Wednesday, March 14, 2018

What did Donald Trump do today?

He appointed a TV commentator to be his new chief economic advisor.

The Trump administration today announced that Gary Cohn, who resigned from the post over Trump's insistence on steel and aluminum tariffs, would be replaced by Larry Kudlow.

Kudlow is known mostly (if not only) for his long career on financial television, which the famously TV-obsessed Trump is known to follow. His career as a pundit has left Kudlow with a record as a famously bad guesser when it comes to the economy. The beginning of this National Review article from December 2007 is fairly representative:
There is no recession. Despite all the doom and gloom from the economic pessimistas, the resilient U.S economy continues moving ahead "quarter after quarter, year after year," defying dire forecasts and delivering positive growth. In fact, we are about to enter the seventh consecutive year of the Bush boom.
The "pessimistas" were reacting to the already-ongoing implosion of the financial sector. By mid-2008, the United States was mired in what came to be known as the Great Recession.

The formal title of the office that Kudlow is stepping into is "Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Director of the National Economic Council." Kudlow has no formal background in economics.

Who cares?

  • Government appointees in charge of the economy should know something about the economy.
  • It's bad if the president thinks someone is an expert just because they're on TV.