Saturday, January 30, 2016

Donald Trump: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

For the record, I Stand With Rand and will vote for him in the primary.  However, on some level I'm not the least bit perplexed by the meteoric rise of Donald Trump. The fact that a boisterous and even arrogant billionaire is romancing and captivating the hearts and minds ordinary working stiffs who are far removed from his glamorous world of power and privilege may be difficult to fathom but Trump and his 'in your face' style is making it happen.

Michael Scheuer, a foreign policy advisor to the Ron Paul campaign and a former CIA intelligence officer who penned the piece for Time Magazine in the above photo cover, wrote "If you want to understand what is happening in the country right now, to get at its shifting id, its calcifying frustrations, its guttural demand for change, need only listen to that message of disgust, for the political system, its falsehoods and failures, which has taken Trump to the top of the Republican polls."

Tucker Carlson, a libertarian leaning conservative bluntly blamed the Republican Party and its elites for the rise of Trump in a scathing piece titled Donald Trump Is Shocking, Vulgar and RightAnd, my dear fellow Republicans, he's all your fault

He Exists Because You Failed....

Conservative voters are being scolded for supporting a candidate they consider conservative because it would be bad for conservatism? And by the way, the people doing the scolding? They’re the ones who’ve been advocating for open borders, and nation-building in countries whose populations hate us, and trade deals that eliminated jobs while enriching their donors, all while implicitly mocking the base for its worries about abortion and gay marriage and the pace of demographic change. Now they’re telling their voters to shut up and obey, and if they don’t, they’re liberal. It turns out the GOP wasn’t simply out of touch with its voters; the party had no idea who its voters were or what they believed. For decades, party leaders and intellectuals imagined that most Republicans were broadly libertarian on economics and basically neoconservative on foreign policy. That may sound absurd now, after Trump has attacked nearly the entire Republican catechism (he savaged the Iraq War and hedge fund managers in the same debate) and been greatly rewarded for it, but that was the assumption the GOP brain trust operated under....

If you live in an affluent ZIP code, it’s hard to see a downside to mass low-wage immigration. Your kids don’t go to public school. You don’t take the bus or use the emergency room for health care. No immigrant is competing for your job. (The day Hondurans start getting hired as green energy lobbyists is the day my neighbors become nativists.) Plus, you get cheap servants, and get to feel welcoming and virtuous while paying them less per hour than your kids make at a summer job on Nantucket.


Foreign Policy

Trump is not a neocon; in fact the neocons hate his guts.  He's on record opposing the Iraq War and way back when Bush started the damn war.  Trump opposed the Iraq War when it was popular and long before the horrors of Abu Ghraib emerged.  The US government was running a brutal torture operation in Iraq.

Not only is Trump on record opposing the Iraq War, during a GOP debate he blasted the Iraq War, its cost and the horrid damage to the Middle East: 
"We've spent $4 trillion trying to topple various people that, frankly, if they were there and if we could have spent that $4 trillion in the United States to fix our roads, our bridges, and all of the other problems — our airports and all the other problems we have — we would have been a lot better off, I can tell you that right now.

We have done a tremendous disservice not only to the Middle East — we've done a tremendous disservice to humanity. The people that have been killed, the people that have been wiped away — and for what? It's not like we had victory. It's a mess. The Middle East is totally destabilized, a total and complete mess. I wish we had the 4 trillion dollars or 5 trillion dollars. I wish it were spent right here in the United States on schools, hospitals, roads, airports, and everything else that are all falling apart!"

For a Republican candidate to make such an anti-war statement during a Republican primary debate is no less than astounding but what is even more astounding is that his remark didn't hurt him in the least and he continued to rise in the polls despite the consternation of the neocons.  I remember when Ron Paul got dissed in a South Carolina debate for suggesting that America follow the Golden Rule on foreign policy.  He got booed.  But the times they are a changing!  Even Republican voters seem to have finally lost their appetite for never ending wars.  Trump doesn't suffer in the polls when he attacks US foreign policy and on GOP sacred turf no less.

Trump has been vocal on other issues.

TPP and Trade Agreements America's nasty job destroying trade agreements that began with NAFTA and are now ballooning have decimated US manufacturing and those good paying middle class jobs. Trump is on record vociferously opposing these trade deals.  Trump said "I am all for free trade, but it's got to be fair" and the "TPP is a horrible deal; no one has read its 5,600 pages".  For more on Trump and the trade agreements, see Donald Trump on Free Trade.

