Morning Call: August 8th, 2018


Anti-Growth, Pro-Vote

More good news for the economy as optimism reaches record highs with small-business owners in a new Gallup poll…

U.S. small-business owners are more optimistic now than at any point in the 15-year history of the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index. In the latest quarterly survey, which measures small-business owners’ attitudes about a wide variety of factors affecting their businesses, the overall index score is +118. This is higher than prior 2018 measures — with Quarter 2, 2018, at +106 and Quarter 1 at +107. The index now sits just above the record-high +114 from 2006.

The Wall Street Journal doesn’t agree with Gallup.  A new WSJ poll finds that small-business optimism fell to the lowest level since 2016…

Large companies have mostly shrugged off concerns over tariffs, as lower tax rates plus strong demand has helped deliver larger than expected profit. Among smaller firms, optimism for growth fell in July to its lowest level since the 2016 presidential election, according to a monthly survey of more than 750 small firms for The Wall Street Journal by Vistage Worldwide Inc.

So who is right?  Well, it depends on what industry you are in.  All businesses are benefiting from the Trump administrations tax and regulatory cuts.  However, some are benefiting from the tariffs while others are not.  South Carolina provides a perfect mixing bowl for both sides.

South Carolina manufacturer blames tariffs for 126 layoffs…

A TV-manufacturing company in South Carolina says it’s been forced to layoff 126 employees and close a plant because of President Trump’s tariffs. “The layoff and closure is a result of the new tariffs that were recently and unexpectedly imposed on many goods imported from China, including the key television components used in our assembly operations in Winnsboro,” Element Electronics wrote in a letter to the state’s Department of Employment and Workforce.

South Carolina steel manufacturer to create 180 new jobs…

A new steel manufacturing site is expected to be up and running later this year in Rock Hill, bringing 180 new jobs and a $9 million investment to the area.

Schuff Steel Company will update an existing 148,000-square-foot fabrication site at 1345 Spencer Hall Road. The 45-acre site adds to a nationwide footprint for Schuff Steel, at more than 1.47 million square feet

Hiring is expected to start during the third quarter of this year, which begins this month.

Whether or not tariffs are a net producer of jobs or economic growth are really of no consequence because they are a net producer of votes.  This is not limited to tariffs.  The Gallup poll found that the single biggest concern for small-businesses was finding qualified workers.  We are currently facing a labor shortage in this country.  Most economists would argue we need to be increasing immigration to meet these demands.  The Trump administration instead is looking to reduce legal immigration…

The Trump administration is expected to issue a proposal in coming weeks that would make it harder for legal immigrants to become citizens or get green cards if they have ever used a range of popular public welfare programs, including Obamacare, four sources with knowledge of the plan told NBC News.

The move, which would not need congressional approval, is part of White House senior adviser Stephen Miller’s plan to limit the number of migrants who obtain legal status in the U.S. each year.

It’s interesting that supporters of President Trump tend to defend the President by arguing that he is a businessman, not a politician.  Whether or not someone becomes a politician upon being elected President I guess is still up for debate. However, it is clear that President Trump understands that to stay in office politics is more important than business.  Even if tariffs and lower levels of immigration are a drag on the economy they are unlikely to have a major impact.  The political impacts, however, is huge for Trump.  A new Axios poll shows that a majority of rural voters agree with Trump on immigration.  Trump is unlikely to make inroads with women or minority voters so he is going to need rural voters showing up in November en masse to have a shot of keeping the GOP in power.  For a non-politician businessman, President Trump seems to have this politics thing down to a tee.

In Other News

– David Fench nails it with his Times op/ed explaining why the Alex Jones ban from social media is dangerous in which he explains a better way to ban him…

– West Hollywood City Council wants to remove Donald Trump’s star on the walk of fame.  To, I can only assume, make room for Roman Polanski’s star… 


Lawsuit Update

Democrats went 0-2 yesterday in court in an attempt to get a temporary restraining order like they did on Tuesday.  Chris Anglin on Tuesday successfully convinced a judge to issue a TRO in his challenge to a recently passed law.  The Democrats yesterday, however, were far less successful…

Gov. Roy Cooper failed Tuesday afternoon to get a temporary freeze on two proposed constitutional amendments he has called legislative power grabs, with a Superior Court judge declaring that a three-judge panel should have the first chance to decide.

Meanwhile, the state NAACP and an environmental group called Clear Air Carolina are suing to keep four amendments from appearing on this fall’s ballots.

Wake County Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway said he would urge the state Supreme Court chief justice to appoint a three-judge panel quickly to decide both cases. The state is facing a ballot-printing deadline, and the Legislature wants the six proposed amendments on it.

The NAACP is challenging 4 of 6 constitutional amendments on the ballot this November (maybe).  While litigation is pending, the North Carolina Constitutional Amendments Publication Commission did decide to write explanations for the two amendments not facing a legal challenge.  First up, The amendment guaranteeing the right to hunt and fish…

“This amendment would acknowledge the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife, and to use traditional methods to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife. The amendment does not define ‘traditional methods,’” the amendment description reads, before going on to explain the amendment’s relation to existing laws. 

The description also says the amendment will “establish that public hunting and fishing are a preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife.”

The second amendment they dealt with deals with victim rights…

It lays out eight rights already guaranteed to victims in the N.C. Constitution. Then it describes seven other rights the amendment would ensconce in the Constitution if approved.

“Today, victims have legal rights if the crime was a major felony, certain domestic violence cases, or one of several other kinds of serious crimes,” the explanation reads. “The amendment would expand the types of offenses that trigger victims’ rights to include all crimes against the person and felony property crimes. … This amendment directs the Legislature to create a procedure, by motion to the court, for a victim to assert his or her rights.”

Just a reminder, these descriptions will not appear on the ballot.  They will only appear in voter guides.  FYI: I’m still standing by my prediction that Anglin wins his challenge while the NAACP and Cooper will be laughed out of court.

In Other News

– 9th district congressional candidate, Mark Harris, under fire for former sermon arguing women should submit to their husband.  Democrats are outraged as your only supposed to submit to your husband when can help you get a vacant Senate seat…

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