Monday, July 10, 2017

How to reverse a trend

I  was distressed to read about Sinclair Broadcast Group buying WGN and other Tribune local stations around the country.

This is  especially troubling since Sinclair requires that their local stations to adhere to their right wing party line propaganda.  This is unlike Fox which allowed it's local affiliates to be non-political.

That means Channel 9 here in Chicago will become a local version of Fox Cable News.

The only way out of this is for Democrats  to start winning elections.

As a good friend pointed out to me, for the Democrats to start winning ( at a minimum) they need to do the following:

1. Stop being so hostile to business ( where do they think the jobs come from).  

2. Hammer home Trump's love of tyrants and his cowardliness in defending our country from them.

I'm guessing many progressives won't agree with #1 above; but as long as we view ourselves as a capitalist country, hostility to business can only hurt the party.

 I just finished a book, The Mandibles: A Family, by Lionel Shriver. It was a near future dystopian novel set in an America in which total financial and market meltdown had just happened. Many people were thrilled that the wealthy had lost all their money when the market collapsed and the dollar become worthless.


That euphoria ended  when the government and people realized there were no incomes to tax because the rich had lost everything, and therefor there was no money generated from taxes for social services and the like. They had to print more money, but of course, it was worthless. 

As to my second point, how can can conservatives and other patriotic Americans continue to tolerate President Trump's embrace of dictators and autocrats while insulting our democratic allies? His defense of Russian subversion of our democracy is down right cowardly. Why doesn't he have the courage to stand up to Putin, but has no trouble dumping on our allies. 

The Democrats can reverse this Trumpian trend if they can be identified as supporting the American economic system and exposing Trump's patriotism and his lack of courage in the face of our foes. 

Eric

Monday, June 19, 2017

Jobs, jobs, jobs?

Help me out here with the following :

1. Trump, as well as Sanders, and all politicians for that matter, promise
they will put Americans back to work by creating millions of new jobs.

2. The unemployment rate is at 4.3%

3. Many stories abound lamenting the number of unfilled job openings.

For example, Governor Walker, at a recent Trump rally, talked about the all
time high number of job openings in Wisconsin . Most were not high tech.

This morning I read a story in a real estate publication about a near
crisis of a labor shortage in the construction industry ( no advanced
education needed I assume). Projects may not be built due to shortage of
workers.


How do we reconcile 1 with 2 and 3 above?

Notwithstanding what we're otherwise told, apparently the jobs are already out there
and they don't all require advanced education.

I'd like to see a thoughtful, well researched analysis on this apparent
paradox.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Trump Surrenders

Donald Trump has essentially surrendered America's geopolitical,  military and economic leadership, influence and  prominence in the world; all to the detriment of our country's security and prosperity.

While this harkens back to old fashioned  "America First " and "Know Nothing" doctrines of the past, it won't work in today's global economy and geopolitical world. While some may call this "Splendid Isolationism", it seems more like "Belligerent Isolationism"; given his propensity to throw bombs and missiles around at will.

The United States will be diminished.

How can this be allowed to stand ? Where is  the traditional GOP and real Conservatives?  Sadly many Progressives may not object to certain this aspects of  Trump's strategy.

We can't allow the Trumpkins, the Greedy and the GOP job holders to harm our country unchecked.

Yes, Trump is  the "Disrupter" his supporters have longed for, but be careful what you wish for:  The climate change and health care debacles and coming tax "reform" ( with ballooning deficits and debt) will overwhelmingly benefit the rich to the real detriment of everyone else, including most true believer Trump supporters.

As I've written before, with the rejection of the TPP and our withdrawal from the world stage, Trump will have ceded world dominance to China and Russia and leadership of the "Free World " to perhaps Germany, or no one at all.

Russia will be the primary beneficiary of all this , along with China. Trump has given Russia the green light in Europe and the northern Middle East, and China a free hand in Asia and everywhere else.

As to Germany, after Trump has disparaged their country and its leader, there are hints that Germany may have no choice other than to re-arm. Do we really want that?

He has alienated both Canada and Mexico, among others. To what end?
The only allies of ours that are happy with Trump are Israel ( sadly), kings  and autocrats.
Presumably he's doing this to put America First, but in fact loss of American global dominance and free world leadership actually will make  America less prosperous and secure, and consequently not as great.

For example, every knowledgeable person I know says the US almost always gets what it wants in all international  trade agreements, and our NATO and other military presence globally underpins and sustains much of our economic dominance and prosperity.  If you don't believe me, just ask any Leftist.

