Dow Jones Surges, Dollar General Expands & Trump’s Popularity Collapses

As we enter President Trump’s second year, it seems clear that his pursuit of conventional policies are beginning to take a toll on his popularity. The 2016 election was supposed to be a change election, but so far we have gotten nothing but the same old True Cons agenda.

Here are a few related news items:

First, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has rallied to 24,211 and is up 22% since a year ago as investors continue to reap a windfall from the Trump presidency:

“U.S. stocks mostly rallied on Monday, with major indexes hitting intraday records as investors cheered the weekend passage of the Senate version of a sweeping overhaul of the U.S. tax code. However, the Nasdaq fell, pressured by declines in some large-capitalization internet names. …”

Second, the trade deficit is up 12% over a year ago as imports reach record highs. Tellingly, the trade deficit with China and Mexico has grown by 7% and 11% respectively:

“Trump often cites the U.S. trade deficit as a sign that America is losing to China, Mexico and other countries on trade. He uses it to justify renegotiating trade deals and slapping tariffs on other countries’ products.

And the president has promised repeatedly to cut the trade deficit. But so far this year, it’s only growing.

The trade deficit in goods and services was $463 billion from January through October, up 12% from a year ago, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. The United States has a surplus in services, such as banking, but a bigger deficit in goods, such as cars.

And the gap with Trump’s two favorite rhetorical trade targets, Mexico and China, is getting bigger. The overall trade deficit with Mexico is up 11% this year, and the deficit with China is up 7%. …”

Third, Dollar General is doing so well that it plans to open up 900 more stores next year:

“Investors sent shares in Dollar General higher Thursday after the company announced better-than-expected sales growth and plans to open 900 stores in 2018.

Why it matters: Dollar General avoided the struggles of the broader retail industry by focusing on poor, rural communities overlooked by Walmart, which are home to customers living paycheck-to-paycheck with limited access to credit cards …”

Fourth, President Trump’s poll numbers have fallen with almost every demographic since February. He is bleeding support with moderates and older blue collar White voters:

“Key Findings:

Trump’s approval rating has fallen from 78% to 61% with white evangelical Protestants, a key constituency of his base.

Now, only 41% of white voters approve of his performance, a 7% decline since February. ..

His support among white college graduates dropped by 5 % to 31%, while white voters without college degrees dipped by 10% to 46%.”

This is what a year of Trump’s Conservative Agenda has produced:

Strangely enough, the one group that has been unswayed is Hispanics. There has been a 10 point drop with older White working class voters, a 16 point drop with moderates and an 18 point drop with White evangelicals. President Trump’s black support has been cut in half.

Note: This is what happens when “the forgotten men and women of America” put you in the White House and your policies cater to the forgotten large donor.

18 Comments

  1. Trump barely won, and the disillusioned who had previously given up on politics and showed up put Trump over the top. Those people are going to stay home the next time.

    There seems to be a hard core of Trump supporters who are doing the exact same cult of personality worship that they gave to Bush the Younger.

    Blindly praise him and viciously attack those on the right who are pointing out the obvious failings.

    Then once the electoral defeats come in and he is out of office, start bashing him long after the opportunity to change course has passed.

    I think that if this “God Emperor” bullshit would stop; serious and level criticism from his supporters could wake Trump up and forstall the 2020 disaster that I believe is almost certain.

    They won’t however, and they’ll keep doing their idiot 2016 victory dance right up until the wailing and gnashing of teeth begins the first Tuesday in November 2020.

  2. It only took the half-lilly-white-jew 8 years to ‘fundamentally
    change’ murika.
    We knew on day one that trump lied, since daca wasn’t cancelled.
    We know earlier that he was forced to pick pence…. not a good sign.
    They just haven’t Reaganed him yet.

    • I am waiting for that to happen. The pundits are babbling about his health. I’m waiting for him to “have a stroke/heart attack/poison”. I’ll bet they are drugging him.

  3. It astounds me how poor people laud the rise in the stock market. They don’t realize that the only people who benefit from the stock market are the rich.
    Ask a conservative or evangelical if the stock market rise has resulted in their getting a new job, raise in pay, lower cost of living, affordable educational or medical expenses and they just look at you with blank looks in their eyes. Some people never learn.

