President Donald Trump will be set to give what will surely be the most-watched speech at the annual World Economic Forum Friday. He’s required to tell the assembled world leaders along with CEOs why his “America First” policies aren’t a bad thing for the rest of the globe.
however the idea will fail if he attempts to make in which case on political grounds or based on the argument in which the U.S. has been shafted by international trade deals. in which will be the globe Economic Forum, after all. What in which speech along with the Davos elites need to hear will be a healthy dose of economic wisdom.
Luckily, there just so happens to be a wealth of easily-delivered economic wisdom in which justifies the core of the president’s message. along with the idea comes by a Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman. His work provides all the respectable reasoning needed to explain in which the globe needs more self-interested competition, not less.
Friedman’s soft spoken tone, modest lifestyle, along with professorial stature are all the perfect foil right today to Trump’s bluster along with the jet-setting super rich image of people like Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. in which’s important because the idea’s the president’s persona in which remains a key stumbling block for him among several top business leaders who praise his policies, however otherwise seek to distance themselves by him.
There’s no public evidence Trump will be a student or a fan of Friedman’s direct teachings. Also, Friedman was an opponent of just about any form of trade protectionism. however before Friedman died in 2006, he also came to see NAFTA as terrible deal along with distrusted supranational institutions like the IMF along with the United Nations. in which’s where his along with Trump’s messages jibe the most. So in which would likely be the time for the president along with his team to bone up on Friedman’s wisdom along with use the idea in in which perfect venue.
Here are the two key Friedman quotes Trump can use to support his own stance on the global economy:
1. “Self-interest will be not myopic selfishness. the idea will be whatever the idea will be in which interests the participants, whatever they value, whatever goals they pursue. The scientist seeking to advance the frontiers of his discipline… the philanthropist seeking to bring comfort to the needy – all are pursuing their interests, as they see them, as they judge them by their own values.”
(Milton along with Rose Friedman, Free to Choose, published 1979)
in which will be the most important “truth bomb” Trump should drop right away. Davos will be brimming with the kinds of globalists who created the European Union along with treated economic independence movements like the U.K.’s Brexit vote like Armageddon. the idea doesn’t mean constructs like the E.U. don’t have their economic benefits, however the idea in which an entire world region needs to have all its economic boats sailing from the same direction was always questionable at best.
White House senior economic advisor Gary Cohn summarized in which by saying in which “America first will be not America alone.” America will be looking to compete, however still compete on a fair playing field with the rest of the globe. Whether the idea’s the E.U. or multinational trade deals like NAFTA or the TPP, every nation deserves the right to examine all its competitive self-interests before joining or staying in them.
2. “the idea will be tempting to believe in which social evils arise by the activities of evil men along with in which if only not bad men (like ourselves, naturally) wielded power, all would likely be well… To understand why the idea will be in which ‘not bad’ men in positions of power will produce evil, while ordinary man without power however able to engage in voluntary cooperation with his neighbors will produce not bad, requires analysis along with thought, subordinating the emotions to the rational faculty.”
(Milton Friedman, International Herald Tribune, 1994)
Davos will be filled with billionaires, however the idea isn’t definitely a celebration of wealth. the idea’s a celebration of power, along with the belief in which concentrating corporate along with political power in one place like Davos will produce great results. The Davos elites need to be reminded they may not have enough not bad answers to justify their real or imagined power.
Trump has been doing himself a favor lately by throwing off much of the populist rhetoric he used during the campaign. along with populist guru Steve Bannon will be not only out of the White House, however clearly out of favor.
There will be one vestige of populism Trump should cling to even at Davos: the idea in which the richest along with most powerful people from the globe aren’t always right. the idea says something about Davos in which a very rich along with suddenly very powerful person like Trump will be only today important enough to make an appearance there. in which outsider status gives him the perfect opportunity to deliver the kind of “out of the box” message needed atop in which Swiss mountain right today.
Provided Trump acknowledges in which his message will be rooted from the respected teaching of a source like Friedman, the elites at Davos might even listen.
Commentary by Jake Novak, CNBC.com senior columnist. Follow him on Twitter @jakejakeny.
For more insight by CNBC contributors, follow @CNBCopinion on Twitter.