Categories
Politics

What would happen if the bullet missed John F. Kennedy?

One of the biggest what ifs of American history, no doubt. Here’s my take:

-Kennedy wins re-election in 1964. This is almost inevitable as JFK had the highest average approval rating in Gallup history at 70% at the time of his death. He was still widely popular and definitely would have beaten Goldwater.

-Kennedy would not have invaded Vietnam to the same extent that LBJ did. His quote from NBC Sept 1963 reads: ‘its their war, they will win it or lose it’. He sent a few thousand advisors in but I don’t think he would have done a full scale conscription like LBJ and the Tet Offensive etc would not have happened

-Civil Rights legislation does not pass. LBJ is widely considered to be one of the greatest legislators ever and JFK did not have that talent. As a result, we can say that the South stays on the Democrats side for at least another decade. The riots of 1968 however, might have been even more consequential and MLK Jr would have been even more revered. Nixon would probably still win election against Humphrey.

-JFK lives to see his moon shot get fulfilled. Such a shame he never saw that.

-Medicare/Medicaid legislation I believe would have gotten passed as it was not as controversial as the Civil Rights bill. The same thing with the Immigration Act. The Great Society plans of LBJ half of it would still get passed I think, but with much more debate.

-RFK would still be alive. He would have probably not run until the 1970s.

tldr; or to take a quote of JFK “in the final analysis”, I think JFK surviving would have been better concerning Vietnam, but worse considering the Civil Rights issue.

Categories
Politics

Thoughts on Trump’s election and supporters, Electoral College, the future

(this is for a vlog I’m doing)

I haven’t talked extensively about politics on my vlog videos, but I finally want to speak up about my thoughts on Donald Trump, the 2016 election, the electoral college, his supporters, and the future.

First off, I was just as surprised as anyone when Trump won the election. I just couldn’t believe how wrong everyone was, even the statistical based fivethirtyeight.com had Trump’s chances at only 30% and other sites had his chances at only 10%. It was just unbelievable, that not only did he win, but he won with states that haven’t voted Republican in 3 decades, like Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

I thought, just like most political pundits, that the demographic shift that had gained the US more blacks, latinos, asians etc would permanently alter the future, and that Republicans didn’t have a chance to win the presidency again. Furthermore, Trump was just scandal after scandal. Not releasing his tax returns, bragging about sexual assault, I guess none of that mattered in the end because what happened was that Obama’s coalition just didn’t come out for Hillary. Hillary just didn’t have the charisma or energy that Obama had. And white working voters hated Hillary enough that it didn’t matter. People wanted change and they wanted it badly, and they voted in the first president in US History that has never had any political or military experience before.

Hillary won the popular vote by almost 3 million. This highlights a problem with the electoral college – it gives small states way too much power. This has happened now 5 times in American history. In 1824, 1876, 1888, 2000 and now 2016. Each time, the Democrat won the popular vote but the Republican won the election. The thing is Republicans are the party of rural voters – which means they benefit the most from the electoral college, which gives small states disproportionate power. Wyoming for example, has 3 electoral votes. California, which has 76x the population of Wyoming, only has 55 electoral votes. Yeah 55 seems like a lot, but its only 18x more votes than Wyoming. It should be 76x more votes than Wyoming. California SHOULD have 228 votes, not 55. Now people in favor of the electoral college say that this prevents the big cities from ruling the small towns, and candidates will only campaign in New York and California, but tell me, do candidates campaign very fairly right now? Right now, only a handful of battleground states, like Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Colorado etc matter right now. Those states always swing the election, so candidates forget about the other states, both solid red and solid blue states get ignored. Furthermore I just don’t think voters in Ohio or Florida should matter that much more than voters in California or Texas. Its not equal, and its different than democratic elections in every other country, which is always based on popular vote, not some weird outdated system like the electoral college. So thats my thoughts regarding that.

