BALTIMORE – Thank God for the travel ban!
Since the 1950s, roughly 1,000,000 people have been murdered in the U.S., including 2,996 killed on 9/11 by terrorists.
We don’t need any more killers in the U.S.; we’ve got plenty already.
But wait… You say that native-born Americans are five times more likely to be killers than refugee immigrants?
You say the travel ban did not cover the countries – most notably Saudi Arabia – that supplied the 9/11 terrorists?
And that this ban would have prevented none of the terrorist killings in the U.S… not the Pulse nightclub attack… not San Bernardino… not the Boston Marathon?
The press is hot with rants and raves. But you’ll get no more cynical sniping from us. No more sarcastic attacks. No more ironic reflections or sincere opinions.
The spirit of civic improvement has come over us like a state-ordered lobotomy. Today, we offer only constructive criticism.
Fortunately, we now have a way of “scoring” Team Trump’s policies without resorting to emotion or sentiment. We simply apply our revolutionary new formula.
Our new formula is far superior to per-capita GDP, purchasing power parity, employment, or any other statistical measure. It describes what people really want: satisfaction.
S = rv (w-w – w-l)
Satisfaction (S) equals the real value (rv) of win-win deals (w-w) minus win-lose deals (w-l). (Has anyone told the Nobel committee about this yet?)
Making America great again is more than just waving flags and talking tough to foreigners.
For it to have real meaning, it must help Americans get more of what they want and less of what they don’t want. Nobody wants to be killed, so a travel ban could make sense.
And here’s a clear victory: The press reports that President Trump has ordered a cutback in regulation.
It’s a “two for one.” If you’re going to add a new regulation, you have to take away two old ones – a step in the right direction.
The more the feds tell you what to do, the less you’re able to do what you want.
People are not that complicated: They get more of what they want when they are able to get it.
They must be safe. They must be free. They must have the right to own property. Then they can do win-win deals with other people to trade for what they want. Or at least for what they deserve.
Here’s a simple illustration:
Imagine that you are forced to marry an ugly, argumentative cousin who insists on eating potato chips in bed while watching reruns of My Mother the Car.
That deal is going to go bad. Win-lose at best. Probably lose-lose. Little satisfaction for anyone.
If you are free to marry whomever you want, on the other hand, you still may get into a lose-lose deal. But at least it’s your own damned fault.
And if you get lucky, you and your spouse are winners. You live happily ever after. Satisfaction increases.
Nothing has value on its own. It is only given value by the people who want it.
Nobody living in the Sahara pays for sand. If you are lactose intolerant… milk will have little value. And you may not want to visit Syria even if the travel agent finds you a good deal.
We only get a hint at what value things have by looking at what people willingly pay for them.
Again, the key is the “willingly” part. The feds can impose a regulation forcing you to buy milk. But that doesn’t give it value.
The real value of goods and services is measured by the prices paid by willing purchasers. No buyer will willingly buy into a losing deal. So, every honest (not coerced… not fraudulent) deal must be a potential win-win.
You may not think it is a good deal. You may not consider it a wise deal. But only the participants know what brings them satisfaction.
So, now we’re getting somewhere. We have a simple definition of satisfaction: “S” = getting what you want.
And a simple formula for making America great again: Increase w-w; decrease w-l.
There are all sorts of win-lose transactions. You pay someone to paint your house; he runs off with the money before completing the job. He wins. You lose.
A mugger holds you up on the street and takes your wallet. Again, he wins. You lose.
But the biggest perp of all is the government. Every edict and regulation, no matter how petty, is backed by the power to punish and force, denying people the opportunity to get what they really want.
And every plum bestowed by “the government” – whether it is a handicapped parking place or a billion-dollar crony contract – must come from someone else’s tree.
So now we see how Donald Trump can make America better.
He must reduce the reach, the meddling, the bullying, the fraud, and the larceny of the organization he now (partially) controls.
More to come…
BY CHRIS LOWE, EDITOR AT LARGE
Is President Trump’s “America First” policy starting to hurt global trade?
The Baltic Dry Index (BDI) tracks the price of transporting raw materials by sea. This makes it a good “thermometer” for the health of global trade.
All else equal, when global trade booms, it pushes up shipping rates. When trade is in the doldrums, shipping rates fall.
The BDI rose 333% from its low last February to Election Day.
It then rose as much as 50% in the wake of Trump’s win. But that trend then reversed sharply on November 18.
The BDI is now down 10% since Trump’s Election Day win.
