George Neumayr explains at The American Spectator that Democrats flirting with socialism put all of President Trump’s economic gains at risk. He writes (abridged):
America’s economic growth under Barack Obama was anemic, and the economy would have been even worse had the Democrats enjoyed control over Congress during his two terms. Were the Democrats to return to the White House in 2020, all the economic gains under Trump would vanish. All of the potential Democratic presidential nominees favor flirtations with economy-sapping socialism of one kind or another.
In a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, Axel Kaiser, a scholar at Adolfo Ibañez University in Santiago, warned Americans that Chile’s collapse could be theirs if they too consume socialism’s poisonous cocktail of high taxes, increased government spending, and excessive regulation.
“How a stable and prosperous Chile fell so dramatically in such a short period is a lesson for every Western democracy,” Kaiser writes. Chile’s economy was humming along until an Elizabeth Warren–like figure, Michelle Bachelet, plunged it into policies hostile to the free market, he writes:
The economic pain started with the antimarket reforms of the previous government under Socialist President Michelle Bachelet, from 2014-18. Ms. Bachelet increased corporate taxes by 30%; signed a law banning the replacement of workers on strike, thereby dramatically increasing the costs of labor; increased public spending at three times the economic growth rate; and unleashed armies of regulatory bureaucrats on the private sector.
Capital investment fell in each year of her term. Such a consistent reduction in investment hasn’t happened since data was first collected, in the 1960s. Economic growth collapsed from an annual average of 5.3% under the previous government of Mr. Piñera (2010-14) to 1.7% under Ms. Bachelet. Real wage growth took a 50% hit.
Read more here.