Sadly, Tyler Cowen is likely correct

Tyler Cowen has a new post entitled:

Who gains and loses status from the war in Ukraine?

Among the names mentioned is former president Obama, who famously dismissed Mitt Romney’s warnings about Putin back in 2012. (BTW, over the past decade has any American politician been right about more things than Mitt Romney?)

One name conspicuously missing from Tyler’s post is Donald Trump. At first glance that might seem like an oversight. Even as Putin brutalizes Ukraine, Trump’s embrace of the murderous dictator becomes ever tighter:

But Tyler did not ask who should lose status, he asked who would lose status. Trump’s reputation among rational people is already at rock bottom, and his unseemly love affair with Putin can’t make it any worse. As for his supporters, Trump once claimed that he could shoot someone in the middle of Times Square and his supporters would stick with him. So Tyler is right not to single out Trump as one of the people who will lose status over the Ukraine war.

PS. I really envy the Trumpistas, who can tell the truth without all the tiresome complaints that they suffer from TDS. Here’s Peter Navarro, accurately describing Donald Trump:

Please, no more “tedious” accusations (pun intended), I’m just reporting what Navarro said.



19 Responses to “Sadly, Tyler Cowen is likely correct”

  1. Gravatar of MSS1914 MSS1914
    30. March 2022 at 10:33

    I just listened to the In Our Time podcast (great podcast series btw) on charisma. Historically, many charismatic leaders lose their luster after some time and their followers abandon them. I realize Trump is old and likely to die before that happens, but I do wonder what it would take for Trump to lose his supporters. I honestly can’t think of anything – at least nothing that would realistically happen. Such a strange phenomenon.

  2. Gravatar of anon/portly anon/portly
    30. March 2022 at 11:07

    Navarro has fallen behind John Eastman in the “biggest Trumpian nut job” sweepstakes and is trying to catch up, but I’m betting against him:

    “Sometimes I just want to grab folks by the collar and shake them, saying, ‘Do you not see what went on here? Unconstitutional conduct by numerous state election officials led to the counting of more illegally-cast ballots in 2020 than the Biden margin of victory in enough swing states to have affected the outcome of the electoral college vote.’ Yet no one wants to talk about that, instead quibbling over minor, irrelevant points while the country suffers under the Marxist ideology being advanced by what millions of our fellow citizens believe (with good reason) to be an illegitimately inaugurated president.”

  3. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    30. March 2022 at 12:02

    One name conspicuously missing from Tyler’s post is Donald Trump.

    Three possible reasons why “no Trump”:

    1) He has no status. This is unlikely. One always has some kind of status.

    2) TDS makes you blind. Trump is mentioned, just not by name: “various strands of the American right wing.” So Trump is not important enough? Maybe, but maybe unlikely again.

    3) TDS blinds you. Second time. Trump is a wash. He said positive things about Putin, but his actions have been positive for Ukraine, NATO, and were directed against Russia.

    He immediately rescinded Obama’s doctrine that denied Ukraine weapons. He has insisted on NATO’s 2% target. He has been against Nordstream. Just a few examples for people without TDS.

    He was ambivalent and thus unpredictable for Putin. The conquest of Crimea was in 2014. Then 2016-2022. Putin waited such a long, long, long time. Why so long?

    Because Trump was so unpredictable, especially for Putin, who likes to be sure and who likes to figure out his opponents, which with Trump he just couldn’t. You can’t figure out a clown-idiot. It’s too risky.

    Putin wanted to be sure that there would be no (NATO) intervention, nor a no-fly zone, nor cruise missiles, nor an advance towards Kiev and western Ukraine. With Trump you just cannot be sure. He lies, he is not reliable, he does not even know himself what he is going to do.

  4. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    30. March 2022 at 12:21

    MSS1914, Only strange in the American context. In banana republics, leaders like Trump are quite common.

    anon/portly, That Claremont crowd is just completely nuts.

    Christian, “TDS makes you blind.”

    Such a tedious comment.

    Trump Defender Syndrome makes you blind.

  5. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    30. March 2022 at 12:30

    Scott, I’m not defending him per se, I’m just trying to describe reality.

    For someone with TDS, of course, it looks like defending.

    Tyler writes an article and the first thing you notice is: “Trump is missing! Oh no, an article without Trump!” That’s another proof of TDS.

    If descriptions like clown-idiot, liar, unreliable, “doesn’t even know himself what he is going to do” seem like defending to you, then guess what, that’s further evidence for TDS.

