US Policy Changes Vol.52 (Miscellaneous Vol.7 – Values, National polity)

Here are articles on values, national polity, policies, et al. Excerpts are on our own.

Trump Could Turn Western Values Into a Facade: In an interview, Harvard professor Joseph Nye warns that Donald Trump’s “America First” posture could undermine the liberal world order. (12/8/2016) | Alexander Görlach & Constantin Weiss @SaveLiberalDemo @TheWorldPost
… The question that has changed is how we will use that power. … The maintenance of alliances and institutions ― the liberal international order ― is not clear.
…which incidentally led to the economic chaos in the 1930s. Since World War II, the U.S. has been the most significant international actor and whether that will continue under Trump is unclear.
No question, Merkel and Germany are great defenders of Western values. But… it’s essential that these values are backed up by power.
… Without U.S.-imposed sanctions, Putin surely would have gotten away with it much easier and perhaps would have continued seizing territory.
…we should not over-interpret the American election. …
…the younger voters were not in favor of Brexit at all. …the young vote didn’t embrace Trump. …we need to closely look at these numbers and realize what they represent.
…old white males. … As younger people, with higher diversity and better education, go to the polls in the future, this populism should decrease significantly.
Immigration is a much more universal problem in the international sphere. The question is how you combine native culture with immigrant culture to prevent polarization of societies. …
… Trade is driven not by agreements but by commercial entrepreneurs. We may see less large-scale trade agreements, but I don’t think protectionism will resurface.
… But again, Trump is unpredictable. …
…Western policymakers… They need to have policies that take into account the inequalities that result of trade and technological change but also need to address cultural issues. Even if you are a protectionist economy, your jobs will still be taken over by robots!
…investment in infrastructure here in the U.S., and I am a supporter of this. …
…the coal industry… …he will struggle immensely with adapting the labor market to long-term technological change…
…may surprise us with something completely unexpected. …

What Will the Next Four Years Bring? (w Video; 1/3/2017) | @whartonknows
… According to @garrett_geoff, future U.S. leaders including Trump face two big challenges. One is to “increase growth rate from 2% to north of 3%, back to where it has been historically since World War II,” and the other is to ensure that “the benefits of that growth are more widespread.” …
…@Dean_Ruger… …if Trump were to be reelected for a second term, “we might see some real doctrinal shift,” he added, referring to the possibility of three more vacancies that could arise over the next eight years.
According to @PennEngineers dean Vijay Kumar, one area that could see unkind cuts is federal funding for R&D in science and technology. He noted that such funding has been falling steadily even with the 2008 stimulus by President Obama. Further, he pointed out that federal funding for R&D is currently only 0.6% of GDP, a far cry from the 2% during the “Sputnik Era” of the 1950s through the 1970s…
Infrastructure Investments
… First, he suggested there should be a balance between public and private sector investments.
Second, Garrett emphasized the need to focus on longer-term productivity gains and not just on job creation in the short-run. … Third, he had concerns about how the Trump infrastructure plan would be funded. …
Health Care, Immigration Reforms
… After a statute is passed to change the ACA, the government might allow a two-year period for people to continue to get health insurance from state exchanges before an alternative system is put in place, predicted Ruger.
… Many companies try to game the system and corner as many as possible of the 65,000 H-1B visas the U.S. issues annually to foreign workers…
Climate Change and Reality
… The cost of energy generation will be less than the cost of energy distribution, which means we will all produce our own energy.”
… EPA regulations have been codified and have gone through formal rule-making processes, and they can be undone only with another round of formal rule-making…
Engaging with Asia
Trump has blamed international trade agreements for U.S job losses, but the role of technology is three times as important as globalization in its impact on lower skilled jobs…
Understanding Job Losses
… “Manufacturing productivity over the last 30 years has gone up by a factor of two, both as a fraction of the GDP and in terms of the overall value created in society.” …
… “At the beginning of the last century, every farmer fed three other mouths. At the end of the century, every farmer was feeding 200 other mouths.”
Learning from the Election
…the Democrats haven’t won the white male vote since 1968, and the Republicans haven’t won the female vote since 1988. …
…@MauroFGuillen…while real wages for Americans across all segments of the income distribution rose steadily in the 30 years between 1970 and 2000, they had flattened between 2000 and now.
Tempering Action
…the framers of the U.S. Constitution such as James Madison and Alexander Hamilton infused a healthy dose of “cynicism and distrust” that helped avoid a concentration of power with the President and shared powers between the executive branch, Congress and the Supreme Court. …
Ronald Reagan Part II
…the Penn Wharton Budget Model, which predicts that Trump’s tax plan will boost the economy in the short run but also increase debt in the long run.
…an increase in the number of people with coding skills would reduce the supply-demand mismatch for good jobs…
… “Think about expanding the pie. Of course, you have to think about how the pie is divided, but everybody is better off [if] the size of the pie [is bigger].”
In order to get there, the emphasis must be on higher education, vocational skills and training, said Garrett. Countries like Sweden, Germany and Norway have adopted that approach to good effect. …

Is America at its greatest what Trump has in mind? (12/29/2016) | David Ignatius @washingtonpost
… Americans are optimists, by birth or affirmation. We pledge allegiance to a country that is “indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” We believe in “And the Fair Land,”…“We can remind ourselves that for all our social discord we yet remain the longest enduring society of free men governing themselves without benefit of kings or dictators. Being so, we are the marvel and the mystery of the world.”
… President-elect Donald Trump proposes radical changes welcomed by his supporters but feared by many who voted against him. He won’t succeed if he drives the country to the breaking point.
This coming year, the United States will face the severe strains that accompany change and political division. We’re a soft target for our adversaries right now…
… We’ll find out in 2017 how healthy our body politic really is, and whether our democratic institutions remain resilient. …

Conservatism: What now? (w Video; 11/29/2016) | @arthurbrooks,@JonahNRO,@RichLowry,@RameshPonnuru @AEI

Everything you need to know about a presidential transition in three easy charts (12/12/2016) | @EKamarck @BrookingsInst
…as the inside-the-beltway saying goes, “personnel is policy.” …
…“Presidential Transition Guide”… …Paul R. Lawrence and Mark A. Abramson…“Succeeding as a Political Executive”… Figure 1…but these 4,115 positions (some of which are support positions only) are but a small fraction of the 4,185,000 people who work for the federal government and who are not hired and cannot be fired by the President.
Figure 2
Figure 3

COVERING POLITICS IN A “POST-TRUTH” AMERICA | Susan Glasser @BrookingsInst

A reality check on 2016’s economically marginalized (11/16/2016) | @JohnHudak @BrookingsGov

Has a presidential election ever been as negative as this one? (10/18/2016) | @EKamarck @BrookingsInst

Should you believe the polls? (9/22/2016) | Liz Sablich @BrookingsInst