Elections during the neoliberal era.

Today is election day, Nov 6th, 2018.  If you compare the issues being discussed with those from the 2016 elections, some truth-telling is happening that couldn’t have happened without the Trump presidency.  Here’s an example.

I listened to a debate between Washington State’s Senator incumbent Maria Cantwell and challenger Susan Hutchison about climate change.  These two women gave us a chance to listen to candidates getting down to facts instead of fantasy.  Hutchison and Cantwell were sparring away.   Their points of debate revealed that they didn’t buy into the fantasy that climate change threatens us directly by altering our survivability.  Hutchison said that a carbon tax strategy wouldn’t make any difference to climate conditions which is true on the one hand, and Cantwell said on the other hand that carbon taxes might create new markets and new jobs.  So at last at least for a moment, two candidates were speaking about facts instead of fantasy.  Carbon taxes won’t fix the climate and would cost Americans a bundle.  Finally, two people from different parties said it.  President Trump did his best to end the global warming climate change fantasy, and we can already see dividends in getting down to issues that evade fantasy based determinism.

I keep hearing that the American economy is getting better.  I suppose that might be true but I would observe that any improvement is small.  The Trump Tax strategy will take a long time to alter the opportunities of Americans.  I would like to mention that a similar strategy was advocated but similar changes were never accomplished in the Obama Administration.  President Trump succeeded where President Obama failed.  At least this new tax structure stops some of the tax breaks that economic outsourcers have enjoyed in the past.  The subsidized outsourcing bonfire that burned up American jobs is a fire that has now been put out.  Now we wait to see if jobs will return.

In the meantime, I would like for the labor department to go back to a more honest assessment of employment in our nation.  Pretending that non-participating labor is voluntarily unemployed has led to amazing falsehoods about the health of our labor market.  If we acknowledge how many Americans lost their opportunity to work because of mergers and acquisitions, we might be encouraged to quickly end the easy money policies that led to the destruction of so many American jobs through buy-outs and closures.  This is one area where I think President Trump is wrong in advocating the Federal Reserve continue with low-interest rates in order to stimulate the economy.  Easy money has been destructive to most American job opportunities and it’s time let interest rates return to a more normal rate.  By the way, that’s about 5% if you check American history.  Ending low-interest rates will also curb malinvestments that have destroyed useful capital.

The stock market has been artificially stimulated by Federal Reserve policies and what goes up artificially must certainly come down naturally.  And probably soon.  But a phoney stock market doesn’t mean anything useful to most Americans.  What matters is economic opportunity, not stock valuations.  Real markets are more dynamic than a pretend market can ever be.  Real markets respond to what people need and to what they can afford.  A government stimulated phoney market can’t do that.

In addition, regulating banks more stringently could protect their solvency.  Banks should be smaller and they should have to keep more capital to back their investments.  Borrowing for risky investing should end.  Right now and until banks are properly regulated, Americans will suffer even more greatly than they did during the Great Recession if there’s a collapse of banking due to a shortage of liquidity.  The great era of gambling with derivatives should finally come to an end.

We’ve all watched the Mueller investigation wasting tax dollars.  It has also continually and unfairly threatened our good President who has been proceding lawfully according to his presidential power.  Any such investigation shouldn’t proceed without a crime to investigate.  Trump didn’t commit any such crime.  The Trump Presidency unexpectedly undermined corrupt people who benefitted from the Obama Administration.   Their crimes should be prosecuted instead of wasting money on a fake “Russia investigation” which was always just a smokescreen.  Trump’s election surprised the FBI and Hillary Clinton’s State Department.  It’s time to recognize that their corrupt power to evade prosecution should end.  It is time for Mueller to end his sham investigation of our President.  Mueller showed us all how corrupt Washington D.C. politics are.  Now we know.

Not all that long ago, candidate Trump called for an end of Empire military projects and for an enhanced military readiness at home.  We’ve seen little progress on this goal to reduce foreign based military operations which have been so lucrative for military insiders.  Vested interests in the Military Industrial Complex see hundreds of military bases as advantageous to making money on conflict even when that conflict is sometimes a fabrication.  There’s still a chance to reduce our global military presence and gradually close many of our military bases around the world.  The military industrial complex is motivated by profits more than by an opportunity to maintain global order.  President Trump is mostly right when he suggests that Europe can take care of their own borders without help from the U.S. military.  Perhaps a global space initiative would now be a better alliance among nations especially in view of progress in fusion technology.

In the coming days, let’s remember that we can improve.  However the elections turn out, Americans can do a better job at understanding what needs to happen to bring back prosperity.  When we look at where we have gone wrong we can make an effort to improve by changing and improving policies that don’t work.  There’s still a terrible waste happening in America.  What we are wasting is American know how and American talents and American jobs.  Capital doesn’t equal know how or talent or jobs.  Jobs are encouraged with financial stability in stable markets that are healthy and that make sense based on what people need and what they can afford.  Economic interventionism by Congress should taper off.  The economy can be better when politicians stay out of it.

This is the neoliberal era and if you want to understand how we got here, you can buy a copy of my book, Political Catsup with Economy Fries at Amazon.com.

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