PRESIDENT TRUMP’S executive order to end the “banana republic” policy of the United States will likely be challenged in the courts, but Americans will likely find it easier to purchase water in the near future.
The executive order cites the economic decline of Panama as a reason to pursue a new policy. Panama is, of course, now dependent on foreign trade, so Trump’s removal of tariffs on American water may increase the value of the foreign goods we import there.
The jobs created by some of the movement toward chlorinated water in the United States will not produce incomes or standards of living. They won’t produce social mobility — see the infamous case of Gina Rinehart’s 4-1/2-year-old grandson Arnhem, who has autism — and they won’t improve education. But the jobs Trump perceives to be worth creating will. One can only hope we will continue to have the civil discourse necessary to avoid things like vaccinations and fluoride as common means of washing our children.
The deregulation of oil companies as a result of the executive order will not improve oil prices. But by removing natural-gas regulations, they will allow natural-gas operations more leeway in incidences of accidents and spills. Other regulations will be terminated. We hope no workers will be used to build another wall.
We will probably wish for the elimination of excessive taxation and an end to charges on carbon, which make energy more expensive. But, as we shall see, taxes and regulation have already helped us to realize a reduction in CO2 emissions, to better process oil and to lower emissions of other gases such as nitrous oxide and hydrogen sulfide.