Confessions of a Reluctant Trump Voter

veThis has been a very curious election. I have never taken so much personal abuse from my friends and online acquaintances for my political views. I’ve been called racist, sexist, an embarrassment, a troll, and all kinds of bad names for expressing my views … and I’m still the same guy who was their best friend when I voted for Obama the first time around.

Now, I voted for Donald Trump very reluctantly. I’m not a fan of his style, and I don’t like some of his ideas. But at the end of the day I held my nose and voted for him … or more accurately, for his policies.

So let me see if I can explain my considerations, in order that people can stop thinking I’m some kind of ogre and realize that I have my reasons. Here are the issues that meant the most to me in this election, in order of importance.

#1 ISSUE: Means Of Production

There are three and only three ways to produce real tangible wealth. You can extract it from the natural world—dig a mine, catch a fish, fell a tree.

Or you can grow it—have a backyard garden, plant a tree farm, grow row vegetables.

Finally, you can manufacture it—start a factory, sew dresses in your home, build a boat.

That’s it. All the rest is services, perhaps essential services, but services nonetheless.

To understand this, suppose there are two couples on a tropical island. One person fishes, one has a garden, one gathers food and building materials from the forest, one makes clothes from local fiber. They could go on for a long time that way, they are creating real wealth.

But suppose on the next tropical island there are two couples, and one person is a barber, one is a doctor, one is a journalist, and one is a musician, noble occupations all but services all … that society will have nothing to eat, nothing to wear, nothing to keep them from the rain. Those occupations don’t create wealth, while the activities on the first island all do.

What does this have to do with the US? Well, in a move of unparalleled foolishness, and over the strong opposition of the unions, in 1992 the US signed the North American Free Trade Act, or NAFTA. This removed trade barriers, and to the accompanyment of what H. Ross Perot presciently called “a giant sucking sound”, a steady drain of US jobs started, and factories started getting sucked across the border to Mexico.

This free trade lunacy has been devastating to middle America, where if a factory leaves town the town can dry up and blow away.

Now, I wouldn’t mind if we lost some journalist jobs or barber jobs to Mexico. They’re service jobs. But we are giving away one of the three pillars of any nations wealth. Those three ways to create wealth are agriculture, extraction, and manufacturing, and we’re giving away one of the three, our manufacturing base!

Industrial-level stupidity …

Now, of the three candidates in this election, two of them wanted to repeal or renegotiate NAFTA and to reject the proposed free-trade Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The other candidate wanted to continue NAFTA, sign the TPP, and continue the disastrous free-trade policy. It was one of the few issues where Trump and Sanders agreed.

A nation is mad to give away one of the three means of production of wealth. I see the end of the free-trade madness as crucial to the continued economic strength of the US. Why should my neighbor have to compete with some joker in some failed economy who is willing to work for a pittance?

I see this as far and away the most important issue facing this country. Without all three means of producing wealth, it will be nearly impossible to dig ourselves out of the massive debt hole we are in. Let me recommend to everyone the most readable economics book I know of, “How Rich Countries Got Rich … and Why Poor Countries Stay Poor”.  I was a full-on free-trade believer until I read it, and on the spot I did a 180° turnaround.

I note that Trump has already acted on this, saving the jobs of a thousand very grateful people at Carrier Airconditioning in Indiana. During the campaign he said Carrier could send the jobs to Mexico … but they’d face a 35% tax.

Not only that, but Obama has bailed out of the TPP talks, recognizing that it would never pass a Republican Senate. Trump has already saved existing manufacturing jobs, and prevented future job losses by ending the TPP, and he’s not even President yet! I am overjoyed, because along with Bernie I thought that the TPP was a colossal mistake that would ensure job losses forever. Now, one of my main economic goals has come to pass, the end of TPP, and he’s just getting started. How good is that?

And the folks whose jobs Trump just saved? He went to Carrier during the campaign, and many of the people supported him. So they were among what Hillary called the “basket of deplorables” … you can be sure that under Hillary the jobs of those deplorables would have been lost forever, and a thousand families would be wondering where there next paycheck would come from.

How can anyone, liberal or conservative, not applaud his success in that? “Free” trade is nothing of the sort. It is costing us our manufacturing.

#2 ISSUE: Corruption

If you don’t think Hillary is corrupt, you haven’t read the emails. The people involved condemn themselves by their own words. For example, Donna Brazile, the Democratic National Committee head, had to step aside because the emails revealed that she and John Podesta, the head of Hillary’s campaign, had secretly passed debate questions from the media to Hillary. Unscrupulous people in CNN, the “Clinton News Network”, passed the questions to Hillary’s people, they passed the questions to her, and she used them in the debate to pretend to be oh so much better prepared than Trump.

They say about corruption, “Fish rot from the head down”, and it is true—the rot went from Hillary downwards, and it sucked in John Podesta and Donna Brazile …

The emails also have someone saying, please tell Chelsea Clinton to shut up and stop boasting to the Bush twins about how Clinton Foundation funds, the very funds destined for the poor, were used to pay for her living expenses and her society wedding. The email said she’s blowing it with her big mouth, and it would hurt the campaign if it got out … ya think?

And of course this doesn’t touch the sale of access to the State Department via “speaking fees” and “donations” to the Clinton foundation. These are currently the subject of ongoing FBI investigations in five different cities … funny how now that she has no government access to sell, donations to the Clinton Foundation have gone right through the floor …

Now, when I lived in the Solomon Islands, I saw a curious thing. The nation had not been independent for long, and the British traditions of civil service remained. There was only minor, local corruption.

Then a man was elected Prime Minister who they said was so crooked he had to corkscrew himself into his pants in the morning … and they were right. The shocking thing was how fast and far the rot spread. Within a year or so, public officials at all levels had their hands out for a bribe. I was stunned by the transformation.

