LONDON – The routine was familiar…
Up at 5:30 a.m… out the door by 6 a.m…
Find a cab: “À la Gare du Nord, s’il vous plaît.”
For years, we lived in Paris, near the house in Passy where Benjamin Franklin lived when he was representing the “terrorists” in the American colonies and seeking French aid.
Each week we commuted to London. Up on Tuesday, back on Friday.
At the station, we raced up the steps to the Eurostar. Something new: Our ticket was on our cellphone. We just held it against the sensor; the turnstile opened. Then we got in line at passport control. The whole thing took about five minutes, just like it always did.
It’s been at least five years since we made the trip. The Eurostar has upgraded its cars. But some of the faces looked familiar.
We settle down to wait for the train in the business lounge. Again, we needn’t think about it: Grab copies of the Financial Times, Le Figaro, and Libération. Get a cup of coffee. Sit down and get to work.
“Trump vs. Clinton,” said a big headline in Le Figaro.
“Clinton, Trump square off in historic debate,” says another.
Newspapers – in Paris and London – led off the week with big headlines on the U.S. presidential election.
The whole world is captivated… enthralled… on the edge of its seat, watching two Americans make public spectacles of themselves.
“The big debate will be watched by 100 million Americans,” says a typical story.
Ms. Clinton is “nervous,” we are told. She has the better grip on the details, but Mr. Trump is “unpredictable.”
Will he be calm and presidential? Or will he go on the attack, trying to destabilize the Democratic standard bearer?
Ms. Clinton should be able to “put him away,” says one pundit. “Don’t be too sure,” says another; Newt Gingrich claims Trump is the best debater in the world.
The candidates try for a “gotcha”… a “zinger”… a knockout blow to their opponents. Our favorite was President Reagan’s reply (in his contest in 1984 against Walter Mondale) to an interviewer’s question about his age.
Reagan was 73. Mondale 56. The moderator asked, “Would Reagan have the stamina to stay alert, as Kennedy did during the Cuban Missile Crisis, for days on end?”
“I’m not going to make an issue of the age problem,” Reagan replied, smiling. “I won’t exploit the youth and inexperience of my adversary for political gain.”
Even Mondale laughed.
Appalled and Disheartened
“I am appalled and disheartened,” said a French friend last night.
She recently wrote a book about Lafayette and the American Revolution.
“To think that this is what has become of the great country founded by Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, and Washington. Neither of the candidates is worthy to even shine their shoes.”
Her views are shared by millions of Americans. And by us, too, of course. Jefferson and Franklin were geniuses.
Franklin “invented” electricity and the Franklin stove. He set up the first public libraries. He was a colorful writer… a self-made man… an accomplished diplomat.
Jefferson introduced Palladian architecture to the colonies. He founded the University of Virginia and designed its campus. He wrote and spoke several European languages, studied Native American culture and languages, and created his own version of the Bible.
He was a scholar, a statesman, the author of the Declaration of Independence, a scientist… the list goes on and on.
Better put away the guns and lock the ammunition before comparing Trump or Clinton to the Founding Fathers; you are just inviting serious depression.
But long-term Diary sufferers know the whole thing is a rollicking, entertaining scam.
The U.S. in not controlled by the president or by Congress. Voters merely flatter themselves in believing they elect the people who run the country. The important decisions are made by the profiteers, the insiders, the Parasitocrats – that is, by the Deep State.
[Editor’s Note: Go here to watch Bill’s full presentation on how the Deep State will destroy the U.S. economy.]
It doesn’t matter what you call the government – a monarchy, a theocracy, or a dictatorship; they all function in more or less the same way.
The insiders get control and use the government’s monopoly on violence to suppress their enemies and rob their fellow citizens. Unaccountable and unelected, these insiders include cronies, chiselers, anglers, and hangers-on.
It didn’t happen overnight. As we told our French friend last night, it took more than 200 years for these “foxes” (the name Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto gave to the finagling insiders) to get where they are – nested comfortably in Washington and crony industries.