    • They also laud the new tax bill which will actually be detrimental to them. One poor fool was wondering if he’d get enough back to buy a new truck. I remember Reagan’s tax bill, it put a whopping $7 extra a week into my husband’s paycheck.

  4. While Trump loves to take credit for the stock market, his policies have little to do with it. Even the tax cut (not yet passed) can’t much be credited given that more than half the total return of the S&P 500 this year comes from tech companies and Amazon. Tech companies pay very low effective tax rates, and Amazon has very low earnings. A few traditional companies have done well as well of course, CSX (the eastern railroad) is up 56% owing to improved management.

    You can see effective corporate tax rates here: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/these-companies-may-enjoy-a-windfall-under-trumps-tax-plan-2017-09-29

    The truth is that we’ve have robust growth in earnings per share and dividends since 2009, and this is why the stock market has continued to do well since Quantitative Easing ended. With interest rates low, there are no good alternative investments to equities aside from foreign investments which carry increased risks.

    Trump (let alone Congress) isn’t acting decisively on the issues which got him elected, but it’s not like things are getting worse relative to the preceding administration. His low approval ratings seem to be the result of the unprecedented hostility of the press, and since there’s no election going on people have lost focus.

    Nationalists have cause to be upset with Trump for not doing enough, but do the normies? What exactly has he done to negatively impact them? Obama remained personally popular throughout his Presidency no matter what he did due to the media endlessly fellating him and the fact that Americans have been conditioned to worship blacks.

    @karla

    It astounds me how poor people laud the rise in the stock market. They don’t realize that the only people who benefit from the stock market are the rich.
    Ask a conservative or evangelical if the stock market rise has resulted in their getting a new job, raise in pay, lower cost of living, affordable educational or medical expenses and they just look at you with blank looks in their eyes. Some people never learn.

    What poor people laud the rise in the stock market?

    It is however not uncommon for middle class people to laud the rise of the stock market as their pensions (whether 401k or traditional) depend on stock market returns.

    And let’s not forget that not all of us in the nationalist movement are broke either. Much of my income comes from capital and I spend zero Dollars on education or healthcare. So rising stocks are good for me, and our broken healthcare and education systems are irrelevant.

    @Le Hunt

    They also laud the new tax bill which will actually be detrimental to them. One poor fool was wondering if he’d get enough back to buy a new truck. I remember Reagan’s tax bill, it put a whopping $7 extra a week into my husband’s paycheck.

    If you’re poor and you wonder if a tax cut will let you buy a new truck–and the first thing you want to do with the additional money is buy a new truck–there’s a reason you’re poor.

    Steps to not being poor:

    1 – Controlling expenditures
    2 – Basic financial literacy

    The vast majority of personal income taxes are paid by top earners, so by definition any kind of income tax cut will have a trivial benefit to lower earners.

    From 2015: https://taxfoundation.org/summary-latest-federal-income-tax-data-2015-update/

    The top 1% of earners (more than $400k in pretax income) paid 37% of all income taxes, and the top 10% collectively paid more than 70%.

    The bottom 50% (anyone under $36k) had an average tax rate of 3.3%–nothing much left to cut for that group.

    We could cut payroll taxes which would make a real difference to poor people, but then Social Security and Medicare cease to be social insurance programs and become just another welfare program.

    Things were a little different in 1980, as Peter Brimelow explained: http://dailycaller.com/2017/04/04/taxes-wont-work-for-trump-trade-and-immigration-will/

    Inflation had pushed the median income tax rate up past 30%. I don’t know what your husband made, but there’s a reason Reagan’s tax cuts were supported by more than 50% of people.

    Today tax cuts are no longer a populist issue, and thus in political terms it was foolish to push this (even if the corporate tax rate required reform).

  5. @thorfinnsson

    You may not feel broke, but you are only one potato famine away from it.

    “Middle class” is a term that has been misappropriated in this country. I will guarantee you that you are not middle class, at least by any historical approach to the term. First class people drive society, middle class families do not have to work, everyone else is like myself-a peasant who works for the upper two groups. The government has created a fourth class of leeches and lazies but their creation doesn’t make me “middle class.” No we are just peasants……unless you have 20 million sitting in a bank account somewhere. But then why would you be here commenting?

