Is the American oil boom ruining the economy?

This is why I should always post links on Friday, as planned. After collecting another two Trump-related links this week (below), he turned it what has been deemed his worst performance so far in a debate. Count me among the many THRILLED to see Jeb show some life and absolutely posterize Trump. His father and brother are great Americans, and good for him in standing up for, not shying away from, their patriotism. Like all Presidents, there’s a lot more nuance to them than simply being good or bad (or, “making us safe”), but you can not argue that either displayed genuine, unwavering love for America and dedication to everything that has made us excellent during and after their terms. 

Watching a man like Jeb — blessed by the establishment, full of money, able to reach out to Latino voters, and largely successful as a governor — struggle to get traction continues to beg the question:

Why do voters like Trump so much?
The American Interest this week offered the most interesting exploration I’ve read yet regarding Trump and his appeal to certain Americans. They examine the three great American hero archetypes: frontiersman (Daniel Boone), builders (Buffet and Franklin) and pirates (Trump). It’s interesting to examine Trump’s popularity through the lens of the recession and economic disillusionment. As the sole superpower in the world, we have no frontier to combat. And with so many scarred by the economic changes in the country, the concepts of thrift, hard work and perseverance seem like impossible paths to advancement. So just as people try their hand at Powerball lotteries and in casinos, they flock to the casino magnate for belief in a quick-fix. Trump has grown his parent’s fortune by swindling hard-working people out of theirs at casinos. His election will do nothing but result in the same disappointment felt by those exiting a Trump casino with empty pockets.

The bet on American oil has backfired
Low gas prices are almost universally a good thing, right? Here’s an in-depth explanation on the war OPEC is waging against American oil, the wholly unanticipated result of America becoming a fuel exporter again, and why virtually every single analyst has struck out completely on the effects of this change. Low gas prices have been good for the consumer, but they’re trashing the world economy on the whole and it’s not clear that there are many tools left to address the issue.

Bernie’s Danish dream
Young peoples’ embrace of Bernie Sanders is puzzling to me beyond his unrealistic proposals. Bernie is actively trying to destroy the American system of capitalism in favor of a European one. While I usually can’t stand David Brooks, he zeroes in here on the difference between those two systems. European capitalism is not better than American — it’s different. It’s more egalitarian and more risk averse. So yes, there’s less disparity between the rich and the poor, but also none of the risk-taking and high incentives that create dynamism. What was the last European company that truly change the world? From the Ford of the early 1900’s to the Apples and Googles of today, innovation simply does not happen in that environment. Entitled millennials are used to living in a world with these incredible advances, but the reality is: if they don’t happen in America, they simple don’t happen.

Is the Michelin guide killing chefs?
Holding two or three Michelin stars is the pinnacle of the restaurant world. Losing that third star can mean more than the end of your restaurant. It’s the end of your career. The New Yorker profiles two untimely, early deaths of chefs who were in danger of losing stars and asks: if the attention brought by Michelin worth the damage of its eventual loss?

Donald Trump is the frontrunner.
To circle around where we started: it’s time we all admit and recognize that Donald Trump is the frontrunner. Now let’s pray to God that someone figures out how to stop him.