by Doug Casey
It appears there are two candidates running from the left wing of the Demopublican Party (Hillary and Bernie), and two and a half from the right wing (Trump, Cruz, and Kasich). Note: The media identifies the Lefties by their first names, a friendly and personal thing, unlike the Righties.
I find it distasteful discussing current political figures. But since somebody new is going to be president come November, it makes sense to figure out who that might be, in order to insulate yourself as much as possible from the damage they’ll do.
Let me start by saying that this is not just the most entertaining election I’ve ever witnessed. But after the 1860 election, which Lincoln won with 40% of the popular vote (the remainder split between Stephen Douglas and two other candidates), I suspect it will also be the most divisive, hostile, and critical to the future of the country. Ever.
Why do I say that? Because the U.S. hasn’t been this unstable since the unpleasantness of 1861–1865.
The figures show that the average American’s standard of living has been dropping since about 1971. This is manifestly true relative to the rest of the world. But it’s also true in absolute terms, especially after you back out extraneous factors. For instance, today’s families usually need two breadwinners just to make ends meet. Huge amounts of debt have also helped disguise the decay. The situation is becoming critical with real unemployment closer to 20% than the official 5%. Interest rates are being held at zero to maintain unsupportable levels of debt.
But this isn’t the place for a full economic analysis of the Greater Depression. Let’s just say times are going to get very tough.
When times are tough, people vote for something new. That’s why, at the height of the 2008 crisis, the electorate chose Obama over John McCain. Aside from being old, hostile, and mildly demented, McCain was sure to continue on the then current and unsustainable economic path. Obama’s re-election in 2012 is explained by the fact things improved during his first term. That, and the Republican, Romney, was widely (and correctly) perceived as a politically wired beneficiary of the Deep State.
As you know, I believe we’re now leaving the eye of the great financial hurricane we entered in 2007. Even with (or in many ways because of) the trillions of dollars created over the last eight years, the average guy’s standard of living has continued falling.
People are now widely aware that the rich have been getting radically richer because of QE and ZIRP, and they resent it. Any further hardship occasioned as we go into the hurricane’s trailing edge will likely cause that resentment to become violent.
That accounts for the popularity of Trump and Sanders, but especially Trump. Let’s take a look at the candidates. But first, let’s look at the two dysfunctional wings of America’s Warfare/Welfare Party