An Apology!

I am apologizing in advance because today, being the day that Donald Trump officially becomes president of the US, it was my plan to focus on something totally unrelated. There will no doubt be so many feelings about it expressed around the world today, and I wanted to be different… but I cannot!

I am not an expert on running a country, and I am not an expert on running a business, so I will welcome any comments that can enlighten me (with a logical supporting rationale of course)!

I saw an interview yesterday with a lady who was clearly excited about DT becoming President, and her rationale floored me. “He will run this country like he does his own businesses and that is what we need!” – As far as I am aware, he has a list of failed businesses behind him! Is there some rationale that I am missing here because, if not, that is a rather scary perspective. Has anybody told DT that he cannot declare bankruptcy; write off his losses at tax time, and start again…. with a country?

“We need to get those jobs back from Mexico!” –Β  It is a nice idea but here are some thoughts I’ll just throw out there. ThoseΒ  jobs probably went to Mexico because labor was cheaper = lower manufacturing costs = more competitively priced product (It may be an idea to remember that when shopping for a new car). However, bringing those jobs back into the US creates a little dilemma. Will the US workers accept a drop in income in order to keep the product competitive? Will they accept that a higher priced product will simply lose market share? Will they expect their Govt, to subsidize the manufacturers to resolve this dilemma? Are they prepared to pay extra taxes in order to provide the Govt. with the necessary subsidy funding?

There seems to be a prevailing view within many countries which I call the “Greek Syndrome”. The “Greek Syndrome” shows that, as in Greece, nobody wants to pay taxes, but they all want Govt programs. The fact that the two are inherently linked is conveniently overlooked, and yet this is no different from everybody’s household finances (except the values involved!) If “it” is not coming in, then “it” cannot go out. If the solution is to borrow, then there will be interest charges which means that less of “it” can be used for living purposes. The difference is that an individual has a number of options in order to return to a financially stable situation…. countries do not!

In an earlier Post, I made the comment that if Clinton and Trump were the best that 319 million people could come up with, then Canada with its meager 35 million should be concerned! Recent events here have given credibility to that concern, as Mr Kevin O’Leary has decided to run for the head of our Conservative Party with the goal of becoming Prime Minister in a few years time. Mr. O’Leary is a TV celebrity whose claim to fame is being arrogant, insensitive, and generally obnoxious to all who do not agree with him. In fairness to him, his business acumen would appear to exceed that of DT, but he is already making promises which are going to be very complex to fulfill (if they can be fulfilled) and yet he is already getting support!

What is happening to our world? Since when did people with no political background, and no in-depth experience of the workings of a country, not only feel qualified to take on such a responsibility… but get a vote of confidence from the public?

My only thought is that we should be totally ashamed of an education system that allows such events to happen.

Two final thoughts (courtesy Wikiquote):

“The historical cycle seems to be: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to apathy, from apathy to dependency; and from dependency back to bondage once more.”

***

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.”

Sad! I liked the idea of democracy, and so many people have sacrificed their lives over the years in order to protect it. Sad!

 

 

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49 thoughts on “An Apology!

  1. Well, I live in Manhattan, Donald Trump’s hometown, and he has a reputation here of being much like all those Trump signs he plasters over buildings he only partially owns: gaudy and faux. I cannot for the life of me understand how the people who voted for him can look at the life he has lived (the business failures that you mentioned, and his personal life) and believe the version of himself he sold on the media. I also still can’t believe that he was allowed to be sworn in with so many questionable legal issues pending. That being said, I’m pretty terrified I of Pence, too, so I am not necessarily keen on the idea of impeachment, at this point. The only positive thoughts I have on this so far was the inspiring camaraderie and shared purpose at the women’s march I attended yesterday.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Agreed! My favorite chant at the march yesterday was “we won the popular vote.” It may not change the fact that we still honor the old electoral college system (which I think is in some desperate need of reform, if not complete retirement), but it reminds me that well over two million more people voted against the incoming administration- so the majority of the population has not succumbed to the madness. However, if we fight the good fight, and things are looking worse after 4 years, then I will be working even harder to convince my wife (who grew up in Texas) that she can handle the colder climes up north!