  6. Gravatar of JHE JHE
    30. March 2022 at 12:52

    “Three possible reasons why “no Trump”:”

    4) Tyler has TDSDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome Derangement Syndrome). Tyler is a brilliant guy, but some of his early/mid Trump administration posts telling us to “ignore the show” or whatever his favorite catchphrases in that regard were are just embarrassing now. Just because the libs disliked Trump didn’t mean he was secretly good! Scott caught onto this right from the beginning basically.

  7. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    30. March 2022 at 13:24

    Possible yes, but I think Tyler is just fed up with people stating the obvious. He also doesn’t like groupthink. When everyone is saying the same junk, he likes to point out things that haven’t been mentioned yet. Be against the grain. Sometimes he likes to be a bit provocative. In short: real intellectual work. Comparable to what Scott says regarding economic matters and in the area of market monetarism.

    I like’ Scott’s neologism though, TDS = Trump Defender Syndrome. That’s creative, all right. I have to give him credit for that. So that’s my form of TDS and he has his kind.

  8. Gravatar of MIchael Sandifer MIchael Sandifer
    30. March 2022 at 15:22

    Scott’s right. Trump doesn’t particularly stand out, even among his fascist contemporaries. He’s very similar to Putin, Erdogan, Modi, Balsonaro, Netanyahu, Orban, etc, though dumber and even lwss informed. Netanyahu was at least bright, way back when.

    As far as this cult of personality goes, it’s similar to all of the above, and left-wing populists such as Peron and Chavez. Sadly, as Personism shows, some of these personality cults don’t die, even after going on for nearly a century.

    And make no mistake about it. Such leaders ruin their countries. Argentina was the 12th wealthiest country on earth in terms of real per-capita GDP, and today its a very unstable middle income country that isn’t even the wealthiest on its continent. It has an inflationary depression/bankrupty roughly every decade.

    And, of course, Venezuela has been one of the great tragedies of the 21st century.

  9. Gravatar of M2M1 M2M1
    30. March 2022 at 18:31

    Scott, should probably apologize to those he banned and called “Russian trolls”, for stating that Hunter Biden and his father are corrupt oligarchs.

    CNN is now admitting it, so Scott cannot dismiss it as “conservative propaganda”, or call T.Carlson a “Russian spy” anymore. As CNN said, the “DOJ case against Hunter is picking up steam”.

    Legacy media has this strange pattern of calling things “conspiracy”, and then two years later admitting it’s real. We can see this pattern emerging with Covid and most foreign policy too.

    The FTC also fined the Clinton campaign 8,000, and the DNC 120,000 for the fake Russian Hoax.

    So Scott, do us all a favor here in the comment section. Let academics speak without being censored. I know that is a novel concept, but some of us would like to hear what others have to say.

    And if you are going to ridicule others, because you are highly emotional and partisan about certain topics, then please thicken your skin to handle the return fire. Bad manners begets bad manners.

  10. Gravatar of JHE JHE
    30. March 2022 at 19:28

    While Tyler is correct about China losing status, I would say he also omits a related entity–China Hawks. First, on a superficial level, the idea that because we’ve been mean to China recently they won’t help us with Russia is percolating widely. I think this notion is dubious, because the dynamics pushing the two countries together are very strong (remember, even when the U.S. was ‘appeasing’ China, we still viewed its form of government as illegitimate, so it made perfect sense for China to cast its lot in with the world’s #2 military power that also had plenty of disagreements with the U.S.), but it still is there.

    Second, and more substantively, this is another reminder that China’s behavior abroad (as opposed to domestically), while often unpleasant, is on a much less bad level that killing lots of people in the name of territorial conquest.

  11. Gravatar of Sarah Sarah
    30. March 2022 at 19:52

    It’s not a mental illness to defend people against false accusations.

    1. You often claim Trump is dumb.

    That is a bold claim, considering he reshaped the NYC skyline. Have you met many real estate developers who are dumb? Someone who chooses their words more carefully, might say that he is uneducated. But he’s certainly not dumb. His uncle was also a professor at MIT. While genetic variation exists, the apple doesn’t fall that far from the tree.

    2. You often make comments about his character and physical appearance.

    Even the people who vote for him wish he’d speak with more eloquence, or lose his arrogance. But what your commenters want is moral consistency. If you are going to attack the Trump family for lacking virtue, then why don’t you attack the Biden family with the same vitriol? Just yesterday, CNN admitted that Hunter may end up in Jail. This is not just the NY Post or Fox anymore. Every network recognizes that the Biden’s are corrupt.