And having seen that, I was totally unwilling to take the chance of the Queen of Corruption sitting in the Oval Office.

#3 ISSUE: Immigration and Borders.

Our immigration system is badly broken. The problem is that it is broken in all its parts—visa issuance and border barriers and paths to citizenship and identifying overstayers and anchor babies and unaccompanied minors and inadequate vetting and detention centers and judicial procedures, it’s a mess from top to bottom. Both sides have agreed on this for years. I did not see Obama do anything to fix that. To the contrary, he seemed to be determined to let in more of what he saw not as “illegal aliens”, but as “undocumented Democrats”. I had no hope that Hillary would be better.

I am also very concerned about the ongoing resurgence of militant Islam, a virulent and lethal phoenix reborn for the thousandth time in the last fourteen centuries. Mohammed was a military genius who started a “forever war” against the west, and this is just the most recent example.

As a result, I found Trump’s claim reasonable, that our vetting procedures were inadequate and we should halt immigration from terrorist countries until we get a better vetting system. So I checked it out, and I found that the US wasn’t even checking the social media of the people they were letting in! The people doing the vetting were prohibited from looking at the Facebook pages of prospective citizens! So yeah, damn right, I absolutely want to shut down immigration from terrorist countries until that gaping hole gets plugged.

I also support deporting illegal aliens who’ve commited crimes, which he will do. Beyond that, I can only be guided by the fact that I’ve worked in other countries a lot, seventeen years and a bunch of jobs.

In all of the countries I worked in, if I were found working illegally in the country, they wouldn’t mess with the whole trial deal. No papers, no visa, you’re on the next plane out. Why is this a puzzle? Why can we not do the same, instead of detention centers and releasing people to await a trial that they will never attend?

#4 ISSUE: Lobbyists

Trump said during the campaign he’d implement a five-year rule saying people in executive government positions cannot work as lobbyists for five years after leaving, and can never work as a lobbyist for a foreign government. To my mind this will help greatly in curbing the incestuous relationship between lobbyists and government officials.

Again, he’s already acted on this, despite not yet being President. He’s told all his appointees that those are the rules if they want to work for his Administration. A politician doing what he said he’d do. How odd.

#5 ISSUE: Obamacare

My gorgeous ex-fiancee is a Registered Nurse Practitioner, the next step below a doctor. So I’ve been able to watch this slow-motion train wreck from the inside. Yes, I want people with pre-existing conditions to be able to get insurance, and kids to be able to stay on their folks insurance … but Obamacare has not worked. The strains on the medical profession have been insane, the system is breaking down, prices are skyrocketing, half the exchanges have crashed, not enough people have signed up, doctors are bailing, the government paperwork requirements have doubled, nurses are quitting in droves beause of the stress. I don’t know if the Republicans can do better, but it would be difficult to do worse. I’m impressed by the plans put forward by the new HHS Secretary, but time will tell.

================

So those were my top five reasons. Now, is Trump a brash asshole? Indeed, he’s a jerkwagon of the first water. He loves to stir the pot and get things boiling. He is a showman, a reality TV star totally at ease in front of the cameras and totally willing to be outrageous.

Has he said sexist things in his life? Sure, as have most 70-year-old men, I oughta know. And you gotta remember, this is the guy who owned the Miss America Pageant … but I, and many people, looked at what he has done, and not so much at what he has said. He has been insanely successful in three very, very different fields—business, entertainment (an amazing 17 seasons starring in “The Apprentice” plus Miss America), and politics. Who else do you know who has accomplished that? I, like many practical people, value deeds and accomplishments more than memberships on very important committees and appointments to unmerited positions … and in that sphere, the realm of real-world accomplishments, there’s no contest between Trump and Clinton.

Next, does Trump hate gays? Absolutely not. He sent congratulations to Elton John when Elton got married, he carried the rainbow flag on the campaign trail. People can relax on this one. One of the people first named to his Transition Team is gay. It’s not an issue.

trump-lgbt

What scares me about Trump? Most of the complaints that I hear are about his unpredictability and his habit of shooting from the hip. That doesn’t worry me one bit. Me, I’ve been a businessman long enough to know that the “wild man” is a persona he enjoys and uses to great advantage, but it can’t be who he actually is when things get tough or he wouldn’t ever have succeeded as he did. The media still hasn’t figured it out. For example, that he tweets outrageous things to direct the conversation in one direction or another … but that doesn’t mean it’s a position set in stone. A very astute woman reporter whose name escapes me said “The media took Trump literally, but not seriously. His followers took him seriously, but not literally”. As a result, the media were up in arms saying “He’s changed his mind, it won’t be a wall, part might be a fence, part might be electronic, he’s breaking a campaign promise”, while people like me understood that “The Wall” was nothing more than tweet shorthand for whatever barrier we need to build along the southern border.

So I’m not concerned about his tweets or his unpredictability, that’s for show and to manipulate the media. You don’t make millions of dollars and put up skyscrapers with tweets.

About the only fear I have of a Trump administration is the possibility of a reversal of Roe v. Wade. Not likely, but possible.

But after some consideration, I realized that in that unlikely event, it will go back to state-by-state like it was when I was a kid. And once again some women will have to travel to get an abortion. Not the world I’d like, but I can assuredly live with that in 2016 because unlike in the 1960s, most states nowadays would allow some kinds of abortion. In addition, state law is in line with the American experiment, wherein we let the people in each state decide what rules they want to live under. Marriage laws in New York are different from those in Wyoming because that’s what people in each state want.

