update of one of those studies pegged the cost of tariffs announced before Thursday (including the most recent escalation on $200 billion of Chinese goods) at $831 per U.S. household. It seems reasonable that this latest round of tariffs on Mexican goods will also be largely absorbed by Americans.

Industry groups, including those for produce and retail, have put out statements warning about the cost to consumers of these tariffs.

2. This will seriously screw up supply chains and hurt American companies — including American companies that need Mexican parts to make their own products that get sold here or exported abroad.

Mexico recently became our No. 1 trading partner. Two-thirds of our imports from Mexico are intra-company trade (i.e., a firm trading with itself across the border).

The auto industry is especially vulnerable; of U.S. auto exports, about 35 percent of the value-added comes from imported inputs, according to Deutsche Bank Securities chief economist Torsten Slok. Note also that the U.S. auto industry is already in trouble. Announced layoffs for the first four months of this year in autos are the highest since 2009, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

3. We don’t know the full economic cost of the tariffs, but it would be painful for the United States. Two years ago, a research and consulting firm calculated an estimate for the costs of a similar (20 percent) tariff on Mexican imports: “Over three years, the bill comes to $286 billion in lost value to the U.S. economy and a loss of 755,000 American jobs. Two-thirds of those job losses would be at the expense of low- to medium-skilled workers.”


10. If Trump does indeed manage to wreck the Mexican economy, that would likely increase the flow of immigrants trying to cross the border into the United States. When the Mexican economy is lousy, after all, demand to come to the United States rises.

(Rampell lists six other reasons, numbers 4 through 9, in her full article.)

Tonight’s Sky for June 2019:

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