    • Are you from the British Isles? Middle class in America ordinarily refers to blue collar and white collar workers who make something near the median income. People who make enough to own their own house and perhaps do things for their children.

      I am rich compared to the ordinary American, but I am not part of the oligarchy. I aspire to join the oligarchy, but that will take time, hard work, and of course luck.

      As to why I am here commenting…because I like this blog and I am part of the movement. I especially like Hunter Wallace’s history article. I donate to causes and personally engage in organization.

      Why would my wealth stop me from being here? And to be clear my wealth is relative. I have the freedom to never work again now (but I will never stop working), but what I have is chump change compared to the top men.

      • @thorfinnsson

        I am from America and for sure my judgements on your wealth are unwarranted and I am glad you are on this site.

        My main point is that the definitions handed down to us of “middle, upper, and lower” classes are rubbish. You think you are middle class by using the systems definitions. In antebellum South in the 1800s people had a lot more wealth. I read a receipt from the Ready family on one cotton sale from 1867 for the amount of $65,000. That wasn’t their only crop and that was back when a nickel in the stores bought you groceries. Wealth was a lot more equally distributed among the classes.

        My view of upper class is the 1 percenters. They don’t fly on your airplane they fly their own private jets and have nothing to do with the lesser classes until they want political favors. The true middle class in this country is your sports players, musicians, Hollywood stars, successful business people, politicians. They fly on your airplanes but love the first class seat separation and also don’t associate with lesser classes. The third and fourth classes are the same with the exception of the fourth class is only mooches and lazies who will not work.

        In any case I apologized for offense but most people think they are middle class if they make 50k-150k a year. I proudly accept my peasantry. What we need more than anything in this country is true private property ownership.

        • Thank you for your courtesy to me, but I was not offended.

          To be clear I am in the 1%–my income is sufficiently high to place me in that. I am not sure what the 1% in wealth is. I am young so perhaps I am not in the 1% of wealth.

          The 1%, which is defined as income over $400k per year, does not allow you to own a private jet. You need a lot more money than that.

          I do not consider myself middle class, but the oligarchy makes 10-1000 times more money than I do every year. As I noted earlier I aspire to join the oligarchy, but it will take time and hard work to get there. Hopefully I can grow my business to that level.

          I could afford “fractional private jet ownership” through a company like NetJets, but I don’t use this as I consider it too expensive. Instead I fly first or business class. The more money I spend on bullshit the less rich I get. This same logic is true at every income level.

          We certainly do need private property ownership, but the issue with that is winner-take-all markets and monopoly concentration. At the very top levels of the economy both executives and businesses with power use that power to drive to themselves super profits. Such power is not available to those of us in the mere 1%–and certainly not to the 99%.

          Ultimately I hope to acquire such power myself, but as noted it will take time as I am not in an industry which attracts venture capital. And in any case I do not want to surrender equity to people outside the family. Once I do acquire that power I plan to use it to benefit our movement.

          I am proud of what the alt-right has accomplished on a shoestring, but to defeat our overlords we will need some businessmen to provide us with both money and organization. I also network with other young businessmen (boomers are hopeless) to get other successful people into our movement.

          I do try to avoid the lesser classes other than my employees. It is nothing personal, but I simply do not have much in common than them. I find normal people to be embarrassing failures. And to be clear here I mean normal people with an above average IQ–if someone is dim I cannot hold his low station against him. Of course people in my class I often find to be cucks, so something is lost in not being “normal”. My mentor for instance genuinely believes the trash printed in The Economist.

          I do understand that ordinary have been fucked by the system, and I do what is in my power to help them provided they help me. The starting wage I offer people is $15 an hour, and I provide medical/dental/vision and a generous 401k. I don’t just do this out of a kind heart, but because it is in my self-interest offer more–it allows me to get the best people in town.

          I see lots of hostility in the alt-right to the business class, and given all that has happened I can’t blame my fellow nationalists. Hopefully you guys don’t hang me at least.

          • For myself my hostility is to the Oligarchs, bankers and monopolizers not all people who produce things. I’m not against people making money.

