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THE PREMISE

Newsmakers

ARCHIVE - SEPTEMBER 2016

Issues, News & Views

Who will be the
2016 candidates
for President of
the United States?


Republicans


DONALD TRUMP??

Donald Trump has come out
of nowhere and stolen the
show. He seems to have
captured the zeitgeist, the
spirit of the times. Can it last?



Who, from among this
strong, diverse field , will
emerge victorious to return
the GOP to the White
House?

COMPETITORS
With the inept Obama
Administration in its final
days, one would have
expected that experienced
governors with a record
of accomplishment would
dominate the Race 2 Replace
but outsiders and novices
Trump, Carson and Fiorina
are in the hunt! Seasoned
executives for sure, but
not the ones the beltway
had in mind!


Democrats


BERNIE SANDERS??

The creaky, rusty Clinton
machine grinds slowly
onward, wayward, relying
solely on muscle memory
for movement. Will
Democrats suddenly rise
from their slumber to the
realization she cannot win a
General Election?



Is Hillary a foregone
conclusion, or will
someone else swoop in and
steal the show?


COMPETITORS
Folks on the right can barely
contain their joy at the
prospect of a Clinton
candidacy. Shouldn't that
give pause to the Democrats?
Biden and Warren are both
better candidates and better
Democrats than Clinton, but
aren't even in the race. And
then there are O'Malley and
Sanders, again, both better
Democrats and better
candidates. Yet the Dems
seem intent on following
Clinton in a lemming-like
charge over the cliff.

THE TANGLED WEB WE WEAVE…

2016/09/29 - One of the worst things about Big Government is the tangled web it weaves, in which just about everything gets ensnared and entangled, including, ultimately, itself.

A couple of dozen years ago some sovereign European nations got together to create a European super-state, the European Union (EU), or perhaps the European Monstrosity (EM), depending on how you see things. Now for those of who thought Europe had already been over-governed, this seemed like the spread of the disease, rather than the application of a cure.

We would have argued, for example, that splitting Belgium in two and ceding the southern half to France, and the northern half, along with Luxembourg, to the Netherlands, would have streamlined that part of Europe making it more simple, efficient and effective. But they chose Statism, which is never a good choice. They are of course free to choose, even to choose poorly, which indeed they did, but that’s their business.

So then there’s Ireland, which also chose, freely and poorly, to join the European Monstrosity. Ireland has actually done quite well in the European Monstrosity, leveraging its pro-business culture to attract investment and build probably the most dynamic free-market economy in Europe, allowing it to make major gains and close the gap on its EM siblings.

But the European Monstrosity will have no such thing. A dynamic, business-friendly, free-market economy? How dare they!! The damn Irish! Unacceptable. So last month, on August 30th, the EM decreed to the allegedly sovereign state of Ireland that they were undercharging for taxes, and ordered the Irish to collect $14.5 billion from Apple.

Welcome to the European Monstrosity. Message to Ireland: make your fiscal policies conform to our constricting, asphyxiating regime. Irexit, anyone?

Naturally the implications are far-reaching. Now every government in Europe, and every company operating in Europe, has to wonder where they stand on taxes, if the EM can retroactively and unilaterally over-rule sovereign tax law. Businesses hate uncertainty, and autocratic government create uncertainly. So business investment become even more sluggish and the economy will flounder even more. Job creation will stagnate. And social unrest will grow and spread. The opposite of Ireland’s economic model.

But back to Apple. Naturally, the Silicon Valley tech giants who rule the Obama Administration were not going to take this lying down. So, a couple of weeks later, a couple of weeks ago, on September 16, the United States Department of Justice announced a fine against Deutsche Bank for its involvement in the mortgage meltdown, a fine of - congratulations, you guessed it! - $14 billion.

That’s a problem, because Deutsche Bank does not have anywhere close to $14 billion kicking around, so a fine of that magnitude could put them on a path to bankruptcy. Now, if you begin to doubt the solvency of your bank, you race to the ATM to pull your money before anyone else does - it’s what you do. You don’t want to end up like the Hedge Funds that were left holding the bad because they were to slow to pull their money from Lehman before it went down. Today rumors began to surface that some Hedge Funds had begun pulling money from Deutsche. DB stock tumbled 7% on the rumors, and fears of systemic risk to the financial system took the Dow Jones down over 200 points.

