Under the misapprehension that The Economist is a journal that offers unbiased commentary on a range of issues that trouble the world, Donald Trump provided its editor in chief, national health fan, Zanny Minton Beddoes with a lengthy exclusive interview.
Though Trump makes some nonsensical statements, like seeking zero trade deficits with Canada and Mexico, he is on firmer ground when addressing Canadian protectionism on US dairy import. For its part The Economist seeks to ridicule the President by referring to Trumponomics; doffing its hat to indicative planning, which it, the spokesman for the contemporary middle (read the “contemporary left”), sees as the established role for government, The Economist says “He appears to have given no thought to which new industries may replace those lost jobs.”
The Economist showed its true colours in attacking Trump’s appointment of Pruitt at the EPA because Pruitt rejects the global warming shibboleth, at least in the Paris Agreement garb so revered by the public policy establishment.
And it lampooned Trump opining, “he fetishises manufacturing jobs, which employ only 8.5 per cent of American workers, and coalmining, though the solar industry employs 2.5 times as many people”. The Economist, as a barracker for solar power which takes 78 times as many people to produce an MWh of electricity as coal power, thinks it is on a winner in job creation here. What an absolute howler! The self-appointed spokesman for the global economics profession actually believes the way forward is to adopt technology that has lower productivity than that which it replaces!
THE AFR’s rabidly anti-Trump Washington correspondent, John Kehoe, leverages off The Economist article by saying, “Trump flunks ‘pump priming’ economics test”. During the interview Trump shows himself to be unfamiliar with the Keynesian concept of “pump priming” as describing government stimuluses magically raising demand and creating a virtuous cycle of more output, more investment and more production.
Instead, in a statement that would have surely led Steve Kates to burst into print if he did not have a wounded finger in a splint, Trump uses “pump priming” in a supply side Saysian sense. He sees the need to raise capacity for more and cheaper production as a prelude to increasing real income levels. And the route to that is by lowering the tax and regulatory imposts on business. However, the AFR’s Kehoe sniffs, “Trump probably won’t be losing too much sleep over the mocking he is copping from professional economists”. Well that would certainly be true of the professional economists who urge increased deficit spending and winner-picking policies.