POWER; HE’S ROLLING IN IT

James Madison, Federalist Papers #51:

In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”

Mr. Madison, like many of the Founding Fathers, knew that combining human frailty with government power usually has bad results. Exhibit A: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Covid 19 was Cuomo’s opening. He declared a State Disaster Emergency on March 7th which he recently extended to June 6th. This gave Cuomo the authority to temporarily suspend or change ANY New York State law. He already had executive power; he then seized legislative and judiciary authority, making him a dictator. Please find the link below.

https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-2026-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating-disaster-emergency

Any honest observation of Cuomo’s daily briefings reveals a man who loves power, is not shy in welding it, and loves the attention of a fawning media.

Cuomo’s playbook is on full display. He claims everything he does is rooted in “science” and “metrics.” Any opposition is branded as emotional, political or just plain mean. Next, he loses people in a blizzard of verbiage, charts and numbers. And of course, he always satisfies his political base. Cuomo never deviates from this.

In 2014, Cuomo ordered the DEC to ban hydrofracking. He used “dangers to health” as an excuse, citing dubious studies focusing on potential future health risks. With one move, he solidified support from his base and short-circuited any serious political opposition by making sure Upstate stays poor and economically weak. Cuomo is not to be trifled with. This is one ruthless dude.

The economic effect of Cuomo’s shutdown order has devastated Upstate’s already weak economy. We are always first into recession and last out of it. Businesses don’t easily start in New York State. And before the shutdown, census data pointed to further population losses in upstate counties.

Now Cuomo has a plan to re-open the economy, with “essential” businesses first in line – he decides what’s essential, of course. Cuomo promises to shut it all down again if his benchmarks (which he claims are based in “science” and “metrics”) are not met. That uncertainty is a job killer. Add to this the concentration of power in one man’s hands and his dislike of the private economy and you have a recipe for a long recession in upstate New York.

Cuomo decreed that nursing homes accept Covid-positive patients, which exposed vulnerable seniors to the virus. Everyone knew the elderly were the most likely to die from Covid, but Cuomo didn’t care. He didn’t even require increased testing for nursing home staff. The result: 5,000 seniors died. Tragically, this is what results from one-man rule.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph.D.

REMEMBERING THE 70’S—AND NOT FONDLY

I’m old enough to remember the woebegotten decade of the 1970’s: bad hair, bad clothes and a stagnant economy. Nixon took Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, a massive expansion of government, and made it even bigger. On top of that, both Johnson and Nixon funded the war in Vietnam, while pushing the Fed to slash interest rates and loosen the money supply. Nixon is billed as a conservative, but he was really a big-government Republican, a RINO (Republican in name only). The result of Johnson-Nixon policies in the 60’s and early 70’s was a nagging inflation that lasted until the early 80’s. It ate into buying power and drove up interest rates for mortgages and car loans to unimaginable levels; 15% mortgages were common.

The 2020 Federal budget is $4.7 trillion. Now add to that the bipartisan spending free-for-all of $2.2 trillion dollars in Covid-19 “stimulus,” and an additional $4.4 billion for small businesses. This brings the total to $2.64 trillion. We don’t have the money. The Fed is increasing the money supply, meaning that we’re printing money. There is a ton of money out there and zero goods and services being produced.

I have problems with the so-called stimulus. One, the economy doesn’t need stimulating; it needs to be reopened. People need to get back to work. The economy was in great shape before the government shut it down; growth was steady, inflation and unemployment were low, the stock market was humming along and wages were rising. The $2.64 trillion is really meant to help people get by until the economy reopens and we can get back to work. I agree with the concept, but disagree with the size and the terminology. From the point of view of branding, calling this a stimulus is caving to a Democrat narrative and a tacit endorsement of failed Democrat economic policies. FDR, and Obama after him, borrowed and spent and piled up debt with little benefit to the economy.

There is an old economic nostrum that inflation is caused by too many dollars chasing too few goods. There’s a lot of cash out there, and few goods being produced. It is said that history repeats itself. Are we going to repeat the inflation and economic doldrums of the 70’s? I hope not, but all the ingredients are in place.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph.D.

ROARING LIKE THE 20’S

The booming American economy is the envy of the world. The latest numbers released this Friday, May 3rd should gladden the heart and swell the chest of every American. Unemployment reached a 49-year low of 3.6%. We added 263,000 jobs in April alone, and US hourly wages have reached an average of $27.77. While the Democrats promise the “mere crumbs” of a $15-per-hour minimum wage, the private sector’s answer is nearly double that. The greatest gains are in blue-collar jobs, a boon to middle-class earners. Unemployment among women has hit 4.2%, the lowest point since 1953. Hispanic and black unemployment also reached historic lows of 4.2% and 5.9%.

Obama, maybe the most incompetent President since Jimmy Carter, said that manufacturing jobs were never coming back. But because of President Trump’s policies, they are coming back. In the first 21 months of the Trump presidency we’ve added ten times (396,000 since September 2018) the manufacturing jobs of the Obama administration for the same period.

The so-called media geniuses said it couldn’t be done. Here are three headlines from October 2016. The Washington Post: “A President Trump Could Destroy the Economy.” Politico: “Economists: A Trump Win Would Tank World Markets.” The always wrong Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman said in the always wrong NY Times: “We are very probably looking at a global recession.”

The economic news released on Friday is top-of-the-fold, banner headline stuff, right? Not to the editors of our local rags. On Saturday, May 4th the Corning Leader’s headline was “Barr Becomes Dem’s New Focus.” The Elmira Star-Gazette chose a local angle with: “Schuyler Man to Help Those in Need in Ukraine.” Obviously, good news for America is bad news for Democrats, and their wing-men in the newspapers know it. The media coverup of good economic news deprives citizens of crucial information and betrays the reason for a free press in the first place, which is to fairly and impartially inform the public.

The Trump policies of tax cuts and deregulation have been done before with stunning success. Presidents Harding, Coolidge, Kennedy and Reagan cut taxes and presided over thriving economies in the 20’s, 60’s and 80’s. The real story is that conservative economic principles work. Low taxes and deregulation have always freed ordinary people to work, earn, invest, take risks, open new businesses and thrive.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph. D.