Eliminate the Cent, Mr. Trump

Eliminate the Cent, Mr. Trump

A good friend of mine, Mark, is very optimistic, as am I, for Mr. Trump’s opportunity to make positive changes.  He thinks there is a lot of low hanging fruit that can be done quickly to set the tone.  His only concern is that the press will not report it.

Mr. Trump, here is the very first thing you should do:

Eliminate the U. S. Cent (legal name for the lowly penny) as legal tender.  It costs anywhere from 1.5¢ to 2.5¢ to make so that is enough reason to dump the cent (it loses taxpayers about $50 Million annually).  Add to that the cost to all who use it in making change, counting the till at the end of the day, not to mention the back pain for geezers like me when we stoop to pick up pennies in front of the 7-11.

So why do we still make pennies?  I can think of 3 reasons: 1 – We are very bad at math (see my post here); 2 – There is so much of our culture built around the cent that we can’t give it up (“a penny for your thoughts”, “…not a red cent”, “a penny saved, a penny earned”……): 3 – Lobbying dollars to support political campaigns.  Jarden Zinc Products is the sole supplier to the U.S. Mint of the clad copper metal used to make the U.S. Cent.  It is rumored that if a congressman needs some quick donations, one way is to propose the elimination of the cent.  Jarden Zinc Products, it is said, will offer the congressman a nice donation if he drops the idea, forever.

If Jarden in fact (I have no proof) has a monopoly and is willing to pay elected officials for the privilege of keeping that monopoly (no proof here either, just rumor), this is exactly the type of corruption that Mr. Trump should send packing immediately.  What a nice symbolic move it would be to embarrass Congress into dropping the penny forever.  And it would save about $50 Million a year – chump change for the U.S.Government, but real money to the rest of us.


When the Brexit vote was predicted as a sure win for the “Remain” coalition and the actual vote was to “Leave” by a healthy margin, the stage was set for what happened at the polls in the USA on November 8th, 2016.  The Brexit vote showed that the elites in Britain, those who run major bureaucracies/institutions and who run the government were out of touch with the majority of the people.  In particular, the media was out of touch.

I think that the U.S. Presidential Election followed the same pattern, with a twist.  The media did its best to convince everyday Americans that Hillary Clinton was going to win in an historic landslide.  In so doing, they convinced themselves of the same result.  Part of the problem was that fewer and fewer people read, listen to, or watch the “mainstream media” and fewer still believe what the see, hear and read.  They were far off the mark because they had elevated themselves above the masses and could not see or hear how the masses actually felt.

The twist?  The Democrats had chosen an almost unelectable candidate.  Clinton has a colorful history, in particular as to her understanding of the word “truth.”  She was untrusted and disliked by the vast majority of all adults.  Her almost saving grace was that she was pitted against a man with negatives almost as high as her own.  The press did Mrs. Clinton’s work deflecting the bad news, attacking Mr. Trump’s character, and running stories at the bidding of the Clinton Campaign.  And, in doing so, the media convinced themselves that she was the best candidate and had the support of the majority of Americans.  They saw those things that reinforced their view.  They created and saw polls that bore out their belief.  They dismissed as crazy all evidence to the contrary.


Mrs. Clinton was gracious in her consession speech but was clearly still unsettled after the ‘shocking’ loss.  She too, had read too many of her press releases turned news stories and had believed them.  I think until a week ago she was measuring the draperies in the White House.  I hope her concession speech was sincere in stating her desire to work with all parties for the betterment of America.  I fear she is no more believable now than she was on the campaign trail.  I do not think this loss has relieved her of her lust for power, the same lust for power the American Electorate saw and rejected.

I’m writing this on Election Day, November 8th.  It seems appropriate to give thanks every day to veterans of military service.  Somehow, it seems even more appropriate when a nation is free to elect its leaders as we are today.  Like the bumper sticker reads “If you Voted today, Thank a Veteran.”


First, let’s get the big question out of the way.  Why do I say “Reasons to Vote Against…”?  Simple.  Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump qualify as almost nobody’s ideal candidate.  There is near universal agreement that both parties chose candidates that do their image no favors.  But, it is, what it is, and we must now choose one of these two to be our next President.  So the purpose of this post is just to lay out probable consequences of that choice.


