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
General

2016: Year in Review

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone. Gosh, is it the end of the year already, I’m already almost 30 in Korean age! 2016 came and went pretty fast.. I think the major story here is that I found much more success with women this year than I did last year, which is great, but the night schedule of working in Korea and having ill health finally wore me out. This year I got both incredibly homesick for Canada/California when I was in Korea, and also got incredibly homesick for Korea once I got back. I always have some form of depression or loneliness wherever I go – whether it be in Korea or USA. Both countries have advantages and disadvantages. In USA, I have access to everything I want, people speak my language, the weather is good in California and I can go see a doctor whenever I want. In Korea, I have easy access to beautiful girls and nightlife wherever I go.
So, the ups and downs always haunt me – I could never be fully comfortable living in Korea and at the same time living in California was also boring and lonely.

Highlights
-Trip to Japan and Taiwan, finally completing my East Asia tour
-Dated at least 5 Korean girls this year, overall a much more successful year in relationships than last year, and I learned alot from each one.
-Got Lasik surgery done, which improved my self-confidence a lot.
-Got my San Francisco apartment back! My health should also start improving since I am in the regular sleep cycle again.

Lowlights
-Lost a combined $8000 in bets from both the Cleveland Cavs winning and Donald Trump winning – both underdogs btw. I’ll never underestimate underdogs again.
-Didn’t find any Korean girl who could come back to USA with me. This is obviously one of the biggest failures of my life, and makes me wonder what I ultimately accomplished during my 2 years in Korea. Of course, I don’t regret it, and I learned a lot, but still. This was a big disappointment for me. Now I am prompted to move somewhere else again just because San Francisco has so few Korean girls.

Summary
I think the most important thing for me this year was that I gained a lot of relationship experience, and I got a lot of feedback about how to treat Korean girls and ideas about what they like and dislike a lot better than before. Last year, I was essentially still blind to what they liked. This year, I amped up the aggression and confidence a little bit, did lasik surgery, changed my hairstyle, and it seemed to make all the difference. That said – I have to keep it up. I have to keep working on my Korean and working on my next goal of getting to Vancouver – because ultimately San Francisco isn’t the same as it was even 2-3 years ago. I have few friends left in SF – most of them went back to Korea so I know just 3 good American friends here – all guys of course. There’s virtually no ways for me to meet Koreans here anymore, and very few go to meetup or online language exchange websites anymore. My ultimate failure to keep a relationship in Korea and bring a girl back is what causes my current situation and next challenge. I have to keep trying therefore, to achieve my goal of marrying a Korean girl – but it has to be done either in USA or Canada, which makes things all the more challenging. But I don’t really have a choice – unless I want to work in ‘Hell Joseon’ (what Koreans refer to Korean work culture as), I could never stay in Korea long term.. this is the only thing I can really do, and fight for, and I’m not getting any younger just sitting around.

Categories
General

The curse of the odd number years

I only have a few days left before I leave Korea – now one of the reasons as a lot of my friends know, that I came to Korea was to find a Korean girlfriend and marry a Korean girl. Now that goal has to be pushed back, since I am single right now and will not be bringing back a girl to USA/Canada obviously. One of the best things about Korea, is the beautiful slim sweet and polite women here that seem to be everywhere. I’ve talked about how Korea is very unique in the sense that the *average* girl is so beautiful and caring here. Usually those kinds of girls exist in very small quantities in other countries, but in Korea the majority of girls are like that.

So when I go back to USA/Canada, my main concern is how do I find the right Korean girl abroad? There’s obviously not as many Korean girls abroad as in Korea, and the existing Korean girls there (especially in California) are going to be harder to get due to them having more options. They can choose between Korean guys, Korean-American guys and American guys. Why would they go for me? But I keep telling myself my personality changed a bit since before, I am less shy, more confident, my style is better (my friends tell me), and I know more about Korean culture and Korean language, so in theory I should have an advantage still even if I go back. But I am still hesitant and unsure about this.

