The mariner has spent too many hours watching news outlets, campaign speeches, debates, and press articles. After a while, he felt he had lost his way in the pursuit of what Donald actually represents and how, in a general way, he will change the political philosophy of the United States. Donald pumps out so much egotistical junk and has a homiletic style that appeals to unsophisticated audiences; trying to glean small pieces of genuine intent and interpreting nuances requires time and a lot of useless rhetoric.
Nevertheless, mariner believes he has parsed a difference between the established power block that controls national policy and the proposed national policy presented, albeit obfuscated, by Donald. A few assumptions must be accepted:
- The current economic policy promoted by the oligarchy (primarily republicans) is investment. The personal profit model is to go where the fastest and largest return on investment can be found. This has led to mass emigration of large corporations and large investments from banks to other countries where taxes, labor and environmental practices are less expensive. NAFTA is an obvious illustration of how the Federal Government supported the investment model.
- There is a disconnect between what the Federal Government says about unemployment percentages and wage increases. Millions of Americans have and still continue to suffer from an unequal distribution of profits – the largest percentage by far going to the “top one percent.” Further, computerization is wiping out thousands of careers that used to be part of the employment picture. Last, the majority of 2008 recession victims have not recovered.
Donald, sans rhetoric, has proposed the following:
- He will impose tariffs to offset the advantage of businesses relocating to Mexico and other countries under the NAFTA agreement or otherwise relocating outside the US (several Big Pharma companies moving to Ireland for the tax break).
- He will neutralize trade imbalances with several Pacific nations, including China. This may be an extreme adjustment leading to isolation of the US market but it reflects a key preference in Donald’s approach: Business is more important than investment. Part of his “Make America Great” approach is to reconstitute the business model that “made America great” in the postwar, late century era before the banks and investment firms were able to merge (overturn of Glass/Steagall by Clinton and Greenspan 1994) and insert trillions of dollars into the investment economy.
- He will, in some budget model unperceived at this moment, make Medicare the health care system that replaces Obamacare but will allow each state to apply regulations individually. In line with this, he will erase state-by-state health insurance competition. He contends this will allow competition to reduce premiums; the majority of those in the industry suggest this approach will greatly reduce the quality of health policies.
- He will, in a yet to be clarified manner, do something about incarceration. He has not been clear about how this will happen but it is a frequent plank in his speeches.
- Finally, his outrageous claims regarding racial issues are more for his republican followers than may be possible in fact. His rhetoric on race works well because the Republican Party also is prejudiced. In the long run, he cannot afford to abandon non-whites if he wants to supplant the establishment philosophy.
Given the time invested, this is not much. However, to the mariner, these bits and pieces put together imply an economic model based on business rather than investment. Donald may even require banks to invest in US business and, via tax changes, make it less profitable for banks or anyone to invest outside the US.
Donald is not a conservative. He is an opportunist. Whether liberal or conservative, he will leverage populist popularity to assure his own power in the political environment. There is a danger to his simplistic solutions to overturn the establishment model. First, he may inadvertently put the US in an isolationist position vis-a-vis other nations. Second, his bombastic style will cause many inflammatory relationships with important countries and likely will not diminish military conflict.
Vote for Donald at your own risk.
°Nate Silver’s website, 538.com, has a projection tool called The Swingomatic the reader can manipulate to see what it would take to change blue states to red or vice versa. The variables are five sections of the population: college educated white, non college educated white, black, Hispanic/Latino, and Asian/other. The reader can adjust the number of votes and party to see what it would take to change the party inclination for the Electoral vote. While there, scroll down to the descriptions of the sections. Rather astute.
°On matters of managing the Ancient Mariner website, the email relationship has been troublesome. In an effort to remove large numbers of spammers, many subscribers also were eliminated. To resubscribe, assume you are a new subscriber; your old ID and password no longer exist.
Another path is to use RSS – an option in the right column near the bottom.