Did you notice?

Yesterday was April 17,2017 and if you didn’t notice it was the eight eighth day in Trump Administration. It was also the first day the mainstream media did not lead their news reporting with a negative story about Donald Trump! Now don’t misunderstand me, the media did list the tax march [calling for President Trump’s tax releases] at about the fifth story but even that story was treated as more of a report than the mainstream media’s standard process of a position statement.

I wonder if this is the beginning of a calmer, more factual reporting process of the administration? It is possible helped by the forceful foreign policy positions taken by Trump that are well received by our allies and noted by our countries enemies.

Of course, the lame stream media is still hanging their hopes for a Trump defeat on the special elections in Georgia and that could happen. Further since everyone knows the media is solidly in the “Dump Donald” camp they will continue to beat the “he can’t pass health care” drum. They will tout the probable failure of the tax reduction plan, still the headlines are not a Trump failure story, maybe there is hope for fair and honest reporting, maybe……. I think not.

Insidious

There are many definitions of the word insidious but the one I favor is from the Longman dictionary; an insidious change or problem spreads gradually without being noticed and causes serious harm. I believe that is what has happened to the average American family because of the erosion of the American economy. It is hard to define where this erosion began but I will venture an estimate of approximately 1995 with the dot.com bubble and an apparent surge in the economy. It is during this time [22 years] that the wages for average Americans began to flatten out and despite some new business development average American income did not noticeably increase and the insidious erosion of the American life style began.

The average American experienced this insidious erosion of their life style with subtle but important changes in their ability to provide themselves and their children with better education and job opportunities. It is true that because congress passed laws that allowed major corporations to move management off shore they were allowed to avoid taxes and lower their manufacturing costs. In the infamous global market our U.S. off-shore competitors offered much lower manufacturing costs closing our factories and leaving millions of workers without the opportunity for other jobs.

The federal government offered job training, unemployment monies and vast education programs that most cases do not end in jobs once the participants complete their degrees. In essence the feds efforts to urge young people to go to junior or community colleges was a process of parking them for two to four years or more. The “students” hoped that in the years they were parked the economy would change and new jobs would open up and of course they didn’t. It is reasonable to believe that the federal funds for the many of these education programs are a complete waste of money and energy. Add student loans and the fact that both students and their parents are having to pay those burdensome loans back and you have a no-win situation.
The really good jobs are high paying technical jobs that are filled by students from overseas that enter this country via visa or green card programs. Meanwhile our top universities are being occupied by foreign students who upon completion of their advanced education returned to their native countries and key jobs in their local businesses competing directly against U.S. businesses employing average Americans.

Some have suggested that like Germany we should offer training in technical skills and our government response was to underwrite tuition for technical schools in the private sector like truck driving, transmission repairs, medical assistance jobs and similar lower income jobs. The net result is that few people actually got jobs and many states and the federal government lost the monies guaranteed to these private training schools. There were of course the many homes lost during the real estate debacle and those losses occurred mostly among average Americans.

The flat income level caused the average American to put off maintenance like fixing the roof of his/her home, replacing plumbing, buying a new car as opposed to a used one. The average American had to take Social Security benefits as soon as available and at lower pay out rates than if they had been able to wait until they were seventy. While their incomes slowly eroded big ticket items like real estate taxes continue to go up and in many cases Americans had to sell their homes and move to lesser quarters or rent living space at very high rates or contract for reverse mortgages. Let’s not forget the financial effect on the average American from political correctness. Yes, PC has added departments to federal and state government costs to cover PC issues and the average American pays for that in new taxes or government regulations that drive up the cost of living. We are more concerned with LGBT bathroom rights than we are with the education quality at the middle and high school level. PC also contributes to the state of depression or at least lack of hope that exist in this country. But I don’t want to distract from the financial issues by recounting the problems PC causes for the average American financially. As that effective Clinton operative James Carville said “It’s the economy stupid!

The average American has been required to dip into savings, 401 K plan and other retirement funds just to pay day to day bills. Factually more and more Americans have given up looking for jobs because they are being turned down day in and day out. This is happening because there are fewer medium skilled jobs in the country and the only growth in jobs is in the area of highly skilled technical jobs. But who is the average American? For decades, the definition has been middle classed. What is middle class? Pew Research says half of the U.S. population is middle class, in other words 160 million U.S. citizens are middle class. I might be more inclined to use the Financial Samurai definition of middle class income that says “If you make +/- 50% of your city’s household income for your age you are middle class.” Either way these numbers are horrific, 96 million eligible U.S. American citizens are unemployed and not looking for a job.

