Article Index

  • “America’s politicians need to place America’s interests first.” – The Lonely Realist Americans do not want a Biden-Trump ticket. They want Joe Biden and Donald Trump to put their egos aside and step

  • “Predictions are hard, especially about the future.” – Yogi Berra TLR recently presented a reality-perspective to Cassandra and received the following reaction. THE REALIST:        Good morning Cassan

  • “Educational excellence is the lifeblood of American Exceptionalism. It is incumbent on America’s educational institutions to ensure that excellence.” – The Lonely Realist It’s time to revise academic

  • “Isolationism (noun): a foreign policy virus that sickens nations.” – The Lonely Realist “Google Sudetenland, 1938.” – Senator Angus King (I ME) As TLR has repeatedly noted, the embrace of isolationis

  • “America should profit from its foreign entanglements.” – The Lonely Realist America is well-positioned to profit from today’s international military and munitions supply-demand imbalance, prison inma

  • “America needs to cut entitlements.” – The Lonely Realist America is sitting on a debt bomb. The date when it will detonate is unknown. The combustible elements continue to grow. When they reach criti

  • “There is a clear path to a better 2024 election outcome.” – The Lonely Realist Americans see their democracy threatened at one extreme by “socialism of the left” and on the other by “fascism of the r

  • “America’s education system is falling further behind.” – The Lonely Realist As TLR has repeatedly maintained over the past 5 years (e.g., here), America owes its unparalleled success, power and creat

  • “Look back and learn.” – The Lonely Realist The end of December provides the opportunity for perspective on TLR‘s posts during the expiring year: At the very beginning of 2023, TLR reported that

  • “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana Last week’s TLR featured an interview with Cassandra that raised the ire of one reader. Her dissenting letter follow

  • “The best way to predict the future is to study the present, and be a student of the past.” — The Lonely Realist In a letter to TLR in July, #Cassandra predicted a rosy economy for months to come …, a

  • “What does it mean to pursue ‘Peace Through Strength’?” – the Lonely Realist Historians have celebrated the globalist foreign policy pursued by the Reagan Administration and emphasized by Presid

  • “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” – Lord Acton “Or does it?” – The Lonely Realist On November 13th, responding to public pressure, the #SupremeCourt announced that its nine Just

  • “’From rags to riches’ has a unique American meaning.” – The Lonely Realist The opportunity for money and power can drive ambition to incredible lengths heights. As Jay and the Americans sang, “Only i

  • “Is it better for hatred to be hidden or out-in-the-open?” – The Lonely Realist Latent hatred is dangerous. Blatant hatred can be addressed … and resolved. Humans have biases and they act on those bia

  • “How many Americans understand the stakes?” – The Lonely Realist TLR has been beating the drum for years that “America’s enemies are waging a coordinated war against it” and “America needs to address

  • “The clarity of double standards is striking.” – The Lonely Realist Once upon a time there was a land shared by several tribes with a common heritage – Casa. The tribes had been living side-by-side si

  • “Although this time indeed is different, it would be foolish to believe that the outcome will be different … wouldn’t it?” – The Lonely Realist Any number of Americans know believe that the U.S.

  • “Has the Federal Reserve engineered an inflation rate that will propel America’s economy ever upwards?” – The Lonely Realist Why did America (and the world) experience an inflationary kick two years a

  • “Ray Dalio has concluded that ‘The Failure of Kevin McCarthy is Another Step Toward Civil War.’ Is it?” – The Lonely Realist Ray Dalio, Bridgewater Associates’ founder and author of The Changing

  • “James Carville’s memorable 1992 campaign quip of ‘It’s the economy, stupid’ was prescient then and will be prescient again in 2024.” – The Lonely Realist Americans vote their wallets. Whether or not

  • “America has been under attack for more than a decade.” – The Lonely Realist TLR in its commentaries of March 27, 2019 and September 13, 2020 cautioned that provocations aggressions against America by

  • “AI warnings have provided Americans with fresh Congressional theater.” – The Lonely Realist The risks of AI were aired in simultaneous hearings earlier this month by the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee

  • “People today go to school to prepare for a job. Previous generations went to school to prepare for life. Both are necessary.” – The Lonely Realist America became the greatest nation on Earth because

  • “To what extent should regulators have discretion to interpret America’s laws?” – The Lonely Realist Ronald Reagan famously said, “If you want more of something, subsidize it. If you want less, tax it

  • “The foundations of Conservatism continue to crumble.” – The Lonely Realist Being a Conservative in 2023 does not have the same meaning as being a Conservative in the 1980s … or even as recently as in

  • “America’s diverse citizenry anchors American democracy.” – The Lonely Realist America is not like other countries. It is a melting pot where nationalities, races, cultures, religions, ethnicities and

  • “Bidenomics will not restart Midwest factories or restore rust belt economies.” – The Lonely Realist There historically have been two Americas: the rural, agriculturally-based America; and the manufac

  • “Should Big Tech be under government control? No.” – The Lonely Realist Everyone has grievances against Big Tech. Author Scott Galloway lists multiple ways in which the Biggest Techs – Amazon, Apple,

  • “Predictions of a ‘soft landing’ and ‘Immaculate Disinflation’ are misguided.” – The Oracle Headlines trumpeting a “soft landing” for America’s economy led TLR to renew a conversation with Apollo’s fa

  • “Insider trading opportunities abound. They’re available to everyone, but are most readily accessed by government employees.” – The Lonely Realist Insider trading can be an exceedingly profitable ente

  • “Alternate realities are thriving, fed by media disinformation.” – The Lonely Realist The late 20th Century was The Golden Age of News. Larger-than-life newscasters earned the public’s trust. They suc

  • “A Soft Landing Indeed!” – Cassandra TLR recently described the reasons why America may be in the midst of a soft economic landing, acknowledging Cassandra’s February 18th prediction that America’s ec

  • “America’s national interest requires Ukraine to be a bipartisan bridge.” – The Lonely Realist After America’s calamitous withdrawal from Afghanistan in the Summer of 2021, TLR wrote that “America is

  • “Greed is Good!” – Gordon Gekko Was Cassandra right? Interviewed by TLR on February 18th, Cassandra predicted that the Federal Reserve would successfully fine-tune America’s economy and achieve a soft

  • The June 10th TLR entitled “The Supremely Supreme Court” speculated about the possibility of chaotic consequences that would follow from Moore v. Harper should the Court endorse the “state legislature

  • “Your choice!” – The Lonely Realist Conflict or compromise is the choice facing Americans today. Oh, that also is the choice facing China and America. “We are in a period of clamor, of bewilderment, o

  • “Not for some time.” – The Lonely Realist What is a “Dalio Moment”? Ray Dalio is a leading proponent of cycle theory. His book, Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order, predicts an

  • “Hang on tight for a Supremely wild ride!” – The Lonely Realist With Presidential power subject to increasing legislative and judicial constraints and with Congress deadlocked, a muscular Supreme Cour

  • “Eventually, every stalemate ends.” – The Lonely Realist In his speech at the 1936 Democratic National Convention, at the height of the 20th Century’s philosophical and political clash between democra

