What, Me Worry? Election 2016.

I see on Facebook that many appear to be uneasy about the election. Trump supporters fear Hillary as a Big Business-Big Bank globalist who wants to shove social liberalism down everyone’s throats. Hillary supporters fear Trump as a racist/sexist/whateverist(ophobe) who apes Adolf Hitler.

Personally, I just like to hear politicians say mean things to each other. So I enjoy this.

Anyway, I’m not uneasy in the least. Why? Because despite whoever wins, I know what will happen. Why be uneasy when you know what to expect?

First, here is what will NOT happen: America will not be transformed into Nazi Germany / Soviet Russia / North Korea / Venezuela / (insert your favorite crappy country here). People who live in fear of this are wasting their brain power.

Second, neither candidate can do anything about the next major crisis that can be predicted: recession. I firmly believe we will undergo a severe recession within 2017 or possibly 2018 – no later. This cannot be stopped. The roots of this crisis stretch back to 1913: the creation of the Federal Reserve, which is considered untouchable by the Establishment.

Neither Trump nor Hillary will do anything about Federal Reserve policy, which is to keep crony capitalism going at the expense of Main Street. Why worry?

Third, the unfunded liabilities of Social Security and Medicare: over $222 trillion. These programs are doomed beyond saving. Why worry?

Fourth, the growth of the administrative bureaucracy. The Federal Register of laws and regulations gains a few thousand more pages every year. Neither Trump nor Hillary will do anything about this. In many ways, they can’t. Why worry?

Fifth, both candidates will face resistance. Trump will face significant opposition in Congress from both Democrats and Republicans, so he will likely be mostly lame. Hillary will face across-the-board resistance from Republicans, so she will be totally lame. I predict gridlock for the next four years.

My only concern is if Democrats gain control of Congress while Hillary is President. Then, I worry. But I do not worry much about that happening. The House is likely to remain firmly in Republicans hands. This will produce gridlock, which is a good thing. Why worry?

This all may sound very bleak to you. I disagree. Consider this chart:

15786a

This map puts things into perspective: the American economy is gigantic. There is more wealth in the United States than anywhere else in the world.

It gets better. Check this out – mapping nations to US cities with similar GDP:

15786b

Incredible. All of these major metropolitan areas would rank within the top 50 largest economies of the world if they were standalone countries. How did this happen?

The American Enterprise Institute, the producer of these charts, drew this conclusion:

Overall, the US produced 24.5% of world GDP in 2015, with only about 4.5% of the world’s population. Three of America’s states (California, Texas and New York) — as separate countries — would have ranked in the world’s top 11 largest economies last year. Together, those three US states produced $5.5 trillion in economic output last year, and as a separate country would have ranked as the world’s third largest economy and ahead of No. 3 Japan ($4.1 trillion) by almost $1.5 trillion. And one of those states — California — produced more than $2 trillion in economic output in 2015 — and the other two (Texas and New York) produced more than $1.5 trillion and $1.4 trillion of GDP in 2015 respectively.

Adjusted for the size of the workforce, there might not be any country in the world that produces as much output per worker as the US, thanks to the world-class productivity of the American workforce.

This is the key: America is vastly productive. America, on-the-whole, still organizes itself on a socially voluntary basis. People want to be left alone, and they want a good deal. The beauty of a good deal made voluntarily is that it mutually benefits both parties. This is how economies grow and national wealth is built.

There are irritating laws. The US government tries to push us around. But voluntary interaction is still the basis of American society. We get pissed off when Uncle Sammy tries to dig his hand too deep into our pockets, or his gun too deep into our backs. We fight back at the ballot box.
I don’t worry. America is still the land of opportunity and voluntary deal-making. Neither Trump nor Hillary will have any drastic impact on this during their tenure.

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