To loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke.
– Isaiah 58:1-12
BALTIMORE – The swamp is where the injustice arises. It’s where the win-lose deals are forced onto people. It is where waste, corruption, and larceny steal their time and money.
We don’t have to know whether a new law or new policy will actually do what its proponents say it will do. We just have to ask: Win-lose? Or win-win?
In the “public” space, as a general rule, deals must be win-win… or the average person will lose. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not do win-lose deals.
Because only win-win deals add to wealth, choice, and prosperity.
In a private deal, you can make money by taking it from someone else. But not everyone can make money that way. So, as a general rule or policy, it won’t work. It won’t make the average person better off.
In fact, it will make him worse off. Partly because of the friction, waste, and disincentives it creates. And partly because the average guy is never the winner in a win-lose deal.
Who feels the burden of the yoke? Who is the victim of injustice?
Is it Wall Street, with its millions in contributions to the feds and its key men filling the most powerful posts in the administration? No.
Or the Northern Virginia military/security insiders who have received as much as $50 trillion (in today’s dollars) of taxpayers’ money since World War II? No.
What about the cronies with their insider deals? The zombies with their payoffs and hush money? The Washington-New York-California establishment? No, no, and no.
Holdup Men, Shysters, and Bully Boys
We’ve gotten considerable feedback on our formula. Some good… some bad… and some that leaves us scratching our head. (Modestly, we’ll put our formula up against Thomas Piketty’s silly “r>g” formula any day.)
[Editor’s Note: In his book Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Piketty surmised that returns on capital (r) grow faster than the economy (g).]
Ours is not a universal formula, however. It is not like the second law of thermodynamics or “All you need is love.” It is just a description of how a civilized economy works.
And it seems to lead to a shocking and impossible conclusion. If win-win is good and win-lose is bad… why do we have a government at all? Every one of the government’s deals is win-lose.
“Did you know that there are robber bees?” asked a local beekeeper on Saturday. “They don’t gather honey. They just steal it from other hives. We have to keep an eye out for them.”
Yes, dear reader, there are bees that practice win-lose, too. The robber bees win. The robbed bees have less.
Our formula doesn’t tell us what to do about them… It only tells us that we’d be better off without them. And we’ll accept the cost of preventing and deterring them, doing our best to keep it as low as possible.
But that’s just life, isn’t it? There are inevitably some holdup men, shysters, and bully boys. And, as far as we know, there is inevitably government.
Some win-lose deals – imposed by the feds – may be necessary. But what the formula tells us is that Jefferson was right: The fewer of them you have, the better off you are.
“The government that governs best,” he said, “governs least.”
In order for Trump to govern well, he must reduce the reach of government. He must drain the swamp.
He must chase the moneylenders out of the temple… send the soldiers back to their barracks… and stop old people from exploiting the young.
Tall order? You betcha…
BY Jim Rickards, Editor, Defense Technology Alert
Editor’s Note: As a former investment banker and adviser to the U.S. intelligence community, Jim Rickards has some strong convictions about the future of defense spending… and how it could impact you.
President Trump’s policies will be easier to forecast than those of any recent administration because he telegraphed those policies on the campaign trail.
Among those policies is a huge boost in defense spending, upgrades to the nuclear arsenal, expanded operations in space, and reviving something like Ronald Reagan’s “600-ship Navy.”
You can see this defense spending bonanza coming not only because Trump promised it (and he means what he says), but because Trump will have to go down this road to lend credibility to his other statements about the South China Sea, North Korea, Taiwan, and NATO.
Trump has suggested confrontational or unilateral actions in all of those areas. You can’t act confrontationally or unilaterally without a strong defense and intelligence capability. That’s exactly what Trump is out to create.
And he recently issued a presidential memorandum pledging to rebuild the military, reading in part: “To pursue peace through strength, it shall be the policy of the United States to rebuild the U.S. Armed Forces.”
But defense technology is not something you can create by executive order. It takes a year or longer to conduct feasibility studies and make it through the appropriations process.
That’s good news for investors prepared to take advantage of the spending boom because it means they have time to get in on the most promising defense tech startups and medium-sized players before the big orders and the big buyouts start to roll in.
This is a once-in-20-years opportunity, and with Trump in the Oval Office, smart investors who understand the implications will have the wind at their backs for a decade.
– Jim Rickards
P.S. Right now, we’re seeing an investing window of opportunity that’s opened only five times in the past 60 years: once during the Korean War… once during the Vietnam War… once during the Reagan-era buildout… once after 9/11… and right now with Trump’s coming spending wave…
And in my latest presentation, I explain how you can reap the massive types of predictable and repeated gains that cropped up the previous four times. Click here now for all the details.
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Bill’s “bewitchingly useful” formula continues to be the major topic of discussion among your fellow Diary readers. So today, we bring you more of their comments.
But first, one dear reader has a serious question…
Where do I turn in my application to become a swamp critter?
– Kim C.
And now, more of your cheers and jeers for Bill’s revolutionary formula of satisfaction…
Bill, you might want to check and then double-check the accuracy of your revolutionary new formula. If you recall, Albert Einstein discovered that his original theory of relativity formula had an error that he later discovered and corrected.
Obviously, Albert didn’t have to fight the dangerous swamp critters and the treacherous Deep State at the same time like our Donald, but he sure had to fight hard at first to have his theory accepted. You might even say his formula was an example of your win-lose theory. His formula was eventually proven accurate but has never been implemented.
The big question now is which of your formula’s results our hero will fall under? Who knows. Your formula may become as famous as Albert’s!
– Ken D.
If you and other like-minded sages are correct, Bill, the prevailing fiscal and monetary policy mess must culminate in potentially severe global economic consequences (loss) before a meaningful resolution (win) can emerge. So, perhaps your equation should be revised to S (subscript d) = l-w?
Satisfaction delayed is better than none at all, but it is bad news for Trump, as he stands to be blamed for the loss at the expense of his wins.
– Juliette R.
Re: win-win, win-lose. If only it were that simple to tell which is which.
For example, I am a homeowner of an age that precludes having school-aged children. I am forced to pay taxes to support schools that provide no direct benefit to me. Win-lose? But a good school system increases my property values. Win-win? Yes… and no.
– Paul A.
Getting what we want is a poor analogy if the goal is to make the world a better place. Greed, corruption, conflict, and waste are most prevalent throughout the history of people “getting what they want.” Laws governing morals, ethics, and sensibility do matter and are necessary if we are to remain a civilized society.
Biblically speaking, hell is probably littered with those who got what they wanted and, unfortunately, what they needed (deserved).
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