  • “The human condition is improving at an exponential rate.” – The Lonely Realist The human condition has improved more over the last 100 years than it did over the prior 5,000 years. Think about what t

  • “Progressives want billionaires to pay their ‘fair share.’ What does that mean?” – The Lonely Realist The highest income tax rate payable by Americans is 37%, yet reports indicate that billionaires pa

  • “Is the bull back?” – The Lonely Realist The bear warnings have been ominous. Virtually every seasoned analyst today is predicting a 2023 recession. One of America’s premier economists, A. Gary Shilli

  • “Although America is experiencing bitter partisanship, core policy execution will be the same whether the next President is named Trump or Biden.” – The Lonely Realist Three major policies occupy the

  • “Just when trust has become more important than ever …, it also has become scarcer than ever.” – Thomas Friedman (4/14/23) In a recent editorial in the New York Times, Tom Friedman focused on how trus

  • “Homo Sapiens has invented many ways to destroy itself.” – The Lonely Realist How can the human race self-destruct? Let me count the ways! There’s nuclear holocaust, man-made pandemic, “natural” pande

  • “By every measure and employing any number of standards, America’s education system is failing.” – The Lonely Realist Shockingly, America ranks behind 21 other countries in math, reading and science.

  • “It’s the economy, stupid!” – James Carville (1992) Americans vote their wallets. Whether they like the incumbent’s or the challenger’s policies … or hate them both, they’ll vote for the candidate the

  • “No one enjoyed watching this past year’s “The Big Bust.” Inflation, crypto winter, bank crises. Wow! How will this movie end?” – The Lonely Realist The Big Boom, America’s favorite

  • “The canaries have stopped singing.” – Cassandra “The canaries are nervously pacing their cages.” – The Lonely Realist Cassandra’s warnings in prior TLRs presaged today’s widely-held conclusion

  • “SVB’s excessive duration risk punched a government bailout ticket.” – The Lonely Realist The recent failure of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) spotlights fatal flaws in America’s banking

  • “Arming proxies to fight for America’s national interests is a sound military and political strategy.” – The Lonely Realist An often-overlooked proxy war heralded America’s emergence as global hegemon

  • “America’s leading politicians continue to play to their populist minorities.” – The Lonely Realist A recent NBC news poll found that 71% of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direct

  • “It may seem that America has experienced major changes over the last four years, but the reality is that the more things appear to have changed, the more they’ve stayed the same.” – The Lonely Realis

  • “Never invoke the gods unless you really want them to appear. It annoys them very much.” — Gilbert K. Chesterton TLR over the last four years has repeatedly looked to Cassandra to pr

  • “Is Fox News a news channel or an entertainment channel? That distinction could be determinative of whether Fox pays Dominion $1.6 billion in damages.” – The Lonely Realist Dominion, the voting machin

  • “Non-compete contracts suppress competition …, but they also protect valuable employer secrets. Which is more important for America?” – The Lonely Realist Non-compete clauses are common legal provisio

  • “America’s income tax system is broken …, and America’s government could care less.” – The Lonely Realist On January 8th, Congressman Earl (Buddy) Carter (R-GA) introduced the Fair Tax Act of 2023 (FT

  • “What will the contest between State governments reveal?” – The Lonely Realist The four largest American States by population are California, Texas, Florida and New York. Together, they host more than

  • “When did it become acceptable to shout down “disruptive” speakers and ban books that discuss racism and other ‘controversial’ subjects?” – The Lonely Realist TLR grew up in an era when free speech wa

  • The Bloomberg article linked here was published on Monday and mirrors the analysis and conclusions reached in Saturday’s TLR entitled All that Glitters. Bloomberg states in part that “A continge

  • “US Dollar hegemony is coming to an end.” – The Lonely Realist Updating for events that have driven TLR themes over the last several years reveals that the erosion of American wealth and power – ancho

  • “2022 was a year full of surprises.” – The Lonely Realist In geopolitics, 2022 was war’s comeback year. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine ended an era of declining military violence and followed an u

  • “Cassandra last week predicted that 2023 would bring deglobalization, inflation, recession and further fragmentation and tribalization. There are other views.” — The Lonely Realist Readers are f

  • “2023 will be unpredictable.” – The Lonely Realist “No.” – Cassandra TLR readers last heard from Cassandra on October 1st when she predicted that the world would continue to fragment, deglobaliz

  • “Recent trends have no precedent. The world’s economies, governments and societies are in uncharted territory.” – The Lonely Realist A recurring TLR theme has been that “These Times are Different̶

  • “What do today’s revolutions portend?” – The Lonely Realist As TLR first noted in August 2019, the world has experienced massive revolutions over the past 250 years in agriculture, industrial producti

  • “America’s treasury is bankrupt.” – The Lonely Realist As Herb Stein, Chairman of the Counsel of Economic Advisers under Presidents Nixon and Ford, famously said, “If something cannot go on forever, i

  • “A deflating crypto bubble is now hemorrhaging from Ponzi punctures.” – The Lonely Realist In July’s “Crypto Reality,” TLR noted that although crypto was devised to be a transparent, democratic, de-ce

  • “Although many pessimists hear echoes of the 1930s …, 2022 is not 1939.” – The Lonely Realist A TLR theme has been to highlight parallels between the Great Depression decade and the decade following t

  • “Buckle your seat belt. Change has come to American government.” – The Lonely Realist With Presidential power subject to increasing legislative and judicial constraints and with a post-midterm Congres

  • “The American brand of capitalism has been replaced by an American brand of socialism.” – The Lonely Realist TLR is a huge fan of laissez-faire capitalism, crediting it for America’s geopolitical pree

  • “We’ve had enough of Quantitative Tightening! It’s time for a pause.” – The Lonely Realist TLR last year ventured that Joe Biden and Jay Powell had engaged in political deal talk when they discussed J

  • “Donald Trump is a master of The Roy Cohn Defense. Will it continue to work for him?” – The Lonely Realist SPOILER ALERT: That would be a good bet. Roy Cohn was a famous New York lawyer who gained not

  • “Will the 2020s be defined by recession, rising unemployment, crashing stock markets and instability?” – The Lonely Realist Cassandra believes so but, then, she’s a catastrophist. Unfortunately, she’s

  • Question: “What will Putin do next?” Answer: “Putin will continue to escalate. He has superior resources and options.” – The Lonely Realist Ukraine and Russia are wrestling back-and-forth in a test of

  • A letter to the editor in response to this week’s The Lonely Realist: Yes we need migrant workers but, of course, they need to be vetted. And a real immigration policy needs to be in place. As o

  • “Will the Biden Administration’s border policy replace Americans with immigrants?” – The Lonely Realist A majority of Americans view the influx of immigrants at America’s southern border as an invasio

  • “The Federal Reserve’s determination to reduce inflation by raising interest rates will make for an ever-stronger Dollar. A strong Dollar is good for America.” – The Lonely Realist A celebrated Wall S

  • A letter to the editor in response to this week’s The Lonely Realist: My undergraduate major was “Government” and my specialty was American defense policy – which, at heart, amounted to game the

