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Trump Wins; The Earth Remains Round

There is so much to say, and yet I feel like saying very little. Here are a few observations that I felt like sharing:

1.   Contrarianism in America is alive and well. The majority opinion is incorrect a fairly high percentage of the time. This truth was on display big time in this election. Perhaps, if you find yourself in the majority opinion camp on an issue, you might reflect a bit and wonder how and if you might be wrong, and whether the opposing ideas have merit.

2.   Those proclaiming to be most sensitive to intolerance are too often the most intolerant. Again, not to beat a dead horse, but ignoring the possibility that you may just be wrong and then judging those with opposing views to yours harshly is probably not the best way to go through life. Those who dismiss opinions that contradict their own as being patently ignorant, and who judge those who express these opinions with disdain (“The Deplorables”) are forgetting that at one time those who questioned whether the earth was indeed flat were put to death. Tolerance is not the antidote to cruelty, but instead to ignorance.

3.   Democracy is an institution that requires humility. You won’t always get your way, and that’s a good thing. Whining when you don’t, or threatening to run away to another country defiles the notion of democracy. It’s also a pretty good indicator of your partnership capabilities.

4.   The harsh realities that we face as a nation haven’t changed. We have $20T of debt, impossibly large unfunded pension liabilities that don’t appear likely to be met, a hopelessly bad public education system, a terrible infrastructure system, and a large disenfranchised percentage of citizens who have been left behind economically. Facing this honestly will be the first step towards improving our situation. Godspeed to Mr. Trump and to all those who sign up to meet these challenges.

5.   The media and the celebrity class are irrelevant. We pay way too much attention to these groups. They don’t represent us and they take up way too much of our collective time and consciousness. Who cares what any of these people think? His or her opinions are no more or less valid than anyone else’s. It’s probably a good ideal to talk to your family, friends and neighbors more and to waste less time listening to these strangers and watching them on TV.

6.   Lower tax rates are generally bullish for markets and economies. It means that less money runs through the inefficient hands of government. And, for those less financially savvy, money saved is not horded under mattresses. These savings are invested and loaned, and thus stimulates real economic growth and helps create attractive opportunities. Private sector allocations are almost always more efficiently handled than public sector, because the profit motive inspires that efficiency which contrasts with the cronyism that more typifies public sector economic activity. The thought that a Trump win would be bad for markets, with his plan to demolish tax rates, and that a Clinton win, with her plan to significantly increase them, would be good, was always laughably off-base.

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