Meanwhile the federal government has trumped the success [in the last eight years] that the average American is enjoying but of course the average American isn’t seeing the successes the government claims. The automotive category touted by the government as an example of economic recovery engineered by mass bailouts isn’t really rebounding. The costs of doing business has been set by global models of low manufacturing costs, something we will not see change to high wage jobs in this country.

There is an insidious loss of hope and a helpless degree of depression. This is why tens of millions of voters in the 2016 election went with Trump attempting to overcome this insidious erosion of the average American’s economic life. The question is are those Americans who voted correct in believing that Trump can do it?

Are you tired yet?

I know I’m tired of everyone bombarding me with their Political point of view, usually laced with substantial anger. Recently I had a communication from a friend notifying me that he was no longer going to use Facebook because his purpose in having Facebook was to stay in touch with friends and instead he was getting angry political rhetoric. He said he gets enough angry political talk from the daily news shows. It occurred to me as I read the responses to my friend’s declaration of no longer using Facebook [almost all in agreement with his decision] that a lot of people are tired of the anger, fake stories and pontificating.

If you are like me and are tired of the unending negative news and anger why not consider boycotting the news programs not unlike the boycott of the Oscars, send a signal that you are tired of all the BS and want a return to civil discourse and rational observation.

The bell has been rung

The bell has been rung

When Bernie Sanders lost the democrat presidential primary race for 2016 he immediately filed for a new organization called “Our Revolution.” Bernie was counting on the supporters he had during the primary campaign donating 7-10 dollars per person to support his campaign theme defeating what he calls economic inequality. When he announced the “Our Revolution” he sought donations once again from his supporter list and was very surprised to find little enthusiasm for donating to his new organization. He also had in essence a staff revolution with top management of his group suggesting that as a 501-c3 he would be able to acquire donations from big donors like George Soros without declaring them. His staff felt this was in conflict with the basic appeal for Bernie. In any case his staff suggested they would have legal questions to face once the political action committee known as “Our Revolution” starts to collect donations.

To Bernie’s credit he was not discouraged by the lack of financial enthusiasm for his new committee from the very people that almost gave him the democrat nomination for the 2016 U.S. Presidential race. What he is doing is making a very smart and a legitimate effort to take over the Democrat party and direct it to his number one cause economic inequality. His first step was to try and get Keith Ellison elected head of the democrat national committee. While he failed to achieve this goal, he did see Keith become deputy chair of the DNC and he will go a long way toward selling the Bernie/Warren agenda. Next and more importantly he is providing booklets and pamphlets with instructions and in some cases field agents on how to legally disrupt town hall/state conferences to express their opposition to Trump policies and support of a politically correct federal government agenda. He has provided the financial support and will continue to do so because he is correct, the democrat party needs to regain elected offices at the local and state level. Bernie recognizes that the governorships, state house seats and local elected offices across the country lost by the Democrat party over the last eight years are killing the party’s national ambitions.

When I say; the bell has been rung that is what I’m talking about, Bernie is mounting a very smart plan for education and activation at the street level to “sell” the fight against what Bernie believes is the bad guy in U.S. politics, economic inequality.

At this point I would like to address Bernie’s philosophy. You need to remember that Bernie is a socialist and communist. I can say Bernie is a communist because three years ago he declared himself a communist on his website. Some of his supporters suggested that while they understand his socialist stand on key issues [the heart by the way of the left movement in the Democrat party] the communist label might not play well in middle America and so he took it down from his website. Still his philosophy is a mix of socialism and communism governed by a basic belief that all people will work hard for the good of the many without consideration for personal goals and objectives. The truth is humans no matter where they live are individuals with family and personal goals and that is at odds with the socialist philosophy of all for the common needs. You only need to look around the world and visit history to understand that communism and socialism has not and will not work. Witness Venezuela today and it’s socialist/communist government in almost total failure.

A reasonable question might be why does the Democrat party have to work so hard to regain local/state elected offices? I believe the Democrat party has slipped into a politically correct syndrome. I mean that subjects like bathroom choice, transgender wrestling issues, environmental issues and such fall down the scale of importance when you consider citizens need full time jobs, health insurance they can actually use, and afford, border security and ways to get their mid-twenties children to move out!

