Trump’s Enemies Are Fueling a Class War, and More Insight From the NOIC
“Every power center on Earth is arrayed against President Trump.”
Those aren’t my words.
Fox News’ Tucker Carlson shared them during his keynote address at last week’s New Orleans Investment Conference (NOIC).
(I attended and spoke at the conference too, as I recently discussed.)
Carlson went on to explain exactly what’s happening in America today, and why so many people seem to prefer Joe Biden.
Many of the issues he touched upon will be familiar to you — because they have come up frequently here at your Whiskey bar.
I was also impressed with what the inimitable Doug Casey had to say.
He offered additional insights into how the nation got here… and made his characteristic, dire predictions about where things could go next.
Again, his thoughts sync up with some of what we’ve been saying in these pages.
So today I’d like to like to dig into Carlson’s and Casey’s presentations, making sure you understand the important takeaways.
Let’s get started!
“Wall Street. Almost all of the media. Silicon Valley. China. They have thrown it all-in against Trump,” said Carlson during his address. “They want him gone.”
In his view, this election is not just an old-fashioned, national contest between Democrats versus Republicans.
No, the fundamental issue is “we’re looking at a class divide” that’s being played and managed by outside forces, domestic and international, with bottomless pockets.
“The same issues that elected Trump in 2016 are still out there,” Carlson said. The election hinges on the economy, of course. And issues built around income inequality. Things like jobs, immigration, upward mobility.
But the bottom line is that there’s a sense of hopelessness within the country. Tens of millions of people perceive that they are not just going through hard times, but that a downward economic spiral is their new normal.
The American middle-class is dying, per Carlson. As a demographic component, the middle class is no longer a majority of the nation. “And you can’t have a democracy without a middle-class majority,” he pointed out.
To most politicians, everyday people don’t matter anymore, except when it’s time to harvest their votes to pay for that return trip to Washington.
The U.S. has reached a point where “class barriers are more rigid than race barriers,” Carlson said. “How many people who live in fancy suburbs know anybody who’s an air conditioner repairman?” he asked rhetorically.
Mirroring points that you’ve seen here at the Whiskey bar, Carlson discussed how the root of America’s current discord is a hollowed-out economy. The country has lost millions of jobs in manufacturing. Entire regions have been devastated by the loss of the historical industrial base.
American voters look around and see how manufacturing jobs have moved away to Mexico, if not China. There go an entire economy’s worth of good wages and benefits.
Meanwhile, many jobs in information technology routinely go to foreigners who show up in the U.S., courtesy of H1B visas granted to giant tech conglomerates run by petulant, billionaire oligarchs.
So much for the rewards to American students of pursuing a technical degree.
And much basic, manual labor — from farms to meat packing to construction — has been displaced by an entire population of mostly illegal immigrants.
What’s an American working man or woman to do?
No wonder Trump won in 2016… He hit on these issues. He touched raw nerves. And based on that, many Americans came out from the shadows to vote for him.
But it’s 2020 now, not 2016. And for all the efforts, if not bluster, of Trump’s first term, the man is in deep electoral trouble for two key reasons.
First is COVID-19. The disease hits older people harder, and that’s a large element of Trump’s voter base.
There are tens of millions of people over age 65 in the U.S., although only a small fraction of them have become infected with COVID. But they are susceptible and scared.
Over the past eight months, the “optics” of the pandemic have led to significant blowback against Trump. There’s a strong perception among many that Trump has mishandled it from start to… well, now.
But think back to the beginning of the year. Nobody really had a solid scientific or medical understanding of the COVID bug when it showed up. Not even the president, despite all the resources at his beck and call.
Yet Trump did pretty much what any president would have done under the circumstances; perhaps more, and he did much of it ahead of, if not fighting against, the bureaucracy and Deep State, not to mention the media.
Trump closed off foreign travel, starting with China. Then he shut off Europe.
He quickly mobilized the federal research community, academe, Big Pharma, the medical and hospital sector and much more. Even the U.S. military.
Trump used presidential wartime powers to kick-start domestic production of medical goods, including those famous “respirators.”
And Trump engaged the Fed to backstop spending well north of $3 trillion to keep the economy liquid.
Significantly, from the point of the U.S. Constitution, Trump didn’t come right out and nationalize COVID. Instead, he was respectful of federalism.
Trump oversaw the use of federal power to assist states and territories. But it was not Trump who “locked down” America; that was a whole gaggle of governors, many of them enjoying their so-called “police powers” way too much, and in the process showing the world their inner petty tyrant.
Still, the public perception has shifted towards the belief that COVID is Trump’s pandemic. If he loses the election, that’s one major aspect of it.
Another angle of Trump’s electoral problem is grounded on “middle- and upper-income women,” per Carlson.
“A lot of American women are just plain done with Trump,” said Carlson. Trump’s volatility simply wore them out. They are tired of the frenetic pace “set by the Orange Man.”
Whereas, to many women voters, “Biden is slow. He’ll calm things down. His senility is reassuring.”
And Doug Casey echoed similar thoughts, then expanded them into a chilling look at the future…
Casey gave his Zoom presentation from high in the Rocky Mountains, speaking from what he calls “the People’s Republic of Aspen, Colorado.”
He sees a “K”-shaped recovery across the broad economy, but it’s ominous. “It’s not just that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. No, the rich are getting much richer and the poor are becoming much poorer.”
If you own stocks and other assets, the value is rising. You’re probably doing alright. If you’re not in that game, then the outlook is gloomy.
