Trump May Become A Socialist in Order to Beat One - Caleb Jones

Tantrum Trump has his share of problems, many of which I have pointed out since his election. He’s corrupt, a corporatist, a warmonger, a liar, and loves big government because his deficits will likely double what Pussy Barack did. I am not a fan of Trump and never have been, and I will be proven correct regarding the four predictions I made about him back when he was elected in 2016.

That being said, Tantrum Trump is a fantastic marketer the likes of which we have rarely seen. He has a real feel for what people are thinking and want. That’s how he became president, by tapping into what many Americans were really feeling but were afraid to say.

Now he’s saying something that I have been saying for quite a while. He’s now saying that the concept of socialism, having become so popular in the Collapsing USA since the insane left defeated the incompetent right in the culture wars, won’t be easy to beat.

As he campaigns for re-election, Donald Trump and his team have made trashing the ‘socialists or communists’ in the 2020 Democratic presidential field a cornerstone of their messaging. In private, however, the president often strikes a different, more nuanced tone—one driven by a concern that socialism (at least as defined by the Democrats) may actually sell politically.

This year, Trump has repeatedly told friends and donors that running against “socialism” in a general election may not be “so easy” because of its populist draw, according to four Republicans and sources close to Trump who’ve heard him say this over the past several months.

Assuming this is true (and I believe it is, because it’s just the kind of accurate observation Trump would make), he is absolutely correct.

According to a person who was in the room, Trump told donors at a recent private event that although “a lot of people think it’ll be easy to beat [in 2020], the truth is, it might not be so easy.” The president, according to the source, said that “you can have someone who loves Trump, but many people love free stuff, too.” He added that if candidates tell Americans, especially young voters—that they’re going to cancel their debt, “that’s a tough one” to run against.

Correct again. I see a guy screaming about building a wall running against a guy who is offering to give you free college, free health care, and pay off your student loans.

Hmmm… which of these two do you think will win?

And Trump can’t use the ‘I’ll bring your jobs back’ thing this time around either, since it’s now obvious, even to his supporters, that he not only did not do that (because he couldn’t), but he lied about it all along.

Just as recently as 2010, the word ‘socialist’ in the USA was a bad word. Today it’s becoming a badge of honor, something some politicians brag about (as I once predicted) and something greatly desired by both Millennials and Generation Z.

Socialism is now considered a good thing by a massive swath of the American populace. And it will become more popular as America’s corporatism continues to grind down the middle and lower-middle classes.

This includes Republicans and conservatives. Go look at the Joe Rogan video on YouTube featuring Bernie Sanders. Rogan’s audience leans right, but the comments on that video are almost 100% positive. “Wow, I think I actually like this Bernie Sanders guy!” is the overwhelming consensus. You also have Trump supporters gleefully agreeing with Andrew Yang’s universal basic income proposals. Trump supporters!

Everyone now likes big government. The left, the right, the normal people in the center, and even some former libertarians. And Tantrum Trump knows this.

And so does Bernie Sanders.

That Trump’s private views about the political efficacy of socialism don’t reflect his public utterances reflects, to some degree, his own unconventional approach to elected politics. The president ran in 2016 as a Republican, but with unorthodox views, having pledged repeatedly not to cut entitlement programs and to use the levers of the government to go after individual companies or industries that he deemed hostile to the U.S. economy or workforce.

And don’t forget that Trump supported government-funded health care during the Republican debates and during interviews at the time. Trump is for massive government and always has been. (Not that Trump supporters care.) Here’s some more:

Since entering office, he’s often governed along these lines, targeting companies that outsource jobs and subsidizing farmers who have been hurt by his trade war with China. The pattern was strong enough that Sanders took to the Wall Street Journal (a bastion of conservative economics) to pen a column saying Trump was “the Worst Kind of Socialist.”

Punishing companies in the free market and handing massive amounts of your tax dollars to farmers are not the acts of a capitalist, free market, small government President. Moreover and more importantly, most Republicans, conservatives, and Trump supporters don’t mind, since they’re for big government also, as I showed here.

