More Opinion by The Springboard

THE UPRISING OF THE AMERICAN PARTY "Clearly the voters are engaged right now, at least for sure on the republican side, and what they have concluded is that the republican party has not done their job. Thus, Donald Trump gets their vote."

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Flynn Resignation A Sign of Strength in Trump White House

The media is going to, of course, slant the news of President Trump's national security advisor's resignation as a sign of upset and chaos just a month into Donald Trump's administration. It's what they do, just as much as they made former president Obama's administration look like it was just going swell and peachy with nary a hitch.

We all know the truth about that. Well, those of us who were actually alive and had a brain that we actually used.

National security advisor Michael Flynn resigned after it was reported that he misled Vice President Pence about his ties with Russia. He in fact had more than a few ties with Russia, and this of course presents a conflict of interest when it comes to how the Trump administration deals with issues like sanctions, the Russian Syrian relationship, oil and other matters.

Like I said, the media is going to slant this. But those of us who are paying attention are simply seeing exactly what we were told we would see during Trump's campaign. He was going to drain the swamp. No matter how the resignation is reported we all can confidently assume that Flynn did not just simply hand over a resignation letter to the president. He was asked to leave. Essentially he was fired.

This is a sign of strength in Trump White House. Draining the swamp is not limited to people outside of his administration. It is most certainly applied to everything he does, and everyone on his staff. President Trump has said time and time again that part of the problem in Washington are back room negotiations, and politics as usual. He doesn't feel that is effective and he is going to ouster anyone who tries to do it.

And thus, Flynn is out.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Trumpanomic Effect: Part One

Now that the election is over and we know who the president is going to be, it is time now to analyze what I think will be one of the largest impacted areas of a Trump administration.

The economy.

As an investor I am now spending considerable time evaluating some of the promises that President-Elect Donald Trump made during his campaign as they apply to economic considerations. And what I see is enough to make me literally salivate. Of course, he is not yet in the White House, and the House and the Senate need to be onboard with any plans the Trump administration may lay before them. But there is a positive here if you have not noticed.

The republican party, and even some of the most staunch never Trumpers within the republican party are all now clearly and openly rallying in favor of the president-elect.

Seeing Ted Cruz moving in and out of Trump tower negotiating with both Trump and Pence and other members of the transition team, and hearing Cruz now speak to the American people about his now positive views on what Trump will offer is one thing. But Mitt Romney has also apparently moved on over to the Trump train as well, even after virtually calling for the election of Hillary Clinton early on in the campaign.

It's one thing that the GOP controls both the House and the Senate. It's entirely another that they are in support of the president-elect, and by all accounts, appear to also be entirely onboard with much of his agenda as well. Even Ted Cruz specified that Trump's overwhelming defeat of Clinton and the GOP win over democrats, despite what all thought would be considerable odds, defined a clear mandate by the American people that they want the campaign promises to be fulfilled. And if the GOP wants to maintain their power, they are going to have to deliver on that mandate or face their ouster come the next round of mid-term elections.

So, when it comes to the economy, it looks like we may see the ratification of a good number of some of the ideas that Trump offered to right the listing economic ship. And from an investors perspective, this means we may see some very interesting positive developments in the stock market going forward.

And by the way, it's not just the stock market that will benefit. If Trump can get done what he wants to do—especially in the first 100 days—of course American workers will see massive benefits as well. It's really not rocket science to understand that the underlying factor of more Americans working, even making higher wages, coupled with other factors are the benchmark of a strong economy.

Think of the impact of the middle class and my point is proved. When the middle class is vibrant and strong the economy flourishes. When the middle class is in jeopardy, the economy slips and falls.

One thing that seems clear to me is that if Trump can get done even half of what he advocated for during the campaign, we are going to see massive upswings in jobs, and even massive upswings in median income across the United States. I honestly believe that a whirlwind of economic growth is right around the corner, and if the economic policy put forth by the Trump administration looks anything like I think it will, we are headed for long term growth that may even make the undeniable success of Reaganomics pale by comparison.