America First, anti-trade and isolationism will actually hurt America, both morally and economically,  and will  make America less secure.

Unless there is an about-face after the next election or two, things will start to go in the wrong direction for our country. 
Eric

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Iran Reality

I do not believe Iran is the existential nuclear threat to Israel  that has been portrayed by the Israeli right or the other opponents of the nuclear deal with Iran for the following reasons:

  1. Does Iran hate Israel enough to set off a nuclear attack that would result in :
             a. The death of millions of Iranians when Israel retaliates.
             b.  The deaths of millions of Palestinians who live in Israel and the West Bank.
             c. Radioactive fallout and death all over the Levant, depending on which way the wind blows
             d. US attack destroying what's  left of their military arsenal and much more.

 Iranians won't tolerate it when millions of their own people die and their economy is destroyed.
             

 2. This is especially true given that  Iran: 
             a. Is not even an Arab state ,
             b. Is not Sunni Muslim , and
             c. Does not even  border Israel.

 Why does Iran hate Israel so much that it would bring about # 1 above?

The answer is, it doesn't. Iran's leaders' threats are solely for domestic consumption to deflect away from their own internal problems.

 For all of the reasons stated above, Iran would never attack Israel with nuclear weapons, even if they could.

Yes,  I know it's easy for me to say, and I understand the  genuine fear Israelis have;  but it will never happen. The  Iranians are not that stupid, no matter how fanatical some of their leaders may appear.

 Unlike the "Arab street" , in  the not too distant past, the Iranian people enjoyed warm relations with Israel. My guess is they don't really care all that much about the Palestinians;  certainly not enough to risk the catastrophic consequences of nuclear war.

 Given this reality, Israel and the US must be careful  not overplay its opposition to Iran . That could be a greater threat to peace than an Iranian nuclear program.

We should continue to pressure and oppose Iran, and hope for change in the future ,but take care not to " smoke our own opium". Keep the pressure on Iran, but don't allow the situation  to actually explode.


Eric 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

China / North Korea Gambit

Here's a theory:

The crisis on the Korean Peninsula was all a set up by China; working with its client dependent state North Korea.


China will get North Korea to back down in exchange for trade concessions from the US. 

 More importantly, the US will acquiesce to China regarding the South China Sea;  as well as ultimately removing US troops and missiles from Japan and South Korea. This will all play out over time.
 
This will cost China very little but the US will essentially cede economic and military dominance in Asia to China. Sadly, Trump and the Progressive were going that direction anyway.

North Korean belligerence was all a set up for the benefit of China. Otherwise what does North Korea get out of its aggressive behavior. They gain nothing from war, but  will get absolute protection from China after they "back down".

In other words, the Chinese and North Korea have set this whole thing up for China's benefit; all the while, Trump takes credit for reducing the North Korean nuclear threat. 

Trump will say he's the winner, but in reality he will have been played.


Someday historians will ask , who lost Asia?  The answer will be Donald J. Trump. 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Seismic Shift in World Order

With the rejection of the TPP and the US withdrawal from the world stage, Trump and the Progressives will have ceded world dominance to China and leadership of the Free World to  Germany, or perhaps no one at all.  Russia will only grow stronger.

Presumably Trump is doing this to put America First, but in fact loss of American global dominance and free world leadership actually makes America less prosperous or secure, and consequently not as great as we are today.

Every knowledgeable person I know says the US always gets what it wants in international  trade agreements, and our NATO and other military presence globally underpins much of our economic dominance, as well as our security.

America First, anti-trade and isolationism, will actually hurt America , both morally and economically , and will make America less secure.

Eric

Monday, March 27, 2017

Trump the deal maker?


Donald Trump's " legendary" deal making is based on making a deal with someone and later reneging on the deal or screwing the other side, and then moving on to making a deal with someone else; not caring who he screws or hurts in the process.


Things are different with regards to government since the people who he may have to screw to get his deal made will be the same people that he'll  have to be dealing with in the next deal that he tries to make.


The business community at-large has recognized Trump's deceitful techniques ; that's why no reputable banks will do business with him, few contractors and vendors will work with him, and fewer  and fewer business people will make deals with him. 


However, there is a veritable endless  supply of people for Trump to make deals with worldwide. It will take a lot of time to run out of them completely.


On the other hand, the government and Congress has a limited number of people. When you start reneging on deals or screwing them, and then have to work with them again subsequently , they will not forget or forgive.


President Trump may "win" some in the beginning, but if he continues to "win" the way  he's done it in the private sector, he'll quickly run out of suckers to screw.

Eric