In the Collapsing USA, just about everyone is a socialist now, at least to some degree. This is going to make it harder for Trump running against people like Sanders and Warren.

As I alluded to above, I’m visualizing a debate between Tantrum Trump and Comrade Bernie, where Trump rants about building a wall (which he won’t do and never intended on doing) and cutting taxes (which no one in the middle or lower classes gives a shit about), and the Bernie just shrugs and says, “Whatever, man. I’ll just give all of you a bunch of free stuff.”

Ten years ago, that wouldn’t have worked. But today?

Hey, as I showed here, Trump could still win re-election even though everyone hates him because of the electoral collage and various other reasons that have nothing to do with Trump. So, despite the fact that more Americans will love the left-wing answer of tons of ‘free’ stuff from the government, it still may not work in electing our next socialist president… this time.

The problem is that something else just as bad may occur instead. Trump may decide that the way to get re-elected is to beat the leftists at their own game and propose his own massive welfare giveaway. Forgiving college loans, free health care, free college, even free cash in some cases. Given both his pulse on what is popular right now and his own big-government desires, Tantrum Trump proposing something like this in order to win re-election over a socialist is very likely.

I think the odds are overwhelming that one of two things will soon take place:

A. Trump will lose the election to a socialist.

Or

B. Trump will win re-election by becoming a socialist himself.

Either way, congrats, you’ve got a socialist president in the USA, as I predicted long ago.

Of course, I could be wrong, but that’s where the winds are blowing. And regardless of what happens, I’m sticking to my prediction that we are one or two presidential election cycles away from a full-on socialist president in the United States.

I’ll be out of the country by then, so I’m not concerned. It will be interesting to watch though.

Update: I wrote this article before all the impeachment stuff about Tantrum Trump came out late last week. As I stated at this blog almost two years ago, yes, because Trump has broken so many laws, there is a 25% chance he will be removed from office or redesigns before his presidential tenure ends. This hasn’t changed, but remember that 25% isn’t likely. Bill Clinton already showed us that sitting presidents are free to blatantly break the law and get away with it. And remember that Donald Trump is Bill Clinton.

Laws apply to you and me, not the elites.

37 Comments on “Trump May Become A Socialist in Order to Beat One

  1. If having no welfare state leads to either being eaten alive by the hungry unemployed mob or having to have an army to crush them, then there’s gonna be a welfare state, unless private armies become much cheaper.

    The proposals for non-state UBIs or social safety nets require the rich to willingly pool resources, and whether this worked or not 100 years ago, it clearly isn’t happening right now. In light of this, I don’t care if one calls it socialism or not; being against a welfare state while proposing a ‘superior’ alternative that simply isn’t gonna happen strikes me as very strange.

    What is the moral superiority of a system that would only hypothetically work in a small Ascendia-like country? If it simply can’t be implemented at a larger scale, then it isn’t relevant to large scales, so it isn’t morally superior or inferior at all, it is simply off topic. How does realizing this make one an evil or delusional or lazy socialist?

    What are you “against” if you acknowledge that what you are “for” isn’t workable?
    If, say, large scale communism can’t work (I don’t want communism. I’m more agnostic on it – or on market socialism or whatever – in the eventuality of Strong AI), but can work at a small scale when willingly practiced by a community of some tens of thousands inside a capitalist country; and if large scale minarchism can’t work but could work in a small country, how is this different from essentially agreeing with the current status quo, ie mixed economies?

  2. What is the moral superiority of a system that would only hypothetically work in a small Ascendia-like country? […] What are you “against” if you acknowledge that what you are “for” isn’t workable?

    The sixth virtue of rationality is empiricism. Do not ask which beliefs to profess, but which experiences to anticipate.

    BD predicts that the next president of the US, who is likely to be Trump, will enact socialist policies. What predictions do you make?

  3. Having met Trump I would say you are spot on. His best move to stay in office is to appear to move left, he never was a true conservative anyway.