  • “Is Donald Trump a Compromiser of American Secrets? Criminal implications be damned! Fallout from the Mar-a-Lago Papers will weaken America and strengthen its enemies.” – The Lonely Realist The DOJ Af

  • “‘It Must Be Trump,’ the DOJ affidavit, treason and classified documents.” – The Lonely Realist “It Must Be Trump” is an intense political ad for former President Trump t

  • The recession may be deepening. Inflation has been and continues to be underreported, due to the underestimation of the Owners’ Equivalent Rent (OER) component of CPI. OER, which is 24% of CPI, has be

  • The current field of potential presidential candidates for the 2024 election is less than ideal. Only a minority of Americans support the current front runners, Joe Biden and Donald Trump. Neither of

  • In today’s economy, there are a lot of challenges that people are facing. There is a lot of government and private debt, deficits, and dislocations, which can be difficult to understand and reco

  • America became the most successful nation on Earth because it built a great education system. This system was good from elementary school through high school and into college. Postgraduate education w

  • “By every measure and employing any number of standards, America’s education system is failing. The consequences for America will be severe.” – The Lonely Realist America became the greatest nation in

  • “Inflation is the dragon that the Federal Reserve must slay. At what cost?” – The Lonely Realist The anticipated recession has arrived. America has suffered two consecutive quarters of negative GDP gr

  • TLR‘s February 6, 2021 commentary was “Lessons from ‘The Bedford Incident.’” It was timely then and is even more so now. Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to Taiwan and R

  • “With lawlessness condoned and the Rule of Law in tatters, American democracy is sliding downhill.” – The Lonely Realist Stability, social cohesion and national unity depend on the Rule of Law, a corn

  • “This week’s Fed Rate Hike and negative GDP report provide recession grist for would-be oracles, but don’t bet-the-farm on alleged experts’ conjectures. No one can predict the future.” – The Lonely Re

  • “Presidential choices for the 2024 Election are … unappealing.” – The Lonely Realist How do Americans feel about “Four More Years!”? Not good. Only a minority support a second Biden term. Would Americ

  • “Today’s Supreme Court is the most influential branch of America’s government … and also its most active.” – The Lonely Realist America’s Congress is riven by partisan squabbling rendering it un

  • “Crypto was devised to be a transparent, digitized, de-risked, de-centralized financial-technological invention that would overcome the inherent problems of traditional finance. It’s instead opaque, p

  • “We reject the certified results of the 2020 Presidential election, and we hold that acting President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was not legitimately elected by the people of the United States.&

  • “How long is forever?” – The Lonely Realist Stein’s Law—named for economist Herbert Stein, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Nixon — states that “If something cannot go on f

  • “By politicizing morals and ethics, America has done an outstanding job of tearing itself apart, which has fulfilled extremist goals as well as the goals of America’s enemies.” – The Lonely Real

  • “Bureaucratic governments can’t subsist by feeding on the vital essence of the public.” – The Lonely Realist Have you watched The Big Conn on Apple TV? It’s a four-part docuseries about an Easte

  • “America can’t be experiencing inflation, stagflation, recession, deflation and modest growth all at the same time. Which will predominate depends on who you ask.” – The Lonely Realist TLR last discus

  • “Could a decision by the Fifth Circuit radically shrink government?” – The Lonely Realist Yes. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans recently decided Jarkesy v. SEC, holding that the power

  • “There are three different definitions of ‘democracy’: one for those on the far right; another for those on the far left; and a third for everyone else.” – The Lonely Realist Is American-style democra

  • In a letter to TLR on June 27, 2021, the “Delphic Oracle” offered predictions about America’s economy, projecting ongoing asset inflation due to the Fed continuing its QE money-print

  • “Buy the dip! Sell the rally!” – The Lonely Realist The markets are wacko! What are they going to do next? Will stocks again start climbing the proverbial stairs back up to record heights … or will th

  • “Too much government means less individual autonomy and freedom.” – The Lonely Realist “Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem” is an oft-quoted Ronald Reaganism that

  • “Rachel Carson published ‘Silent Spring’ in 1962. Sixty years later, damage from declining species’ populations, and most visibly bees and birds, has greatly accelerated.” – The Lonely Realist T

  • “The enormous amount of debt and money creation over the past 13 years has changed the nature, and also reduced the value, of debt and ‘money’.” – The Lonely Realist As TLR wrote in July 2

  • “Legislation used to be about making better laws. Law-making today too-often is partisan theater.” –The Lonely Realist You’ve no doubt read about Florida’s law, HB 1557, titled “Parental Rights in Edu

  • “If you want more of something, subsidize it. If you want less, tax it.” –Ronald Reagan “And if you want less efficient markets, over-regulate them.” –The Lonely Realist There are good regulations and

  • “Today, the global face of freedom and democracy is Volodymyr Zelensky, the President of Ukraine. That face used to be America’s President.” – The Lonely Realist Volodymyr Zelensky’s March 16th speech

  • “The West needs to adopt a 21st Century strategy to address the economic, political and military fallout from the Ukrainian War.” – The Lonely Realist That great sucking sound you’ve been hearing is A

  • “Decades of poorly-executed American foreign policy, excessive money-printing, and partisan infighting have taken America – and the world – to a tipping point.” – The Lonely Realist Walter Russell Mea

  • TLR recently received the following email. It arrived under the heading “Some good news for America”: The heading misstates an admirable achievement by U.S. high school students – it shoul

  • “The West has responded to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by detonating its nuclear currencies. Fallout will include inflation, geopolitical instability and more.” – The Lonely Realist Vladimir Putin ha

  • “America has responded to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by detonating the Nuclear Dollar, a weapon of economic devastation. Wielding it creates long-term consequences for America.” – The Lonely Realist

  • “A surefire path to immortality is conquest!” – The Lonely Realist Anyone who has studied history knows the names of Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Atilla the Hun, Genghis Kahn, Tamerlane, Franci

  • “One regulator to rule them all; One regulator to find them; One regular to bring them all; And with enuf freakin red-tape bind them.” – The Lonely Realist The SEC in late January proposed regulations

  • TLR published the following commentary on September 30, 2019. It – and earlier posts such as Axis of the Sanctioned and later ones like Foreign Policy Lessons Forgotten – are once again timely in ligh

  • “When Free Speech is propaganda.” – The Lonely Realist Two weeks ago, Whoopi Goldberg on the TV talk show The View said that the Holocaust was “not about race” but about “man’s inhumanity to man” invo

  • “COVID has trashed America’s Big Blue Cities. It soon will disrupt America’s Great Middle. Big Data tells the tale.” – The Lonely Realist Although there is disagreement over the appropriat

  • “Is America’s love affair with TINA finally coming to an end?” –The Lonely Realist As TLR has highlighted repeatedly over the past three years (most recently in October 2020, May 2021 and September 20

  • “Leaders worldwide are centralizing power. That should not be allowed to happen in the U.S. where the Constitution provides for the devolution of power to State and local governments.” – The Lonely Re

  • “Americans are looking forward to a post-COVID ‘return to normalcy.’ If by normalcy, people expect the world to rewind to a fondly-remembered prior era, they’ve missed the turn-of-history’s-page. The