What a vote for Clinton will likely mean (this list is based not on what Hillary says but on her past actions and associations):

  1.  The status quo – she has been part of the Establishment for more than 30 years.  It is in her best interest to keep things as they are –  why would she change a system that has made her and her family worth hundreds of millions of dollars?
  2. Continued or even increased obscurity of government actions – Hillary’s history is one of hiding from public view anything that she thinks could work against her.  A vote for Hillary is a vote for the antithesis of “transparency” in government.  There was a reason why she illegally  destroyed 30,000 emails and it wasn’t because she wanted transparency in government.
  3. Abuse of Government power (the Bully Pulpit) to increase the wealth and power of the Clinton Foundation as a way of funneling wealth to Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton.  It has been called Pay-to-Play.  When Bill was President, you could sleep in the Lincoln Bedroom if you donated enough to the Democrats.  When Hillary was Secretary of State, she arranged for access to high government officials in return for large donations to the Clinton Foundation.
  4. Continued erosion of the American dream.  The more that Democrats control government and use government giveaways to buy votes, the more of your hard-earned money will go to government programs.  This equates to fewer opportunities for people who want to work.  If you need examples, look to any city that has been run by Democrats for the past 25 years, like Detroit (since ’62), Chicago (since ’31), Philadelphia (since ’52), etc.  This is Hillary’s background and would be her future path.
  5. More government paperwork for day to day activities.  Do you want to open a bank account, buy or sell a house, enter into a contract to repair your car?  Each of these things and a multitude of others will become more regulated, more complex, and will be accompanied by more extensive paperwork.  The establishment has found that if you can be kept busy, you won’t have time to look carefully at what it is doing to you.  Just consider your federal income taxes.  In 1966 (50 years ago) the instruction to fill out your form 1040 to accompany your payment of federal taxes was 20 pages long and most people filed taxes without the need of a CPA.  Today, the 1040 instructions run 105 pages and only one third of taxpayers do their own.  This increased complexity and paperwork is a true tax on all of us.  It is a time tax.  You are being deprived of your right to spend your time as you choose.
  6. More bureaucratic overreach as Mrs. Clinton would use government agencies to bend things to her will.  Think about the IRS audits of conservative groups at a rate 3-4 times as great as the number of audits of “progressive” groups.  This is the sort of activity used by the current administration and admired by Clinton.  We will see more of this.
  7. Further control over business activities.  This is in the form of things like Obamacare that mandate costly programs for private enterprise that reduce the efficiency of U.S. companies.
  8. Higher taxes, especially on businesses.  This in turn will cause businesses to reduce staff to pay the higher tax load.  That means losses of jobs.  Most businesses are either Subchapter S, LLC or sole proprietor businesses.  That means that their profits, the profits needed to reinvest in the business, are considered income for the business owner.  Higher taxes on these business owners will mean less investment in businesses and therefore fewer jobs.  Mrs. Clinton’s complete lack of understanding of this is a huge danger to our economy.  If I were more cynical, I would say she completely understands this and wants to punish business and create more unemployed people whom she can control through federal giveaway programs.
  9. Supreme Court Justices who believe the Constitution is a living document and should be warped to the views of the current leaders of the country.  If you think there is too much political correctness now, just wait until the Supreme Court has a 25 year run as a reliable Liberal rubber stamp for policies like those of Clinton and Obama.
  10. Further racial divide.  Mr. Obama has presided over the biggest increase in racial strife that we have ever seen.  Now, Mrs. Clinton would add a war between the sexes.  Again, it’s divide and conquer.  The more people she will be able to keep busy with animosity toward others, the eiser it is to hide what you are doing to them.
  11. Further corrosion of our culture and our morals.  She is very clear that she has no respect for the sanctity of life.  She would increase government programs to help people abort babies not save them.  She, much like the Obamas have done, would continue to glamorize sex and the demeaning of women in our music, our film, art.
  12. She would work steadily, as has Mr. Obama, to undermine our national sovereignty and move us to a “global” economy and government.  She wants to break down borders.  She wants to have free trade but will not enforce violations.  She will make and support trade agreements that give all advantage to others. If you doubt this or any of the above, just look at Mr. Obama’s record and and ask yourself where she disagrees with Mr. Obama.
  13. This is just a small list.  It is too depressing to write more.