        Liked by 1 person

          • I was listening to the BBC report on the new wave of right wing leaders cropping up in Europe and thinking, “Oh my… I guess just packing our bags won’t necessarily save us from these issues!” I have faith that, at the least, you guys up North could find a way to be polite but firm if Russian interference is proven… For all our internet ranting, our government really took that one sitting down.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. (looks sad) Mom has had the TV off all week. Not even to check the weather. She couldn’t take the “spew”. A lot of people are complaining now, but a lot of them didn’t vote. Of course, if outside interests (we’ll say that politely) dabbled in US politics then maybe it really doesn’t matter if one voted or not. It’s a new world, one in which “fake news” and “fake polls” seem to take the driver’s seat over one’s intelligence. In our area of the country we have been hit with a dense fog (unusual for us). Again, possibly a sign of the times…Woof!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You have far more wisdom and understanding of the situation here than about 48% of those who are U.S. citizens. I have spent 10-12 hours a day, 7 days a week, writing in an attempt to get those who honestly think Trump is going to “make America great again” to take their blinders off and listen to what scientists, economists, professors of international relations and law are saying, but to no avail. I might as well talk to my cats … oh wait … I do that too! Anyway, thank you for your wisdom and understanding. Give Ray a hug for me!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Jill, but don’t be too hard on that 48%. They no doubt made the best decision they could with what they knew. The education system is flawed badly for not giving them sufficient knowledge to make a more credible decision. It is interesting that while used-car salesman, insurance agents, banks (to some degree), lawyers etc are often treated with suspicion, a politician who says all the”right things” is believed. That logic loses me completely!

      Liked by 2 people

      • I agree with you when you say “They no doubt made the best decision they could with what they knew.” But therein lies the problem, as I see it. They had access to the same information we all did, if only they bothered to do a bit of research and THINK. But instead, they (and I really do hate to generalize, but from what I’ve seen, this describes many of them) sit on their posteriors in front of the television, watching Duck Dynasty and shoving potato chips into their mouths, instead of reading a newspaper, doing a bit of online research into such topics as climate change, civil rights, etc. Yes, the education system is in need of repair and is failing to do its job, but we must all hold ourselves accountable for our willingness to learn and think, or to not do so. Sigh. Okay, stepping down from my soapbox now. And yes, I am completely puzzled by that last bit also. Sigh.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hi Jill. Your comment “They had access to the same information we all did” is rather flawed.
          Any given group of children/students going through the same education program, will eventually separate in the context of academic ability. Those with supportive and well educated parents will tend to do better than those who are pretty much ignored. Those with analytical tendencies will progress very differently from those who are more hands-on. Any country needs a solid base of blue collar and white collar workers, and the various inherent skill sets would support that need. Likewise, there are motivated individuals who are always doing something vs those who just want to chill after a day’s work!
          I hold the education system accountable because, unless you know the basics of economics, how can you know that what you are doing makes no financial sense. Unless you are taught at least a simplistic view of business financials and how they can relate to Government, then how can you possibly conclude what political promises are “magical thinking” and could well cost you in increased taxes! The whole “bringing the jobs back from Mexico” is flawed in so many ways (as noted in my Blog), but unless you are aware of those factors, then you probably would not think to question the concept.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. A very coherent piece and one with which I concur. I feel that control generally falls to those both least deserving and least capable of handling it. All to often we have witnessed self-serving administrations allowing the rich to prosper and the rest of us to stay underfoot. Over here Brexit is the big issue: how will we move away from Europe and maintain over competitive edge? The only thing for certain is that those in charge will find a way to stockpile greater wealth for themselves. Rant over. Apologies on my part but thanks for the post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • No problem Chris. A periodic rant is probably good for the soul! As for Brexit? How anybody can see a benefit in commercially isolating any country in today’s world goes beyond my scope of understanding, but then… what do I know!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I think you hit the nail on the head {My only thought is that we should be totally ashamed of an education system that allows such events to happen.} Unfortunately we have a nation of the self-entitled and uninformed who thought it better to vote for a crass foul-mouthed bully celebrity than (despite all her faults) a experienced public servant. While neither candidate was perfect, in fact, far from it, I would certainly have been less ill at ease having the other one elected than the one who was. Add to the fact there appears to have been lots of external inference from outside sources, the outcome seems even more egregious. I’m afraid the entire world better “buckle up, Buttercup” we’re all in for a rocky ride. I wish my northern hemisphere friends luck dealing with Mr. O’Leary. Apparently mean and stupid are contagious. God help us all.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. β€œThe historical cycle seems to be: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to apathy, from apathy to dependency; and from dependency back to bondage once more.” What a great quote.

