Podcast 592-New Era

Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show 62

While the media ‘predicts’ the future of the new Donald Trump Era, I’ve been under a self imposed news blackout. I prefer to see what happens with the Trump before I comment. It seems to me an unpredictable personality as President is going to make it very difficult for pundits to tell you what kind of presidency it will be. Why not just wait and see? I think there are bigger trends at work.

Big Changes

We’re living through the dawn of a new industrial revolution. It seems to me, as everything around us changes government is changing too slowly. Technology is changing work and trade despite all this talk of returning America to 1950’s greatness. The biggest transportation company in the world owns no cars. The biggest hospitality company in the world owns no hotels. One of the biggest retailers in the world doesn’t own that many retail stores. It’s often difficult to determine the difference between a national export or an import.

Most of the jobs lost in manufacturing in the United States have been due to IT not outsourcing. Then there are the markets. One-size-fits-all mass markets are transitioning to mass specialization markets. Many new manufacturing plants will be automated and located close to markets they serve. It’s sad to me that in the midst of all this technology development we have a government designed for the 1950’s. Maybe this is something that will change.

In Podcast 592-New Era Day One-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show 62 I discuss what we need in the future. It seems to me this is more important than what someone said about Trump’s big speech. As a so called conservative takes power, I want to know whether Big Government Republicans will reduce the pernicious power of government. It seems to me we should be asking ourselves what will be required of us. What do we know? How do we know what we know? How did we learn what we know? Why do we fear competition? Why do some of us we fear change?

Sponsored by Hydrus Performance and X Government Cars.

Podcast 591-Midnight Winter Walk Talk

Time’s Prisoners

Could leaders be Time’s Prisoners? This week Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States. Partisan congressmen and entertainment figures on the left are taking the extreme step of boycotting the peaceful transfer of power. Partisans on the right believe the New York Businessman will right all wrongs and solve all problems. Are we Prisoners of Time? Both sides might take a lesson from the administration of Lyndon Baines Johnson.

Johnson is certainly one of the best of the pure politicians to occupy the White House. Serving as a Congressman and then Senator from Texas, Johnson rose to Senate Majority Leader, Vice President and the presidency after John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Johnson won the 1964 presidential election by one of the largest popular vote margins in history. Johnson’s administration overcame democrat opposition and managed enough republican votes in congress to pass the The Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. Johnson’s signature legislation creating ‘The Great Society‘ programs have been a centerpiece of the Democrat ideal that government can help ease the afflictions of the poor and downtrodden.

From that high political perch in 1965 Johnson backed into the war Vietnam and scuttled his presidency. Johnson will be forever remembered as the president who escalated the Vietnam War, rather than the president who did a great deal to ease the afflictions of the poor and downtrodden. It’s important to remember that many of the most experienced and smartest people in Washington backed Johnson’s war initiatives. It was Congress that gave the Texan full authority to do as he wanted in Vietnam after the Gulf on Tonkin incident.

In Podcast 591-Midnight Winter Walk Talk-Time’s Prisoners, I wonder how much the time we live in determines how much a government can do. This is a cautionary question for the vehement supporters of Donald Trump and his vocal detractors. Are the leaders we elect, their lieutenants and advisors prisoners of the time they live in? We can’t know the future and therefore may not be prepared to right all wrongs or avoid fatal mistakes.

We make decisions in everyday life based on the best information available and the best advice. Should I buy the chicken or the steak on sale at the grocery store? Should I buy a car now or later. Should I take that job and move to another city? It is the same with complex decisions and matters of state. State decisions have more weight but in the end, are often made the same way. People do the best with what they have and what they know at the time.

Two movies on HBO NOW depict the Johnson Administration. ‘All The Way‘ features Bryan Cranston as LBJ and depicts his struggle to pass the Civil Rights Act. The other is John Frankenheimer’s ‘Path To War‘ which depicts the Johnson Administration’s decisions to escalate the war in Vietnam ultimately foundering Johnson’s presidency.

Now, these films reflect and bias and perspective. It may not have been the intent of the film makers to show a president’s power is tentative, dependent on the best advice he can get, and his own experience. The presidency is a political office. I think congresses and presidential administrations are prisoners of their time. The decisions they make and the reaction to them are as much determined by the time we live in, and the experience it has given us, as any other factor. Call it fate. Call it blindness. Either way this is a sobering concept if you believe the new president is the second coming, but a comforting thought if you think he is the devil incarnate.

Sponsored by X Government Cars and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.