DIMON: 'What happened to the good old can-do America?'

“What happened to the good old can-do America?”

It’s a question JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon has asked repeatedly in recent weeks. It came up at a Chase Small Business event that was broadcast on Periscope, and it came up again when Business Insider spoke with Dimon on May 5.

We sat down with Dimon at the Alfred E. Smith Career and Technical Education High School in the South Bronx, New York. JPMorgan Chase had just announced a $US6 million investment in the Bronx as part of its $US75 million New Skills for Youth initiative.

We talked about education and the economy. We also discussed President Trump’s pro-business administration, with Dimon stating that Trump’s economic agenda is “the right one.” Here’s what he had to say:

Turner: You’ve talked about the pro-business approach this administration is taking, and that being a welcome change. How does that fit into what we’re discussing?

Dimon: People get boxed up in personalities and stuff like that. The Trump administration’s [economic] agenda is the right agenda. Corporate taxes have been driving capital and brains and companies overseas for a decade. It has caused huge damage in investment and jobs and productivity. It was a mistake. We have to fix it. Counterintuitively, that usually helps middle-class wages, and lower-class wages, and job formation.

The second issue is regulation. If you talk to anyone involved in business — forget banks and big business — talk to small businesses — do it yourself, don’t ask me — they will tell you it’s crippling. Small-business formation is the lowest it has ever been in a recovery, and it’s really for two reasons. One is regulations and the second is access to capital for people starting new businesses.

Then there is infrastructure. You might be shocked to find out, we haven’t built a major airport for 20 years. China built 75 in the past 10 years. It takes 10 years to get all the permits to build a bridge today. Ten years? What happened to the good old can-do America? Where is “We get it done, we work together”? We’ve become this bureaucratic, stifling environment. I’m not talking about violating environmental things — I’m talking about building a bridge, getting things going, getting people to work together. Even some of my friends noticed there was a bridge in Cambridge being built across the Charles River. It was a teeny little bridge. It took six years. Don’t tell me that’s not corruption. I don’t care what you say — that’s corruption.

More from Matt Turner:

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