500 days

Only Modest Growth: After 500 days of the Trump administration, they are bragging about a booming economy and a record low employment rate. However, looking a little closer at these statistics, first quarter growth was only at about 2% (about the same as before Trump) and the unemployment rate had already fallen to about 4% (now 3.8%). This modest growth is in spite of a massive simulative $1.5 trillion tax cut to the very rich and corporations. However, statistics so far indicate that 80% of the tax saving are being used for non-productive use, such as stock buybacks.

Trump Popularity has Grown: After 500 days on the job President Trump popularity has grown to above 40%. However, we see a polarized country if we look at recent statistics more closely.  In a recent Gallup poll reported in the New York Times today; when asked  the question “Overall, what kind of moral leadership do you think President Trump provides?”  72% of Republicans said “Strong,’ compared to 37% of Independents and at only 8% of Democrats. The polarization is even more evident of those who consider Trump’s moral leadership as ‘Weak’; 13% of Republicans, 69% of the Independents and 91% of the Democrats.

Trump’s distractions ignore the Big Picture: It seems the more the Democratic criticize Trump, the more his base dig in their feet.  Are we are being ‘distracted’ by President Trump’s  daily celebrity theatrics, while the harmful side effects of oligarchy capitalism and globalization have created distress on Middle Class, who find themselves increasingly replaced with automation and lower priced labor? We have taken our eye off the ball, as 80 people own 40% of the world’s wealth and the Walton’s are wealthier than the bottom 40% of Americans and all income growth goes to the top 1% The Middle Class is in trouble with 50% of the population unable to meet a $400 emergency. I continue to believe that this economic inequality will reach a tipping point, where all boats will sink. This means the stock market. 

We will probably soon face a Constitutional Crisis as The President will resist the outcome of the Muller Investigation. It won’t be pretty!

Let’s stop concentrating on Trump’s distracting antics and look at the Big Picture!  (The Democrats would be smart to never mention Trumps name again and just mention what needs to be fixed.)

The Big Picture: (Things we need to fix)

  • A new study predicts that up to a third of all American jobs will be lost to automation within the next 13 years. A new era of globalization, multiculturalism, multiracialism, automation and a carbon free economy is descending on us. We must address these challenges, as an opportunity!
  • Between 1980 and 2017, most of the income growth has gone to the top 1%. This process has transferred approximately $1 trillion a year from the bottom 90% of income earners, to the top 1%. This is unsustainable and all boats will sink.
  • The US has the highest ‘poverty rate’ among developed nations at 16% and 21% for children. That’s 1 out of five children living in poverty!
  • The US ranks 44th in Health Care and has the highest infant mortality rate among developed nations.  All the industrialized nations have universal healthcare for their citizens, so can we!
  • The US ranks 35th in meeting basic human needs
  • The US ranks 19th in basic education and 40th in math skills, 25th in science and 24th in reading skills. We need to level the playing field by offering our children a first-rate education.
  • In the US there are 6,000 families being evicted every day.
  • Over 50,000 people die of overdose every year.
  • The Pentagon has said that they are defenseless against ‘climate change’ and it “presents a clear and present danger” to the country. Rising seas and drought will change the world. The Departments of the Environment has been gutted. We have withdrawn for The Paris environmental agreement.
  • Our infrastructure is dangerously deteriorating!
  • Putin will stop at nothing to maintain his totalitarian system, including cyber attacks on us. He has plans to hack our bank accounts, to undermine our media and influence our elections.
  • With student debt above $1.3 trillion dollars, our young graduates have become indentured servants to their debt. In addition, Middle-Class consumers have taken on almost $1 trillion in credit card debt, while ‘Big Banks’ charge exorbitant interest rates of 15% to 25%. The Department of Consumer protection has been gutted.
  • The public is saddened by the treatment of DOCA and the treatment of those seeking asylum, as children are separated and 1,500 children are missing. This divides America. We need to pass a reasonable immigration bill!
  • Expect a Trade War.  The Smoot–Hawley Tariff signed into law on June 17, 1930 raised US tariffs on over 20,000 imported goods and reduced our export by 80% by 1932.
  • The top 1% and large corporations, through Citizens United and their lobbyists have exploited of the political system and have formed an oligarchy that has built up powerful defenses against competition and income equality. Thus, we are quickly becoming ‘The Land of Only the Privileged’. Repeal Citizens United!
  • We need to correct the Gerrymandering of voting districts.  Gerrymandering is the manipulation of voting boundaries favoring one party over the other. With a database, politicians can create a district where they can predict the voting behavior of each potential district. This must be corrected.
  • We need to set term limits for our Senators, Congressmen and for the Supreme Court, for the same reason we have a two term limit for the Presidency; power tends to corrupt.
  • We need to bring back the Glass Stiegel Act. Without it, banks can act unethically between their banking and Investment Banking functions.
  • We need to expand the Voting Rights Act, to make it easier for citizens to register and to vote.
  • We now have many people working at a minimum wage of $7.50 an hour, making them virtually slave labor. We need to set the minimum wage at $15.
  • We need to pass legislation to regulate automatic weapons, recognize global warming and regulate our banks so as to prevent them from getting the world into another financial crisis.

Don’t give up hope: as Churchill said, “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.”

Carl does not offer investment advice, but merely his own personal opinion. This report has been prepared from original sources and data we believe reliable but make no representations as to the accuracy or completeness. Carl , his affiliates and subsidiaries and/or their officers and employees may from time to time acquire, hold or sell a position in securities. Past performance is no guarantee of future success. Upon request, we will supply additional information. CarlBis@aol.com

Carl M Birkelkbach