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Mon Oct 26, 2020, 07:42 PM

Republicans Put the Oil Industry Above Economic Growth

The GOP is the party of growth and economic dynamism. Contrary to the claims of progressive propagandists, Republicans don’t oppose statist economic policy because they are indifferent to the well-being of the market economy’s “losers.” Rather, conservatives oppose “big government” because they believe that industries should live and die on the basis of their productivity, not their political connections. The creative destruction inherent to the free-enterprise system will harm some economic incumbents, to be sure. But the harms of sacrificing the nation’s prospects of long-term growth — which is to say, our collective prosperity — to the parochial interests of politically powerful but economically declining industries would be far greater. As Secretary of State Mike Pompeo argued last year, “Innovation is driven by competition and not by government diktats.”

This is the Republican Party’s official economic philosophy (Donald Trump’s haphazard heresies notwithstanding). The GOP’s actual economic agenda is quite different. Throughout the four decades since Reagan’s revolution, the Republican Party has been a stalwart supporter of government subsidies to its favorite agricultural concerns and weapons manufacturers. In fact, through its tireless advocacy for the military-industrial complex, the GOP has effectively pushed for the expansion of a massive government jobs program that conscripts millions of U.S. workers into economically unproductive — but politically sacrosanct — forms of labor (including the production of trillion-dollar boondoggles like the F-35).



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