The Silent Moderates

I cancelled a podcast because I heard from mutual friends that the potential guest had cheated on his wife.

I don’t like people who cheat.

Trump cheated on his wife. So there’s that.

I wish Obama had ended the two wars that are now entering their 17th year. Too many teenagers dying.

I don’t like W because he caused the two wars we are still in.

I don’t like Bill Clinton because he cheated on his wife.

I won’t like Bush I because of Iraq and raising taxes. I don’t like Reagan because of drugs for hostages.

Carter I don’t have an opinion. Maybe that coal miner thing was too much. And the sluggish economy. And Gerald Ford seemed decent but too short in office.

And Nixon opened up China but seemed really stupid when it came to not committing a crime.

And LBJ was corrupt and started the horrible process of backing student loans, which led to tuition rising faster than inflation. (By a factor of 10x and causing massive inequality with now 20 million middle class kids stuck with horrible debt.)

And Kennedy cheated on his wife.

Eisenhower ended the Korean War and dubbed the “Military Industrial Complex” but was a racist.

Truman dropped two unnecessary atomic bombs with the lie that “otherwise a million Americans would die”.

And FDR put Japanese Americans in cages and only solved the Great Depression by fighting a war. Plus Dresden.

And Hoover approved the Smoot-Hawley tariff which led to the Great Depression.

Calvin Coolidge wasn’t so bad.

Here’s a Calvin Coolidge story I like:

He didn’t like to speak.

One time his son invited a friend over for dinner at the White House. The friend said, “Mr. President, I made a bet with your son that you would speak more than two words during dinner.”

Coolidge said, “You lose.”

That’s pretty good.

When writing this, someone said to me, “If you say ‘moderate’, it implies you aren’t passionate about anything.”

I’m passionate about being a moderate.

You have to be good on the inside to have impact on the outside.

Oh, and George Washington chased an escaped slave, Oona Judge, until he died.

Arguing with powerless people won’t change the world. It becomes only about “winning” and shaming. It’s a waste.

Figure out how to have impact on the people around you.

Here’s what we know:

THE GOOD:
The Economy

  • The unemployment rate is expected to be 3.2% next year, the lowest since the 1950s. 
  • GDP at 4.5% (7% when you add back inflation) is the highest since 2005. 
  • Corporate profits grew 7.7%, the highest growth EVER. (Is this good? I have to say “yes” because corporations are where people work and where people make a living.)
  •  Corporate profits grew $100 billion but wages grew $200 billion, meaning corporate tax breaks were passed down to the middle class.
  •  Wage growth grew at the highest rate in FOREVER. Am I talking about rich people? No. Wage growth for people without a high school degree grew at the highest rate ever. 
  • Household debt / household assets is at the lowest ratio in the past 30 years (i.e. people are better able to pay off debts than any time since the 1980s).
  • Stock market is at all-time highs.

Who is responsible for this? How about mostly 300 million Americans and no one person?

Maybe policies that started now? Maybe policies that started in 2009? Probably all of the above.


The BAD: 


Tariffs

We don’t know the results of a trade war.

If Apple made its iPhones in the U.S. it would cost $2,000. And the Dept. of Agriculture is getting record requests for emergency farm aid.

And historically, tariffs have not been good for the stock market.

But… maybe we shouldn’t subsidize the growth of the world.

I guess we have to wait and see what happens. I don’t know.

Hate crimes

Hate crimes have risen for the third year in a row in 2017 (so… 2015, 2016, 2017) after declining for the prior six.

So part of this is Trump, maybe part of this is Obama, and part of this is the entire world refusing to take the final steps into globalism (hence… Brexit, Trump, etc.) and reverting to nationalism.

How can we know? We can’t.

Be good to our neighbors and nationalism won’t turn into fascism.

Immigration

  • Parents should never be separated from children. This is horrible.
  • Open borders, though, are a bad thing and no country has ever had them and the U.S. has never had them.
  • The Hispanic unemployment rate is at a 47 year low.

I don’t know what to do with this data (other than my opinion on parents).

Do what you want with immigration but don’t separate families.

—–

These are all facts from data. It’s not fake news.

Every time I write something political I get at least these two comments: “You’re an Obama-loving libtard.” And… “You’re a Trump-loving fascist.”

I am neither. I’m a moderate trying to figure things out.

I’m progressive on almost every social issue. I feel the role of government is to help people who can’t help themselves. I’ve had this argument with Ron Paul on my podcast.

I’m economically conservative because I think lower taxes creates more jobs and lower corporate taxes creates higher wages (e.g. see the data above).

I know when I have more money, I create more jobs (and then go broke!).

I think all drugs should be legal (both a liberal and libertarian issue).

I’m bullish on biotech and AI and cryptocurrencies only because the government doesn’t understand them enough to regulate them.

—–

This is what people are doing:

  • They argue with other people as powerless as them.
  • Or they only talk to people exactly like them so they can feel good.
  • When they don’t “win” they resort to insulting the person.
  • They use selective evidence and not all the data. MSNBC uses one set of data and Fox uses another.
  • They try to impress their “team” with their knowledge, without causing any real new social impact.

I think most people are like me. Silent moderates.

Most people are afraid to say what they think if they are not on one extreme or other.

Like my friend accused me, “You’re not passionate if you are a moderate”.

I’m passionate about being good to my family and friends and being a force of good in the world. I only have a short time. I don’t want to be angry. I want to love and be loved.

 

This is what I try to do:

  • Stay healthy so I am ready to have impact where I can.
  • Have good, kind people around me.
  • Be creative so when I need to be, I can have the ideas to help individuals.
  • Don’t try to control things I have no control over. More time to help the people immediately around me.
  • Be passionate about things I love. This is where I can create impact.

It’s hard enough to be a force for good for my family, my friends, colleagues, and people I care about.

On political issues I repeat this mantra: “I’m an idiot”. I say it over and over. “I’m an idiot idiot idiot stupid.”

I listen to people. And then I try and research facts.

The news does not have the facts. Always go to the source for the facts.

I never put down people who I might disagree with. Just listen.

And then I try to help people immediately around me.

And if I can’t help them, I try not to bore them.

Don’t cheat.

It’s hard enough to live one life, let alone a double life.

And don’t put people down just to have status over them.

The only way to understand the world is be a part of it, not read about it on social media.

Everyone always says, “Reach out and help someone today”. I can’t do that. Sometimes I need help.

So what I’m going to do is reach out and say “sorry” to someone today. And then go to therapy.

 —–
P.S. Check out the comments section on my original Facebook post. They’re extremely important to my point… 

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  • charlie

    https://www.businessinsider.com/wage-growth-america-slow-explanation-2018-9

    Your wage growth statistics might not be factually incorrect, but by reporting out raw numbers, you’re obfuscating what is actually happening. Wages increase every year. $200 Billion in wage gains is not somehow special. This year, they’re increasing slower than inflation, unlike in previous years.

    You’re also claiming “this is all facts from data” without linking to the data you’re referencing, making it impossible for people to verify your numbers.

    You’re trying to cite facts so that you appear impartial, but you’re choosing stats in such a way that your arguments are misleading and showing bias. I won’t go so far as to say you’re intentionally trying to trick your audience, but what you’re doing is really, really fishy.