Having made the observation about a politically correct agenda Bernie is right on target with his education program and instructions on how to become relevant in town hall/state conference meetings. Still in the final analysis he will have to develop a list of issues that have everyday appeal beyond his mantra economic inequality.

Inauguration Day

While I won’t be attending the Trump inauguration today I am recalling my attendance of the second swearing in ceremony of George Bush. My business partner was a larger contributor to the Michigan Republican party and to the George Bush re-election campaign and he insisted that I should go to the event with he and his wife as his guest. It was spectacular, we stayed at the Ritz Carlton in Georgetown, had a chauffeur driven limo for the entire weekend and tickets to two of the balls that celebrated the Bush re-election. We saw and shared small talk with national politicians and a few mid-level movie actors. We visited all of the major landmarks [I had seen them all except one before and still enjoyed seeing them again] but I was especially moved by the Arlington National Cemetery, the Vietnam Wall and the new [then] World War ll Memorial.

The Republican party provided all kinds of souvenirs but one was especially fun, my bed pillows had embroidered on them the “facts” about the inauguration and we were encouraged to take those pillow cases home. I decided to send them to a cousin of mine in Ohio who is an extremely loyal Democrat and really hated Bush [as many people did]. She told me she would put the pillowcases in some garage sale and whatever proceeds derived from the sale would be contributed to the Democrat party…….to me that was capitalism in its’ finest form.

It makes sense

Howard Schultz, self-made billionaire and Starbucks longtime chairman and CEO stepped down as chief executive of the company. Speculation is that his intentions are to run for the democrat nomination for president in 2020.

It makes sense because he has demonstrated his global marketing skills [a basic belief of the democrat party as the future of this country] with Starbucks and has been fairly vocal in his support of the democrat party by donations and offerings in the editorial column of the New York Times.

Howard is acknowledged as a very smart man and he will probably spend the next two years building his election team and watching as his fellow democrats try to figure out what are the issues that will appeal to the many splinter groups that the party seems to represent or want to represent in today’s and tomorrow’s political world. It will be interesting to see who the party picks for DNC chair because it is clear that the special interest groups are determined to have their say and share of political and economic power.

The new power base for the democrat party appears to be the black, Hispanic, Muslim, LGBT and youth movement. I don’t believe the democrat party realized what they were doing when they tried to appeal to these individual groups as a collective power for the 2016 election. It will be a challenge for Howard to put together a marketing plan that does appeal to all of these groups.

It is hard to tell if Howard will need to undergo a personality transplant to shake his “big corporate” look. He does not have the advantage of being half black and half white that carried Obama so well along with a smooth speaking style.

Best guess is that Howard will lay low as the 2018 mid-term elections occur. Democrats have several national offices up for reelection and with the conservative’s showing such strength in 2016 the results in 2018 will help Howard develop his best marketing plan. Keep an eye on him for the 2020 presidential election.

Screaming and Kicking

It is clear that the media hates the Trump win of the presidential race and the conservative wins in governor’s races and state house contests. They are making it clear as they are dragged screaming and kicking into the Trump administration that they will do everything they can to picture the Trump movement as a failure.

A good example is the coverage of the Carrier Air-conditioning job savings effort by Trump and Pence. CBS reported a savings of 700 to 800 jobs with questionable actions taken or promised by the Trump administration. The actual number of jobs saved according to Carrier is 1143 but CBS clearly tried to minimize the effect of Trump and Pence in saving jobs. On “Meet the Press” Chuck Todd in an interview with Mike Pence repeatedly said; but there are 700 hundred jobs being lost. After the fourth time Chuck repeated his point that 700 hundred jobs were being lost Mike said; well you can look at the glass as half empty or you can look at it as half full. Mike went on to say that he and Donald looked at the Carrier as the right step in saving American jobs. On MSNBC the majority of references to the Carrier job savings effort was a “few hundred jobs” saved with questionable actions taken to save those jobs. On ABC the report was near “1000 jobs” with questionable promises made by Trump and Pence to get Carrier to keep those jobs in the U.S.

The point is that the media is going to do anything it can to denigrate Trump administration efforts to rebuild our economy. The danger is that if the media continues to slant the news against Trump it will over time have a negative effect on the administration’s efforts to build a positive government plan to bring us out of the doldrums. Of course it is also possible that the public learned during the 2016 presidential campaign that the press was prejudged in favor of Hillary and the democrats and they have discounted any consideration of the press being objective, isn’t that a shame?!