    I, like many, have an overwhelming sense of dread. That top of the roller coaster feeling. Hoping it will be a fun ride.
    However, the grown-up in me recognizes a renewed sense of responsibility to remain an informed AND active citizen. I, like you, feel awkward about pulling politics into my blog, but I’m glad you raised the issue, and I can see that it sparks conversation.

    My thinking is that this is probably one of our best tools to avoid slipping into apathy. Thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Gabe. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Politics, like religion and many other topics, can develop into proverbial “minefields” but they should not be avoided. Because they are sensitive and thought provoking issues, is exactly the reason why they should be aired in public. However, there are some guidelines which I follow:

      All Comments are moderated. While I have no problem with opposing opinions, I will not tolerate abusive or inflammatory comments. Those will be trashed.

      I try and present my thoughts with a degree of latitude in the interpretation because I am no expert on anything! You will note regular use of terms like “suggest”, “probably”, “perhaps” etc. Readers need to know that I am open to alternative thoughts, otherwise conflicts are encouraged.

      If I receive a Comment which opposes my perspective in a not too convincing manner, then I will always respond. Again though, I will try to be sensitive to the writer and “suggest” other perspectives, or note that “perhaps they may wish to consider….” etc.

      Politics and other “hot” topics are, from my experience, more a matter of diplomatic and sensitive use of the English Language than anything else! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  7. We’ve had 5 Prime Ministers in Australia since 2009, as soon as opinion polls look unfavourable then everyone starts talking about and looking for a new party leader. Nobody seems to have the courage to make hard decisions regardless of the long term benefit because that decision might mean a drop in popularity or a seat lost in parliament. The different parties only seem to be interested in name calling and disagreeing for the sake of it and the we have the DT supporters who echo his anti-immigration, racist views. It is extremely frustrating. One can only hope that DT will surprise everyone but I’m not holding my breath.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Excellent points, all. You said best for me when you said this:
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    What is happening to our world? Since when did people with no political background, and no in-depth experience of the workings of a country, not only feel qualified to take on such a responsibility… but get a vote of confidence from the public?

    My only thought is that we should be totally ashamed of an education system that allows such events to happen.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    And NOW, which private school billionaire will be appointed to “fix” THAT situation?

    Too many people failed to realize that not ALL change is for the better, regardless of how they felt about the need to “drain the swamps.” (building skyscrapers for the [white] mega-rich on the drained swamp-land, for example).
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sitting on the fence is painful. I hope he at least delivers on promises about looking after American Veterans and jobs. Politics, no matter what country, has to change. The UK is a mess and despite Brexit, no progress is being made.
    Maybe he’s the one to start the ball rolling. The altternative imho was worse.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The sky is not falling. All this drama is beginning to remind me of after the results of cheerleader elections were announced in junior high/middle school.
    It is a concern that the major parties were both so out of touch with reality – or were so determined to keep a strangle hold on their own power that they put forth 2 flawed candidates So many people gave up.
    I’ll sit with the Dalai Lama and wait and see as he says. Meanwhile life goes on as usual for most people.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I couldn’t have said it better. I’ve watched the interviews. People want Obamacare repealed because they have ACA (which is Obamacare) coverage. What? People are gullible. They hear only what they want to hear. They don’t work out the details of the consequences in their minds. The jobs that were saved were not saved by Trump. They were decisions that had been made months ago but were re-announced to curry favor with the new prez. My mother was a garment worker. All those jobs moved to southeast asia decades ago. The cost of clothes has not increased substantially over what I paid as a new business worker back in the 60-70s. Bringing those jobs back would increase the cost exponentially as US workers would/could never work for the low wage. Bringing the minimum wage up sounds very noble but there are jobs that don’t warrant it. They aren’t meant to be forever jobs but part time jobs for people/kids transitioning into the workplace. If we are paying someone $15/hr to clean off tables what will we pay for the food? Damn! You got me on my soapbox. After saying all that, I am hoping for the best. That’s all I can do. The people were looking for celebrity to tell blatant lies that was what they longed to hear. Reality TV has turned into reality life.

    Liked by 2 people

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