Common Sense Political Economics

"If you laid all of the (PhD) economists end to end, to tell you which way to go, they would look like the spokes of a wheel."

Harry Truman

Monthly Archives: August 2015

Back on July 31st. I wrote a blog entitled “Why Trump is so popular”. Now, because of what just happened in Boston,

I need to preface my comments today by repeating that Blog.  Please bare with me and read it again:

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In thinking about Trump’s phenomenal popularity, I could not help but notice the similarity between what Trump is saying and what Hitler said.
Trump says “I will make the country great again”.
That is basically what Hitler told the Germans.

In other words, it is really not so much what Trump says, that makes him popular, as it is the manner in which he says it. And there is a  hunger in the land that feeds on it. If Trump said the kinds of things he is now saying back when the economy was good, people wouldn’t give him the “time of day”. They would laugh him off of the stage.
What do I mean?

See the similarities: Germany was suffering under a long term economic recession (just like we are) and the Germans were sick and tired of it (just like we are). So when a bombastic little man came along promising to make Germany “great again”, the people were so hungry for that message that they embraced Hitler. They did not stop to think too much about whether Hitler was sane, or whether he made sense. They were desperate for strong leadership of any kind. Trump is bombastic too, and promising strong leadership and we also are desperate for strong leadership as well.

A member of my family has been apolitical all his life. He is in his late 30’s and has never wanted to discuss politics. But he just shocked me recently by saying that he is going to support Trump. I asked why. He said because Trump speaks his mind and is not wishy-washy like all of the other politicians. That is true, and it was also true for Hitler.

Hitler was a megalomaniac and so is Trump.

Lots of similarities, don’t you think?

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Now keep the above thoughts in mind as you read this from the New York times by Alan Rappeport Aug. 20th.’15.

After a Hispanic man was beaten Wednesday by two Boston men, one of whom told the police that he was inspired by Donald J. Trump’s anti-immigrant message, Mr. Trump told reporters that his supporters were “passionate.”

Two brothers from South Boston were arrested and charged with beating the 58-year-old Hispanic man, who is homeless, with a metal pole, breaking his nose and battering his chest and arms, The Boston Globe reported.

“Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported,” the police said one of the brothers, Scott Leader, 38, told them. His brother, Steve Leader, 30, was also charged in the beating, the police said.

Told of the attack, which also left the man soaked in urine, Mr. Trump said at a news conference late Wednesday that it was the first he had heard of it.

“It would be a shame,” Mr. Trump said, before adding: “I will say that people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate.”

The episode is not the first time that Mr. Trump’s inflammatory comments have been cited in connection with violence.

Following his public feud after the Republican presidential debate with Megyn Kelly, the Fox News anchor, she received death threats from Mr. Trump’s fans and the cable network provided her with additional security.

Mr. Trump brushed off the idea that his supporters were crossing the line.

“I’m sure they don’t mean that,” he said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “I had heard that had happened. But I have gained such respect for the people that like me and respect me and that like my views, it’s incredible.”

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In my opinion, what is incredible is that Trump in no way apologized, and thereby encouraged that kind of behavior.

If you haven’t forgotten your history, in 1938 some of Hitler’s “brown shirt” thugs went around breaking the windows

of Jewish owned businesses and beating up the Jews. It was called Kristallnacht, for all of the broken glass.

Trump is doing the same thing that Hitler did; by scapegoating a minority race, they unify the frustrated majority

race to support them.

See the similarity again? I rest my case.

This is not in anyway funny.

In the recent Republican debate, a billionaire told the country the truth for the first time. Namely that money does absolutely control politics. But for me, the fact that it does, was not the most important historical event.

What made history for me is the fact that nobody gasped. None of the other candidates said a word in objection;  none of the Fox moderators made a big deal of it and no one among the thousands in the audience gasped either.

You all know the story of the frog in hot water. If you drop a frog into boiling water it will immediately jump out. But if you put the frog into a pot of cold water and very slowly increase the temperature, it will eventually die from the heat.

That is what has happened to the American public. Rumors of $ buying politicians has slowly increased to the point where we now take it for granted.

THAT WE TAKE IT FOR GRANTED, IS WHAT IS HISTORICAL. We have slowly segued from a democracy into the very hot water of an oligarchy.

From COUNTERPUNCH.org, dated 8/7/15,  Trump’s Triumph: Billionaire Blowhard Exposes Fake Political System by Mike Whitney:

Last night’s FOX News GOP Presidential Debate Extravaganza featured the most riveting two minute political exchange EVER heard on national television. During a brief colloquy between Republican frontrunner Donald Trump and Fox moderator Brett Baier, the pugnacious casino magnate revealed the appalling truth about the American political system, that the big money guys like Trump own the whole crooked contraption lock, stock, and barrel, and that the nation’s fake political leaders do whatever they’re told to do. Without question, it was most illuminating commentary to ever cross the airwaves. Here’s the entire exchange direct from the transcript:

FOX News Brett Baier (talking to Trump): “Now, 15 years ago, you called yourself a liberal on health care. You were for a single-payer system, a Canadian-style system. Why were you for that then and why aren’t you for it now?”

