Tuesday, 5 September 2017

US Sanctions

The list of countries on which the USA imposes sanctions grows every year, as does the severity of the sanctions, despite they hardly seem to work.

Traditional thinking is that imposing sanctions on any particular country is but a pin prick for the USA economy, it is a massive burden for the other country. My thinking is that as the list grows, those pin pricks turn into a proper wound, and things get markedly better for countries on the naughty list.

If the USA imposes sanctions on Country Z, then that's bad for the USA, very bad for Country Z but rather good for all the other pariah countries who now have a new trading partner. So Cuba can now trade with Iran, Syria, Russia, North Korea, Venezuela, Russia etc and Country Z.

If the USA goes mental and imposes sanctions on PR China for having the temerity to trade with today's Bad Boys North Korea, and by extension on every country which trades with PR China, then I would assume that the rest of the world would decide to cut the USA loose and merrily trade with each other and with Russia, Iran etc and it would be the USA losing out massively, in which case, one would assume, it would meekly come back to the table.

But while I was reading around, I stumbled across this fine article explaining why sanctions don't achieve the desired effect with the concept of the J-curve (scroll down to end of article). Which is probably far more interesting than my hypotheticals above.


Shiney said...

Hey Mark

Wouldn't it be better just to undermine the DPRK regime by just giving the population iPhones, cars and TVs stuff and then turning them into capitalists?

Just askin'

Steven_L said...

in which case, one would assume, it would meekly come back to the table

Or just bomb the shit out of everyone?

Mark Wadsworth said...

Sh, that's a good idea. It's part of what won us the Cold War last time.

SL, they wouldn't. They like picking off countries one at a time and still make a complete mess of it.

Bayard said...

Shiney, you could get rid of the Kims and turn the DPRK into a capitalist democracy, but they'd still be a country that hates the US and has nuclear weapons.

Curtis said...

The last people who want the DPRK to fall are the South Koreans, their capital would turn into a refugee camp. That's why although all ROK political parties support reunification, when pressed politicians only want reunification after they retire.

Shiney, the people at the top already have iPhones and cars and TVs, but they quite like also being in control of the rest of the population.

B, they don't hate the US, only Mr Kim does, and it is mandatory for the higher-ups who doesn't want to be executed to like and hate the same things as him. The poor population only hate the US because they are told to do so, and don't have enough information to decide for themselves (or sadly, were denied the formative experiences or education in their youth that would help them to decide for themselves even if they had enough information).

Bayard said...

C, even if the "poor population" knew the truth, they would have no reason to love the US. Why should they?