The American Elections
Via Mark J. Grant, author of Out of the Box,
“Elections belong to the people. It's their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”
For those of you in other parts of the world let me explain to you that between today and the American elections; virtually nothing else will matter. The United States will be in absolute focus on who is going to be the next President and what the Congress may look like. Short of a war breaking out between Israel and Iran or Germany marching into Brussels America will be focused inward and with rapt attention. Generally in the last decades the degree of difference between our candidates has been a matter of minimal variation. This is not the case in this election. We have a more Socialistic choice with Mr. Obama and a more Capitalistic choice with Mr. Romney. You can largely forget foreign policy debates and various schemes and artifices that try to re-direct the electorate; Americans vote from their pocketbook.
“The American President has to take all sorts of abuse from liars and demagogues.… The people can never understand why the President does not use his supposedly great power to make them behave. Well, all the President is, is a glorified public relations man who spends his time flattering, kissing and kicking people to get them to do what they are supposed to do anyway.”
-Harry S. Truman
As an observer of politics because they play such a crucial role in the world of investments I have a few remarks that differentiate this election from the last one. Gone are the promises of social redemption from Mr. Obama’s speeches because, in my view, the promises were not delivered upon. There is no ground swell of younger voters campaigning and voting for some sort of Orwellian new world order and I wonder just how many in this sub-set will actually vote for anyone. Gone are the speeches promising new hope for the next generation because America has run up the debt to the point that something must be done and we have reached the limit of our social indulgence and so that hard choices, tough choices, are going to have to be made by whoever assumes the American presidency. The concept of the “fiscal cliff” is not devoid of meaning as I postulate, as a matter of political reality, that we are probably better off with Romney and a Republican Congress so that the country does not lock itself in stalemate at a time when we can ill afford to be in that position. As a macro comment I would say that the liquidity provided by the world’s central banks has largely run its course and that there are issues of solvency in both America and in Europe that must be addressed. It may be true that the world suffers presently from a lack of leadership but the debts of Europe and of America will force the hand of the meek and the unwilling because the burden is far past the size where it can be ignored.
“An election is coming. Universal peace is declared, and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry.”
Now, to set the record straight, I am neither a Republican or a Democrat and I have voted for both depending upon someone’s vision and qualifications. Neither have I given one red cent to anyone running for office. To me though, in this election, the choice is clear. I believe in working hard and having a country where someone can stand upon their own two feet and make something of themselves. I have always been proud that people can arrive in America from Europe, from Korea, from Paraguay, from Outer Mongolia and be free from religious persecution and have the chance, the opportunity, to better their life and the lives of their family. I am not a Socialist and while I think there should be a safety net for people in America I am not in favor of grand transferences of capital from the people that succeeded to the people that either chose not work or who did not accomplish their goals for whatever reasons. I see the Socialism in Europe where they believe in some type of harmonization and of the averaging of people and incomes but I do not believe in that concept nor do I think that is a core part of American values. No one gave me a dime and I got to my present circumstances based upon my own initiative and I applaud those who have done the same and those that have gotten further down the road than I have and while, like any of you, I am offended by illegal and immoral acts, I do not think that the vast majority of those on Wall Street should be bashed simply for the political sport of pitting Wall Street against Main Street.
“We have plenty of Confidence in this country, but we are a little short of good men to place our Confidence in.”