I'm a bit confused by the incoming administrations economics.  Admittedly, I don't have a deep understanding of the messy web of networked economic systems we have and intend to improve.  But I tried to present my understanding of nearly any economic network below although in reality the division between consumers, producers, infrastructure and resources can be huge or almost zero:


Something about isolationism and protectionism reminds me of a lobotomy somehow.  I can't quite understand how a lobotomized financial network would work better.  Still work in a capacity, yes.  But better?  I'm not sure.  

Economic systems are networks.  Brains are networks.  People form community networks.  Communities build cities.  And cities define countries.

Take a human, give them a depressant and their brain chemistry changes so that individual brain parts are not as actively communicating with other brain parts.  Said person might act drunk undercorrecting and overcorrecting while driving.  After a crash with broken connections, they might barely respond to stimulus or you might say they were depressed, brain damaged or comatose.   Take a community with poor networks and you might call them isolated, poor, lonely, backward, keeping to themselves, lacking trade incentives or trade goods.  Take a city with that same thing happening and you might say they were econmically repressed, economically stagnant, uneducated, withering, driving out businesses, not involved, not innovating. 

Take a state with the same thing happening and you'd have a cross between Mississippi and North Dakota.  Fine beautiful places, but in singular terms of economics, sort of freeloader isolationists (North Dakota: my federal tax dollars pay to offset the US's highest rates of poverty and idleness, Mississippi: The fed's funnel federal taxes to companies in your state apparently to maintain corporate cash influx addictions rather than to actually create economic growth.)  Take a country with that same network activity pattern, and one wouldn't anticipate expansive growth, extraordinary innovation, or world class exceptionalism. 

Changing economic analogies - from brains to cars:  your speed isn't determined by how many tires you have: its how fast the tires turn.   Your engine won't run better if you add long extra coils of fuel lines and extra long venting for air intakes and tail pipes.  A better engine can run full bore and idle without conking out.

So now you probably know how I feel about American Isolationism.  The economy isn't the number of companies, consumers, products and resources: the economy is the network of transactions between them.  Deeply interconnected networked economies offer more than zero net gain.  Tarrif protectionism lobodomized economies, not as much. 

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