Trump’s ‘Economic Nationalism’ Benefits the Few at the Expense of the Many

Please see this piece from American Enterprise Institute’s Mark J. Perry:

I’ve heard not a few of my friends and colleagues in person and on social media make the claim that Donald Trump is a “pragmatist” who, as a businessman, is only interested in doing “what works”.

But on closer examination, the claim that Trump is a “pragmatist” doesn’t hold up when it comes to economic policy.

It may be that because Trump is plain-spoken and a novice to political office that heretofore he hasn’t fully fleshed out and articulated his views and philosophy on economics.

But now with the presidential campaign and election behind us, it’s clear what Trump’s economic philosophy is: ‘Economic Nationalism’, also known as ‘Protectionism’.

Trump’s top adviser, former Goldman Sachs executive and former editor of the right-wing website ‘Breitbart’, Steve Bannon, describes himself as an ‘Economic Nationalist’.

But will ‘Economic Nationalism’ (i.e., ‘Protectionism’) ‘Make America Great Again’?

No. But it will benefit a few at the expense of the many.

It will also give Trump the opportunity to do what he loves to do: get in front of the cameras and talk up how his intervention saved a few hundred jobs here and a few thousand jobs there.

Interestingly, the relatively few that stand to benefit from Trump’s ‘Economic Nationalism’ appear to be those areas of the country where there was a high concentration of Trump voters (Obama did virtually the same thing with his ‘stimulus’, shoveling taxpayer’s money to folks who voted for him and donated to his campaign).

I am only half-joking when I say I’m considering putting together a GoFundMe drive to buy a few hundred copies of Thomas Sowell’s textbook, ‘Basic Economics’ and send them to the Trump White House and to Congress.

That’s because the bottom line of Trump’s/Bannon’s ‘Economic Nationalism’ is that it’s a recipe to ‘Make America Expensive and Poor Again’, not ‘Great Again’.

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One Comment on “Trump’s ‘Economic Nationalism’ Benefits the Few at the Expense of the Many”

  1. Dylan Scott says:

    Actually I would argue that the middle class would benefit and the income disparity would decrease. Since free trade policies have been implemented the United States has seen a sharp increase in income disparity, less purchasing power in the dollar, less median income when corrected for inflation (meaning a smaller middle class), and less disposable income.

    This can be seen from graphs showing all of these things. As you can see it started in the 70s (when free trade really started to be pushed as opposition to communism sprouting from the USSR), got exacerbated in the 90s (right after NAFTA was signed), and was worsened to a critical point when China joined the WTO in 2001.

    See: http://www.nationaleconomicseditorial.com/2016/12/06/9-charts/

    Free trade policies have been killing our economy. Taking protectionist measure would surely result in the reverse if taken to its logical conclusion. If we continue on like we have been doing so far, then America will soon be far from the hegemony it once took for granted and the world could plunge into peril. Again.

    Liked by 1 person


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