I want to make clear that I’m not a liberal, and I lean conservative. I’ve been a registered Canadian conservative since 2010. But in the US, because its so far right of other developed countries, I wouldn’t consider myself a Republican, I am an independent or even Libertarian if anything. I’m not a Trump or Hillary supporter. Part of the reason I like South Korea so much is because it is one of the most socially conservative countries in Asia. I am pretty sick of people blaming Obama for everything. People forget that its Congress that makes and passes bills and Obama merely signs them. So its not all the Democrats and Obama’s fault for everything, since Congress was split between both parties for most of Obama’s term.

Now, as a conservative I believe in the core principles of lower spending, and traditional values. I hate SJWs and the progressive movement. I do not care for same sex marriage or abortion or gender equality or illegal immigration or wasteful spending. I’m not in support of any of those things. But some of the current Republican party’s stances are against my logic (this is probably what makes me lean Libertarian). I am against heavy defense spending. I have no idea why we need to spend so much money on defense, more than the next 27 countries combined. I am against tax cuts for the rich. Now I know this is a core “conservative” political stance, but after studying US history and majoring in Economics (I am a double major), I know for sure that tax cuts for the rich are a bad idea. It only serves to increase the deficit and increase the gap between the rich and the poor. And has no effects on creating jobs at all.

The evidence is clear; in the 1950s and 1960s the US GDP was growing more than 5% annually a sustained rate we have not really achieved since. In those decades the top bracket of marginal tax on earners was 90%. I’m not kidding. It was really 90%. JFK lowered it to around 70%. But basically until Reagan cut the taxes heavily for the upper class, the top bracket for earners was very very high. But the US economy was good back then. We all want to return to the economy of the 1950s and 1960s because it really was that good. Now, I know the 1970s was a period of ‘stagflation’ and you might think Reagan’s tax cuts had a lot to do with getting the economy back on track in the 1980s, but it was actually the work of Paul Volcker, probably the most brilliant Fed Reserve chairman in recent memory. His actions ended the stagflation (high unemployment + inflation) of the 1970s by raising interest rates, which long term helped the economy to improve.

Reagan undid all that work by appointing Alan Greenspan, a very controversial Fed Chairman because he deregulated the markets, including the market for subprime mortgages and derivatives, factors that would lead to the Great Recession 2 decades later. During all this time, the Reagan and Bush tax cuts would only increase the deficit and cause larger gaps between the rich and poor. The middle class as a result, is shrinking. Part of the reason why we have such a large national debt is because of tax cuts – it quadrupled under Reagan and doubled again under Bush.

Which brings us to Trump supporters, who I don’t really understand, but maybe thats because a large majority of them are uneducated (70% of Americans never graduated college or went to college). See the average American, and I assume a lot of whom voted for Trump, are selfish and only really care about themselves and their family. They only care about what affects them. During the last decade, we have seen technological change everything shifting to a service based economy, and less and less blue collar jobs. Soon almost all blue collar jobs will be automated or replaced by robots some people say. This causes a lot of anger in the midwest especially since they are manufacturing reliant. They lose their coal jobs, and they blame the sitting president, Obama, since he’s the most visible figure in the government, even if he has nothing to do with them losing their jobs.

Furthermore, they see foreigners and illegal immigrants as a source of the problem as well, potential threats to them and the American economy. These people are who Trump especially resonated with. Now these people also see government in general as a bad thing, because the government seems to be apathetic to their struggles, so they elect Trump because they want an outsider. They see Washington run by corrupt elites who want to serve themselves. They don’t believe the mainstream media because they think they are all left wing biased and run by liberals. A lot of them believe in conspiracy theories, like illegal immigrants voting in the millions for example, they believe all this crap, even if there’s no evidence or proof of all these things. They blame Obama and Democrats and liberals for everything, some of them may even think Obama is a muslim and out to destroy America. They thought Hillary Clinton was Satan reincarnated basically. And even today, with proof and testimony from leading Democrats AND Republicans, the CIA and FBI (both politically neutral entities), that Russia and Putin hacked the US election system, they don’t trust or believe it. They think its all fake liberal news. The US economy steadily gaining back jobs (175k this month), and the unemployment rate staying around 4.9% (down from a high of 10% in Oct 2009), the stock market at all time highs, all that and they think its some fake liberal data created to help Obama’s legacy.

