With 20 candidates vying for the presidential nomination of their respective political parties, one might think that finding at least one good candidate out of the bunch wouldn’t be difficult. But, at least for me, it really is difficult.
Part of my difficulty is coming from a line of thought that is quite off the reservation of the two flavors of political orthodoxy, classical liberal populism. I believe in doing no harm even if means having to compromise when harm would result if I don’t. Both parties have their strong points. But the both have major policy preferences that do a considerable amount of economic harm. Democrats support heavy regulation and the minimum wage. Republicans are stuck on social issues and tight money. There is at least some evidence that Democrats also support tight money.
Surely, as in Ecclesiastes, there is a time and place for everything. A time to be born and a time to die, a time for war and a time for peace. A time to build and a time to destroy… A time for easy money and a time for tight money, a time to stand firm and a time to compromise. I added some to it, but it seems fitting. If one values tranquility and a sense of brotherhood, the time to compromise comes far more often. I happen to prefer domestic tranquility and a sense of community as opposed to division and strife. Thus, it comes with the acceptance of some things other people want that I don’t agree with. But not everything, all of the time, not things like tight money for the sake of it or increasing the minimum wage to well above market prices after bad monetary policy forces wages down. I can’t think of any faster way of automating fast food joints than that combined with Obamacare. And these are lives of real people that will be impacted, while the only compromise on the minimum wage I will accept is that there is not enough evidence that it isn’t harmful to go ahead with the policy change. Ditto for the bad monetary policy. But we didn’t have a say in that.
And then, I am somewhat sympathetic to the feeling of desperation into which Donald Trump has tapped, the feeling of not being heard and governed against. I’ve expressed this in many ways, mostly when I complain about discretionary monetary policy. Though I’ve opposed him on details of substance, he appears to me to be somewhat of a modern version of FRD and Teddy Roosevelt combined, though the latter were far more eloquent. He didn’t say this, but while I was watching coverage of his rally in Miami on Saturday, I could envision him saying something about carrying a big stick; and being a small ‘d’ democrat first, and natural rebel, I had to do reexamine my priors. The elitist politicians and bureaucrats need their due. The status quo must pass away in order for people to feel better, at least momentarily.
I would have preferred for none of these things to come to pass. But the politicians, as typical, have not listened to reason and have done next to nothing about the root causes of economic problems we face. They go on unabated, and there is ultimately a price to pay for that, that at least for this round, the average people will mete out. The EMH is roughly right, even in the market place of political ideas.
The problems will likely get worse before they get better. As old as I am I may never see a time like the late 80’s and 90’s again. But if that is the way it will be anyway, considering the political consensus on tight money, at least the corruption and open elitism will be driven back underground where it belongs.
As far as substance goes, if we have to deport anyone, I would prefer they start with 20 and 30-yr veterans of the Senate and work their way down. Then, if there’s time left, they can worry about illegals.