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Economy

Carlson vs. Shapiro: A way forward

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Carlson vs Shapiro A way forward

Tucker Carlson has recently caused quite a stir. He’s taken a very populist view of the role of government when it comes to intervening in the market, going so far as to suggest such things the mandated limiting of automation. To justify this, he points to the fact that as the market changes and certain skills become more or less in demand, many people get left behind. As coal plants shutdown, miners are left without work, as kiosks are deployed, fast food workers are back on the street, and truckers may soon be replaced with self-driving trucks. The solution to these issues, Carlson suggests, lies in retraining programs dictated by the government or subsidies to keep unprofitable businesses going.

On the other side of the issue are those who count on the free-market to work things out, people like Ben Shapiro. Shapiro and others acknowledge that some people will get left behind by technological advancement and the market changes that follow. However, they point out that in the end, most of those people can and do relocate or retrain on their own, and ultimately more people are helped by those changes than are hurt by them.

Both make good points. Carlson is right that it isn’t fair that people have to suffer in the name of progress and Shapiro is right that government intervention tends to exacerbate the problem. After all, many of those miners would still have jobs if government regulations weren’t making the coal plants shutdown in the first place. Yet, I think both are missing something important.

To get at what that is, we need to go all the way back to 2007 and the election of Barack Obama. Much was made – on both sides of the isle – about Obama’s background; particularly that of his role as a “community organizer.” Democrats considered it a positive, showing his concern for the people around him. Republicans mocked it almost universally because… few every really said. There was actually a solid line of attack on this – much of Obama’s work was with Acorn, a now discredited organization that did little more than encourage people to sign up for government benefits. Yet, that’s not what was done. During the Republican Convention that year, the likes of Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin spoke of Obama’s community organizer background in terms and tones of obvious mockery and derision, as though the concept were beneath them. This struck me as strange. Wasn’t the GOP the party of personal responsibility? Of small government? Wouldn’t someone who worked within his community to make it better be someone to lift up? Shouldn’t the GOP be wishing for more community organizers who worked along small government and free market principles rather than those of Acorn? If any of this was discussed, it didn’t make it to my eyes and years. As such, it seemed that the Republican Party was undermining its own principles with this attack. Many others thought so as well. I read more than a few comments from people saying that this attack and others like it were pushing people away from the GOP.

Fast forward four years to the Romney campaign. Everyone remembers the “47% percent are going to vote for Obama no matter what” remark and the damage that did. It made Romney seem even more elitist and out of touch. Again, this was largely self-inflicted, instead of leaning into the comment and explaining why that was, emphasizing the fact that the support for Obama and Democrats in general was largely based on false pretenses, the campaign tried to backtrack. Some of the right wing commentators actually did own it and try to use it as a positive. Unfortunately, it morphed into a “makers and takers” narrative, dividing the country between those who create new products and jobs and those who don’t.

The main problem with his line of thinking is that it tends to lump in the average blue-collar, and most white-collar, workers in with people who are happy to stay in the welfare system. Naturally, most people fit into this category, people who go to work every day so they can collect a paycheck and continue to raise their families. The maker vs. taker outlook naturally makes them feel left out, as though their own contributions are without value. The result is that people either stay home on voting day or vote for the side that at least pretends to care about them. If not for the candidacy of Donald Trump and his deliberate appeal to those very same voters, we would still be stuck in that same narrative.

However, we really haven’t found a solid replacement. The Carlson view tends to elevate the role of government more than conservatives are comfortable with while down-playing the market’s benefits. The Shapiro view tends to dehumanize the individuals who work down in the trenches every day, treating them more like cogs in the free-market machine. For the record, I think Carlson is aware of the potential dangers of government intervention and Shapiro doesn’t actually think of people as cogs. The issue that both are struggling with is to find a way to talk about the way a changing market affects people without falling into either trap.

So how do we resolve this? How do we begin to address the individuals that make up our society and recognize their individual worth and dignity without invoking the state in a misguided attempt to enforce it?

I had been puzzling this for some time, unable to find a satisfactory answer until the daily Mass readings brought to my attention a passage I’d read many times before. This time though, it seemed like a giant neon sign point the way to an answer. In Romans, St. Paul addresses the congregation in Rome, a group of Christians that apparently was having a problem with some people acting like they were better than others, and with the subsequent envy of those who don’t have the more visibly prominent gifts. I’ll let St. Paul explain (Romans 12: 3-8):

For by the grace given to me I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than one ought to think, but to think soberly, each according to the measure of faith that God has apportioned.

For as in one body we have many parts, and all the parts do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ* and individually parts of one another.

Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us exercise them: if prophecy, in proportion to the faith; if ministry, in ministering; if one is a teacher, in teaching; if one exhorts, in exhortation; if one contributes, in generosity; if one is over others, with diligence; if one does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

What St. Paul is telling us, is that we all have different gifts and as such, a different part to play. Some are more obvious than others, more significant. Yet, that doesn’t mean that others are not worth doing, even necessary. St. Paul applies the same thinking elsewhere, pointing out how silly it is to worry about whether the head or the foot is more important. The thing to keep in mind is that they need each other. The head isn’t getting far without the feet and the feet won’t have a place to go to without the head making decisions. Sure, the head has the bigger role, but it still needs the feet.