And what would they think of it, the Founding Fathers?
Thomas Jefferson… Benjamin Franklin… George Washington – would any of them recognize in the United States of America any trace of the country they tried to establish?
Washington warned against “foreign entanglements.” But now the U.S. is tangled up all over the world.
Jefferson charged that British king George III had “sent forth a swarm of agents to harass the people and eat out their substance.” But the tax rate then was less than 5%. Today, for residents of California or Maryland, it is about 50%.
Then, the “swarm” of agents was so thin on the ground that an American – especially one on the frontier – might live his entire life without ever meeting an employee of His Majesty’s government.
Today, he can hardly go a single day without running into a bureaucrat who is giving him orders:
“Take off your shoes… put your laptops, tablets, and smartphones on the belt… You must fill out this 1022-X form… You must have a permit… You could face a fine of up to $10,000 and six months in jail…”
Imagine Jefferson standing in front of 100 million Americans tonight.
Imagine his ghost standing awkwardly in his breeches and buckled shoes. Pausing… hesitating… thinking deeply.
What would he say?
What zinger would he come up with?
BY CHRIS LOWE, EDITOR AT LARGE, Bonner & partners
It’s been a good year for investors in foreign stocks.
So far in 2016, the MSCI USA Index, which tracks the U.S. stock market, is up about 7%.
That doesn’t come even close to the returns of the top three best-performing foreign markets.
Over the same period, the Brazilian stock market is up 66%. The Russian stock market is up 32%. And the Canadian stock market is up 13%.
How the Debates Changed Past Presidential Races
The two presidential candidates square off tonight in their first live televised debate. Here’s how past debates changed the presidential races… and why, if history is judge, this year’s debates favor Donald Trump.
How to Become a Millionaire With a $65,000 Salary
Find out how one ordinary, hard-working fellow, on a salary of no more than $65,000, has turned his meager stock investing account into over $6.6 million…
50% to 100% Gains on Commodities and Emerging Markets?
Imagine a rubber band. If you stretch it to its full elasticity, then release it, it will rocket across the room. History suggests we’re about to see rocket-like gains in commodities and emerging markets.
Readers weigh in today on Friday’s Diary about why even the French are warming up to Donald Trump…
I have been visiting France regularly since the 1980s and have been able to explore many parts of France. The phrase most often heard from the French in the 1980s, when acquaintances were made and my country of origin was discovered, was “thank you.” I met members of the French Resistance… and they shared their stories, fine wines and whiskeys, Gauloises, and tears.
After 9/11, it was even more emotional. Now, it is a spiritual wasteland completely out of touch with its heritage, trials, tribulations, and rightful place in the history of the world. Current developments leave one wondering why anyone would care about their opinion now, as the French have lost their heart and the ability to say “thank you.”
It appears you have found one who hasn’t. Bravo!
– Chris B.
Bill, you are right. Trump is a scam, perhaps worse. “I will make America great again and our problems are the fault of the Mexicans” sounds eeriest when compared to a politician across the pond from history. And yes, Hillary has never seen a war she has not liked.
But the reason most people think these two are our only choices is because those, such as yourself, with a microphone remain silent to the fact that there is another option. It is this silence and denial that has caused [Libertarian Party candidate] Gary Johnson to be barred from the debates.
I’m not asking that you endorse him or agree with libertarian policies, only that you allow the American people to hear the choices.
– Joe J.
I have already decided. If you have any concerns about the future of the country, you should recognize that one of the two candidates will become president… and that you have a responsibility to vote.
Voting for a third-party candidate is a coward’s way out. You have to choose between two totally different candidates.
– Bob J.
In Case You Missed It…
Last week, thousands of your fellow readers learned one of the key reasons why Chris Mayer is the only investment analyst that Bill follows with his own family trust money.
But for those who did not attend Chris’s masterclass, we’ve prepared a special presentation to highlight some of the secrets to his tremendous success — including the investment strategy he uses in his own personal portfolio. Watch it here now.