TRUMP: “As far as single payer, it works in Canada. It works incredibly well in Scotland. It could have worked in a different age, which is the age you’re talking about here. What I’d like to see is a private system without the artificial lines around every state. I have a big company with thousands and thousands of employees. And if I’m negotiating in New York or in New Jersey or in California, I have like one bidder. Nobody can bid. You know why? Because the insurance companies are making a fortune because they have control of the politicians, of course, with the exception of the politicians on this stage. (uneasy laughter) But they have total control of the politicians. They’re making a fortune.”

BAIER: “Mr. Trump, it’s not just your past support for single-payer health care. You’ve also supported a host of other liberal policies….You’ve also donated to several Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton included, and Nancy Pelosi. You explained away those donations saying you did that to get business-related favors. And you said recently, quote, “When you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do.”

TRUMP: “You’d better believe it.”

BAIER: “They do?”

TRUMP: “If I ask them, if I need them, you know, most of the people on this stage I’ve given to, just so you understand, a lot of money.”

TRUMP: “I will tell you that our system is broken. I gave to many people, before this, before two months ago, I was a businessman. I give to everybody (ALL POLITICIANS). When they call, I give. And do you know what? When I need something from them two years later, three years later, I call them, they are there for me. And that’s a broken system.”

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: “What did you get from Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi?”

TRUMP: “Well, I’ll tell you what, with Hillary Clinton, I said be at my wedding and she came to my wedding. You know why? SHE DIDN’T HAVE A CHOICE BECAUSE I GAVE. I gave to a foundation that, frankly, that foundation is supposed to do good. I didn’t know her money would be used on private jets going all over the world. It was.”

BAIER: “Hold on…..We’re going to — we’re going to move on.” (Transcript: Read the Full Text of the Primetime Republican Debate, Time)

There it is, two glorious minutes of pure, unalloyed truth on national television. How often does that happen?

How often does a fatcat billionaire-insider appear on TV and announce that the whole system is a big-fat scam run by crooks and patsies?

God bless America if we don’t get the $ out of politics!

Donald Trump has a net worth of $5.5 billion according to Forbes Magazine. (He lies when he says it’s $10 billion.)

Hillary Clinton’s net worth is about $22million.

Jeb Bush’s is about $20million.

But Bernie Sanders has a net worth of only $350 thousand.
A net worth of $350 thousand in America today is almost nothing.

That net worth disparity got me to thinking about it over the course of history.

I did a little research and googled the net worth of a few notable folks.

A Jew by the name of Mr. Jesus Christ had a net worth of $zero. Well not exactly true. He did own a loin cloth and sandals. (Don’t know their value back then).

Mr. Mahatma Gandhi had a net worth of $zero. Well that’s not exactly true either, he owned a pair of glasses and his sandals.

Mother Teresa had no net worth.

Martin L. King had very little net worth.

Nelson Mandela did not even own his prison clothes.

And now comes another Jewish man, Bernie Sanders, who has obviously not been greedily going about the business of enriching himself all his life.

No, he’s been busy trying to enrich us, the people.

Funny, nobody remembers the names of billionaires of the past (unless they gave a lot to charity), but everyone remembers the names of the people who cared about the poor and disadvantaged.

I’m quite sure that Republican John Kasich is correct when he said “When you get to the pearly gates, St. Peter is only going to ask you one question, namely, What did you do during your lifetime to help the poor and disadvantaged?”
AND WE ALL BETTER HAVE A GOOD ANSWER READY.

Bernie Sanders does!

That is a summary of my feelings after watching the Republican debate last night.

So I just have to inject a little Common Sense Political Economics here.

We are still in the greatest recession since the 1930’s.
Just because the “official” unemployment rate is under 6%, and the stock market has gone up, the upper class seems to think that all is well again.
(Many analysts think that the market has gone up too much and that the bubble will burst fairly soon.) Things are only “well again” for the rich.

They are out of touch with reality. If you include the people who have given up even trying to find a job (because of the length of the recession) plus those working at very low level jobs to make ends meet (like college graduates working as clerks at Starbucks), the REAL unemployment rate is more like 11%. That amounts to about 13,600,000 people. Can you imagine how much better off the whole country would be if ALL of those folks had productive good paying jobs?

Clearly, the most important thing the government can do now (and should have been doing since the crash in 2007) is to help create those jobs. And that is easy to do. All we have to do is start repairing our infrastructure, which went into a state of disrepair due to spending trillions on the phony war in Iraq. And we need to build the new “green” energy infrastructure in a big way. And no candidate even mentioned climate change or how green energy is the only solution to it.

NOT ONE OF THE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES addressed these MOST important issues, nor were they even brought up by the Fox moderators.

Can you imagine how a poor family living from pay check to pay check felt watching this circus? All that the candidates talked about was:

(1) Abortion

(2) Poor Mexicans coming here for work part of the year. Trump said that the Mexican government was SENDING poor Mexicans here. There is absolutely no evidence that that is true. Rubio is the son of immigrants, yet he seems to be against any other Hispanic immigrants coming in.

(3) Reducing taxes on the rich. (We really need to increase them.)

(4) Needing to increase the military. (We already are spending more than
all the other industrialized countries COMBINED. (The Navy wants more nuclear submarines. ISIS doesn’t even have a row boat.)

(5) Reducing Social Security (It needs to be raised a tad).

(6) God. What does God have to do with government policy?
PLEASE, keep your religion out of it.

But I have to say: What would a Lincoln or a Franklin Roosevelt think of these candidates?
I am sure they would say: God bless America if one of these clowns gets elected President.

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