by Doug Casey, International Man:
Nick Giambruno: Doug, what do you think is the root problem of the US economy and financial system?
Doug Casey: There are several, including incompetence, corruption and, of course, just plain stupidity. But there’s not much you can do about those things; they’re intrinsic to government. But perhaps something can be done about ignorance, which starts in school: What, for instance, do most people learn about economics and finance? Very little. As Mark Twain said, “It’s not what people know that’s the problem, it’s what they think they know that just ain’t so.”
All of the economics that’s taught in the schools—what little that is taught—is completely backward. Plus, almost everything you hear on television is conventional, unsound, and wrong.
I’d like to believe anybody that’s reading this right now that has at least heard of the “Austrian school of economics,” understands the value of gold, and knows a bit of basic economic theory and history. Without at least some fundamentals, people stand to suffer a huge drop in their standard of living if the economy goes sideways.
When the current financial crisis started, in 2007, it was the leading edge of the huge financial hurricane that hit in earnest in 2008 and 2009. Now we’re in the eye of this hurricane, but we’re going into the trailing edge of the storm, and it’s going to be much worse and much different than what happened in ’08 and ’09. Or, for that matter, in the 1930s. So hold onto your hat.
Nick Giambruno: Can President Trump fix this mess?
Doug Casey: Everybody is talking about Donald Trump. He’s a complex individual. I actually made money bets that he would win the election. But that’s not the only reason I’m glad he won.
Is Trump a good thing or a bad thing? They say, “Oh he’s a racist.” “Oh he’s a sexist.” “Oh he’s a homophobe.” “Oh he hates Muslims.” Frankly we should analyze those things, but I think they’re basically all lies. In fact, he’s just a businessman, flying by the seat of his pants. He doesn’t have a core philosophy.
What’s going on in the US now is a culture clash. The people that live in the so-called “red counties” that voted for Trump—which is the vast majority of the geographical area of the US, flyover country—are aligned against the people that live in the blue counties, the coasts and big cities.
They don’t just dislike each other and disagree on politics; they can no longer even have a conversation. They hate each other on a visceral gut level. They have totally different world views. It’s a culture clash.
I’ve never seen anything like this in my lifetime. There hasn’t been anything like this since the War Between the States, which shouldn’t be called “The Civil War,” because it wasn’t a civil war. A civil war is where two groups try to take over the same government. It was a war of secession, where one group simply tries to leave.
We might have something like that again, hopefully nonviolent this time. I don’t think the US should any longer remain as one political entity. It should break up so that people with one cultural view can join that group and the others join other groups. National unity is an anachronism.
Nick Giambruno: What would that look like?
Doug Casey: Well look, my ideal situation politically is this… right now the world is divided into about 220 different nation states, different countries. That’s a very bad idea, because almost all of these nation states are trying to weld together people of different views, philosophies, languages, religions, ethnicities, and races, and it doesn’t work.
This is a major reason why Africa—which I’m pretty familiar with—just hasn’t gone anywhere. Every one of those countries, as well as every one of the countries in the Mid-East, Central Asia, and I’ll include India, they’re not real countries. They were put together arbitrarily in the boardrooms of Europe in the 19th century, and they have no internal consistency. So different groups in those countries try to take over the government so they can use it to steal.
Instead of 220 nation states we should ideally have about seven billion. Everybody should be a sovereign individual.
Nick Giambruno: What does Trump mean for the stock market?
Doug Casey: Trump is associated with the free market, even though he understands nothing about economics. He’s not really a free market guy, he’s an authoritarian, not a libertarian. And he has some disastrous economic ideas—like putting up import barriers and replacing Obamacare. He’s trying to run the country as if it were his privately owned company.
He also has some good economic ideas. Cutting regulations, wonderful, and he’s doing it. Cutting taxes, fantastic. This is very good.
But he appears to want a weak dollar: What he’s really doing is destroying American savings and making imported goods more expensive. This is horrible. I mean this could actually be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. A Smoot-Hawley tariff lookalike.
I applaud the fact he also despises Progressives, Cultural Marxists, Social Justice Warriors, the media, academics, and the like. But, again, he’s no libertarian.
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