Anyhow, that’s my confession of my reasons for my reluctant Trump vote. My reasons are well thought out and rationally defendable, backed by examples and evidence. More to the point, the reasons are neither racist, sexist, misogynist, homophobic, alt-right, nor anti-Semite, and I’d sure appreciate it if people would dial back on the accusations of same. Look, Hillary famously described half the Trump supporters as a “basket of deplorables … racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic …” and it cost her lots of votes. If Democrats continue with those kinds of false accusations, claiming that people who did not vote as you did are morally flawed in evil ways and are bad people, it will ensure that Democrats will not regain power for a long, long time. Such accusations lose you votes, as Hillary found out.

Me, I think it will all work out fine, and people need to do what Hillary and Obama both advised—take a deep breath and give the Donald some space.

Let me close with some images that encapsulated for me the bizarre factionalism in this election that did see me get unfriended … more than once …

intolerance

The image below is from postsecret.com, where people post their secrets …

woman-trump-voterbob-and-sally

My best wishes to everyone, I do think we can make this all work out to the benefit of all.

w.

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56 thoughts on “Confessions of a Reluctant Trump Voter

  1. Thanks for outlining it, Willis. It’s how I saw it from up here in Oilberta. The Comb-over Buffoon versus a venomous lizard. All of the standard list of epithets were immaterial…although the CNN clones would appear to have missed the important point. The tar and feathers fell off….and he won. Yet they keep spraying plumo-bituminous dreck and fantasize that they can recount, cancel electoral colleges, and somehow perpetuate this broken, rotting juggernaut of the left.

    I would have done exactly as you did.

    Now if we could just bring some sanity back to Canada.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Willis, I agree almost completely with your assessment of Trump. I’m sure there will be some things I like about his presidency and some things I won’t like. I’m hoping there will be more likes than dislikes, but that remains to be seen. Like you I voted for Obama in his first election, but I was bitterly disappointed in most of his actions as president. In the next presidential election I didn’t vote because I didn’t like either of the two main candidates, Obama and Romney. This time I ended up voting for Johnson/Weld partly because I like their personal character and sense of humor much better than Hillary and Trump and partly because I had slightly more agreement with their views compared to Trump. There is no way I could have voted for Hillary. If the race in Texas was closer, I would have held my nose and voted Trump. But Texas looked like an easy win for Trump, so I decided to give Johnson and Weld a tiny pat on the back for their efforts.

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    • Thanks, Oz. Like you, I’m hoping that the pluses outweigh the minuses. So far the score looks like this:

      Ford jobs saved: a few hundred

      Chrysler jobs saved: a thousand

      Symbology and impact of those on CEOs around the US: priceless

      Jobs saved via closing down PPP: unknown, but many, many thousands.

      Five-year lobbying rule: implemented.

      Health and Human Services Secretary: He’s appointed an MD who sits on the House Budgetary Committee, a man who totally understands Obamacare, what it was meant to do, and what it didn’t do. He also understands the economics and that it has to be paid for. Price has been not just objecting to Obamacare but understanding it inside and out, and designing a workable replacement for it since before it was implemented. So even though it hasn’t happened, the appointment of Price means that …

      Obamacare: absolutely will be repealed and replaced.

      Other Cabinet appointments made: Remains to be seen but they appear generally good,

      Now, for me, he’s already a long, long way into the plus category … and he’s not even President yet! As far as I know, for a President-Elect to accomplish this much is totally unprecedented. We’re in new territory here.

      Could it all go wrong? Sure. Does Donald have a halo? Like I said, he’s a jerkwagon.

      But so far … damn good.

      w.

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      • Still waiting to see how Trump will handle “climate change” and energy policies, but I am cautiously optimistic. Just about anything would be better than what Obama has done and Hillary was peddling.

        I’m also hoping Trump won’t be pandering to pro-GMO (like Monsanto) and insanely pro-vaccine (forced vaccinations for everyone) lobbies like Obama and Hillary. I am for freedom of choice in both of these matters and I don’t believe we should be wasting taxpayer money on either of them. I also don’t believe that genes should be copyrighted. That was a big mistake.

        And I’m hoping to see better relations with Russia again. We don’t need another cold war like Obama has been starting and Hillary seemed inclined in that direction even more. Russia is certainly not a perfect country, but neither is the US. I think our countries have more in common than not.

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      • Oz, I’m with you regarding everything except vaccines. You seem to think it is an issue of personal choice. In fact, it’s like the fire codes.

        You do not get to build a highly flammable firetrap in the middle of your neighbors’ houses. Regardless of your vaunted “freedom of choice”, you don’t have a choice to ignore the fire codes. You are forced by law to think about the safety of your neighbors, and society agrees that that is a good thing.

        Similarly, you do not get to send a highly contagious adult to cook in your restaurant. Regardless of of your “freedom of choice” you have to obey the health codes. You are forced by law to think about the health of your neighbors, and again, that is a good thing.

        Finally, you do not get to send a highly contagious child to hang out in the doctors office or emergency room. Again, regardless of of your “freedom of choice” you have to obey the health codes. You are forced by law to think about not infecting your neighbors. Call me crazy, but how is that not a good thing? Do you think Louis Pasteur made a huge mistake inventing vaccination?

        Best regards,

        w.

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        • “Finally, you do not get to send a highly contagious child to hang out in the doctors office or emergency room. Again, regardless of of your “freedom of choice” you have to obey the health codes. You are forced by law to think about not infecting your neighbors.”

          Am I mistaken in believing that being vaccinated only affects me not getting the bug. If I have come in contact with the virus I can pass along without becoming infected. How does being vaccinated make me less contagious?

