Daily Clips: March 17th, 2016

Are trade agreements good for Americans? The New York Times poses this question in its “Room for Debate” segment with the economist Robert E. Scott and former US treasury official Jeffrey J. Schott—guess who argues for pro-trade?

US job market tightening; manufacturing sector healing

‘The labor market is tight as a drum. If we continue to receive strong reports like this, then the Fed is going to have to put a June rate hike on the table,’ said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG Union Bank in New York.

What if Trump had run as a Democrat? A scary thought, but an illuminating article.

Planning to run as a Democrat, Trump would have avoided backing the “birther” movement, but could have made other inflammatory charges (for example, against Hillary Clinton) to get media attention. To build Democratic support, he could have staked out positions in favor of single-payer health care, more progressive taxes, and a massive infrastructure program, while denouncing trade agreements, the war in Iraq, and illegal immigration. With only a slight shift from his current stances, he could have presented himself as an economic populist with business know-how who gets along famously with unions and working people, and is both a ferocious nationalist and a skeptic about foreign wars. In short, he could have wrapped his protectionism and nativism in a package more appealing to the left.

This paragraph gives us a glimpse into a possible shift we will see from Trump after he wraps up the Republican nomination. As with Hillary, we will see a sudden shift back to the center. It will be abrupt and many of us have no idea how he will try and appeal to independents. My guess? He’ll play to the left of Hillary on trade and on foreign policy (by that I mean less liberal interventionist), while also railing against the establishment class and elites.

Tweet of the day: Click the link, it’s worth it.

Nick Cassella

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