  • “Sufficient data currently exists to support a bipartisan national COVID policy. Fractured America now has a path forward to address COVID’s harsh realities.” – The Lonely Realist Mistake followed by

  • “2021 became a temporary resting place for debris accumulated as a result of more than a decade of American economic, political and foreign policy errors. Wading through the debris provides insights i

  • My big brother passed away on Saturday. He had a heart attack. It was a shock. It is a shock. It will always be a shock. I was devastated. I am devastated. I will always be devastated. He was my big b

  • “If you haven’t been paying attention to America’s conflicts with China, Russia, and Iran, START DOING SO NOW! Those three nations are waging a coordinated multi-front war against America and, unless

  • “If you believe in conspiracy theories or disbelieve in conspiracies, or if you invest in gold as a diversification hedge or if you hate gold, or if you fear for the future, fear inflation, fear defla

  • As TLR observed in Aborting Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court’s decision permitting Texas courts to enforce SB 8 (which bans abortions after the 6th week of pregnancy and outsources enforcement to privat

  • “Although capital historically has dominated labor in America, labor began reasserting itself in the 21st Century when the Trump Administration encouraged onshoring and erected tariff barriers, a tren

  • “America is a nation divided by economic, cultural, racial and social fissures. Americans agree that this divisiveness is self-destructive. There’s more they can agree on.” – The Lonely Re

  • “Self-interest has made Joe Biden and Jay Powell best buds. Joe has agreed to reappoint Jay. Jay, in turn, has reassured Joe that America can (and will!) achieve low inflation and ever-higher equity p

  • “If insider trading is illegal, how come so many CEOs (as well as members of Congress and Federal Reserve Governors) get away with it?” – The Lonely Realist Insider trading stories make it

  • “America is a country with cutting-edge 20th Century infrastructure, cutting-edge 20th Century business practices and cutting-edge 20th Century government policies. Unfortunately, this is the 21st Cen

  • “No one works anymore. There’s no need to have a regular job and there are too many employment opportunities to choose from anyway.” – The Lonely Realist Those Americans whose role model is tele

  • “Prices are rising. The supply chain is broken. The economy is slowing. What’s next?” – The Lonely Realist So much economic noise! So much chatter with little coherence or consistency. There are finan

  • “Americans are restless and confused, searching for direction, empty and aching without quite understanding why.” – The Lonely Realist Simon & Garfunkel released the song “America” in 1968, the ye

  • Readers will recall commentaries over the past two years in which TLR expressed the view that the Federal Reserve will face political and economic realities that prevent it from adequately responding

  • “Although the Biden Administration’s Build Back Better tax proposals would reduce income inequality, they would do so at a cost that includes increased complexity … yet again. They could be targeted f

  • “America’s most recent Presidents have stretched their Constitutionally-granted powers to an extreme. Unless Congress acts to end the power-grab, America may be breeding a monarchy.” –The Lonely Reali

  • “America needs immigrants. American businesses are short of workers, particularly in construction, farming, leisure and the gig economy, and America no longer is a magnet for the most highly-educated.

  • “With stocks priced to perfection, America’s love affair with equities may be waning. Are there attractive alternatives?” – The Lonely Realist As TLR noted this past May, the Federal Reserve has the a

  • “Massive monetary and fiscal stimuli have fueled brash speculation – gambling – but little economic growth.” – The Lonely Realist The internet provides valuable learning tools for children and young a

  • “The Supreme Court once focused on nation-building by prioritizing Federalism over States Rights. Its efforts were highlighted in Roe v. Wade. No longer. States Rights now rule.” -The Lonely Realist T

  • “The wings of black swans darken today’s sky.” – The Lonely Realist Black swan events are unpredictable surprises that portend unforeseeable and potentially severe consequences. The world is awash in

  • “Governments in America derive their power from the people they represent. Powers not explicitly delegated are retained.” – The Lonely Realist Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the governors of Texas,

  • “Reddit users have organized themselves into ‘wolf pack’ communities where individual investors act together to hunt hedge funds, activist investors, and short sellers.” – The

  • “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” –Winton Churchill (paraphrasing George Santayana) As TLR wrote two years ago (on September 30, 2019 in “The Failure of American

  • “The time has come! The time is now! JUST GO, GO, GO! TERM LIMITS ARE HOW!” –The Lonely Seuss Ted Cruz is the lead sponsor of a proposed Constitutional amendment that would impose term lim

  • “Prices of homes, rental units, employees, healthcare, autos, food, staples, transportation, commodities, etc., are rising. Is there anything that isn’t politicized in 21st Century America?” – T

  • “Relative realities are thriving, fed by disinformation.” – The Lonely Realist The late 20th Century was The Golden Age of News. Larger-than-life newscasters earned the public’s trust and proved they

  • “America is facing a disproportionate number of existential threats. They can’t be successfully navigated without common agreement that they exist… and that they must be confronted.” – The Lonel

  • “Health in America, like almost everything else, has become politicized.” Instead of being a "United" States of the vaccinated and COVID-recovered, America is suffering through a new wave of infection

  • “Nationalism can build a bridge across the partisan divide.” – The Lonely Realist China has a plan, a well-thought-out plan, for absorbing Taiwan and, in doing so, taking a significant step towards em

  • The best way for America’s government to address illegality and provide an effective defense against predatory practices is by enacting laws that provide for Americans’ protection.  Protecting its cit

  • “Overlapping laws and regulations hurt America.  Simplification and reconciliation should be a bipartisan objective.” – The Lonely Realist A distinctive feature of democratic government is

  • “Human beings who can predict tomorrow’s stock market action quickly become wealthy.  They are considered geniuses.  If they could accurately predict the weather one week out, they’d be considered cla

  • The Gordian Knot is a legend about Alexander the Great in which his cutting the Knot became a metaphor for solving an intractable problem.  Alexander reputedly accomplished the seemingly impossible ch

  • TLR considered alternate titles for today’s commentary and stuck with “Fractured America” because it conveys the shocking reality that American society is coming has come apart.  It has not simply bif

  • The Lonely Realist is now on Twitter here! The last time TLR talked with Cassandra about economics was in September 2020 when she correctly conveyed a short-term bearish prophesy forecast for stocks (

  • “Faking it ’til you make it” is a Silicon Valley maxim.  Unfortunately, “faking it” at times means committing fraud, though determining what is “fraud” is complicated … especia

  • TLR continues to ponder the question of what makes democracy so attractive and so enduring … and, more recently, so unstable (having discussed “The Widening Partisan Divide” here, America’s “Degenerat

  • As TLR wrote last year (here), since March 2009 investors have had no better alternative than to own equities …, which is why the acronym, TINA – There Is No Alternative –, has been applied to owning

  • The Earth’s climate is changing …, but that’s not news.  The Earth’s climate is constantly changing. The most recent changes mean a warming Earth.  In what is the nearest thing to unanimity, the scien

  • The enactment by the Biden Administration of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan (ARP) was a victory for labor over capitalists capital, one that many Americans believe created unintentional conseq

