Earth to Bernie: Jobs are plentiful!
Oh, that Bernie Sanders – thanks to his dopey thinking, he is our time's ultimate reverse indicator. His latest scheme is a guaranteed job for everyone that is wildly impractical. This is coming at a time when it is now dawning on economists and market-watchers the United States is entering a multi-decade labor shortage – the kind that will drive up wages for low-income minorities and others who most badly need to be in the workforce on a regular basis. That most American of all industries, fast food, is even facing an existential employment crisis thanks to this permanent worker shortage.
This new economic reality will really hit home if President Trump is successful in reducing marginal skill immigration, especially the illegal kind, that competes against our native-born, entry-level workers and limits their opportunities, as Harvard's George Borjas has studied for years.
President Trump's policies of low corporate income tax rates are also going to help keep things humming along, something Ronald Reagan long advocated, especially as this tax most hurts domestic manufacturers.
This is not the first time Bernie has been spectacularly wrongheaded. I wrote a few years ago about how unnecessary his free college plan had become. Private organizations have already taken the lead, and the cost problem of college is being successfully addressed. We may even see the last of crazy professors like Randa Jarrar. Much as the energy crisis was ended by the frackers , we are getting to nearly free college, all no thanks to the feds.
Bernie, if nothing else, is an extreme example of how little our leaders in Washington are able to think and grow and take in new information. His world has not changed at all since his 1960s days goofing off at a hippie commune.
President Trump, in contrast, is succeeding despite all the opposition, because he seems to have a tactile understanding of what is happening now in the world and how to proceed. He may not be a well read deep policy thinker, but he is proving to be a commonsense decision maker, which is more than good enough for government work.
Compare him to Paul Ryan, who is leaving his post because, fundamentally, he just ran out of ideas. He has a great pedigree, as a protégé of Jack Kemp and Bill Bennett, but he has never been able to translate his understanding of the "high-water Reaganism" of the 1980s into a compelling politics for today. Ryan's biggest project was his Roadmap in various iterations that would address the long-term fiscal health of the federal government. Only most voters just don't care, and politicians won't act on anything like this unless there is a crisis, like the 1983 Social Security reforms Reagan got through, only because the system was literally out of money.
Trump, showing his political acumen, is trying to put off social welfare reforms until money problems again force Congress to act. That may be cynical, but it's the only practical way to proceed. And Trump, unlike Ryan, embraced from the get-go some of Rand Paul's most attractive ideas on Obamacare alternatives. Ryan was the guy who had nothing interesting to offer in the Obamacare repeal battle in 2017.
Anyway, this new Trump era has lots of new challenges but plenty of new opportunities as well. It's a great time for anybody, including members of Congress, to go looking for a new job and career. Too bad Bernie Sanders won't be doing so anytime soon.
Frank Friday is an attorney in Louisville, Ky.