William Thien

Archive for the ‘Essays and Social and Political Commentary’ Category

A lot of pundits and Washington types have said Trump is playing the North Korea situation all wrong.

I disagree. Trump has made an overture to meet with North Korea’s leadership personally. What he is saying is that he is willing to do anything and everything he can to avert a nuclear exchange. What more could the country ask for on this matter? You really can’t ask for more than that.

Copyright © William Thien 2017

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Decades long (Greenspan to Yellen) monetary policy aimed at continually diminishing the strength of the currency for the regular population is in and of itself justification enough to respond.

I believe Washington has chosen monetary policy that forces the public to work longer hours for less income with the desire of increasing productivity at the expense of American working classes and their quality of life.

It has nothing to do with the general economy. The labor statistics coming out of Washington are false.  We’ve all known that for many years. The statistics don’t include the perpetually unemployed or the unaccounted for in industrially blighted urban areas. Therefor, the numbers are unreliable. So why the constant attempt to weaken the dollar?

Is it about selling more American made goods overseas? Somewhat, yes. But in my opinion it is more about squeezing the American working classes to get them to work harder for less, increasing the speed of the treadmill so to speak through weakening the dollar, thereby increasing productivity.

Again, if you weaken the dollar, if you systematically do so while steadily increasing inflation, a person needs to work harder and/or longer hours to get what they want or need or they must borrow more. A weaker dollar buys less and it buys less everywhere you use it even at home, not just overseas when you travel. The thing of it is, it’s not a function of the economy, it’s not happening on its own. It’s policy!

That’s what the FED has been up to starting with Greenspan, what the parties have been up to starting with Clinton, NAFTA and MFN for China, and the dollar.

You are getting squeezed by the FED/Washington establishment and the same people you elected. If money is speech as the Supreme Court determined, by weakening the dollar your voice is also being muffled. Directly.

The dollar isn’t too strong. Rather, Washington may be too powerful, too disingenuous.

I heard a debate on the radio this morning on the way to work. During the broadcast they were talking about a Constitutional Convention. Maybe it’s not such a bad idea.

I myself say, “What do you mean I don’t sound like a conservative? You are full of it. You can be a conservative and still be a working stiff! Conservatism isn’t just for the very wealthy. That’s something else altogether. That’s the monetary policy we have now.”

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I am always a bit puzzled (not entirely, just a bit) when I hear our country’s leadership say things like “the dollar is too strong” or “we need to make the dollar more attractive in the foreign currency markets.”

What they are saying essentially is that American made products aren’t as attractive in overseas markets if the dollar is strong because the American products become too expensive or less attractive price-wise for foreign consumers.

But a weaker or weakened dollar also means that I have to spend more of my dollars to get what I want. If you don’t make that many dollars or as many as you’d like, if you are in the lower to lower middle income brackets, the argument that the dollar is too strong is a somewhat punitive statement and it means that action to bring down the value of the dollar will have a direct impact on your buying power, decreasing your buying power.

Few would disagree that America needs to sell more products in foreign markets but you would hope that our country’s leadership would find other ways to make sure such sales increase such as instituting quality controls on production or some other method rather than simply selling everything on the cheap and making everything more expensive for the American consumer, punishing the American consumer, which is what they are doing.

Manipulating currency may be easy on American producers but it is also hard on American consumers as it is the same as taxing their dollars so they have less or simply reaching into their pocketbooks and taking the money right out by decreasing their buying power.

Have you seen the price of a new car or house lately? Maybe the dollar is weak enough already.

Copyright © William Thien 2017

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While watching Chuck Todd interview Senator John McCain (R-AZ) this morning on Meet the Press Todd asked McCain if he thought the current administration’s flip-flopping from campaign positions to his current positions had something to do with Trump “being sucked in by the Washington establishment?”

McCain’s answer was to chuckle and say, “well, I hope so.”

To me this is proof that not only IS there a Washington establishment, it is proof that our elected know there is a Washington establishment and that perhaps our elected even provide support materially and vocally (obviously McCain supports it vocally in his response to Todd) to the Washington establishment.

Other elected officials were asked about Trump’s positional re-orientations throughout the week and the most common response was, “maybe he is ‘growing’ into the position.” Growing into the position? What a load of b.s.

To be sure, Trump doesn’t have to change his campaign positions. Something is forcing him to do so and it’s not that he “growing into the position.” He is there to implement the will of the people, not to “grow.” He isn’t on a weekend retreat. He is now the President of The United States.

I wrote earlier that it would only be a matter of time before Trump switched his campaign positions due to the Washington establishment and we see now that is exactly what is happening. You can read that post here: What’s Next for Conservatives?

The most disgusting aspect of the “Washington establishment” is that what it means is that those entrenched there in Washington are there to ensure that whomever is elected cannot implement the will of the people without the express consent of “the Washington establishment.”

Ultimately what a “Washington establishment” means is that the will of the people has been effectively thwarted, seemingly in perpetuity, by a bureaucratic element entrenched in our nation’s capital and that there is nothing, either voting for a Republican or voting for a Democrat, that the people can do about it.

What is the solution?