One of the reasons is that next year is 2017. Now for some reason, I’ve always had worse luck in odd numbered years than even numbered years. And I’m not quite sure why that is. Let me recap my years since 2000:

2000: I was in sixth grade, and an overall really good year as I remember, since I had a good teacher, good grades, and the girl that I had a crush on acknowledged me multiple times that year.

2001: seventh grade, I struggled the most I ever had in elementary school because I had problems with math, specifically fractions as I recall. That was the only time me and my parents were really worried about my grades in elementary/high school.

2002: A good year. Eight grade I actually got to dance with my crush(!) at the school dance, and overall I have fond memories of my last year in elementary school. My teacher was really cool and I remember end of year we had a party at my crush’s house!

2003: Ninth grade. Nothing too special happened this year, and I don’t remember anything too exciting happening to me that year. It was overall a so-so year. I remember getting my first job as a dishwasher at a local restaurant. My love for chicken wings started then.

2004: Tenth grade. I tried out for the football team and made it (my friend convinced me). And my popularity went up a lot because of that. A lot of girls knew me throughout the school because of my presence on the football team. Also the time I began programming websites.

2005: Eleventh grade. I remember starting my interest in guitar and playing guitar at the coffee house this year but I also remember being rejected by a lot of girls I was interested in that year. I remember being forced to take summer physics and chemistry classes by my mom because she thought it was necessary for computer science in university. I told my mom it had nothing to do with computer science but she wouldn’t listen because apparently in China, they had to take chemistry and physics, so that means in Canada I had to take them as well. Typical Chinese mom logic. That summer I also worked as a cashier for a local convenience store. I remember my love of snack sausages starting then.

2006: 12th grade. My last year of high school was pretty memorable. My guitar skills continually went up, and I played some gigs in Barrie and Toronto. I had graduation parties at my friend’s houses and in particular one Japanese friend I made who I would meet 10 years later in Japan this year (amazing right). The first time I drank a lot of alcohol and nearly died from alcohol poisoning (I blacked out and woke up at my friends house). Also my first year at University of Toronto where I made a lot of friends in my CS program, made friends at Frosh Week, worked at the CNE as a screen door demonstrator often making fun of all the ridiculous people that walked by. I lived in the university residence that year and met a cool Korean roommate who introduced me to Korean church. Overall it was a very memorable year.

2007: My first/second year of university I remember being insanely difficult, and my lowest grades I ever got in university came in second year. Not only that but, one of my female friends in university started ignoring me (I still dont know the original reason why) and I was really frustrated by it and my schoolwork was ultimately affected by it since I constantly saw her. She was a total bitch now that I look back on it, but back then I was too innocent and it deeply affected my personality as I used to care how other people thought about me and now I don’t.

2008: My second/third year of university was also difficult, though not to the same degree as in 2007. I started studying more and more. I met one of my best friends in university that year (a chinese girl in my economics class). I started playing piano more and often did so with her. I started investing in stocks that year. I remember changing my focus to economics and business and not just computer science.

2009: my third/fourth year of university was a bit easier. I took different courses, and thankfully got my co-op internship at the Canadian government that year and met a lot of cool people. This year and the next were technically a break from school as I didn’t take many courses while I worked. I bought my first car that year. It was my first job and I started becoming more conservative because I realized how much I got taxed. I took public speaking at Toastmasters. I remember being too shy to talk to girls still. And I got rejected by the Commerce program forcing me to change to just an Economics major. Took a trip to Cuba with my family that year which was nice.

2010: Still working at the internship, but it was overall better year than 2009. I started to hang out more with co-op students, met many friends, went to lots of house parties. I made my first girlfriend that year, a Chinese-Canadian girl and had my first kiss. I remember putting on an mp3 CD in my car, and driving with the sunroof down in the hot Canadian summer. I remember going to a Chinese temple with a cute girl and listening to Beethoven in the car with her. I started to open up more that year. Joined AIESEC and was the website manager for the Toronto branch. Overall 2010 was a memorable year.