What a vote for Trump will likely mean (this list is based on what Mr. Trump has said, and his past actions):

  1.  Wall Street Will Be Scared for two or three months until they remember that a President can only do as much damage as the Congress and the Courts will let him.  Our government is one than changes slowly and almost requires that all three elements (Justice, Congress, Executive) be in agreement.
  2. The Establishment Will Be Scared.  Change is the enemy of the Establishment.  The rich and powerful have learned to live within the current rules which they have molded to their advantage.  They like things the way they are because they have prospered and had their way.  Many of the changes Mr. Trump has outlined would threaten their ability to keep their advantage and their power.  If there are fewer funds to give to constituents, that hurts incumbents.  If there are fewer barriers to entry into business or politics, that is a competitive thread to those now in power.
  3. Foreign Powers will be scared, especially those who have been working the USA to help feather their own nests.  They don’t want to have to pay for any more of their defense than they do now.  They don’t want to give up subsidies, aid, or our good will.  They fear if demanded to pay their share of things like the U.N., they will lose good will and the money that props up their social programs.  They would also not be sure what the USA was going to do in trade or military actions months in advance like they do now.
  4. There will be voter ID required.  Mr. Trump would move to reduce fraud in our voter roles and our actual voting by requiring identification in order to register to vote or to vote – just like it is required to rent a car, open a bank account, cross a border into another country.  This is not an act of racial discrimination but an act of common sense.
  5. There will be less government control of our lives.  For example, Obamacare will be radically changed.  We will stop subsidizing prescription drugs for the rest of the world (we pay more for the drugs than any other country even though most are developed and made here).  The tax code will begin to be simplified.
  6. The Court will be more conservative than if Hillary is elected.  It will respect the Constitution.
  7. Political Correctness will begin to abate and the Racial divide will slowly be reduced as people have work and faith in the future.
  8. The economy will improve.  Making the use of tax dollars more effective and more oriented toward infrastructure will create more jobs rather than encourage people not to work.  Decreasing taxes means more money is left for people to use as they wish rather than giving it to the politicians and bureaucrats to spend as they wish.
  9. Government will be more transparent.  No longer will unemployment of 16% be reported (as it is now) as 5%.  No longer will the IRS be used as a tool to suppress the other party.
  10. We will again have a border that will allow us to maintain our sovereignty.  Part of the effort to reduce terrorism and drug imports requires borders.  The current administration has proven and a Clinton administration promises to continue to underfund border control.

I have missed a lot of things, but, this all boils down to the following:

If you vote for Mrs. Clinton you will get more of what you have had for the past 8 years.  If you vote for Mr. Trump it will be somewhat different.

We have no way to prove that Mrs. Clinton will do what she has done in the past but that is more likely than it is that she will do what she promises in her campaign.  We have no way to be sure that Mr. Trump will accomplish what he promises in his campaign, but based on his past actions, he will value life more than Mrs. Clinton has and he will negotiate better than she has.  He will not allow the USA to be used by most of the rest of the world, as it has been for the past many years under weak leadership.


Assume the worst about both candidates:

Hillary Clinton is a pathological liar, a threat to our National Security, a pay-to-play politician willing to sell access to anyone in government for the right price, is willing to destroy any woman who threatens her husband or her political future, etc., etc., etc.

Donald Trump is unqualified to be President, is crude and dismissive of women, has fondled half the women he has met, has been bankrupt himself and will do the same to our country, etc., etc., etc.

This presidential campaign has become the biggest schoolyard shouting match in history, and, like kids yelling insults, much of what is said is false and/or misleading.  So what can you believe and who should you choose?

Most people are holding their nose and making a choice.

