Diary

Chicken Little Meets Group Think

And it’s fun to watch. And yes, a little depressing.

The deep thinkers are writing off Herman Cain. The serious journalists look into their crystals and “report” that the Cain train is a wreck. Lovers of inside baseball carefully analyse each mis-step.

For part of my life I have been a financial advisor, a stock broker for 27 years and now an independant. Before that a broadcast and print reporter.

That experience tells me that most people are comfortable in a herd. Most people are comfortable by thinking pretty much what their herd/tribe thinks. People like Warren Buffett know this and make a lot of money because they know it and more importantly act contra to it.

Back in the 1950’s the late John Templeton looked at recently defeated Japan and saw vast opportunity. In the early ’90’s when Bill Clinton, among others, was touting “the Japanese model” Mr Templeton had already concluded that Japan was now a bad place to invest. It was the US now, he concluded, and he was right. Bill Clinton like virtually all politicians wasn’t competent to judge so-call economic models. He merely repeated the popular wisdom or group think.

When I first joined E.F. Hutton in 1979 oil and gold were the investments everyone wanted. Smart securities analysts predicted oil prices would rise indefinitely. If an investor acted on this as many did they lost money. Oil tanked. (Bill Clinton reaped the benefit as oil went way down while he was in office.) If one purchased gold in this period they’ve waited three decades to get their money back. Actually, inflation adjusted, they’re still losers.

Acting contra the herd is a well known and well proven strategy for investors. If you think (ooooh, think..that hurts) about it so-called “buying low” depends on that particular investment being out of favor and this lack of demand makes it cheap.

Then there’s the chicken little aspect: fear. The current stock market is a chicken little affair. The Greeks are going to vote; the market slides. The Greeks are not going to vote; up we go. Chicken littles soothe their fears by acting on herd instinct. The so-called serious journalists overlay group think with a very thin veneer they call  analysis. Thus naked herd instinct becomes respectable, for awhile at least.

Today the chicken little/group think wisdom regards Herman Cain is simply that his time on stage is over. Nebulous accusations are now routinely called a “scandal” Cain has consistently denied any sexual harassment. He hasn’t wavered. Yet he is accused of lying. Why? Because the NRA made deals and paid money to at least two women. So it’s really no longer about sexual harassment it’s about something else and of course this game can be played ad infinitum.

The chicken littles among us know this and are deeply concerned if not terrified. Deep thinkers like Dana Milbank predict that this is it. It’s over. And remember Milbank works for the WaPo. He must know. Right?

All of this is very convenient for the White House because this flight into National Enquirier land keeps the spot light off the vast failures of  left/liberal/progressive/Marxist/socialist group think. The group think so entrenched in government, the academy and MSM that it is regarded as holy writ.

It’s been coming apart for sometime, but the dynamics of the free market and human talent have stayed ahead of the problems. No longer. We’ve come to a time when the admitted debt of the US now equals GDP. We’ve come to a time when a third-rate country can hold the so-called Euro-Zone hostage. We’ve come to a time when boarding an airplane takes much longer because looking for the logical suspects is something called profiling. We’ve come to a time when federal and state income taxes, state and local sales taxes, property taxes, telephone taxes, corporate taxes, booze taxes, tobacco taxes and myriad hidden taxes aren’t enough. The Democrats can say with a straight face that the government needs more revenue. Among the chicken-little elite the need for more revenue is dogma.

Herman Cain, in my opinion, bids fair to be much better at starting to solve these problems than any recent WH occupant. His record of success is there for all to see including as I have posted a record of dealing with the disadvantages imposed on his race by Jim Crow. But Dave he’s accused of sexual somethings or others. That scares me. Everybody who knows anything says it’s bad. Really bad.

I don’t agree. I believe Herman Cain’s history shows he’s made of stern stuff. And at this juncture stern stuff is required. I also don’t give a tinkers damn about the substance, if any, of whatever the hell these assertions amount to. If he did indeed; no I’m not going there. That’s empty speculation.

I do agree the Cain Train might want to be more coherent, but let’s remember he hasn’t waffled a wit on the main point. If someone come forth with a face and a name she’ll get a hearing. But it’s not up to Cain to bring her/them forward. If she/they do speak openly it had better be very credible and truly repugnant or you know what? I don’t care. It’s not on point to the problems we face.