Summer Starts The Year. Most of this year has been like living on an ice floe, or behind glass, or encased in cotton. Now that summer has started, it feels like things are speeding up. It feels like the year is just starting. If that assessment resonates with you, there are three stories to watch in the next few weeks that may bear fruit as major game changers. Or not. First, Britain votes on June 23rd on whether to exit the European Union. If you read the analysts it’s all gloom and doom. Such an exit will trigger an economic collapse, or worse, plunge Europe into a collection of disagreeable states that triggered two world wars in the 20th century. Yet, if you think about it, there are many states that aren’t in the EU, both in Europe and in the rest of the world and we all seem to get along just fine. The world isn’t going to stop trading with Britain whether it stays in the EU, or not. Second, Movements such as the British Exit movement are characterized by the worldwide media as “Populist” or “Nationalist”, or worse “Xenophobic”. Explanations are offered to suggest this is the effect worldwide of the Trump candidacy. What if that isn’t it at all? What if people are struggling to come to grips politically with overbearing and increasingly incompetent governments, and central banks who seem to be doing more harm than good. The west seems to have a disturbing faith in government as a solution to all that ails. What if governments, politicians, technocrats and elitist ‘leaders’ are the problem? Is it possible we have lost the language to be able to define the problem, since almost every story about the economy leaves one with the impression that there’s only one way to address economic stagnation in the US and the rest of the world and that is to stimulate demand. What if stimulating demand isn’t the issue at all. Since we’re all so steeped in one way of thinking regardless of what ‘side’ of the political divide we’re on, we seem to be struggling with the issue of how to describe the tyranny of government. Our political system doesn’t seem to have the capacity to address it, mainly because we don’t seem to have the language to name the problem. Thus, people get described as ‘populist’, or ‘xenophobic’, and non governmental solutions get described the same way. If we talked about government in terms of Monarchy, perhaps Americans would better understand the increasingly unlimited power of government over our lives, and the unlimited ability of government to fail. Maybe that’s what the British in favor of an exit are saying. Third, republican candidate for the nomination for president Donald Trump may suffer death by a thousand cuts, politically speaking in the next few weeks as more and more issues come to the forefront concerning his campaign effort. Vulnerable Republican Senators are so concerned about losing the Senate they managed to get Marco Rubio to announce he is running for Senate in Florida after all. Moreover, Romney supporters are getting appointed to powerful posts on the rules committee, a ‘conscience clause’ rule change is in the offing, former Bush Administration officials are endorsing Hillary Clinton and it was revealed this week Trump’s campaign only has 1.3 million dollars on hand for a national campaign, and isn’t fully staffed. Get ready, a major challenge to Trump is in the works, with all the usual suspects working behind the scenes. Did someone say Jeb Bush? Romney? Ryan? Rubio? Time will tell. Sponsored by Karow Contracting and Brush Studio in the West End, Saint Louis Park.
No Growth Economy. New numbers say the US Economy grew by only .2 percent. Yet still, the Federal Reserve says the economy should grow now in the second quarter. Never mind all the ‘experts’ predicted 2015 would be a ‘blow out’ year, and that they have been revising their predictions down all through the quarter, they were still way above what the numbers actually show. Excuses? They have a few. The weather. The work slow down at the Port in Los Angeles. The weather. The strong dollar. Did I mention the dollar? The US has now had quarter after quarter of slow, no, or only anemic growth, and yet the Obama administration and its apologists, and the bone headed financial media call it a ‘boom’. Meanwhile small and medium sized businesses all over the country know it for what it is. A no growth economy. Why do business writers believe things will change if the policies don’t change? Does the consumer really account for 70 percent of the economy? What if we’re using the wrong tools to stimulate the wrong things? What’s that old saw about the definition of insanity? Banks aren’t lending because they can make more money borrowing at the discount window, reinvesting in the stock markets. Companies aren’t investing because they’re buying back their own stocks. The US corporate tax rate is the highest in the world (by far), and the tax code is so complex it costs us dearly in productivity lost (while we comply with the tax code) and literally billions of dollars spent complying with its byzantine rules. Regulations of all kinds make it almost impossible for small and medium sized businesses to grow. What are the policy ideas we need to hear from candidates (which we’re not hearing) to fix the economy. It’s not about inequality. It’s not about ‘reformicon’ tax policies (which are actually democrat tax policies warmed over), or making the government work more efficiently. In this podcast, some ideas you may agree or disagree with, but it will definitely start you thinking. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating and X Government Cars.