In order to avoid a Lehmanesque déjà vu all-over-again global financial meltdown the German government will probably end up bailing out DB to the tune of - yup - $14 billion.

Follow the money: EM steals $14B from AAPL, uses the money to bail out DB, which in turn uses the money to pay a fine to the US. So in effect Apple pays the fine for Deutsche’s mortgage malfeasance.

Apple for heaven’s sake! Does that make any sense at all? Well that’s Big Government for you. Rewards and incentives, and fines and penalties, become distorted. And with perverted outcomes come decisions and actions that are no longer economically optimal. The economy suffers, and the people suffer.

My guess is that the Germans saw the DB fine coming, and being better at execution than the Obama Clown Club, pulled the trigger on Apple first in order to make the US look like we were retaliating against the EU, rather than the EU retaliating against the US.

We could leave it at that, but won’t. This kerfuffle should serve as a lesson regarding trade wars. Trade wars can get very ugly, and do a lot of collateral damage to people who have nothing to do with the dispute. AAPL barely existed at the time DB was screwing up mortgages, never mind have anything to do with it. How did they end up paying DB’s fine? Well, that’s exactly what happens in a trade war – if we take action, our target’s citizens will force there politicians to retaliate and to do so disproportionately and indiscriminately.

Donald Trump is right when he says we must negotiate better trade deals. The ego of a globalist like Obama loves the limelight that comes with announcing major international treaties and agreements. Announcing a deal, the Obama name in the headlines, the Obama signing ceremony, accolades from other globalists like Kerry and Soros and Zandi, and best of all, having the agreement named after you - the Obama Pacific Partnership - this is what an elitist/globalist lives for. The substance and outcomes of the deal are irrelevant, only the creation of the deal matters. You join the pantheon of history’s great global statesman.

Yes, Trump is right, we need to negotiate better deals, deals that substantially serve America’s interests, not just the egos of elitist/globalists. But everyone loses in a trade war. Yes, you could define “winning” as losing less worse than the other guy, but I won’t. “You should see the other guy” doesn’t cut it here.




Analysis


September 27, 2016 - Ahh, the Debate of the Ages, Trump v. Clinton. So, who won? Well, to paraphrase an old - seventy-year-old - sage, "it depends upon what your definition of 'won' is".

If you were looking for a well-rehearsed, inside-the-box, check-the-box, cardboard, fact-regurgitation performance that ought to come easily for a bureaucrat holed up in the corridors of power for the last 40+ years, Jaillary was the winner. Clearly. As expected.

But that's not what the undecideds are looking for. If you are happy with the state and direction of America then you have probably already decided to support Clinton; if not, Trump successfully reminded you that Clinton and her ilk are the problem, not the solution.

By continually reminding us of Trump's inexperience, she was losing people Trump needs to win: the people who see Trump's political inexperience not as a liability, but as an asset, as refreshing, a beacon of hope.

Trump played the same card, winning the people he needed to win: the people who don't want yet another phony politician.

Clinton won the pundits; Trump won the voters. So who really won? Well, depends on what your definition of "won" is...



September 10, 2016 - OH NO!!! Did cringe-worthy Clinton just give away the election?

It may be one of the dumbest things ever said. Last night at a glitzy GBLT fundraiser in New York City Hillary Clinton called half of Trump's supporters a "basket of deplorables".

Actually, it was worse. She referred to them as "what I call the basket of deplorables". So no, it wasn't just a slip of the tongue, it is how she actually thinks of half of Trumps supporters on an ongoing basis.

But, egged on by the crowd, she dug deeper: "they are irredeemable". Keep digging.

The problem for the Democrats is that these "irredeemable deplorables" - the white working class - are the backbone of the Democrat Party. And she just gave them to Donald Trump. For free.

There are going to be a lot of traditional Democrat voters with a serious chip on their collective shoulder come November, in battleground states in the Midwest where the Democrats have no room for error. Not to mention crucial down-ballot races for the United States Senate.

It is hard to predict what the impact of this blunder will be on the election(s!), but if rust-belt Republicans are looking for a rallying cry, they have one now.


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