Suppose Our Rulers Don't Know What They Are Doing
that would not be good
As usual, this is an idea that came to me in the middle of the night. Like Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in the Wall Street Journal on Dec 16, 2022 telling us that “Biden Has the Economy Back on Track” (paywalled). I only have access to a critique of the article at Washington Times where they talk about her “alternate economic reality.”
In the Washington Times reality the Bidenoids enacted an unnecessary demand-side stimulus with the American Rescue Plan Act.
The fruit of this unnecessary demand-side stimulus has been consumer prices rising 13.8% since Mr. Biden, Ms. Yellen and their team took office, a historic labor shortage, and now the most rapid rise in interest rates in decades, coinciding with minimal economic growth.
Did the Bidenoids know what they were doing, or just didn’t care, because a new Demcratic administration always goes pedal to the metal on spending?
And if things start going seriously wrong in 2023, what will Janet Yellen do then, poor thing?
And I wonder about Jerome Powell at the Federal Reserve, who has kept M2 money supply dead flat since the start of 2022 after raising it 40 percent over the previous two years.
I mean, nobody knows — and I doubt the computer models know either — what happens when you gun the money supply 40 percent, then stop it dead, then raise short term interest rates from nothing to 5 percent, all in the context of a massive demand-side stimulus. There are rumblings about a car-loan credit crisis because people have double-dipped on car loans and are now underwater. Is it a problem? Or not? Is that all? Who really knows?
Then there’s a piece by Francis P. Sempa at American Spectator on “Richard Haass Admits the Foreign-Policy Establishment Has Been Wrong for the Past 30 Years.” Richard Haass is “the longtime president of the Council on Foreign Relations, which publishes Foreign Affairs[.]” His
“Ten Lessons from the Return of History”… essentially admits that the American foreign-policy establishment has been wrong for the past 30 years on the most important global issues.
War is not obsolete.
Is “economic interdependence constitutes a bulwark against war”? No.
Integration with China has failed.
Economic sanctions don’t work.
There is no “international community.”
Authoritarian regimes face more problems than democracies (really?)
It’s a lot easier to use the internet to challenge democratic governments than “closed systems.” Hey FBI! Whaddya think?
The Western alliance is still critical to maintaining order.
“US leadership continues to be essential… from the front”
“we must be modest about what we can know.”
Well, bless my buttons. Who knew that our vaunted foreign-policy experts got it all wrong?
I also think that the six-year campaign against Donald Trump is “worse than a crime, it’s a blunder.” Why? Because, as we racist-sexist-homophobes say, Trump didn’t invent the middle-class populist movement. It’s been there since Nixon’s “silent majority” back in the 1970s. It keeps popping back up and liberals keep whacking it back down. And isn’t it “weird” that populist nationalism is popping up all over the world, from Brexit Britain to Sweden to Hungary to Italy.
One fine day our educated-class rulers are going to have to come to terms with middle-class populism — if they want to stay in power. Better sooner than later.
Another issue is that a lot of liberals refuse to engage with non-liberals. Because liberals are right, and anyone else is a bigot. I talked with a couple of acquaintances who can’t talk about politics with their children.
I think it is a strategic mistake to teach the kiddies that woke is the only allowable belief system. You’d think that our liberal friends would understand this, because 17th century wars of religion, because 20th century totalitarian regimes and 100 million dead from Communism. Because Hitler and the Holocaust. You’d think.
The thing that I know is that we really know very little about how to “run a country” or its economy, or deal with people that disagree with us. And as for forecasting the future, as in what is the stock market going to do next year!
So I say that, in political and in economic and in family life, we all need to cool our jets.
And the guys that need to learn that the most are our political and cultural leaders.