The Federal Reserve’s job is to manage the economy based on economics, not politics. Most presidents have respected their role. Presidents Reagan, Clinton and Obama renominated chairs appointed by a president of the opposite party. That certainly wouldn’t happen in this highly charged political era.
Presidents may have tried to subtly influence the Fed. Of course, there is nothing subtle about President Trump. His bellicose tweets will accomplish nothing except to make him feel better and give his base some raw meat.
Some are suggesting that they ignore their mission and pass judgement on Trump’s trade war with China. I guess the idea is that they should manage the economy only if they approve presidential policy. Otherwise, they should stand by and let a recession happen. Apparently, the adverse impact on the population is of little concern.
One prominent economist has gone even further. Bill Dudley, a former member of the Fed, said they should consider how their actions will impact the 2020 election. What’s next? Asking FEMA to go slow on rescuing people?
I am sick and tired of both parties putting their political battles ahead of the welfare of the American people. Sadly, there is no sign things are going to get better.
Many millions of people are concerned about the levels of carbon emissions and its impact on climate change. Most are trying to make a difference. Some, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, are a bunch of kooks predicting the end of the world in a few years. A few seem to be more concerned about perception rather than reality.
There are a number of examples. The government has spent billions promoting electric cars. They extol the virtues of the clean electricity that powers them but seem to forget that much of it comes from coal-fired power plants. Just today I heard an “expert” telling people to heat their homes with electric heat pumps instead of natural gas furnaces.
The classic example is Dell Computer. They proudly proclaimed to have a zero-carbon footprint. They outsourced all their manufacturing to China and bought some rain forest property. I’m sure that Chinese factories emit a lot more carbon than ours. Then there is all the fuel burned up hauling the computers across the Pacific.
Some feel that we should be the ones to sacrifice, not them. They jet around the country in private planes. I wonder about the carbon footprint of Al Gore’s mega-mansion.
There is one thing that puzzles me. If rising oceans will cause massive flooding, how come the Obamas are buying a $15 million home on Martha’s Vineyard?
I have used this title before in referring to President Trump. Today I am looking at the media and how they cover him Generally, over 90% of their stories are negative. Slanting stories is one thing; making them up is an entirely different matter.
We have seen two egregious examples on cable news channels in recent days. An MSNBC guest claimed that Trump has killed more people that Hitler, Stalin or Mao. The moderator let it stand without challenging it. CNN excitedly reported that Trump had borrowed money from Russian oligarchs. They had one source with no confirmation. They did say they didn’t know if it was true but they shouldn’t have run it.
It seems to me that journalist could operate with one or of four motives:
The first motive seems to be falling out of favor. Putting out stories like these ultimately hurt themselves not him. If you are going after a charging elephant, wildly shooting a BB gun isn’t the way to go. It looks to me that they are focused on the last two motives.
Yesterday I criticized President Trump. I believe his shoot from the hip style of governing and communicating make him less effective. While his language is often offensive, it is mild in comparison to what some twisted individuals on the Left are saying.
They are celebrating the death of David Koch. He was one of the billionaire brothers that contribute heavily to conservative candidates. None seemed more gleeful than Bill Maher. During the monologue of his show he said “I’m glad he’s dead and I hope the end was painful”. One of his “jokes” was that he would be cremated and his ashes would be blown into children’s lungs.
Maher and his ilk seem to believe that people that disagree with them politically deserve to die. He wouldn’t kill anyone personally. However, I don’t think he would be upset if someone listening to all the hate being spewed forth would do so. He certainly has a right to speak his mind but I don’t want to be part of his warped vision for America.
Koch, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and I have something in common. We all suffer from recurring cancer. I don’t wish anyone ill, especially my cancer brothers and sisters.
Tweets were flying from the Oval Office yesterday. They covered the economy and trade with China. He was his usual self but with an interesting twist.
Once again, he showed he has less self-control than a two-year old. He was at his nastiest when implying that the head of the Federal Reserve was an enemy of the country. He is smart enough to know that isn’t likely to help him get his way but he doesn’t seem to care.
His bull in a china shop (no pun intended) approach to diplomacy was on display. We need to get tough with China on a number of issues such as theft of intellectual property. Starting a trade war without addressing these issues is counterproductive.
His ignorance of basic economics is surprising. The man has a degree in economics from Wharton. He seems to think that a trade deficit means we somehow lost money. We gave them money and got goods and services in return. Anyone who buys a Big Mac and fries has a trade deficit with McDonalds.
He also insists that China is paying the tariffs. Companies have no choice but to pass the cost along. Many industries that export to China are being hurt. We used to send them billions of dollars of soybeans. Now they buy them elsewhere.
