Is China's economy shrinking because of the trade war?

Is China's economy shrinking because of the trade war?

Well, no. It's not shrinking at all. In fact, it's growing at 6.2%, which is a few tenths of a percent down because of these additional U.S. tariffs. That's a bigger hit than the American economy certainly takes. But let's be clear, the biggest reason why China's economy is not growing as fast is because it's getting larger and it's getting wealthier. Bigger, wealthier economies grow at a slower clip - that should be recognized.

Will Trump's new migrant plan work?

Well I mean some pieces of it will work. Numbers actually coming across the borders right now are going down and a big piece of that is because the Trump administration pushed Mexico hard to strengthen their own border controls. The Mexican government facing threat of tariffs, threw 18,000 more troops at their own southern border. We've already seen those numbers diminish but certainly the Americans at the border are overwhelmed by the numbers of migrants that are coming in. That system is pretty broken.

Will Trump sanction Turkey for buying a Russian missile system?

The answer is yes. And the Turkish government believes that Trump is not going to sanction them. They're wrong. And it's also completely not interoperable with NATO systems. Functionally, Turkey is going to be in a lot of trouble. They'll take sanctions directly from the U.S. on their defense companies that are involved but also you'll see fewer exercises and NATO's alliance with Turkey is getting weaker.


Does President Trump's racist tweet unite or divide Democrats?

Does President Trump's racist tweet do more to unite or divide Dmocrats?

I think it does more to unite them. Democrats were fighting amongst themselves before these series of tweets and now Trump has reminded them of what they're fighting against.

Will Joe Biden's healthcare plan appeal to voters?

It won't appeal to hardcore progressives, who want Medicare for all,but it will probably appeal more broadly. It keeps the popular parts of Obamacare while offering a public option. So, yeah I think it has some appeal.

Is there a new debt-limit crisis brewing?

There could be. The debt-limit probably needs to be raised before the middle of September which means before Congress leaves Washington for the August recess So they've got to get it done soon. I think they probably will.

Finally for The Rant.

Today's rant, unsurprisingly, is on Trump and racism and the fact that some people won't call it racist if you tweet that duly elected members of Congress, who are U.S. citizens, should go home, back to the countries they came from - that's racist. So let's call it racist.

Should journalists always publish leaks?

Should journalists always publish leaks?

No, of course not. And they usually don't. There's really a lot of criteria that you're looking at, like for any story. First, is it legal in the way that information was obtained and to publish that information? It is in most countries, most jurisdictions. But you do want to make sure and if not that you have good reason to do what is essentially civil disobedience. Is it safe? There are reasons, national security especially, not to publish information sometimes. Then you want to look at the source and the information. Is it reliable? Is it verifiable? Is it newsworthy? Is it even a story and is it in the public interest to publish it? And then you want to look at the broader context.

You want to make sure that you're not being used to further anyone's political agenda, unknowingly. And if you are, at least be so knowingly and with full transparency to your readers if you consider that publishing that information to the public interest of it overrides that concern. And because I know that with this question you're getting at the leak that ousted the U.K. ambassador to the U.S. You want to be sure that you yourself do not have a political agenda as well. And I'll leave it at that.

What should you not say to a struggling coworker?

When a coworker is struggling, what should you not say to them?

Well the most common, I think, habit is to do what you do in every other situation which is to relate like, "Oh I also love the color blue" but that usually ends up meaning that if you say like, "hey, I have cancer."

Then suddenly they're like, "Oh, my aunt had cancer!" Dot dot dot...


"And then, she..." You know, you're like stuck in this terrible conversation about outcomes, when really all you meant to do is build the bridge. So usually you really don't have to offer them anything from your own life. Just make a little space and say, "I'm so sorry to hear that."

Leave a little minute and see if they want to take the off ramp because usually people just kind of want to talk about reality programming or like how much they hate their suite mates. So it's just like give them the off ramp and they'll probably take it.

-Any other favorite suggestions?

I think that deep desire to explain other people's suffering is so normal. So like, "Oh was it something you ate or maybe it's in your family" just all the kind of free association that people usually do. Usually someone who's struggling kind of doesn't need an explanation.

They maybe need like cookies the next day and just a little bit of space to get their own lives together with a little peace.

-So it sounds like you want to avoid conversational narcissism. If I'm trying to comfort you, it's not about me. It's not my job to explain why you're suffering.

Yeah and a gifted presence is kind of more powerful than people realize it is. Like also just presence, man. I love it when someone is like, "Oh hey I got you this food." I'm like, "Great, we're now best friends."


How will the U.S. respond to Iran increasing its enrichment levels?

How will the US respond to Iran increasing its enrichment levels?

With more bluster but also with the hope that they can eventually get the Iranians to the table. You know the more the Iranians actually escalate the easier it is for them to eventually engage in negotiations with the Americans. That is the silver lining in what's been an increasingly ominous nuclear cloud.

Will the new Greek PM have an easier time than his predecessor?

Well sure, in the sense that the Greek economy is now doing better than it was a couple of years ago. They've already had suffered from massive austerity. And you know he gets the benefit from that hard work also because he's more business oriented, he's liked by the international community, the IMF, the Germans. But still you're talking about 40% unemployment, massive lag in infrastructure real challenging economies, so one of the tougher places to govern certainly in Europe. No question there.

Does China see US-Australia war games as a threat?

I wouldn't say a threat. But not exactly an opportunity. Look generally speaking, the Chinese are putting a lot more money, and a lot more effort into expanding their territorial influence in the South China Sea. When they see the Americans, the Australians, even the Japanese, engaging in maritime exercises their response is going to be more bluster that includes spy ship watching closely steaming towards Queensland right now. Let's watch to see what happens.

What kind of candidates is Trump trying to put on the Fed?

Was President Trump's "Salute to America" a campaign rally or an Independence Day celebration?

Well it was a weird hybrid of both. He didn't do a lot of the red meat stuff from his campaign rallies. But clearly he was trying to hijack the Fourth of July for political purposes.

What kind of candidates is Trump trying to put on the Fed?

Well he's looking for rate-hike flip-floppers just like himself. People who said under Obama that rates were way too low, who now rail against the Fed and want to see rate cuts. People like Judy Shelton.

When is the Democratic field going to shrink?

Well it won't be too long now. After the second debate I think you'll see some of the real bottom dwellers drop out, by the time we get to voting in February in Iowa, we should be down to eight or nine and then by Super Tuesday in March we should be down to about the final three.

Now for The Rant:

I think it's ridiculous all these calls for the U.S. women's national soccer team to be paid the same as the men. In fact, they win the gold. They win the viewers. They get all the excitement, the U.S. women's national team should be paid far more than the men.


Ben White, Politico's Chief Economic Correspondent
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Ian Bremmer, Eurasia Group President
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Adam Grant, Wharton organizational psychologist
Tips and trick to improve your work life with Adam Grant every Thursday
Nicholas Thompson, Wired Editor-in-Chief
The biggest topics in tech with Nicholas Thompson each Friday