Pyrmonter: Summer reading II

Further to last Friday’s post on summer reading, John Cochrane has neatly reviewed the state of much commentary on the US economy here.

Key contribution:

Look, you may dislike Trump. You may object to personal style. You may object to trade and foreign policy. You may claim that the economy doesn’t have that much to do with a president and deregulation and tax cuts. You may point out how much better things could be. But the claim that things have gotten dramatically worse for those on the bottom end of America’s economy; that they were doing great under Obama and fell catastrophically under, or as any result of the actions of this one man, just won’t hold. Yes, this is a narrative that some Democratic presidential candidates want to push. Sorry, the Great Depression ended in 1939.

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7 Responses to Pyrmonter: Summer reading II

  1. Tel

    They are hoping the US economy will tank in another 6 months.

    That seems unlikely to me, but not impossible.

  2. Pyrmonter

    I think the Bolton stuff overnight more likely to be significant.

    If so, it will show that Trump really has been his own enemy. President Ryan, President Walker or President Kasich would be riding high now.

  3. Tim Neilson

    President Ryan, President Walker or President Kasich would be riding high now.

    Only if both:
    (a) they’d been elected; and
    (b) they’d pushed through the tax cuts and deregulation that Trump has.

    (b) may be plausible, but (a)’s highly dubious.

  4. Pyrmonter

    @ Tim

    It’s easy to spin some prejudice-confirming narrative about Trump’s campaigning genius. It might be right. But it might also be the case (and I’ll venture there’s more evidence for the case that) (a) the Trump campaign followed a fairly conventional ‘marginal seat’ strategy – identified the path to victory, and stuck to it; and (b) that Clinton, despite her star name, was a weak candidate who ran a sloppy campaign. One that could have (?would have) won in the hands of more able and cautious managers.

    President Kasich, President Ryan, President Walker (or President Romney …) might have had a slightly different path to victory – I suspect they might have won a plurality of the vote (a significant share of disgusted votes went to McMullin and/or Johnson/Weld) as well as NM, and Nevada, and have won NH by a wider margin.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/09/trump-and-clintons-final-campaign-spending-revealed

  5. Tim Neilson

    Pyrmonter
    #3304643, posted on January 28, 2020 at 12:35 pm

    (b) is unquestionably true and (a) looks like it too.

    But Kasich and Walker had their chance in the primary and didn’t get traction, and I suspect Ryan wouldn’t have either in a year when the base wanted nothing to do with anyone seen as a Beltway type (however unfair that may be to Ryan).

    Don’t get me wrong, Walker is definitely one of the good guys. But with non-compulsory voting it’s not enough to get mild discerning approval from the well informed. Trump tapped into visceral enthusiasm that in 2016 was simply not there for anyone whose CV included the word “politician”.

  6. Infidel Tiger

    Anyone who believes Kasich, Walker or Ryan could ever be President is a very unserious person.

  7. Fisky

    Paul Ryan was the worst VP candidate since Dan Quayle, soundly beaten in a debate with Joe Biden, yet had a shot at being President???

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