The two major parties take great pains to make sure the public is nearly equally divided (we see this in the election results) right down the middle when it comes to major elections and national issues. The parties talk about the base of the Republican party and the base The Democratic party in their political calculus.

Maybe it’s time that the bases of both parties come together for a new political calculus, disregarding the respective party apparatus so the country can really “drain the swamp” as Trump promised during the election and take care of the needs of the people and not that of “the Washington establishment,” which is what he is now doing.

There are common goals among the bases of both parties. Maybe it’s time we come together and focus on those common goals primarily and forget about our differences, such as abortion and gun rights for example, just once, and see what happens.

Maybe we can set those and other differences aside in order to bring the changes the country requires. Or maybe “the Washington establishment” can deal with that, too. And you know what that means? Think about it.

Because we now have proof that there is indeed a “Washington establishment” and it is working against us, working against us all.

Copyright © William Thien 2017

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To me what is getting lost in all of this discussion about the possible wire tapping of The Trump Towers is that not only now that Trump is in The Whitehouse he doesn’t appear to have a complete understanding of the scope of surveillance upon the American public, the Chairman of The House Intelligence Committee is not communicating with Trump about potential capabilities.

In other words, how could President Trump now that he is in The White House not understand how surveillance of his team occurred? It’s happening to all of us all of the time. The entire country is under a blanket search warrant. Once called “The Patriot Act,” it’s now called “The USA Freedom Act” (really, I mean come on, The USA Freedom Act?) after The Patriot Act expired in 2015. The difference is that The NSA no longer stores all of the information from your phone calls and emails, texts. That is done by telecoms. That’s right. The phone companies are now keeping all of your information.

And that is why I concluded in my earlier observation on the matter that it was more likely that telecoms (telecommunications/phone companies) or the media were leaking information about The Trump Campaign rather than the government. If they are storing the information there is a pretty good chance they can access or someone else can access the information because in no way is it as secure as if were stored at The NSA.

If Trump does not know this, somebody isn’t doing their job very well, which is where Devin Nunes (R-CA) stepped in and that is probably why Adam Schiff is so upset. The Chairman of The House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, a Democrat, has conveniently neglected to apprise the current administration, which is Republican, of the true nature and capability of such matters.

For more information on this issue read the following two articles:

https://www.marketplace.org/2015/06/01/tech/patriot-acts-new-name

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/03/15/congress-pressures-fbi-reveal-any-trump-wiretap-info-graham/99203964/

Copyright © William Thien 2017

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Preface: They say we have the best health care system in the world. Then why do the people in so many other countries live longer than here in The United States?

The Republicans in Congress are having trouble repealing Obamacare not because there aren’t enough Republican votes. The Republicans in Congress are having trouble repealing Obamacare because half of the Republicans in Congress aren’t Republicans. They are either corporate shills, what I have termed “big business robot frontmen,” in this case fronting for health care special interests, or they are just as socialist as the socialists on the other side of the aisle.

They’ve socialized the country for a particular reason.

I know people who are practically being bankrupted by the high deductibles and costly premiums from the insurance available on the exchanges created as a result of implementation of The ACA. Middles class workers usually don’t have $10,000 sitting around to cover the cost of deductibles and some of the plans I’ve heard of have $5,000 or $6,000 deductibles for individuals and more for families. Consequently, if they need some routine medical care, often costing thousands of dollars today now that health insurers have their hands so thoroughly in the care process, having to suddenly come up with that kind of money to cover the deductible is financially painful for a middle class family or individual.

I had thought originally the plan was to “repeal and deregulate” the sale of health insurance across state lines. That was the clarion call during the election that I heard. The idea was to open up competition on a national and even international scale so the health care consumer had more insurance choices. But then the tune changed immediately following the election and I haven’t heard that brass since.

The best quote I heard on the matter was from an interview on the evening news last night (NBC, CBS, or ABC, I don’t remember, I was switching between them). The quote was from an elderly grocer who said he voted for Trump because he was having trouble getting health care for his employees under the current scheme, and by the way, that’s what the ACA is, a “scheme.” The grocer said that watching congress screw the vote up on the repeal was something akin to ‘watching professional wrestlers duke it out in the ring and then meet for drinks in the tavern after the fight.’

We get it friend. Whether it is a majority Republican Congress or a majority Democrat, Congress is a sham.

Epilogue: They say we have the best health care system in the world. Then why do the people in so many other countries live longer than here in The United States?

Copyright © William Thien 2017

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A debate should be had about claims of “Made in America” of globally sourced components. If a manufacturer can assemble something in The US that is made up of globally sourced components, should the manufacturer be allowed to put The American Flag on their product?

Many think not and I’m inclined to agree with them. Often all it takes is for one part of the “globally sourced” components to fail and then the product is useless.

It’s better to simply just buy foreign products from a county of your choosing in that case as you are not being misled in a sense by the big display of The American flag with the small print “of globally sourced components.”

If a manufacturer wants to put The American flag on their product that is assembled of globally sourced products, maybe they should be required to put all of the flags of the countries from where their product’s components originate and put those flags right next to the American flag since many people can no longer read.

Copyright © William Thien 2017

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