Sunday, August 20, 2017

Conservatives Turn on Silicon Valley — and The Free Market

By James Pethokoukis

After the 2012 election, national Republicans made a concerted effort to hack into Silicon Valley. The Romney campaign had just been thoroughly outclassed by Barack Obama’s technology team. The GOP also thought Big Tech could help push its agenda on items both sides agreed on, including corporate tax and immigration reform. And it couldn’t hurt to have closer ties with a sector of vast wealth and cultural influence to fill the party’s coffers and up its coolness quotient.

But things are a little different in today’s Trumpublican Party. In a tweet yesterday morning, President Trump again attacked Amazon:

It was the 12th time since starting his presidential run in 2015 and the eighth time this summer that Trump has fired on the online retailer. And though this time the president didn’t refer to the Jeff Bezos-led company as the Amazon WashingtonPost, it probably wasn’t a coincidence that the Post had just published a tough editorial on Trump’s train-wreck news conference.

In the past Trump has also raised the possibility of taking antitrust action against Amazon, leading to speculation that the Trump administration would block its recent announced purchase of Whole Foods.

It might be easy to write this conflict off as a Trumpian spat between billionaires with no larger implications. But that would be wrong. For starters,

Read the rest here.


  1. Robert, thank you for linking to that article. I also looked at the comments left by readers and this one caught my eye, from a Mr. Pitt. I won't include the long diatribe he started his comment with but the conclusion:

    --- So, YES, the conservatives are finally recognizing reality and *rejecting global free movement of goods and people*. This protection will serve the common good and help preserve free enterprise within our borders. ---

    In other words, to achieve true free enterprise in America it should mean turning America into a prison island, like Alcatraz.

    I don't think I'm engaging in exaggeration when I say that the above is a concise summary of Trumpistas' view of economics, which is unequivocal as it is scary: Trumpistas believe in making America great again by imposing American Juche.

    1. Yes, on one hand it's very depressing that the Republicans have nakedly abandoned their erstwhile free-market rhetoric. But on the other, it's a little refreshing, since they never followed through with free-market policy anyway, so they will hopefully never again be mistaken for purveyors of laissez-faire.