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          • Good evening, Randy. The concept you need to look up is “herd immunity”. Whether or not you get vaccinated does in fact affect far more than just you. First, remember that a single virus particle will not make you (or the other person) sick. Even the most virulent pathogen has to hit your system in sufficient volume to overwhelm your body’s defenses. Reducing exposure can confer effective immunity.

            Remember second that there is a significant portion of the population who cannot be vaccinated – the elderly, those allergic to the base used for the vaccines (usually eggs), the immuno-compromised, etc. Their only protection is having a sufficient protected community around them to reduce their exposure below the level necessary for infection.

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          • Randy C.
            “Am I mistaken in believing that being vaccinated only affects me not getting the bug. If I have come in contact with the virus I can pass along without becoming infected. How does being vaccinated make me less contagious?”

            Yes, if you are unvaccinated, you are more likely to become infected. If you are actively infected, you will be shedding large numbers of the pathogen, thus greatly increasing the challenge level on others. Whether they become infected or not depends on the balance between the response of their immune system and the level of challenge.

            But note, depending upon the particular disease, it is possible to be immune from having been actively infected in the past, in which case you may not need vaccination, and may not act as an ‘amplifier’ in an outbreak. This naturally acquired immunity can fade over time, and with many diseases, if vaccination is available it is desirable to get a booster at the prescribed interval. (Although, sometimes I do wonder if economics does play a part, and the prescribed interval is a little more frequent than one based solely on immunology would be).

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        • Well from the movie that I perceive; There’s a huge rhyme between the CAGW arguments and vaccine arguments. There’s a huge industry behind vaccines, 97% consensus, at least some apparent evidence of data tampering et.al. The immune system is a complex system (sound familiar). Ostracization of opposing views. It surprises me that you and Anthony simply give the issue a by. I have several examples of my family getting exactly what they were vaccinated against. Well the problem may be with my family genes but that’s part of the point. Mandated vaccines may cause my family more harm than good.

          I’d wish there was a vaccinesupwiththat.com. The great thing about WUWT is the various viewpoints your guys allow and let people take their shots at it. I’d think if there was a similar venue for vaccines, people could make a much better informed opinion.

          Certainly I’d like to see the vaccine rankings on the menu. Rabies vaccine is so good that it’s the treatment if you get it. Haven’t seen any other vaccine like that. Maybe smallpox??? There’s a middle ground of arguments that e.g. measles, kills very few that get it and the vaccine may cause worse side effects than actually getting the disease. And then vaccines to which you virtually never get exposed to.

          Great work Willis (and thanks)

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          • Taz, you are right, there are a lot of parallels between the vaccine movement and CAGW. Willis’s argument that vaccines are like fire codes might hold water, so to speak, if vaccines were 100% safe and 100% effective. They are neither. Forcing people to inject cocktails of toxic chemicals and dodgy biological ingredients into their bloodstreams is highly unethical – in fact it violates the medical profession’s highest code, the Hippocratic Oath. Herd immunity is a fine idea on paper, but in practice it has so many flaws it is hard to know where to start. Here are some of the problems: Natural immunity is permanent; vaccine immunity is temporary. Illnesses caught in childhood are easily overcome; the same illnesses caught as adults tend to be more damaging. Vaccines stimulate one side of the immune system (the humoral side) at the expense of suppressing the other side (cell-mediated side), resulting in permanent immune system dysfunction such as asthma, allergies, etc. No one has ever done long term randomized controlled trials for health and safety of vaccines. (By long term I mean longer than two weeks!) Vaccine production does not always remove the foreign biological substrate, such as chicken embryo cells, etc., which are definitely not meant to be injected into human bloodstreams. It also deliberately includes toxic chemicals such as aluminum, mercury compounds, etc., which are also definitely not meant to be injected directly into human bloodstreams. There is evidence that human immune systems evolved to be at their best only after catching and eliminating standard childhood diseases such as chicken pox, measles, etc., and suppressing this opportunity (in addition to all the other toxic side effects) prevents the immune system from getting its necessary early childhood workout to prepare it for adulthood. Suppressing natural permanent immunity also has the multi-generational effect of preventing mothers from passing antibodies to babies in their breast milk, making babies vulnerable while their immune systems are undeveloped, before they can be vaccinated (the allopathic way) or catch the diseases and get over them on their own once their immune systems are ready (the natural way).

            It is currently impossible to engage in an “informed consent” decision on this topic because the information necessary is not available. It has been suppressed by the medical profession. There is a national (U.S.) mechanism for reporting vaccine injury, VAERS, but because of the political pressure and polarization of the issue, problems and deaths reported to this system are estimated to be between 1/10 and 1/100 of the actual total number of “adverse reactions” (yes, death is an adverse reaction too). Everything else gets explained away by the doctor as a “coincidence”.

            Until the vaccine industry can deal with all of these issues, I am not subjecting my kids to this particular experiment. And don’t complain that my unvaccinated kids will cause your vaccinated kids to get sick, because to do so, you have to admit that vaccines are not effective! In fact vaccinated kids are known to shed vaccine particles (including live virus) into their environment after being vaccinated, so the vaccinated kids are actually more likely to cause the unvaccinated kids to get sick… everything is backwards in vaccine “science”, just like climate “science”.

            If you want more information, there are two web sites that function as the WUWT equivalent for vaccines: NVIC, the National Vaccine Information Center (www.nvic.org) and VRAN, the Vaccine Risk Awareness Network, now renamed to Vaccine Choice (vaccinechoicecanada.com).

            Liked by 1 person

          • Steve KJ.
            If you are advicating for natural challenge immunity over vaccine induced immunity, you may want to choose your diseases very carefully.

            I’m not sure the world would be a better place with waves of smallpox infection sweeping the globe.

