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Hillary or Donald? Who Cares?

Hillary or Donald? Who Cares?
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Full Article: Hillary or Donald? Who Cares? 

By: Michael Campbell, Money Talks

I don’t think anyone in the commentariat shows any sign of understanding what is revealed by the two political quotes below. The first quote is my favorite because it sums up my sentiments.

Gary Johnson, the presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party in the US was asked during his appearance on The View whether he would vote Clinton or Trump if someone had a gun to his head. He replied: “I’d let the gun go off.”

The second quote is representative of the mainstream media. Its a generalization but I think the evidence supports it. It was made this week by New York Magazine writer Jonathan Chait:

“the average undecided voter is getting snippets of news from television personalities like Matt Lauer who are failing to convey the fact that the election pits a normal politician with normal political feelings against an ignorant, bigoted, pathologically dishonest authoritarian.”

Some ask why I look at politics. To be blunt, understanding political trends is pivotal to understanding major investment trends –  from the Canadian dollar’s value to real estate and of course stocks. The capital flows that move investments and currencies are driven by confidence, primarily in government. Last year 1.3 trillion dollars moved out of Russia, 1.2 trillion out of China.  I think most of us understand, for example, that money moving out of China has been a major mover of high-end real estate in Vancouver, Toronto, New York, Melbourne and Sydney. Russia has been a big player in London and New York.

The biggest player on the world stage though is the US and that’s why I’m focusing on it. It has the biggest capital flows in both directions and what we’re seeing in this election is unprecedented, and it will be a pivotal catalyst for the financial and social chaos that’s to come. At Money Talks World Outlook Conference with Martin Armstrong and on the Money Talks show I’ve been unequivocal that the next four years are going to make the extreme volatility and the social and economic dislocation of the last seven years seem like the good old days.

With that said let me come back to New York magazine writer Jonathan Chait’s statement that: “the election pits a  normal politician with normal political feelings against an ignorant, bigoted, pathologically dishonest, authoritarian.”

My reading is that this represents the commentariats prevailing view. They are on the side that says that Hillary Clinton’s unethical behavior, her outright lying that I would characterize as the worst in the political establishment, is better than the bombastic ill-conceived passing acquaintance with the truth that Donald Trump displays. That focus completely misses the big picture. It makes no difference if you think that Donald Trump couldn’t be worse with what’s going on now. Or as other people i know think that anything would be better than Donald. What the commentariat seems oblivious to, is that this election marks a key point in the demise of confidence in government. Each candidate is profoundly polarizing, and whoever wins the presidency is going to start with the highest disapproval rating in history, somewhere around sixty percent. They will preside over the next leg of the entitlement crisis that’s already claimed Detroit, Stockton, Chicago and Puerto Rico. At some point we’ll stop ignoring this but I can’t emphasize enough that the entitlement crisis going to be pivotal.

When I first read Mr. Chait’s quote on Hillary Clinton, that she’s a normal politician with normal political feelings, I thought “If she’s the norm the system deserves to unravel”. But it’s more than that. The commentariat seem completely out of touch with the suffering and hardship that so many experience. I’ve mentioned this a lot in conjunction with our own debate over oil and pipelines and not once have I ever heard the leaders of the anti pipeline and anti oil movement even mention the massive job losses and dislocation happening in certain communities. It’s not even acknowledged, and this kind of bottom line elitism is what fuels the discontent.

As well known New York Times columnist David Brooks said, “Trump voters are a coalition of the dispossessed. They’ve suffered job losses, lost wages, lost dreams. The American system is not working for them so naturally they’re looking for something else.” Many in the media, especially me, did not understand just how they would express their alienation. We expected Trump to fizzle because we’re not socially intermingled with his supporters and did not listen carefully enough. I think that’s a beautiful summation of the Canadian mainstream media, and also in the States. Mr. Brooks got the message, but I see little evidence that the vast majority of the commentariat or the political establishment has. They didn’t see the Brexit vote coming. They seem oblivious to what happened in Greece with the election of the newly formed Syriza party. No thoughts on the upcoming election in Austria where they Anti-Eu party will win. The defeat of Angela Merkel’s party in regional elections in Germany last week? No. No thoughts on any of those dramatic changes.

The question of who or what comes next is the key political and economic question for the next decade. The election of Hillary Clinton, the ultimate elitist establishment Wall Street candidate, (as Bernie Sanders said) is going to exacerbate the trend. The backlash against the political elite has begun and the trend is going to be propelled by litany of broken promises by the welfare state starting with unfunded public sector pensions compounded by major debt problems.

That’s the big picture to understand, not what your political favorite is.

~ Michael Campbell

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