  • The 13 American Colonies determined more than 230 years ago the kind of democracy they wanted for themselves and their children.  Their Democratic Experiment worked for more than two centuries.  It’s

  • Who Uses Cash Anymore? TLR doesn’t.  Do you? Covid-19 has accelerated change the creation and evolution of paper money alternatives … or, insofar as moving towards a cashless society is concerned, Cov

  • The U.S. increased the size of the target on its chest when it used its financial muscle to sanction and impose tariffs on countries that failed to comply with its post-WWII capitalist, democracy-cent

  • What’s wrong with 21st Century America? In a single word, leadership … or, more precisely, the lack of it. America has lacked effective, constructive leadership for almost 30 years.  That’s an entire

  • Americans have awakened.  They’ve become “woke,” a term deriving its meaning from African American slang.  “Woke” came into the English language more than a decade ago when “stay woke” referred to the

  • Don’t worry about how sky-high stock market prices are today.  Or Bitcoin – its price is now $59,000 (having appreciated 500% over the past 12 months).  Or the price of GameStop (from $4 to $483 in 6

  • Today’s TLR is about the Soaring Dragon, its wings shading the global landscape … and the Resting Eagle, seated in its nest with its wings tucked neatly at its sides. The Dragon is China …, the 21st C

  • How often have you heard that cheer?  Never, right?  For good reason. How many mothers have you heard wishing that their children grow up to become tax return preparers?  None, right?  For good reason

  • “It’s your kids, Marty.  Something’s gotta be done about your kids!” – Doc Brown, Back to the Future, Part II. America has been the most successful, most powerful and most creative nation

  • There are a host of reasons why America should reinstitute mandatory military service … or, more realistically given the public’s resistance to the draft, adopt mandatory national service.  A specific

  • A remarkably timely economic echo of “Lessons from ‘The Bedford Incident’” entitled “Taiwan’s Semiconductor Sector on the Front Line of Great Power Rivalry,” published yesterday, can be found at https

  • The Bedford Incident, a 1962 novel and 1965 movie, is a parable of great-power risk, required reading/viewing for 21st Century political leaders. The Bedford Incident presents the fictional story of a

  • Social media is the most wonderful delusion invention of the 21st Century.  From a friend: “I was shopping at the mall just before Christmas and walked past this videogame store called GameStop.  It w

  • Today’s TLR is about democracy.  It’s not about politics.  It’s also not about the upcoming impeachment trial of former President Trump.  Although both politics and impeachment are a part of America’s

  • Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone. – John Maynard Keynes Capitalism again in 2021 is under attac

  • The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution says that America’s government cannot limit peoples’ right to speak freely.  The government cannot censor speech (other than criminal speech) and it cannot

  • America’s economy is running on a belief in perpetual motion …, the reason being that the U.S. government is printing piles oodles of Dollars with the expressed intention of continuing to do so indefi

  • TLR’s most important narratives center on bridging America’s divisions …, and 2020 provided plenty of grist for that mill. Progress in any culture and any political system requires a constant re-exami

  • You should!  Everyone today should have an intense interest in interest … and for a simple reason:  America’s, and the world’s, economy hinges on the rate of interest that debtors –at all credit

  • “May you live in interesting times” is a warning signifying danger, uncertainty and …, yes, opportunity.  We most definitely live today in an interesting time.  This time, its events and its personali

  • America no longer is a Nation of Immigrants as JFK wrote more than 60 years ago.  It’s instead a Nation of Cults. A cult is a group defined by its religious, spiritual, philosophical, racial, politica

  • TLR has prepared a Holiday Wish List that includes a request for political functionality that one hopes can be delivered this Holiday Season to provide joy – the kind that comes from economic and phys

  • The term “fiscal cliff” means different things at different times in different economic environments.  The single definitional consequence upon which there is universal agreement, however, is that it’

  • A political party, that is. The U.S. has only two …, right?  Although … maybe not …. There are currently two nationally-organized political parties:  the Republican Party; and the Democratic Party.  T

  • The obverse of “Rational Exuberance” is “Irrational Exuberance,” a phrase popularized in December 1996 by then-Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan when he warned investors that unjustified interne

  • Assume that the media is correct and Joe Biden has won America’s Presidential election and will be inaugurated as America’s 46th President on January 20th.  If so, he would owe his relatively narrow v

  • TLR’s mission is to bridge the growing partisan divide by inspiring discussion and, hopefully, a dollop of bipartisanship that leads to a degree of resolution.  The goal is to raise awareness and stim

  • The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution precludes the government from abridging Americans’ right to speak freely.  By guaranteeing a broadly protected – and uniquely American – freedom of speech,

  • I first fell in love with TINA in 2009.  It was early Spring and I’d been hurt, pretty badly, in 2008.  That had followed the break-up of a serious relationship with Value that had topped out in Octob

  • The Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade has divided Americans for almost half a century.  Politically, it created a gulf between anti-abortion, socially-conservative Republicans Americans and

  • Wait for it.  You won’t have to read very far. The Cassandra Syndrome is a label applied to a person whose valid warnings are disbelieved by others.  It’s a metaphor that has been used in a variety of

  • A number of readers have asked for emailed copies of prior TLRs that are referenced in more recent commentaries or relate to subjects in more recent commentaries.  All TLRs (which began in February 20

  • The election in November of Vice President Biden or the re-election of President Trump will not end America’s partisan divisions … its uncivil war.  The Great Partisan Divide will persist.  The genie

  • You may have read about Cassandra – the young (and, I should add, quite beautiful) priestess who the Greek god Apollo granted the power to accurately prophesize the future …, and then cursed so that h

  • What is “war”?  When can it be said that a nation is “at war”? Contrary to conventional wisdom, war and its definition are not static.  Like societies, “war” evolves with the times … and with technolo

  • in “The Big Blue Cities,” TLR discussed how polarization in America resulted in a geographical Great Bifurcation, contrasting the social, political, economic and aspirational goals of city-dwellers –

  • America’s tax system was built by capitalists for capitalists, for incentivizing job creation and business innovation, for encouraging class mobility.  It’s a cornerstone of American democracy in a na

  • Goldman Sachs issued a stern warning on July 28, 2020: There now are “[r]eal concerns around the longevity of the US Dollar as a reserve currency,” noting that “expanded balance sheets and [America’s]

  • The Federal government is giving away money to bailing out America’s airlines. With Covid-19 ravaging airlines’ bottom lines, many believe this to be appropriate, an economically-wise decision. It isn

  • Inflation and deflation are often thought of as macroeconomic trends that impact broadly on national economies.  Not always so.  Although historians are prone to define periods broadly as inflationary

  • Coronanomics 201 America’s wealth is eroding.  Its economic pie is shrinking …, and slices soon will be getting smaller. The focus of Coronanomics 201 is on the size of America’s metaphorical wealth/w

  • Americans have a virtually unfettered right to say whatever they please.  Although governments in other countries habitually limit free speech in order to filter their citizens’ thinking and actions,

  • Today’s TLR is not about music.  It’s not about “That Bass” … or “The Treble” (thank you Meghan Trainor).  Today’s TLR is about how to target voters in a Presidential campaign – it’s about That Base.

