Thursday, April 28, 2016

Unprepared Man Makes a Prepared Speech

I would like to take a moment to notice that our current president, Barack Obama, has been castigated for using Teleprompters, even though every political figure for a forever ago has been using them. Although, suddenly, Donald Trump uses Teleprompters and he is commended for getting better at using them.

This is pathetic but actually the most substantive thing you could draw out of his foreign policy speech, because the damnable thing of it is--he's a lightweight and Secretary of State Clinton is liable to kick his entire privileged ass in.

I do not believe that getting better at reading from Teleprompters should count in Donald Trump's favor. It is revealing of his faults.


Grung_e_Gene said...

All these faux scandals (umberla/teleprompter/marine corps covers) are really to hide the true reason conservatives hate Barack Obama, POTUS while Black.

I think it's important we always remember the true underlying beliefs which drive conservatives today; Bigotry and Oppression.

And Trump was always better off talking about how much winning he was going to do and how bad everyone else was because his Trumpenproletariat can then imagine themselves doing well under his Presidency and all their enemies being cast down.

Vixen Strangely said...

To give conservatives their due--it doesn't necessarily *need* to be racial in nature, because the tactic employed is using anything to delegitimize the opposition. If race works, so be it. Dukakis was a rapist-coddling card-carrying anti-American ACLU member. Bill Clinton was a draft-dodging, pot-smoking probable rapist. They Swift Boated John Kerry. Al Gore was a corrupt Washington insider, then got fat, which everyone knows causes global warming. And Hillary Clinton and Huma Abeddin did Benghazi to help Obama win reelection. If Birtherism worked on Obama, welp. (Trump's success does make one have to revisit just how well that one went over, though...) And if Bernie Sanders had the nomination, welcome to the return of red-baiting. Outrage is sellable even when policy debate is not.

Formerly Amherst said...

Hi Vixen, as you might imagine, I find the position taken by Donald Trump to be very positive and of course I don't care for Mrs. Clinton.

We were having an interesting discussion about economics. It's important to understand that in today's world our economy is entirely driven by the global economy. In the EU they have it even worse. A country is no longer legally allowed to do what is in its best interests because it might violate an agreement between that country and the EU.

All of our economic systems are either out of date or have been removed from independent decision making.

However, that doesn't have to eliminate our individual possibilities. You mentioned receiving dividends because of an old retail job. I hope you have considered the reinvestment of these dividends. The difference between people who have money and people who don't is that people with money purchase things that pay them a return, and people who do not have money purchase things that depreciate. One person will know what car is hot, and another will know what ETF is hot. The car depreciates as soon as it leaves the lot. If the ETF is carefully chosen, it begins to grow in value after the purchase.

You'll recall our bag boy. It is true that the bag boy will have to become financially literate in order to make good decisions. That means some reading and study relative to the markets and what moves those markets, and so that will require time spent over the years learning about these matters. The good side is that it is available to be done if he wishes to make the effort. When you first start out, the mix should be about 20-80% in favor of stocks; at middle age it should be about a 50-50% mix if stocks and bonds; when you reach the senior years it probable should be 30% stocks, the rest bonds and some precious metals.

One really simple portfolio that has worked for a lot of years is one-fourth the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, one-fourth Vanguard Total International Stock Index, one-fourth Vanguard Total Bond Index, and one-fourth in a bank savings account. Another move is to put a third of your money into the Vanguard STAR Fund which provides 11 different mutual funds with 11 different managers, and the rest in a money market or your back account. (Short term reserves in the money market hold value very well.)

T. Rowe Price also has a fund of funds like STAR that has been successful. There are a lot of ways to start, and what I've said is merely indicative, but it's very important to start early and of course a person needs to become knowledgeable so mistakes are not made. You probably know all this already. I help out a lot of young people starting out, and I also help get them out of debt occasionally.

The real travesty is that all of this is not taught in high school. People do a lot of screaming about economics in our country, but most of them have never heard of the consumer price index, or the producer price index, housing starts, auto sales, or any of the whole panoply of indicators that help us know what is happening economically in order to make good decisions. The way we do it in the US would be like Davy Crockett sending his son into the wilderness with no knowledge of animals, plants, weather conditions, how to shoot or use a knife or fish, in short live off the land. And in this vacuum of knowledge a complete level of destructive ignorance arises.

Incidentally, anyone of any race or ethnicity or financial background can play.

Vixen Strangely said...