The most bizarre tweet was when he ordered US companies out of China. Apparently, he must think he has dictatorial powers over business. Businesses knew that President Obama hated them and would do everything he could to increase regulation. They may not have liked it, but could deal with it. What really scares them is uncertainty and President Trump is giving them plenty of that. This will cause them to think twice before expanding and hiring new employees.
His many accomplishments are proof of his intelligence and abundant skills. There is a lot he could do if he had more patience and a willingness to listen to others. Governing through temper tantrums is not good for the country. It also hurts his chances of reelection.
It doesn’t seem possible, but it has been fifty years since I started college. Some things haven’t changed. Both were times of political tumult. Students of today behave much as we did. The way we learned is the same. The textbooks may now be electronic but students still sit in classrooms listening to professor’s lecture.
We have seen incredible changes over the last half century. Science and technology have had a tremendous impact. Forget smart phones, we didn’t even have portable calculators. Nobody back then could have foreseen the progress women and minorities have made.
The current generation faces a much more difficult time than we did. The cost of education has grown rapidly. Many leave school with a mountain of debt. Back then, having a degree almost certainly meant you could find a job. I knew someone with a degree in medieval literature who worked as a computer programmer. Now, many degrees have little or no economic value.
Giving everyone a free education is not the answer. What is the point in spending untold billions so that people can get worthless degrees? Instead, colleges need to find ways to provide cost effective, meaningful education. Unfortunately, most want to keep doing things the way they always have.
Kodak fought digital cameras and ultimately lost their film business. Netflix embraced the future and went from mailing DVDs to streaming. Most schools are more like Kodak than Netflix.
We are hearing a lot of talk about Medicare for All. First of all, it is completely misnamed. Under Medicare, the cost of healthcare is paid by a combination of the federal government, private health insurance and the individual. What is being proposed is that the government pick up virtually the entire tab.
The big question is how it will be paid for. There aren’t enough rich people to pay for it so everyone will see a hefty tax increase. They also plan to sharply reduce reimbursements.
Getting free health insurance will mean a dramatic increase in demand for healthcare. Many hospitals and doctors will be unable to afford to stay in business because of the lower reimbursements. More patients and fewer doctors is a recipe for disaster. Wait times will dramatically increase and the quality of health care will suffer.
Eventually providers will opt out of the system. Private health insurance will reemerge. We will then have a two-tier system. The wealthy will use the high-quality private system and the rest will be stuck with the government run system.
My scenario has happened in many countries. I have worked with insurance companies around the world who are offering coverage for the private healthcare system.
The cost of healthcare has been a real burden for me but that’s not my main concern. I have incurable lymphoma. Getting quality healthcare is a matter of life or death for me.
In recent days, both President Trump and Elizabeth Warren have shown a total lack of class. Trump got the ball rolling by forwarding a tweet implying that the Clintons played a role in Jeffrey Epstein’s death. Warren deliberately misstated the facts in the Ferguson, Missouri shooting. Evidently, she hoped that increasing the racial divide might pay off at the ballot box.
Politics can get rough, especially in these turbulent times. Even so, their actions go way beyond what we should expect from our leaders. Both are putting themselves above the country. We deserve better.
My last post covered several recent occurrences of hate being directed toward Trump supporters. A complaint has been filed against Rep. Joaquin Castro over his tweet naming Trump donors. One person targeted has seen his business, a chain of barbeque joints, flooded with thousands of people. Instead of left-wing demonstrators, it’s conservatives buying brisket.
Universal Pictures has decided not to release The Hunt, the movie about killing conservatives.
I find these events encouraging. It is in Democrats best interest to tone down the hate. If they want to regain the White House, they need to attract more votes in places like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Demonizing voters is not a good way to do it.
We are seeing some dangerous ideas taking hold among some Democrats. They don’t just consider Donald Trump evil. They include his supporters. Since they are evil, they don’t deserve to be protected by the Bill of Rights. They deserve whatever they get.
Hillary Clinton got the ball rolling with her “basket of deplorables”. Recently Beto O’Rourke compared a Trump campaign event to a Nazi rally. When people like him talk about less confrontational language, they mean Republicans should shut up and Democrats can be as nasty as they want.
Congressman Joaquin Castro (brother of the presidential candidate) went even further by putting out a list of Trump donors. He claimed he doesn’t want action taken against them. He wrote about them spreading hate and listed their business. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind a bit if there was a boycott or demonstrators at their front door. Doing this just days after an Antifa sympathizer committed a mass murder is the height of irresponsibility.
Of course, Hollywood wants to get into the act. Next month Universal is releasing a movie called The Hunt. It is about people hunting and killing conservatives.
I am sure that O’Rourke, Castro and Universal do not favor violence. That could very well be the result of their actions.