^ he’s a great guy, but in no way should a person with such dictatorial powers at his disposal ever be a President. I am afraid that in the new America this will be a huge risk.
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Between the presidency of Mr. Trump and the residency of this corona pandemic, the America we once knew has passed into history. It is NOT coming back.
There was a chance, before the arrival of Covid, that the coming presidency of Joe Biden could be a term of restoration. Now the outlook is for major change. Restoration will be limited to voting rights, competence, and the personal decency of Mr. Biden. These are no minor benefits; we will be grateful to have them; yet the rest of the picture involves vast policy and administrative innovation. The challenge facing us is to enact sensible innovations and to reject the foolish or the utopian.
What can we expect Congress to attempt, and/or President Biden to support ? A lot depends on Mr. Biden’s readiness to resist his party’s radical voices. Much also depends on Nancy Pelosi’s continuing skill at keeping inconsiderate change sidelined. I wonder if either she or Biden can mange it. Right now, with every anti-Trump interest focused utterly on his defeat, with policy dreams held in check, Pelosi has handled things very smartly, and Mr. Biden has studiously avoided blame games and high tax raptures. Can they handle the repturers and the accusers once the overriding goal of defeating Mr. Trump has been won ? I am far from confident of it.
Here’s my estimate of what is likely to happen and what is less likely but still to be guarded against :
( a ) social distancing will continue until a vaccine is found for the Corona and given to all. Thereafter, mask-wearing and other valetudes will be strongly recommended as a matter of course, just as boarding an airplane today means not carrying liquids or other TSA no-no’s in your carry bag. Surveillance of everybody, down to the biological, will be enacted into law, ending anything like privacy rights forever, save only potential Supreme Court decisions contra –– I like some of this, but not not all
( b ) the drive to phase out fossil fuels will ramp up, assuming oil and gas prices recover to normal, putting at risk the jobs of millions and unsettling the world market for its most basic connecting commodity; and taxes to speed up this phase out will be enacted by Congress and by most States — I am not a fan of any of this
( c ) immigration laws will finally be reformed. DACA and TPS people will finally win a pathway to citizenship, as will those who enlist in the military with a promise of citizenship. Refugee and asylum seeking will once again be welcomed by Congress and the President. National quotas may well be set aside. — All of this is good news
( d ) there will be Federal gun control legislation, at least the basics : universal background checks, assault weapon ban, elimination of gun manufacturers’ immunity from lawsuits. — All of this is very welcome
( e ) legislation will be filed curbing the current list of special Presidential powers : pursuant to national emergency acts, tariff authorizations, recess appointments. — I doubt that many will be enacted, but I would welcome all of the above.
( f ) a national $ 15/hour minimum wage will be come law. — This, as I have written, must be a first priority.
( g ) the Center for Disease Control will become an independent body with administrative powers similar to those already given to the NLRB and FTC. — this could be a benefit, but it can also be an occasion for administrative aggrandizement. we’ll have to be vigilant, given public health bureaucracies’ evident dictatorial powers.
Other initiatives I’m less happy to see :
I would seriously hope that any attempt to impose upon taxpayers the enormous costs of higher education will fail. Higher ed already costs far too much. Lavishly paid bureaucrats dominate most college staffs now, where once upon a time colleges were simply students and teachers. I see no reason why college bureaucrats should be paid $ 275,000 to $ 750,000 a year or even why such jobs should exist at all. Student loans don’t fund education as much as they pay bureaucrats’ bonanzas. It’s an absurdity.
Resist any attempt to create a medicare for all that eliminates most people’s employer-provided health plans. It is, in my opinion, a benefit for people to have all kinds of health care options.
Reject out of hand any attempt to establish “collective action'” as a social norm. America was created to give liberty to every person and to guarantee it. In America, consent of the governed requires the consent of every person, individually. “Collective action”: almost always means social pressure, including condescension and shaming, usually by self-appointed elites, to force people to do the “collective will” — particularly I see this coming to the fore around the so-called “climate crisis,” which is a perfect storm of control for those who profess it.
In America there must never, ever be a “collective will” for any thing. That is the hallmark of totalitarian hells.
One of the first priorities of the climate-crisis folks is to tax and fine people’s cars into oblivion and force as many of us as possible into public transportation. Not on my watch ! Public transportation is an instrument of big brother control. It goes where it wants to go, when it wants to go there, mostly at taxpayer expense; when what freedom guarantees is to go to where WE want to go WHEN we want to go there, in our own vehicle. Fortunately, 80 percent of us, at least, own and use carts,. and we are determined, I think, never to have the public transportation bogeyman imposed on us, nor the tax es that supposedly would pay for it.
That said, it will not surprise me to see some of these rejectable policies enacted in the new, post-lockdown America in which the bloody Covid flag will constantly be waved by those who seek to keep us “safe” from the freedoms and Constitutional power separations that our forbears were strong enough to bequeath to us whole and hearty.
— Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere