PARIS – One of the nice things about living near Cork Airport in Ireland is that you can easily get over to Paris.
And Cork Airport is very civilized, quiet, and relaxed. No airport goons shouting at you. No long lines.
We’re here in Paris on business, of course. But even the most hard-shelled homme d’affaires would have a hard time ignoring the buds and blossoms pullulating in every arrondissement.
It is springtime, after all.
Lovers, hand in hand, make their way to the Pont de Pietons, where they clamp a lock inscribed with their initials on the bridge. “As long as Paris lasts,” they say to each other, “so will our amour.”
But we have no time to stop and smell the flowers. We have dots to connect… and the breakdown of Western civilization to reckon with.
Yes, Dear Reader, gloom is what we see… doom is what we foretell. And if you are smart, you will vamoose out of the danger zone… if you can.
Alas, that will be hard to do, because civilization itself is at risk. And herewith, we begin to connect some big, squishy dots.
One of the most cherished lessons humans ever learned is that wars are dangerous, destructive, and rarely profitable. The war-makers are wealth (and happiness) destroyers; they need to be kept on a leash.
That was the central insight of conservatism for generations: The feds may be useful servants, but they are bad masters. They have the brute force to take away life, liberty, and property. And they’ll do it, if you let them.
But before we even begin to connect the dots, we will describe the broader tableau…
In public life (as in private life), we don’t always get what we want. Sometimes, we get what no one wants. Because there are forces at work that go beyond our control… our election-day choices, our editorial-page fantasies, and the borders of our own minds.
Our old friends Lord William Rees-Mogg (now deceased) and Jim Davidson (still very much alive) called these forces “megapolitics.”
Sometimes, megapolitics lead us towards peace and prosperity. And sometimes, they don’t. And now? The war-mongers’ stock is rising. The feds are becoming bolder, more aggressive.
Suddenly, we are at war with nearly everyone. The United States has some 240,000 troops stationed in 172 different countries. Some 40,000 Americans are in classified combat missions, loaded down with guns and ammunition.
We’re at war with the Arabs in the Middle East… with the Persians in Iran… with Russia.
Even with each other. Republicans are at war with Democrats. Liberals are against conservatives. And, of course, there’s a trade war with China.
There’s even a trade war with Europe… and the Europeans say they will hit back, too. From Bloomberg:
The European Union is finalizing a list of American goods to target with retaliatory tariffs in the event that U.S. President Donald Trump, who is expected to make a decision by May 18, imposes levies on car imports.
And these are not polite disagreements and gentlemanly negotiations, but real threats… belligerence… and barroom-style bullying.
And for what reason? No trials are held. No verdicts are rendered. But the punishments are meted out. Sanctions for some. Bombs for others. And tariffs for almost everyone.
And now, in the ongoing trade war, the Chinese are unleashing their own dogs. They’re now threatening to stop buying food from the U.S. altogether and even sell their U.S. Treasuries. They’re going Full Retard, too!
What gives? Our subject today is not how these “wars” will play out… but how they got started in the first place.
Win-Win or Lose
A few years ago, hardly anyone would have thought that we should let the feds control our commerce. If Americans wanted to buy gadgets and gizmos from the Chinese, well, that was their business.
But now, even the people who call themselves “conservatives” think the government should decide who does business with whom and on what terms. Politico reports:
Senate Republicans acknowledge that the president’s latest levies on Chinese imports are harming farm state economies, their own constituents and some of Trump’s most reliable voters. But there’s no plan to stop, or even threaten, the president’s tariff regime – just the latest example of Trump imposing his protectionist will on a party that once celebrated free trade.
What’s going on? Why give up on freedom? Why let the feds tell us what to do?
As we explain in our new book, Win-Win or Lose, material progress depends on win-win deals. And win-win deals also provide a rich soil in which the other elements of civilized life can take root.
In a win-win deal, threats, bombs, and sanctions have no place. You need to think about the other guy. What can you offer that he wants? What can you give so that you can get? How can you be the person he wants to do business with?
Does he want to truck with someone who might stab him in the back… belch in public… or go back on the deal? No? Then you must be honest, clean, and thoughtful.
You inquire about his family. You ask if his back pain has gone away. You invite him for a beer… and wonder how you could help him. In short, you try to do unto him as you would like him to do unto you.
And thus – as if guided by an invisible hand – civilization advances.
But wait. What if win-win deals don’t seem to pay off? Win-win deals produce economic growth. But growth rates in the U.S. have fallen by half over the last 40 years. And real wage growth disappeared years ago for most people.
What if it is a win-lose world again, where we can only get ahead by taking something away from the other guy? Is it time to unleash the feds?
Tune in tomorrow…
P.S. We are preparing to send our new book, Win-Win or Lose, to the printer shortly. But in the meantime, an electronic version is available. Subscribers to The Bonner-Denning Letter can access it here. And if you’re not a subscriber, you can join right here.
TECHNOLOGY INSIGHT: GOOGLE WANTS YOUR DNA
By Jeff Brown, Editor, The Near Future Report
Verve Therapeutics is a newly formed company that wants to use CRISPR genetic-editing technology to cure heart disease.
As regular readers know, I have been excited about CRISPR technology for more than three years now.
Simply put, CRISPR is used to “edit” genetic mutations that cause disease and replace them with healthy DNA. I’m not kidding when I say this technology will eradicate all human disease caused by genetic mutations.
Here’s what caught my eye about Verve Therapeutics: It’s backed by a famous cardiologist who identified the genes associated with heart disease. And the company thinks it can prevent heart disease, before it happens, with one-time treatments.
To this end, Verve raised $58.5 million in venture capital (VC) in a deal that closed last week.
This is a great raise for an early-stage company. But what really caught my attention was who was leading the capital raise… It was Google Ventures, which is Google’s venture capital arm.
This is interesting because Google Ventures does not typically lead VC rounds… It usually follows leading VC firms.
Why is Google suddenly interested in a genetic editing company?
As we know, Google wants to have as much data on consumers as possible… And what could be more insightful than genetic data?
Nothing impacts the human condition more than genetics. Google sees this as a major opportunity to boost revenues by advertising personalized health treatments.
Imagine Google maps your genome and sees that you are susceptible to early-onset Alzheimer’s, heart disease, or cancer. It could then market specialized treatments directly to you.
Some of us might not be comfortable with handing over our genetic makeup – our DNA blueprint – to a company like Google. I know it certainly gives me pause.
But make no mistake. This is Google’s true goal.
And it’s coming faster than most people think.
– Jeff Brown
P.S. Before you leave, please go right here.
Tomorrow night at 8 p.m. ET, I’ll reveal all the details behind my No.1 tech stock for 2019. This is one you won’t want to miss… It’s likely going to be the biggest investing trend of the year. And I’d like to give you all the details before it hits the mainstream.
To sign up for this big announcement, read on here.
Why the Trade War Is About More Than Trade
There’s been a lot of political bluster over Donald Trump’s tariffs on China. But one factor has been left out of the trade war discussions: The brewing and heated technology race between the U.S. and China…
Paid Family Leave: New Parents Face a Trade-Off
Some 82% of American workers favor paid maternity leave. And while both Democrats and Republicans agree that it’s a worthy cause, neither side wants to compromise. That’s because one main issue remains… How are we going to fund this?
A Biblical Trading Lesson
Don’t look back. That’s the lesson from master trader Jeff Clark. Read on to see why Jeff believes modern trading lessons can be found in the most ancient of sources…
Today, readers weigh in on two popular topics: capitalism and the U.S.-China trade war. One dear reader even suggests Friday’s Diary be “framed, laminated, and cast in stone”…
If you or anyone else has written a more trenchant, comprehensive, irrefutable treatise on what capitalism really is – and needs to return to being in the U.S. – I have yet to run across it. This one should be framed, laminated, cast in stone, or otherwise made impervious to physical degradation over time. How many people will not only “get it” but perhaps help support “getting it back” remains to be seen.
Right now, it looks like most of the American sheeple are doing the same thing these characters in Patagonia were during heavy winds along the Rio Grande (at the opposite end of the country to where you spend a lot of time at Gualfin), where I was fishing for sea trout a few years ago. They just stuck their butts into the wind and kept on grazing…
– David S.
I enjoyed your assessment of capitalism vs. “cronyism, socialism, corporatism, and do-goodism.” I think the 1% understand the 99% are coming after them and their money. And that’s why they all own real estate in obscure places (not that that will help with a world turned upside down).
As you have assessed, the 2008 bailout should never have happened. We should have let them fail and start over… a reset. Now, we will be forced into a different kind of reset, one that will be more painful for all of us. I’m in agreement with you, Dan Denning, and others that say money in the bank, bonds, or stock markets will be money lost. Guess I just talked myself into going out and buying another roll of American Eagles or Maple Leaf coins.
– Stephen B.
Another way to view capitalism and socialism: Capitalism creates wealth and concentrates it to create more wealth. Socialism spreads wealth. It does not create it. Socialism needs capitalism to create wealth for it. Capitalism does not need socialism. Farmers are capitalists, socialists are eaters. Capitalists see the state as an obstacle on the path to success. Socialists look at the state the same way a tick looks at a cow.
– Bill K.
Give dear readers the true cost difference of China paying the huge import taxes charged our companies vs. theirs. That is what matters in trade, not the nonsense of who pays tariffs but for the consumer. We all pay when trade is so imbalanced and deficits of $500 billion per year are the true cost. Who pays that? The taxpayers all supplement China, and it’s far more than the consumer cost passed on to them.
– Bryan H.
Many thanks for Bill’s daily dose of sanity. Of course, nobody’s perfect. On China trade, Bill ignores the intellectual theft that China has perfected. Domestically and in the free world, intellectual property rights are protected by law. China ignores that and prospers like a thief unchained. Tariffs are a crude weapon, but what else do we have?
– David C.
And another dear reader comments on your editor’s use of the “royal we”…
I have always enjoyed your use of the word “we” in your essays. This essay was, in my opinion, the best explanation of everything – my categorical compilation of thoughts. Thanks for always keeping me on track and entertained.
– Margie F.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…
We’re on the verge of a sea-change in technology. And right now, you have a small window to get in at the start.
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If you miss this event, you risk not catching the biggest technology trend of this entire bull market. Don’t wait, sign up here.