Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Trumpocalypse? Maybe, Maybe Not

  Well, we had a choice between a dishonest authoritarian militaristic crony capitalist and a dishonest militaristic authoritarian crony capitalist, and we elected one of them....the one who either is, or possibly just likes to present himself as, pretty much out of control. Not the one who got 92.8% of the votes in Washington, DC. Markets plunged... We are in for a very interesting time.

   Is there a silver lining? Maybe -- I've been saying throughout the campaign cycle that I expected Clinton to win, but that there might be a silver lining to a Trump win: the media and bureaucracy would have collaborated with Clinton's expansion on Obama's expansion on Bush's expansion on Clinton's expansion on ... let's cut it off at maybe Nixon's "Imperial Presidency", though you can go back to Roosevelt (which Roosevelt? Oh well, go back as far as you like.) With Trump, a lot of such people will rediscover the virtues of constitutionalism; we have a form of government which was designed for government by, for, and of the untrustworthy: as Madison put it in The Federalist #51
Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?
If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.
I believe that. Yay Madison! (This post posted from Madison County, NY. [in the village of Hamilton...but I don't know of anything in the area named for Jay.])

And this morning I see Donald Trump’s victory means America must hope for the best - NY Daily News
Well, Trump has won — and it is imperative that now, his opponents grab their Constitutions, and summon their courage, and prepare for four years of doing all in their power, within the law, to save the country from its leader.

The Congress, even when controlled by Republicans who emboldened Trump, has a duty to aggressively check the executive branch — and to perform vigorous oversight of what is sure to be an arrogant administration hunkered down against enemies real and imagined.

The military has a duty to refuse illegal orders, such as those Trump spitballed in the campaign to kill civilians in war on purpose.

The courts, for which Trump has shown cavalier disrespect, have a duty to rein in abuses of power. ...

Okay. Good. Personally I'd like to see a much larger share of the (I-don't-trust-you,you-don't-trust-me,neither-of-us-trust-that-guy-over-there) government running on automatic. I think it's possible that, especially with Peter Thiel as an advisor, we could move a bit in several areas towards Futarchy:
a form of government proposed by economist Robin Hanson, in which elected officials define measures of national welfare, and prediction markets are used to determine which policies will have the most positive effect.
We might start with Scott Sumner's proposal in Once again, the Fed was wrong:
an even better solution is to fire all their economists and hire someone like Robin Hanson or Justin Wolfers to set up prediction markets for macro variables. Stop relying on government bureaucrats to predict the economy, and instead rely on the wisdom of crowds.
I don't think this would work for military policy, but military policy tends to follow aspects of trade, immigration etc--and civil rights.

Or then again, maybe not. It could be a very interesting time.

Update: I said above that "markets plunged", but they didn't stay down. The aforementioned Scott Sumner has an interesting take on that as of
The morning after:
I wonder if the weird stock market reaction is a microcosm of the split between elite opinion and average opinion. Elite opinion is horrified, and drives stocks much lower last night (in futures markets) then average opinion wakes up and sees a buying opportunity, and calls their broker---looking to spend some of those big tax cuts for the rich that Trump promises.
Maybe so. But I think the big deal here is not about the stock market; it's about a bunch of different things, each of which affected votes and will be affected by policy, including Trump Won Because Leftist Political Correctness Inspired a Terrifying Backlash
What every liberal who didn't see this coming needs to understand

Many will say Trump won because he successfully capitalized on blue collar workers' anxieties about immigration and globalization. Others will say he won because America rejected a deeply unpopular alternative. Still others will say the country is simply racist to its core.

But there's another major piece of the puzzle, and it would be a profound mistake to overlook it. ... Trump won because he convinced a great number of Americans that he would destroy political correctness.

I have tried to call attention to this issue for years. I have warned that political correctness actually is a problem on college campuses, where the far-left has gained institutional power and used it to punish people for saying or thinking the wrong thing....
Or then again, maybe not.


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