E Musings And Global Markets

For the record, I did not compare Donald Trump to Hitler yesterday. I compared my reaction to his victory to what my parents and grandparents must have felt after the Nazis won the 1933 election in Germany. I carefully spelled out the key differences, that President-elect Trump is neither anti-Semitic nor planning to become a dictator.

“I am so grateful for our country and for all it has given to me. I count my blessings every single day that I am an American, and I still believe as deeply as I ever have that if we stand together and work together with respect for our differences, strength in our convictions, and love for this nation, our best days are still ahead of us.” This is from Hillary Clinton's concession speech and I agree with her sentiments entirely. President Obama, a true gentleman, received his successor at the White House.

The other day I knocked off earlier to go to the dentist and on my way back to Sutton Place there were huge trucks bringing concrete barriers to the edge of the southern side of our local main thoroughfare, E. 57th Street, between Fifth and Park Avenues. Even crossing the street required that you ask permission from a policeman. I guessed it had something to do with protecting Trump Tower which is on the other side of the block from the barriers and the cop told me I was right. He said, “It's to protect Donald Trump from falling over his ego”.

The cop was funny but I think Americans need to do better than that crack from one of NY's Finest. Mr Trump's ego is now satisfied by his winning the White House. And obviously he needs to be protected from demonstrators (so far peaceful) upset by his victory. Get over it. Wherever we were before Tuesday night we now have to get together to do the best we can for the USA. This does not mean giving up on international investing and international security and (what the heck) international marriages, of which Donald Trump our future president has done his fair share (2 out of 3). Trump himself is a relatively international American himself, with his paternal grandparents both German-born and his mother a former Scot.

Many years ago, President Richard Nixon said “we are all Keynesians now.” He was referring to the theory that economic stimulus and running deficits were needed to extract economies from slumps. It has fallen by the wayside since the 1970's mainly because the Republican side of the US used fear of deficits and inflation to justify their dismantling of New Deal social programs. It is not only the Democrat Party side of the aisle which has to recognize that there is now a new normal in US politics and economics. The Republicans too will have to accept deficit spending by their man in the White House.

It is this prospect which has boosted stock markets over the post-election days. Let's see if a Trump presidency can't produced growth for Americans left behind by balanced-budget advocates. I want to be sure to let President Trump try this.

I also would like to give him a chance to reset relations with Russia. However negative his diplomatic positions during the campaign sounded, I expect that our country will continue to support its allies. But whatever our diplomats have done since Michael Gorbachev stepped down, it is clear that it is not the right way forward for dealing with Moscow.

To anyone preparing tax returns (even with a CPA helping) it is obvious that the US tax code is an abomination. Let's see how it can be improved and made fairer. Again there is no reason to stick with the orthodoxies of the past decades going forward. As a beneficiary of some stupid tax concessions and exemptions (as was Mitt Romney), Donald Trump may do better than supposed experts in fixing the mess.

Almost as impenetrable as our tax laws are rules on banking, generating electricity, overtime, and just running a business. Give the new man a chance to examine, simplify, and improve our regulatory overkill. Deregulation is needed. Many current regulations amount to confiscation.

Healthcare needs work. The cobbled-together program to provide it to Americans created by President Obama (with a few nods to Hillary Clinton during her wifely time in the White House) is not the answer, because the costs are way too high for the benefits to American health. So let's give President Trump a crack at reforming Obamacare.

As for naming judges who will reverse Roe v. Wade, for whatever it is worth the people who held their noses and voted for Trump may have been misled by their priests. Trump has supported a full range of positions on abortion, ranging from backing abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy to calling for punishing women who have had abortions. So I think he may not be as firm as the future vice-president on this issue.

A retired elementary schoolteacher neighbor says that she blames the erratic way that Donald Trump handled the debates to a learning disability, probably dyslexia, which he can overcome in office. It was not diagnosed well during my childhood or Trump's. Another famous dyslexic is Charles Schwab, chairman of the eponymous brokerage, who sold $21.015 million shares of SCHW after the election results came in. I hope he's sorry now.

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