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Posted May 03, 2024

Sean Ring

By Sean Ring

Trump’s Problems

Yesterday, I had a fascinating discussion with my esteemed friend Doug French. Doug, the President Emeritus of The Mises Institute and the acclaimed author of Early Speculative Bubbles & Increases in the Money Supply and Walk Away: The Rise and Fall of the Home-Ownership Myth, always brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the conversation.

Doug received his master’s degree in economics from UNLV, studying under Professor Murray Rothbard and Professor Hans-Hermann Hoppe. In fact, both of them signed his master’s thesis, which was the first version of Early Speculative Bubbles.

Doug is the most precise writer of anyone in the Austrian School. In fact, his style reminds me of Murray Rothbard’s crystal-clear economics writing. (Pro tip: Tom Woods recommends that people start with Austrian Economics by reading Rothbard’s Man, Economy, and State first. Then, they should read Human Action by Ludwig von Mises, as it’ll make much more sense. This is excellent advice, and I wish I had done the same.)

We’ll post that conversation on the Paradigm Press YouTube Channel soon. But something Doug said last night got my mind churning. Doug is no Trump man by any means. And yet, he was fair when I asked him who he thought would win this November.

Biden’s Two Issues

Doug said Biden has to convince the American people he can solve these two problems:

Inflation

For inflation, scolding the American people by saying they’ve never had it better won’t cut it. Minions like The Wall Street Journal’s Greg Ip writing puff pieces like “What’s Wrong With the Economy? It’s You, Not the Data” will only hurt Biden’s cause.

As I’ve written before, if a product initially costs $1 and then suffers inflation of 10% the next year and 5% the year after, it will cost $1.16.

All Americans see a product that costs 16% more now than it did back then.

They don’t say, “Good job, Mr. President! You cut inflation in half!” (From 10% to 5%.)

People inside the Beltway, especially the Fed’s economists and Congress’s reckless fiscal spenders, need to figure out how to introduce some deflation (lower prices) into the system, not just disinflation (prices going up at a slower pace). 

The Southern Border

Yes, Trump didn’t build the wall. But Biden made the problem much worse by practically inviting people to travel through Central America and Mexico to hop the Rio Grande.

Biden also tore down the wire fencing Texas put up. And when illegal immigrants were bussed up North, he did nothing to ease the situation for the natives.

Though the mainstream media may suppress any notion Americans feel less safe with migrants, they do, and they’ll have their say in November.

Trump’s One Big Issue

Abortion

I must admit this surprised me. Doug said many people will travel to the polls to vote against Trump just on this issue.

I find that utterly frightening.

The question is this: will those voters travel far inside red states to vote against Trump? If so, we’ve got ourselves one hell of a horserace come November.

Trump’s Other Big Issues

These were the thoughts churning in my head last night. I think Biden is a clown and can’t believe people would vote for him (again!), but truth be told, Trump is lucky his base overlooks his glaring flaws. Here are five of them.

Trump won’t cut spending.

Trump is a spendthrift, himself. Ok, he’s nowhere near Biden’s level. But if people think he will morph into Bill Clinton in his second term, they are sadly mistaken. He’ll order the Fed to lower rates (though he doesn’t have the power to do so), and that’ll give him room to spend.

Trump likes vaccines and lockdowns.

The “my body, my choice” crowd from above has no problem forcing you to get a government-mandated needle, even if the vaccine is unproven. Oh, the irony.

Germophobes like Trump still think they saved millions of lives with medicine that didn’t halt the spread of anything.

Likewise, the lockdowns were a disaster of global economic proportions, and we’re still feeling the effects. But Trump, not Biden, initiated those lockdowns to flatten the curve.

We must hope this never happens again. But if it does, we must fight it.

Trump will try to politicize the Fed.

The Wall Street Journal just ran a piece titled, “Trump Allies Draw Up Plans to Blunt Fed’s Independence.”

Let’s be honest: The Fed has never been entirely independent - remember Arthur Burns? - but at least the President couldn’t, by law, overrule a Fed Chairman.

From The Journal:

The group of Trump allies argues that he should be consulted on interest-rate decisions, and the draft document recommends subjecting Fed regulations to White House review and more forcefully using the Treasury Department as a check on the central bank. The group also contends that Trump, if he returns to the White House, would have the authority to oust Jerome Powell as Fed chair before his four-year term ends in 2026, the people familiar with the matter said, though Powell would likely remain on the Fed’s board of governors. 

It couldn’t be determined whether Trump is aware of or signed off on the effort, but some people close to the discussions believe the work has received the blessing of the former president.

I’m not comfortable with this at all.

Trump didn’t Build The Wall. He probably won’t.

Trump didn’t sort this out in his first term. Biden made the situation far worse. Now, over seven million migrants have been encountered at the southern border during Biden’s administration.

A paltry $5 billion would have done the job. Instead, the USG just sent $95 billion to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. Ironically, Israel has a lovely wall on its southern border.

Trump’s China tariffs will increase inflation.

If China has been passing fentanyl into the United States, killing Americans, it’s unforgivable and should be met with the fullest force of the law, diplomacy, and self-defense.

And if the tariffs are about that, fine.

But really, this is a “we’re the hegemon, and you can’t have the crown” move. And while this seems like a normal play, it only hurts Americans. Just like those stupid sanctions against Russia.

Wrap Up

This November’s race may be closer than any of us realize. I still think Trump will win, but he needs to do so by the largest margin possible in case of any voting impropriety.

Still, he’s got a few issues he needs to clean up.

I’d love to see some humility from him so he can do it.

Have a great weekend!

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