Tuesday, September 5, 2017
I propose a theory of why trump does what he does.
It is only a theory and it is open for challenge.
WHY DID HE WIN?
trump won the election by appealing to groups suffering economic hardship and real misery.
Most of these folks have real concerns but are not sophisticated politically.
Then, it is easy to rouse emotions from the core group and to propose actions which will appeal to them and which will also enrich the elite, like trump.
This is one of the constant themes of the administration: 'I feel your pain and I will take care of it for you. My [tax cut, education privatization, environmental regulation gutting, etc., etc.] will help you.' But, the actual policies do NOT help the people to whom he promises relief - instead they serve to further enrich him and the richest 1%.
That part is pretty well known.
Here's what to say about Russia and trump.
Foreign spending on United States election campaigns is a crime. Russia is a Continuing Criminal Enterprise [see 21 U.S. Code § 848 - Continuing criminal enterprise, here https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/21/848], so Putin disregards United States law.
Facebook has announced that internet troll farms in Russia paid $100,000 for fake news ads disparagng Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election [https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/06/technology/facebook-russian-political-ads.html?mcubz=3].
Whether this criminal activity affected the elections' outcome is moot at this point.
But, if it is proven that trump's campaign colluded with the Russian campaign then some people in the administration may go to jail. trump used Russian money and support in his campaign for office regardless of its illegality.
WHERE DOES IT LEAD?
While this can explain some of the short term actions and choices, it does not necessarily provide an endgame strategy.
It may appear fantastical at first read, but the following theory does seem to fit many of the facts.
trump's endgame may be to create a fascist dictatorship while removing the current United States Government and the Constitution. This endgame may or may not be conscious and deliberate.
1. He seems to be destroying the fabric of the country by doing two things. First, he proposes laws and removes regulations which act to protect working families and the environment. Second, he appoints ignoramuses to influential governmental positions with the expectation that they will support his actions in the first instance.
2. He decides that really rich people will be successful in government service. They are thus good stewards of our public assets. Further, they, and he, can and will take advantage of their governmental position for personal financial gain.
3. Every statement or tweet he makes is designed to obfuscate facts and make listeners lose trust in their senses and beliefs. The endgame here is the destruction of the population's belief in 'facts'.
4. Because of 3 above, nothing trump says is objectively 'true'; each statement is designed to appeal to an ignorant base, hide the facts and cast doubt on anyone who disagrees with him.
5. He panders to this base since nearly everyone else on the planet does not trust him. Unfortunately, some of his base supporters are racist, fascist, ignorant and desperate people who cannot trust anyone else since their lives are miserable now. Their misery is due in fact to the poor economic policies of the Bush era and the resulting poverty and unemployment. But, since misery and unemployment help him in his pursuit for power, he consciously pursues the identical economic policies of the Bush era which created the problems. Then, he blames Obama and Hillary for the resulting misery.
Some of his supporters are well-off folks who seemingly share the distrust of media and politicians endorsed by the poorer members of the base. And, some of them are simply racist.
6. trump's support of violent, fascist tendencies in his base is clear and obvious. He has encouraged an armed base of alt-right supporters ready to march at his command. This base is pandered to by the NRA as well.
The real danger is that trump may create a movement which he cannot control.
As I said, this is a theory. I will be very happy to be wrong.
Bankers’ Criminal Actions Caused the 2008 Crisis
Stability in our financial system is required for our national security.
We know absolutely that the financial system cannot regulate itself without great harm to our economy. Bankers who cause great national harm should be punished with jail terms. Merely fining bankers does not prevent future criminal behavior. A fine is considered a cost of doing business and not a deterrent.
There is a Simple Solution
Under Glass-Steagal we had stability for 50 years.
Restore it. It prevents criminal behavior.
It is the only choice.
The United States of America in which most of the population lives has learned a lesson. We have learnt this clearly and absolutely; we know it as well as we know our names.
The lesson is this: Bankers will not consider the effects of their actions on other parties. They have proven repeatedly that they act as if they are in a vacuum. They take no responsibility for any harm they cause.
Banks caused the recent economic meltdown; they will cause future recessions and depressions unless they are restrained.
Government’s Job is to Protect Citizens from Criminals
From that lesson it follows that the government of the United States has the responsibility to protect the population from bank practices.
As citizens, we have the distinct impression that the bank lobby has corrupted the political and regulatory processes thoroughly.
This is the source of our discontent.
Once in our history after great misery and social malaise, we created a bank regulation process that protected the population.
This group of laws was passed in the 1930's. These laws were based on the assumption that banks cannot be trusted to act in the public interest.
These laws were successful in providing a stable financial system for half a century. During this stable period, we enjoyed great prosperity. The laws were extensive and punitive.
The basis of the system was the Glass-Steagall act which prohibited a commercial bank from buying or selling stocks or insurance. Commercial banks are banks which take deposits and make loans.
Some of the other laws are listed below.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation [FDIC] was created to insure the safety of commercial bank depositor's accounts. When a bank failed, the FDIC paid off the depositors, but allowed bank owners to lose their investment.
Investment banks were created to make investments in stocks and other instruments. They were allowed to fail and there was no insurance to protect the owners or investors.
The Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] was created to protect investors from criminal stock promoters.
All companies which took deposits and/or made loans were regulated; there were no unregulated financial institutions.
Savings and thrift institutions were regulated so that they could take deposits, but were allowed to make loans on residential real estate only. They were not allowed to issue checking accounts.
Insurance companies could not trade in stocks, make loans or take demand deposits.
The Federal Reserve Bank established limits on interest rates that could be charged to borrowers and paid to depositors by banks. The FED also examined banks carefully to ensure their loan portfolios were sound and the managers were capable. And, the FED established and enforced capitalization ratios to ensure that banks would stay sound during hard times.
This is only an introduction to the concept of ensuring the financial stability of the United States of America.
All the listed laws, and the array of acts, laws and statutes not covered here, have as their common foundation a simple idea.
That common foundation is this: banks cannot be trusted.
In case of any doubt, the article in the link here provides evidence of criminal bank behavior: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-scam-wall-street-learned-from-the-mafia-20120620