Thursday, August 29, 2019

Is Trump a Central Economic Planner Who is Taking the Law Into His Own Hands?

Judge Andrew P. Napolitano makes the case:
Late last week, President Donald Trump issued a tweet in which he purported to order American businesses to cease doing work with their employees and contract partners in China.

He claimed he was exercising presidential powers pursuant to what he contended was the national emergency surrounding the trading relationship between the United States and China.

Since he did not declare a national emergency, he did not notify Congress and give it the opportunity to ratify or reject his executive orders. In fact, he didn’t even sign any executive orders on this.

He merely ordered American businesses in a tweet to cease all commercial activities with anyone in China. It appears that no American company took him seriously and none complied. Can he legally do this?...

Trump himself has demonstrated the ability to shake up domestic and foreign markets using ordinary government means. Now he claims he has the right to exercise emergency powers to address a nonemergency that he caused.

The imbalance of trade is not only a nonemergency; it is also a nonissue to anyone who understands Economics 101. But even to those who don’t, they will suffer at Trump’s hands when the products they buy — smartphones, household electronics, clothing, toys — suddenly cost 30% more than two years ago.

Where does this leave us?

We are witness again to a president who chooses to take the law into his own hands and who somehow thinks that central economic planning will enhance prosperity in America. He should know better. The lessons learned from Eastern European government central planning in the last century demonstrate that economic planning only benefits the planners.

Freedom to choose products and investments produces more prosperity than government planning.

Economic freedoms — to contract, to invest, to buy and to sell — are guaranteed by the Constitution and once were protected from interference by the government.

But constitutional guarantees are only as reliable as is the fidelity to upholding them of those in whose hands we have entrusted the Constitution for safekeeping.

Are our constitutional guarantees safe in Trump’s hands?

1 comment:

  1. Sound take by the judge.

    On the other hand, a guaranty is only as strong (or weak) as what’s enforcing it. Since, the Constitution is not able to defend itself against those who violate it, its guarantees are easily circumvented by the worst of us (i. e. politicians).

    Besides, I never signed the Constitution so, why should I have to follow it? I just want to be left alone and leave others alone; to engage in voluntary associations or not.