    Since the Bernie heart problem, I’d count him out.

    The fact is throughout history capitalist countries always move left. Listen to “What we don’t learn from history and why empires collapse” by Professor Rufus Fears a very good lecture series I think you would enjoy. Available from Great courses.

  4. detaching asap.

    how would american socialism compare to say the more infamous very very bad historical examples of socialism?

    Safe to assume it automatically goes to taking property by force scenarios and making prosperity imossible pretty quickly? doesn’t sound worth waiting around to find out.

    I have a goal to be significantly secure by the election but posts like these help with the focus.

    As I bring my lifestyle costs to their minimum and get residual/savings going I can relocate and go location independent.

  5. how would american socialism compare to say the more infamous very very bad historical examples of socialism?

    The term socialism, as used by BD, seems to refer to a high degree of government involvement in everyday matters, not to the textbook definition where all means of production are owned by the state. That degree can be quite significant without turning a country into USSR. Pros and cons would depend heavily on what exactly that involvement would look like.

  6. BD predicts that the next president of the US, who is likely to be Trump, will enact socialist policies. What predictions do you make?

    If you dispute a model, you present a counter-model that makes its own predictions. I didn’t dispute a model, I disputed a claim about which system is better. The article clearly and repeatedly implies that the arrival of more welfare and/or UBI is bad, and that its supporters are misguided. Hence the points I made. If you have no interest in prescriptive statements, you’re free to stick to purely epistemological ones. But prescription-free rationality can’t ever claim to… prescribe anything, by definition. It can say what “works” under given parameters, but it’s disingenuous, in that case, to reee at a suboptimal system that’s currently in place under other parameters. Reread my comment.

  7. If having no welfare state leads to either being eaten alive by the hungry unemployed mob or having to have an army to crush them, then there’s gonna be a welfare state, unless private armies become much cheaper.

    The USA didn’t have a welfare system for its first 165 years of its existence, and during that time it went from a few backwater farmers to a world power, something that has never happened in world history. Hong Kong had (more or less) no welfare state for its first few decades, taking it from a little rock with no natural resources into the highest economic city in the world.

    If you think that having little or no welfare state is theoretical or impossible, then please do not ever try to debate me on the topic of a welfare state (for or against) on any of my blogs until you do a lot more research on the topic, something you clearly have not done. I will no longer respond to you on this topic until it’s very clear you’ve done some more research on it.

    Since the Bernie heart problem, I’d count him out.

    I would not count him out, since his supporters don’t and won’t care about his health (they’ve vote for him if he was as physically disabled as Steven Hawking), but I agree that it’s dramatically reduced his chances, yes.

    The problem is that he isn’t the only socialist in the running.

    The fact is throughout history capitalist countries always move left.

    Correct. It’s inevitable. The best time to live in the USA (economically speaking, not in terms of standard of living) was the late 1800s or so.

    Listen to “What we don’t learn from history and why empires collapse” by Professor Rufus Fears a very good lecture series I think you would enjoy.

    I agree, I’d enjoy that a lot.

    how would american socialism compare to say the more infamous very very bad historical examples of socialism?

    American socialism will look somewhat like Western European style socialism today. Bureaucratic, economically oppressive to anyone above the lower-middle class, corrupt, corporatist, inefficient, and mind-bogglingly wasteful.

    Safe to assume it automatically goes to taking property by force scenarios and making prosperity imossible pretty quickly?

    No, I doubt it will ever get quite that bad. America will collapse well before the government actually goes around to people’s homes to confiscate property. The USA is too big, lazy, unmotivated, and disorganized to ever be Nazi Germany.

    The article clearly and repeatedly implies that the arrival of more welfare and/or UBI is bad, and that its supporters are misguided.

    Correct. 48% of American households are already on some form of government assistance. Increasing that already insane and unsustainable number would be bad and people who want such a thing are misguided.

    If we were talking about 4% of households on welfare going to 5%, then of course this would be a very different conversation and my position would be less forceful.

