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September 29, 2016

The Economy, Race and Security

Ken Kellar

So, it was supposed to be about the economy, race and security. Here is my summary of how the Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican Party nominee Donald Trump handled those three categories during the September 26 debate:




1. She wants to increase taxes on “the wealthy”

2. She wants to give college to people



1.    He wants to punish with tariffs those U.S. companies that move offshore

2.    He wants to reduce regulation on businesses in the U.S.


Race issues:


1.    She wants to train the cops to not be racist

2.    She wants to let people out of prison and put fewer in.



1.    He wants “law and order”

2.    More specifically he recommends invoking stop-and-frisk in high crime areas




1.    She said Russia is our biggest cyber security threat

2.    She said cyber security is important



1.    He said Clinton can’t prove Russia is our biggest cyber security threat

2.    He said cyber security is important


I was rooting for Mr. Trump and was horribly disappointed. My “gut” tells me he lost the debate and to my horror “she” won. As far as speaking-words-during-a-debate-in-an-attempt-to look-better-than-your-opponent, yes, she won.


But review the notes above on the economy. Mrs. Clinton’s higher taxes and “free” college would not translate into economic expansion. And by the way, the mediator introduced this topic as the U.S. having record economic growth. Where the hell did that come from? The record is the lowest growth from any president ever in the history of measuring growth.


Mrs. Clinton’s “tax the rich” may feel good, but how has the record spending paid off for us so far? There is no positive correlation between increased taxes and economic growth, and there may be a negative correlation.


“Free college?” College is being dumbed down. The number of useless dead end, low-tech degrees is appalling. Degrees such as women’s studies, gender studies, and conflict resolution not only waste lives and careers, they create professional grievance mongers. These degrees were invented to manage the flood of poorly qualified college applicants. College is not a panacea.


So, as I see it, Mrs. Clinton’s proposals to help the economy were a dud. By the way, she needs laws changed to enact her taxes and free college.


Now Mr. Trump wants to impose tariffs on products from U.S. companies that produce “overseas.” I think he needs congressional support to do that, but it is a common practice. It’s a practice condemned by free-market economists. A tariff is a form of crony capitalism.


A friend of the government such as a Georgia t-shirt manufacturer is granted special government protection by the imposition of a tariff on imported t-shirts. This will force all of us to pay more for our t-shirts. The economists argue that the Georgia t-shirt company gets a benefit that the rest of America has to pay for.


I agree with that narrowly focused argument. But when I broaden the argument, I currently see hundreds, if not thousands, of unemployed Georgians. Many are on welfare, depressed, getting into trouble with crime and/or drugs. Our nation pays a price for that in crime, quality of life, increased law enforcement costs and social service costs.


So, indirectly you and I are paying dearly for those cheap t-shirts. Maybe it would be better for all if we paid a little more directly for those t-shirts?


Mr. Trump also wants to reduce regulation on U.S. businesses. He could do a lot of that directly as president. Most regulations are not issued by Congress. They irresponsibly washed their hands of that important responsibility. Big government advocates couldn’t write laws fast enough to control Americans, so Congress delegated the authority to the cabinet agencies like the Department of Justice, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Labor, Department of the Interior, and so on.


Regulations are a massive burden on business. They are death-by-a-thousand-cuts. Their advocates say every regulation is filled with good intentions. There may be some truth to that, but every regulation is an expense, a delay and a burden on efforts to increase prosperity. Regulations have become ridiculous. Even a moratorium on regulations would increase certainty in the business environment and promote growth.


Now, let’s look at the candidate’s positions on race relations.


Mrs. Clinton’s position is simple. Cops are bad and must be “trained.” People in prison, especially minorities, are victims of an unjust justice system. Therefore, to improve race relations, people need to be let out of prison and the laws of the land need to be softened.


In my view, this was nothing but pandering for votes. She didn’t raise the slightest expectations that people need to behave and be good citizens. She added fuel to the victim/entitlement attitude that fuels so much hate.


Mr. Trump came down on race by focusing on law enforcement. He rightly corrected the moderator’s attack on his proposal about the “constitutionality” of stop-and-frisk. The case had not left the state of New York.


Mr. Trump viewed city crime as a curse on minorities living among the criminals. His approach was to invoke tough law enforcement to improve the environment in those tough areas. As president he can’t do that directly, but he can provide support. When streets become safe to walk, people start dreaming again.


And to wrap up the fiasco, cyber security was brought up.


Mrs. Clinton spent a good amount of time declaring Russia as our enemy while offering nothing but platitudes about cyber security.


Mr. Trump challenged Mrs. Clinton’s obsession with Russia and rightly so. Very undiplomatic of her to throw out unsubstantiated claims against another powerful nation.


Mr. Trump spewed his own platitudes about cyber security all the while failing to mention that Mrs. Clinton’s e-mail scandal disqualified her completely on the subject.


Between these issues, Mr. Trump spent a lot of unnecessary time defending the moderator’s attacks on his taxes, the location of the birth of President Barack Obama and the constitutionality of stop-and-frisk.


Did the moderator make any Clinton-specific attacks? I don’t recall any. Hmmmm.


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