A Look At The Achilles Heel Of The U.S. As The World Hurtles Toward Gold

Saturday, January 28, 2017
By Paul Martin

January 28, 2017

Here is a look at the Achilles Heel of the U.S. as the world hurtles toward gold.

Stephen Leeb: “In the past week, as the new administration talked tough about trade, a word that I learned as an economics major at Wharton sprang to mind: autarky. It’s a fancy term economists use to describe a country that is self-sufficient. The more developed an economy becomes, the less likely it is to be an autarky and the more it depends on trade to maintain the lifestyle its citizens have attained. Today, the two countries that come closet to being an autarky are North Korea and the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan.

The U.S., however, is anything but, and today, more than ever, we depend on trade with other countries – including, notably, China – for resources that ultimately will be essential to our very survival. To view trading relationships merely through a narrow lens of item-by-item comparisons and gaps between exports and imports is a huge mistake with potentially far-reaching consequences. For it ignores the bigger picture, which is that complex interconnections among critical commodities that we import mean that anything that jeopardizes trade in those commodities could leave us helpless. Launching a trade war could be devastating to the U.S. in ways that no one seems to be talking about…

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