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America's Big Election Losers

Spotted 'em yet? Can't see 'em anywhere...?
 
AT HIS après-election press conference, the champ looked tired. His shoulders slumped over more than usual. There was no spark in his voice, writes Bill Bonner in his Diary of a Rogue Economist.
 
He told the press that the fight had been rigged. And that if they had judged it correctly, he would have won:
 
"If you count the legal votes, I easily win. [...] They're trying, obviously, to commit fraud..."
 
You could almost see his Republican allies backing away.
 
They are the beneficiaries of the very system the President was now calling into doubt; they had won. The system had made them – and millions more in the elite who actually run the nation – rich and powerful.
 
They made their choice easily; they would protect the racket and leave the Big Man on his own.
 
How much fraud there was, we will never know. Some precinct chiefs in historically blue cities would be embarrassed to turn in honest election results.
 
Some had promised to produce wins for Biden. They had delivered.
 
Half the nation jumped for joy. The media congratulated itself and praised the system. "Democracy works!"
 
Almost nobody wants to show that it ain't so.
 
In this month's championship bout between Donald J.Trump and Joseph R.Biden, the stakes were high. But the bar was low.
 
It was a pathetic affair from beginning to end. Two old guys in the ring, staggering around. One flailing out with haymakers and right crosses. The other – often seeming disoriented, but careful to stay out of range – leaning on the ropes and hoping to Dear God that the Big Man...the title holder...would stumble before he got too close.
 
It was easily the worst heavyweight fight we've ever seen. The champ is a slugger, but he couldn't land a decisive blow. The challenger tried to dance around the issues, but his weary legs had lost their spring.
 
It should have been easy for either of them to quickly dispatch the other.
 
The reigning champion shouldn't have been able to win election as a county sewer commissioner. He is an accused sexual predator (26 women have charged him with rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment since the 1970s)...a serial business deadbeat...big mouth, small brain...mob-pleaser, who allegedly paid someone to take his SATs and whose father bought his way into Fordham University.
 
His sister called him a "clown". His niece, a psychologist, said he has a personality disorder. And his personal lawyer described him as a life-long grifter.
 
He presided over the tail end of the longest economic boom in US history, but missed the point of it entirely, and left the nation in far worse shape than he found it.
 
He failed to pay down a penny of debt or prepare in any way for the inevitable downturn.
 
Instead, he increased spending and ran some of the biggest deficits in history – even before Covid-19 struck.
 
And then, he went along with his medical bureaucrats and watched the economy sink into the sharpest recession ever...compounding the error by trying to offset real economic losses with fake money.
 
The result was a sh*thole country budget for 2020, with spending at two times tax receipts...a deficit equal to 15% of GDP...and $7 trillion more in debt than when he took office.
 
The rich got richer. But the promised factory jobs – in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan – never appeared.
 
The trade deficit rose to a record high this year. And, thanks largely to the trade wars, the number of jobs in manufacturing actually declined...by between 175,000 and 300,000, depending on which study you believe.
 
Could anyone running for President lose against this man? The press was against him. The universities. The bureaucracy. And Wall Street, too, was eagerly stuffing his opponents' pockets.
 
Going into the fight, the pollsters were sure he was going to lose – and said so.
 
The mainstream press not only twisted every story to make him look stupid (which was not difficult) or cruel (which was unnecessary), it also suppressed the news that might have shown his opponent in an awkward light.
 
Joe Biden most likely did aid his son, Hunter, in a sordid, cash-for-influence deal in Ukraine. But the "responsible" media refused to cover the story.
 
The 77-year-old challenger, unwise for all his years, spent most of his life and nearly half a century in the fantasy world of get-along, go-along Washington...in which the pols quickly learn to collude with each other in order to screw the public good and hard.
 
The word "hack" was possibly invented to describe this man.
 
When Mr.B. arrived in Washington in 1972, as one of the youngest senators ever elected, federal debt stood at only $450 billion. He watched it grow to $27 trillion – never once objecting, neither to the extension of the feds' power...nor to their senseless wars (with the exception of Vietnam)...
 
Not once did he even notice that federal policies were undermining the livelihoods and the dignity of the very people the Democrats were supposed to be looking out for – the working classes.
 
But as to Joe Biden's many failings, the press was as silent as a crime boss.
 
As the election neared, the same media insisted that a "Blue Wave" would sweep away all vestiges of the Big Man...and the Republicans with him.
 
But the Blue Wave, too, was a feature of the elite's wishful thinking...as if suddenly, the whole country would get behind them so they could link arms and walk forward into a glorious future of zero carbon emissions...facemasks...a universal free medical care...a basic income...and reparations for everybody.
 
