A golden age?

Okay I finany found a livestream in which I disagree with Scott Adams

There is a tendency some to ascribe imaginary or non-existent attributes and accomplishments to Trump.

In the video Scott says “yeah, you can’t do that Trump”

Yeah…you can’t build a wall…you can’t deport millions of immigrants….you can’t prevent Flynn from being indicted…you can’t ban Muslim immigration.

And then Trump showed the doubters…oh wait…nothing has changed at all.

Let’s not delude ourselves…Trump so far has been unpersuasive and ineffective, especially in terms of legislation. Some of it is his fault (such as lack of follow-through, hopping from one issue to another erratically), the rest due to Congress, FBI, and lawyers. But regardless of who is to blame, that does not change the fact that Trump’s purported business expertise and ‘strait talk’ has been of little to no use. An an exception, there seems to be some tentative progress regarding brokering peace with N. Korea, in which Trump’s negotiation skills may have been put to use.

The important part, I suppose, is that we think things have changed meaningfully. Maybe that is the point. If all our problems are mental, then so too are the solutions.

I agree, however, that we are in a ‘golden age’ as evidenced by technological progress, stock market gains, US economic growth, low inflation, societal stability–especially compared to Europe and the rest of the world, which since 2008 has stagnated as America has roared ahead. Low-IQ countries such as Brazil struggle with high inflation, falling currencies, slow growth, despotism, and corruption. How much Credit Trump deserves for the economy is hard to ascertain. Due to the U.S. economy and private sector being autonomous and mostly detached from the political sector, probably not that much, although defense spending and tax cuts helped a bit I’m sure. Part of the problem is, what economists call the ‘rational expectations’ hypothesis, which makes it hard to pinpoint the efficacy of policy. For example, when Trump won, the odds of tax cuts went from 15% (Trump’s odds of winning) to 100%. This meant that companies, market participants, stocks, etc. acted as if the tax cuts had already happened–that is, expectations were adjusted accordingly, which could explain why stocks rallied so hard almost immediately after Trump won. So the economy gets the tailwind of a tax cut without there actually having to be a cut…sorta amazing.

What I don’t get is that When Scott says we’re in a golden age, pretty much everyone on the right nods in agreement, yet when Steven Pinker makes a similar argument, there’s much more disagreement. As discussed a long time ago, Scott Adams and also Scott Alexander have cultivated an aura of intellectual credibility that allow them to take varied positions on issues and not face overwhelming rebuke, whereas more mainstream and partisan pundits such as Ann Coulter do not have that intellectual and creative freedom. When Ann first began criticizing Trump’s tax plan many months ago, she got an avalanche of backlash on her Twitter. It was pretty painful to read. Being a mainstream pundit means you’re pigeonholed to a very specific line of thinking. Scott could put out a video tomorrow about how Trump totally messed up his persuasion game , and he would maybe get a tiny amount of backlash on his Periscope. The same people that were praising Trump just a day before would probably be like “hmm..Scott Adams is a very open-minded, a polymath, a smart person and he understands how human psychology works..if he says Trump is wrong, then he probably is.” But Pinker is not a mainstream pundit, so that does not explain why his ideas are so divisive.