Among the things that I despair of, a little bit, is that I think current education programs steer away from practical education: home economics, personal economics, civics, trades. You have a good point--education should prepare people for what is "out there"--but I see an emphasis in part on people educated for the sake of acquiring more education. Some people don't come from any means at all and really can't depend on their family raising them with financial awareness--take the mortgage crisis. On one end, people got loans they never should have accepted because they didn't understand what the long-range terms would imply, at the other end, too-clever-by-half people viewed these debts totally in the abstract: not people paying for the roof over their heads, but collectible debt instruments that somebody, somewhere, would collect on. As economic models go--lack of understanding on both sides is not going to result in a good situation! (Anymore than assymetry in either direction is sustainable...)

I think the "best interests" question is a bit complicated: long term or short term interests? Long range investing with guaranteed pay-outs makes sound, conservative sense. Many social works programs are also jobs programs and are beneficial to trades--bridges (so long as they actually go somewhere), highways, water systems, utilities, data infrastructure. They are long-range investments that require an initial lay-out but achieve returns based on the ingenuity and effort people labor with off of that capital.

I don't think an equity of opportunity is managed better with some conservative (or Trumpian, for that matter) notions. It isn't by tax cuts that tilt the table towards capital, not innovation that we get entrepreneurs. It isn't hobbling the economy at a different end of the animal with tariffs that we resolve trade imbalance. I'd say, regulate like lives depended on it (for things like illegal dumping, air and water pollution, etc) and invest to help people do the most with the best they've got. I think Democrats have a good record with this kind of approach. Many of us libs think Eisenhower did really well by us with his highway program.

How civics and economics meet is yet another thing I am concerned is poorly understood. Trade deals, for example, are often also, to an extent, crafted with issues other than economics, but also ig foreign policy goals in mind. It's definitely less-than-transparent.

Formerly Amherst said...

Hi Vicky (Vicky-Vixen),
first I wanted to say I thought your original post that included cultural fashions was a good point. Frankly, people are nuts. The craziest things can become fashionable. Including your reference to the debutante with torn designer jeans. I read about a woman who somehow had gotten her eyeballs tattooed blue, her tongue split, and her ears removed. She had tattooed some colorful lizard markings on her head. Geez, I get turned on looking at Grace Kelly playing off Cary Grant in It Takes a Thief, and you wonder what will happen to these people when the trend goes away. Someday they're going to be distinctive in the retirement home.

While I am by no means some mogul, I have had a little experience in the financial markets. I once told you I was a blue collar worker who much to my own surprise found out that if you can understand the Qaballah, you can understand the financial markets. I was in my 40s.

A huge number of big wheels in the financial markets intentionally vote for gridlock. They are less concerned about what the government will do than they are the changes the government will make that necessitate them to recalibrate all over again. Jerk money out of accounts and have to pay taxes.

After all, if the entire financial structure were to collapse, shrewd and experienced investors would profit from it. (In the Rydex fund Group they short most of the stock indices, including the index composed of small cap stocks, IE., the ones most sensitive to plunges.

So from the financial point of view, very sophisticated investors make money in any climate. Naturally most of us prefer a stable economy that allows us to make plans intelligently for our future. (I was a commodities trader for a while, and there are places where you can win or lose big in a matter of hours. But that is not the kind of speculative fervor we need in the markets to allow independent investors to decide on a workable strategy and implement It.)

Personally, I think the idea of Democrats and Republicans is passe. You'll notice that a lot of Trump supporters dislike the Republican Party as much as Democrats do.

In terms of the financial markets I think it matters less whether there is a Democrat or Republican. What matters is whether you have pro-growth or low-growth economic policies, and it matters whether instability is introduced into the system. And it matters that independent investors can make sure their investments are risk-protected.

In terms of the financial markets the name of the game is how to play your portfolio in respect to whatever politics are going to disrupt the markets.

I knew a guy whose strategy was to subscribe to Value Line investment survey and use margin to go long on all the number-1 favored stocks and to go short on number-5, poorly valued Value Line stocks. He had a spread that was half long and half short, and on whatever worked he would pay his margin and take home the profit. (And then stand by to navigate through his taxes.)

Well, the G&L Alicia and I are off to the big city for a couple of days R&R. The Barber of Seville is being performed. (I think I prefer La Boheme.)

Grung_e_Gene said...

And yet, Trump is running for the REPUBLICAN nomination not the Trump Party nomination...

As to the global economy, the financial vultures in America are invested in destroying the American Worker. They want the American workers reduced in wage and benefits to no different than those in Indonesia, Guatemala, or China. Hedge Funds are shell games and gambling. The economy moved to Finance-based Capitalism after the dismantling of the manufacturing base inagurated by Ronnie Raygun, advanced by Bill Clinton, and brought to fruition by W(orst President Ever).