In the following series I will outlay some of the factors that I think will spur on this economic growth, and the reasons I think they can be powerful enough to potentially uplift the American economy in very short time. I don't think we're looking at four or more years to see results here. I think we will begin to see results, actually, after just two years into the Trump administration. And in some ways if I am to be totally honest, even two years may be a conservative estimate.


Because if the American people can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and if there is a positive attitude toward what our economic future holds, this will reflect very early on (and in some cases is already being evidenced a mere 10 days after the election results) in how Americans react to it. Things to watch with abided attention are the U-6 unemployment figures, consumer confidence figures, retail sales, and the housing market—particularly housing starts as opposed to depletion of existing inventories.

My shortlist advice? You better have some cash lying around to toss into the markets, and I will be telling you where I will be putting a lot of mine, because waiting too long may well put you miles behind the curve once this thing really gets going.

I told you all along that Trump would win, and win big, and laid out all of the reasons I saw that coming. Now am I going to tell you that the economy is the next big winner, and will lay out all of the reasons why I see that coming as well.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Why I Still Believe Trump Wins It All

Well, here we are. A mere four days before the fate of the nation will be determined by the American voter. And what do I think is going to happen? Of course, I think Donald J. Trump will become our 45th President of the United States. My belief that this will be the case has not changed, however it has been solidified by recent "revelations" about Hillary Clinton's emails. Why the quotations on the word? To my mind if you have been following the real news, these new "revelations" are more like affirmations. With clear indications that the Clinton camp rigged it's own nomination process, was complicit in hiding emails originally said to be benign correspondence about wedding preparations and yoga classes, and released information by the FBI that it is possible that at least five foreign intelligence agencies hacked those accounts and gained American secrets, no matter how much the media has worked to silence the news, shape the news, and mislead the American people in a concerted effort—the American people are a bit more privy this time around to what is going on. And while I am not a true believer in what the polls say, the massive swings following the announcement by the FBI that their investigation into Hillary Clinton was being reopened after discovering correspondence in Anthony Weiner's case clearly shows that Americans are paying way more attention than they have in the past.

I think the polls are still wrong, and by a lot by the way. But it's not the final number that matters. It's those massive swings that tell a story.

So where do I think all of these votes are going to come from to propel Donald J. Trump into the White House? For one thing, one has to wonder where all those Bernie supporters are going to go? Obviously it is now clear as a bell that the Clinton camp and the DNC all worked against his campaign—and not in the usual way which is the important part to consider. I think many of those Bernie supporters, even if they have been telling pollsters otherwise, are going to vote for Donald Trump on election day. Some may already have done that.

You also have the dynamic of the primary results which I think factor in, and that is the fact that during the republican primaries Trump received more votes in a republican primary than any other candidate in the history of the republican party. And it wasn't just by a few votes. It was massive. In fact, the win that Trump accomplished to receive the republican nomination was so massive that words like decimation, annihilation, and okay major ass kicking would all accurately describe how badly the other republican candidates on the stage were defeated. The thing that is important to understand about the importance of this alone is multi-fold, but rather simple actually.

  • In order for Donald Trump to have done this is to attract independents and democrats to the republican party.
  • Clearly voter enthusiasm for this candidate was as well, massive.
Voter enthusiasm and gaining the independent vote are essential to winning an election. And of course, one cannot ignore the rallies, and it is something I have been talking about for a while. The rallies are an important gauge on voter sentiment and the direction of the vote.

One clear thing to keep in mind is that of those people attending Trump's rallies, how many of them—or rather what percentage of them—are actually registered republicans? I'm going to say that many of them are not. In fact, I think many of them are in fact democrats, and certainly many of them are independents. You have to ask yourself the question, if those attendees of the Trump's rallies were largely republican, would the party have fought so hard initially against his nomination?

I hardly think so, especially because for years the party has longed for this kind of response to any candidate they've put before the American people. This time it just so happened to be someone who was not necessarily who they had hoped for.