Immigration: Trump has raised the issue of immigration.  America keeps getting flooded with low wage immigrants and many of them are taking jobs from Americans who are actually getting fired and replaced with cheap labor.  Moreover, many of those comprising the 'cheap labor' are in fact so impoverished by low wages that they are entitlement dependent.  I blogged about the immigration issue in depth - Let's Talk IMMIGRATION.

Vaccines I personally oppose forced vaccinations and do share Trump's concerns over their safety. Trump has stated that vaccines cause Autism, here, and there is ample evidence to support his assertion. Trump obviously isn't owned by Big Pharm who peddles poison.

GMO It's not clear where Trump stands on the issue of Monsanto, GMO and food labeling but he tweeted back in October a statement that fired up the food labeling, anti-GMO and anti-Monsanto folks with  "#BenCarson is now leading in #polls in #Iowa.  Too much #Monsanto in the #corn creates issues in the brain?".  The tweet was perceived as so outrageous and insulting to Iowans that Trump withdrew it and blamed it on an intern.  Since that tweet,  Trump has opted to avoid the issue, something he does on issues that can backfire and hurt him.

Trump has the uncanny ability to market himself on a platform of a rising populism as if he's screaming to the folks "Hell yeah, I'm one of you and I'm on your side".  In fact, it's fair to say that Trump has definitely brought populism back into politics after a long absence.  Voters are so damn angry at their party elites that their political masters within the RNC and DNC machines are rapidly losing power, control and influence.  That's a good thing.


Nobody can really predict what Trump will or will not do. He's kind of a seat of the pants autocratic entrepreneur with a big ego and he relies on his gut instincts.  That personality trait is excellent when it comes to attacking his POTUS competition and dissing the GOP establishment but it really doesn't offer much in the way of what Trump would actually do if elected president.  However, America, it's economy and all its moving parts are hugely complex as well as deeply entrenched within systematic corruption and cronyism.

What is clearly evident is that folks are flocking to Trump because he isn't a traditional politician, he's never held elected office, he shoots from the hip and he's basically campaigning on "Trust me, I will make America great again".  That's quite a promise!


Trump sucks on civil liberties and clearly endorses Police State USA, the NSA, the National Security State and obscene 4th amendment shredding surveillance.  Unlike Rand Paul who considers civil liberties one of the core issues of his campaign, Trump just trumps civil liberties as an issue by ignoring it.

It's highly unlikely that there will be smaller government or less government spending under Trump.  He's promised a single payer healthcare system (no details) and he's also promised more defense spending and appears to want to build the military industrial complex into a bigger nightmare that it already is because Trump claims that a big bad military will keep the bad guys away through the power of intimidation.

BOTTOM LINE: Voting for Trump carries risk.  However, voting for the 'same old, same old' creeps who are proven to be wholly owned subsidiaries of corporatists, fascists, defense contractors and banksters, corporate welfare queens etc. is an even bigger risk because America's ship is sinking FAST, America's middle class is vanishing and the poor are getting poorer while the rich are getting richer. Obama was supposed to be the Man of Change in 2008 but he turned out to be a big fail.

It's not likely that Trump will perform miracles but it's entirely possible that Trump would work to end the wars, reign in the neocons, change foreign policy, nullify job destroying trade agreements, restore US manufacturing and improve the economy for the working class. That's a risk many believe is worth taking at the ballot box because if voters fail to act to change course, America's deterioration will only accelerate.

A McClatchy article summarized the mood of the American people in a piece titled America 2016: We’re mad as hell and not going to take it anymore

MARSHALLTOWN, IOWA Craig Ziemke has voted for Democrats all his life, including twice for President Barack Obama. Not this year. 
“The whole country is going to hell,” the 66-year-old retired factory worker said, standing against the bleachers at a high school gymnasium while waiting for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to arrive. Ziemke’s fury is deep: Roads and bridges in the U.S. are falling apart, jobs are scarce and the U.S. border is wide open, he says. 
 “We’re letting all these people into the country. No one even knows who the hell they are,” he said. “We don’t need any more Arabs. The United States, anymore, is just a dumping ground for everyone.” 
Ziemke plans to caucus for a Republican on Monday – and likely for Trump, “the only one with brains,” he said..... 
In interviews with dozens of voters in both parties, the driving motivation across the state is anger and uprising. They’re fed up with lawmakers in Washington, who seem to work two or three days a week and get little done aside from raising money to stay in office. They’re mad about stagnant wages, companies sending jobs overseas and terrorists sneaking in across the border.
And there you have it - the voice of the people and how they intend to use the power of their vote to effect change.  It's 2008 all over again except that the new man of HOPE and CHANGE is now Donald Trump.  Call it a wing and a prayer vote that Trump won't turn out to be another Obama or Bush.  I understand the desperation of the poor and middle class - they've been royally shafted by a system criminally stacked against them so firing somebody is all that they've got left.