I mean, I think these people are insane, I don’t have any other way to say it. Maybe not all Trump supporters but a substantial amount of them. I read through their Facebook comments a lot and it just doesn’t make any sense. Basically to them they think that ALL news thats bad to Trump or positive to Obama must be “spun” by the media, and anything that contradicts their bubble must be wrong. They are living in their own crazy conspiracy fueled world, and thats kind of concerning. Trump has so far, appointed lots of millionaires and billionaires to his cabinet, most of whom don’t know anything about the department they are running, has praised Putin many times (remember when the Soviet Union was the bad guy?), refused to attend security briefings (yet has time to tweet about SNL and the Apprentice), threatened to leave mutually beneficial alliances like NATO and trade deals like NAFTA, casually talked about raising the number of nukes (are we still in the Cold War?) and has had his daughter sit in on meetings with foreign leaders (potential conflicts of interest), and given no press conferences on top of that.

This makes the future extremely uncertain, especially since he has flip flopped on his issues numerous times. And his supporters don’t seem to care, or they are caught up with being happy that Obama is leaving. Ok – well don’t you care about what Trump will do the next 4 years? Aren’t you guys even a little bit curious what Trump will do? Its not like he elaborated on any of his policies during his campaign so… yeah, I am a little concerned, and more concerned that Trump supporters seem to be NOT concerned at all. Even if you like Donald Trump, and I think he does personally care about America, I even read his book “How to Fix Crippled America” and I do believe he cares a lot about America. The problem is – you should be worried about what his plans are, or at least the fact he doesn’t seem to have any plans or given any specifics. This lack of transparency should concern even the most ardent Trump supporter.

Also want to mention something I didn’t mention in the video: I am not a supporter of gun rights (I made another vlog about this before) for several reasons but it comes down to it causes more problems than it solves, and I trust trained cops to use guns more than I trust the average citizen. But I AM a supporter of capital punishment. I don’t understand why we dont just kill those f*ckers like Charles Manson or that Dylan Roof guy or that guy who did the Aurora shooting. They’re so obviously guilty, just shoot them and get it over with, whats up with the year-long trials and stuff and then putting them into prison wasting taxpayer money on that garbage?

Also, I do believe Donald Trump cares about America, and the media twists his words around a lot, but I don’t think he has concrete plans for fixing America. I looked at his tax plans – for most people it doesn’t change from the current tax plan – only if you are making over $400k-$500k a year then you get a tax break – and I’ve already explained why tax cuts for the rich don’t work. He wants to bring jobs back to America by taxing companies who outsource jobs overseas – but bringing jobs back would increase the price of goods (at least double them) due to higher labor costs in USA. This would make Chinese companies even more competitive due to their lower labor costs and lower price points. I think people would want to buy cheaper products more than they pay double and buy American products

That’s all I have to say about this topic for now, but let me know your comments and feedback.

Categories
Business General Music Politics School/Work

Global trends, Equality and Financial Situations

I’ve just watched the Obama Deception, you can view it here:

[tubepress video=”eAaQNACwaLw”]

The premise of the Obama Deception is a conspiracy theory related to the New World Order. Now I know America has been the home to countless conspiracy theorists regarding everything from the Federal Reserve to JFK to 9/11, but this video I thought was done pretty convincingly. It’s a subject that I’ve thought about before, that the world is becoming more global and as it becomes more global, more organizations are built to communicate with other organizations. This creates the atmosphere for the ‘world government’ view that a globalist agenda is ultimately bad for society because of the same reason that big federal government is a bad thing: it has too much power and jeopardizes the freedom and liberty of citizens. I’m gonna go further with this with a rant about equality because I think it’s related:

Society and equality

Alot of people want to contribute to society, they set up foundations, they volunteer and donate to help the poor and disadvantaged.
I have several observations on society in general, and they are that:
1) Population continues to increase and life expectancy increases
2) Because of this contributing, equality also increases
3) Competition increases as a result of the population and equality increases.

