Trump: Proof in the Pudding and Bitcoin

A few days ago, I responded to a tweet from MarketWatch in which they advised readers to sell everything if Trump starts a trade war. I wrote back with a pithy: Sell everything, buy Bitcoin.

One person who read the post took exception. He wrote to ask, and I’m paraphrasing, if I was really going to trust an imaginary currency when tshtf. My answer: Yes, I will trust, not an imaginary currency, but a cross-border, decentralized, programmatic
, non-bank, non-government money that’s safe from Wall Street and Treasury hands when tshtf.

And it’s not just trade wars that will spark the a rush to safe assets out of the hands of the very people who have been pauperizing us for 40 or more years. The political, financial, and social rifts in the US are growing wider. There is likely to be more domestic strife over the next few years, a good chance of new wars internationally, and a not insignificant chance that the financial system will collapse again.

Trump voters like him; the really like him

The Guardian has a nice piece this morning that examines the attitudes of a few Trump voters after his first few weeks in office. They love him. The reporter interviewed a number of working-class people in a country that went for Trump, and their opinion is that it’s about time there is someone who is cutting through the bullshit, telling the truth, and sticking up for them.

It’s hard to read. What’s hard to understand is that just from looking at him, you get the sense that Trump is that boss that absolutely hated. Full of himself. Dismissive of others. Not nearly as talented or successful as he thinks he is. Even worse is the notion that there is someone finally fulfilling his promises and sticking up from them:

  • He’ll drain the swamp: He has filled his cabinet with billionaires and ideologues who are sure to strengthen corporations, weaken workers, and ill the pockets of people … like them.
  • He tells the truth: He cries ‘fake news’ while showing a disturbing disregard for the truth. Anything that doesn’t fit with what he wants to believe is a lie or a fraud. We now live in an era of alternative facts, which is just another way of saying ‘believe the lie.’ Facts are check-able. We should all do check them, Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or Independent.
  • Keeping the Muslims out! The constitution is only important if it’s convenient. Restricting immigration is a president’s prerogative – and rational restrictions are necessary. The constitutional limits are there to protect you and me more than the immigrants. For me, the most disturbing part of the ban is not the ‘severe vetting,’ it is the fact that no country, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia, that has proven links to terrorists is on the list. Why these countries? My thought is … he can say he fulfilled his promise, but not hurt the country’s (or his own) business interests in countries like Egypt or Saudi Arabia.
  • Jobs, Jobs, Jobs: He is already bringing jobs back or keeping them from leaving the country. Great. He cut a deal with a company to pay them to keep their employees here. Expect to see a lot more news stories like this – specific examples of a few jobs. Also, keep a tight eye on the real unemployment, underemployment, and no-longer looking so no longer on the rolls numbers. Also keep an eye on if the the average earnings of workers is rising in real, adjusted for inflation, terms.
  • Who will pay for the wall? First, we will – as is already happening.Second, what they will call a wall will in reality end up being a bit of barbed wire and a few cameras along large stretches of the border. But expect the photo-ops to be taken against a 100-foot wall like the one in Game of Thrones. Then there’s the question about what stopping all illegal immigration from the south will do the economy.
  • He’ll stick it to Wall Street: He’s hired half of Goldman Sachs for his government! (OK, it’s a big company, so not half – but LOTS). The best is Steve Mnuchin, a predatory lender who preyed upon distressed people after the 2008 crash and lied to congress in his confirmation hearing to be Secretary of the Treasury. Trump has already begun trying to roll back Dodd-Frank, the woefully-insufficient protections instituted after the 2008 crash and there is not likely to be anything put into place. Wall Street is salivating and getting his cutlery ready – and your pension and children’s college fund is their prey.

The proof is in the pudding. I cannot say that Trump may not really be a genius who will truly make America great again. He might have a genius that I, humble as I am, simply cannot see or appreciate. I’m just not betting on it – and I will keep watching for the consequences that follow.

And, in the meantime, I’ll do what I can to keep accumulating Bitcoin.

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