My Presidential Wish List

Election season, 2016 has begun. A couple of candidates have now officially thrown their hat in the ring and we are officially off and running. It makes me think, what do I want in a candidate? What kind of a person would I vote for?

I want to vote for someone with morality. Someone who knows the difference between right and wrong and lives it both in public and in private. I don’t want to vote for someone whose ethics are being shaped by the pursuit of votes or by the whims of public opinion. I want them to have a concept of right living that is guided by a higher standard than current trends.

I wouldn’t vote for someone who is obviously going to further divide the country. Of course, it’s hard to tell who that will be. The current president spoke a good game of creating unity, but he apparently expected everyone to come to his viewpoint in order to experience that cohesiveness. I don’t want to vote for an idealist who cannot compromise without feeling he has corrupted his own perfect plans.

I want to vote for someone who patriotically loves this country. Someone who sees the founding documents as important and worth honoring. Someone who will not ignore the rest of the world, but will never prioritize world issues above the needs of our own citizenry. I want to vote for someone who understands US Government, not for the purpose of working around the limits and balance of power, but who will work to guarantee these boundaries as a safeguard for our future freedoms.

I don’t want to vote for someone with no track record or business experience. It seems to me that the oval office is one of those jobs that is too important to take a ‘learn as you go’ approach. I don’t want to try and figure out their skills purely from their speaking ability. I don’t really want to vote for a career politician, but would prefer a person who has chosen to serve for a time based on what they have to offer. Career politicians remain in the mix by protecting themselves, while public servants feel a freedom to do what is right without concern for how it affects their careers.

I want to vote for someone who can understand the economic world we live in and still create jobs in this country. Some jobs are being created but by eliminating manufacturing we have limited ourselves to job creation in service industries and entrepreneurship. In other words, the jobs we currently create are only for the best educated and qualified or are so low paying they cannot support the workers life needs. The jobs which form the historic middle class have been either priced out, or regulated out, of this country.

This is not a complete list. I will think of other qualifications as I give it more time. Unfortunately I already have doubts that my list will be met by any candidate, and even more doubts that if they are, the media will find these details important enough to report upon.




False Confidence

Politicians and the media tie consumer confidence to the economic health of the nation. Not that I blame them, the stock market moves up and down based on consumer confidence. I do remember that the great depression was an event centered on a fall in the stock market. But the economy is much more multifaceted. Including

I also know that increasingly, America has become dependent upon the stock market. Private retirement accounts and the heavy involvement of public funds guarantee we are all affected by the rises and falls in the market. Day traders and penny stocks are examples of how fascinated we can be with the potential of the market.

The problem, at least as I see it, is that we are watching the rises and falls in the stock market like they are an indicator of the health of the economy, rather than only an indicator of consumer confidence. People buy when they are confident and sell when they are worried.

Of course, there are exceptions. For example, when people lose employment they look for other forms of income. Some file false claims for disability, others gamble in the market—buying at times when more savvy investors would be pulling back. These investors will push the market up even when there is no confidence.

People treat the market like it is a gauge, like an oil gauge on a car. When things are beginning to go south, the gauge slowly drops. If it drops all the way to zero, say goodbye to that car. Smart money fixes the problem before it gets there. But the market is more like an oil light. An oil light comes on when the pressure has gone already.  It doesn’t give you time to avoid something expensive before it happens, it only confirms for you that something expensive already happened.