Here is what I believe to be true and how I plan to vote:

  1.  Hillary is an egoist.  She will do whatever she believes serves her self interest.  Any failure will be hidden from public view or rationalized as having been caused by others or by conspiracies against her.  The egoist puts herself and her desires above all else. She believes she can get away with any action legal or illegal.  She believes she is above the law and above those she would rule.  She is more likely to destroy others than to build herself.
  2. Trump is an egotist.  He will do whatever he believes will enhance a positive view of him.  Any failure will drive him to do something to make him look so good that people forget the failure and see only his success.  The egotist puts his image above other concerns.  He is more likely to pose with a beauty queen than to destroy one to prove his power.
  3. Egoist vs. Egotist.  It is an important distinction.
  4. Donald Trump got the nomination of the Republican Party because he is not part of the political establishment.  Period.  For the most part, those who backed hims did not care if Trump was a brilliant businessman or not, whether he had a concrete plan to improve fix any of the ills of our federal government or not, whether he employed more female executives than anyone in his industry or not, whether he saw women as objects to be manipulated or not.  All that mattered to a large numbers of citizens was that for the past 40 years (covers the political lifetime of most voters) an elite cabal of political functionaries has taken effective control over the lives of most Americans.  A large and growing number of people are sick and tired of being used by their political “betters” and want to see change.  At this point, the desire for change is great enough that many feel that any change away from the self-serving, ego-driven, aloof politicians, regardless of party affiliation, will be for the better.  Trump may be ego-driven.  He may feel he is better than the rest of us (just like most politicians do, especially the Clintons).  He is not, however, seen to be part of the current “ruling elite”, not part of the establishment.
  5. There are a lot of people who resent Hillary Clinton for getting away with crimes that would put the rest of us in jail.  They don’t like being told what to do by people who have never really “done” anything except tell others what to do.
  6. Like a majority of those who voted for Brexit, I think the American public is getting fed up with being governed by condescending, self-interested politicians.  As a result, they could well vote for any “non-establishment” option.
  7.  The national media are part of the establishment.  They are working hard to preserve the status quo.  They live in a world that is oblivious to the feelings and concerns of “average Americans.”  As a result, like in the U.K. during the run-up to the Brexit Vote, their sheltered viewpoint blinds the media to the real feelings of the majority of Americans.  They are out of touch.  People don’t know who to believe, but they are certain that national media have an agenda and are not to be believed.

It has been said often that doing the same thing and expecting a different result is insanity.  I think many are willing to risk most anything to see if we can’t break the cycle.  People want less government control and they want more efficiency out of their government.  They don’t want to be led by people who break the law.  They will vote against the “Establishment”.  They will vote against “more of the same.”  I will.


It’s 1776 in America again.  The King rules in his own self interest and that of his fellow ruling elites without concern for the lives of his subjects.  Most people put up with the rule of a tyrant who lives in a far away capital.  They do so for one reason – inertia.  The more abusive and capricious the rule of the King and his ruling elite friends, the more he lives off the work of the people, the more he stacks the deck for his friends, the more resigned his subjects become ….. to a point.  At some point, tolerating the status quo begins to look as dangerous as rebelling against it.   A revolution is brewing.

The Loyalists, those whose stature, power and privilege give them a vested interest in continuing the King’s rule, are beginning to worry that the Revolutionists could actually upset their apple cart.

It appears the backers of Hillary Clinton, those who benefit most from the status quo, are running scared.  The Loyalists saw the Brexit vote and it scared them to death.  They just don’t understand.  How could all those “little people” wield so much power?  Privilege is ours, not theirs, the Loyalists believe.  The Elites rationalize every lie, every misdeed, every crime, all for fear of losing their status.  To every exposé of the corrupt practices of the ruling elite they react by deflecting to another subject or by using another lie that their “journalist” friends will legitimize.  They refuse to answer questions about significant issues.  They sling mud and bring the debate to the lowest level.  They pretend that every fact, not in their favor, is a part of a vast conspiracy.  They refuse to accept the reality that the ruling elite of our country have weakened our economy, our ethics, our culture, and our position in the world.  The Loyalists want things to continue on, just as they are so that they can retain their privilege.

It seems to me that a majority of the people are fed up.  They are tired of a double standard.  They are tired of the debasing of our society.  They are tired of each new incentive for people to work less while those who must work harder are ever more taxed and regulated.  Most are now willing to gamble that if is worth risk of some things being broken if the eventual result is a more free, honest and prosperous country for all, not just the elites.

Ronald Reagan asked the right question, “….are you better off than you were four years ago?…”  I think many people today are asking a variation of that question, answering “No” and concluding that we can’t continue on our current path.  If that is true, the current privileged class could be in for a rude awakening this election day.





