The alt-right grinds out political market share

Charlottesville exposed an inconvenient truth about multiculturalism. It is a lie. A country has only one culture, and while it may be orchestrated by a minority made up of oligarchs, it is expressed by the majority of the population.

Multiculturalism is seen by communities of color as a path to acceptance by the majority; a mechanism of inclusion. What minorities give up, especially people of African descent in America who call themselves black, is the exploration of their own histories as underpinnings for their own culture. Such an exploration may lead to abandoning the multicultural path and becoming a people going their own way.

For white nationalists, their reading of their history has lead to them to conclude that they prefer go their own way, away from the narratives and presence of ethnic minorities. They wish to be left alone in their own narrative, a narrative that doesn’t include anyone else.

I expect that they will fulfill or further actualize their perception. For all the attempts by the elite left to paint white nationalists as poor and ignorant, they likely have more capital and access to resources than most minorities and I expect them over the next 20 years to wield their advantages with more savvy and precision.

They don’t want to accept alternative cultures and in a couple decades, they won’t have to….

Posted in black American, culture, democracy, government, Political Economy, race, society | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Political law

Politics is about getting others to do what you want when you want it while having others pay the transactions cost for getting what you want when you want it. Politics is also about turning public resources into pools of funding that sustains the political oligarchy and the individuals that carry out their policies in the form of a bureaucracy.

Politics exists outside of government. It is truly organic unlike the artificial rules and institutions that comprise government. For people practice politics everyday. Parents practice politics in their children and the children, as they get older, form their own rules for getting what they want from parents.  People manipulate, cajole, promise, bribe, and beat others to get what they want.

Politics is violent ….

Government merely carries out rules that the winner in the political arena imposes on all others. Government is a black box; it is static.

Politics is dynamic; always in flux. It recognizes only one rule: dominate the environment by any means that maintains the dominant argument. Political law is about the creation or dismantling of rules that allow a country’s ruling elite to control and disseminate resources for its ultimate benefit.

Political law, then, represents the settlement of political violence, whether that violence is caused buy multiple oligarch factions fighting for control of government or businesses pushing back on the control oligarchs exert over the private sector.  Valid political law should concern itself only with what it can recover for those who hold capital…

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Donald Trump, China, and bond markets

Bill Clinton once observed that the key to re-election was to keep the bond markets happy. China is betting on the bond markets as well.

Lighting up the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea subsequent to a U.S. “preemptive strike” will drive bond yields up and send bond prices down. This will allow China to buy U.S. treasury notes (bonds) on the cheap.

Who knew that Donald Trump and the U.S. military were really an investment banking syndicate for China?

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The digital seas don’t need #netneutrality mercantilism

Just like any trade, the producers of digitized content should expect that their packages may be lost at digital sea. In the case of the internet, producers, whether they are sending licensed video entertainment from their servers or pictures from their smartphone of their dog Rover chasing a Frisbee, if they value the delivery of that “information trade”, they should pay the carrier a premium to guarantee its delivery, and that premium should extend to all potential participants in the delivery of that content.

Given that the internet is an interconnection of tens of thousands of computer networks, in order for that premium to extend to all potential participants involved in the delivery of digital content, the premium should be paid up front to the producer’s internet service provider. Why? Because that provider has to pay to hand off the producer’s content to the next gateway. There should be enough of a premium moving through the network to provide an incentive to transport digital content from the originating laptop to the final web server.

Unfortunately for the debate on net neutrality, the rule proponents completely overlook and do not offer any economic analysis to support their position. Their arguments have been erroneously built on conflation of democracy and internet access. As someone who is interested in the digital information trade component of the internet, I find their oversight bizarre and amusing at the same time. The irony is that “democracy” is making the false argument that democracy is under attack on the internet and this argument is going viral.

The argument that should be going viral is that the internet is a commercial platform designed to transport digital content for hire. The content with the most value should be allowed to pay a premium in order to get it to the consumer that perceives this content as high value. This also means that where broadband access providers, content delivery networks, and other content delivery participants recognize this value, they should be expected to recover a piece of the value along the digital transport supply chain.

The Federal Communications Commission should not succumb to calls by netizens for a 21st century form of digital content mercantilism via the imposition of more rules on digital trade. Let the market for digital content determine the prices assessed to the consumer and to each of the participants in the digital content supply chain.

Posted in commerce, data brokers, e-commerce, Economy, Federal Communications Commission, knowledge economy, net neutrality, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

What are Democrats doing to increase political market share?