2011: Probably the best odd-numbered year I ever had. I finally graduated university, and thankfully I found a job in the place I wanted, in San Francisco/Silicon Valley, California. That was my biggest accomplishment to date. I went to San Francisco first to go to a technology conference and fell in love with the city. And fortunately I was able to live there now. I made one of my best American friends there at that first company, Switchfly Inc (Chinese-American). That year I also got interested in Korean culture, and Korean language and made my first Korean friends (some of which I still contact to this day). 2011 was the year that made it possible for me to live in the USA, so it was unforgettable. I also took a trip to China for 2 weeks before I came back to Canada which was also a great experience.

2012: Probably still the best year of my life. I met alot of good friends at language exchange meetups, many of them Korean. I hung out with them alot, drank alot. Work was not that stressful. I would hang out with my Chinese-American friend after work and play games alot. I traveled everywhere in California, like Yosemite, Monterey, Lake Tahoe, Napa, San Diego, LA, Vegas, Grand Canyon, etc. I made my first Korean girlfriend that year, and I still remember her today. I also lost my virginity that year. I came in third in a startup competition. My brother and parents came for a visit (at different times) and I was able to fly a plane with my parents over San Francisco. My parents helped me find my SF apartment and loan me some money to purchase it late that year. I bought my scooter that year. I spent the new years with a Korean girl in San Diego. This year was really impactful on my life overall and really memorable to me.

2013: Not so good a year. Didn’t have any girlfriends that year. Work was just so-so though I changed jobs that year. I remember being rejected by a lot of girls that year, and a Korean girl standing me up in Vancouver. I lost lots of money in stocks that year and parking tickets. I went to lots of clubs and house parties but only met a handful of really good friends that year. On the plus side – I had lots of house parties, I went to Korea for the first time, which is still a really memorable experience, and had a lot of fun. My parents, brother and cousins came to visit me, and we took a roadtrip through California, Vegas, Grand Canyon together which was all really great. So this year had a lot of plus and minuses.

2014: Overall a year with more pluses I think. I found a really cool friend to hang out with in California at the beginning of the year, and we went to lots of places together including LA, and many house parties at his place and mine. Went to Korea for the 2nd time, which was great as well. Finally found a remote job I could work from anywhere, which allowed me to travel to Korea ultimately. Did Couchsurfing, hosted alot of people from different places (Poland, Texas, Korea, China, Russia) at my house. I met my second Korean girlfriend that year. Spent Christmas with a cute Korean girl by my side. It was ultimately a better year than 2013.

2015: Last year was mostly negative. I don’t want to say it was a wasted year but, most of the people I met in Korea that year, I didn’t keep in contact with except for a select few. I went to lots of clubs, lots of meetups, had lots of drinking nights in Korea – and unfortunately most of the people I spent that time with I don’t keep in contact with anymore. Thats Korean life I suppose – but its also kind of sad. On the plus side, I traveled to Eastern Europe and had a really good time there and met cool people there. But overall I don’t rate last year that highly. I didn’t find a good girl until towards the end of last year and that only ended in breakup anyways.

2016: So far, its been a okay year. I lost lots of money through betting. I focused more on my work this year. But I did lasik surgery and changed my style a bit, and that seems to have helped me a lot this year with meeting good girls. I dated multiple Korean girls this year, and it was a good experience. Traveled to Japan and Taiwan this year. I began to get tired of Korean life this year, but I felt that I really matured a lot this year, especially with relationships.

So overall, I rate my even number years a lot higher than my odd number years, (with 2011 being the exception). My years in San Francisco (2011-2014) I consider to be the best years of my life, and so I am somewhat excited about going back, but nervous about meeting a good Korean girl there. If you noticed, all the odd number years of my life, I never had a girlfriend. So hopefully I can break that curse next year!!