The Trump Administration is pursuing major economic policy shifts that can easily change the costs of doing business inside the US and around the world. In deciding it is not the responsibility of the US government to shield foreign business operations from the burden of taxes and tariffs when profiting from the US economy, i.e. tariff-free trade, Donald Trump appears to be moving forward with his pledge to pull back from tariff-free trade, which deleverages domestic operations and workers at the expense of lower prices for consumers. In loosening labor and environmental regulations, as well as oversight, businesses, e.g. the coal industry, are freed from costly constraints, yet not market realities, that discourage them from engaging in certain kinds of business practices while increasing the risk of health and environmental issues, i.e. long-term, unrealized costs, for everyone else. By rolling back “Net Neutrality” rules, Trump is empowering ISPs to disempower internet users.
Taxes, tariffs, regulations, the enforcement of regulation, and unions all add to the cost of doing business. Taxes and tariffs help fund government, which enforces regulations that, even when they are crafted to avoid unnecessary costs, restrict how businesses can operate. Like politicians, lawyers, and businessmen, union leaders are susceptible to corruption, often fail to adequately represent the interests of unions member, hinder business expansion by pushing higher wages, and discourage the hiring of more, less expensive workers. Taxes, tariffs, regulations, and unions are burdens and headache to those trying to run businesses. These things add to the cost of doing business no matter what, but they also help foster a stable economic environment, which businesses need to thrive. The restrictions imposed on businesses, which are analogous to restrictions imposed by the police on people who threaten public safety, also empower people and socially responsible businesses.
Donald Trump and Brexit Must Seek To Empower People and End the “Illiberalization” of the Global Economy
The United States and its policies draw a great deal of international attention due to the far reaching influence the world’s only superpower exerts on the economies, governments, and Peoples of the world. Since the election of Donald Trump, the focus on the US has intensified to the point once-pressing issues like the Syrian Civil War, the Syrian Refugee Crisis, the Ukraine Crisis, and Bretix have been nearly forgotten. As President Trump moves forward with his policy agenda, which includes undoing most of President Obama’s legacy, he gives more people greater reason to scrutinize his decisions. Until Donald trump’s leadership becomes the “new normal,” the agony of not knowing will continue to draw attention away from other critical issues and invite heavy scrutiny.
The world must wait for the impact of Trump’s policies to work through the global economy, but Americans have a right to demand the President only act in the collective interests of the American People. Asking what the anticipated benefits of a policy shift is a good place to start, but a more pertinent question is how much does a policy empower people. Only when people are empowered will the benefits of policies be protected. Looking beyond Trump’s politically-charged and far-reaching policies, the Brexit offers a less contentious example of a nation undergoing a major public policy shift. The terms of the Brexit will determine the costs and benefits of the Brexit. While businesses lobby for their interests to be addressed, the best measure is how much the changes empower the British People.
Hollywood celebrities enjoy positions of great privilege and influence, because they are given lucrative opportunities by Hollywood insiders and they garner a great deal of support from fans. Talent and hard “work” may help many celebrities build a reputation as professionals, but the ability to attract attention is what ultimately determines their celebrity status. In turn, it is their celebrity credentials and wealthy lifestyles that seduce followers to emulate their behavior and respect their opinions on any number of subjects, which they often fail to thoroughly grasp. The same is true when it comes to political celebrities whose rigid, often superficial, political ideologies prevent them from administering responsive and proper governance.
Where the Press has increasingly favored personalities for their ability to pander to target audiences and attract hordes of new followers, above their investigative and analytical skills, the broader political industry has increasingly focused on the ability of candidates, staffers, bureaucrats lobbyists, analysts, and other professionals to win over voters and dollars. At best, political professionals have credentials that rationalize their selection by powerful insiders based on how well these recruits agree with their political views and agendas. Many are technically proficient and knowledgeable, but the narrow and rigid focus of their bias limits their capacity to constructively respond to issues and engineer innovative public policy solutions.
Tax-and-spend “liberal” Democrats endure a lot of flak for expanding government through social spending and regulation, but spend-and-don’t-tax “conservative” Republicans share in the blame for expanding government as well. When government spends more than it collects in revenue, a tax break is government spending money via borrowing in order to ease the tax burden of one group by raising taxes on younger Americans who will be held responsible for debt, even though they will not enjoy the services this borrowing allowed. Worse yet, tax credits, which have been increasingly favored by Republicans since the George W. Bush Administration introduced massive Child Tax Credits, returns more than many taxpayers pay into government. The Republican health insurance reform effort, i.e Paul Ryan’s The American Health Care Act, serves as high profile example of how the Right-wing is expanding government.
AHCA sought to replace the low-income subsidies of Obamacare by deploying a tax credit scheme that favored those with higher incomes. Because the tax credit scheme of AHCA would have paid for a far greater share of healthcare for those who could most afford it, it was an expansion of social welfare spending that included the middle to upper class. It was an expansion of the “entitlement base.” By allotting money specifically for spending on health insurance to those who could most likely afford health insurance, the tax credit scheme would have likely encouraged health insurers to simply raise rates to boost their profits. Because AHCA stripped away “essential benefits” and allowed companies to charge more for high risk policyholders, it would have also incentivized insurers to minimize costs by dumping sick people onto government plans and maximize profit by focusing on insurance for the healthy, thereby exasperating the need for bigger government. Unfortunately, AHCA’s tax scheme is just the tip of the iceberg.
Problem solving requires a working comprehension of the subject at hand in order to correctly identify the sources of the problem and potential solutions that might actually address the problem. For experts, and other well-versed insiders, industry bias leads to stagnant views and the tendency to adopt rigid stances that prevent novel solutions from being explored. Newcomers to the problem-solving process, however, find themselves unable to develop effective solutions, because they do not have a working comprehension of the subject matter, which leads them to make highly predictable, yet easily avoidable, mistakes and adopt solutions that are doomed to failure. This is particularly apparent, and problematic, in the industry of politics where elections empower newcomers with big plans and high expectations who almost always falter in their mission
The political industry is divided between various factions that each have their own public policy priorities and agendas. There views are so ingrained that they only know how to impose their solutions based on what they think are the problems when they need to develop viable solutions based on the needs of people and the actual circumstances surrounding the issue. On the other hand, there are also individuals, like Donald Trump, who enter the industry of politics with every intention of solving problems then fail due to a lack of insight. Because he does not have a working comprehension of the problems in government, which he is new to politics, Donald Trump relies on industry allies, which happen to lean Right, to impose their solutions. Donald Trump is losing public support, which undermines his capacity to address issues, because he is not trying to understand the problems before imposing politically-motivated public policy solutions.
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