Equality may seem fair but I think that it actually does some harm as well. In this recession, where the unemployment rate hovers around 10%,
the last thing we need is more competition. Because of population, life expectancy and equality, more people are getting educated.
Have you noticed the admissions rate for top US universities are getting lower each year? That’s because there’s more admissions each year,
as international students from China and India which are becoming more competitive keep applying. More admissions + Same student space at top universities = greater more competitive admission pool = less admissions.

At the same time, more people are getting bachelor’s degrees. I don’t even need to cite a statistic I think this is quite obvious.
The more bachelor’s degrees, the more employers are going to have to look for extra credentials. In this day and age, just a
bachelor’s degree is hardly impressive. In order to compete, you need some high GPA/ lots of work exp/research exp/leadership exp/etc
Those days when parents thought their kids can get a good job with just a university degree is over.
Therefore I believe the problem is that there’s too much competition, especially in the Western world.

The solution is that there needs to be population control and a maintaining of social order. Americans have priviledges that many countries don’t.
This can only exist when there’s a social order. I recognize the need to help starving families in Africa and India but if everyone were equal, then
no one could have priviledge and capitalism cannot exist. This is the same argument Democrats and Republicans are making. Democrats are for
equality and ‘socialism’ to an extent. Republicans champion freedom, choice and the free market.

The world needs to be more about freedom and social order. The problem is the world is getting more competitive and at this rate, we will see
the population of the United States double in 20 years and people from Africa applying to US universities creating even more competition in ADDITION
to people from Asia. This amount of demand needs to be balanced with supply, and I don’t foresee any way the US and Canada can meet this supply at the very top levels. Sure more people=>more companies=>more jobs but it seems the job creation lags far below that of job demand right now and that issue needs to be fixed.

That is my complaint with the amount of contributing that goes on in the world. Population needs to be controlled. Third world countries exist for a reason and that is to be at the bottom of the social hieararchy. How can the United States and Canada be at the top if there weren’t any developing countries? War/disease also exists to control the population and thus lower the amount of competition. The employment rate after WWII was very low,
during the 50s and 60s unemployment topped at around 7% and is as low as 3.x% during the Truman/Eisenhower administration. Why? because soldiers who
died in WWII can no longer compete for jobs. This is part of the reason why the economy booms the decade after the war. In short, I think war/disease can actually be healthy for the economy in the long term if it occurs in line with population growth.


Personal situation
:
So now that I got that rant out of the way: my finances have been suffering quite a bit recently. Stock market has not been good to me this year (lost all my profits from last year + $2000 in principal), I had to sell my car to pay for my tuition at a $1600 loss, I got scammed $2200 from a shady website contractor, and overall I’m in the red. Midterms have been stressful, and I’ve also joined some extracurricular activities like AIESEC and developing Magic cards in my spare time with CardForge. All in all though, I think my weaknesses here are evident. I am too impulsive with my money; despite my preaching of fiscal conservatism, I should actually work on practicing it sometime. I lack attention to detail in my projects, something that my PEY supervisor docked me for. What drives me is the thought that if I can do well in my courses, then I will have a shot at going where I want to go, and achieving what I want to achieve. Take a look at my spending distribution below and you can pretty much see that besides my tuition, my car was my biggest expense and perhaps the freedom of driving wasn’t worth the ~$10k that I spent on it.

Spending distribution (May '09 - Sept '10)
Spending distribution (May '09 - Sept '10)

I will end off this lengthy post with some videos I recorded recently: while my singing is still not great, I think I’ve improved with that from before (and yes I’m obsessed with the Beatles):

[tubepress video=”M-1BcImc0Io”]
[tubepress video=”gPnmo1coW9Y”]
[tubepress video=”92EkF2PM41E”]
[tubepress video=”F_PJEs1BYpU”]
[tubepress video=”ftuPiUsJaac”]
[tubepress video=”e-BdhQ-wyCE”]