  8. BD..
    Please help me connect the dots
    Who are the elites?
    Can an alpha male 2.0 ignore the or do they make it hard for alpha male to live out his mission ?
    Besides the election of Trump have elites lost ever in the last 50
    Years?

  9. The USA didn’t have a welfare system for its first 165 years of its existence, and during that time it went from a few backwater farmers to a world power, something that has never happened in world history. Hong Kong had (more or less) no welfare state for its first few decades, taking it from a little rock with no natural resources into the highest economic city in the world.
    If you think that having little or no welfare state is theoretical or impossible

    I accounted for that. By making it clear I was talking about the present. It’s not like you haven’t repeatedly mentioned pre-1913 US and Hong Kong on this blog, would be hard for me not to remember that. In the present, this isn’t gonna happen at a large scale and for the long term and you know it. You haven’t addressed anything I said.

  10. I’m guessing history will repeat/rhyme itself and scenario A will happen after the next economic crash. Back in 1929 when the stock market crashed hard, Herbert Hoover (a businessman just like Trump) was president. The economy will probably crash sometime towards the end of Trump’s first term. Americans will get irrationally upset, place the blame on Trump (including his own supporters), and elect a socialist. This person will keep introducing new welfare programs that receive critical acclaim from Americans, and keep getting re-elected indefinitely (even if the Constitution restricts re-election to 2 terms, by that point nobody will to follow a damn word on that thing) until the United States completes its transition to socialism or until they die in office. This will play out very similarly to how FDR introduced a whole bunch of new welfare programs, was celebrated by Americans, and kept getting re-elected until he died in office.

  11. @Antekirtt It is not sustainable to have open boarders and a welfare state. The USA has open boarders. Adding additional welfare benefits is not going to be successful long term. The govt eventually runs out of other people’s money to spend on said benefits. This will become very evident shortly as the baby boomers start drawing social security and many of the chronically underfunded govt pensions start defaulting on their obligations. In other words, we cannot afford the obligations we already have, let alone more of them.

  12. Who are the elites?

    The top 10,000 (or so) men and women with the most power in the world. Mostly upper-level politicians, CEOs, bankers, and billionaires.

    Can an alpha male 2.0 ignore the or do they make it hard for alpha male to live out his mission ?

    An Alpha Male 2.0 who has set up Alpha 2.0 business structures and woman structures can indeed ignore the elites. That’s one of the benefits of the Alpha 2.0 lifestyle. On his way to building these things, however, he may have to pay at least a little attention.

    Besides the election of Trump have elites lost ever in the last 50 years?

    No. And the elites only “lost” with Trump because he wasn’t the particular elite they wanted. (He’s still one of the elites, just one of the ones they consider inappropriate for the role of President.)

    In the present, this isn’t gonna happen at a large scale and for the long term and you know it.

    Correct, and I’ve said that many times. The USA needs to break up into many smaller countries for it to happen again precisely the way I describe with perhaps one or two of them, again, as I’ve said many times. Even if the US never does this it still makes sense to move in a smaller government direction instead of the other direction (even though collapse is inevitable at this point).

    I’m not sure what’s wrong with you today; it’s as if you’ve chosen to ignore frequent statements I’ve made on my blogs that I know you’ve read. The welfare state is a very bad thing, harms more than it hurts, is fundamentally unsustainable (particularly in large countries), and will virtually guarantee future collapse, insolvency, or violent revolution.

    If your argument that we should embrace that evil, flawed, and destructive system instead of at least moving in a direction of what I’m talking about just because the perfect ideal of what I’m discussing is unlikely to occur in a large country (which is correct), then your point is odd, and I think I win.

    The economy will probably crash sometime towards the end of Trump’s first term. Americans will get irrationally upset, place the blame on Trump (including his own supporters), and elect a socialist. This person will keep introducing new welfare programs that receive critical acclaim from Americans, and keep getting re-elected indefinitely

    Yes, that’s very likely, other than the re-elected indefinitely part. That could happen but I don’t consider it likely.

