The Cost of a Trump Presidency
The Cost of a Trump Presidency by Antonius Aquinas
Last Thursday’s wanton attack on a Syrian air field by the US and its bellicose actions toward North Korea have brought to the forefront the real cost of candidate Trump’s landslide victory last November.
Unlike most laymen, accountants, and financial analysts, economists look at cost differently. For economists, cost or more specifically, “opportunity cost,” means “a benefit that a person could have received, but gave up, to take another course of action. Stated differently, opportunity cost represents an alternative given up when a decision is made.”
Such thinking can be roughly applied to the political realm. In the case of last fall’s US Presidential election, the cost of Donald Trump’s unexpected victory was not the money spent on the campaign, but the diffusion (hopefully, only temporary) of the growing anti-Establishment groundswell that was percolating not only in America, but across the globe.
The Trump phenomenon, Brexit, Texas secession talk, anti-immigration gatherings, central bank scrutiny, the exposure and decline of the lying, dominant mass media, and other populist movements and causes were symptoms of the masses dissatisfaction with their exploitation by the ruling elites. Trump’s triumph has squashed and defused many of these populist uprisings since a number of his campaign themes empathized with these trends.
A similar situation occurred after Ronald Reagan’s victory in the 1980 election as the great anti-government wave, which swept him into power, dried up almost immediately since Ronnie was perceived as “one of us.” Of course, Reagan was a disaster and fulfilled none of his anti-government campaign rhetoric, but instead went on to become, for a time, the biggest Presidential spender in US history.
A Clinton victory, although certainly tyrannical in the short run, would have, no doubt, furthered the anti-Establishment fires and inspired more. For example, Texas may be now on the road to independence from the Federal Leviathan.