The past six months of negative press for President Trump should provide Democrats with an opportunity to reduce Mr Trump’s electoral base, but if that opportunity exists, I don’t see Democrats taking advantage of it, not just yet anyway.

A recent Newsweek article reports that Mr Trump is floundering in the polls, with 58% of Americans disapproving of Mr Trump’s job performance. Mr Trump’s approval rating fell to 35% last March, according to the article, a result of the Republicans’ failed attempts at passing a promised repeal and replace of the Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare. And with August recess around the corner for the full Congress, negative blow back from that failure should continue through the rest of the summer.

Mr Trump, the constant marketer, would argue it is not all that bad. The Hill reports that Mr Trump has polled at 50% in 17 states, although in some of those states his numbers have hovered around 40%.

And Democrats are not exactly providing any effective ammunition against Mr Trump or the Republicans. It is not enough to oppose the President. According to a CNN report this morning, only 37% of Americans think that Democrats stand for anything, while 52% of Americans believe that the only “policy” position that Democrats are taking is simply to oppose Mr Trump.

It may be time for the Democratic Party to pursue the Democrats that supported Barack Obama but turned their noses up on Hillary Clinton, gravitating toward a Republican candidate whose rhetoric spoke to their plight versus the perceived disinterest of the Clinton camp.

Specifically, the Democrats can regain some political market share in 2018 or 2020 by emphasizing the benefits of the Affordable Care Act and moving away from the moniker, Obamacare; a clear, cogent, and plausible economic plan; and a populist message that creates enough of a distance from the perceived elitism of the Clinton regime.

The primary question on this page is whether there will be any benefits from the changing political marketplace that flows to the commercial market place. Right now, I see none. Republicans have produced no success on infrastructure, tax, or health insurance reform. Democrats seemed concerned only with Russia. We’ll just keep watching.

Posted in American society, commerce, Congress, Democrats, Donald Trump, Economy, GOP, government, Political Economy, Republicans, trade | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Federal Reserve should do Congress’ net neutrality work

Next Wednesday the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve will meet in Washington to announce whether the central bank has raised its target for interest rates that its member banks charge each other for overnight loans. Rate changes can have a ripple effect throughout the economy where rates paid on mortgages or savings accounts may start to inch up or down depending on the Federal Reserve’s decision.

For example, rates on three-year certificates of deposit inched up .05 percentage points over the past month. Mortgage rates on a 30-year fixed loan also moved up .04 percentage points. Some analysts expect the Federal Reserve to raise rates as it starts ridding its holdings of mortgage and asset backed securities that it purchased in order to release more cash into the monetary system leading to a reduction in interest rates. This policy, referred to as quantitative easing, was put in place by the Federal Reserve to reverse the ravages of the 2007-2008 disruption in the credit markets.

What I’ve overlooked is that in the aftermath of the crisis, the U.S. economy saw the emergence of the “sharing economy”, where firms started using mobile software applications to disrupt long-standing industries such as cab services and hotels. We have seen the emergence of Airbnb, Lyft, and Uber disrupt common carrier services, while Netflix destroyed Blockbuster with an old, mail-based delivery system for videos, it has, post financial crisis, leveraged the internet and streaming video technology to disrupt the cable television business.

All of these services took advantage of the open network architecture of the internet and their subscribers use wire-line and wireless broadband to reach them. They also, as I pointed out earlier, emerged in a low interest environment. Uber, for example, has reportedly gone through 15 rounds of financing since its inception in March 2009, raising $12 billion in financing. With a valuation of $70 billion and revenues of $6.5 billion in 2016, the company is still not yet profitable.

I am wary of how Uber and other post-crisis business models that leverage other people’s capital will do in a rising interest rate environment. Uber’s investors may decide to withdraw their capital and move it to higher yielding activity. Attracting new capital may become increasingly difficult for this reason.

These relatively new companies that deliver information via the internet and broadband have spearheaded efforts to have broadband companies follow a set of principles known as net neutrality. These companies want broadband access providers like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon to allow their subscribers to view all legally available content; to allow content providers access to subscribers without interference; and to provide consumers and content providers alike with information on how broadband access providers are managing their traffic.

