Three Stopped Clock Moments in 1 Week

First, notwithstanding the ruling by a George W. Bush appointed judge approving the AT&T — Time Warner merger, Trump and his Evil Minions were correct in opposing that merger.

Judge Richard Leon noted the lack of immediate negative consequences to the consumer, the classic analysis developed by Robert Bork, but that analysis is legally, functional, and historically bankrupt. 

Even a cursory analysis of antitrust law reveals that Congress’s original intent was driven by concerns about the barriers to entry for new competitors and the political power of monopolies than it was consumer welfare.

Second, Trump was right in the core of his dispute with the other G7 members in that he trade deals should not be an eternal and unchanging edifice upon which our world is based.

His proposal for sunset clauses in trade deals, so that countries can reevaluate policies as conditions change, is correct.

To quote Keynes, “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do?”

He gets almost everything wrong. But last weekend Donald Trump got something right. To the horror of the other leaders of the rich world, he defended democracy against its detractors. Perhaps predictably, he has been universally condemned for it.

His crime was to insist that the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) should have a sunset clause. In other words, it should not remain valid indefinitely, but expire after five years, allowing its members either to renegotiate it or to walk away. To howls of execration from the world’s media, his insistence has torpedoed efforts to update the treaty.

In Rights of Man, published in 1791, Thomas Paine argued that: “Every age and generation must be as free to act for itself, in all cases, as the ages and generations which preceded it. The vanity and presumption of governing beyond the grave is the most ridiculous and insolent of all tyrannies.” This is widely accepted – in theory if not in practice – as a basic democratic principle.

Finally, of course, is his talks with the DPRK, which has shown more progress than 20 years of refusing to negotiate on an one on one and direct basis and sanctons.

Of course, this is Trump, and he, and his administration, could f%$# up a 2 car funeral, so the probability that this will eventually lead to concrete positive developments is a rather remote.

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