I wish I had something original and brilliant to write in this blog, but I don’t, so I will throw out a few little ideas. Maybe they will add up to something of substance.
Next week, the Iowa Caucuses will trigger the beginning of the 2024 election season.
How dreadful that it appears that the two candidates that much of the country hopes will not become President are considered to be huge frontrunners. The election process is broken, yet we seem helpless to change it.
My suggestion is that we have a third party called “The Neither Person Party.” If Neither Person gets more than Biden or Trump, then we have another election two weeks later without the two rejected candidates. Perhaps you have a more refined version of this idea?
Why are smart people so dumb?
Last year virtually every “respected” economist in the major publications predicted a recession. Eleven jumps in interest rates by the Fed was certain to put the country into a downturn. It did not happen. Prices fell in commodities like oil and food, and houses finally dropped in price. Offices now show a 20% vacancy rate. Wages rose, especially at the lower end, but unemployment stayed steady.
The economists figured wrong.
Another “smart” person is Claudine Gay, who just resigned as Harvard’s President. When called to testify before a congressional committee and asked why she did not condemn the large number of students at the University who demonstrated their support for Hamas atrocities in Israel, she gave a vague and unclear reply about understanding the “context.”
Over the next week, $100 million in pledges to Harvard were pulled, and Harvard applications for early admission fell 17% from the previous year. Charges of a long history of plagiarism didn’t help her either.
The last smart person who had a bad year was Mary Barra, the long-time head of GM. She committed $25 billion to making electric cars and still cannot seem to make one that sells. Bill Ford of Ford took 160,000 pre-orders for an electric F-150 truck. Ford sold barely more than 20,000 after the buyers figured out that it was no good in cold weather and its battery capability with a heavy load falls precipitously. Tough year in Detroit.
I am on vacation for almost three weeks, staying with my daughter and family in Palo Alto, California. My wife and I went downtown to shop at the Patagonia store, looking for a fleece top. We parked next to the store and walked past a small tent on the sidewalk. I thought it was for an ad for the store. I looked for a price tag. My wife then nudged me and said, “Lloyd, somebody is living in there.”
It was sobering to think of that as I walked into the pricey store. We were also across the street from the Stanford University campus.
As we drove back, we passed vans and campers parked along the street. This is a cheap way to live in very expensive Palo Alto. Portable toilets were placed in the grassy areas, which make those areas prime spots for parking.
The city accommodates only a limited number of sidewalk tents and parking residents. It is a reminder in a wealthy city that poor people live among us. I doubt that the sidewalk residents are wearing Patagonia for warmth.
Jim Harbaugh of Michigan joyfully accepted the trophy for winning the football championship game against Washington. Also on the platform was his brother, John, who coaches the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL. The Ravens had the best record in the league this year. Standing just behind them was their father, also a football coach who had coached Western Kentucky to a small college national championship. Jim Harbaugh was suspended twice this season, but his team still finished undefeated. The Harbaughs had a proud day.
Jim Harbaugh is under investigation by the NCAA, and there is a lot of speculation he may go back to the NFL where he won a Super Bowl coaching San Francisco. His players love him. Organizers are not quite as fond.
Donald Trump and Jim Harbaugh both play a brutal game by their own rules. Perhaps Harbaugh should be the candidate if Neither Person prevails in the Primaries. I would bet on him.
Question: Who would you vote for if Neither Person won the Presidential Primary?