Bill Bonner – Bill Bonner’s Diary (United States) –
BALTIMORE – Donald Trump has shown the way…
He’s revealed the White House as the No. 1 showbiz gig.
Now, others want to get in on the act.
The latest reports tell us that Oprah might run for president in 2020!
Oprah for President!
On Sunday night in The Beverly Hilton, the celebrity talk show host delivered a speech at the Golden Globes awards ceremony that brought the crowd to its feet… and tears to the eyes of her BFF, Gayle King.
(We didn’t listen to the speech; it probably would have brought tears to our eyes, too, but for entirely different reasons.)
Oprah says a “new day is on the horizon.”
We don’t believe it.
Allow us to spend a few minutes going back to basics.
With some exceptions, real wealth doesn’t come from tax cuts, lower interest rates, QE, or any other Fed quackery.
If it did, there would be a lot more rich people in this world. Instead, wealth still comes the hard way – from real people doing real work.
Real jobs are win-win jobs. There’s no secret… no mystery… and no shortcut to it. You have to satisfy a customer to produce something he wants: what people want is what we call “wealth.”
So an economy tends to grow or shrink depending on how many people are actively providing win-win goods and services to others… compared to how many (zombies, cronies, and Swamp critters) are living off the effort of others.
GDP growth has been going down for the last 35 years. And for a simple reason: fewer people are satisfying customers. And more people are retired, in prison, in school, on disability, or working – directly or indirectly – for the feds.
In 1950, government represented about 30% of the U.S. economy. Now, it is more like 50% (our estimate… adding in “private” sectors substantially controlled by the feds).
Then, there were scarcely 100,000 people in prison; now, there are nearly 2.5 million. Then, only 2% of Americans received Social Security or disability payments. Now, there are more than 10 million of them, or about 4% of the population.
That trend – fewer people supporting more people, financed with fake money – means the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
And it won’t change until either: (1) someone really does drain the Swamp, or (2) the system blows up (see below).
We think option No. 1 is impossible… since the Swamp critters control the government.
That leaves option No. 2.
For more insight into how Donald J. Trump or Oprah would govern, we turn to one of the insiders – a Deep State operative and former Swamp critter who has gone straight, Jimmy Williams.
Here’s an extract from an article Williams published at Vox.com:
I was a lobbyist between 2003 and 2010 in Washington, D.C. I quit in disgust. Years of legalized bribery had exposed me to the worst elements of our country’s political workings. Not even my half-million-a-year salary could outweigh my conscience.
In my years as a lobbyist, I worked for the alcohol industry, for the racing-car industry, and for a billionaire named Carl Icahn. I met with hundreds of Congress members advocating for the political interests of my employers and clients.
What kind of training do you need for a job like that?
[T]he most important thing I did every day was to sit my ass on the floor of the Senate. I learned everything there is to know about how to make the Senate function smoothly, and, of course, the opposite: how to gum up the place so it came to a grinding halt. Both are equally effective when you’re in the business of dealmaking and getting legislation across the finish line or not.
What’s it like being a lobbyist?
I had fun at first. Unlimited expense accounts, nights out on the town, expensive bottles of wine, elaborate meals with sitting senators and Congress members – that was my life.
I attended fundraising breakfasts that led to committee hearings with the same Congress members or senators – a meeting that cost me or my political action committee a hefty $2,500 voting on the very legislation we’d talked about over bacon and eggs that morning.
Then there’d be a lunch fundraiser with a different Congress member, paid for by another $2,500 check to discuss the issues my clients cared about. Then they’d go and vote on those issues. It was an endless cycle of money trading hands for votes.
It’s a wonder members of the House and Senate actually have time to legislate when they spend so much of their damn time raising money.
Mr. Williams is describing how the Swamp works.
It’s how we got Obamacare and the GOP tax cut… and almost all of the 80,000 pages of rules and regulations in the Federal Register. And now that the Swamp critters have complete control, there is no way of stopping it. Mr. Trump cannot drain the Swamp. Neither could Ms. Winfrey.
In our upcoming Book Club review – which we’ll be sharing tomorrow with lifetime subscribers of our monthly publication The Bill Bonner Letter – we take a look at a book called The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century.
After exhaustively reviewing the statistical records, its author, Walter Scheidel, concludes that the Swamp is almost impossible to drain peacefully.
Instead, it takes a major war… a plague… a government collapse… or a revolution.
“Be careful what you wish for,” cautions Scheidel, implying that we might be better off with Trump’s empty “MAGA” or Oprah’s hollow “new day” promises.
With rare exception, real change is “only brought forth in sorrow.”
And like a drug addict’s rehab, not by choice.