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Sunday, December 11, 2016

Has America been Trumped by Trumpery(see Webster)

     Has America been Trumped by Trumpery (see Webster)

     After 70 years of life, having lived thru the Cuban Missile Crisis, thirteen years in the Army and having been on the East German border looking at their guards who were looking back at us. I never worried about building a bomb shelter or the dangers of a nuclear war. However in view of the election I hope I have 70 days to get my bomb shelter built and stocked. Well I guess it is time to get started on it anyhow.

     The system is broken.  Of course it may have always been broken.  It just took us this long to figure it out. We have just elected an apolitical (meaning non-political) person to the Presidency. One thing that has become evident the Electoral College needs to go. There may have been a need for it when it took more than a month to cross the country from coast to coast.  That is not the case in this day and age of instant communication. There is absolutely no use for it other than putting someone in office that the majority did not vote for. Some argue that it keeps the big states from pushing their will down the little states throat, but that is why we have a House of Representatives and a Senate to balance that issue out. Getting rid of the Electoral College will make it feasible for people to start other parties, which will create a more pluralistic government.  It will make the popular vote important and make every vote count.

   I have never seen, or at least don’t remember a President Elect ever stirring up the system the way Trump has.  His call with Taiwan may have put the entire Taiwan population of twenty four million people at risk.  China could make a point, by removing a thorn from their side before Trump ever takes office, by eliminating Taiwan from existence.  China has been pushing its military limits and may see an opportunity to solve one of their problems. Wars are good for the economy and China’s is shaky right now. It has worked for the U.S. since about 1990. People I talk to say that won’t happen. I hopefully agree with them, but World War I was started by one assassin shooting and Archduke and nations taking sides.

    Trump is also at odds with the CIA, which he will need when he takes power.  For being a conspiracy theory buff, he is not thinking this one out very well. At the time of the Kennedy assassination it was argued that Fidel Castro, the Mafia, or the CIA may have been involved. With Fidel gone the blame list will be a little shorter if something happens to him.

     Having still not shown his tax returns, and by his own admission having not paid any taxes in years.  He is making the case for being impeached before he even gets officially into office.  He is alienating the people he will have to depend on to pass any legislation to get the things done that he wants to get done.  Again he has not thought things out very well as the Republicans can make deals with the Democrats, who would be more than willing to see him gone. It could easily become another eight years of nothing getting done and his Presidency looking even worse than Obama’s.

      Trump’s let’s make a deal attitude may work against him in Washington.  It is easy to see his business interests becoming a major liability.  As much as the U.S. owes to China in bonds it could get really shaky if China decided to push back and cut off credit to the United States.  All they would lose is what they already have invested.  They certainly are not making any interest on the money they have invested here.  I have read several articles about China pushing to get other countries to drop the dollar as their reserve currency and let China fill that slot for them.  That could create a big crisis for America in a hurry.

      I kind of understand some of his cabinet choices.  Trump stands up for the underdogs and has empathy with the misfits which he has picked.  The choice of so many losers is one thing that has me puzzled though.  Especially his liking Gingrich, of course the capital gains deal Gingrich cut with Bill Clinton may have made him rich while it has bankrupted America.  Some his choices are definitely stirring things up and continuing his politics as usual by raising controversy anyway he can. He is not picking up new talent as he promised.  It is the same old bunch of faces.

     Ticking off members of the MIC (Military Industrial Complex) like Boeing and Lockheed will do nothing but create problems for Trump.  Most of the Congressmen in Washington have some industry or base in their home district and they are not going to endanger their comfort for the likes of Trump.  Their loyalty is to those who line their pockets and Trump is not on that list.  Our perpetual state of war is not accidental.  It is good for the economy, especially those who are part of the MIC.  Eisenhower warned us that the MIC was a danger to America.  They have made themselves indispensable, if bases start closing and factories quit producing the products the military needs the economy could shut down.  War is good for business.

    Recently I reread the book “1984” which used to be mandatory reading and was more or less dropped after 1984, but in reality it is right on the money for the world we live in today.  Even though it was written in 1949, it almost perfectly describes the digital world and the international politics as it stands today in the world we live in.  Another piece of art that was way ahead of its time and is right on the money for today is the 1975 movie “Rollerball.” It describes a world taken over by corporations and is centered round a futuristic version of roller derby.

     Trying to give Trump the benefit of the doubt based on what I have seen so far of his leadership has not impressed me. If he keeps stirring the pot at the rate he has been since the election, everything should be at a nice boil and ready to explode right after he takes office.  I guess I have rattled on long enough with my views on the matter.  It is time to cut this off and get back to researching the supplies I need for my bunker.  I am already down to 41 days and I have not even made a good start on it, but I do have a plan.

     Almost forgot.  With gas prices as low as they are which means demand worldwide is down and therefore a sign of a slowing economy.  My second sign is becoming kind of significant. Scrap metal prices are down.  Pop cans were over sixty cents a pound before the 08 crash.  They fell to about twenty cents a pound for a few years and slowly crawled back up to about sixty cents again.  However the price is back down to the high twenties and low thirties again.  That means construction is slowing down as the demand falls for the metals.  Living on Social Security and Disability every penny counts and the pennies are getting harder to come by.  I had a good second hand shop after my heart attack in 2004 till the economy crashed in 2008.  When the market crashed, business just dried up from 2008 till about 2014. It looked like it might come back, but early in 2016 it started slowing down again. As they say, The hand writing is on the wall.  From talking too many of my small business friends they agree the economy is starting down another hill.

      Based on Trump’s past business techniques of filing bankruptcy and dumping the load on those who do business with him, America may be in for a rough ride over the next few years.  Time will tell the tale.

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