            Vaccine knowledge was attained in a very different manner to that of climate science. Vaccines were made and applied, (successfully!), and the theory and explanations came later.

            And people often forget the huge amount of animsl vaccine wprk which has been, and is being, carroed out. In that field there is tonnes of data long term effects and on survivabilty in the face of challenge.

            But, vaccines do vary in efficacy, and we should be very careful of marginal vaccines for low frequency or low grade problems being forced upon us by successful company and interested party lobbying. Usually based on some computer model of how many millions of dollars it will save on health care.

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          • Taz, you forget that vaccines were developed because the diseases they protect us from used to extract a terrible toll, especially on children. Vaccines, along with better hygiene & antibiotics, are the big reasons why modern life expectancy is so much greater than it was 150 years ago. You wouldn’t wish Whooping Cough on your kids, or anyone else’s, either. I suggest you read up on the symptoms inflicted by this disease on those who contract it.

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          • Hey, Ray G’day.

            Clearly I wasn’t clear in my post but I do not remember implying that vaccines were all bad and should never be used. What I was attempting to imply is working on getting the data for informed consent. I suggest you read up on the symptoms inflicted by autism (which may or not be vaccine related but we can’t get honestly evaluated data) and whether you might make a different decision for your kid(s) based on relative risk and efficacy.

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  3. Pingback: 2016 v12.1 political fallout… | The Native Iowan

  4. Willis,

    This, “Five-year lobbying rule”, is something I’ve argued for for at least the last thirty years. I take it further, by wanting attorneys to give up their law license while and for five years after serving in the legislature. My reasoning being that members of the bar are ex officio (is that the right term?) officers of the court and in a conflict of interest between two branches of government. That is, participating directly in adjudicating laws they may have enacted.

    cheers,

    gary

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  5. Willis, never knew about this blog or your ‘alt’ persona until this morning, thanks to your excellent WUWT DoE post. Shows I need to get out more. My ‘The DOTUS’ reasons were somewhat different than yours, but deplorable I and my significant other became. And we semi-retired deplorables even took Florida! A thing I never imagined. The times, they are achangin. Regards

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Willis
    Thanks for your comments and your contributions to WUWT. That site contributed to my voting for DJT.. Two of my big reasons for voting for DJT were energy policy and climate change-EPA decisions. WUWT and the postings their have been invaluable. I always anticipate comments from ristvan and sometimes scroll thru articles looking for those.
    Voted for Obama in 2008, went to the Iowa caucus in 08 and was amazed with the turnout for Obama.

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  7. Excellent summation Willis!

    I was a faithful democrat until 2008. I already thoroughly distrusted the corruption queen.

    I couldn’t bring myself to trust a newcomer out of Chicago where corruption appears to be a norm. The corruption uncovered after Obama’s departure regarding his Senate seat didn’t help.

    So I voted third party that year.
    After four years of Obama, I knew we needed anyone else, so I voted for the Republican in 2012.

    Early into the 2016 race, I settled on Ted Cruz, even though he is young and brash. Outside of Trump, there were no real possibilities in that group. Rubio should be, but there were too many inconsistencies and I felt that Rubio would be another President who would skate along much as Obama has done; just another gladhander looking for popularity in left wing driven polls.

    That left Trump, who as time went on, was more and more impressive. Trump’s words were just noise so many times, while other words Trump said, were deadly earnest. Trump began to remind me of Theodore Roosevelt.

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  8. Ahhhhh Willis! I found you. I just signed in to check that I could use my Twitter account, basically.

    But while I’m here I’ll add a few words to that. Welcome to the world of blog-owners. With your reputation already assured, I think this place will be very influential in times to come. I wish it every success.

    As the subject-at-hand is Donald Trump (let me just enjoy mouthing this phrase one more time: “The President-Elect”), I admit I was very taken aback that in your reasons for voting for him, you didn’t even rate his views on ‘climate change’. I would have voted for him but couldn’t as I live in the UK, with that as my #1 reason.

    I also concur though, with your other VERY valid reasons. 2017 could be a year to remember.

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    • Luc, thanks for your thoughts. I did agree with his views on climate. But for me, it was about #1 the end of the “free trade” madness, #2 Clinton corruption, #3 draining the swamp. Those affect the very life and continued existence of the American dream … climate, not so much.

      w.

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  9. Willis, I just bookmarked your site next to WUWT. I have been accused of being a “fan boy” of yours but in reality I just share your views as you have expressed on WUWT. I look forward to your musings in other subjects and am in total agreement with you on this post.

    But please keep up the posts with Anthony at WUWT. Y’all have done a lot to help preserve sanity these past several years. The influence /impact in science and policy is truly unknown but I believe it to be quite significant. Carry on and I’ll keep an eye on ya.

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  10. Willis, if I had the skill to write this explanation of why vote Trump, I would have. Parallels my thinking almost 100%.

    Your Roe v Wade thoughts are worth serious consideration. I would have added SCOTUS appointees. We desperately need a SCOTUS that realizes if we don’t like what the Constitution requires, we need to change the Constitution, not make rulings that implement what the SCOTUS thinks is right “for now.”

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hello Willis,

    You have kept me happily entertained on WUWT & in like manner here, you continue to provide exceptional insights with this article & How A Businessman Takes Over A Different Industry. Yep, I’m reading in reverse. Thanks & all the best.

    Perry

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  12. I enjoyed all of your analysis but want to add one thing that almost all people do not understand. This is in regard to the different types of work. The jobs that produce tangible wealth actually do a lot more than just produce tangible wealth, they also allow the jobs for service and support workers to exist. Without the production of tangible wealth, there would be no added net income to pay the service and support workers, who then would not have funds to pay other service and support workers. In other words the entire community would collapse, as has occurred in many regions. A few well paying tangible wealth production jobs may support an entire community, and loss of even a few can destroy a community.

