Scott Adams, Dilbert cartoonist, calls him a “master persuader”.
Perhaps it’s time to give credit to the fashionably unlikable president and acknowledge that Trump knows how to talk. It’s probably also time for most hardcore partisans, whether they are for or against Trump, to start looking at issues pragmatically rather than be mindless cheerleaders on one of two opposing teams.
In the case of North Korea, I think it deserves praise no matter what your opinion of the U.S. president is. Trump’s seemingly unorthodox diplomacy has had great success. For likely the first time in history, North Korean dictator Kim uttered encouraging words of peace to the world, citing it was always his father’s wish to “someday” denuclearize.
Everyone who is set on disagreeing with everything that Trump says for the sake of being a mindless cheerleader are showing their true colours trying to spin this as a negative.
Similarly, with Trump’s ongoing talk about record stock markets, tariffs, tax cuts (without accompanying spending cuts), and glorified economic numbers, everyone who is set on agreeing with everything Trump says may want to take a pragmatic look at how his administration is handling the U.S. economy. Western societies face a figurative economic nuclear bomb. Except I’d argue that it is much more difficult to persuade mathematics to denuclearize.
Talking can only get you so far in propping up this bubble based on decades of debt-spending and money printing. You can encourage more investment and harder workers in America by talking it up, but mathematical laws, like gravity, simply can’t be fixed by persuasion. A hardcore fanatic of Trump can easily find themselves falsely correlating his competency in negotiation with competency in unrelated fields such as math and economics. Whereas it is possible to convince and persuade other humans to do something, well, humanitarian, you can’t convince mathematics to be as forgiving.
Trump as a candidate talked his way into the White House, citing the phony unemployment and GDP numbers of prior administrations, stating that the U.S. was in a bubble. And he was right. But now, Trump as president, he talks the opposite, forcefully squeezing every last ounce of will from trade partners, taxpayers, lenders and bankers to continue propping up the phony economy as long as possible while he remains in office. But all of the added intervention and short-term psychological plays will eventually succumb to economic fundamentals.
Maybe it’s time for him to change his tune, and psychologically prepare everyone for the reality to come. At some point the Ponzi-like Keynesian economic policies will unravel. Americans should be getting the same dose of tough talk that worked on North Korea, preparing them to accept the pain that lies ahead in order to restore the economy. Decades worth of extravagance and spending need to be undone to move the balance sheet from deep in the red to back in the black. Growth needs to be invested back into the economy and kept by the people, rather than its current state of financing runaway interest, inflation, big government and its many Ponzi-like redistribution programs.
But that would require austerity to undo the damage done by Keynesian policies, and austerity would require him to actually shrink the government, something he promised as a candidate but has not done up to this point as president. It’s something he perhaps does not want to do given his proclivity to have a say in everything.
Doing this pragmatic analysis on Trump wasn’t difficult. At the moment he’s good for diplomacy, bad for the economy. His persuasive salesmanship is effective in some areas, and will be ineffective in others.
Now that wasn’t so difficult to be non-partisan, was it? Here’s looking at you Hollywood, CNN and most of Canada. And perhaps Scott Adams too, since being a “master persuader” doesn’t make you a “master economist”. Facts still have a role in this world.
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