Nov 13, 2016
I believe Trumpism has a future after Trump’s term in office. Even if Trump had lost the election, I would have still written that Trumpism would have continued.
There were two key reasons why Trump was successful: nationalism and authenticity.
What Trumpism Isn’tFirst, what Trumpism isn’t. Notably absent from Trumpism are social issues. Trump did not campaign on hating homosexuals, restoring Biblical morality, family values, drug prohibition, etc. Even his lip service opposing abortion seemed nothing more than a forced shibboleth to give Evangelicals something to latch onto.
On the other hand, during the convention Trump stated he was proud of openly gay Republicans and has appointed an openly gay billionaire to his transition advisory team. Social conservatives are on the wrong side of history, and the Republican Party will be stronger if they deemphasize those issues.
As we celebrate or mourn or shrug off today’s inauguration of Donald Trump, let us reflect on the election. I don’t mean the campaigning and the candidates, but rather the act of voting.
The question we must ask ourselves is which act is more meaningful: voting or farting.
Clinton was better on economics, which is rare for a Democrat. Yes, Clinton wanted to raise income taxes, but Trump also wants to raise taxes in the form of import tariffs. This brings us to the biggest danger of Trumpism: war due stemming from bad economic policy.
Ironically, war was also the biggest danger of a Clinton presidency, and I still maintain that she would have been the more dangerous of the two. Clinton’s foreign policy could best be summed up as “war is peace.” Trump lacks Clinton’s enthusiasm for bombing the Middle East and Russia.
The difference is:
- Clinton explicitly wanted to escalate existing wars and initiate new ones.
- Trump does not seem to want war, but he advocates policies that make war a more likely side effect.
But let’s put this into perspective.
Has Trump expressed support for secretly infecting blacks with syphilis? If not then he’s less evil than countless bureaucrats working in federal health department who did just that for forty years and the presidents who created the evil system that enabled it.
Has he advocated genociding Mexicans and kicking them off their land to make room for white Americans to colonize? If not then he is less evil than the man celebrated on the Federal Reserve’s $20 bill, Andrew Jackson.
I am, of course, referring to President Cristina Kirchner of Argentina, not President Donald Trump.
It’s too soon for Trump to have implemented his economic plans, but we can see how Trumponomics will work by looking southwards to Argentina. It is a portent of the doom that awaits us.
President Obama’s inaugural address includes an apparent attack on ideology:
What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them–that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works….
Unused or Wasted
Risk can cause resources to go unused if demand turns out to be too low or costs too high.
The book is very heavily influenced by Frank H. Knight. This means that there is much subtlety, self-critical reflection and, above all, caution in the claims made. It also shows the less beneficial influence of Abba P. Lerner insofar as Rockefeller buys the market-socialist idea that under a form of socialism the attributes of pure competition might be approximated. Nevertheless, this idea is of quite minor importance in the book.
It is to creative destruction, a process first properly recognized by Joseph Schumpeter (whose 134th birthday it is today), that we owe much of human progress and wealth creation since the industrial revolution. Old ways of doing things are replaced by new ways that create more wealth for everyone. Oftentimes there is a social benefit as well, with creative destruction forcing radical social change. Computers, for instance, creatively destroyed the typing profession, freeing (overwhelmingly) educated women up to do more creative jobs and compete with men as equals in the workplace.
Last week, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation released its annual letter, celebrating its investments in the developing world. Following their typical upbeat style, this year’s letter served as a thank-you note to their friend and fellow philanthropist, Warren Buffett. Buffett, who has donated a substantial portion of his fortune to the Foundation over the years, recently wrote a letter asking what humanitarian return there has been on his investment. The Gates Foundation provided this summary of its report back:
Cheers! It’s International Whisk(e)y Day! Not to be confused with World Whisky Day (May 20). What should you do to celebrate? Anything you like!
International Whisk(e)y Day doesn’t discriminate. It embraces those who prefer whiskey and those who prefer whisky! Meet up with friends and try something new, open that mysterious bottle you’ve been saving, introduce someone new to your favorite spirit. Raise a glass! But International Whisk(e)y Day is bigger than just a glass of whiskey, because we know, “there’s more to whiskey than what’s in the glass.”
The Trump administration’s 60-day regulatory freeze is now over, but many of this week’s new regulations are simply extensions of previous delays. So despite a relatively normal count of final rules, few of them actually implement new policies. Delayed rules range from imported lemons to hybrid car noise.
On to the data:
Last Friday afternoon, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) released its biennial report, “Official Time Usage in the Federal Government—Fiscal Year 2014.”
The survey uses a flimsy methodology to calculate how much time federal employees spend performing union business instead of serving the taxpayer. In FY 2014, federal employees spent 3,468,170 hours on official time, at a total cost of $162,522,763.18—a $5 million dollar increase from FY 2012. Unfortunately, union official time undoubtedly costs more than the report suggests.
The Great Repeal Bill will begin what may prove the greatest deregulatory endeavor undertaken by any modern government. Some 19,000 pieces of EU law will have to be translated into a form compatible with Britain being outside the EU, and then Parliament and government will have to work together to deliver the promise of freedom from bureaucracy that was an important part of many people’s decision to vote to leave the EU.
How they will do it remains to be seen, but last year Rory Broomfield of The Freedom Association and I suggested that a Royal Commission on Regulatory Reduction would be appropriate in our book, “Cutting the Gordian Knot.”
Sam Kazman answers 7 frequently asked questions about CEI’s legal challenge to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, State National Bank of Big Spring v. CFPB.
What is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)?
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is a federal regulatory agency created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. The CFPB was set up as an independent agency that receives its funding from the Federal Reserve, not through Congress, and it enforces 19 federal consumer protection statutes. The CFPB’s jurisdiction includes banks, credit unions, securities firms, payday lenders, mortgage-servicing operations, foreclosure relief services, debt collectors, and other financial companies operating within the United States.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Memo to the White House—if it matters, measure it
Of course, measuring complex social phenomena is much easier said than done. We recognize that some things are extremely difficult to measure, and that there are often disputes among well-intentioned and knowledgeable researchers about the best way to measure them.
Growing government, increased regulation primary threats to economic freedom in Canada
The U.S. entered the 2000s strong. In 2000, its economic freedom score was 8.65 out of 10 and it was the world’s second freest economy after Hong Kong. This was the peak of U.S. economic freedom. Decay set in under the George W. Bush and Obama administrations. By 2014, the most recent year of data, the U.S. score had fallen to 7.75 and its ranking to 16th. Over that time, it suffered a serious decline in “Size of Government” and worse declines in “Rule of Law and Property Rights” and “Freedom to Trade,” all essential elements of economic freedom.
Global free trade, an essential element of economic freedom, is under threat
Free trade is essential to economic freedom—individuals should have the right to buy from and sell to anyone anywhere. Yet, it’s under threat globally. Left-wing and right-wing populist movements in Europe and the United States denounce free trade while Asia’s Trans Pacific Partnership is on the ropes. It was once called the “gold standard” of trade agreements by Hillary Clinton who, under left and right populist pressure, then opposed it.