Friday, March 11, 2016

Economics and Politics

So, in all of the current political debate, who has solutions to our economic woes -- economic stagnation and declining living standards for most Americans.

Let's begin with the Democrats -- Clinton and Sanders.  Almost without exception, every policy proposal offered up by Clinton and Sanders would make the current economic stagnation far, far worse.

It is likely that if Sanders became President, the US would slip into third world status, following the path of Hugo Chavez's Venezuela.  Sanders basically offers to make everything free - education, health care, old age benefits, whatever you can think of.  Of course, no one is left to pay for any of that, so expropriation is the only answer -- that was the answer in Venezuela and would be the answer in the US in a Sanders administration.  Almost everything anyone ever knew about economic freedom would vanish in a Sanders administration.  As for inequality, it would be same old story repeated countless times in history -- bureacrats would fare well and average citizens would be plunged into darkness and economic misery.  You only to have look at the old Soviet Union, the Old China, modern day Venezuela to see the outcome to which Sanders' policies would lead.

What about Clinton?  The old Yugoslavia is probably the kind of future that the US would have under a Clinton presidency.  The rise of an overpowering bureaucracy and a stifling of dissent.  Note the current Attorney General's efforts to silence free speech by oil companies who have the temerity to question the absurd "science" behind climate change (there is none).  Political correctness would take over, while the true realities of what happens to the poor and minorities would be swept under the rug.  Expect more laws that freeze out any opportunities to get ahead, expect more benefits for the elite and their friends -- that's what the Clinton program essentially provides.  That's why Wall Street loves Clinton.  Wall Street has a monopoly that Hillary Clinton would go to great pains to protect.

How about the Republicans?  The Republicans rarely discuss economic issues and the few places they tread are not encouraging.

For example, bashing free trade is in.  Led by Donald Trump, but fed by all the others, free trade is no longer a staple of the Republican agenda.  Bill Clinton had it right (as did Hillary back then).  Today's Republicans have it wrong.  Free trade is good for America.  We should have no tariffs at all regardless of what other countries do.  A tariff hurts the country that it imposes it, as it denies trades that would make that country better off -- possibly much better off.  Only ignorance and bad economics fuels the protectionist nonsense spouted by Trump and the other Republican candidates.

Who among the Republicans speaks up for de-regulation of the economy.  Essentially no one, though once in a great while, Rubio and Cruz pay lip service to the idea, while they themselves engage in Wall Street bashing.  If Wall Street is the enemy, then economic growth is the enemy.

What about immigration?  America is an immigrant nation.  Immigration is in our blood and should remain the central most important characteristic of America.  But "illegal" immigration should not be a part of the fabric.  The laws should be enforced.  Period.  If you don't like the laws, change them, but as long as the law is the law, enforce them.  That is probably the number one appeal of folks like Trump, but is fed by policies of the Obama Administration, likely the most lawless administration in American history.

In short, none of the candidates out there offer up much hope for turning around the American economy -- no Ronald Reagans or Bill Clintons in sight.  Only more demagoguery and more political posturing.  No one really speaks up for or supports free market economics.  Most of the candidates are more interested in punishing the poor and exalting the elites.

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