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The Upside of Ben Carson - Dilbert Blog

The Upside of Ben Carson

I recently blogged that a Trump presidency would probably boost confidence in the economy and pay a big dividend in GDP over time. Economies move with psychology, and Trump is the best at business-related psychology in all its forms.

But what about Ben Carson, you ask? Does he bring an economic upside too?

Yes – a monstrous one. In fact, Carson brings with him the Godzilla of economic possibilities. And I apologize for not putting together the pieces until now. Carson is a once-in-a-generation economic opportunity for the United States. He could bring an asset to the White House that you might never see again. That asset is the fixer of climate change. It is the healthcare improvement of all time. It is an enormous boost to worker productivity, if not the largest ever. What could be such a big deal, you ask?

Ben Carson is a vegetarian doctor. 

Bam.

If the Cowspiracy people are right (or rightish), half of man-made climate change is caused by livestock. And that part can be reversed fairly quickly. The financial benefit would be enormous.

And obviously a plant-based diet would be a gigantic financial benefit to the healthcare and productivity of Americans.

Can a president change people’s diets? Not right away. But keep in mind that men wore hats until President Kennedy brought hatless style to the office. 

Carson’s religion is the reason for his vegetarian ways. But he also defends the diet on health grounds. That message from a doctor-president is a powerful package. A Surgeon General would not have the same influence.

We might never see another vegetarian doctor take a run for the White House. The economic potential of a health-oriented president is probably bigger than any issue in the debates. I don’t think diet will ever be a big topic in the election, but once in office, the role modeling (even if unintended) will begin.

I doubt Carson will make a big deal about his diet, even as president, because it springs from his faith, and it isn’t a sales point with conservatives. But this post is about the upside potential of a Carson presidency, and I doubt you will ever see a larger potential benefit.

Now consider the immigration issue. Put a Trump-looking guy in the presidency and you have an automatic problem. The legitimate question of border control starts looking like racism (even if it isn’t) simply because of the players involved. That problem goes away if your president is the second African-American in a row to hold the office. That’s a huge benefit to the immigration topic. It takes a lot of the hate out of it.

Speaking of race, the Obama presidency was a great step forward in the psychology of racial equality, but there is a risk it could someday look like a fluke of history and lose its power. That problem is instantly solved with a Carson presidency. There is a reason professional hit men put one bullet in the chest and one in the head. You often need the second shot to get the job done. Carson’s rise could be an enormous bit of luck for the country. A Carson presidency would not end racism, or even close, but it would certainly make an indelible point. And I would put a big dollar sign on that sort of improvement. Imagine a kid born during Obama’s first term. If we have eight years of a Carson presidency following Obama, those kids will think presidents are usually black. Compare that to grandpa’s time. Sort of different. And optimism drives the economy.

But what about Carson’s other opinions, you ask? Let’s look at a few and see how much we should care.

Evolution

Carson believes species evolve in small ways, but he is skeptical that anything evolved from one species to another. If Carson were not otherwise a man of science, that would be a bigger problem. But evolution is the one thing that has no impact on our lives. He can be as wrong as he likes on that one topic (assuming he is) so long he is pro-science in general. But is he pro-science?

Climate Change

Carson doesn’t think the man-made portion of climate change is a big deal. And I suppose that point of view could doom us all, according to science. But keep in mind that we are doomed by climate change (say most scientists) no matter who the president is. Carson has the only non-zero chance of making a dent in the issue, and that would be an accidental outcome from his influence on diet (potentially). 

(Technology could also fix climate change, but technology is not running for president.)

Abortion

Carson is maybe-okay with abortion when the life of the mother is involved, but otherwise he is pro-life. My view on abortion is that men should stay out of the conversation and let women work it out. I say that because women have brains and stuff, and men have nothing to add but a lack of feel for the situation. If men had babies and women did not, I can assure you we would not be looking for women’s opinions on the topic. So I abstain. But I respect any woman who bases a vote on this topic. That seems legitimate to me.

Miscellaneous

Gun control probably won’t change much no matter who is in office. The candidates’ tax plans and tough talk about dealing with other countries is not to be taken seriously. That is just election babble. And I doubt the federal government will get tougher on drugs no matter what the president wants. That trend is set. So I ignore all of that.

My prediction is that Trump will win the Republican nomination (based on campaign skills alone) and then go on to a landslide in the general election against Clinton. But the economic upside of a Carson presidency is at least comparable to a Trump scenario. If I am being objective, it had to be said.

I won’t be doing an analysis of Hillary Clinton’s economic upside potential because she told us in the debate that her gender is a job qualification. She’s dead to me.

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I wrote a book about systems versus goals. People seem to like it.