American Elephants

Pro-American Calls to Return to First Principles by The Elephant's Child

In the wake of so much good news for the economy, you might find Myron Magnet’s article in City Journal from last January 31, 2018, on President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address interesting. It resounded, he said, with calls to return to first principles. So perhaps all those journalists who have been carping and criticizing for the entire past year, either didn’t listen or simply did not hear what Myron Magnet did – a year ago.

What I heard above all in President Trump’s moving, presidential, and authentically American State of the Union speech was a Hamiltonian assurance that, in America, no matter where you come from—like the brilliant illegitimate immigrant from Nevis who became our first Treasury secretary—“If you work hard, if you believe in yourself, if you believe in America, then you can dream anything, you can be anything.” And that’s because in America our motto is ‘in God we trust’”—the God who guarantees, as the Declaration of Independence assures us, that we all have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, the right to work out our own fate, according to our own lights. That individual right precedes government; government exists to protect it. There was something revolutionary, with a spark of a new birth of freedom, in Trump’s assertion that “In America, we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of the American life.” How anti-Progressive! How anti-New Deal!

Myron Magnet is City Journal’s editor-at-large, a recipient of  the National Humanities Medal. His latest book is The Founders at Home

“Sorry For The Good News!” by The Elephant's Child

The Wall Street Journal, yesterday. headed the column on the Opinion page “Sorry for the Good News.”

Friday was a bad day in certain media and political precincts as the labor market turned in another gangbuster performance in January. The recession may not be imminent after all, and more people are working and making more money. Apologies to Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and the writers at Bloomberg for the good news.

To be fair to the gloomsters, some economic signals have been negative. Consumer and business confidence has been lower following the stock market’s plunge in the autumn, especially December. The government shutdown suggested a political class that can’t shoot straight. Home prices and auto production are down, and growth in Europe and China is notably slowing.

Yet there was little bad news in the Labor Department’s sunny results for the first month of the year, despite the government shutdown. The economy produced 304,000 net new jobs in the month, 296,000 in the private economy where wealth is created.

Job growth was healthy across most industries, with a notable bump in construction (52,000) and durable-goods manufacturing (20,000). Manufacturing jobs have climbed 261,000 over the last year, 80% of them in durable goods. This is what happens when the political class takes its boot off the neck of private business, as the GOP Congress and Trump Administration did for two years.

The Journal apologized for publishing good news, when the fashion is to bash Trump ever more grievously for his faults and everything else about him. No one is supposed to praise Trump. Unthinkable! But President Trump has been blithely improving the economy, raising salaries, cutting regulations, and putting the unemployed to work. January produced 304,000 net new jobs – 296.000 in the private economy where wealth is created. I thought January was the month when all those folks hired for the Christmas rush lost their jobs and went back on unemployment. Over the past 12 months job growth has averaged 234,000 and 241,000 in the last three months. And some Democrat candidates are promising the raise taxes back to where they should be, and raise them even higher on the filthy rich. Please try to remember that Democrats just don’t understand free-market economics at all, and are always trying to fix it. That’s how we get recessions.

The Institute for Supply Management has a monthly survey of purchasing managers at some 300 manufacturing firms nationwide, had weakened in December and was expected to continue weakening. The unexpected turnaround is another signal that the economy has strengthened. Critics of tariffs expected upward pressure on the price of materials for manufacturers, but instead January saw the first monthly drop in material prices in three years.

Construction spending soared by 0.8 percent in November, but new home sales were higher than expected, residential construction rose 3.5 percent in November, and Highway construction spending is up 5.8 percent for the year.

For the first time in more than 20 years, the number of people who are out of the Labor force – those who are without jobs and not looking for a job – shrank by 647,000 over the Past 12 months. This is happening at a time when baby boomers are retiring en masse. Under Obama, the number of dropouts in the labor force exploded by 14.4 million.

I don’t know if all the “NeverTrumpers” can handle so much good news. Theoretically, they expected any good news to come from someone else, certainly not from a New York Real Estate Developer with orange hair and a tan from a bottle. Do you suppose that the “Deplorables”,”the toothless illiterates” from flyover country, “the racist bigots”, “the uneducated” –  actually knew what they were doing?

Now It Is Three Caravans, One is 12,000 People, All Looking to Invade. by The Elephant's Child

The newest migrant caravan that formed on January 15 in Honduras, has reportedly grown to more than 12,000 people, according to Mexican claims. And that is supposedly only one of the three that are being tracked. Some members say they intend to pursue refugee status in Mexico.  When it started it was supposed to be about 2,000, and has swelled since then. The towns they pass through drum up trucks or buses to keep them continuing on out of their town. Nobody wants 12,000 migrants camped out in their town.

They’re reportedly headed toward Piedras Negras,  a Mexican border town across the Rio Grande from Eagle Pass, Texas. Mexico is giving them humanitarian visas to prevent them traveling unaccounted for through Mexico, and enable them to get temporary work. Many are expected to attempt to cross illegally into the United States. President Trump has sent the military back to the border to prevent that incursion. They are expected to arrive at the Texas border on Monday or Tuesday.

They are being encouraged by sponsors in Honduras, and perhaps in the U.S. But just who the sponsors who are giving them unrealistic hopes about getting into the U.S. and finding employment is unclear. As is exactly what they are being told. Just what is so wrong with Honduras is not clear either, that so many want to leave.

The picture is from the last bunch

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