Based on the fact that I am charged with beating up only on the Democrats I wish to share. Perhaps this will protect my registered Independent status. As I have done in the past I begin with some historical perspective.
Like many societies, the U.S. has a long history of sometimes allowing the relevance of significant events from the past to fade from the conscious reasoning of the present. One case in point is what occurred right before the economic crash in 1929. Wheat prices here in Kansas, as elsewhere, were great — the best ever — so the reaction was to plow up too much of the remaining available land including areas that should have never been exposed to the constant winds of the Plains States. Eventually tons of topsoil were blown to the four corners of the Country. Then the prices of wheat tumbled, and the stock market collapsed. This mass disregard for the environment resulted in the Dust Bowl days, and was captured in literature such as “The Grapes of Wrath.”
Does that sound anything like the U.S. producing huge amounts of oil at whatever the cost, including the environmentally dangerous practice of fracking, and the prices for crude now dropping rapidly and significantly? This will undoubtedly frustrate the Russians whose main source of income is energy. Oil price declines by itself could trigger a proxy war with the intent of raising crude prices. The next domino that’s falling is the double whammy of wrecking both the supply and the demand side of things while we are challenged to keep the supply chain going as medicines for treating the Coronavirus will require materials and items, some of which U.S. drug companies likely no longer manufacture here at home.
Meanwhile back at the stock market, the Dow continues to drop.
Another case in point: The Smoot-Hawley Act of circa 1929 instituted tariffs, much like Trump has put in place. After the Great Depression many historians claim it was exacerbated by the Great Depression. Will this be another lesson unlearned and history repeating itself?
I have deep concerns for anyone who sees economics and history as the dismal sciences to be ignored. My aforementioned concerns also include what best-selling author and Independent Michael Lewis presents in “The Fifth Risk,” how “willful ignorance plays a role in these looming disasters.” Depth of knowledge and insight matters in leadership, and critically so in government. On page 30 Lewis cites Steve Bannon (Trump’s top adviser and “fantastic” guy according to Trump) referring to President Trump as “totally ignorant” about the workings of government.
With respect to someone who ignores advice and sees no need to know history, just think about President Trump. Then read “The Fifth Risk.” Among his many concerns, Lewis details how President Trump’s incoming government attended no briefings by the previous government, a protocol that’s been followed by many past administrations. He contrasts Trump’s negligent approach specifically with how President G.W. Bush did a thorough job of briefing the receptive incoming President Obama administration as to the fundamental and foundational operations of the government.
Extending the same critical responsibility and courtesy to the newly elected Trump administration, Lewis cites how Obama produced excellent briefing papers on the various Federal departments. President Obama also set up department meeting times, ordered food, and set up personal briefings for the incoming Trump administration. When the days came for Obama’s outgoing leadership to give these briefings, they were shocked that no one turned up for them from the Trump leadership team. To make the critical transitions even less effective, President Trump fired those who were recently hired to his transition team. Of course all these folks that he hired were fantastic, and then in short order he fired them all.
Ultimately and most notably, not one Trump staffer showed up to be briefed about the Department of Energy. Not one, even though this department controls all the Nation’s nuclear weapons.
How do you feel about President Trump firing folks in the Center for Disease Transition Team before taking office? Just type into a Google search, “was the CDC transition group fired?” and see for yourself that they were indeed fired.
Mr. Lewis’s book does point out the only exception to the Trump administration’s transitional meetings: the Department of Agriculture. For that briefing only one representative from President Trump’s team showed up. It was for the Department of Agriculture. The attendee was a political appointee from PepsiCo with no experience. When he came, the meeting was brief. He had only one question: could he get a list of any employees of the Dept. who might have attended any climate change meetings. Then he left. Does this perhaps sound like a connection to Koch Inc. energy production concerns? Mr. Lewis points out that the “climate change” question was a routine question asked by the Trump team at every turn.
I for one am not confident with a President who recently advised the Nation that everything was just fine, if not “FANTASTIC,” with respect to his delayed and inadequate response to the COVID 19 virus. On March 10,2020, it was reported on cable news that when the COVID 19 began in China, and then began to spread outside China, major nations and the WHO (World Health Organization) got together to create a test for the virus. Trump refused to join them saying that the virus would never get here.
To make matters worse, he announced that Americans going to work was just fine and originally that he had no intention of canceling any of his campaign rallies. Really?
Another bubble being over-stretch is the student loan bubble. This debt now exceeds all the U.S. credit card debt. ($1.75 trillion) It now is experiencing more defaults than any other sector followed by car loan defaults. I feel lucky to have paid only $97 full tuition at KSTC in 1968, but now due to the fastest inflating prices of any sector: university costs are putting citizens into a life of debt which I also fear will not continue without a crash.
A trillion dollar yearly government deficit, an epidemic being fought by those who had no briefings about how the department that was to fight it is managed, a tariff war that might be called Smoot Hawley’s II, the overproduction of crude to the extent of depressing the markets, a stock market that is spooked and doesn’t appear to have a bottom, and a student loan and car loan default setting records is flat out scary.
We have a leader who constantly uses the word “fantastic” for anything that he is personally associated with. Would you buy a used car from a person who took this approach towards every car on his lot?