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    • To Mr Weinstein:

      YOU WROTE:
      “The jobs that produce tangible wealth actually do a lot more than just produce tangible wealth, they also allow the jobs for service and support workers to exist.”

      MY COMMENT:
      That statement is not true.
      You could say that the private sector funds all government jobs through taxes paid and money loaned to governments.

      Like

  13. I would have written this item myself if I had the skill. Parallels my thinking almost 100%. I would have added the SCOTUS appointment as another “reason why.” Because we need a SCOTUS that understands if people don’t agree with what the Constitution says, then they need to amend the Constitution, not use the SCOTUS as a mechanism to accomplish that end. I think there have been quite a number of rulings that the Framers would find beyond what the Constitution was meant to provide to the Federal Government — the Commerce Clause being the worst trapdoor.

    Like

  14. “And you gotta remember, this is the guy who owned the Miss America Pageant…”

    Willis, if memory serves, I believe Trump owned the Miss Universe Pageant.

    But, otherwise, I agree with everything you wrote here. I didn’t vote “for” Trump, I voted “against” Hillary. But, so far, Trump has exceeded my expectations.

    I just learned of your new blog today. I will be visiting often.

    Am I banned from commenting, yet?

    🙂

    Like

    • geran, you mean that America is not the universe??? What’s next? You gonna tell me the World Series doesn’t actually include the whole world? I am shocked.

      As to “banned from commenting”, I have been and I plan to continue to moderate this site very lightly. My rules are basically those of the First Amendment, with an additional request that everyone QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS THEY ARE REFERRING TO, and a plea for politeness.

      In other words … rock on.

      w.

      Like

  15. Willis wrote in the blog post:
    “Those three ways to create wealth are agriculture, extraction, and manufacturing, and we’re giving away one of the three, our manufacturing base!”

    MY REPLY:
    The US is not giving away its manufacturing base.

    US industrial production is higher than it has ever been.

    US manufacturing productivity is higher than it has ever been.

    The growth in manufacturing productivity has allowed US manufacturers to make more things with fewer people.

    The decline of manufacturing jobs is about 50 years old, and is true in Europe too.

    Improving productivity is not bad news — it is the primary cause of economic growth.

    In addition, manufacturing jobs are often hard, loud, dirty and dangerous jobs.

    Manufacturing also creates a lot more pollution than service jobs (I don’t count CO2 as pollution).

    In agriculture the US also grows more food than ever before with fewer people.

    Does that mean we gave away our agricultural base?

    No.

    Our farmer are just more productive than ever.

    And that’s good news.

    Donald Trump threatening 35% tariffs to stop a trend that has existed for 50 years (outsourcing labor-intensive manufacturing) is, by far, his worst economic policy proposal.

    In 1930, new high US tariffs on imports (google “Smoot Hawley Tariff Act”) started a global trade war, and was the most likely reason the 1929 Recession became the worst recession in American history.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very true. The number of manufacturing jobs is not reflective of the amount of wealth being created.

      Willis says: “..if a factory leaves town the town can dry up and blow away.” I think this is at the heart of Trump’s appeal when he talks about jobs. For most people, it’s not about physical wealth-creation; it’s about social stability, opportunity and self-worth in middle America.

      Now on the economic argument, it’s been over 10 years since I read “How Rich Countries Got Rich”, so forgive me if I get this wrong. My memory from the book is that it’s in the interest of poor countries to be protectionist to build a manufacturing base; but it’s in the interest of rich countries (with an efficient, educated, inventive population) to have free trade, to gain the maximum benefits from scale.

      So my question to Willis: Is protectionism the optimum policy for an advanced, competitive manufacturing economy like America’s? Or is it just a social program?

      P.S. Willis, I’m a huge fan of your writing and it’s great to see you have your own blog now.

      Like

      • Tom (Perth) December 22, 2016 at 1:01 am

        Now on the economic argument, it’s been over 10 years since I read “How Rich Countries Got Rich”, so forgive me if I get this wrong. My memory from the book is that it’s in the interest of poor countries to be protectionist to build a manufacturing base; but it’s in the interest of rich countries (with an efficient, educated, inventive population) to have free trade, to gain the maximum benefits from scale.

        So my question to Willis: Is protectionism the optimum policy for an advanced, competitive manufacturing economy like America’s? Or is it just a social program?

        Protectionism is almost always the smart play, unless both states are at about the same economic and social level. This has been known for at least four centuries, as I showed in my post called “True Wealth

        P.S. Willis, I’m a huge fan of your writing and it’s great to see you have your own blog now.

        Thanks for that vote of support, Tom.

        w.

        Like

  16. Willis, you have taken the words right out of my mouth. I could not agree more. It was hard to vote for a buffoon who wears a dead animal on his head, but it was no contest when the alternative was HRC and her thoroughly rotten family of thieves, liars, and philanderers. I believe Trump will surprise a lot of people over the next few years, running this country like a business rather than a free ride for those who can’t make it outside government. I am looking forward to January 21, when Trump can really get to work fixing stuff. So far, he has my attention and full admiration.

    Great essay!

    PMK

    Like

    • “running this country like a business rather than a free ride for those who can’t make it outside government” – Let us hope he does exactly what you say Pamela, because we here in Oz desperately need his example to follow. The leader of our alternate government, has proudly stated he “will run the government like a union” if he gets elected. When we consider he shifts position with the wind, is incompetent, & possibly corrupt, that has me worried that his promises of more welfare will garner enough votes to allow him to do just that.