Primary election results, voter enthusiasm, the republican party having record registrations, a very high percentage of democrats who have changed their vote or their registration during this election, the numbers of attendees at Trump rallies, and the ability of sources other than the traditional news outlets to share the truth about Hillary Clinton will all lead to Donald Trump winning the presidency. And while I cautiously suggest that he will win by a landslide...

I think Donald Trump just might indeed win by a landslide.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Why I Think The Economy Is Broken

There is not a single factor, but myriad factors which holds down wages and stunts the progress of the entire economy. And in order for us to fix it, we need to fully grasp this. Because until we do all we will continue to get is nowhere.

Let me just say that mostly on both sides there are misunderstandings of what needs to be done. For the liberals and democrats, of course, their solution is to simply mandate wage increases—such as to the minimum wage—and to raise taxes on the corporations and the rich. For the conservatives and republicans they're still believing that global trade is the answer. If we can sell stuff to the rest of the world that will create jobs and increase wages.

We know, however, that neither of these solutions really work.

First of all, you cannot artificially raise wages without there being rippling consequences within the economy. As I have said many times before, corporations and small businesses are not ATM machines. And certainly they are not the Fed that simply prints more money when it needs to. So, in comes the union machine. Folks, take a look at Detroit as one of the best examples of artificially increasing wages—and even benefits for that matter. But of course this was not the government who did this, although factions of the government certainly did and do encourage it. Not only did unions demand higher wages for employees, and not only did they fight for more health benefits, pensions, and other monetary things which cost a ton, but they also contributed to bylaws which turned otherwise efficient operations into unmanageable, and ultimately unprofitable ones.

In any business there is a rule of thought that you charge a customer what he or she is willing to bear.

But it is not just a matter of what the customer is willing to pay. It is a matter of what a customer can pay in realistic and reasonable terms. In other words, a business knows that there is a fine line
between trying to get more than what they are entitled to for their product or service and outright pricing themselves right out of business.

You can apply this simple idea to the unions. The difference between the business machine and the union machine is that a business knows what a customer is willing to bear, and it also knows how much a customer can afford to pay. In the case of unions, many of the monetary demands were made without anyone on the union side, and especially the employees, knowing what was even on the balance sheet.

The unions, in my opinion, should have had two jobs. One of those jobs was to make a stand for the interests of employees of course. Their job was to create an environment whereby employees could be reasonably compensated for the work they did, and that they would enjoy some of the benefits of a thriving corporation through wages and benefits. Something I think is important, by the way, despite my misgivings about unions in general. But their other job was to also be the spokesperson for reason and rational thought. Their job was, essentially, to educate the workforce they were representing on the reality of the situation.

There is a danger, I think, when we become so convinced that the rich and the corporations they own are simply greedy. Somehow we have come to a place where when we think of the rich and the corporations we think of the giant in the Jack and the Beanstalk story sitting in his castle above the clouds hoarding and counting his golden coins with no regard for anything but the fact that he has the golden coins.

The rich do not sit on their money. It is part of the reason not only do they become rich. But it is a part of the reason they become richer.

In other words, the rich invest their money. And even when it comes to common shareholders they have one simple demand of the corporations for which they hold a stake in.

Make more profits.

But in order to do that that really doesn't mean lower worker's wages, fire workers, send jobs overseas, reduce benefits, and gouge the customers who buy their products or services. Granted, there may be some who believe that way, but I would call them the minority. What any common shareholder—or major shareholder—wants is a growing and thriving business to continue to deliver dividends and profits. For a lot of us that means growing the business and expanding the markets we operate in.

If you talk to many employees the one common theme always seems to be that they are just a number, that the fat cats really don't need them, that they are a burden and that for that reason corporations will go to any length to shut them down and send them packing.

For me that's a false reality, and a silly way to think. Because anyone who understands business also understands that yes, employees do fall onto the liability side of the ledger. But, they are as necessary as any other cost of doing business. The reality is that a business indeed wants to focus on growth and expanding their markets—but when employees walk out the door and when employees have to be replaced, there are two things that come out of this.

