No Business Is Safe from the Left’s Ignorance & Envy

The late Darryl Royal once explained the problem with cockroaches, “It’s not what they eat and tote off, it’s what they fall into and mess up.”

That pretty much sums up the left’s impact on economics. Recently the most visible example was Alexandria Ocasio–Cortez’ attack on Amazon’s plans for a New York City headquarters. The ignorant but passionate congresswoman opposed the project because the company is owned by the world’s richest man and the deal was rife with crony capitalism.

Taylor Jones Hoover Digest

Amazon then dealt a telling blow to New York City’s economic and business climate by giving AOC exactly what she wanted. The company canceled its plans.

In Tulsa city council member Vanessa Hall–Harper is the Ocasio–Cortez of the prairie. Her self–appointed mission is attacking the greatest gift to parents since the invention of the disposal diaper. Namely, the Dollar Store.

For me the Dollar Store was an integral part of parenting. A trip was a reward for good behavior. A spontaneous treat. Or a bribe to end whining. I gave my son his money and let him pick whatever he wanted. (A dangerous practice in Target or Walmart.)

And who cares if he quickly tired of the toy or it broke, because IT ONLY COST A DOLLAR!

Meanwhile, HH sees that dollar price tag as a savage assault on low–income Tulsans through using predatory pricing.

HH’s crackpot theories on the market and competition are nothing new as Bernie, AOC and Fauxcahontas demonstrate. What’s new is the platform she’s given to share the ignorance. If ‘The Nation’ or ‘In These Times’ had profiled her fight against dollar deodorant, mouthwash and Mentos it would’ve been no surprise.

But this story was in the Washington Post. And the WoePost’s national business reporter, Rachel Siegel, was mixing her own anti–business incompetence with that of the politician. Sounding like an Ulta shopper, she asserts Dollar Stores “trade in economic despair” and “undercut grocery stores” on everyday items “pushing them out of business.” Then she relays the risible claim that Dollar Stores aren’t “just a response to poverty — but a cause.”

After reading that you’d think Dollar Stores were a division of Trump Industries colluding with Russia to drive Safeway out of business.

It never occurs to Siegel or HH that the money management saves on not having to mark prices is offset by the lower disposable income of the customer base. That’s why Dollar Stores aren’t found next to the Apple Store. Management can’t afford the rent.

There’s a Dollar Store in my suburb. The county is in the top 20 most wealthy and the median household income is $126,000. The store is located next to a Food Lion that shows no signs of packing up to leave and there’s not been an outbreak of poverty or dispair since it opened.

Not only is the WoePost angry about Dollar Store pricing, it has issues with inventory and display, “Most Dollar Generals don’t sell produce”. Those that tried to appease the ignorati were condemned because “grapes, apples, avocados, potatoes [are] sandwiched between bags of fried pork skins and cases of Michelob Ultra.”

Tulsa tried to fight capitalism with cronyism and funded a grocery store through a “development grant”, but that store closed in 2014 driven out of business by dollar balloons.

Naturally the solution to combat “geographic privilege” is more crony capitalism. This time the tax dollars go to a pair of subsidy farmers who have never operated a grocery store in their lives.

That would be a sign if anyone in city hall were paying attention.

A business model that offers limited income shoppers a limited inventory with a limited price isn’t good enough for ideologues. In the left’s fantasy economics, the only reason Dean & Deluca aren’t in the ghetto is because the Dollar Store got their first.

Libertarian titans of commerce who believe their support of come–as–you–are bathrooms and donations to ‘pride’ parades they never attend will spare them the insensate wrath of the leftist mob are pulling the wool over their own eyes. Amazon and Dollar Store aren’t outliers.

They’re a harbinger.

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Why Voters Like Trump in Spite of His Failures

Donald Trump is remarkably cheerful for a man sitting in the smoking ruins of his presidency. He promised to get tough with China and end our trade imbalance. This week the Department of Commerce reports our trade deficit is $621 billion, much higher than the level that existed during the Obama administration.

Trump’s second summit with North Korean nuclear maven Kim Jong–un was less successful than the first inconclusive gab–fest.

Worst of all, after frittering away two years when Republicans controlled the Senate and the House, Trump’s promise to build a wall and end illegal immigration is in shambles. Illegals currently pour across the border at a rate that will more than triple that of the Obama regime. Trump’s call for a “Deportation Force” may have vanished beneath the swamp, but he’s building a “Space Force” that will apprehend any illegals who achieve low earth orbit.

The budget bill he signed after shutting down the government is worse than the bill be refused to sign before the shutdown. Trump’s ‘victory’ bill has a tiny $1.3 billion dollars for his wall and that pittance is limited to constructing 55 miles of “bollard fencing”. That will make it harder for gas–guzzling SUVs to cross the border, but won’t stop any of the zapato traffic.

Trump hasn’t even managed to scrounge up a ballpoint pen to sign the executive order banning anchor babies he promised way back in November of 2018.

Administration apologists claim Trump’s judicial appointments, the tax cut and regulatory reform are more than enough reason to re–elect him, but that’s like praising a super hero for simply owning a cape.

Any of the 2016 GOP presidential aspirants would have done the same and that includes chronic fatigue sufferer Jeb Bush.

