Listen To You Tell Me Texas Friday 1/5/18


William Murchison, late of the Dallas Morning News and now writing for American Spectator, penned a piece Wednesday bearing the title, “Here Come the Animal Spirits.” Murchison quoted a New York Times article that said, in part,

In the administration and across the business community, there is a perception that years of increased environmental, financial, and other regulatory oversight by the Obama administration dampened investment and job creation — and that Trump’s more hands-off approach has unleashed the ‘animal spirits’ of companies that had hoarded cash after the recession of 2008.”

Murchison punctuated the quote with, “Duh. Ya think?”

For eight years we have been told that stagnant wages and weak business investment constituted a new normal. We were told that the housing crash of 2008 necessitated a larger role for government in the American economy.

For too long, we were told, business had exploited workers and consumers and the environment for the disproportionate benefit of the “one percent.” (That many of the most ardent promoters of this lie are themselves part of that one percent is an irony too often overlooked.)

For too long, the American economy had been left to chance by allowing individual Americans to make too many of their own economic decisions.

Such is the condescension of America’s new ruling class that came to full flower during the Obama years. It is hard to the point of impossibility for northeast liberals to imagine how the ordinary souls of places like Knoxville, Tennessee and Wichita, Kansas could ever successfully manage their own lives. Trust the instincts – animal or otherwise – of such unsophisticates? Consign the fate of the American economy to daily individual decisions of people with degrees from State U, or  Acme Vocational College? Are you kidding?

How could Jim Bob Jenkins – with his admittedly successful auto repair shop but no college degree – possibly make good economic decisions on his own? What if Jim Bob doesn’t fully appreciate climate change?

To the minds of the Washington/New York-corridor ruling class – of both parties, by the way – the millions of discreet economic decisions made by the millions of Jim Bobs are no match for an elite corps of properly-pedigreed appointees and permanent government technocrats. Liberals cannot make themselves believe that millions upon millions of discreet decisions made by guys who wipe their hands before they shake yours could ever add up to economic success for the entire country. They just can’t imagine it – the clear evidence of the past two centuries notwithstanding.

(Let us not forget that Jonathan Gruber knows that Jim Bob is beset by “stupidity” and that Barack Obama knows that he’s a “bitter clinger” and that Hillary Clinton has unmasked him as “deplorable.”)

Such arrogance and condescension informed the economic policy of the last administration. One year of the Trump presidency has turned all of that on its head.

Trump’s promise-made, promise-kept plan to cut three existing federal regulations for every new one has been hugely consequential.

Freed from the prospect of more regulation and more economic micromanagement, businesses have resumed hiring and investing and planning for a bright future.

It is the starkest possible contrast and one brought about at a speed unmatched by even the great Ronald Reagan.

Such is the summary of year one of Donald Trump.

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