If there is anything that President Donald J. Trump has proven during his first year-and-a-half as Commander In Chief, it is that the so-called “experts” cited regularly by allegedly reputable media outlets are about as trustworthy as the schmuck sitting at the end of the bar at closing time, ranting drunkenly to no one in particular about the news topic du jour.
Earlier today, Big League Politics reported Trump’s announcement of 4.1% GDP growth in the Second Quarter. Now, in true Trump fashion, let’s take a victory lap on all of the so-called experts that called him insane for even suggesting that such a number could attainable.
“[I]f everything goes right — an absolutely unprecedented reversal of labor force participation trends and an unusual but not unprecedented burst of productivity growth — economic growth would average 3.2 percent a year over the next decade,” he wrote in an op-ed for Vox quoted by the Times.
Can you believe that with an authority like Furman at the helm of the Obama economy that GDP growth was so slow?
Next, the Times trotted out Edward Lazear, who served as chief economist for President George W. Bush. Lazear skeptically wrote in the Wall Street Journal that Trump could “hit 3% growth – maybe,” and advised Americans to “pray for luck.”
Maybe that was Lazear and the Bush administration’s problem – too much praying for luck, not enough praying for the strength and wisdom to actually lead.
N0t to worry, though. LA Times wouldn’t dare rely only on former White House officials as “experts.” They branched out to the brain trust that is academia, too.
The Times cited Northwestern’s Robert J. Gordon, who wrote a book titled “The Rise and Fall of American Growth,” which says that America’s best years for GDP are behind us. With numbers steadily in the 1-3% growth range during the Obama presidency, one can see why Gordon would be so pessimistic. One can only hope his “expertise” does not rub off on his students.
“Bond guru” (their words, not mine) Bill Gross told the Times “High rates of growth, and the productivity that drives it, are likely distant memories from a bygone era.” Remind me not to do any bond investing until Gross retires.
The LA Times wasn’t the only Trump-detracting outlet that had a rough time finding qualified “experts” to discuss GDP under Trump.
“No, pigs do not fly,” said Robert Brusca, senior economist at FAO Economics, a research firm, according to CNN. “Donald Trump is dreaming.”
In the same piece, titled “Trump promises 4% growth. Economists say no way,” CNN claims that a “survey of 11 economists” shows that Trump is off his rocker if he thinks he could ever attain 4% GDP growth. Which economists? It’s tough to say. CNN failed to mention their names.
“The San Francisco Fed estimates the “new normal” for annual economic growth to be 1.5% to 1.75%,” according to CNN. Just another reason to abolish the Fed.
Surely there are more examples of wise economic sages doubting Trump on GDP growth (and nearly everything else for that matter), but it seems that most of the negative articles are long gone, buried 30 pages deep in a Google search behind today’s outstanding news.
With experts like these, who needs dunces?
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New York Man Coughs on Federal Agents During Facemask Price-Gouging Arrest
Baruch Feldheim was allegedly stockpiling respirators and selling them on the black market.
A New York man being arrested for his involvement in a price-gouging black market ring selling personal protective equipment and N95 respirator masks coughed on federal agents arresting him in Brooklyn on Sunday.
Baruch Feldheim was allegedly overseeing a black market enterprise importing entire warehouses of N95 respirators and selling them at outrageous markups of up to 700% to medical personnel that require them to treat Chinese coronavirus patients.
Prosecutors state that a New Jersey doctor in need of respirators was forced to contact Feldheim in a WhatsApp group chat labeled ‘Virus2020!’ on March 18th. The New York man agreed to sell 1,000 N95 masks and other medical equipment for $12,000– a whopping 700% markup on their standard retail price.
When the doctor met up with Feldheim at an area auto repair shop, he described seeing firsthand a coronavirus medical equipment stash warehouse that contains enough supplies to outfit an entire hospital. FBI agents later recorded Feldheim received a massive shipment of eight pallets of medical facemasks from Canada, and trying to get a nurse seeking to purchase medical equipment to come to his home.
Federal agents questioned Feldheim about the black market mask ring at his home on Sunday, and recount the man intentionally coughing on them. Shockingly, sources recount that the suspected price gouger then told federal agents that he had the coronavirus.
He’s now being charged with assaulting a federal officer and making false statements to law enforcement. If convicted, he could face up to six years in prison and a $350,000 fine.
Another New Jersey primary care physician, Dr. Alexander Salerno, has recounted having to resort to the black market in order to obtain the protective equipment he desperately needs in order to safeguard his own medical staff on the frontlines of fighting the coronavirus epidemic. It’s unclear if Salerno purchased equipment from Feldheim’s black market stash.
“We have to go out and we have to go literally to these black market brokers or black market pirates and we are paying like 400 – 800% markups to get the protective barriers so I can fulfill that promise of protecting our staff.”
This is a time to marshal resources behind a collective effort to contain the coronavirus epidemic, not allow black market pirates to gouge the medical supply market.
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