Folks are taking their cues from Trump himself when it comes to the Republican and Democrat party elites.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


As a hot potato political issue, immigration ranks near the top of contentious issues. Immigration could even be the defining issue of the 2016 elections. Some folks just really, really hate all immigrants and demand that all of them be deported. I'm definitely not in that camp and I absolutely do subscribe to the view that nations benefit from immigration. Healthy immigration and sane immigration policies are a win-win for everybody.

Heck, America is a nation that was built by industrious and hardworking immigrants. I know how hard immigrants work because I've witnessed it up close and personal. Most immigrants are here because they want to work, they do work and Americans seems to have gotten lazy about working.

In my opinion, the immigrants who are here that are productively working should be legalized, given green cards and have the opportunity to apply for citizenship. They earned it and they deserve it. However, I draw the line at entitlement dependent immigrants. The immigrants who built America were not provided with food stamps, Medicaid cards and other entitlements. They asked for NOTHING, they GOT NOTHING and they toiled for long hours at nasty jobs. There are indeed immigrants in America who mooch of the taxpayers and the welfare system.

This is where the issues gets very ugly.  In the absence of truly free markets including labor markets, the corporatist-statist system is comprised of big companies who fill campaign coffers (bribe congress critters) in exchange for hoards of cheap foreign labor. These foreign labor pools are paid wages so low that most of them qualify for welfare.  Effectively, the current immigration system is a taxpayer subsidy to business because it's the taxpayers who are picking up the social costs of folks who literally earn slave wages.

Entitlement dependent immigrants are not the kind of immigrants that America needs or should want. There has been explosion in what has been termed the minimum wage economy. America has off-shored so much domestic manufacturing that once was the bedrock of a thriving middle class with decent wages that it's going to be a nightmare to rebuild the middle class and lift the poor out of poverty.

The problem is so bad that some US companies are firing American workers and replacing them with cheap foreign labor.  Disney fired American workers and forced them to train their foreign replacements.

Pink Slips at Disney. But First, Training Foreign Replacements.

Lawyer For Displaced Disney Workers: 1,200 American Workers In N.Y. Are Training Their Foreign Replacements

Stories like this are not unusual.  In fact, they are common place.

Government policies and the welfare state have made the problem far worse.  Any nation that treats its domestic labor like America treats its workers is doomed.  The open border folks literally have no problem with opening American borders to all 7 billion on the planet regardless of the damages inflicted by the welfare state and corporate welfare queens.

There is no way that America can even proceed with a sane discussion on immigration so long as the welfare state exists and the biggest beneficiary of the welfare state is corporate America.  They spend a ton of money lobbying to import millions of slave wage entitlement dependent folks. This isn't capitalism or free markets, it's a form industrial feudalism where the serfs are barely given subsistence level wages and are so impoverished that they must go begging to their feudal masters for food and necessities.

40% Of US Workers Now Earn Less Than 1968 Minimum Wage

Way back when the Congressional Gang of 8 was attempting to pass an open border immigration bill, open border Libertarians were wild about it. With Libertarian leaning think tanks like CATO advocating for legalizing all illegals and opening our borders to everybody to create a borderless nation, none of them ever take into account the gargantuan cost of the welfare entitlement state and subsidizing corporate profits.

Much has been written about the economic effect of open borders and the welfare state.  With hoards of low wage entitlement dependent folks, we increase the labor pool of tax consumers vs. tax contributors.  In other words, low wage immigrants consume more in benefits than they contribute to the economy and tax base.  A nation that is economically built upon such a system is destined to fail. The taxation and debt required to support such a system will implode.  It's already imploding.

Until the entitlement state is demolished, re-engineered and/or massively downsized, there is no way to separate honest hardworking immigrants from the moochers who come here to mooch and many of them are caught up in the spiral of low wage jobs and poverty - folks just trying to survive in a global economy that has turned against them.