      Like

  17. Thanks, Willis. Just learnt today that you have your own blog. As a European I have no vote in US elections and would not dream of publishing an opinion before the voting closed. Unlike, I would like to add, your current president, whose insufferable arrogance in urging British voters to vote against Brexit in the June referendum almost turned me into a Brexit supporter.
    Nonetheless I followed the reporting of results of the recent presidential election with fascination all through the central European night. This was the first US presidential election for many decades (since 1964, to be precise) where I cared enough about the outcome to have voted, had I been entitled to vote, for either of the major party candidates. In 1964 Barry Goldwater had me so worried about human survival, that even ‘Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids have you killed today’ Johnson was immeasurably preferable. This time, older and rather better informed, it was clear to me that a Clinton victory would make a major military clash between the USA and Russia almost inevitable. As Secretary of State she had gloated over the wanton and wilful destruction of a functioning secular society in Libya and over the rape and murder of its president. ‘Psychopath’ seems too generous a description. So it was with a sigh of relief that I went to bed on the Friday morning knowing that the next occupant of the White House had expressed hope that relations between the USA and Russia could be improved. So far, with the provisional appointment of Tillerson as the next Secretary of State, I’m optimistic.

    Like

  18. Trump has campaigned much as a Democrat from 1960. Just try getting Harry Truman of John Kennedy nominated as a D today.

    Kerry called those who served in Vietnam war criminals. Obama called us Typical White People and bitter clingers. Hillary called us deplorable. The cumulative effect of one party sneering at a large chunk of the electorate showed up in the voting this year.

    The tweets are a strategic weapon used to send the press running off on the latest outrage while Donald just tends to business. And when everything is an outrage, pretty soon we just write it off as “there they go again”…

    Best wishes on your blog.

    Like

  19. Late to this party, as I just found out about the new blog from your post on WUWT. I’m amazed at how much you’ve already published. As for being “a reluctant Trump voter,” that would apply to me as well, though increasingly less so as the interminable campaign wore on. Sometime in August, a commenter on the PowerLine blog posted a link to Donald Trump’s testimony to a US Senate hearing on the renovation of the UN Building in 2005. For half an hour, speaking extemporaneously, Mr Trump eviscerated the bureaucrats behind this boondoggle, speaking from his own vast knowledge of construction and real estate in the New York market. It was an education for me, and I wrote about it in my little blog,

    “What Donald Trump’s 2005 Senate testimony tells us about the man and his potential to serve as President.”

    https://walkingcreekworld.wordpress.com/2016/08/25/trumped-by-the-trump/

    Also, just above, commenter Terry Jackson noted the similarity between Donald Trump’s campaign and those of Harry Truman and Jack Kennedy. I was impressed, too, especially with the ‘whistle-stop’ character of the last month (using Trump Force 1 instead of a railroad observation car), but I think it really picked up steam (well, contrails) in the last month or so, and I think that had a great deal to do with the ascension of Kellyanne Conway to Campaign Manager. See here:

    https://walkingcreekworld.wordpress.com/2016/11/09/kellyanne-and-the-wicked-witch-of-the-west/

    FWIW; happy to get the opportunity to plug my own work.

    /Mr Lynn

    Like

  20. Pingback: Confessions of a Reluctant Trump Voter – Skating on the underside of the ice | Cranky Old Crow

  21. Pingback: Going out in the noonday sun – Skating on the underside of the ice

  22. “…. But suppose on the next tropical island there are two couples, and one person is a barber, one is a doctor, one is a journalist, and one is a musician, noble occupations all but services all … that society will have nothing to eat, nothing to wear, nothing to keep them from the rain. Those occupations don’t create wealth, while the activities on the first island all do.”

    I can’t accept your view that services don’t create wealth. Once we have the basic necessities – a roof over our heads, clothing, food to eat – then services are what we need next. A haircut, advice on health, news and gossip, musical entertainment: your imaginary service providers can improve our quality of life – make our lives worth living even – and what is that if not wealth creation? As long as there is a means of exchange, the service providers will have the goods they need, and the producers of goods will have a better life than they otherwise would.

    Globalisation has drastically changed the balance between goods and services, in favour of the latter. As goods become more plentiful and cheaper, the services we buy become relatively more important to us, and represent a bigger slice of our budgeting. This is true at both the community and personal levels. Our educators, health workers, waste managers, water and sewerage suppliers, police, legal and welfare services, even arguably the military who defend us – these are the building blocks of an advanced society. So are the apps and algorythms which increasingly influence our behaviour. They are all providing us with services, and they all define and constitute our shared wealth. When we visit restaurants, theatres, beauty salons, or hire someone to walk our dog, clean our windows or tidy our garden, we are creating and defining personal wealth. And as for the hardware involved, all you will achieve by imposing tariffs in an attempt to protect manufacturing jobs is to diminish that wealth.

    It used to be thought that the only true source of wealth was Land. Then Marx came along and announced that the only thing that mattered was Labour. Both wrong. What really matters is Trade – and the more trade there is, the more wealth is created. So if wealth is what you want, free trade is what you need. Interfere with it at your peril. And if you’re ever in doubt about this, read Adam Smith. And look at Venezuela.

    Like

    • Look at the example, Nicholas. If you all you have is have a barber, a doctor, a journalist, and a musician on your island you will starve to death. As you are dying you can try to convince us that they are producing real wealth …

      To be sure, you’ll be well groomed and listening to music and reading a novel and in perfect health otherwise as you die of starvation, but die you will.

      That’s the difference between real wealth and a haircut.

      w.

      Like

      • I will only starve on my service-provider’s island if it is totally isolated – i.e. there is no means of moving people and goods in and out. This may be true in some remote corners of the Pacific, but most of the world’s countries are able to trade efficiently with each other and can thus reap the benefits of free trade.
        (Readers of The Economist like me can seldom be converted to the Protectionist cause!)

