Category Archives: The One

A short, straightforward open letter to the Egyptian people on this 4th of July.

A short, straightforward open letter to the Egyptian people on this 4th of July.

Congratulations, Egyptians, on ousting a Dictatorial Leader. Now Set up a Free Government. A Republic, not a Democracy

“If a country is to have freedom, they have to want it. Why? Because freedom isn’t free. Most free countries started after a revolution, kicking tyrants out, and then afterwards put into place a strong, stable government, grounded in a deep knowledge of what rights are, that preserved freedom. This is a tall order, especially for a place like Egypt. If there is to be freedom of speech, any time someone speaks out against Islam—say by drawing a cartoon of Mohammed—the government needs to protect this person’s rights. It requires strong men, with guns, who are on the good and moral side to fight any bad men. If no such men exist, freedom will not prevail.”

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It’s still the economy. New chart showing Presidential Approval Rating to Dollar Worth

The last chart I posted comparing Presidential approval ratings to the dollar worth could have been done better. Unfortunately, the dollar lost so much value that the years from 1980 just look like a flat line. A human eye cannot pick up any differences.

Therefore, I put a new chart together. In this chart, I re-adjust the dollar to be worth $1 every time a new President took office. Therefore, for each President the dollar can be considered to be “[Original inauguration year] dollars.” So, for instance, under Reagan, the dollar’s worth is “1981 dollars,” as President Reagan was inaugurated in 1981. If the President won 2 terms, I did not re-adjust the dollar again. Both the dollar value and the Presidential approval rating was taken in December of each respective year. I measure the worth of the dollar by using the price of gold as compared to the original year.

I chose the timeline I did because the U.S. went off the gold standard in 1973. Thus, before 1973, the dollar, being pegged to gold, never fluctuated in price. In the years leading up to the removal of the gold standard, the government devalued the dollar.

Below is the new chart:

This chart is much more intuitive to the human eye. Click on it to see a bigger chart.

I did this to test a theory of mine: that although the dollar is not a standard campaign issue, if the dollar is weak, the economy will be depressed, and thus the Presidential approval rating will be low. People may not say “We want a strong dollar,” but it is one of the key factors in a strong, stable economy. What I would propose to each President of the United State is this: Be interested in a strong dollar. Your constituents may not be calling you to demand it, but it IS in your interest to keep it strong.

It’s pretty clear that as the dollar increases in value, the President’s approval rating also increases and vice versa. It is most obvious during Bush II years where the dollar was in free fall and so was his ratings. As the dollar generally creeped up during the Clinton years, so did his popularity. As the dollar plummeted during the Nixon and Carter years, so did their approval ratings. The Ford years produce a perfectly symmetrical check symbol.

Certainly these two variables do not follow perfectly. There are many other factors that can influence Presidential approval. The most striking is during Bush I years. The dollar went up but his popularity went down. Again, we can clearly see Watergate (1972), the unpopular agenda of the first 2 years of the Clinton Presidency, and 9/11 having an effect on Presidential approval rating.

The price of gold goes up when fiat money is created. It is a result of the “printing presses” of the Federal Reserve, which, in our modern age, does not even need presses, just new electronic balances. Contrary to popular belief, this does not “stimulate” the economy. It does “stimulate” in that some businesses will start to boom, but they will soon bust later, leaving a huge wake. We’ve seen it with the dot-com crash and now the housing crash. Flooding the markets with fake money is like drinking an energy drink rather than eating a healthy, well-balanced diet. I have written a more expanded article on this topic, On Demand Side Economics: Why Spending Cannot Improve the Economy but Freedom Can.

Someone, please, rush this chart to Obama. Given his psychosis be the constant object of affection of adoring fans, he is surely desperate for high approval ratings. Someone show him that this is how to do it.

Why every President should be interested in a strong dollar

Click on image to see larger graph.

This is something I’ve been toying around with. It is based on the hypothesis that the Presidential approval rating will following how strong the dollar is. It thus compares the Presidential approval rating to the worth of the dollar. The worth of the dollar is an inverse of the price of gold.

I put horizontal lines at 40% and 60% approval ratings. In general, the country is about 40% liberal, 40% conservative, and 20% independent. At any time, a President should have at least 40% approval. If not, it means they have lost their own base. If they are higher than 60%, it means they have won over some of the other side’s base.

I am very much aware that other factors influence the Presidential approval rating. In this chart, we can clearly see Watergate, the unpopular agenda of the first 2 years of the Clinton Presidency, and 9/11 having an effect on Presidential approval rating. However, barring these major events, it seems generally true that if the dollar plummets, so does a President’s popularity and if the dollar stays stable, the approval rating is more likely to be high.

A strong dollar is at once both a cause and indicator of a good economy. Thus, this chart more proves that a good economy is the reason for a President’ popularity. In the words of President Clinton, “It’s the economy, stupid.” However, a good economy is not a mysterious creation. It is a result of free markets, low regulation, and sound banking. A strong dollar is the solid foundation on which a good economy is built.

The dollar clearly plummets from 1969 until 1974. The US went off the gold standard in 1973. Leading up to this, the U.S. government decreased how much gold would be given for each dollar. President Nixon was impeached in 1973. While the Watergate scandal certainly had a lot to do with his unpopularity, so did a bad economy.

