Should Trump blow up’ the G-7? History says ‘yes’

World map highlighting the G-7 members and their flags.

It was widely reported by the media around the world in mid-June that U.S. President Donald Trump had “blown up” the Group of Seven (G-7) in the wake of their annual summit held this year in Quebec Canada. The president’s post-summit tweet regarding the G-7 stated: “I have instructed our U.S. Reps not to endorse the communiqué.” He added in a second tweet that: “PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our @G7 meetings only to give a news conference after I left saying that, ‘US Tariffs were kind of insulting’ and he ‘will not be pushed around,’ Very dishonest & weak. Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270% on dairy!”

Media headlines frequently used the phrase “blow up,” or variations of, including Politico Europe, The Guardian and The Washington Post. The following tone by New York Magazine was typical: “[Trump] had agreed to sign on to the communiqué traditionally cobbled together by the countries at the end of the summit – previously a formality, now just an indication, however tenuous, that America was still on board with the liberal democratic project it helped build in the ashes of World War II. And, at an impromptu quasi-press conference before his departure, Trump had rated his personal relationship with fellow leaders as a “10,” despite his fierce disagreement with them over just about everything. But then, somewhere over the Pacific on his way to meet Kim Jong-un, Trump blew the whole thing up in two tweets.”

Dan Mitchell of the Center for Freedom and Prosperity provided another viewpoint in his daily blog entry entitled “Trump and the G-7 – Right Outcome, Wrong Reason”: “Trump’s protectionism is deeply troubling. That being said, we shouldn’t shed any tears because a G-7 Summit ended in failure or that Trump didn’t sign the communiqué. The bureaucrats who craft these statements for their political masters regularly use the G-7 to endorse statist policies.”

The G-7 started in 1975. It is nowadays really the G-7+ as the European Union is also a member, along with the nations of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S.

So what does the history of the G-7 or G-7+ look like?

A representative sample is provided in the sections to follow, based on extracts from the official communiqués. This sample is from the summits held in the U.S. over the years under Presidents Ford (1976), Reagan (1983), Bush Sr. (1990), Clinton (1997), Bush Jr. (2004) and Obama (2012). The one non-American summit sampled is the recent one hosted by Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau (2018). There is an appropriate mix of both right and left leaders sampled. Each summit section below assesses the support for free market capitalism versus that for big government statism.

G-7 States

Ford (1976)

The G-7 summit of 1976 was hosted by President Gerald Ford (R) in June and held in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. The pro-capitalism statements in the communiqué outweighed the pro-statism ones. And the latter were mainly of the Keynesian or democratic socialism kind, rather than the (economic or cultural) Marxist or Green socialism kind. Although, there was the start of some Green Malthusianism on energy. Interestingly, the concept of “sustainability” is mentioned frequently though it is not the current environmental version but the previous economic one. A sample of quotes from the communiqué is provided next, with pro-statism ones on the left versus pro-capitalism on the right:

G-7 Ford (1976) - Statism/Capilatism

Reagan (1983)

The G-7 summit of 1983 was hosted by President Ronald Reagan (R) in May and held in the U.S. state of Virginia. The pro-capitalism statements in the communiqué were approximately equal to the pro-statism ones. The latter were still mainly of the Keynesian variety, although there was some further Malthusian Green statements on energy, as well as new ones on natural resources and the environment. A sample of quotes from the communiqué is provided next, with pro-statism ones on the left versus pro-Capitalism on the right:

Reagan (1983) - Statism/Capilatism

Bush Sr. (1990)

The G-7 summit of 1990 was hosted by President George Bush Sr. (R) in July and held in the U.S. state of Texas. The pro-capitalism statements in the communiqué outweighed the pro-statism ones. The pro-capitalism statements included celebrating the end of the Cold War. And these also included “regulatory reform.” The pro-statism statements included Compassionate Conservative (Com-Con) ones on proactively spreading Democracy to (or Nation Building in) the Middle East and the War on Drugs. And these also included the “mother-of-all,” the Green ones, i.e., “climate change.” A sample of quotes from the communiqué is provided next:

Bush Sr. (1990) - Statism/Capilatism

Clinton (1997)

The G-7 summit of 1997 was hosted by President Bill Clinton (D) in June and held in the U.S. state of Colorado. The pro-Capitalism statements in the communiqué dwarfed the pro-Statism ones. And the majority of the document was devoted to environmental and social issues rather than the more typical economic ones. The Com-Con issue of “terrorism” makes an appearance as well. Interestingly, the concept of “sustainability” is by this stage the current environmental or Green version only and not the previous economic one. And global “climate” action is a significant focus. A sample of quotes from the communiqué is provided next.

