Monday, May 1, 2017

I’ve Been Biting My Tongue All Semester

The class has gone through the first semester under President Trump (the legacy media, with their attraction to creating milestones where there are none, is noting it as the first 100 days).

So why didn’t we cover Trump much at all this semester?

Honestly, because I had a suspicion that seemed too unusual to voice openly. Macroeconomically, I thought all the bluster (from both sides) would turn out to be just one big nothingburger.

And I think I was right …

  • Repeal Obamacare? Yeah, right.
  • Reform Obamacare? Nope.
  • Tax reform? Just getting that onto the table.
  • A wall? As a construction project this was never going to happen overnight anyway.
  • Trade wars? Any decent economist knows that trade is between people and firms, not countries.
  • Gorsuch or Garland? For better or worse, this is something. But it’s not macroeconomics.

I could go on.

The Democrats are ungrounded, unmoored, and unhinged in various proportions.

The Republicans need to go back to high school English classes and learn the importance of a dramatic foil for understanding how the story unfolds … and that they are not in high school English any more.

The Trump administration needs to get someone on its side. It isn’t that they have too many chiefs (although they may). It’s that they don’t have enough Indians. Heck, they don’t seem to have any Indians at all.†

And everyone thinking about fiscal policy needs to revisit the word ossify. Here, let me us a variation in a sentence. Governments of developed countries are so ossified that it isn’t much use paying attention to fiscal policy.

† Excuse the political incorrectness — whose apocryphal source described a genuine decision-making problem for 19th century Native Americans.

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