    It is not sustainable to have open boarders and a welfare state

    Correct, but I’m pretty sure he knows that and doesn’t care. Both free market capitalism and welfarestateism are long-term unsustainable systems (since humans are kinda stupid about learning from the past), but he seems to prefer the latter. (He is Pakistani if I remember correctly, so such a belief would be in line with his cultural Societal Programming.)

  13. I’m not for open borders, nor am I Pakistani, and I’m essentially a die-in-hell heretic as far as my country’s SP – societal or religious – standards are concerned. Literally no SP I ever received, even in early adulthood, included any notion of a welfare state, if any economic belief at all.
    @American: I think any UBI would have to replace most existing safety nets, not come on top of them, that would be insane.

  14. I know that citing Marx on this blog is like a heresy but will try anyway.
    He said that social organisation (slavery, feudalism, capitalism, socialism, etc.) is dependent on level of development of ‘means of production’ – in modern terms this would mean how social responsible are the citizens (workers/entrepreneurs).
    In some advanced, Star Trek like, society everybody would be aware that they need to do meaningful and positive contribution to the society and in this case welfare state would not be counterproductive. Maybe some countries are already there. I have never visited Finland, Japan or Singapore, but I can imagine they are on good way.
    Rest of us have some way to go. Especially because there are large differences and lot of migration – USA/Latin America or Europe/Africa.

  15. He said that social organisation (slavery, feudalism, capitalism, socialism, etc.) is dependent on level of development of ‘means of production’ – in modern terms this would mean how social responsible are the citizens (workers/entrepreneurs).

    It would not mean that. The means of production are just that—tools, machines, robots, factories and so on. Nobody doubts that the level of development of the means of production has a very strong influence on social organization. Nobody would doubt that the level of social responsibility is a factor either, except while industrial progress is evident, social responsibility does not seem to have changed much through the ages.

    So while what you said is true, it’s vacuously so, at least that’s my opinion.

  16. In some advanced, Star Trek like, society everybody would be aware that they need to do meaningful and positive contribution to the society and in this case welfare state would not be counterproductive.

    You’re using Star Trek and Karl Marx as your examples, both of which deal in fantasy, not real life.

    Maybe some countries are already there. I have never visited Finland, Japan or Singapore, but I can imagine they are on good way.

    Utterly incorrect. I have spent a good amount of time in Japan and Singapore and they are nothing like that, and Finland has a massive welfare state.

    Rest of us have some way to go.

    The human race will never achieve this fantasy nirvana you speak of (unless we evolve into a completely different form of life).

    As human beings are in the real world, they tend to do best when you keep government as small as you can for as long as you can. Period.

    The problem is that this is very rarely done since it doesn’t serve the elites nearly as well as big government systems like the welfare state.

  17. The means of production are just that—tools, machines, robots, factories and so on.

    Today, means of production is largely knowledge. Most valuable capital that both Google and Apple have are their employees.

  18. human race will never achieve this fantasy nirvana

    Societies change and humans with them. One hundred fifty years ago most of the people had completely different opinion about animal, women and many other rights. And opinion impacts behaviour.

  19. Finland has a massive welfare state

    Maybe a subject for some future post, or maybe I missed it – why these welfare state Scandinavian countries consistently score so high on happiness index.
    Index is wrong?
    Or this is just temporary?
    Or they are special/not replicable for some reason?

  20. @axld

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordic_model

    Sweden has the largest population of about 10 million. Most other Nordic countries have about 5M. Michigan has 10M, for example.

    These are small countries (relatively). They are also very organized, progressive, probably don’t spend much money on defense, don’t have much corruption, and are fairly pro-business.

  21. Maybe a subject for some future post, or maybe I missed it – why these welfare state Scandinavian countries consistently score so high on happiness index.

    Yeah, you missed it. Read this.

  22. Societies change and humans with them. One hundred fifty years ago most of the people had completely different opinion about animal, women and many other rights. And opinion impacts behaviour.

