Yesterday, we noted that Adam Smith demolished mercantilism some two and a half centuries ago and governmental economic intervention with it. But J.M. Keynes revived it, handing government the economic keys again in 1926.
Donald Trump today is a political heir of not Smith, but Keynes; he recently lamented Disney’s replacement of more expensive Americans with cheaper foreign labor in the U.S, using government-approved work visas. The Donald is either no economist, or a dishonest one. Politicians may be either. We love Trump’s willingness to raise issues ignore by the establishment politicians; we . lament his populism.
We now have a world wide economy; no one can make it financially selling only to his relatives. We must compete in the entire world market. That means, we must compete with China, to name one. Our leaders, by importing masses of legal and illegal labor, are reducing American labor costs and the American middle class along with. That is short-sighted, but politicians seldom see past the next election by their very nature.
In their unimaginative context, they are right; if America does not reduce its standard of living to the world average, it will not succeed in competing with the rest of the world, resulting in its even further impoverishment. With that in mind, U.S. politicians are (quietly) reshaping the economy to resemble those of the ‘developing’ countries. They are encouraged in this by their view that our recent superiority has been based upon exploitation of the poorer places. Never mind that it has been American capital and know-how that the other places have used to industrialize enough to compete with America and Europe.
So, down we go. Over half of working Americans now earn under $30,000 a year. That is only the start of a long, descending path. However, it is not necessary; it is a path we have chosen. The path of politically enforced, shared poverty. Perfect equality though, if you can eat, wear and live on equality.
The exploited wealth so decried now, resulted from people left along by government to make what they could of reality. That, along with reformed Christianity that kept corruption down, created our technology and made America the richest place on earth. We could return to those conditions and thereby to our high planetary status by restoring that reality, but our leaders will not allow that. They disapprove of Christian behavior, of the Protestant Work Ethic, of unfettered competition and of any power that they cannot control. Human governments have always done so, as they could.
So we are condemned to status that they feel safely controlled: unproductive dependence. That by definition, will be shared poverty since no government has ever been productive, a thing contrary to governmental nature. Even the anointed non-establishment candidate Trump is promising to use government to solve our problems, which is what his demand of Disney amounts to.
But it has been fun while it has lasted, right?