  6. @thorfinnsson

    “We certainly do need private property ownership, but the issue with that is winner-take-all markets and monopoly concentration.”

    Could you elaborate on that more please? I want to understand.

    • A winner take all market basically describes a situation where there are a small number of positions which must be filled with extraordinarily talented people.

      The the classic example is professional sports. While there are tens of thousands of people who can play sports at a very high level, only a few hundred are good enough to make it into the pros. As such those who make it are able to command extraordinarily high salaries absent government regulation. The salaries they command are far beyond what is required to attract them to these positions.

      The same thing applies outside of sports. Many people can run large corporations, but only one runs the corporation at a time. The difference between the best candidate and someone who is only 90% as good means a massive difference in returns to shareholders. As a result the CEO of a big company can and does demand an extraordinary salary–often as much as $100m a year.

      This kind of logic dominates the top of the economy regardless of the sector.

      The New Deal, and similar events in Europe, sought to suppress this and did so successfully. As a result people who ran gigantic corporations only earned 10-30 times what ordinary workers did, with no loss in talent.

      This was a historical aberration, and now we’ve returned to “normal”. Just as Charles Scwab made a million dollars a year (in 1900 Dollars) to run US Steel, today top corporate officers earn 300 times what ordinary workers do–simply because they can. If any company doesn’t pay them this salary, they will go elsewhere.

      Regarding monopoly concentration, as Karl Marx said capitalism tends to monopoly. Over time firms consolidate or form agreements in order to preserve high profits. The result is that gains in productivity, instead of flowing to workers or consumers, flow to shareholders or executives.

      This is why the populists of a century ago were obsessed with monopoly concentration.

  7. I don’t see how private property would create this. You wouldn’t have public ownership of companies, shareholders to appease, and ridiculous payouts without the budgets making sense.

    • Public companies are private property. Your share in a public company is your private property. I should know, as I am a major investor. I have large positions in Aflac, Kroger, and Costco for instance. I exercise my rights for board advisory.

      Are you suggesting we abolish the stock market? England did just that after the collapse of the South Sea Company Bubble (which ensnared Isaac Newton among other people!). The country adopted the Five-Partner rule, which for a century prohibited more than five shareholders in any corporation.

      For a long time real estate existed outside of the stock market. This has changed recently with the rise of Real Estate Investment Trusts.

      If diffused, liquid ownership of companies were forbidden we would still have highly paid managers. We *MIGHT* not have public companies as vast as Wal-Mart, but we would still have vast companies. In a privately held company worth one-hundred billion dollars, paying a manager thirty million dollars a year who improves performance is not an outrageous expense if he delivers the goods. The Koch Brothers manage a fully private company of this size. Their managers are paid as much as equivalents in publicly-held companies.

      And even if this system suppressed the income of managers, we would still have concentrated ownership of capital. The owners of capital would derive outsized, massive incomes from it. We have now returned to the “norm” in inequality which departs from the mid-20th century model that so many are fond of. The inequality today and prior to the New Deal is mathematically identical to the inequality which existed seven-hundred years ago.

      The good news is that today anyone can choose to acquire assets with small sums. No matter what your income, you can open a brokerage account and start buying assets immediately. In the past you needed enough capital to be able to purchase land.

  8. I am suggesting we do that. I am not against vast companies/”big business” but democracy. I am against democracy at the voting booth, at the borders, and in business.

    Yes managers would still receive good monies for doing good work, I have no problem with this. We are never going to rid ourselves of “one percenters” under any government (this is why slavery is not wrong) but we can create a healthy atmosphere for these classes to work together.

    • There is no democracy in business. Your voting rights in the company are directly proportional to your share ownership in the company. It is not one man, one vote. It is one Dollar, one vote. If you own 51% of the shares or more you are almost an absolute dictator (the law gives minority shareholders some rights).

      Do you own any stock?

      I do agree that we should work towards class collaboration, but the mid-20th century distribution was probably never realistic. What we need to do now is convince our upper class to support an organic society beneath.

      And if we can’t convince them, we need to replace them. Those of us in the alt-right just beneath them are ready and willing to do so.

      I also think many alt-righters with no wealth or business experience could transition into such a role.

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