Next, Ford completed Nixon’s term. There is a slight upswing in the price of gold, and his popularity increases as well.

The next major plummet of the dollar is during the Carter years. There is a straight decline during these years. These years were also marked by “stagflation.” This economic downturn did contribute to Carter losing re-election.

During the Reagan, Bush Sr., and Clinton years, the dollar stayed relatively stable. These are years recorded as undeniable economic prosperity. Of course, in the 1980s it was called “Greed” and in the 1990s it was called “Prosperity.” People were generally happy with the economy, thus happy with their President. George Bush Sr. did fail re-election but many attribute this to his broken promises, an uncharismatic personality, and the Ross Perot factor. Also, he was running against Clinton–who made the economy his platform. Clinton went out of his way to show that he would guard against too much public debt and keep the economy prosperous. By running on this platform, I believe, he was able to attain, really, extremely impressive ratings.

George Bush Jr.’s high popularity in 2001 and even in a few years after it was clearly attributed to the attacks on 9/11. However, after this, his popularity declined almost in perfect sync with the value of the dollar.

If you notice, the only 3 times that the  approval ratings fall below 40% is during the Nixon, Carter, and Bush years–all times when the value had either a sharp decline or a steady but long one.

Now enter hope and change. Due to his newness and historical election, Barack Obama enjoyed high approval ratings. However, that he has paid no attention to the economy, job creation, and yes, the value of the dollar, he is fast slipping into George Bush Jr.-like popularity decline.

So what can a President do, i.e., how does one create a strong dollar? It is simple: don’t create fiat money. A previous post of mine shows how the creation of fiat money, from the Federal Reserve, has driven up the price of gold and thus driven down the value of the dollar.

The bottom line is this: Presidents need to wise up to the importance of a good economy, and, thus, the importance of a strong dollar. While bailouts and government programs may be politically popular among certain special interest groups, they mean almost certain doom for their Presidency in the long run. This “stimulus” money is in fact completely ruinous to an economy. Prudence, savings, and industriousness are still, believe it or not, the path to prosperity–not hyper-consumerism, easy lending, and debt.

If Obama wants to turn around his Presidency (which I don’t think he does), he is going to have to start speaking the language of how to create a good economy, and, more importantly, getting tangible results. A stronger dollar, higher employment rates, and higher returns on stocks are the tangible results. He is going to have to look at what Clinton did, who, after the 1994 Republican influx, reformed welfare. We don’t need more government programs we need A LOT LESS. In short, Obama needs to listen to the Tea Party–the allegedly racist, non mainstream ogres he so hates.

In a way, I love my country for so clearly rejecting the welfare handouts promised by the Democrats and so clearly demanding a return to sensible government. But in another way I am mad as hell that they elected them in the first place. Americans WANT a good economy and will so clearly vote out anyone who fails to deliver it to them. But it is as if they have no idea how to pick the correct candidate who will deliver a good economy. It is NOT mysterious. Free markets and limited spending will create a healthy economy. By definition, Democrat economic policies, which in the past several decades have been socialist, will NOT.

Anyone who has voted to elect these socialists in, for whatever reason, bears some guilt. To not put the economy as the most important factor in any election is to take your eye off the ball. It is focusing on the decoration of your house instead of the foundation. If both candidates are equally good (or bad) on the economy, then it is appropriate to look at other issues. But, if not, then it is morally reprehensible to vote in anyone who will destroy the very source of our livelihood. The only other issue to override the economy is the defense of the nation.

I am very much looking forward to Nov 2 and I hope, maybe, Washington starts listening!

Free Will Applies to a Person not a Country

A new article of mine:
Free Will Applies to a Person not a Country

President Obama announced that U.S. combat operations in Iraq will end on August 31. He said, “But the bottom line is this: the war is ending. Like any sovereign, independent nation, Iraq is free to chart its own course.”

This is a major flaw in our foreign policy: we apply the notion of free will, i.e., “charting your own course,” to a nation instead of to the individual.

A person charts their own course. Not a nation.

Newsflash: Al Qaeda is racist and doesn’t value human life

Well, now that we know that Al Qaeda is racist against African Americans, we can all agree they are evil. And not that Al Qaeda kills African Americans, along with every other person deemed an infidel, but that Al Qaeda doesn’t value the life of other African American terrorists.

“Additionally, U.S. intelligence has indicated that al Qaeda leadership specifically targets and recruits black Africans to become suicide bombers because they believe that poor economic and social conditions make them more susceptible to recruitment than Arabs,” the official said. “Al Qaeda recruits have said that al Qaeda is racist against black members from West Africa because they are only used in lower level operations.”

“In short,” the official said, “al Qaeda is a racist organization that treats black Africans like cannon fodder and does not value human life.”

I read something interesting about a week ago. Companies that are willing to praise their employees have less reports among employees of feelings of bias against gender or race. I believe this is because companies that don’t give out praise (or promote fairly or keep dead wood) make employees feel unappreciated. Based on this, some people interpret it as a bias against their gender or race. But what the employees don’t realize is the company treats everyone poorly.

Similarly, Al Qaeda doesn’t value the life of anyone–inside of their organization or out, black or white–not just African Americans.

But, seriously, someone must get on the social justice problem of racism within the ranks of suicide bombers!