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Doug Smith

Thank you for this. One small quibble: deals are not zero-sum. A well-made deal should provide advantages to both parties that were not available without the deal. "Businessmen" who pursue zero-sum deals, or who pursue deals that are structured so that everyone loses but themselves, are not typically successful for very long. Note that apparently only one major bank was willing to loan money to Trump's business before the election.

Eric Schliesser

Thank you for this. I don't mean to suggest that all business deals are zero-sum (I am something of an Adam Smith expert so I am familiar with this view!); I just mean to suggest that Trump's self-presentation as a deal-maker tends to portray deals as zero sum.

Jon Cogburn

Wonderfully put.

I'm also really puzzled by the way Bonevac lambasts Obama for al of the foreign policy problems the United States is in. The extent to which he treats it as obvious that we would be in a much better shape if Obama hadn't been President is beyond foolish in it's Utopianism. As if Presidents had that much power to shape events and as if it's so simple to get it right. When he starts recycling the National Review on how bad Obama is, there's just zero awareness that history is a sequence of bad trade-offs and zero awareness of the trade-offs that actually exist in the contemporary world.

I have a lot of respect for Bonevac's philosophy, and as a Burkean (and Christian for that matter) have a great deal of overlap with the kinds of conservative philosophical views that purportedly underlay his politics. But everything you point out above and his recycling dishonest conservative media on foreign policy strike me as obviously at odds with the Burken temperament.

I'm not talking about him behind his back (which would be dumb in an open forum anyhow). Before my election induced facebook hiatus, I've tried to raise this very issue with him several times when he posts one of these articles. But he shares so many empirical presuppositions of the National Review sophists (as well as the neo-conservative radicalism) that conversation breaks down.

In any case, I'm very confident who Burke or Churchill for that matter would have voted for in our last election and it's certainly not Trump.

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Here's a link to my past blogging (and discussions involving me) at: New APPS.


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