Lawrence Summers in the Washington Post:
In economics, as in life, things often take longer to happen than you think they will and then happen faster than you thought they could. So it may turn out with the catastrophic international economic policies of President Trump. It is possible that last week will be remembered as a hinge in history — a moment when the United States and the world started moving on a path away from the peace, prosperity and stability that have defined the past 75 years.
For all that has gone wrong in the past three-quarters of a century, this period has witnessed more human betterment than any time. The rate of fatalities in war has steadily declined, while growing integration has driven global growth and improvement in life expectancy and living standards. Progress is too slow, and not well enough shared, but Americans have never lived so well. This has been driven by remarkable developments in human thought, especially in science and technology, and a relatively stable global order that has been underwritten by the United States.
Will these trends continue? Optimists have suggested that despite the revanchist and often anti-rationalist rhetoric of his campaign, Trump has in the international sphere surrounded himself with rational establishment advisers and has either retreated or been stymied by Congress on proposals such as launching trade wars and building walls.
Until last week, they had a reasonable argument. No longer. We may have our first post-rational president.