And here was the Democrats' second vulnerability (in addition to their candidate). Their platform was based on doing things that shouldn't be done...and paying for them with money that doesn't exist.
 
As cockamamie and claptrappy as the ideas are, the real-world effect is to transfer wealth and power to the people who need it least – that is, to the predatory elite who run the country and the Democratic party.
 
This is the discreet charm of both parties and both candidates. Mr.Trump betrayed his "conservative" base. And the Democratic honchos betray theirs, too.
 
It is the elite who get the jobs and the contracts...who fill The Swamp with loafers and fixers...who can work (remotely) as "diversity consultants" or supply bombs to Saudi Arabia.
 
It is they who control the politically correct agendas at universities...run anti-poverty programs...and put people in jail for using drugs.
 
It is they, too, the upper 10% of the population, who own the majority of the stocks and bonds that the Federal Reserve holds aloft with its fake money and zero interest rates.
 
They are the great and the good, who find larger, more intrusive, more activist government so appealing.
 
And the cost – to the 90% of the population that is not on the gravy train – is a slowing GDP, fewer good-paying jobs, resentment towards those who are making so much more money, and a general feeling of being taken for granted and left behind.
 
These are the people who put Donald Trump over the top in 2016...and almost did it again in 2020.
 
Trump and the Liberal establishment elite despised each other from the get-go. The Donald crossed the East River not to join the Manhattan elite, but to thumb his nose at it, putting up gaudy buildings with his name on them.
 
But the President never had an attention span long enough to understand what was really going on...or the determination to do anything about it.
 
He was always ready to fight...but often didn't seem to know whom to fight with, or why.
 
And when push came to shove, he was one of the financial elite himself (certainly not the intellectual elite)...and readily went along with its spend-spend-spend, borrow-borrow-borrow, print-print-print agenda.
 
The "low interest rate man" never had the slightest intention of ending the artificially low rates that had distorted the economy and spared him from losing the silver spoon he was born with.
 
This is what took the sting out of his punches. He might have told the truth – that the elites had been corrupted by fake money...that they were the real deplorables...and that the country needed to climb out of the Swamp and onto solid ground.
 
He could have fought as a real "conservative" against the "liberal" Biden.
 
Alas, he was fighting neither for ideas nor for an agenda...but for Trump alone.
 
That left the two scalawags – knave and fool – to jab at each other with non-sequiturs and imbecilities. One man said he'd create 5 million jobs. The other promised 10 million. (Neither will create a single real job, of course.)
 
One said the other was responsible for more than 200,000 deaths. "Negligent homicide," chanted his supporters. The other claimed to have saved more than 2 million lives from the dreaded Covid-19. (Both claims are absurd.)
 
One took credit for the "greatest economy ever." The other said he could have done better. (Blah...blah...blah.)
 
Then, the two fighters moped around the ring...
 
And then, after much discussion, threats, and legal challenges, the judges finally awarded the match to Mr.Biden.
 
And so, the Big Man is out.
 
(Our advice is that he quickly exit the country and ask Russia for exile, joining Edward Snowden. Otherwise, he will face endless trials for rape, corruption, fraud, and all the other things his enemies can throw at him.)
 
In 2016, Trump won with 65 million votes. Now, he has lost with more than 70 million votes.
 
Four years ago, Hillary et al. came up with the ridiculous claim that the Russians had stolen the election. This time, Mr.Trump launches the very plausible charge that the Democrats have done him dirty.
 
But now, it is too late. After so many lies and distortions, and so many pointless punch-ups, it is too easy for the press to slough off the fraud charge.
 
They dismiss it as just another example of his mendacity and form up-ranks to protect the President Elect and the larcenous privileges of the elite.
 
And so, one nightmare is over. Another one begins.
 
A Washington Post headline tells us that "Biden plans to move fast on the pandemic and the economy."
 
Uh, oh. What to do now?
 
Hang up the black crêpe. Light a candle.
 
And curse the Big Man again.
 
He let Joe Biden win.

Bill Bonner has co-authored a number of New York Times Bestsellers including Financial Reckoning Day, Empire of Debt and Mobs, Markets and Messiahs. In his own opinion, Bill's most recent title, A Modest Theory of Civilization: Win-Win or Lose, is his best work yet. Bill also founded The Agora, a worldwide community for private researchers and publishers, in 1979. Financial analysts within the group have exposed and predicted some of the world's biggest shifts since that time, starting with the fall of the Soviet Union back in the late 1980s, to the collapse of the Dot Com (2000) and then mortgage finance (2008) bubbles, and more recently the election of President Trump.

See full archive of Bill Bonner articles

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