Distraction and cost.

For one, when you have to spend time in the day strategizing over how to bring in replacement
workers, and when you have to spend time in the day seeking out new workers and being engaged in the hiring process, you are going to have less time in the day to focus on strategizing keeping the machines running and expanding the business. It's a distraction. And then there's the cost. Even in unskilled labor, you have to train the workers. And during that process there is going to be some level of transition and downtime whereby the operation will not be at its optimum efficiency.

For those who say unskilled labor is a job even a monkey can do let me just say this.

I have worked in many "unskilled labor" jobs during my tenure in the workforce. I have seen workers come in who worked in similar settings prior to their working alongside me who were still not able to simply walk onto the production line and run the operation flawlessly. You still had to have other employees showdow them, and you still had wrong buttons pushed, and problems within the process which ultimately slowed things down—and cost the company money.

It is better to have a strong and reliable and fully trained workforce committed to the process and committed to the company than to have a revolving door. Smart businessmen know this, and so therefore it is misnomer that employers simply do not care about the people who work for them.

It's a very small example, but say you own several rental properties. What's more efficient and cost effective for your business? Keeping tenants over the long haul, or constantly having to find new ones to rent to?

Of course there is a need to always evaluate the workers you already have and determine whether or not they are serving the best interests of the business. For those that are not, of course you have to make decisions about whether they stay or go. The same would apply to my tenant example. If the renter is consistent in paying but breaks windows, knocks holes in the walls, or otherwise jeopardizes the business—they are no longer an asset. It is common sense really.

Unions essentially created bad tenants. So many, in fact, that at some point in time it makes more sense to simply shutter the doors than to coninue to seek out new tenants—or be burdened by the cost of keeping the bad tenants you already have.

And then you have the matter of taxes.

It has always amazed me how many people think that by simply raising taxes, you, and I do mean you will somehow benefit better by it. The reality is that taxes, just like employees, are a cost. And when you are spending money in one place, you obviously cannot spend it in another place. And again, the rich and the corporations are not the giant in the Jack and the Beanstalk story. Their money will be worthless if all they do is hoard it. In order to get richer the rich and the corporations must find ways to make their money grow. And that means investing those dollars into more factories, more retail outlets, more products or services in their lines, and it means it will take more people—workers—to get it done.

And by the way, those additional workers will pay more taxes. The more product or service moving through the economy the more sales tax revenue. The more workers with money to spend will also contribute more to the tax rolls as a whole. Lowering taxes does one primary thing. It encourages the flow of real dollars into the real marketplace and when you do that, even if taxes are lower, more tax revenues will be reaped simply because there are more dollars moving around in the real economy to tax.

Why does the Fed lower interest rates when the economy is in a slow down? To encourage more money to enter into the real economy. Lower taxes does the same thing. It speeds up the process of free money flow in the economy.

When interest rates are lower more people will buy cars, more people will use credit cards, more people will buy houses, and thus the markets move upward in a fluid fashion. Raising the interest rates slows the economy down in much the same way that the example I provided about a business pricing itself out of the marketplace ultimately shuts it all down.

Raise taxes and you slow it all down. Lower taxes and it all speeds up. It's not rocket science. It is very basic economics, folks.

The more money you have to spend to fuel your car, and to keep the lights on in your house, the less money you will spend on newer cars, adding square footage to your house, or simply going out for a dinner night with the family.

Everything slows down when certain dollars are siphoned into one pool for which all other pools suffer as a result.

And then there are regulations.

Regulations can be put into two categories. Those that are created through government policy, and
those that are created out of those bylaws I was talking about as it applies to unions. You can make rules that allow businesses to freely and openly compete, and expand, or you can create rules that make it harder, or impossible, to do that.

