American Consequences - September 2018

Re: A Few Political E-Mails The woman who said Trump paid her for sex. How come she did not pay taxes on the bribe money? Contact the IRS for failure of declaring income! – Ruth L. P.J. O’Rourke comment: Ruth, let’s turn her in and see if we get a share. I mean, of the money. We sure don’t want a share of anything else that woman has. There seems to be an idea floating around American culture that taking sides is wrong or should be avoided for the sake of objectivity. It’s really impossible to avoid taking sides. In fact, not taking sides or trying to stay out of the discussion tends to favor the bad guys... I like the way Trump speaks. Even the crazy things that come out. It is what he actually does that makes the country better and not the speeches. – Harland M. P.J. O’Rourke comment: Harland, you bring up two excellent points. What the heck is the use of being “objective” if your objectivity doesn’t lead you to a conclusion? And not taking sides, does, just as you say, favor the bad guys. There is a quotation attributed to the great statesman and political philosopher Edmund Burke: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.” You and I may disagree somewhat about President Trump, but I trust our disagreement will be civil and rational and a useful part of the public debate. Send us a message, question, or criticism at

P.J. O’Rourke comment: Steve, I personally would have thought the article was a lot funnier if it hadn’t been so darn true. Re: Three Books That Aren’t About Investing I just signed up – and like what I see. Let me say up front that I identify as a liberal/ libertarian politically and lean toward Keynesian economics. That being said, I believe that it is essential to understand economic philosophies, and how they drive international and national events and consequences... I really enjoy the fresh perspective American Consequences offers. I just skimmed through the July issue and find that there are many things to agree on. I have added New Ideas From Dead Economists by Todd Buchholz to my reading list, thanks to you. I plan on reading previous issues and am eager to see August come to my inbox. – David F. Todd Buchholz comment: David, I'm delighted that you are taking PJ O'Rourke's timely advice and reading New Ideas from Dead Economists . President Trump's eclectic brand of tax-cutting, tariff-threatening, and Fed- nudging would spark economics textbooks to self-destruct like the opening to a Mission Impossible film. But economists have much to be humble about. Keynes himself said that if economists aspired merely to be "humble, competent people, on a level with dentists, that would be splendid."

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