What separated Trump from the rest was his hardline stance on illegal immigration. One might make a case that the tipping point for immigration occurred when businesses began ordering callers to “Press 1 for English”, but Trump promised to reverse the tide.

His repeated immigration failures will make it very hard for this ‘Deplorable’ to vote for him in 2020, but I may prove to be the exception.

Trump may win in spite of his repeated failures.

A politician who doesn’t have a genuine personal connection with his voting base lives or dies politically according to his performance in office. Bush the Elder and Nixon before him are prime examples. Trump has that invaluable personal connection and it supersedes his lack of accomplishment on his signature issue.

The iconic image of his recent speech at CPAC proves my point. After a brief introduction Trump enters from stage right and before he walks to the podium he turns and embraces the Stars and Stripes.

The picture went worldwide in an instant. It will be the mental image most voters retain from his endless two plus hours speech. You look at him holding Old Glory and you know and he knows that he’s mugging. But it’s inspired, patriotic mugging.

No media consultant or speech preparation expert suggested he do it. The gesture was a spur–of–the–moment impulse that instantly connected with every member of his base and resonated with anyone who still loves the USA.

Can you imagine any Democrat doing likewise? That party has an almost biblical view of the flag. As the hymn ‘The Old Rugged Cross’ says in another context, the left views our flag as “the emblem of suffering and shame.”

Hillary might have grabbed a flagpole to keep from falling down, but not out of any affection for the flag or what it represents.

Trumps gesture bonds with the average patriotic American. Beato, the Texas flavor of the month, thinks being quirky equals a personal connection with the electorate. Skateboarding into an appearance or livestreaming your colonoscopy may appeal to immature trend surfers in the media, but it’s not presidential. And it’s not lasting.

Spontaneous patriotic symbolism is not something one associates with the humorless apparatchiks that compose the Democrat presidential field.

Trump is impulsive, funny and he loves our country. The combination may be enough to earn him four more years.

What Nixon and Trump Have in Common

It’s hard to believe Richard Nixon, the consummate, disciplined insider, and Donald Trump, the shambolic, impulsive outsider, have anything in common, but it’s true. Both men shared the belief that winning a national election should convey political power.

Acting on the belief a national majority gave him a popular mandate to make changes in Washington cost Nixon his presidency. Just mentioning draining the swamp in passing is in the process of costing Trump his.

Nixon’s “third–rate burglary” in the Watergate complex provided the bureaucracy and its allies in the Democrat Congress the pretext to drive him from office.

Forty–three years later the administrative state had grown so powerful that it required no cooperation from Trump to supply a crime. His investigation is based on speculation and conjecture supplied by political enemies and it began shortly after the swearing in ceremony.

Both investigations are designed to nullify an election by using the power of the administrative state to taint and drive from office a president who wants to change the way Washington operates.

As Henry Kissinger wrote, “Nixon provoked a revolution…For reasons unrelated to the issues and unforeseeable by the people who voted for what Nixon represented, this choice was now being annulled.”

As in usual in these matters, Alexis de Tocqueville — the crystal ball of the 19thCentury — warned of the danger of the administrative state. He wrote that centralized administration is what despotism will look like in democratic times.

During his second term Nixon planned to confront the permanent bureaucracy. In a November radio address he said, “If this kind of [bureaucratic] growth were projected indefinitely in the future, the result would be catastrophic. We would have an America top heavy with bureaucratic meddling, weighted down by big government, suffocated by taxes, robbed of its soul.”

Trump in his scattershot manner has spoken of eliminating entire cabinet agencies and moving the surviving headquarters out of Washington. That sentiment was one reason Marini had confidence in Trump, “his perspective was that of a citizen’s and a common–sense view of what politics should be.”

Both faced daunting obstacles. Nixon had a Congress controlled entirely by the Democrat Party. Trump had what Nixon earlier termed a “timid [Republican] party” controlled by Curator of the Senate Mitch McConnell. And both presidents were “resisted by the combined and determined inertia of Congress and the bureaucracy.”

Marini writes, “Although Woodward and Bernstein were lauded as investigative reporters they served merely as a conduit by which the bureaucracy [the FBI and other leakers] could undermine the authority of an elected officeholder.”

Disgraced FBI agent Andrew McCabe and his cabal of administrative state functionaries demonstrated contempt for the democratic process and “the instinct for self–preservation at all costs” when they began spying on Trump before the election and concocted “Russia Collusion” after.

All without a single pang of conscience, because the administrative state is convinced of its own rectitude.

The confrontation that drove Nixon from office and is paralyzing Trump is essentially a test of the consent of the governed. Our nation was founded on that principle. An unaccountable, unelected administrative state that makes its own law flies in the face of consent of the governed, because the governed have no way to challenge the bureaucracy.

Marini observes “Congress has stopped legislating and started delegating.” Congress is an “oversight body” given to theatrical displays instead of demanding accountability from the administrative state.

The only national referendum where voters have a say on the direction of the federal government is the presidential election. Michael Anton said at the event the people who elected Nixon and Trump “have a sentimental attachment to the Constitution” that swamp residents find quaint. Marini concurs and adds, “the people that elected Trump think elections should make a difference.”

It’s the administrative state’s central mission to prove those voters wrong. Currently, the bureaucrats are winning.