If you look at the macro here what you begin to see are those myriad issues I was referring to at the start of this. Higher taxes, unruly unions with bylaws that scrape away at efficiency, higher costs of wages and benefits for less work, and rules and regulations put forth by the government and the unions—and laws created in the interest of global trade have all worked to hurt the American worker, and to dissolve what were otherwise good paying jobs, only to be left with an economic disaster. Workers make less, and therefore can not spend as much, and because corporations can no longer reasonably compete, since the door was open to go elsewhere for their labor, they have done so.

I have long held that the idea of global trade was a good one when it became the "law of the land." But somewhere along the line it got away from us. Before it was a convenience and a novelty to be able to expand our personal dollars by having the opportunity to buy that cheaper item made in Japan or some other place. And it was a "feel-good" moment to think that by putting out dollars into those other countries would also lift their economies, thereby making it more possible for them to buy what we made. What we saw in all of this was a win-win.

Going back to my tenant example, what better opportunity to raise your rent than when your tenant gets a pay raise. If one person is making more money, then everyone ultimately makes more money. If global trade would have worked, we'd all have been making more money. Us and the Japanese and the Chinese, and whoever else you want to throw into the equation.

Why did Detroit fall? Why is our entire economy falling? Again, there are myriad factors to consider in all of this. High taxes, over regulation, and stifling of efficiency—it has essentially shut the whole thing down. And what we're left with is a horrible situation where half of the workforce is on government assistance, and the other half is working for pennies on the dollar. Those who are making it, by the way, are having to support the half that aren't.

And also by the way, we used to do it that way before this all happened. We did. The difference was that we did it by our earned wages being used to support the earned wages of another. Paul worked on the production line making beds and mattresses and used that money to buy cars from John who worked on the production line making cars. And John went out and bought a new TV with the money he earned making cars that supported Joe who made TVs. And all three of them supported Tom who drove the trucks to get the products moved, and Sally to stock the shelves, and Roderick who made the sale.

These days who is their to support? Paul doesn't make beds and mattresses anymore. John doesn't make cars anymore. Joe doesn't make TVs anymore. The jobs left don't pay as much, and when any one of these guys buys a bed or mattress, or a car, or a new TV, it takes a much greater chunk out what they can spend on other things—like even a hamburger at Burger King.

And now for something completely different:

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Voters, Not Media Should Pick Presidents

Do you see what's going on here with the media? To steal a phrase used in a Frank Caliendo joke while he was doing an impersonation of former president George W. Bush, "It's not like it takes a rocket surgeon," the attempts by the media to use their full force to discredit and destroy Donald Trump while ignoring what is now becoming a mountainous ton of intel against Hillary Clinton and all of her cohorts, which by the way, includes the media, is so glaring it almost hurts. The question becomes, are they getting away with it?

Besides the clear and intentional smear campaign the media is positioning against Trump—and it's not just the smearing of course, but the hiding and non-reporting that is very much a part of this campaign by the media as well—people should be considering something else in all of this when it comes to the media.

We are supposed to trust all of the big dogs in the media, right? NBC, CBS, CNN, and okay I'll lump in Fox News as well just to be fair. Although of all of the media (and I honestly say this with no bias) Fox News is being the most fair in all of this with some exceptions of course. I mean, when we think of news, these are the agencies we think of mostly. ABC is in there somewhere as well, but really I don't think too many people pay attention to them anymore for news. Then you can also lump in the dead tree news outlets like the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post to name some of the more noteworthy ones.

These are agencies that are supposed to be the most trusted sources for our information.

But, here we also have two sources right now giving us more dirt and real talk and frankly, real information than any of these news outlets combined. TMZ and of course Wikileaks. Wikileaks is sharing a mountain ton of emails between top people in the Clinton camp, giving us remarkable insight into the inner workings of her campaign. The emails we are learning of, by the way, are pretty damning. Or they should be damning. But the big news outlets are mostly ignoring them, instead focusing on Trump this and Trump that. The tape recently released (or leaked) with Trump being less than virtuous nothwithstanding—but it was TMZ who released information that was proved to be true that NBC had the tape for months, and that it not only intended to time the release to damage Trump, but they had clear intent to edit the tape to focus the emphasis on Donald Trump's comments and to try to keep their own Billy Bush out of the picture.

