Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Ivanka Trump: "Under the Trump plan, the federal government will guarantee six weeks of paid maternity leave."

Childcare and the Führer Principle

By Robert Wenzel

It is remarkable how pedestrian, unsophisticated and lacking in insight are the views of Donald Trump, and apparently those of his daughter, Ivanka, when it comes to economics and society. They simply look everywhere to government technocrat solutions for everything.

It is clear they have zero understanding of how free markets work. The insights expressed by F.A. Hayek in his book The Roads to Serfdom, about the dangers and defects of central planning, have never reached their brains in any significant way.

For the Trumps, if there is a societal problem, they hold the simple minded perspective that there is a government solution for it, if the right leader is around to propose and manage the government solution.There is no awarness by them that this perspective is in direct contradiction to what great economists such as Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard and Hayek have taught us about the nature of man, individual decision making and the impossibility of one great central planner replacing the decision making that is done at the individual level.

This type of thinking, the belief in one man decision making, Mises identified as a belief in the Führer Principle.

Ivanka Trump, demonstrating her adherence to the Führer Principle in one important sector, has penned an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal where she discusses her father's childcare plan, which her father has claimed was influenced by her. (Donald Trump delivered his childcare plan speech which mirrored Ivanka's outline, Tuesday evening)

In the op-ed, Ivanka writes:
We all agree that women should have equal pay for equal work, but that’s not enough. The lack of quality, affordable child care is one of the biggest challenges facing American parents.
My father, in his campaign for president, has proposed a plan to bring federal policies in line with the needs of today’s working parents.

The plan’s second part is the establishment of Dependent Care Savings Accounts, created to aid families in setting aside extra money to foster their children’s development and offset elder care for adult dependents.
To help lower-income parents, the government will match half of the first $1,000 deposited each year.
 [M]y father’s plan will add incentives for employers to provide child care at the workplace.
Finally, under the Trump plan, the federal government will guarantee, for the first time, six weeks of paid maternity leave.
There are some tax breaks in the plan, and it is difficult to argue against tax breaks, but mostly this plan is about deep government intrusions into the childcare sector.

It is a stunning rebuke of free markets. Do the Trumps really believe they know better to what degree employers should provide childcare than what has developed in the markets?

Do the Trumps really think they know better how compensation should be structured for mothers relative to how much maternity leave they should receive?

Do the Trumps really believe we need the government subsidizing childcare, where in every other sector where the government has gotten involved, via subsidies, prices have skyrocketed?

The Trump thinking on childcare and the government interventions they are advocating is monstrous.

Do they have any idea the distortions that occur in markets when governments attempt to over-rule them?

Any Trump supporter who expects smaller government and a better understanding of free markets under a Trump presidency is going to be very disappointed by this childcare proposal from them. As I wrote more than 12 months ago, Trump displays many more characteristics reminiscent of the economic leadership style of Mussolini than any sound economic thinker I know,

Not good.


Via Breitbart more indications of Führer Principle thinking:
“One of the great promises of a Trump presidency is bringing new solutions, fresh perspective to the table in a way that unfortunately we haven’t had the benefit of for a very long time,” Ivanka Trump told Breitbart News. “I think this is one more example of that.”
And she claims all this government intervention is the free market:
When asked if this is a “free market program” in which the goal is to put the power of decision making back in the hands of the parents—not the hands of the government—Ivanka Trump told Breitbart News, “It is.”
Yeah right, mandating six weeks paid maternity leave doesn't sound like the free market to me. 


  1. I really don't understand why the Liberal Democrats hate Trump. Seems like their ideal candidate. In fact, if Hillary drops out due to health problems, Trump can step in for both tickets.

  2. Couldn't these policy statements be purely tactical moves to increase Trump's approval among contested groups such as women and minorities? Couldn't they be completely irrelevant once he is in office, when the political calculus will have changed?

    1. You mean he makes promises he has no intention of keeping, as expediency dictates?

      Say it ain't so, Joe!

    2. Yes, it is impossible to know what politicians really believe by looking what they say to get elected. Unfortunately, the public wants a simple story about what can be changed, rather than a course in economics.

      Education must happen between elections, described clearly by relating good results to good policies. Pandering must happen during elections.

      Democrats enjoy pandering because they present their shallow principles of giving handouts and imposing government control. Republicans squirm about pandering, because it goes against good policy.

      Republicans have not devoted themselves between elections to educating the public. They have pandered with their silence, for fear that they will awaken enough ingnorance to threaten their re-election.

      So, we don't know what Trump believes, but he does have a history of running mostly successful, large companies. We do know what Hillary believes, because she has a consistent history of promoting big government. I know that Hillary is part of a large, organized criminal operation.

      So, Mr. Wenzel should criticize Trump's bad statements for content, but remember that he is forced to play the game to get elected. As in all elections, we will find out some of what he believes after he is elected, as we do for all other politicians.

  3. What better way to get more government involvement into certain areas than to have the "free market" side offer up government solutions to be outdone by the "socialists"? If the republicans say 6 weeks, then the democrats can say 10 weeks yadda yadda yadda.

    And I don't hear republicans screaming for Trump's head because of these things. The answer is simple: So long as Trump invades the Middle East, walls up the Mexican border and deports 11 million illegal immigrants, the republicans are fine with all the other stuff. Necessary evil when playing political ball, ya' know.

    Democrat=Socialist=Republican... there's your left/right paradigm for you.

  4. Next he'll support the minimum income scheme.

    Seems guys are getting the shaft on this paid leave thing. Where in the constitution does it say the executive has any concern in the amount of leave an expecting mother has?

  5. The trump camp is angling for bernie voters. He wants to appear all things to all people. What will he truly be I wonder?

  6. Here we are. The inevitable ratchet of socialism as Margie Thatcher put it. However, if Clint wins, and the SCOTUS is changed forever, we are totally screwed. Trump: The lesser of two boll weevils.