Thanks to Euractiv.com

Thanks to Euractiv.com

Brexit – Why did the Brits Vote to Leave?

The answer to that question is not a simple one and must take into account a myriad of different things.  However, we can get a good insight by looking at one simple item of news today.

The European Commission has decided that Apple owes almost $15 Billion in back taxes to Ireland.  You would think that Ireland would love that.  But it’s not the case.  Here’s why:

Corporate taxes in Ireland are about 12.5% vs. the 35% average in the USA.  That, and an educated and less expensive workforce, has led to Apple (and Microsoft and Facebook and Google and about a dozen huge US companies) to establish facilities in Ireland.  These companies employ about 140,000 people in Ireland.

It was the Irish who improved their education system to prepare its people to become a highly valued workforce.  It was the Irish who decided to establish a tax system that would be attractive to foreign investment.  The EU did neither of these things.

Now, the EU thinks it is unfair for Ireland to make itself more attractive to investment than the rest of Europe so they want to punish the Irish while pretending to work for them by winning for Ireland a big tax windfall.

This is all about the EU flexing its muscle and keeping a ‘curve breaker’ in line.  The Irish are too smart to fall for it.  They are fighting the EU ruling.  In short, the Irish are doing a better job than the EU and they want the folks from the EU to butt out – almost in the same way that the Brits wanted the EU out so they could once again determine their own fate.

Of course, Apple is also fighting this and it will be interesting if the Largest US company or the European Union will prevail.  The backlash against central planning and globalism seems to grow daily.

Hillary Clinton currently leads Donald Trump by anywhere from 5 to 15% depending upon which polls you read. The press is falling all over itself demanding that everyone agree with them that Donald Trump will be defeated in an historic Clinton Landslide.

It is interesting to note that in 1988, George H. W. Bush trailed Michael Dukakis by 17% in July and still by 7 to 10% in late August.  Dukakis ended up winning a total of one state – his home state of Massachusetts.

Similarly, in 2000, Al Gore led George Bush by up to 10 points in mid-September.  In September, John McCain led Barack Obama by as much as 5 points.  As late as October, Jimmy Carter led Ronald Reagan by 4-6%.

Obviously, my point is: “Most successful pundits are selected for being opinionated, because it’s interesting, and the penalties for incorrect predictions are negligible. You can make predictions, and a year later people won’t remember them.”   -Daniel Kahneman (emphasis is mine)

Romney landslideBrexit Prediction

hillary-clinton-shocked-600x400“Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”  – from the statement released by FBI Director James Comey on July 5, 2016

I am amazed at the fact that Mr. Comey has chosen not to file any charges against Hillary Clinton.  I guess I am naive and don’t understand that corruption must be the rule, not the exception in Washington, D.C.  Maybe if I can find the answers to a few questions, that will help me understand.

Here are some questions about Hillary Clinton that I would love to have answered by supporters of Mrs. Clinton:

  1. Would Mrs. Clinton, today, pass a background check to allow her to have access to classified materials given that she has proven to have been careless, at least, and intentionally lawless, at most, in her past handling of secret government communications?
  2. Would any U.S. Citizen, today, pass a background check to allow access to classified materials given that citizen had proven to have been careless, at least, and intentionally lawless, at most, in his or her past handling of secret government communications?
  3. Is it possible that Mrs. Clinton has so little understanding of modern communications that she was totally unaware of the security risks that she was creating by having multiple communications systems outside of the government systems?
  4. Should a person who is so totally unaware of modern communications and who is unwilling to accept the recommendations of experts on how to handle such communications be allowed to hold high public office?
  5. Is it believable to you that Mr. Clinton’s meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch in Phoenix was a chance meeting and that they spoke only of golf, grand children and travel plans?
  6. Shortly after her meeting with Bill Clinton in Phoenix, Attorney General Lynch stated that she would accept the recommendations of career prosecutors and federal agents concerning whether to bring charges against Mrs. Clinton in the email investigation. Do you believe that Attorney General Lynch knew that the FBI would not recommend that charges be filed against Mrs. Clinton?  If so, do you believe that she knew that before the Phoenix meeting with Bill Clinton?
  7. Do you believe that Mrs. Clinton obstructed a federal investigation when she delayed for months in delivering emails to the FBI?  If not, why do you think she was so slow?  Why do you think she had her emails screened by attorneys working for her and withheld many of them saying they were personal?
  8. Do you understand how Mrs. Clinton turned a $1,000 account into $100,000 in the cattle futures market in less than a year?
  9. Do you believe Mrs. Clinton has the moral character to hold the position of trust and power that is the Presidency of the United States?
  10. Can you list Mrs. Clinton’s highly touted “qualifications” to be President?
  11. Do you believe Mrs. Clinton is beholden to more or fewer special interests than Mr. Trump?
  12. Have you read to the end any speech or article given/written by Mr. Trump or is your opinion of him formed exclusively from viewing videos and hearing/reading sound bites about him or his actions?

