The people, caught up in the chaos of the falling markets and with uncertainty heavy in the air, were staring at the screen, literally watching their money disappear. And with the disappearing money went the jobs. And with the jobs went security. And with security went the peace of mind. Something needed to be done, but what? With the smoke and fire swirling in the air, suddenly a man appeared, with a calm demeanor and a quiet, yet firm voice. The message was simple. He would bring change. He would restore hope. The people welcomed the message and embraced the man and the promises and attention that he lavished on them. That man was Barack Hussein Obama, and much like Moses of the past, he was tasked with leading the people of the United States back to the promised land of milk and honey. He promised hope and change. But was he able to deliver?
Now, if you are a staunch Democrat, you can point to a number of data points that bolster the case that Obama is arguably the best President ever. When he took over from George W. Bush, the United States was in the throes of a recession, which some would say was even a depression. He inherited 13 straight months of job losses. Two ongoing wars were being fought in the Middle East. Big automakers were failing. In fact, the list goes on and on. And what, officially, was he able to do with his time in office?
Again, according to official talking points, he was able to get America out of the 2nd Great Depression. He was able to double the stock market, which many still say is a reflection of the health of the economy. He was able to create more than 9 million new jobs, as well as have 50 something quarters of economic growth. Unemployment has fallen to below 5%. Healthcare, unattainable for millions, is now available to all. He also has been attributed with ending the war in Iraq, as well as in Afghanistan.
But, what would a non-fan say about Obama’s real record? It might be something along the lines of- the stock market no longer reflects the health of the economy, as 1# financial engineering has led to computers doing most of the trading. In fact, Wired wrote back in 2010 that —“By some estimates, computer-aided high-frequency trading now accounts for about 70 percent of total trade volume.” That’s right. 70%. In the search for larger profits, traders and analysts, real flesh and blood people, have been put out of work robots. In fact, no longer does the search for value matter. What does matter is the small day-to-day data points used by computers to make a penny a trade, a thousand times a day.
The second point is the record number of buy-backs. Marketwatch writes — “500 S&P companies, determined to keep their share prices on a good footing during the turbulent market conditions at the start of the year, spent more than $161 billion on share buybacks in the first quarter of 2016. It’s the second-largest quarterly expenditure on buybacks after the record spent in the third quarter of 2007.” That’s right. Companies are buying the shares back, thus creating artificial demand, coupled with computers churning, which means the stock market is basically levitating, or as some call it — “on life-support”.
The rest of the points, well, as the NYT wrote — “Recovery has created far more low-wage jobs than better-paid jobs”. That’s right. CNN noted that the “majority of jobs were in the food sector (also known as fast food), retail (shopping malls) and temporary work (day labor)”. So, where are the good jobs? The jobs that support a family? They were shipped to China or were automated. In the meantime, Obama extended unemployment benefits, and due to accounting tricks, this lead to a drop in unemployment figures. Breitbart notes that — “A record of nearly 95 million Americans are not in the labor force”. That’s right. In a country of nearly 320 million, 1 out of every 3 are not working. Now, that, coupled with other accounting tricks, has led to the “Schrodinger cat” situation, where the US economy is simultaneously alive and dead at the same time, and the 1% doesn’t care, as long as the box isn’t opened.
So, what is to be made of the nomination of Hillary Clinton to be the first woman President? As Obama said and the LA Times reported —“Obama portrays Clinton, his former foe and advisor, as uniquely qualified for the White House.” But what makes her uniquely qualified? What has she done? A failed lawyer that has been able to stay afloat on the corpses of her “one-time friends” as scandal after scandal has swirled around her for decades. Just ask Debbie Wasserman-Shultz. In fact, a Google search for “Hillary Clinton Scandal” reveals more than 48 million results. And the recent DNC email leak only proves that there is, to paraphrase HRC, a “vast left-wing conspiracy”.
And what about The Donald? To hear the pundits the day after he accepted the Republican nomination, he either was a chicken little, telling anyone that would listen that the sky was falling, or was the savior of the nation, because, as he said-“I am the law and order candidate”. That’s right. According to Trump, the nation, which under Obama’s rule, learned new words such as “sanctuary city”, which is essentially a city that doesn’t have to follow the official border rules, as generally accepted by passport controls all around the world, is being over-run with illegal aliens, or the pc term-“undocumented workers”. And those illegals are coming in hordes. And maybe there is something to it. As the Washington Times wrote-“Border Patrol ordered to release illegals ‘still soaking wet’ from Rio Grande.”
In Trump’s speech, which was 76 minutes long, was powerful and provoked an emotional response. But, maybe an avid learner of history should simply think back to the promises that Obama made. He promised Hope and Change. And he was able to deliver. Things in America have changed over the last 8 years. And people no longer have hope for the future. Now, it really seems as if a plurality of Americans simply wishes that they could go back in time, and Donald is stoking that nostalgia. Listening carefully, the vision he paints is that of a police state. Of surveillance, of Big Brother continuously watching, monitoring your every move, tracking you from birth, to stop or eliminate “criminals” from “preying upon society”. And of course, those criminals will be one thing today, and tomorrow? Well, that is to be determined, citizen. And it will all be welcomed, once again, with cheering crowds and smiling eyes.
So, what do you think dear listeners, “Is Donald Trump working for Big Brother?”