Tag Archives: Politics

Bootleggers & Baptists

Politicians & Administrators as brokers between interest groups. Very important topic:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bootleggers_and_Baptists

 

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Machiavelli of Maryland

h/t @timferris for posting this article. Pretty fascinating look into a political & military strategist.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/09/edward-luttwak-machiavelli-of-maryland

“strategy is about looking for turning points. Politics is too predictable. Look at Hillary. She is an empty carapace with ambition rattling inside. You can predict everything she does. Strategy is about being unpredictable.”

“But doesn’t that unpredictability become predictable?” I asked. “What happens when every army in the world abides by strategic logic?”

“But they never will,” said Luttwak, “because most people cannot master their emotions. Above all, strategy is about mastering your emotions.” And the emotions of others, he might have added.

Book Reco: “The Lessons of History” by Will & Ariel Durant

History Channel
History Channel

Nice quick read, about 120 pages, on well…the lessons of history. I read the 1970s version so Russia was prominent but the author seemed to call the rise of the BRICS (bit too early), income inequality, even rising acceptance of LGBT. It can be at times politically incorrect, but merely reporting on what has been written by philosophers, politicians, scientists of the past. Some highlights:

Income Inequality is the norm, not the exception. Most humans throughout time have lived in unequal times. And that is the way mother nature intended us to be. Darwin rules (see Winner Take All Economy)  This ultimate result is either revolution or income redistribution which ultimately leads back to wealth accumulation and income inequality. The circle of life.

Communism has been attempted many, many times throughout history. So has Democracy. It’s likely Democracy fails, especially with rising levels of income inequality. The poor will kick out the rich, redistribute the wealth, which will find it’s way BACK into “smarter” hands.

I love the part on art in a decaying society, calling it blotches of random paint that are not appreciated by the people, but a select minority [cough] hedge funds…

It’s short, sweet, and makes you think. Please comment if you read the 2010 version, interested in seeing the differences!

Let’s hear it for the….politician?

He's mad? How about the private sector employee at Enron?
He’s mad? How about the private sector employee at Enron?

I might be going out on a limb but I think a politician pitching real deal solutions rather than platitudes and sugar coated bullshit you normally hear would do very well in next elections. Here’s a story of a Rhode Island politician tackling pension reform and going up against some stiff competition and winning.

http://m.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/how-the-rhode-island-treasurer-slayed-her-state-pension-dragon/article15225383/?service=mobile

 

 

Klarman Letter

Margin of Safety
Margin of Safety

For those that don’t know him, Seth Klarman is considered one of the greatest investors ever, behind Warren Buffett. His book “Margin of Safety” sells for hundreds of dollars on Amazon. So I feel his opinion is important (not always right, just important) This is quick read on the economic developments of the US since the financial crisis in 2008 and it’s not optimistic!

I found this particular quote interesting:

As Alexander Fraser Tyler said over two centuries ago, “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury.”

Sound familiar?

Klarman on the Economy