Then there’s the president’s constant bullying of Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell to bring back loose monetary policies and inject the economy with a sugar rush to temper the consequences of bad trade policies. And there’s the swamp-filling move to revive the Export-Import Bank, an antiquated bastion of cronyism that mostly benefits large domestic companies, state-owned foreign companies and subsidizes some producers in China, all backed by U.S. taxpayers.
Some will say that Democrats running for office would be more interventionist and worse for the economy, and that Trump gives us an alternative. But those of us who genuinely want less government in our lives should not pretend that these policies are acceptable.
In fact, ‘Amazon rainforest’s doing fine’ is a lot closer to the truth than ‘Amazon rainforest — the lungs which produce 20 percent of our planet’s oxygen — is on fire!’. The forest is not on fire. The vast majority of this year’s fires are on farmland or already cleared areas, and the claim that the Amazon forest produces 20 percent of the oxygen in the air is either nonsensical or wrong depending on how you interpret it (in any case, lungs don’t produce oxygen). The Amazon, like every ecosystem, consumes about as much oxygen through respiration as it produces through photosynthesis so there is no net contribution; and even on a gross basis, the Amazon comprises less than 6 percent of oxygen production, most of which happens in the ocean.
We are relentlessly told that too much money is spent on politics and that the Kochs accelerated this trend. The latter is unquestionable, but there is no objective standard for the former. On the contrary, to the extent money spent on politics is spent fueling debate about ideas, it seems to be a gauge of republican health. In any case, as George F. Will has reminded us, the money we spend on politics is about what we spend on potato chips. Is there an objective index by which we spend too much on snack food?