To bring it back to the Carlson/Shapiro debate, we need to reframe our discussion of economics to recognize the reality that St. Paul is pointing us toward. We all have a role, from the janitor, to the burger flipper, to the CEO. Clearly, the CEO has the bigger impact on society, yet he still needs others to perform their roles well. Bill Gates needed a team of programmers to turn his ideas into reality. Even more than that, patent clerks, lawyers, construction workers, and countless others had to do their jobs well in order for Gates to build his idea into the giant that is Microsoft. Are their contributions smaller? Yes. But they are no less necessary. Even President Trump owes some small part of his success to some guy with a shovel who broke ground on one of his properties.

What is the point of this? Why bring this up at all? By taking our cues from St. Paul, we can remember that every person, no matter their role has value, that they are contributing. That success need not be defined by whether or not you own your own business. That just because you are working by the hour and punching a clock, you are not a taker. You are a worker and a maker, making a life for yourself and those you love.

There are many questions to be explored in later articles such as social mobility, the role of automation, and how to manage when a business closes. This is not an end to the debate over how we should manage economic and technological change. Rather, it is a way to breathe some much needed fresh air into this debate.

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Economy

Media isn’t reporting ‘bad economy’ – they’re hoping for it

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Media isnt reporting on bad economy - theyre hoping for it

The direct narrative legacy media is painting regarding President Trump is blatant and unambiguous. They want you to not only believe he is a racist, but most Republican lawmakers are also racist and anyone supporting them must be a racist as well. That’s their front-facing message as they attempt to push the 2020 election to the Democrats. But there are many associated narratives they’re also trying to drive, and none of them is more despicable than what they’re trying to do to the economy.

As we noted before, perceptions are the most power tool in helping or hurting the economy. When people believe things are good, they buy more and help to make it good. That’s an oversimplification of the complex nature of market and economic trends, but it holds true.

From now until the 2020 election, conservatives can expect an onslaught of negative news reports about the economy. Some will point to signs the economy is about to collapse. Eventually, they’ll shift gears to demonstrate how the economy is in the process of collapsing. Then, they’ll describe ways in which the economy has already collapsed. The more people they can make believe it’s true, the more likely it is that it will become a reality.

My colleague characterized it as a self-fulfilling prophecy, and that’s not inaccurate, but I think the better way to understand it is to realize in the post-truth society radical progressives want to build, they need the economy to collapse. They need capitalism to collapse. This isn’t so much an attempt to create a self-fulfilling prophecy as it is a stepping stone to the end goal of Modern Monetary Theory. That, more than anything else they’re proposing, is the most dangerous because it enables everything else.

But we’re not quite there yet, and MMT deserves a much longer analysis. For now, let’s take a look at a sampling of the narrative progressive legacy media is driving right now. Here’s a snapshot of the Google News “top stories” regarding the economy:

Media Trump Economy

Keep in mind, this isn’t a search for “Trump economy” or “coming economic collapse” or any doom-and-gloom keywords. This is the “full coverage” of our current economic situation, delivered in proper propaganda format by Google News.

The reality is the economy is still humming. Jobs are not hard to find, driving up wages and reducing unemployment. The stock market is strong. The dollar is strong, and while this may be hurting in the trade war with China, it’s giving Americans unprecedented purchasing power.

Getting word of reality out to the masses is the challenge with such an onslaught negative press against the economy. This is one of the reasons it is so important that crowdfunded conservative news outlets like NOQ Report receive as many donations from patriots as possible. Doing so is essentially like giving directly to the Trump reelection campaign because he needs truths like these promoted to voters. People are more inclined to believe what others are saying about issues than politicians, which is why we strongly encourage giving generously to NOQ Report.

The more the left builds the narrative that the economy is bad, the more likely it is the economy will have a downturn before the election. They’re lying now in hopes their lies become reality. We must adhere to the truth that the economy is strong.

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Democrats

After ICE raids, Koch Foods has job fair, receives hundreds of applications

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After ICE raids Koch Foods has job fair receives hundreds of applications

The false narrative that illegal immigrants are the only people willing to do certain jobs was quickly debunked this week as Koch Foods held a job fair that garnered them hundreds of applications from people who are legally capable of working in the United States. Though they did not cite it as a reason, it’s clear the job fair was in response to over 200 of their employees apprehended during the ICE raid last week.

But even as they moved to get legal employees on board, they noted the strong economy has made it necessary to proactively seek qualified applicants.

Koch spokesman Jim Gilliand told the Associated Press, “In this environment of relative full employment, most businesses are looking for qualified applicants; Koch is no different.”

The company is requiring two forms of valid IDs for all prospective job seekers and is trying to eliminate loopholes in their E-Verify system.

After ICE Raids, US Citizens Flock To Jobs

The fair raked in 200 applications before noon, according to local media. The company says it will require applicants to present two forms of identification before being hired, according to CNN. MDES will also vet all Mississippi workers for legality using the state’s E-Verify system, according to USA Today.