The relief package proposed by Trump and passed by Congress in April has run its course. “There won’t be many more government checks.”
Looking ahead, Casey sees the economy taking another dive no matter who wins the election. He predicts unpaid rents and mortgages on a vast scale, unpaid car loans, unpaid credit cards and much more.
“It’s all going to cascade,” he predicts.
We’re entering the “back wall of a hurricane,” said Casey, using an analogy that he’s been discussing for many years. The period 2010 to now has been the “eye” of the hurricane, with many legacy issues remaining unaddressed from the Crash of 2008.
“Under Obama, we didn’t fix the big problems the first time around,” he explained. “Now, it’s too late. Things will be unbelievably tough until those massive distortions of capital across the global economy are liquidated.”
It doesn’t help, said Casey, that two entire generations of college-educated youth have been drilled in Marxism at colleges and universities across the U.S. and the world.
Many people are so ill-educated that they can’t even begin to figure out what’s wrong. With such a flawed perspective, many people can no longer recognize the problems within the economy, and particularly the business cycle.
Meanwhile, “It’s as if the country doesn’t even believe in itself anymore,” said Casey, with a tone of sadness. “It’s become demoralized about its own history, its sense of belonging as a part of the world.”
Casey foresees voters casting ballots “in favor of stability” in the upcoming election, meaning plenty of Biden votes despite a distinct lack of enthusiasm for the man.
And it won’t end in two weeks, either.
Casey believes that election day will be the beginning of additional troubling times.
Along these lines, Casey made a historical comparison. “The war of 1861–65 wasn’t really a ‘Civil War.’ It was a failed war of secession.”
This time, things are different. The country is not divided along geographic lines. It’s split down the middle over philosophy, pretty much everywhere.
Casey sees a “civil war” coming in the sense of a no-holds-barred fight within the nation over who will control the government and how the people in charge will govern.
Clearly, the quaint old customs of peaceful turnover of power and respectful, orderly, loyal political opposition are no longer in effect. The anti-Trump “coup of the past four years” speaks for itself.
On the financial side, Casey is pessimistic and sanguine.
He believes most bonds are toxic… “Just return-free risk” in these circumstances. “Sell!” he said.
As you can imagine, Casey likes gold and silver, plus hard assets such as industrial commodities and farmland.
Casey sees the dollar being shoved aside in years to come by a new global trading regime, such as a gold-backed combination of Chinese yuan and Russian ruble.
“China and Russia are tired of dollar hegemony,” Casey said. “Why should they continue to use the currency of their global enemy?”
It’s certainly something to chew on…
As I said, the comments by Casey and Carlson dovetail with what we’ve seen from the perch here in the Whiskey bar.
There’s a fundamental perception (or more accurately, misperception) among many voters, created by our mostly awful media, that things were somehow just fine before that mean old Donald Trump came along.
Of course, Trump was and remains a disruptor. He’s gruff and speaks like a guy from Queens who grew up around construction workers. That’s who he is, going back many decades.
As president, Trump’s mere shadow creates chaos, despite the best efforts of federal district court judges everywhere to issue nationwide injunctions against his every move. He’s there to shake things up, from the Mexican border, to China trade, to breaking away from endless wars in the Middle East. You name it.
Joe Biden, meanwhile, is campaigning as chicken soup for the afflicted American soul. He’s a familiar name from his 36-year Senate stint and then eight years as Vice President. He’s the Xanax-candidate, aggressively promising to calm the waters and return to some sort of “normalcy,” similar to the seemingly good old days of the Clinton-Bush-Obama decades.
It’s no accident that relatively affluent people in leafy suburbs — definitely women, per Carlson’s point — are a large measure of the strength of Biden’s campaign. He’s exactly what voters want in, say, Fairfax County, Virginia, or Bethesda, Maryland — not to mention college towns hither and yon, from Middlebury to Pomona.
Yes, of course… the life of the American white-collar professional has its drawbacks; think of lawyers filling out time sheets, documenting their drudgery as they deal with a surly judicial bureaucracy that deadens the soul. It’s a tough cross to carry, to be sure.
But the upside is that the entire U.S. political system, culture and even global economy is rigged to cater to the whims and desires of such worthies. Indeed, the local Whole Foods store seldom runs out of avocados in those upscale parts of town.
Everything about leafy suburbia — from well-paved streets to “award-winning” school districts — is geared in a certain way. It reinforces, among the well-off, well-invested players that they deserve to be winners. They deserve their ski vacations in Colorado and their Alaska cruises, and their kids deserve admission letters from the very best colleges.
Come election day, goes the thinking, if the country just votes out that devilish Donald Trump and installs the sedate masked man Joe Biden, then things will go back to the way they were. Whew! Right?
Many voters actually think that sans Trump, this anomalous, if not bizarre four years will end. The national acid-trip will be over. It will be a footnote in history, as liberals bask in their own version of “Make America Great Again,” with Biden-Harris in the vanguard…
All of which ignores the trends that brought the nation to the 2016 election, let alone which hover offshore like Category 5 hurricane clouds just now, in 2020.
The election is Nov. 3. And on Nov. 4, America will still confront profound issues of globalism, deindustrialization, financialization, bottomless debt, endless wars, cultural impoverishment, broken schools, class war, racial reset.
Whoever wins the election, and whatever happens in two weeks, as a nation we’re walking into a mess. Or maybe a disaster.
One way or another, it’s going to be one hell of a ride.
On that note, I rest my case.
That’s all for now… Thank you for subscribing and reading.
Managing Editor, Whiskey & Gunpowder
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