  • Today’s TLR is about Zombies, real economic Zombies. Individuals, companies, and governments that are the walking undead – suffocated by mountains of debt, doomed to eventual economic oblivion. Many a

  • Capitalism vs. Socialism, the False Dichotomy America is the capital of Capitalism. It’s where laissez-faire isn’t merely a French phrase – it’s a Capitalist reality, the economic brand that has made

  • The Covid-19 Alphabet America is suffering through a pandemic that’s ravaged its confidence, its health and its economy … with only the most tenuous signs of possible abatement. Covid-19 has further u

  • The Supremes and DACA Dreamin’ Headlines trumpeted a defeat for the Trump Administration on Thursday after the Supreme Court ruled that it cannot immediately end the Obama Administration’s DACA progra

  • Covid Math Today’s craze is “Covid Math” … and everyone’s doing it. The media do it best, highlighting the juiciest, most exciting numbers and making the most electrifying calculations in reporting th

  • America’s Victory … or Al Qaeda’s? The April 19, 2020 TLR highlighted America’s mountain of debt …, a substantial portion of which was borrowed to fund America’s War on Terror. Prior to 9/11, America’

  • What is a “Fact” The dictionary defines a “fact” as “a thing that is known or proven to be true,” “something that has actual existence” … or, simply, “a truth.” Straightforward, no? A seemingly simple

  • The Covid-19 Bridge Connecting A Bifurcated America A year ago, in “The Hollowing Out of America,” TLR contrasted two different Americas: The economically-vibrant urban-exurban America found on its th

  • National Health Insurance in America Today’s TLR is not about Obamacare … so relax. It’s also not an analysis of the various national health insurance proposals or about the problems facing America’s

  • Coronanomics 101 Remember “too big to fail,” the rationale for the government’s bailout of banks and large corporations during the 2008-09 Global Financial Crisis? Doing so was challenged as creating

  • The Federalism Wars: The Covid-19 Battle America’s Constitution divides sovereignty between the Federal government and State governments. It creates a power-sharing system – a federation with both cen

  • The Hegemon’s Handbook China has a goal. It’s a pretty straightforward one. It wants to take over the world. Not quite like Dr. Evil …, but not so different either. It wants to be the one and only glo

  • This Time is Different – A Redux As Mark Twain reputedly said, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” Is history repeating itself today? Or is it merely rhyming? Economists and historia

  • Education in the Time of Covid-19 America became the greatest nation on Earth because America’s educational system was the best on Earth … from elementary school through high school, at the college le

  • The Autocrats’ Playbook You have to hand it to Hungary’s Viktor Orban. Although he didn’t write The Autocrats’ Playbook, he has most certainly – and successfully – followed it. Of course, you also hav

  • America’s Forthcoming Foreign Policy Crisis “We’ve got a health crisis and an economic crisis. The only thing missing is a foreign policy crisis.” – Robert Kagan, Washington Post, March 27, 2020. Not

  • Winter Has Come It’s Economic Winter in America … and it’s cold. How much colder might it get? Very cold indeed! In a period of 4 short weeks, a sudden Covid-19 medical and economic blizzard dumped re

  • The Times They Are A’Changin’ Most of us have not lived through a “force majeure” event: a hot war … or a horrific natural disaster … or an epidemic … yet alone a pandemic. There have been at least th

  • The Convergence of Communism and Capitalism What happens when politicians embrace and blend the essence of both Communism and Capitalism? What strange potion do they brew? Remember the Red Menace, the

  • Panic Attack The February 18th TLR (“The China Virus”) addressed the potential healthcare-medical and healthscare-economic consequences of the Coronavirus. It pointed out that governments and healthca

  • Draining the Swamp “Draining the swamp” refers to the practice of draining swampland to reduce alligator and mosquito populations …, in short, to eradicate man-eaters and blood-suckers. But that’s not

  • The China Syndrome Virus China has been a breeding ground for all types of unpredictables. China’s yearning for exotic foods, its history and culture, and its wild economic trajectory have made it a v

  • Seize the Moment! The 2020 Presidential race pits profligate big-spending Democrats against the profligate big-spending Trump Administration. The one thing both political parties agree on is deficits

  • The Weakening Dollar Who says the Dollar is weakening? That’s not possible. The Dollar is the world’s preeminent currency, its Reserve Currency, the cornerstone of global commerce. The US Dollar is th

  • The Failure of Rent Control Rent control as a policy has failed. It is a primary cause of the urban housing shortage. The New York Times in December ran an editorial praising New York State’s recently

  • The Death of The American Dream? Is it over? Has the Dream that made America great succumbed to the ravages of time … the effects of bad government … the consequences of wrong-headed policy-making? Ha

  • Axis of the Sanctioned, a Part 2 Postscript It was almost as if President Trump had read the January 2nd TLR, “Axis of the Sanctioned, Part 2,” and taken its message to heart. That night he made the d

  • Axis of the Sanctioned, Part 2 “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” the catchphrase in the June 21st TLR, is attributed to a 4th Century B.C. Sanskrit treatise on statecraft. It has unfortunate impor

  • Japan’s Economic Wormhole[1] The December 12th TLR contrasted the belief of Inflationists that America is on the cusp of an inflationary spiral and of Deflationists who believe that America is doomed

  • The U.S. Constitution and The Rule of Law America was founded on and has flourished by observing the Rule of Law, the foundation of democracy embedded in the Constitution and largely explained in the

  • The Confrontation Between The Inflationists and The Deflationists The battle lines have been drawn for quite a while between The Inflationists – who believe that economic forces are pushing the world

  • The Dismal Science Economics has been called “the dismal science” for any number of good reasons. It was first referred to as “dismal’ in 1849 when Victorian philosopher Thomas Carlyle used the term d

  • What if There were No More Recessions? What if Central Bankers have figured out how to successfully manage the global economy? What if they are in the process of engineering a soft economic landing fo

  • The Widening Divide “For the majority of the human species, and for tens of thousands of years, the idea that humanity includes every human being on the face of the earth does not exist at all. The de

  • Expiring Canaries The June 24th TLR quoted several prominent hedge fund managers who in June asserted that gold was entering a new bull market when it broke through the $1400/oz. price level. That Jun

  • The Authoritarian’s Playbook As explained in prior TLRs, Turkey was once the shining example of a secular Islamic republic with an 80+-year history of Western-style democracy. It unfortunately has bec

  • The Free Speech Cycle The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (together with the Fourteenth Amendment) provides that neither Congress nor the States can pass a law that abridges Americans’ right

  • The Great Disruptor Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States, is The Great Disruptor. There is little disagreement that in his less-than-three-years-as-President, Trump has caused more na

  • Market Manipulation, Securities Fraud and Insider Trading Is there such a thing as a securities law Trifecta? The Chief Executive Officer of a publicly-traded company (X Corp) is having a rough time.

