Diary

Debt, Immigration, Trump and Apple

This nation is in denial that we have a debt problem and an immigration problem.  Both of these issues are at their zenith in our short history.  Politicians in both parties are in the main ignoring these issues and kicking responsibility to future generations.

Our Federal government is spending other people’s money faster than collecting it.  Much faster.  And we are taking other people’s money and then giving it to anyone who asks, but especially to people who are not putting their own money in.  In Cyprus, followed by Greece, once the governments have run out of other people’s money, they have given a “haircut” to bank deposits, once again taking other people’s money that they promised they would not take.

The people of the world right now who have something to lose are moving their money around so as not to give it to someone else.  The people who have no money are divided into two camps.  One camp works their whole life, saves their money, and wants to use it to take care of themselves and their family when they get older.  The other camp wants to take other people’s money and continue to take it when they get older, spending it on themselves and maybe others or not.

Any business that can afford it in the United States is offshoring, outsourcing, and moving their primary operations to tax havens.  Shareholders are placing intense pressure on companies to do this, for many reasons, but the central premise is that if they do so, shareholders will make more money and have less of it they are mandated to give to others.  Many people whine and moan that capitalists don’t care about others, but if 50% of your income is simply given to someone who produces no societal benefit, why bother?

The core anger I and many others feel is not a loss of a sense of morality and compassion related to foreigners.  We are all foreigners at some point.  The core anger I feel is toward the profligate spending and pandering of our government that is thrown out the window and will bankrupt my children’s and grandchildren’s future.  Anyone with significant assets will be fine as they will move those assets to a haven prior to any “haircuts” while I will be the sucker that the FDIC informs in legalese paid for at $400/hr which politely informs me that there is an exception in coverage in an emergency.  Sorry about that, you will just have to make do.

Apple Computer just achieved the highest valuation in recorded history.  Publicly, they abhor child labor.  And yet, they outsource hardware manufacturing to a country where there is an epidemic of child labor and everyone’s dirty little secret is that the Chinese government does not really care all that much about it.  Apple is hip, cool, progressive, etc.  Yet they are one of the many technical companies that don’t really give to the working class of the United States in terms of opportunity for growth or restoration of our manufacturing base.

Donald Trump is tapping into some deep-seated beliefs and truths.  Whatever you might think about him, he has employed many working-class citizens and in the real-estate and service industry, much of his life has been spent encouraging the exceptionalism of the United States.  He has publicly been giving back to people and even though his ego is huge, you can tell that he loves his country and would be more than mildly surprised at the behavior of CEO’s like Tim Cook who are contributing to the statistic that only 43% of youth aged 13-18 are proud to be an American.

One of my sons, who is just reaching adolescence, asked me rather innocently the other day: “Dad, if teachers have to drive themselves to work, how come politicians like Hillary Clinton have people drive them at taxpayer expense?  Is what they do so much more important?”  We have become so used to our political-class living off of us that it isn’t even a point of controversy anymore.  The issue is as much why Hillary Clinton can’t be bothered to drive as it is that she hasn’t since 1994.

I hear many of us worried about the effect of Trump on the nomination process.  I say that we so desperately need him it is deadly serious.  Though I detest President’s Obama’s policies and his personality, I actually came to believe he would do better with economics than [mc_name name=”Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)” chamber=”senate” mcid=”M000303″ ].  I have never heard from a more clueless human being on basic economic policies, or at least that is how he came across.

Mexico loves the United States.  We have NAFTA, we allow anyone in and we allow them to send U.S. currency to Mexico to clothe, feed and support millions of families.  My issue with that, legalities aside, is that we are spending so irresponsibly that in the future I will not be able to feed myself or my own family.  Sorry, but my family’s survival comes first.

The reason the wealthy are not worried is because they can afford to move their money abroad and are allowed to do so.  Free Trade is one example of a hypocritical policy that allows one with means to avoid consequence for spending other people’s money beyond their means.  If you want a lesson in jaw-dropping hypocrisy, inquire into the size of the paycheck Jeffrey Immelt will be receiving for his Social Security check as a result of sending U.S. jobs overseas.  It isn’t about me not being a good Capitalist, but about rules where my money will be seized in the future while his will not.  All I am, and anyone else is, asking for is a level playing field.

The playing field is severely uneven and we are attempting at the Federal level to make it more so.  Then when politicians enter Washington and they are told “the secret” that you either have to get enough to get out or you will end up getting wiped out with the rest of your constituency, then many of them are immediately cashing out and remaining silent.  Or worse, putting on a circus for the rest of us great unwashed.

If we had poorer politicians, we would find ourselves with much better legislation.  But their self-raises have come so often and they have so enamored themselves with the financing that we have lost our way.  If we even had politicians who had to live where they affect lives including their own, things would be different.  But we have come to the point where the voters are scared and told that business as usual is the course.

I say please let Trump on stage and let him tell truths, make a fool of himself, but force others to co-opt him.  And then let’s get someone elected who will fight because they are too stubborn to cave.  Amen.