Jan. 29th, 2017

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The good news is that we now know for sure who's pumping the president's brain with bullshit.
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- the Trump administration will try to replicate Israel's approach to national security: entry-exit controls, walls, surveillance, siege mentality, etc.;
- high-tech companies will be divided into those who suck up to Trump (Tesla, Oracle, IBM, etc.) and those who oppose government surveillance efforts (Google, Facebook, Apple..); there will be court fights over access to user data; tech will lose;
- multiple lawsuits, trying to get Trump testify under oath;
- government regulations/deregulations will be introduced as "betas", i.e. lots of bugs and confusion, some of which will be corrected later; loopholes;
- new healthcare legislation will be full of holes and will hurt the poor;
- a restriction on abortion rights;
- police brutality;
- protests, demonstrations, polarization;
- Bannon's war on the media;
- protectionism for manufacturing, possible loss of exports, inflated employment numbers;
- ecological damage;
- the tourism industry will have to reorient toward domestic consumers;
- increases in budget deficits, inflation;
- bitcoin ?
- large public universities will suffer from reduced funding;
- biotech is a big question: 1) deregulation +; 2) talent influx from universities+; 3) cost controls -;
- a trade war with China;
- a trade war with Europe;
- an alliance with Russia;
- a conflict (hopefully, non-military) with Iran;
- a likely rise in oil prices to increase revenues and to hurt China/Europe/Japan;
- a recession at around 2018;
- a minor war in the ME;
- India as a counterweight to China;

What else?
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Let's be honest with ourselves. The majority of Americans doesn't care about:

1) Mexican immigrants;
2) Muslim immigrants;
3) Holocaust;
4) Global Warming;
5) Russia;
6) The size of the crowd at Trump's inauguration;
7) The size of Trump's vocabulary or how much he's lying;

etc.

What they do care about is the size of his personal wealth and his ability to deliver a better life for them, i.e. (in no particular order) more money, health, fun, and self-esteem.

So far, he's delivering on fun and self-esteem for his core. A lot of people expect that by lowering taxes and removing regulations, he'll deliver on money. Moreover, if you own a portfolio of stocks, you've already seen a sizable bump since he's been elected. The health issue is more thorny but somehow people choose to believe that he can do it.

To me, his biggest flaws are short-term focus, compulsive lying, inability to execute complex actions, laziness and susceptibility to manipulation, e.g. through flattery and/or aggrandizing. He's not a good CEO for an operating company.

His biggest strengths are amorality, ability to detect and exploit vulnerabilities in others, access to people who can execute if motivated and treated properly, high risk tolerance.

My biggest concerns are:
a) if he and his team make a mistake in a high-stakes situation with a lot of leverage, it'll do significant damage to the country's finances and it's business relationships with parties around the world;
b) if he appoints bad judges, it'll inflict a long-term damage on the structure of the society.
c) if he engages in a war of words and perceives a slight from another party, he can get us into a trade war or an escalating military action.

All we can do now is 1) donate to the right causes; 2) express our protest directly and/or through public representatives; 3) think how to defeat him in 2018 and 2020.

upd: berating trump supporters is counterproductive. they are in a bubble now and won't stop believing in him until the bubble bursts and they go broke.
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...this leads to a new approach to the problems of politics, for it forces us to replace the question: Who should rule? by the new question: How can we so organize political institutions that bad or incompetent rulers can be prevented from doing too much damage?

Karl Popper. 1966.

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