Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

01 March 2016

Making America Great and Donald Trump

America is great when the American People are free to exercise their broad and sovereign rights to life, liberty, property, self-ownership, and the pursuit of their own happiness.  There is no greater value than that of enjoying these liberties.  Donald Trump is a materialist who does not seem to have any concept of this.

I do not like Donald Trump.  I do not like how he has practiced business.  He has been a crowing crony capitalist who has used subsidies and eminent domain extensively in his business dealings.  Several of his businesses went bankrupt, though this happened just after he sold them to suckers.  His business ethics has been immoral.  His success has substantially come at the expense of others, not often enough in the form of mutually beneficial trades and too often at the expense of unwilling taxpayers.  The state of New Jersey, both under Corzine and Christie, has poured subsidy monies into the gambling industry in Atlantic City, to Trump's great benefit.  That industry is failing badly and at the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars of New Jersey taxpayers.  I do not like the meanness in Donald Trump.  Decent people do not make fun of other people's afflictions.  Now, I am not politically correct, but if you do not like how someone else looks, keep it to yourself.  A man who would be President ought to be a gentleman and one can easily be a gentleman while telling the truth about the many issues that government must deal with and about the tasks it should leave to the private sector.

Trump has been in favor of a universal, government-provided health care system.  That idea is a huge assertion of collective ownership of every individual by the state.  He says he will repeal ObamaCare, but there is no mention of this on his website.

His website says he is interested in the following reforms and provides some information on what he plans to do:
  • U.S. - China Trade Reform
  • Veterans Administration Reforms
  • Tax Reform
  • Second Amendment Rights
  • Immigration Reform
On U.S. - China trade reforms, what is written is not as bad as the overt trade protectionism Trump advocates on the campaign trail, but it also fails to note that the primary reason the opening of new trade markets around the world has not led to the growth of the American economy is because the American government does not allow American businesses to be competitive.  He notes the importance of corporate tax reductions, but only after implying that bad trade negotiations caused job loses in America.  The job losses in America are due to excessive taxes, paperwork, and regulations that American businesses are hobbled with, thanks to Washington.  Business expenses are very high in America compared to many other countries in the world.  To compete, we need to be free to take full advantage of our design and innovation capabilities, while shedding governmental burdens that provide no or insufficient benefits.  We should be taking advantage of our abundance of inexpensive and reliable energy, not trying to make it more expensive as Obama has done.  We should be taking advantage of our great banking and financial companies, not smothering most of them in disabling requirements under Dodd-Frank so-called reform.  We should not be raising the cost of business with governmental dictates of minimum wages, paid leave benefits, the highest corporate and personal taxes in most of the developed nations, ObamaCare, NLRB rulings favoring forced unionization, and EPA regulations based on exaggerated claims of mercury or catastrophic man-made global warming. 

The Veterans Administration certainly needs reform.  Trump would make a key correction by allowing veterans more treatment in non-Veterans Administration hospitals and doctor offices.  He does not actually note that the many ills of the VA are endemic in government operations and would be propagated to other government attempts to control medical care.

Tax Reform is horribly overdue and the Trump plan is a pretty good one, with the exception that he would exempt single people from paying any income tax if they make less than $25,000 a year and married couples if they make $50,000 or less.  This gives them no skin in the cost of government and I do not think this is a good idea.  They should pay something.  It seemed he was going to outlaw corporation inversions overseas, but upon further reading he is really saying he will make them unnecessary.  He will continue to tax corporation earnings abroad, which I think is bad, but he will give them the credit to paying taxes abroad, so the U.S. tax of 15% will actually only be paid as the difference of the foreign tax and the US 15% should the foreign tax be less than 15%.  That is not bad at all.  His tax reform would allow a great leap of growth in the American economy.

On the Second Amendment:
The Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right that belongs to all law-abiding Americans. The Constitution doesn’t create that right – it ensures that the government can’t take it away. Our Founding Fathers knew, and our Supreme Court has upheld, that the Second Amendment’s purpose is to guarantee our right to defend ourselves and our families. This is about self-defense, plain and simple.
It’s been said that the Second Amendment is America’s first freedom. That’s because the Right to Keep and Bear Arms protects all our other rights. We are the only country in the world that has a Second Amendment. Protecting that freedom is imperative.
That is excellent and is the only place I know of in which Trump has spoken of individual rights and the need to maintain constitutional law.

On Immigration Reform, he is apparently not going to send the Army into Mexico to make them pay for the wall at the southern border.
Mexico must pay for the wall and, until they do, the United States will, among other things: impound all remittance payments derived from illegal wages; increase fees on all temporary visas issued to Mexican CEOs and diplomats (and if necessary cancel them); increase fees on all border crossing cards – of which we issue about 1 million to Mexican nationals each year (a major source of visa overstays); increase fees on all NAFTA worker visas from Mexico (another major source of overstays); and increase fees at ports of entry to the United States from Mexico [Tariffs and foreign aid cuts are also options].  We will not be taken advantage of anymore.  
But he is going to try to control immigrants seeking jobs that he claims Americans need.  Companies will have less say in who they hire under his plan. Fewer highly skilled foreign workers will be allowed to immigrate.  This is a short-sighted example of populism.

There are too many other issues he has not given a plan to treat.  I do not have great certitude in his keeping his word either, especially given his history of many changes of mind.  He comes out of a primarily Democrat Socialist New York/New Jersey background and he played those Democrat politicians to the hilt.  Perhaps he was just using them.  He does pride himself as a manipulator.  Is he also manipulating those who vote for him?  Will he turn on those who vote for him now as he has turned on the Democrat Socialists he supported a short while ago, perhaps because they were then useful to his businesses?  Perhaps his voters now are only a useful means for him acquiring great power?  Donald Trump is a vapor.  He has no consistency.  He has no substance that one can perceive in his speeches.  Will his website policy statements also become vapor when he has the power he wants?

But these few plans that are given some substance are better than I had expected.  This is good, because it is looking more and more as though this man may be the next President of the United States of America.  I still have concerns that his temperament is much more suited to that of a dictator than to the presidency of a constitutionally limited government in the U.S.A.  I also suspect that these policy positions are written by advisers who understand much more than Trump does and they may be shoved aside once he is in power. After all, he thinks he is better than anyone else, just as Obama does.  We can expect much more arrogance in the extensive use of power should Trump become President.  And how many months will it take for him as President to subject each and every one of us to is childish name-calling?

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