I am amazed to report that finally I have a major disagreement with my favorite magazine, The Economist. It’s a bit like falling out with a best friend since I have read the Economist every week for probably something like the last thirty years. I don’t think it means divorce; but it might mean I am a little less keen to agree with their view.
The weird part is that I cannot understand why we disagree!
I would describe myself as classically liberal much as the Economist calls itself:
- Pro/free market
- Small government/less centralization/low tax
- Pro individual liberty
- Equal opportunity oriented rather than equal outcome
Yet for all this joint history and sustained marriage of thirty years we now have a dust up. The problem is that the Economist has plumped for Clinton, and not Trump. Worse, the magazine claims Clinton is a centralist Conservative if she was working in Britain! This does not jive with me at all. It’s as if the authors ignore what Clinton says and does; and explicitly takes every murmur and word from Trump as gospel. Really? This is an election and rhetoric is standard fare! Why does the Economist feel that a democratic 4-year extension of Obama make sense for anyone?
Clinton policies, whatever her rhetoric, stand for:
- Taxing the rich and redistribution to the well off
- Bigger government and thus a smaller private sector
- Increased centralized/federal oversight of society
- Increased business and societal regulation and monitoring
From a foreign policy perspective she has been active, but not that effective. Some of what Trump shouted about on the stump has stuck.
Yet the Economist forgives her words yet does not forgive his. The economist assumes that being a business man means he won’t guide the civil service to negotiate better deals than politicians. Trump is no more for torrid-based trade barriers than I am for peanut butter and jelly. It is a negotiation ploy which means, by definition, everything needs to be on he table and needs to be seen to be in the table. Duh!
Yes, Trump has put his foot in his mouth several times. But so too has Clinton. There is nothing here to worry about. Trump is all huff and puff; Clinton is all grease and skids.
Trump will attempt to reduce the size of bloated government. We need a smaller government. Government, as a per cent of US GDP, is the largest it has ever been. And it’s not showing any signs of contracting. Even republicans have been parry to the cabal to continuously increase the size of government. We need a terrier in the White House. Else we drown under the weight of madness and incompetence and the nanny state.
In respect of the economist more broadly, the fact that it plumped for Clinton does not even add up. Most other advice it offers week to week seem to align to what Trump would actually do, taking into account his politically acute rhetoric and business savvy antenna. Why does the economist go for Clinton?
It just does not make sense.