...while the US gets Hillary'd by the military...
THERE are two ways you can destroy a country, writes Bill Bonner in his Diary of a Rogue Economist, reporting from Ouzilly near Paris, France.
Pull down its money or build up its military.
Usually, they go hand in hand – one hand ruining the economic body, the other attacking the soul.
"I would vote for Trump."
The remark last came from an unlikely source.
The French press treats Trump like a clown or a con artist. Until last night, we had not encountered a single Frenchman with a favorable view of the Republican candidate.
We usually sink in our chair when the conversation turns to US politics.
"Are you voting for Hillary?" they ask, assuming the answer is surely yes.
"No," we say.
Then we get a look of deep suspicion. "You mean you are voting for Trump?"
"Not either," we reply.
Then we have some explaining to do.
"I don't want to encourage them," we begin. The conversation generally goes downhill from there.
But last night, it was our companion who had some explaining to do – not so much to us, but to our other open-mouthed guests:
"Trump is a guy who has made a career in the real world. He knows something about how an economy actually works. Yes, of course, he appears vulgar and ignorant. But that's because he understands how the press actually works.
"He has built a public persona to capture media attention. It was the only way an outsider like him could win the nomination. In private, he is a very different person. He is thoughtful and intelligent. At least, that is what I read.
"Hillary is just like [French president] François Hollande and almost the entire political class of Europe. They are professionals at one thing only: getting in office and holding on to power.
"They have no idea how the real world works. They've never had a job. Or a business. Or any real contact with the world most of us live in. So, they inevitably make a mess of whatever project they are involved in.
"From one failed project to another...one unfulfilled promise to another one...one disaster to another.
"Trump is different. He might actually succeed."
Politicians are different from the rest of us.
We have to create wealth (even if it is as humble as digging a ditch) to survive.
For most people, work is not a hobby. We are not dilettantes who can shuffle from one loss-making, flibbertigibbet enthusiasm to the next.
We have to do something that other people are willing to pay us for. We have to succeed to pay the bills. Failure is not an easy option. Our lives depend on it.
Politicians and their cronies live in another world.
What? QE didn't work, you say? What? The War on Drugs hasn't reduced drug use? The War on Poverty hasn't reduced poverty? The War on Terror has created MORE terrorists?
You don't say...really?
Well, we'll just spend more (of your) money on them!
What? Our budget is half a trillion in the red?
We'll just borrow more money; besides, it will stimulate the economy.
The Parasitocracy doesn't create wealth. Instead, it lives on the wealth of others. And lives well!
The Washington, DC, area now has the highest house prices in the nation.
USA Today puts it as the third richest city, after San Francisco and San Jose.
The median two-bedroom apartment in DC now rents for $3,100, according to MoneyWatch. That's $500 a month more than in LA.
But inside the Beltway they can afford those rents. Federal employees earn 78% more than similar workers in the private sector. Breitbart:
"According to a study of data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, conducted by the Cato Institute, compensation for federal workers is 78% higher on average than compensation for private sector employees.
"Federal civilian workers had an average wage of $84,153 in 2014, compared to an average in the private sector of $56,350 according to the Cato review.
"The federal advantage in overall compensation (wages plus benefits) is even greater. Federal compensation averaged $119,934 in 2014, which was 78% higher than the private-sector average of $67,246."
In other words, taking is better paid than making. People who work for the feds earn more than those who add real wealth.
But it is not the threat to his purse that draws another unlikely endorsement of the New York real estate developer.
Adam Walinsky, lifelong Democrat and former speechwriter for Robert Kennedy, tells us why he, too, is voting for Trump:
"Today's Democrats have become the Party of War: a home for arms merchants, mercenaries, academic war planners, lobbyists for every foreign intervention, promoters of color revolutions, failed generals, exploiters of the natural resources of corrupt governments.
"We have American military bases in 80 countries, and there are now American military personnel on the ground in about 130 countries, a remarkable achievement since there are only 192 recognized countries.
"Generals and admirals announce our national policies. Theater commanders are our principal ambassadors. Our first answer to trouble or opposition of any kind seems always to be a military movement or action."
Walinsky believes Trump will take his foot off the gas...slowing down the war machine:
"Trump marks himself as a man of singular political courage, willing to defy the hysteria of the Washington war hawks, the establishment and the mainstream media who daily describe him as virtually anti-American for daring to voice ideas and opinions at variance with their one-note devotion to war."
Trump: shrewd businessman who will buck the Establishment?
Or jackass shyster without a clue or a prayer?