– Chris Lowe
The Stock Market Doesn’t Care Who’s President
Plenty of ink has been spilled by pundits about what President Trump’s economic plans mean for markets. But it’s pure speculation at this point to forecast whether Trump will cause a stock boom or bust.
3-D Printed Cars?
3-D printing has been disrupting scores of industries. Now it is hitting the road. And one new company, Divergent 3D, has started printing the chassis of an automobile.
What Trump Means for Your Personal Finances
Gold guru Doug Casey explains what President Trump could mean for your personal finances, specifically bonds, real estate, stocks, and commodities like gold.
In the history of the Diary, we’ve never seen so much reader feedback over a single issue.
To bring you up to speed, last Wednesday, Bill featured the following piece of reader feedback and encouraged your fellow readers to have their say:
Now, four days after his inauguration, you declare the president’s “policies” DOA. Your opinions are not based in fact. You have nothing but your own inflamed ego to back up your crazy predictions. I cannot stomach such ignorance anymore. Post this on your daily, Bill, and see how many of your subscribers agree with me. If you have any left, that is.
Here are some more of your responses…
I’m surprised the feedback is not much higher than 3-to-1 against your pearls of wisdom. I believe many more than that are tired of your condescending preening. It appears that you are a very angry person who just can’t understand why the peons just won’t listen to your “brilliant” solutions.
– Harold C.
I’m in total agreement with the email you printed from a subscriber angry with you for what you have been saying for the last few days. I also was feeling the same way and was about to unsubscribe.
I do, however, have respect for you for printing this and deciding to give President Trump a chance.
– Barbara D.
Criticism on its own is either boring, immature, or both. Criticism needs to be constructive to be mature and useful. I presume that’s where your readers (myself included) get annoyed.
– Hanne B.
Pay the naysayers no never mind, Bill. I’ve been reading your Diary ever since [George W.] Bush was president. And you have told each of them all the same thing regarding economic policy – the emperor (whomever it happens to be at that time) has no clothes.
You are neither Republican nor Democrat. You simply have common sense and can describe your perspective with a great deal of humor.
– Liz W.
Well, I agree with Bill and with his right to evaluate. I never miss his daily insights – one of the high points of my day.
– Curtis H.
I suspect you need no encouragement, but you can be certain that you have at least one happy subscriber as a result of your critical eye on people in power, whomever they may be.
President Trump is deeply flawed (as was Hillary Clinton, who was transparently corrupt). And, I might add, he’s the most unlikely champion of the “little people.” We’ll see. In the meantime, feel free to write of truth and reality. I take no offense and much prefer it to delusional optimism. Keep up the great work.
– Harry W.
I wear a red hat, reluctantly, but I still enjoy your comments.
– Gary S.
We are not stupid. When we listen to President Trump, we can see the problems of his positions. However, there are things that look hopeful as well. Why can’t you simply be hopeful for two weeks and let us alone?
– Deanna D.
I enjoy reading your books and your other publications. I cannot say that I disagree with your conclusions. You are a successful businessman who has made a lot of money from the general population of investors. Perhaps you should put some of your ideas in front of President Trump. I am sure he would be more than willing to listen to a man of your stature.
– Rodney A.
I do not read your newsletter because I agree with you. I read it because you speak the truth as you see it. You are creating a record that can be fact-checked, and you are willing to hold yourself accountable whether you are correct or incorrect. That’s as high a praise statement as I can provide. Keep up the work – whether good or bad.
– Bill H.
Always well said! My wife and I love your commentaries. You are hilarious in your analysis, and we find great enjoyment in following your daily entries.
– Patrick and Sharon P.
Please keep up with your erudite observations regarding the politicos in D.C. I for one appreciate your experience and knowledge. Thank you for your candor.
– James C.
I love your newsletters. Sarcastic and honest! Love, love, love it! People just don’t want to hear the truth.
We differ on some things, but I respect that because we don’t always have to agree on everything. You are entitled to your opinion. Never change because someone’s feelings got hurt because you voiced your opinion and they didn’t like it!
– Shawanda S.
You are proving the old maxim: If you want to piss people off, tell them the truth. Nothing makes people angrier faster than holding up a clean and shiny mirror in front of their faces. Keep telling your truth, even when it triggers the “unsubscribe” button.
– Gary C.
In Case You Missed It…
Trump’s presidency could be a boom or a bust. That’s exactly why Bill’s longtime friend and colleague Doug Casey put together a must-watch video. It shows what you need to do to position your finances for either scenario. But you must act now. Click here to watch this tell-all presentation.