Democrats like to point to racism as a motivation for deporting properly adjudicated illegal aliens set for removal, but the real racism is in denying American citizens, many of whom are minorities, the opportunity to support their families.

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Economy

AP: Trump’s stance on Hong Kong shows his focus on China trade

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AP Trumps stance on Hong Kong shows his focus on China trade

Editor’s Note: This wire story does not necessarily reflect the opinions of NOQ Report or staff. It’s intended to relay news that is best relayed through the resources of the Associated Press, and while their tendency to editorialize news often taints their content, we are confident our readers can see through the deceptive techniques and garner insight into what’s actually happening in the world.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rather than speak up strongly for the Hong Kong protesters, President Donald Trump on Thursday suggested the answer to their complaints of Chinese oppression is simply for Beijing’s “great leader,” Xi Jinping, to meet with them and peacefully sort out the unrest that has been decades in the making.

Trump’s comments were a far cry from the tougher stances taken by some fellow Republicans — and his predecessors in office — to stand with pro-democracy protesters during moments of unrest. His words are emblematic of a foreign policy approach that focuses narrowly on a trade deal with China, putting it above promoting American values.

Trump has fixated on the state of trade negotiations and at times has ignored the counsel of some of his most senior advisers to lower the temperature of the trade dispute with Beijing. Amid stock market volatility this week and talk of a looming recession, worries have grown within the West Wing that escalating trade tensions and tariffs could undermine Trump’s best argument for reelection — a strong U.S. economy.

In June, Trump indicated to Chinese President Xi on the sidelines of an international summit in Japan that he would not overtly criticize the Chinese government’s efforts to silence the protests in Hong Kong, according to two administration officials not authorized to speak publicly about private discussions. As the demonstrations ratcheted up this week, Trump stayed mostly quiet, referring to the moment as “the Hong Kong thing.”

As he has in the past, Trump retreated to the role of observer to an international crisis, chiming in on Twitter with reactions to what he saw on cable TV but not injecting the United States into the moment.

National Security Adviser John Bolton and economic and diplomatic aides have urged the White House to back the protesters.

The State Department on Wednesday expressed deep concern about reports of Chinese paramilitary movement near the Hong Kong border and offered a measure of support for the protests, saying they “reflect the sentiment of Hongkongers and their broad and legitimate concerns about the erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy.”

The top Democrat and Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee jointly placed the blame squarely on Beijing and recalled the violent crackdown on Tiananmen Square demonstrators in 1989.

“We are concerned that China would consider again brutally putting down peaceful protests,” said the statement Wednesday by Reps Eliot Engel of New York, the committee chairman, and Michael McCaul of Texas, the ranking Republican. “We urge China to avoid making such a mistake, which would be met with universal condemnation and swift consequences.”

Other Republicans have spoken out, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, hitting the notes usually associated with a president:

“To the thousands of young people in Hong Kong who are speaking UP for human rights and speaking OUT against the Communist Party of China: we see you waving the American flag, and we hear you singing our national anthem,” McCarthy tweeted this week. “America stands for freedom. America stands with Hong Kong.”

Trump took a more active role Thursday — but in an appeal to Xi, whom he has repeatedly flattered and was careful not to criticize. In a tweet, he urged Xi to meet with the protesters to deliver “a happy and enlightened ending to the Hong Kong problem.”

Meanwhile, the United States and China appear no closer to a trade deal. Despite Trump’s claims to the contrary, the pain of the tariffs is being felt by American consumers and businesses, and forcing companies, when possible, to reconfigure their global supply chains.

And the talk of recession, perhaps arriving just months before Americans decide if Trump will get a second term, is worrying his advisers. They’re concerned that a slowing economy could cause the campaign to shed voters who were willing to give him a pass on some his incendiary policies and rhetoric because the economy has been doing well.

Trump, in an interview Thursday with a New Hampshire radio station ahead of a rally in the state, blamed, as usual, any economic sluggishness on his predecessors and on the Federal Reserve for keeping interest rates too high. But he also defended his approach to handling China and dismissed the recent stock market tumble.

“We had a couple of bad days, but we’re going to have some very good days ’cause we had to take on China,” the president said. “It should have been done by Obama and Bush and everybody else. It should have been done long before I came along. But I’m the one that gets stuck with it and I’m the one that’s going to do it.”

“China, frankly, would love to make a deal,” he continued. “And it’s got to be a deal on proper terms. It’s got to be a deal, frankly, on our terms.”

Trump’s quiet approach on Hong Kong should not be a surprise. He has repeatedly deprioritized human rights in American diplomacy, from talks with North Korea and Saudi Arabia to China. And he has publicly refused to weigh in on the heavy-handed actions of other nations as he espouses a foreign policy more focused on a narrow view of sovereignty and national interest.

The president has repeatedly praised strongmen like leaders in Russia and Turkey for their control over their people and has turned authoritarian tendencies into a punch line.

___

AP Diplomatic writer Matthew Lee contributed to this report.

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