    3. You claim Trump is a racist, a bigot, and that he’s corrupt.

    Sorry, but there is no evidence to support any of these claims. As dershowitz said, “thought crimes are not crimes”. Whatever you think he was thinking during a phone call, or whatever you think he thinks about Putin is just speculative opinion. Your opinion is not a catalyst for prosecution. Additionally, his comments about the border are not bigoted comments. Most Americans want to reduce the rate of immigration to avoid ghetto’s and violence, and ensure that those immigrants can get jobs and be culturally assimilated. That is not bigotry.

    4. You don’t like his economic policies, because they are antiglobalist.

    This is fair criticism, but the “Trump defenders” want you to know that not everyone wins from global trade. Higher GDP doesn’t mean everyone is happier. People living in mining and manufacturing towns in the midwest prefer some tariffs to protect their labor. The people who support this policy are not suffering from mental illness. They have legitimate grievances.

    5. You call him a “Russian puppet”.

    This is another ad hominem attack without substance. Saying you want to get along with someone is a good thing, not a bad thing. Sanctions are a form of totalitarianism, and they end up hurting blue collar Americans. Sanctions isolate America, endanger Americans, and make it more difficult for us to compete globally. Stating this obvious fact is not “Defending Putin” or “Defending Trump”. Most Americans don’t want to be “global policemen”.

    After reading this blog for the past two months, I’d say it’s quite difficult for you to reach logical conclusions without bias. You have a lot of negative emotions that factor into your conclusions. Lots and lots of vitriol in these posts. Not just directed at your political opponents, and other cultures, but also at your commenters.

  12. Gravatar of Ryan Ryan
    30. March 2022 at 21:05

    Objectively speaking it is clear that Trump did not lose status. Betting markets are flat or improved, and realistically speaking he started from an extremely low baseline.

    Tyler linked a video from 2018 where the news smugly showed German lawmakers laughing as Trump critisizes their dependence on Russia.

    Would they laugh at his speech today? No? I guess his status has improved.

  13. Gravatar of TallDave TallDave
    31. March 2022 at 07:23

    “Trump’s reputation among rational people”

    lol Trump has certainly created a lot of irrational people

    who are also immune to irony

    as with the “miracle” of all those shiny new Chinese cities, reality catches up to irrationality sooner or later

    With the March 31 reporting deadline looming, 14 Chinese developers are yet to release their audited earnings for last year, blaming it on the pandemic and their debt woes.
    Six of them will see their shares suspended from Friday, April 1, until further notice because of their inability to even report unaudited results.

  14. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    31. March 2022 at 07:29

    Christian, “I have to give him credit for that.”

    Please don’t, I stole it. Just as I steal everything else I say about politics.

    M2M1, Nice try Russia troll, but you aren’t fooling anyone.
    I do find it amusing that you guys don’t think we’ll see through your act.

    Sarah, I criticize Trump’s looks? Lying about what I say doesn’t really help your cause, does it? It just makes us all better understand why you Russia trolls like Trump. You share his penchant for lying.

  15. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    31. March 2022 at 07:31

    Talldave, LOL, how long have you been predicting the China bubble will burst?

  16. Gravatar of TallDave TallDave
    31. March 2022 at 07:50

    lol the Chinese housing market bubble? since it actually burst last year, obvs

    but anyone “rational” could see pouring many times the OECD per capita average in concrete wasn’t going end well, and many pointed it out for years before

    but as I said in 2015 when CCP required massive, permanent capital controls to stem the trillions in capital flight, there is no bubble there, they can keep impoverishing Chinese with this nonsense forever since 90% are barred from voting

    I mean since 2012 the Shanghai and Hang Seng composites are only trailing the S&P by like 900%, there’s no bubble to pop lol

    better hold on tight to that “rational”

    In suggesting that Donald Trump be installed as speaker of the House if Republicans win the chamber’s control next year, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows acknowledged “people would go crazy.”

  17. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    31. March 2022 at 20:43

    Talldave, This is the typical comment you get from someone who knows nothing about China and relies on Fox News for their information. China’s been growing fast for 40 years—sorry to disappoint you, but your predictions from a decade ago look ridiculous today.

  18. Gravatar of Bobster Bobster
    2. April 2022 at 07:22

    Trump was right in his diagnosis of Germany’s strategy with Russia

    He was also the toughest against Russia since the world war.

    He knew Putin wanted Ukraine and was able to stop him 4 years.

    Biden approval on handling Russia is very low. His strategy seemed to have been to give the green light and mainly stay out of it

  19. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    3. April 2022 at 21:51

    Yes, Trump was really tough on Russia when he was openly asking them to leak information they hacked about his political opponents, or when holding aid to Ukraine hostage to his desire for made up dirt about the Bidens.

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