But as rates go up, net neutrality might be the last thing on the minds of those in e-commerce, especially companies that own very little if any hard assets. If Uber or Netflix can’t find cheap capital to grow, they won’t be able to compete with firms that have hard assets that can be used as collateral for financing. Uber and Netflix may find themselves paying a premium on increased rates in order to settle the nerves of investors who are already queasy about their business models. If they can’t borrow, they are out of business, and net neutrality would be a moot point.

Posted in apps, broadband access provider, capital, commerce, e-commerce, Economy, Federal Reserve, media, net neutrality | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Trump Administration takes government back to the basics on energy.

Sitting back and nibbling on the popcorn and tea while researching an op-ed, I am noticing first hand how ass-backwards the current American presidential administration is. The Administration is so far behind that some of its cabinet’s websites are still using public policy language from the Obama era.

Take for example language on the U.S. Department of Energy’s energy efficiency office website.  The office’s mission “is to create and sustain American leadership in the transition to a global clean energy economy. Its vision is a strong and prosperous America powered by clean, affordable, and secure energy.” The problem with this verbiage is that it falls out of line with President Trump’s rhetoric on America’s dominance in global energy.

In his America First Energy Plan, Mr Trump promises to embrace the shale oil and gas revolution; that the United States must take advantage of the $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves. Mr Trump also emphasizes his support for clean coal technology, and that revenues generated by energy production will be reinvested into America’s infrastructure.

And while Mr Trump gives a shout-out to environmental stewardship and the necessity to keep America’s air clean, he makes no mention of the role renewable energy i.e. solar, wind, geothermal could play in America’s energy mix.

Adding insult to the energy left, Mr Trump is proposing a 69% cut in the funding for the Energy Department’s energy efficiency office, an office that dedicates a significant portion of its work to promoting the development and use of energy efficient technology.

But while some analysts see the Administration’s initiatives as a poo-poo on scientific inquiry, Mr Trump’s initiatives redirects the government to its core mission: the exploitation of an area’s natural resources for the benefit of its investors. You can’t harness the wind or corral the Sun, but you can establish and exploit property rights that are built around coal, oil, and natural gas. The reinvestment of the revenues from the production won’t just be reinvested into infrastructure for the good of the people. They will be reinvested so as to transform one form of capital into a higher value form of capital with the costs of extraction and production spread among the masses of citizens in the form of prices and taxes.

This the crucial point that progressives miss about this aspect of environmentalism. They can’t make a property and investment argument for solar or wind such that bondholders (investors) can sufficiently get behind it.

Six months, one hour and forty-five minutes old, this Administration still can’t fill positions or update websites, but has been lightning fast about taking government back to its core function; resource exploitation.

Posted in bondholders, Budget, Donald Trump, Economy, energy, government, Political Economy, renewable energy, Rick Perry, solar, technology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Of Oligarchs, Buffers, and Democracy

The only benefit that democracy and government provide is that in combination they serve as a buffer between the warring factions of oligarchs with voters playing the pawns in a war for political influence.

Most of the abuses suffered by the pawns are self-inflicted, manifested in continued vacuous opining on matters over which they have no control or that have no linkage to real economic empowerment. These discussions amount to children rolling around in a sandbox, easily distracted from reality, and answering the oligarchs’ calls to vote like a mother calls to her kids to come in the house, eat a grilled cheese sandwich, and guzzle down the red flavor Kool-Aid. This, in essence, is the buffer.

Without this buffer, usually referred to as “democracy”, oligarchs would tear each other apart, having to actually face each other in a battle for political supremacy. I’d rather see the buffer disappear and watch the oligarchs rip each other apart in a transparent, honest, and wondrously bloody and horrific way. It wouldn’t be a bad thing ….

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Are Democrats and Republicans distracted from keeping America an investment haven?

It appears, at least from the commentary in more centrist media, that the Republican Party has allowed an amateur to take over the White House. Trump appears to have blown the first two years worth of political capital in six months. Is the United States still a market that can be invested in? Probably, especially with the Democrats and Republicans apparently distracted.

Posted in Democrats, Donald Trump, Economy, foreign policy, GOP, government, trade, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The meek will not inherit the Earth. They are too weak ….

In the end, it will be the foragers who survive and inherit the Earth. They understand that the limit to their ability to consume is directly related to what the Earth naturally provides. Immediately after the apocalypse, there may not be enough, but as those who rely on technology quickly enter permanent sleep, and the Earth heals from the abuse the departed placed on the planet, the foragers will enjoy the increased bounty.

Hopefully the survivors will have learned the lessons of the past, but we are talking about humans…

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