  • Tales from the Economic Dark Side Markets alternate between optimism and pessimism in a struggle that pits bulls against bears. Since optimism generally prevails, long-term investors – the bulls – mos

  • Foggy Economics Where are those neat crystal ball predictions that students of economics used to rely on? Why is it that so many of today’s analysts, historians and financial industry pundits – includ

  • The Legal Precedent of Impeachment Over the more than 230 years of U.S. history, Articles of Impeachment have been filed by the House of Representatives against three American Presidents: Andrew Johns

  • Historians eagerly highlight the foreign policy strategies pursued by the overtly hawkish Reagan Administration, a strategy of “peace through strength.”  As described in “Speak Softly and Carry a Big

  • America’s Different Democracy, or How Change Has Come to America America’s government is a Constitutional democracy that differs significantly from most other democracies, many of which do not have wr

  • California Dreaming Californians for the last several decades have dreamed of making their State an American Utopia. And California’s governments accordingly have taken actions intended to help its ci

  • Negotiation as Art Being a successful negotiator means mastering an art, which requires years of practice as well as the integration of massive amounts of data. Just as there are only a very few maste

  • The Faithless Electors of America’s Electoral College Americans have been complaining about the compromises that went into creation of the Electoral College for centuries … almost since the firs

  • Should You Be a Contrarian? What does it mean to be a contrarian? The Oxford dictionary defines a contrarian as “a person who opposes or rejects popular opinion, especially in stock exchange dealing.”

  • Plutocrats and Plutocats A “plutocrat” is a person whose wealth gives him power – put simply, a “plutocrat” is a very, very rich person. Recently, however, the media and politicians have begun using t

  • The Twitter Market Stock markets go up and stock markets go down. America’s current bull market has been going up since 2009, its longest run ever. It’s been buoyed by consistently positive U.S. GDP g

  • The Role of the Corporation in America America’s corporations and their CEOs – in fact, the concept of corporatism and American Capitalism themselves – have been under attack from a broad swathe of th

  • A Weaker US Dollar? The July 19th TLR (“Be Careful What You Wish For”) mused about “Why President Trump wants a weaker US Dollar” and speculated about the potentially adverse consequences if he got hi

  • What is the Meaning of American Capitalism? Americans believe in freedom, independence, democracy … and the value of their capitalist system. America attained its stature and became the powerhouse of

  • Is This Time the Same? Is history repeating itself? Most economists and historians think so. They believe that cycles recur, that human nature endures and requires that economic, political and social

  • Announcing the Winners of the U.S.-China Trade War Be patient. Wait for it… If you’re familiar with the children’s card game “War,” you also would have an excellent understanding of which President co

  • The Evil of Private Equity “A Delicate Balancing Act” in the May 29th TLR discussed a New York Times editorial entitled “Charity Won’t Solve Student Debt,” which took to task Robert Smith, the founder

  • “Axis of the Sanctioned” (June 21st TLR) The theme of “Axis of the Sanctioned” was that “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” It warned that that this 4th Century strategy articulation has important a

  • American Exceptionalism What is American Exceptionalism? What is it that makes a country, any country, exceptional? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “exceptional” as “rare,” “superior.” The Unit

  • Laws, Regulations … and Conservative Values Bret Stephens wrote an editorial in the New York Times on July 26th that addressed concerns he has with something he termed “conservative nationalism,” whic

  • Lying, Cheating and the Corrosion of Democracy From the title, you might suppose that today’s TLR is about America’s elected officials. Although that would have been an excellent guess …, apologies, b

  • There’s Something Happening Here “The Canary in the Gold Mine” in the June 24th TLR quoted several prominent hedge funds managers who believe we’ve entered a gold bull market. Their break-out level wa

  • “Will Modern Monetary Theory Work” (April 14th TLR) and “They’re All Keynsians Now” (March 27th TLR) Republicans no longer are believers in balanced budgets. Democrats most often have favored de

  • The Big Blue Cities “The Hollowing Out of America” in the July 12th TLR discussed the geographical polarization of America. The “United States” isn’t as “United” as the Founders had hoped. America has

  • Be Careful What You Wish For President Trump wants the US Dollar to be weaker. He has browbeat told asked the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates so that the Dollar will become a less attractive v

  • The Coming Recession Gary Shilling is one of modern America’s storied economists. He has nailed any number of economic turns over the past 40 years. Perhaps his most prescient call was his early-’80s

  • It’s Congress’s Fault America’s Constitutional system provides for a sharing of power among the three branches of Federal government: the executive (the President); the legislative (Congress); and the

  • The Hollowing Out of America There have always been two Americas: the rural, onetime agricultural America; and the urban, once the-center-of-manufacturing America. In 1900, America was a rural country

  • Insider Trading Everyone’s doing it …, right? Of course not. Everyone knows that it’s against the law to trade on inside information … right? And that stealing mis-appropriating material, nonpublic in

  • The Art of the Deal What is President Trump’s strategy in trade negotiations with China … in the pre-negotiation sanctions imposed on Iran … in the sanctions imposed some time ago on and ongoing negot

  • Government Regulation Is government regulation good for America … or bad for America? The answer, of course, is that sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s bad. How can you tell the difference? The go

  • The Essence of a Meritocracy It’s about our children … your kids, Marty. Something’s got to be done about them (paying respects to Back to the Future, Part II). Meritocracy has defined America’s succe

  • Rent Stabilization/Control is Back With a vengeance. At least it now is in New York State (and is a growing trend in a few other States as well). Although tenants love it today, will they still love i

  • Leaving the European Union Is Brexit a Good Idea or a Bad Idea? That depends on who you are and what your definition is of “a good idea.” Boris Johnson, the Conservative Party frontrunner for Prime Mi

  • The Canary in the Gold Mine It wasn’t until 1913 that miners were first urged to bring caged canaries down into coal mines. They became the early 20th Century’s biological early warning system for det

  • Can Money Be Digitized? (a supplement to “What is Money?” in the June 12th TLR) Money’s new name, apparently, could be Libra. Facebook is in the process of creating a new digital currency that it’s ca

  • Deflation? Winter Deflation is coming. Or is it? If deflation is coming, will Central Bankers once again be able to Defend the Wall keep it at bay? Prior to 2019, the longest period of GDP growth in U

  • What is a Conservative? And what is a Liberal? Labeling oneself a Conservative in 2019 is not the same as actually being a Conservative, certainly not in a 1980’s philosophical sense, a period which m

  • The Offensive Against America’s Champions Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google/Alphabet are America’s capitalist champions most notorious monopolies. They should be broken into their component parts jus

  • What is Money? Money is an alternative to barter. It serves as a medium of exchange. In order to be functional (especially in today’s global economy) it must be (1) widely used, (2) accepted in transa

  • Constitutionally Speaking Since the Great Depression, and with few exceptions, American Presidents, legislators and judges have been scrupulous in upholding their artful interpretations of the Constit

  • What If? What might a seminal Constitutional Crisis look like? We’re talking hypothetically, of course. It might start something like this: The House Committee on Oversight and Reform, the House Perma

  • A History Lesson An often-heard refrain today among younger Americans is that they don’t have the same opportunities to achieve the American Dream as their parents and grandparents had. Jobs are scarc

  • Diversification versus Diworsification Diversification is a means of wealth preservation that spreads investments among a range of assets and asset classes. It relies on the concept that owning differ

