Analyzing the Post-Election Fallout [Part 2]
Posted November 10, 2020
If you missed part 1 of this update from yesterday, please click here to catch up.
As Mark Twain wrote: “It is easier to fool the people than to convince them they have been fooled.” This principle applies overwhelmingly to politicians. Once they have made a mistake, it is nearly impossible for them to admit error. It is far more popular to double-down on the error than to retract it.
American democracy is now fraught with pernicious myths.
Under the Democrats, it suffers from an electoral process devoted both to a myth of pandemic and to an economic program devoted to a green religious cult. On the Republican side, the Administration has enlisted in a Canute campaign based on the myth of the “trade” gap. Democrats propose to replace this myth with the myth of CO2 pollution in a futile battle against climate change that voters rank near the bottom of their list of priorities.
For investors, the climate change paradigm means a massive national program of subsidies for a feckless transformation of our energy economy from a robust and functional system to a vulnerable, volatile, and vain apparatus marked by windmill totem poles and pervasive sunhenges. Our exiguous national savings will be dissipated, and our scarce resource of arable land will be wasted in a campaign against CO2, a benign elixir of life.
Intelligent investors understand that economic growth is real learning, based on falsifiable facts rather than on political fantasies. Against the overwhelming power of socialist government, learning is constantly thwarted. Investors will increasingly tend to look overseas.
There, the best opportunities reside in Israel, Taiwan, South Korea, and China. Although it is not good news for Americans to be forced to focus much of their investment abroad, Biden’s program of national lockdowns, confiscatory taxes, and energy suppression gives us little alternative.
The upside of a Biden Administration is a possible improvement of international trade and technology policy. The only serious blunder of the Trump years was his adoption of mercantilism based on the pursuit of the chimera of a trade surplus. The result was a retrograde effort to use US technology assets to bully China. In international trade and technology policy, Biden offers some promise of improvement.
The Biden downside overseas is catastrophic failure of his Israel Test. Based on a keen grasp of the centrality of Israel in the American prospect, Trump triumphantly passed his Israel test as no other President, moving the US embassy to Jerusalem and supporting Israel’s outreach to the Arab world beyond the seething “Palestinians.”
Kamala Harris’s eagerness to reenter the Paris climate accord is exceeded only by her passion for the cause of a Palestinian state and its renewed intifada “Peace Process” that is devoted to the destruction of Israel. The pursuit of peace by negotiating with Jihadists always produces war in the Middle East.
In this maelstrom, the smart investor will keep his eye on new technologies that are not dependent on political subsidies and guarantees. Investors should spurn academic minds all sickled o’er by a pale cast of green goo. In the United States, real opportunities will often be in private companies, still below the radar, and on their way to transforming our current moment of madness into a national revival.
As Gale Pooley and Marian Tupy, our guides on time-prices insist, this era continues to bring massive technological progress. The last twenty years has seen an accelerating decline in the cost of nearly all goods and services, measured in the hours of work needed to purchase them. Time-prices tell us that opportunities continue to expand.
We hope that our investment letters will function like a PCR test to render visible to the world vessels of information and learning now hidden behind the noise of politics and fashion.
Editor, Gilder's Daily Prophecy