The much anticipated Brexit Vote in favor of Leaving the EU surprised a lot of people.  Especially the detached, urban-centered, media.   They did not see it coming because they had not taken an hour’s drive out of the city to learn what the “common man” thought about living under EU Rule. The political elites managed no better than the media.  479 Members of Parliament came out in favor of “Remain.”  Only 158 came out in favor of “Leave.”


What have we learned?

First, the vote was clear.  Those who took the trouble to vote, by a margin of 52% to 48% wanted out of the EU.  72.2% of those qualified to vote turned up and did their civic duty.  That is a greater turnout than any national poll/election in the past 20+ years.  This was not something to be “corrected” by a recount.

Baby Boomers voted largely to “Leave.”  Was this just looking back at better times, hoping to return to a more orderly, more British society?  Were youth who voted overwhelmingly to “Remain” led to believe (brainwashed, the Boomers might say) in the sanctity of multiculturalism and globalism?

If one thing has been shown in the few days since the people of the U.K. voted to exit the E.U., it is that the elitists, liberals, and the governing class are poor losers.  Everything I have read suggests that the losers are doing all they can to overturn the will of the people.  So convinced were the political class of victory for the “Remain” vote, they are now convinced that the “Leave” campaign must be guilty of the type of misdeeds to which they are often a party.  They are planning everything from a second referendum (re-vote) to bureaucratic maneuvers to delay the actual separation indefinitely.

The losers are resorting to name-calling and personal attacks.  They suggest that only very small minds could be convinced to leave the EU.  Who could believe leaving the EU would be better than staying, being multiculturalists, globalists, etc.?  Many are making it known that they will “punish” the Brits for this action.  Having read many of the scare tactics used in the campaign, I don’t doubt that there will be threats and skulduggery.

The most poignant article I have read to date ties the exit vote to fear of rape and increased crime.   Most people don’t understand international trade.  Probably fewer understand why it is their duty to house and feed able bodied young Muslim men.  But, they fully understand when women they know (including wives and daughters) are being assaulted at rates far greater than ever seen in the U.K. before.  With the majority of this increase in crime and offenses against women coming from immigrants of the Muslim faith, it is easy to see how many blame the EU for this problem.

Time will tell if this turns out to be good for the United Kingdom.  In my view the Brexit victory is a long-term positive for the U.K., the U.S. and, yes, for Europe.  Here’s why:

  1. Central Planning/Collective Action doesn’t work.  Short term, it can show some impressive efficiencies.  Long term it kills initiative and the work ethic and is unsustainable;
  2. Central Planning is dangerous.  It creates, among other things, agricultural monocultures that are susceptible to massive kill-offs from a single vector.  Isn’t it strange that multiculturalism is the holy grail of the Globalists in the EU but they don’t see the downside to agricultural monocultures which they legislate into effect;
  3. The political class was shown, once again, to be totally oblivious of the interests and the will of the people whom they rule.;
  4. Independent thought and action, self sufficiency, and individuality create a stronger culture and one that is resilient and sustainable, if enough people are willing the work for it;

In the meantime, this battle between the Elites and the Populists will get its second hearing in the U.S. Presidential Election in November.  Some say this bodes ill for Hillary, who much like the “Remain” campaign has the support of the majority of youth and the media.  Both groups showed themselves to be out of touch with the majority in the Brexit Vote.  Donald Trump’s presence in Scotland to dedicate a new golf course just as the Brexit votes were counted may show that he is more in tune with the people than either the media or the political class.

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