        Like

        • Nicholas, you say:

          I will only starve on my service-provider’s island if it is totally isolated – i.e. there is no means of moving people and goods in and out.

          Indeed. You will assuredly starve on your service-providers island. The only way to survive is to hook up with someplace where there are people who do create wealth.

          You are highlighting my point. Services don’t create wealth. If you are stuck on an island where there are only service providers, you’ll starve.

          Finally, you say:

          (Readers of The Economist like me can seldom be converted to the Protectionist cause!)

          OK, challenge accepted. Go and read How Rich Countries Got Rich … And Why Poor Countries Stay Poor. Come back and we’ll discuss the issues.

          My best to you,

          w.

          Like

  23. Willis, I’ve been reading your essays and other musings at WUWT for years and truly enjoy and appreciate your work. As a loyal reader, I feel the need to point out where I think you are going off the rails, specifically:

    “Services don’t create wealth.”

    Did Bill Gates dig anything out of the ground, plant a seed or stamp out a widget? No. Did he create tangible wealth for himself and millions of other people? Yes.

    The source of all wealth is ideas – human ingenuity, creativity, inventiveness. Everything flows from that. The tree in the forest or ore in the ground has no tangible value without knowing how to cut the tree down, turn it to lumber, build a shelter from the boards. Same is true of coal, oil, or copper. In the ground it is worth nothing. Only when it is extracted, refined and processed onto useful materials does it have value. To create tangible value from natural material or from growing and harvesting things requires knowledge created from human ideas and experience. The third leg in your wealth creation stool, manufacturing, is nothing more than the application of human ingenuity and knowledge to the processing of extracted or harvested materials.

    You can create wealth from ideas by either exploiting them your self or trading them for other things. Trading ideas for tangible goods was probably the first “service industry”. A cave man says to his neighbor, “The tools I make are better than the ones you make. I will teach you how to make better flint tools, if you give me a bag of blueberries.” The expert tool maker has just created wealth for himself (the blueberries he didn’t have to gather), and longer term for his neighbor by providing a service.

    Banking is a more modern example. Banking is a service. One way it creates wealth by connecting people with more cash money than they currently need with those who have a temporary need for additional funds. The banker charges both parties for the service and creates wealth for him/herself in the process.

    I haven’t read the book you referenced above, but from the title it seems clear that the author is mixing politics and economics. In the real world it may be difficult to separate the two, but when you say things like “Services don’t create wealth” or claim that there are only three sources of wealth (resource extraction, agriculture and manufacturing) you seem to be speaking solely in economic terms. Anytime you mix politics with anything, things can get messed up. In developing or arguing economic policy I think it’s wise to separate the two. First get the economics right and then add the politics.

    Happy holidays.

    BTW, have you seen the pencil movie. It’s worth six minutes of time.

    Like

    • Billy, thanks for your comment. Sorry I’m late in answering. You say:

      Billy Ruff’n December 20, 2016 at 7:36 am

      Willis, I’ve been reading your essays and other musings at WUWT for years and truly enjoy and appreciate your work. As a loyal reader, I feel the need to point out where I think you are going off the rails, specifically:

      “Services don’t create wealth.”

      Did Bill Gates dig anything out of the ground, plant a seed or stamp out a widget? No. Did he create tangible wealth for himself and millions of other people? Yes.

      I don’t understand this claim. I can go to the store and buy a copy of Windows 10. It is a real, tangible thing that is manufactured by Microsoft. So yes, he is manufacturing.

      The source of all wealth is ideas – human ingenuity, creativity, inventiveness. Everything flows from that.

      True. But ideas by themselves are valueless. It is only when ideas take physical form through action that they have value.

      The tree in the forest or ore in the ground has no tangible value without knowing how to cut the tree down, turn it to lumber, build a shelter from the boards. Same is true of coal, oil, or copper. In the ground it is worth nothing. Only when it is extracted, refined and processed onto useful materials does it have value. To create tangible value from natural material or from growing and harvesting things requires knowledge created from human ideas and experience. The third leg in your wealth creation stool, manufacturing, is nothing more than the application of human ingenuity and knowledge to the processing of extracted or harvested materials.

      True, but I don’t see how that changes the fact that there are only three ways to create wealth. To use your term there would be ideas plus extraction, ideas plus farming, ideas plus manufacturing. I don’t see how adding “ideas” makes things clearer or adds anything.

      Banking is a more modern example. Banking is a service. One way it creates wealth by connecting people with more cash money than they currently need with those who have a temporary need for additional funds. The banker charges both parties for the service and creates wealth for him/herself in the process.

      Let me quote my island example from the head post:

      To understand this, suppose there are two couples on a tropical island. One person fishes, one has a garden, one gathers food and building materials from the forest, one makes clothes from local fiber. They could go on for a long time that way, they are creating real wealth.

      But suppose on the next tropical island there are two couples, and one person is a barber, one is a doctor, one is a journalist, and one is a musician, noble occupations all but services all … that society will have nothing to eat, nothing to wear, nothing to keep them from the rain. Those occupations don’t create wealth, while the activities on the first island all do.

      That example, along with your comment, reminds me of the old joke, not politically correct, about the four Jewish guys who were stranded on a desert island. They were afraid that they were going to starve to death. But after a mere few years of loaning money to each other, they were all rich!

      I’m sure you see the problem … banking only redistributes existing wealth, with some going to the banker. It does not create any new wealth.

      I’m not saying that doctors and truckers and bankers are not essential in our economy. I’m saying that they do not create wealth. On an island of doctors and truckers and bankers, everyone starves to death …

      Best to all,

      w.

      Like

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