I’ve at least tried to take a rational look at the positions of Donald Trump without going overboard (the exception being my new axis of evils post that my husband wanted me to write). And of course that was after I was done “laughing” at him and pointing out the kinds of malcontent he stirred up.
There comes a point in time, however, when the fun and games needs to end because the kind of sentiment The Donald has stirred up is real. Many of us already understand the kinds of malcontent that exists out in the wild. I’ve lived it. We market monetarists have been talking about the political consequences of bad macro policy for years, and most always, regarding things over which we wish we had been wrong, history surprises us by proving us correct yet again.
The UK is getting a referendum on whether to leave the EU with immigration being a large issue
Greece got the SYRIZA government… and Golden Dawn is back in parliament
The aFP is gaining in Germany
And the US has The Donald
But it seems to me all of the going crazy over Trump’s entry into politics as if it is the worst ever development in US politics is out of place. It isn’t the worst ever development. No, we’ve already been there with James Buchannan and Andrew Johnson. Go ahead. Read the biography of James Buchannan, the President who continually rubbed salt into wounds of his opposition in a very physical way over, get this, slavery. The man sent pro-slavery roughians into Kansas and elsewhere, among other things like looting, etc… By the time he was “finished” the country was finished with only one way out of the predicament that resulted in the deaths of over 500,000 people – nearly a fifth of the population. If you think the Donald is irresponsible, you haven’t read much history.
Even more than this, though, the Donald is really just an easy target, a scapegoat, if you will, for how we got here. His popularity comes from feeding off anger that already existed and is justifiable with a cause that is very clear, at least in my understanding of the perma-economic trauma since The Bernanke Fed thought the implementation of explicit inflation targeting during an oil price shock was a good idea after credit use had been encouraged for almost a decade.
I get that the reality of the situation is a really hard thing for some people to face and poking at Trump is much easier than examining priors, sort of like shooting the messenger. But the people who have suffered the most under VERY bad macro policy don’t need to be schooled in evil especially when we are not an agrarian society and employment is a means of survival. So maybe all the Bernanke-defenders out there can explain to me just how important shoe leather and menu costs really are to posterity… or maybe importance of the idea that we have too much demand for gas rather than too little gas for the demand.
PS: By the way, there are other alternatives besides having someone like The Donald appearing on the political scene… like this one… because the kind of evil that has been perpetrated on the American people through bad macro simply cannot go on – it has to end one way or another.
PPS: A coworker of mine is a big Trump supporter and talks about him often. I try to be as diplomatic about it as I can be because this guy is the sole bread winner in his household and he was laid off x2 in the Great Recession, slightly better than I fared as I went through the majority of it with no job. But at least my husband had one.
PPS: Listen to Geithner talk about the strong dollar policy in 2011 (simply ghastly)