    You’re not talking about a change in opinions. You’re talking about a radical change in fundamental human nature.

  23. BD
    Part of your mission includes giving back via mentoring, scholarship and charitable foundations
    Why are they different and more effective than welfare stateism
    This would be a great blog post

  24. Caleb, when you say Trump will “turn” socialist, do you mean “promise” socialism or “deliver” it? Because, as we all know campaign promises are about as real as unicorn farts.

    The democrats claiming to support all these free things are lying. I don’t have to be a mind reader to prove this. Bernie Sanders has been in congress for 30 years. Only congress can pass tax laws. The president does not have that power. Yet he claims he needs to be president to pass his billionaire tax. In his 30 years of “service” he never spent the 5 minutes it would take to write the bill and put it up for vote. Therefore, he doesn’t really want it. It is just his form of marketing to dumb voters.

    So, while I agree that Trump will “turn” socialist, it will probably be a promise he has no intention of delivering. And since neither party in congress will ever work with him, nothing will get done. BTW, he has been ranting about open borders and china trade practices since the 80s. Those are what he truly believes in and has been working on.

  25. @Kevin — “Why are they different and more effective than welfare stateism”

    Caleb can answer for himself if he chooses. But I can give you one good reason. FREEDOM.

    If it’s done by charity, that is a choice everyone gets to make for themselves. If it’s done by taxation and redistribution, that it is essentially FORCED CHARITY. Since the force is done at gunpoint (ie you cannot refuse to pay taxes or men with guns come after you), this is another way of saying armed robbery.

    You are free to disagree, and most people do. But then you are admitting you are against freedom, so long as it is for a reason you like.

  26. Off topic – but is your plan to set up residency (temporary or otherwise) in HK still stand (re the escalation of protests over last couple months)?

  27. Part of your mission includes giving back via mentoring, scholarship and charitable foundations
    Why are they different and more effective than welfare stateism
    This would be a great blog post

    Ok. Added.

    Caleb, when you say Trump will “turn” socialist, do you mean “promise” socialism or “deliver” it?

    I depends on the specific item or items he promises. If he promises sweeping and massive new welfare state programs, then of course he won’t deliver on it. If he instead promises a single item, like college loan forgiveness, he might deliver on it, since that’s where the USA is going anyway.

    It doesn’t matter though. Trump supporters have definitively proven time and again that they don’t care whether or not Trump delivers on anything he says. As long as he keeps saying certain things, they’ll gleefully support him as the ship continues to sink.

    That’s the beauty of being Trump: his supporters are so irrational that never needs to deliver on anything.  All he needs to do is promise it.

    but is your plan to set up residency (temporary or otherwise) in HK still stand (re the escalation of protests over last couple months)?

    Legal residency in HK was never my plan; just to be there many months out of the year. That aspect hasn’t changed (at least so far).

  28. Hey Sabrina!

    Off topic – but is your plan to set up residency (temporary or otherwise) in HK still stand (re the escalation of protests over last couple months)?

    All sounds very exciting! I’m tempted to fly over for a long weekend to see what’s happening in the streets … it’s not like we’ve had any shortage of tear gas and rubber bullets in Jakarta over recent weeks, but I’d still like to see whats going down over there. I’ve only ever been to HK once, but it was a very exciting trip. We were on a boat, which we were planning on sailing over to Indonesia, when the big typhoon hit. I was amazed to see how quickly the city got back on its feet. People swarming around like ants, cleaning things up over the weekend, and it was business as usual by Monday morning.

    How you coping with it all?

  29. Caleb, I would like to know your thoughts about Keynes and post Keynesian in general, including TMM and Mosler economics.

  30. Caleb, I would like to know your thoughts about Keynes

    Completely opposed. Keynesianism is yet another big-government economic philosophy that ends in collapse and services the elites more than the general population.

    TMM and Mosler economics.

    TMM is insane and anti-math. Otherwise, why not just print up $100,000 for every adult American every year and give it to them forever? I am unfamiliar with Mosler.