  • Wagging the Dog “Wagging the dog” is a synonym for a magician’s trick of focusing attention on a figurative “shiny object” to distract audiences from the magician’s slight-of-hand. “Wagging the dog” i

  • A Delicate Balancing Act The NY Times on May 21st published an editorial entitled “Charity Won’t Solve Student Debt” the title of which spotlighted the student loan debt debacle crisis. Total student

  • The Work Ethic and Demographics Many Americans believe that younger generations don’t have the same work ethic as their elders. They don’t put in the effort, or the hours, of older generations in tryi

  • The Trade War with China: What’s America’s Beef? Some have argued that the Trump Administration’s tariffs against China are overdone, a flexing of unnecessary economic muscle for internal U.S. politic

  • The Most Important Takeaway from the Mueller Investigation The most important takeaway from the Muller Investigation is that Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election achieved a lev

  • Notes on 2017 Tax Reform The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) was a complicated piece of legislation that added a host of new tax provisions to an already overly-complex Internal Revenue Code. Bec

  • The Return of Truthiness Coined by Stephen Colbert, Truthiness “is the belief or assertion that a particular statement is true based on the intuition or perceptions of some individual or individuals w

  • The High-Tech Arms Race We humans have a primal fear of machines and their capacity to out-think and potentially replace us. We worry that with their superior computing ability, machines might develop

  • Managing The Economic Cycle (Part 2) Despite rumors to the contrary, Economic Cycles have not been repealed. As the current Economic Expansion ages, the Fed and the U.S. government will face increasin

  • Managing The Economic Cycle (Part 1) An Economic Cycle has four stages. Simply stated, there’s (1) an expansion that reaches (2) a peak and results in (3) a contraction that reaches (4) a trough. Then

  • The Irritating IRS Who likes the Internal Revenue Service? Raise your hands now. Hmmmm. No hands. The U.S. has a self-assessing income tax system. Each year, every taxpayer is required to report incom

  • America at War The U.S. has increasingly weaponized sanctions and tariffs in an effort to force hostile countries to bend or surrender to American demands. Realists refer to this as waging war. Americ

  • Silent Spring (with apologies to Rachel Carson) If you were driving a car in the 1980s, you’d have had to pull off the highway from time-to-time to clean the windshield because of the number of insect

  • Kate Smith Kate Smith, known at various times as the “Song Bird of the South” and “the First Lady of Radio,” is best known today for her rendition of “God Bless America.” She also sang two songs that

  • If you’re the “average” American, 2017 tax reform means that your taxes have gone down a bit … although they’ve gone up for those unfortunates, whether or not “average,” who live in the wrong States a

  • Elbridge Gerry’s Salamander Did you ever wonder where the term “gerrymander” comes from? (It means the redrawing of electoral maps in order to obtain a partisan advantage.) Its derivation is a c

  • “Our Country is Full” – President Donald Trump (April 5, 2019) What does it mean for a country to be “full”? In a November 2018 prepared statement, President Trump had made it clear said declared that

  • America’s economy has been on a roll since the Great Recession of 2009. GDP has been on a steady rise with average annual increases in excess of 2{29ea29b64b10057f61377b2c087cd5b7537a0cd24da4295a308b0

  • You have some extra cash. What should you do with it? There are those Earbuds you’ve been coveting. Apple makes the coolest ones, but you recall that Apple’s Earbuds are manufactured somewhere in Asia

  • MMT provides a textbook illustration of Stein’s Law: “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.” MMT will work – in fact, it is working, and it will continue to work – until at some point it wi

  • No, it’s not about a pending war with Russia. It’s about China’s current war – its Stealth War – against America. And no, it’s not simply a Trade War. The U.S. and the Soviet Union waged a Cold War fo

  • A Quick Report on the Economic Climate For reasons that should be apparent, this is an opportune time to take the world’s macroeconomic temperature. The global economy continues to expand, although at

  • Does Central Planning Work? Well, does it? Citizens of the former Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc satellites would answer with a resounding “No.” The economic failures of Soviet-style Central Planni

  • The Rule of Law Strict adherence to the Rule of Law has been AmericaÔÇÖs differentiator. ItÔÇÖs what has made America great. ItÔÇÖs the reason why American democracy is historyÔÇÖs most durable and

  • In February, Stockton California began America’s first experiment with a universal basic income (UBI) – sometimes referred to as “free money” – when it sent debit cards loaded with $500 to a group of

  • Let’s Talk Turkey The country, not the bird. Change happens. In Turkey, change has been a slow-motion slide into dictatorship. Turkey used to be the shining example of an Islamic republic with a multi

  • A Simple Take-away from the Mueller Investigation The Mueller Investigation was not about whether President Trump conspired with Vladimir Putin to overthrow the U.S. government. Those who took a Manch

  • Speak Softly and Carry A Big Stick Big Stick Diplomacy was Theodore Roosevelt’s foreign policy trademark. Roosevelt described his style as “the exercise of intelligent forethought and of decisive acti

  • Will Central Planning Work? Friday’s The Lonely Realist was distributed early on a turbulent news-filled day. That news included March’s EU factory output, which fell off the table, and U.S. manufactu

  • The Central Bankers’ Dilemma On March 30th, the Federal Reserve announced that it does not intend to increase interest rates in 2019. It has put its Quantitative Tightening (QT) program on indefinite

  • What is Terrorism? Words matter … in their innuendos as well as in their dictionary definitions. The words uttered by world leaders matter more than others. Directly after the Boston Marathon attack b

  • The First Amendment, a Free Press and Journalism What is the obverse of a “free press”? We’ve once again reached a point in history where that question has become topical because America’s media has t

  • Global Economic Stability The past 10 years, post the Great Recession, has been a period of surprisingly measured global economic growth. Although developing countries, primarily in Asia and Africa, h

  • Whither Inflation (an ongoing discussion)? The Federal Reserve, the Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank, the Bank of England, and other Central Bankers have been working in parallel to stimulate

  • 1937 1937 is not a notable part of a 20th Century history course. If you asked a history professor the events in 1937 that students should integrate into their knowledge-base, perhaps the Hindenburg d

  • Does Truth Matter? Some believe the beginnings can be traced to Bill Clinton when he said “I did not have sex with that woman.” Before our President gave that historical denial, we all knew that the m

  • The Times They are A-Changin “Most of us assume that the future will more or less resemble the present, but this is not necessarily so. In a long and eventful life, I have witnessed many periods of wh

  • I’ve received a number of comments from readers confused by the cross-outs in The Lonely Realist. I did not intend them to be a source of confusion. I add them to inspire thought – that is

  • Change is Coming Remember when successful people who became wealthy were treated as paradigms of the American Dream? The successful entrepreneurs of the very recent past, the Bezoses, Bloombergs, Schu

  • Are our Tax Laws Overly Complex? Yes. They also distort economic activity, misallocating resources and reducing productivity. They were drafted by politicians bought pressured by lobbyists wealthy con

  • Elon Musk Elon Musk is the CEO of Tesla. He used to also be Chairman, but was forced to resign when he allegedly committed securities fraud in September by Tweeting that he had secured financing to ta