Why An Economist’s Platform Makes Sense For Presidential Candidates

I ran for President in 2016 as a registered write in candidate. I believe I’m the only economist who ever ran for President. I ran not because I thought I had a decent chance of winning, but because I felt and fell that economists need to lay out simple ways to fix domestic policies, including healthcare, Social Security, taxes, banking, welfare, fiscal sustainability, and education.

If we need our plumbing fixed, we call a plumber. If we need a bridge fixed, we call an engineer. If we need to send a rocket to the moon, we hire rocket scientists. If we want to open a restaurant, we hire a chef.  If we need to get our car fixed, we find a mechanic. If we need heart surgery, we engage a surgeon.

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But if we need to fix public policy, we rely on members of Congress, not one of whom holds a PhD in economics. Or we let the President, who knows, it seems, nothing about everything and listens to no one but his inner crazy, decide what to do. This is beyond nuts.

Yes, members of Congress consult with economists. But these are generally economists in one political camp or the other. As a result, they are in no position to provide unbiased, professional advice.

I don’t speak for any economist but myself. But I believe the simple (postcard length) policies I included in my 2016 platform would be supported by the overwhelming majority of professional, politically non-aligned economists. I certainly consulted with a broad array of independent economists in designing the plans. Their views materially changed my thinking.

The day after the election, I transformed my platform into a short monograph entitled Your Hired — A Trump Playbook for Fixing America’s EconomyI was under no illusion that the President would read what I wrote. But I thought his advisers might find the proposals of value and try to get them enacted.

Enough background. Here’s the deal. Howard, Bernie, Amy, Liz, Kamala, Joe, Cory, Mike, … — please, please, please steal my proposals and run with them. Many of you haven’t yet formulated your policy positions. Others of you have staked out positions, such as Medicare for All, that are short on details. None of you is yet so locked into reform plans on any issue that you can’t modify or rethink.

So please steal my platform. And if you do, don’t feel obligated to mention me. My only goal is to help each of you help our country.

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