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Thread: Economic Crisis Avoidance Deus ex Machina - Part I: Active Asset Price Inflation - Eric Janszen

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    Sep 2007
    New England

    Default Re: Economic Crisis Avoidance Deus ex Machina - Part I: Active Asset Price Inflation - Eric Janszen

    Quote Originally Posted by DSpencer View Post
    I'm not that old, but my experience is that every presidential election is claimed to be some battle for the soul of America. Everyone seems to believe that the opposition candidate is an evil person who is hellbent on radically transforming America into a different and objectively worse country.
    I don't think you're wrong, but that's rhetoric. I'm not listening to the rhetoric. I'm looking at the data. Midterm voter turnout was highest in over 100 years. Strike levels could easily hit 50+ year highs this year, they're exceeding the 30 year high set last year. Or the fact that 4 of the 5 largest mass protests in American history happened within the past couple years. Homeownership under 45 down to lowest levels in 50 years. And life expectancy is down, dropping year over year. Inequality back to Hoover levels, and climbing. Political polarization is the highest it has been since the Civil War. Historically, this is what things look like before a pivotal shift in political time precipitated by a wave election, party realignment, war, or some other seismic shift.

    There's a chance I could be wrong, but I think it's getting smaller every day, and I'm betting there's too much political pressure for the status quo to continue unabated. I'm truly not making the assessment on what I wish would happen. And I'm not 100% certain exactly which way it will go. I'm just more and more certain every day that the equilibrium is going to break down and be punctuated by a 4-8 year period of serious, rapid change in American politics, institutions, and laws, the likes of which maybe only people born in the 1940s or earlier have any remotely comparable living adult memory of. More than that, often times in US history a presidential candidate makes the politics that allow for such an eventuality. I don't know who that will be, or if it will happen in 2020 or 2024. But I think we're soon due for one who ends up on the money.

    Another odd thing that popped to mind the other day, almost all of them on the money packed the court, or tried to. Washington got the first 6 by default. There's the $1 and the 25$. Lincoln packed it. There's the $5 and the 1Ę. Grant added members. There's the $50. Jackson too in 1837. There's the $20. Hamilton and Franklin were never presidents. That only leaves Jefferson, who actually shrunk the court down to 5 on the nickel, and FDR on the dime, who famously was the last to try it, but didn't have to thanks to the switch in time that saved 9. I take the fact that multiple presidential candidates are talking about packing the courts again to be yet another piece of evidence for the pile that big, sweeping change is coming. Ideas that would get a candidate in any party laughed out of the room a decade or two ago are now on the table.

    There was perhaps a brief opportunity to take another path in the first year or so of Obama's administration, at least before Ted Kennedy died and they lost the possibility of a cloture-proof majority. We were talking about it here. But the Obama admin squandered it. Obama never had a chance again. Wasted it on Obamacare. Trump maybe had one shot too. Wasted it on another regressive tax cut. If either of them actually did something populist, something that would benefit a majority of citizens obviously and directly, instead of things that benefit a select few companies and inside players and narrow populations and do relatively little for the majority, they might have risen to the occasion. But they both did what the lobbyists wanted and blew all the energy and unified government they came in on, and suffered particularly brutal losses in their first midterms partly as a result.

    Eventually somebody will get in there, on a big enough wave, and actually do the thing the lobbyists don't want that benefit a majority of the public in real, tangible ways that people like. And that will be the rare president who actually gains seats after their first midterm. In history, they don't all disappoint.
    Last edited by dcarrigg; 04-30-19 at 12:51 PM.

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