Between the non-working folks on welfare and the working poor on welfare, America has morphed into a hideous industrialized feudalistic society consisting of the rich and the serfs who serve them.

Want wages to rise? Abolish the entitlements and force businesses to compete for unsubsidized labor in a free labor market. Maybe then we could talk about immigration.

Still, it makes no sense to flood America with tens of millions of immigrants when our own people are profoundly suffering from an economy that had hit the skids and put many Americans on skid row.

My immigration plan is simple: deport the entitlement dependent and keep those who work and demand nothing except the right to work.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The US Economy - The Mother of All Hot Button 2016 Election Issues and Why #Trump is Winning.

As an advocate for peace, liberty and prosperity, in that order because you can't have liberty without peace and you can't have prosperity without liberty, I'm shocked that so few American even care about such vitally important issues.  Sadly, the voting habits of the American people scream "I want more wars, more bankster power, more corruption, more military industrial complex, more prison industrial complex, more corporate welfare and more of the ongoing destruction of the 4th amendment and civil liberties".  But some folks seem to be waking up to various degrees and for the first time in a long time, Americans are scared enough to pay attention to some issues.

The economy sucks and largely because the US is an unfriendly place to do business; hence America is no longer a desirable place to park and utilize capital, the mothers milks of economic prosperity and free markets.  It doesn't matter if you are a small to medium business overrun with onerous regulations and taxes or a sole entrepreneur like Eric Garner who was choked to death by NYPD on a NY street while selling loose cigarettes (illegal in NYC). Every time a citizen does something to try and earn a living, the government goons are there to swoon down upon him like a bird of pray or to crucify work with taxes, regulations and even death.


The US has one of the highest corporate income tax rates in the industrialized world. Therefore, jump starting the economy requires some politically unpopular decisions like  ELIMINATING THE CORPORATE INCOME TAX.  Besides, there really is no such thing as a corporate tax because it's just an indirect consumer tax - as a cost of doing business the corporate tax is built into the price of goods and service.  Therefore, eliminating the corporate tax will indeed result in lower costs of American made goods and services.  The corporate tax is punitive, anti-business and is responsible for the off shoring of US manufacturing and the loss of millions of good paying jobs.

If you want to 'Make America Great Again', you have to make America a business friendly place.  I understand that such a proposition is offensive to some, especially those pickpockets who can't keep their grubby thieving fingers out of the pockets of individuals and businesses.  Freeing America and entrepreneurship from strangulation and oppression is the easiest and best method to achieve a goal that will restore middle class prosperity and lift the poor out of poverty.


But abolishing the corporate tax isn't the only thing that can be done to Make America A Great Place To Do Business,  Our criminal congress has actually passed laws encouraging US business to offshore by offering corporations lower tax rates if they earn their profits on foreign soil.  The US workers be damed!  The net result of this criminal congressional enterprise is that some $2 trillion in corporate profits are sitting in foreign banks and cannot be repatriated back to the US without a crushing tax liability.  US corporate profits should be repatriated back to America TAX FREE because trillions in capital would go a long way toward building or rebuilding businesses in America.

Combine tax free repatriation of trillions in corporate profits with a zero corporate tax rate and the US economy will be free to grow, restore prosperity and lift the poor out of crushing poverty.

Right now we've got the Democrats screaming for higher corporate taxes (the equivalent of higher costs for consumers and the loss of more jobs) and the Republicans are screaming for more corporatism and crony capitalism.

I don't know if Trump even understands the economy or what needs to be done but he definitely has built his campaign on the economy and nothing sings louder and clearer better than his MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN campaign slogan. It's simply brilliant in its simplicity.


Trump has raised the issue of immigration which is an important issue to many Americans because they know their wages aren't going up while the cheap labor lobby bribes congress critters to load America up with millions and millions of more cheap foreign laborers. Americans have seen their wages either plummet or go nowhere.  Even worse, many of those comprising the 'cheap foreign labor' pools are paid so little and are so poor that they qualify for welfare.  Entitlement dependent workers are a core attribute of globalization.  Corporations demand that TAXPAYERS pay the social costs of an employee and the welfare of the the poor working immigrants.

This is INSANE.  American workers are being fired and replaced with cheap entitlement dependent foreign workers but are sent the bill for their welfare.

I've heard many Libertarians literally scream for open borders and the free movement of labor but they could care less that their version of open borders is in fact statist, corporatist and actually encourages the growth of the welfare state and government power.

