February 2, 2017

TYLER COWEN: The Left Underestimates Trump’s Economic Plan.

As a libertarian-leaning economist, I don’t favor either of those changes, or their combination, but still there is a logic here worth considering. Think of this policy as taxing the consumption of elites and throwing that money, and more, at job creation, in this case through corporate subsidies. It’s a bigger and bolder gamble than just making some marginal adjustments in current transfer payments. In essence Trump has outflanked the left by packaging plans for redistribution of wealth with a revamped mercantilism, combined with a macho mood, media-baiting and incendiary rhetoric about who deserves what. It is an underlying fear of the left that a right-wing-flavored redistribution might prove more popular with voters than the left’s preferred egalitarianism and identity politics. . . .

I think many of the critics are underrating the potential popularity and durability of Trump’s efforts, at least if they manage to pass. Stock prices have been up, and VIX measures of volatility are stable or down. On key issues such as health care and taxes, the new policies will sound terrible, but they will utterly outflank the left by being radically redistributive and choosing some new ways to measure policy success.

Well, the priorities of the Gentry Liberals are not the priorities of mainstream America, as we’ve seen.