The rewards of being the President, these days, are few and far between. Just ask President Trump. The work hours are terrible, the pay is far less than that of a corporate CEO, and you’re endlessly surrounded by shabby politicians.
What’s more, the hand towels aboard Air Force One have the shoddy over washed roughness of those at a turnpike Motel 6. But that’s not the worst of it.
Any and all efforts to remake foreign policy to address the threats of the 21st century – not the 20th century – are undermined by the intelligence community with vehement efficiency. Before you can say Jack Robinson, the leaky conduit to the mainstream media boils up the latest brouhaha to simmering pot.
Last week, for example, Trump had to fire his national security adviser for engaging in statesmanship with the Russians. Then, after that, John McCain – a Class A ignoramus – went and kvetched about Trump’s efforts from Europe. Good grief!
With the exception of being a flatus odor judge, we can’t think of a stinkier job than being the President of the United States. Can you? Continue reading
Everyone’s got a plan for sale these days. In fact, there are so many plans out there we cannot keep up with them all. Eat celery sticks and lose weight. Think and grow rich. Stocks for the long run. Naturally, plans like these run a dime a dozen.
Good plans, however, are scarcer than hen’s teeth. You can’t possibly see them no matter how closely you look. They simply don’t exist.
This was the case on Capitol Hill this week, where money and politics collided at the biannual monetary policy gala. Despite all the hubbub, no good plans were offered. What’s more, on first glance, no bad plans were offered too.
When Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s testimony was finally over, Congress knew less about the Fed’s plans than when it started. For instance, when asked if the Federal Reserve would raise rates next month, Fed Chair Janet Yellen replied, “I can’t tell you exactly which meeting it would be. I would say every meeting is live.”
What does this mean, really? Continue reading
What will President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe talk about when they meet later today? Will they gab about what fishing holes the big belly bass are biting at? Will they share insider secrets on what watering holes are serving up the stiffest drinks?
Indeed, these topics are unlikely. Rather, what they’ll be discussing is cooperative trade, growth, and employment policies between their respective national economies. They’ll also talk about currency debasement opportunities.
Soon enough, perhaps by the time you read this, you’ll be able to peruse the headlines and garner soundbites of their discussions. Maybe a new partnership will be announced. Anything’s possible.
Regardless, what follows is a brief review – a thirty year retread – that’s intended to put the meeting within its proper context. This is the backstory you won’t hear anywhere else…
To begin, it was precisely the wrong thing to do at precisely the wrong time. Continue reading
There was, indeed, a time when clear thinking and lucid communication via the written word were held in high regard. As far as we can tell, this wonderful epoch concluded in 1936. Everything since has been tortured with varying degrees of gobbledygook.
The fall from grace was triggered by the 1936 publication of John Maynard Keynes’ The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money. The book is rigorously indecipherable. What’s more, it has the ill-effect of making those who read it dumber.
Nonetheless, politicians and establishment economists remain enamored with Keynes’ gibberish. For it offers academic rationale for governments to do what they love to do most – borrow money and spend it on inane programs. In particular, Keynes advocated filling bottles with money and burying them in coalmines for people to dig up as a way to end unemployment. Somehow, this public works egg hunt would make everyone rich.
Over the years this reasoning has inspired countless government stunts to save the economy from itself. Continue reading