Solving the immigration problem starts with ending welfare for immigrants. I personally endorse deporting all welfare dependent immigrants.  We can't afford the welfare state for American citizens so extending it to encompass all imported foreign labor is fiscal and economic suicide.

America has always been a welcoming place for hardworking immigrants and that's something we should be proud of and continue but only so long as immigration benefits America, Americans and the immigrant. Neither Americans nor Trump are the evil zenophobes as portrayed by the corporatist paid political class and its lapdog media.


Trade agreements like NAFTA, TPP and TTIP are nothing but the corporatist takeover of the world's economy. These agreements are anti-free trade and requires that nations who are signatories to them relinquish significant national sovereignty.

NAFTA was a nightmare that was shoved down our throats by Bill Clinton and his Republican co-conspirators but the TPP and TTIP are NAFTA on steroids.

The Kleptocracy of Cannibal Crony Capitalism. Bill Clinton and his Republican NAFTA Baby Co-Conspirators

NAFTA resulted in the loss of millions of high paying US manufacturing jobs.

The TPP has been ferociously criticized by America's right and left because it creates tribunals controlled by multinational corporations that will have dictatorial powers over all trade.  National sovereignty will be rendered illegal.

TPP Secret Trade Agreement Puts International Tribunal Above U.S. Law

If these corporatist anti-free trade boondoggles are solidified into law, the takeover of the planet by big government and big corporations will be complete.  There are no voter referendums, just the sellout of national legislatures whose elected members have been bribed by corporations to pass these rotten economy killing deals.


The Competitive Enterprise Institute does an annual assessment on the economic cost of America's draconian regulatory state.
Regulation: The Hidden Tax....Based on the best available federal governmentdata, past reports, and contemporary studies, this report highlights estimated regulatory compliance and economic costs of $1.88 trillion annually.....Per employee regulatory costs for firms of fewer than 50 workers can be 29 percent greater than those for larger firms.....Societal regulatory costs amount to up to 29 percent of the typical household’s expenditure budget.
Read the entire well documented economy killing report here.

If America fails to reign in the regulatory state and the power of federal agencies, our economy is doomed.  Therefore, deregulation must be a top priority.  American businesses and entrepreneurs can't do business with a regulatory noose around their necks.


Trump isn't way ahead in the primaries because his ideas are so brilliant.  Besides, brilliant isn't something that Americans can grasp.  Americans know they are hurting, even if they can't fully comprehend why, and Trump understands this and is a master at capitalizing on the failures of the political class. Therein lies the genius of Trump.

Can Trump fix America, restore the prosperity of the middle class and raise the poor out of poverty? Well, the issue is so hugely complex that the simple answer is NO, nobody can, at least not singlehandedly.

What can Trump do?  Trump runs businesses, he build buildings and hires workers and has even had a popular TV reality show.  Generally, he's been very successful and has amassed a net worth in the billions from his entrepreneurial projects. The Trump name is so well known that it's legendary in America and globally.  But Trump's success with the voters isn't just his success; after all a lot of folks are successful and even more wealthy and successful than Trump.

Yes, Americans value the fact that Trump is successful but they yearn for a president that would aspire to teach America and Americans how to become successful and even great.

On some level, I do believe that Trump even cares, unlike the crass and cold political class of buffoons and liars.  For Trump it's not just about power - the dude is already powerful.  His immense ego propels him to succeed and that's an attribute that transcends the failing and fading lies of the Republican and Democrat parties.  A man like Trump can't handle failure and yes it's entirely possible that he will work very hard to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.

Trump is winning because he's perceived by voters as sincere and Americans are so damn desperate and fed up with politics as usual that they will gamble on a man they want to trust and probably already do trust far more than the rest of the political heap.  The beauty of the whole Trump thing is that Trump is royally bitch slapping the establishment elites and that is definitely fun to watch.

To win, all Trump has to do is continue to do what he's doing and run a 100% economic campaign because that's all Americans really care about right now.  He needs to be addressing those issues that are harming the economy while offering solutions to big problems.  He needs to focus on restoring the battered US manufacturing industries and most importantly, he needs policies that will help everybody, especially businesses, the poor and the middle class.

Trump is a man who THINKS big so I consider him qualified to tackle big problems.  It's what he does. It's what American voters want him to do.

Disclosure:  I Stand With Rand and will vote for him in the primary.

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