Open markets, sound money, light tax and regulatory policies and the rule of law were once standard U.S. advice for the neighbors. Today both Democrats and Republicans are protectionist. That’s bad enough. But the priorities of America’s far left have become top foreign-policy priorities for the Biden State Department and White House: LGBT initiatives, income equality, labor activism and the end of fossil fuels. Profit is a dirty word.
When the National Security Council’s adviser for Latin America, Juan Gonzalez,called the Guatemalan business community a “predatory elite” in 2021, he captured bidenista hostility toward capitalism everywhere. U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai spends her days harassing Mexican businesses on behalf of the AFL-CIO while refusing to defend American oil, gas and renewable investors suffering discrimination by the Mexican government (which, by the way, is her job).
Jason Sorens reports that “state-of-the-art economic research overwhelmingly confirms that high business income taxes harm investment, research and development, worker productivity, wages, and growth.”
Since the rise of Donald Trump, the Republicans have been the party of populism and revolt. Like most populists, Republicans in office seem to have no particular political objective – no strategy, no program, not even a coherent ideology. They just wish to bask in the warm sunshine of eternal negation. The goal is to stand against.
The decapitation of the House lacked substance but was an amazing bit of theater. Yuval Levin has observed that institutions like Congress were once “formative,” shaping those who belonged to some code of behavior, but in the digital age have become “performative,” mere platforms on which self-important people strut their stuff to the uproarious delight of social media.
The elites on the left love to play-act their social justice virtues, for example.
The Trumpist right must at all times bellow its hostility to the established order. The point isn’t to do or change anything but to garner an audience.
Covid panic (lockdowns, masks) has led to many babies with developmental delays and a continuing workforce shortage of providers to help them. Maybe public health panic-mongering wasn’t such a good idea?