Thursday, May 5, 2016

Trump vs. Clinton - Milton Friedman's Ultimate Test

So Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are the two best people we have come up with to be the next president.  What do we do now? 
I would suggest, as I do on many sticky occasions, that we turn to the wisdom of Milton Friedman:

I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. 
Milton Friedman 

Many Americans believe Hillary and Donald are precisely the wrong people.  But according to Dr. Friedman they can still do the right things under certain circumstances.

Recall in 1992 when Hillary's husband Bill was elected president with less than a majority of the electorate. Most Americans thought he too was the wrong person for the job.  For his first two years he raised taxes,  pursued big government, the economy stagnated, and the stock market lagged.  The Democrats lost big in the mid-term congressional elections of 1994.  In came Newt Gingrich and The Contract With America.  Low taxes, free trade, limited government, and welfare reform were the order of the day. The economy went on a tear.  Stock market gains were unprecedented.  The budget got nearly balanced.   And to this day Bill Clinton is known for the strong economy that came after he "triangulated" and signed into law many of the planks of Newt's contract.  Bill Clinton was forced to do the right thing despite being the wrong person.

Can the electorate make it "politically profitable" for Hillary or Donald to do the right thing despite being the wrong people?  Based on the example of Barack Obama I think we have a much better shot if our next "wrong person" is not a "historical first" from a politically favored class of citizens. Donald will not be coddled by the media, Hollywood, academia, or anyone for that matter.  He will not be given the benefit of any doubt.  He will be held to the highest of standards each and every day.

Hillary?  The historic "First Woman President"?  Not so much.    

And also there's this to ponder: Donald Trump has never:

And this: 

And this:

And this:  

But, of course, also this:  ;-)


  1. "He will be held to the highest of standards each and every day." Problem is, he won't care.

    1. Bill Clinton didn't care - got impeached. Nixon didn't care - had to resign. Obama doesn't care but nobody can hold him accountable - not the media, not the Supreme Court, not Congress, not the Inspectors General, and apparently not the electorate. Hillary will have similar immunity as the first woman. Trump will not. If he abuses the office he'll be held accountable - whether he cares or not.