Are the Tariffs Taking a Toll on China?

The bull market for stocks is being touted as the longest on record so, of course, the big ... impossible to answer ... question is just how much further this could advance.

Strategists are providing comments (because I guess that's what strategists do) identifying the advance as "long-in-the-tooth" and "getting tired" ... but they ... like all of us ... have absolutely no idea if the market advance will end today, tomorrow, a year from now ... or during the next appearance of Haley's comet.Tariffs seem to be taking quite a toll on China as, according to Daily Shot, industrial production in May was "the slowest in years." And while isn't troubling enough, CIBC Capital Markets is reporting that any further tariffs could really hamper China's growth.Will this realization on the part of the Chinese force them to the bargaining table ... or toward concessions deeper than they wanted to go? Probably ... but they also might be putting memories of what they are going through right now deep in their memory banks and one day ... when we ask them for economic help ... this might be pointed at before they say "bú shí de" ... which kind of means no in Mandarin ... I think.There is one other event pertaining to the tariffs ... as, according to an article in The Columbus Dispatch, soybean farmers are starting to "reel" ... and prefer trade rather than government assistance. It is easy to sit in my seat and just write about this ... for it does not really affect my pocketbook. It is impossible to put myself in the place of those families whose livelihoods depend on decisions being made in Washington, so I won't try. But my heart goes out to them.Related: Why I’m Losing Confidence in the EconomyAnd even though it is June ... we are just around four months away from that annual ritual when it is realized the government will run out of money unless the debt ceiling is, once again, raised. Oh, my. If this was a drunken cousin or friend who we continue to loan money to ... we would cut them off. But here we will go through the dance and ... well, we all know how to movie will end. Threats will be made and money will be allocated. Meanwhile, politicians will think about a future election and scream "never again" ... and things will be quiet until the next time ... and the movie starts to replay again.On a final note, 44 million people in South America were without power during the weekend and ... as of now ... no one appears to know why. Imagine if, somehow, some cyber attack left us without electricity even for a few days.Yes, we have become so accustomed to just plugging things in ... and expecting them to work. Could the next war consist ... not of bombs ... not with soldiers ... but just a group taking over and having control over "the grid?"Somehow, I don't think we're quite prepared for that.... as of 11:34 AM today ... Will the Fed come to the rescue once again?That is on the minds of many at the moment, but one strategist feels that if a recession hits, Fed cuts might not be the ointment that is needed ( CNBC)... but unemployment numbers are still low... and with the increase in demand for renewable energy comes jobs in an area that seems to be growing ( Forbes)... and, speaking of employment, what about those who labor in the field picking crops?Don't worry ... for a robot can do this job without complaint, vacation or backache ( NewYorker) Americans love traveling... but not all of it is for pleasure. Some find the need to go to Canada to get medicine that they can't afford here in the states ( JournalGazette) Writing about plastic recent got me wondering... just where does all this plastic go? It seems the U.S. exports to other lands. Not our problem after that (or so we tell ourselves) ( TheGuardian) Will more living space make you happier?Like many, I kid myself by thinking so ... but realize I would just buy more stuff I didn't need ( TheAtlantic)