One of the points Noah Smith made in his post that I agree with is that things aren’t working so we should change what we’re doing. But what is it that we’re doing that’s not working? I think it’s:
- I think the Clinton era tax reforms have been a disaster from the standpoint of income inequality and economic growth. We need to revert back to the treatment of executive income that prevailed before those changes. They’re not working.
- Maintaining a loose labor market via immigration or, as Jared Bernstein put it, turning on the immigration spigot whenever somebody’s wages go up, has not worked.
- Decreasing U. S. production hasn’t worked. The dream of becoming a society that consumes without producing is a fantasy.
- The Clinton era bank reforms have been a disaster, too. In 2009 we should have seized the opportunity presented to us to break up the big banks. Foolishly, we didn’t.
- Cutting personal income taxes, first during the Bush Administration and again during the Trump Administration, has perhaps worked a little but it has increased personal consumption without increasing business investment. I don’t believe that’s working.
- Spreading democracy via hard power whether that hard power is military might or economic might isn’t working. On the other hand spreading democracy via soft power was an enormous success. Too bad that the former has diminished the latter. Taking every foreign policy decision that either Bush Administration or the Clinton Administration made and doing the opposite wouldn’t be a bad start. The Obama Administration’s decisions to support the putsch in Ukraine and attempt to do the same thing in Syria were bad decisions, too.
What else is or isn’t working?