Clinton (1997) - Statism/Capilatism

Bush Jr. (2004)

The G-7 summit of 2004 was hosted by President George Bush Jr. (R) in June and held in the U.S. state of Georgia. The pro-Capitalism statements in the communiqué were again dwarfed by the pro-Statism ones. The latter includes those of a Green and Com-Con flavor. The majority of the document was devoted to environmental and security issues rather than the more typical economic ones. Security includes continued focus on “terrorism” but also the rise of the Big Government TSA. Importantly although, the private business sector is encouraged in developing countries. A sample of quotes from the communiqué is provided next:

Bush Jr. (2004) - Statism/Capilatism

Obama (2012)

The G7 summit of 2012 was hosted by President Barack Obama (R) in May and held in the US state of Maryland. The pro-Capitalism statements in the communiqué were once again dwarfed by the pro-Statism ones. The majority of the document was devoted to Green environmental issues along with the return of some Keynesian economic ones centered around recovery from the global financial crisis. A sample of quotes from the communiqué is provided next, with pro-statism ones on the left versus pro-capitalism on the right:

Obama (2012) - Statism/Capilatism

Trudeau (2018)

The G-7 summit of 2018 was hosted by PM Justin Trudeau (L) in June and held in the Canadian province of Quebec. The pro-Capitalism statements in the communiqué were almost non-existent compared to the pro-Statism ones. The majority of the document was devoted to environmental, social and security issues (i.e., Green, Marxist and Com-Con issues) rather than the once typical economic ones (i.e., Libertarian and Conservative ones).

And the Cultural Marxism is readily apparent in this document including lots of Leftist “buzz words.” A sample of quotes from the communiqué is provided next, with pro-statism ones on the left versus pro-capitalism on the right:

Trudeau (2018) - Statism/Capilatism

Buy, sell or hold

Nobel Laureate in economics Edward Prescott appropriately rebooted one of the more famous quotes from Adam Smith about business cartel conspiracies against the public to raise prices: “[P]oliticians of like mind seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise taxes.”

This is largely the story of the G-7, including “some contrivance to raise taxes” in 2004 and 2018. As Geopolitical Intelligence Services recently put it: “Trump shook up the recent G7 meeting in Canada, declining to sign a joint statement with the other countries’ leaders. Considering the content of that statement, the President made the correct decision. … The G7 is promoting a one-size-fits-all approach to tax policy, which unambiguously favors larger, more intrusive governments at the expense of individual economic freedom. … The G-7 summit statement talks about the virtues of freedom, democracy, and the rule of law, but then quickly pivots to policies directly at odds with these valuable and worthy goals.”

The long history of the G7 reveals something even more complex and instructive in terms of “conspiracy against the public.” It was more-or-less pro-capitalist in 1976 and 1983, and it’s pro-statism was mainly Keynesian with the start of Greenism on energy but not yet “climate change.” It becomes more-and-more pro-statist in 1990, 1997 and 2004 combining both Com-Con and Green worldviews especially through “climate action.” Pro-statism of the Green variety rules in 2012 but is supplemented by the return of Keynesianism. The rule of Green-style pro-statism carries on in 2018, and very worryingly is accompanied by Cultural Marxism.

Given all this, President Trump should look to “blow up” or “sell” on the G-7, rather than “buy” or even “hold” on it, as he is reportedly going to do with the likes of the UN Human Rights Council. This is even more so the case when one not only examines the words of the G-7 but their numbers as well. A key number or statistic is that of “Government Spending” as usefully collated in the website Trading Economics. Not only is this statistic common to the G-7+ over time, it largely correlates with and is a driver of government taxes, bureaucrats, regulations, borrowings and money supply. And the picture presented is one of strong growth in government expenditure with the occasional slowing down and the odd decline here-and-there. Perhaps it is time to prioritize creating capitalist-friendly groups of nations pursuing greater not less economic freedom like say the Anglo-Sphere Group (ASG) or better still the Group of Liberty (GL).