Letter: Trump does not talk about capitalism | Letters

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump board Air Force One from Andrews Air Force Base in Md. On Wednesday, January 20, 2021. (AP Photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Manuel Balce Ceneta

Free market evangelist FA Hayek believed that unfettered capitalism is the absolute best business model. Throughout history, nations have prospered during periods of lax governance. Governments that exercise absolute control over a nation’s economy, electoral policy, or moral code end up stagnating and failing, losing to the more dynamic systems of their more purely capitalist competitors.

Whatever Trumpism is, it is not free market capitalism. Fortunately, there is a name for it: mercantilism, the same system employed by modern China. The Trumpist system – a system of top-down economic protectionism, erratic populist leadership, and imposed morality – would effectively stifle America’s economic and social dynamism, rendering it stagnant and uncompetitive at a time when its economic superiority is confronted. increasingly serious challenges from the outside world. .

The parallels between Trumpism and the modern Chinese regime are striking: trade barriers, mistrust of expertise, silencing of scientists and academics, penchant for extreme nationalism and xenophobia and elimination or manipulation. free and fair elections.

These similarities were highlighted by the double failures of the two systems during the COVID-19 pandemic. Both governments have resorted to cover-ups, political opponents as scapegoats and the summary dismissal of expert advice, with hundreds of thousands of their own citizens dying in the process.

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