Who Will Be Trump's Next Economic Adviser?

"He may be a globalist, but I still like him."

So said President Trump in a back-slapping farewell to his chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn.  Because humor is rotting roadkill in the era of high-speed political correctness, the all too typical cries of "racism!" and "anti-Semitism!" followed the president's quip.

Anyone who pays a scintilla of attention to context knows what Trump was referring to with "globalist" – that is, the deracinated, borderless, efficiency-valuing mindset that strip-mines cultures and environments for their most valuable resources, leaving them bare and penurious, all in the name of "profit margin."

It was an innocent ribbing, and well deserved.  While Cohn was reportedly considering resigning well before his announcement, Trump's insistence on – and subsequent imposition of – tariffs on steel and aluminum was the perfect excuse to bid adieu.  In Cohn's enlightened view, tariffs are a troglodyte's idea of economic security, a reactionary impulse felt and acted on by lunkheads who neglected to read Ricardo in macroeconomics class.

All that deserves to be said about Cohn's departure is good riddance, Gary.  The banking baron was a sign that no matter who sits in the Oval Office, Goldman Sachs is always somewhere, lurking behind the drapes.  The Dow's tumbling upon news of Cohn's leaving was all one needed to deduce just whose wallets were being protected during his stay.

Now President Trump has another pair of shoes to fill.  Wall Street waits with bated breath to see whom the president will pick, and whether our meager retirement savings deserve another bludgeoning if Wall Street finds the choice disagreeable.  And since the once venerated work of public service has now been reduced to mere celebrity reporting, news outlets are heavy in the game of speculation, running reams of conjecture on whom Trump will choose and what it will mean for this or that or the other thing.

Like any good, civic-minded citizen, I'll see what the (heavy quotes) "experts" have to say before making my own mind up on who's the best choice.

A report from Bloomberg informs me that the two frontrunners for the position are TV host Larry Kudlow and current Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney.  Neither is a bad choice, but neither is inspired.  Kudlow is the supply-side evangelist on CNBC who dresses like Bill Lumbergh.  Mulvaney is the round-faced fiscal hawk who fought like hell against Obama's deficits while serving in the House of Representatives but swallowed them whole with a smile as Trump's budget director.

Either choice would send a college Republican group into ecstatic delirium.  But they don't mesh well with Trump's low-altitude take on economics.

The New York Post says Peter Navarro, Trump's current trade adviser, has a shot at the role, even more so after his recent victory pushing through the much maligned metal tariffs.  This one is a tad more titillating.  Navarro is a free trade skeptic who somehow taught economics at U.C. Irvine for two decades.  He is so against the unencumbered flow of goods across international borders that he spread a study around the West Wing showing how America's loss of a manufacturing base led to a rise in spousal abuse, divorce, and abortion.  Wall Street views him as Bernie Sanders views a corporate tax rate below 50 percent – with total disdain.

"Navarro's missing a few strings on his banjo," one Goldman partner told Vanity Fair.  That quote alone is the only résumé Navarro needs for the job.

Alas, the financial industry has too much to lose to let Pat Buchanan's favorite economist take hold of the economic reins.  At this point, Navarro will be lucky to get out of the White House without his mortgage repackaged and sold to a shell company located in Taiwan.  Pity he who slights our Mammon-worshiping overlords.

An Aussie named Jonathan Swan reports that Trump is "strongly considering" Chris Liddell as Cohn's replacement.  This is according to a "senior official," which could mean anyone from Vice President Pence to the cleaning lady who vacuums under the Oval Office couches every evening.  Liddell's current title is a bureaucratic mouthful: assistant to the president for strategic initiatives within the Office of American Innovation, an agency charged with streamlining executive inefficiency but incapable of abolishing garrulous employee designations.

Liddell is the former CFO of Microsoft and a favorite of Jared Kushner, Trump's business-friendly son-in-law.  A hard-charging personality who gets along surprisingly well with other West Wing officials, Liddell comes closest to being a Cohn clone.  It makes him a wholly unoriginal choice and, thus, the man most likely to get the job.

Tallying up these candidates is about as thrilling as throwing a rock against a brick wall.  Of the prospects, only Navarro seems to hold any regard for the average working American.

One of the more appealing parts to Trump is that behind his brash, flashy, peach-toned exterior is an insecure man who has never been accepted by the economic elites of the country.  This makes him unbeholden to the class of comfortable financiers, bureaucratic managers, war profiteers, and lickspittle lobbyists who keep our incestuous political economy humming for their own handsome benefit.

Unfortunately, Trump, like most Americans, is too often distracted by the glitz and glam of big names and big companies.  Why pick someone from the heartland running a small business installing swimming pools when you can have the head of commodity trading at JP Morgan Chase as your economic guru?

If I had my pick, Trump would choose an economic adviser with down-to-earth experience in the real workings of markets outside the island of Manhattan – someone like Wendell Berry or Matthew Crawford.  Instead, we'll probably be gifted with another water boy for Wall Street.  And Trump's working-class base will continue to go parched.

