Wednesday, April 04, 2018


You don't need to read this New York Times story to know that business leaders are afraid of the president:
When Merck’s chief executive, Kenneth C. Frazier, quit a presidential business council last year in protest of some of the White House’s policy positions, other members were initially reluctant to come to his defense for fear of a verbal attack by Mr. Trump....

The multiday decline of Amazon’s stock price after Mr. Trump’s repeated jabs at the company has exacerbated such fears, said Jeffrey A. Sonnenfeld, a professor at the Yale School of Management and president of the Chief Executive Leadership Institute.

“Other business leaders don’t want to catch the contagion,” he said.
Occasionally business leaders speak up, though they're afraid to call Trump out by name.
Lately, Mr. Trump’s antibusiness rants have become particularly menacing and caused the stocks of some companies to plunge. His Twitter posts have carried with them the threat, sometimes explicit, that he is prepared to use the power of the presidency to undermine the companies that anger him.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, long a booster of Republican presidents, is not happy. “It’s inappropriate for government officials to use their position to attack an American company,” said Neil Bradley, the executive vice president and chief policy officer of the chamber. Mr. Bradley, who did not specifically name Mr. Trump, added that criticism of companies from politicians “undermines economic growth and job creation.”
Trump is scaring individual companies and tanking the stock market -- and yet literally all of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's independent expenditures for the 2018 midterms are on behalf of the party that's committed to propping Trump up, not the party that might serve as a check on him.

Trump might be the second consecutive Republican president to destroy the economy through willful acts; Barack Obama, of course, was the second consecutive Democratic president to restore an economy after a Republican recession. I know the business community loves deregulation and tax cuts, but you'd think those benefits would pale next to the harm of significant worldwide economic pain. Yet the fat cats choose the GOP every time.

I keep telling you that the blue-collar fans of Trump will never be disillusioned no matter what he does, as long as he appeals to their emotions. I think the same is true for the GOP and the economic elites. The elites know they have enough money -- they just like tax and regulatory cuts because they're wins. The elites win, ordinary people and liberal reformers lose -- they like that. I think they'd rather have a series of wins like that than have a strong economy that actually makes them more prosperous, at least if it comes under a Democratic president who subjects them to a reasonable tax rate and sensible regulations. Even if they're making more money, they're not making us lose. Just like the deplorables, what they really want is to kick some asses -- namely ours.

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