  31. The USA didn’t have a welfare system for its first 165 years of its existence, and during that time it went from a few backwater farmers to a world power, something that has never happened in world history.

    But the reason behind why is important. The world was devoid of calories, food was very expensive, and the planet chronically experienced famine. That only changed in the mid 1980’s. What we now consider “flyover country” was the economic backbone that powered us to being the world power.

    I’m cutting a lot of corners with this argument, but there’s a certain competitive advantage when you 1) have the biggest food supply with the highest quality and 2) no material enemies on your border.

    Before the USSR collapsed, Ukraine was their breadbasket. When the wall came down, Ag commodity prices were less than the cost of production so they let it go. Now? Not so much. No shit Russia wants it back now. They want to control the means of production for domestic use.

    We talk about scarcity mentality like it’s something stupid and foreign and obsolete. I have known Vietnamese folks and am related to Dust Bowl Okies who lost relatives from starvation trying to get somewhere else because they were literally starving. Nothing seeds scarcity (and hoarding) like experiencing actual scarcity.

    OT: Hey Sabrina. Missed you girl. Hope you’re well.

  32. Megatherion,

    For one of the best and most readable primers I’ve encountered on Post Keynesian Economics, check out “An Economics Primer for Cyber Security Analysts” by John T Harvey. Counterintuitive title, but it’s very good. Easy to find the pdf. Also check out Steve Keen’s youtube channel and his book “Debunking Economics”.

    On Warren Mosler and MMT, check out his debate with the Austrian economist Robert Murphy, which you can find on youtube. Also read Mosler’s “Seven Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economic Policy” and “Soft Currency Economics” if you haven’t already. Again, easy to find pdfs.

  33. @Incognito @C Lo

    Hey – doing well thanks. Work very busy, happy to be reunited with my partner. But missing my cushy lovely grad school life.

    I started working in Hong Kong just as the place started to blow up; though it is more of an inconvenience (traffic interruptions, city closing down on weekends, etc) than a viable threat to safety in day to day lives. I do not have a strong view on the situation, but I will say it is heartbreaking to see so much anger and violence in the streets. I’m hoping it calms down, but I do not think Hong Kong has a particularly competent or effective enough leadership structure to tackle the public unrest. Doesn’t help international media (particularly the US) is out to take advantage of the situation.

    Hope all is well with you both.

  34. @Sabrina,

    Yes, that’s the way it usually is with civil disturbances. It’s more of a pain in the arse than a mortal danger, with the biggest risk due to the impact on economic activity — unless, of course, you are selling masks or bullet proof vests or something. And yes, it reveals a lot about the way the media works to be up close and personal to a major breaking news event. You’ll never read the papers with the same level of trust and acceptance again.

    Stay safe!

  35. I can already read the op-eds in my mind, recalling “Nixon goes to China”: “Only Trump could convince the nation of going single-payer”.

    Yeah, like you needed much convincing…

    On the other hand, it might not be necessary to win public support this way given the sentiment against China, which I feel is growing lately (and I’m glad). People are starting to notice how pervasive Chinese power is in America (NBA, videogames, Hollywood…). Who knows where this will go.

  36. If Trump has to use a bit of socialism to win with the tactics against him, I would prefer that than the other side winning.

    Afterall, it’s a tactic.

    He is not ideological unlike his opponents when it comes to socialist ideals.

    Forgiving student debt wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

    But, you are most likely right Caleb.

    It won’t be enough.

    Giving the handouts I agree would be troublesome, for people will never want to give it up as we see everywhere already.

    The classic slippery slope.

    Naval Ravikant had a neat perspective he shared on Joe Rogan regarding socialism.

    That’s it’s best with friends and family, in the home, in small instances.    I think it needs to be repeated that the concept is not bad, but it belongs at the bottom of the pyramid and that it’s not meant for large swaths of people.

    You want libertarians at the top (ideally) to provide maximum freedom for the system and to protect private property rights.

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