The thing that is most troubling for me really is that we have come to a very dark place when it comes to the media. It's admittedly tougher these days—or at least it seems that way, maybe the media has always slanted its coverage—to try to form an informed and educated decision about matters that are important. I have always said that in order to form an opinion on anything you can't just rely on one single source, or even a couple of them. You can't take (for me, a conservative) every word by Rush Limbaugh, or Sean Hannity, or even Ann Coulter dare I say, as the gospel. You have to painfully look at multiple sources—including by the way the liberal media.

When it comes to the NBCs and the CNNs of the world there is something you have to be able to do. And frankly you have to be able to do it no matter where you are getting the news. It's something I learned in grade school, and that is you have to be able to read between the lines. In literature, for example, we called it context and the art of interpretation. Mostly we applied these principles to fiction. What is the author trying to convey? What is the underlying message in the story? When the story is largely metaphoric, what is the author referring to?

A great example of this for me would probably be a remarkable story, and to this day a favorite of mine, by Franz Kafka. The Metamorphosis. A story about a salesman, mostly an ordinary man, falls ill and slowly morphs into an insect by the end of the story. If you read between the lines, and if you examine the context, and when you dissect the theme, what you decide is that the story really isn't about a man who becomes an insect, but rather a story about a man tormented by a world crashing in on him, who becomes isolated, and how the world seems to ignore him as he changes into something very different than they recognize as the norm.

Whether it is Chris Matthews or Anderson Cooper doing the storytelling, or Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Reilly, no matter who it is, you have to have the ability to see beyond just what they are saying and detect the biases, detect the slants, and detect where they may be conveniently leaving something out. When any of these guys may show a video, for example, or share a sound bite, you have to go beyond what they show you and seek out the entire video or the entire sound bite to get the real story.

The problem is that so few people actually do this. This is not to disparage anyone or call anyone stupid. It's not even to call anyone lazy. But frankly most people just hear something, and grasp hold of that, and consider it true without ever digging further. And the news media knows this. And of course, so does the democrat party. And if one thing stands firmly true over many decades, the liberal media is as much an extension of the democrat party as many have accused Fox News of being an extension of the republican party is.

It is a situation that I also find scary in many ways. Now, I am not going to in any way compare the United States to Nazi Germany. But, we are all too well aware of the effective use of propaganda films used by Nazi Germany to convince their people of things. And bringing it to present day, certainly Islamic terrorists are doing exactly the same thing as we speak. In our own country, the media can largely be classified as one giant propaganda machine. They are wielding heavily the power of their pulpit, and they are using that power to shape the minds of people into thinking one way or the other.

In this case however, there is much danger in their doing this.

Because if we don't know the truth, and if we are not willing to or able to seek out the truth, we have really lost our country. Because when the media controls the information, and when parties and factions with agendas control the information, these people also ultimately control elections. And this is, as I said, a very dangerous, and even disconcerting thing.

And it's not just what the media hides we need to be weary of. It's the stuff they don't verify for truth until much later when it's too late.

I don't care which side you happen to be on in this election, But what I do care about is that any decision being made about who becomes our next president is based on real information, real facts, and real dissection of the information and facts, to come to an informed decision about the election.

Do you see what's going on with the media here? Do you? We are being spoon fed things to try to dissuade us from seeking out the real answers, and to try to shape our opinions. They are trying to make us angry at the other side—and mostly they are doing it to make us angry at Trump. Scared of Trump. And that would be fine for them to make all of these accusations and encourage all of the innuendo if they were reporting these things fairly and accurately as it applies to both sides. It would be fine if they were equally sharing what we know about Hillary Rodham Clinton. If they weren't leaving so much out. Including in the debates mind you, which is of course controlled by the media as well. Sometimes it is not just about how you ask the question. It is about which questions you ask, and as well, which ones you don't.