Reputation to Protect
See, America has a reputation. And that reputation is worth something. Quite a lot actually. A nation with a good reputation — such as one of tolerance and trustworthiness — has enhanced influence to achieve desired economic and geopolitical outcomes without force or cutting checks. A decent rep also makes a country a more attractive destination for capital, both financial and human.
So how do you think Brand America is doing these days?
It was actually pretty strong before the 2016 election, at least as imperfectly measured by Anholt-GfK Nation Brands Index. America’s global ranking jumped from seventh to first when Barack Obama was elected and has remained at or near the top since.
The industry has been trying to present itself as a valuable part of the U.S. economy, employing tens of thousands in high-skilled positions and contributing important innovations….That is, the pharmaceutical industry employs high-skilled people and, in doing so, increases their prospects of innovating in ways that improve human well-being. This feature of the pharmaceutical industry is indeed a positive. But what good economists understand and what most non-economists don’t, is that the pharmaceutical industry would be an even more valuable part of the U.S. economy if it generated its important innovations with fewer high-skilled workers. Indeed, if the industry were such that its current stream of breakthroughs in medications and medical devices could be kept going, but with the employment of only one unskilled worker, that would be close to ideal.
Proponents of protectionism maintain that import protection is indeed in the public interest because through it, jobs are saved. Although we might agree that import protection can save jobs in protected industries, we cannot conclude (as protectionists incorrectly do) that imports force a contraction in the country’s total employment opportunities. We must not forget that such countries as Japan want to be paid for their exports with something we produce. As a result, imports, which surely destroy jobs in the import sector, give rise to exports, which just as surely create jobs. Furthermore, this country’s (and other countries’) greater real income that arise from open international trade should add to the demand for U.S. goods and services simply because greater real income translates into greater purchasing power for all trading partners.
Which got me thinking: What sorts of things might a proper Trump CEA tell Trump? Maybe that superfast economic growth is very, very hard. Maybe that we can’t grow out way out of the entitlement debt problem. Maybe that selling health insurance across state lines won’t revolutionize the insurance marketplace.
And maybe the CEA economists would show Trump these two charts:
Innocent Victims of the War on Money Laundering
President Trump says he wants to roll back the burden of regulation. Given the morass of red tape that is strangling the economy, this is a very worthy goal.
It’s also a daunting task. Fixing the sprawling regulatory state is the modern version of cleaning the Augean stables and I’m not brimming with confidence that Trump and his appointees have Herculean powers.
That being said, if they’re deciding where to focus their deregulatory efforts, a cost-benefit analysis would be a very useful guide. Simply stated, go after the red tape that imposes the highest costs while yielding the fewest benefits.
And if that’s the approach, so-called anti-money laundering regulations should be on the chopping block. Banks and other financial institutions are now being forced to squander billions of dollars in order to comply with laws, rules, and red tape that require them to spy on all their customers. The ostensible purpose of AML policies is to discourage criminal behavior, but experts have concluded that this approach has been a failure.
- In May, I gave the prize to Rodrigo Duterte, the newly elected president of the Philippines, because he assured voters that none of his mistresses were on the public payroll. Gee, what a swell guy!
- In July, I had to reopen the balloting since it was revealed that the follicly-challenged President of France, Francois Hollande, was squandering more than $100,000 per year on a hair stylist.
- And that same month, the Prime Minister of Malaysia became a strong contestant when it was revealed that hundreds of millions of dollars were mysteriously diverted from the government’s cronyist investment fund.
During his Senate confirmation hearings, Neil Gorsuch may be grilled on such legal topics as due process, enumerated powers and stare decisis. I'm hoping the discussion will also get around to a less arid subject: sodomy.
In nominating Gorsuch, President Donald Trump wanted to duplicate the late Justice Antonin Scalia's "image and genius." Gorsuch described Scalia, whose death created the vacancy he was chosen to fill, as a "lion of the law." In a speech last year, he embraced him as a model. Both Republicans and Democrats agree that the two are as different as Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.
What if the minimum wage, now on the verge of being raised to $15 per hour everywhere in the land, is really the government's using threats of ruin and force to transfer wealth? What if the $15-per-hour figure is based on a political compromise rather than on free market forces or economic realities?
What if these wealth transfers will have profound unintended economic consequences and will negatively affect everyone?
While Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are battling in their final round in the Democratic primaries and Donald Trump is arguing that Clinton should be in prison for failing to safeguard state secrets while she was secretary of state, the same FBI that is diligently investigating her is quietly and perniciously seeking to cut more holes in the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.
Trump’s Executive Orders on Financial Regulation Are a Great First Step
One of Friday’s executive orders deals with a single Obama administration rule, but the other one sets the table for much broader reforms.
The former order lays out a path to rescind or revise what’s known as the fiduciary rule, a regulation designed to provide a single standard for anyone providing retirement investment advice.
The Dodd-Frank Act required the Securities and Exchange Commission to study the need for a new, uniform federal fiduciary standard for brokers and investment advisers. Despite this provision and a lack of evidence that there was any problem to fix, former President Barack Obama’s Department of Labor issued its own fiduciary rule.
Neil Gorsuch Could Rule on These 3 Big Cases If He Joins Supreme Court Soon
“If you can, Mitch, go nuclear,” @POTUS says.Judge Neil Gorsuch of the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and other senators Wednesday at the Capitol less than 24 hours after Trump announced his nomination.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., however, has vowed to filibuster the nomination.
3 Reasons Neil Gorsuch Is an Ideal Successor to Scalia
“Millions of voters said this was the single most important issue to them when they voted for me for president,” President Donald Trump said last Tuesday night.
And Trump then went on to make one of the best choices of his young administration. Judge Neil Gorsuch of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit is a tremendous pick for the Supreme Court.
First, Gorsuch is unquestionably qualified.
Rogue Federal Bureaucrats Threaten Trump’s Agenda
“It’s hard to argue we have an accountable government when someone can’t be fired for years at a time,” @bgwilterdink says.Conservatives are hopeful the time has come for civil service reform that would rein in this permanent class of government workers who have voiced outright hostility to the new administration. Some have even called it the “fourth branch of government” or “alt-government.”
“This is a situation where people voted and elected a president who is lawfully trying to complete those tasks [he promised in the campaign], while unelected bureaucrats are willing to overturn the will of the people,” Ben Wilterdink, director of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) Task Force on Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development, told The Daily Signal.
Don’t Let the Democrats Fool You About a 60-Vote Threshold for Neil Gorsuch
It shouldn’t surprise anybody that the president delivered on a promise made during the campaign when he listed 21 people that he would choose from. Everybody knew ahead of time what sort of a judge he would put on the court for this vacancy or any future vacancy.