"He may be a globalist, but I still like him."

So said President Trump in a back-slapping farewell to his chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn.  Because humor is rotting roadkill in the era of high-speed political correctness, the all too typical cries of "racism!" and "anti-Semitism!" followed the president's quip.

Anyone who pays a scintilla of attention to context knows what Trump was referring to with "globalist" – that is, the deracinated, borderless, efficiency-valuing mindset that strip-mines cultures and environments for their most valuable resources, leaving them bare and penurious, all in the name of "profit margin."

It was an innocent ribbing, and well deserved.  While Cohn was reportedly considering resigning well before his announcement, Trump's insistence on – and subsequent imposition of – tariffs on steel and aluminum was the perfect excuse to bid adieu.  In Cohn's enlightened view, tariffs are a troglodyte's idea of economic security, a reactionary impulse felt and acted on by lunkheads who neglected to read Ricardo in macroeconomics class.

All that deserves to be said about Cohn's departure is good riddance, Gary.  The banking baron was a sign that no matter who sits in the Oval Office, Goldman Sachs is always somewhere, lurking behind the drapes.  The Dow's tumbling upon news of Cohn's leaving was all one needed to deduce just whose wallets were being protected during his stay.

Now President Trump has another pair of shoes to fill.  Wall Street waits with bated breath to see whom the president will pick, and whether our meager retirement savings deserve another bludgeoning if Wall Street finds the choice disagreeable.  And since the once venerated work of public service has now been reduced to mere celebrity reporting, news outlets are heavy in the game of speculation, running reams of conjecture on whom Trump will choose and what it will mean for this or that or the other thing.

Like any good, civic-minded citizen, I'll see what the (heavy quotes) "experts" have to say before making my own mind up on who's the best choice.

A report from Bloomberg informs me that the two frontrunners for the position are TV host Larry Kudlow and current Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney.  Neither is a bad choice, but neither is inspired.  Kudlow is the supply-side evangelist on CNBC who dresses like Bill Lumbergh.  Mulvaney is the round-faced fiscal hawk who fought like hell against Obama's deficits while serving in the House of Representatives but swallowed them whole with a smile as Trump's budget director.

Either choice would send a college Republican group into ecstatic delirium.  But they don't mesh well with Trump's low-altitude take on economics.

The New York Post says Peter Navarro, Trump's current trade adviser, has a shot at the role, even more so after his recent victory pushing through the much maligned metal tariffs.  This one is a tad more titillating.  Navarro is a free trade skeptic who somehow taught economics at U.C. Irvine for two decades.  He is so against the unencumbered flow of goods across international borders that he spread a study around the West Wing showing how America's loss of a manufacturing base led to a rise in spousal abuse, divorce, and abortion.  Wall Street views him as Bernie Sanders views a corporate tax rate below 50 percent – with total disdain.

"Navarro's missing a few strings on his banjo," one Goldman partner told Vanity Fair.  That quote alone is the only résumé Navarro needs for the job.

Alas, the financial industry has too much to lose to let Pat Buchanan's favorite economist take hold of the economic reins.  At this point, Navarro will be lucky to get out of the White House without his mortgage repackaged and sold to a shell company located in Taiwan.  Pity he who slights our Mammon-worshiping overlords.

An Aussie named Jonathan Swan reports that Trump is "strongly considering" Chris Liddell as Cohn's replacement.  This is according to a "senior official," which could mean anyone from Vice President Pence to the cleaning lady who vacuums under the Oval Office couches every evening.  Liddell's current title is a bureaucratic mouthful: assistant to the president for strategic initiatives within the Office of American Innovation, an agency charged with streamlining executive inefficiency but incapable of abolishing garrulous employee designations.

Liddell is the former CFO of Microsoft and a favorite of Jared Kushner, Trump's business-friendly son-in-law.  A hard-charging personality who gets along surprisingly well with other West Wing officials, Liddell comes closest to being a Cohn clone.  It makes him a wholly unoriginal choice and, thus, the man most likely to get the job.

Tallying up these candidates is about as thrilling as throwing a rock against a brick wall.  Of the prospects, only Navarro seems to hold any regard for the average working American.

One of the more appealing parts to Trump is that behind his brash, flashy, peach-toned exterior is an insecure man who has never been accepted by the economic elites of the country.  This makes him unbeholden to the class of comfortable financiers, bureaucratic managers, war profiteers, and lickspittle lobbyists who keep our incestuous political economy humming for their own handsome benefit.

Unfortunately, Trump, like most Americans, is too often distracted by the glitz and glam of big names and big companies.  Why pick someone from the heartland running a small business installing swimming pools when you can have the head of commodity trading at JP Morgan Chase as your economic guru?

If I had my pick, Trump would choose an economic adviser with down-to-earth experience in the real workings of markets outside the island of Manhattan – someone like Wendell Berry or Matthew Crawford.  Instead, we'll probably be gifted with another water boy for Wall Street.  And Trump's working-class base will continue to go parched.