Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Plain talk about Trump from the business world

Some excerpts from "Trump Vs. The Rule Of Law" by Matt Levine in Bloomberg Businessweek, Feb. 6.   It shows that the business world is concerned, not just with his removing regulations and making credit easier, but also in more fundamental things like Trump's seeming contempt for the Rule of Law and the danger of his unchecked power.

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"The problem is bigger than some disagreements over policy priorities.  The most troubling aspect of Trump's immigration order may be that it covered U.S. lawful permanent residents,  that is, green card holders who'd spent years building lives in the U.S. . .

"The upshot is that U.S. lawful permanent residents . . . are no longer protected by that law.  They can be deported at the whim of the president, or his advisers, or a border agent -- or they can be spared by a two-sentence statement from the secretary of Homeland Security.  There are no guarantees that the courts can protect them.  The nation of laws they immigrated to is gone, replaced by a nation of arbitrary rule.

"If the president can, without consulting the courts or Congress, banish U.S. lawful permanent residents, then he can do anything.  If there's no rule of law for some people, there's no rule of law for anyone.

"Business leaders are waking up to that reality.  Many grouse in private about the impact of Trump's actions but are afraid to speak out publicly.  'They are scared out of their minds about being attacked,' wrote Andrew Ross Sorkin in the New York Times, "and what that's going to do for their business.'

"When the president can damage your business with a tweet -- and will, if you disagree with him publicly -- then dissent is more difficult. . . . 

"The reason the U.S. is a good place to do business is that, for the past two centuries, it's built a firm foundation on the rule of law.   President Trump undid that in a weekend.  That's bad for business."

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This is not a wild-eyed, paranoid, liberal opinion.   This is a mainstream voice in a moderately conservative business magazine.


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