The Trump phenomenon

I don’t understand why nobody saw it coming.

I know why I didn’t see it coming; I didn’t see it because I’m not plugged into the feelings that Trump supporters have. I started funding my IRA the year the program started. I was told that by the time I retired, I’d be a millionaire through the power of compound interest. It turns out, thanks to some bad investment advice, that the gains in my IRA were somewhat less than a bank rate CD–still I saved in my IRA and I saved outside my IRA and I lived modestly. Social Security that people 15 years ago were saying I’d never collect, started flowing in when I turned age 62 1/2. All in all, I followed the American dream, and did pretty well.

The optimism I hold about the future, about the long-term improvement in the lot of people, is not what lots of others feel. They are the second generation of hard-working individuals who just cannot get ahead. They are crushed by healthcare costs. They are told they need a college education, only to be crushed by debt to pay for it. Families have two wage earners, and hold down multiple jobs, and still can’t get ahead. The Walton (Walmart) family has a net worth equal to the bottom 42% of everybody in the whole county. What do these 42%ers have to be optimistic about? They believe that the “system” is stacked against them (and it pretty much is). For example, an overwhelming majority of Americans (7 in 10) support raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 and another poll found 75% wanted an increase to $12.50, but it didn’t happen. The system didn’t work for them.

That’s why there was to much popular support for Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Indeed, if it weren’t for the unique support Hillary Clinton brought to the race, we would be seeing an election this fall between Trump and Sanders—the two radical change candidates. People are unhappy, and people are not optimistic. They are willing go take what little they have and go to Las Vegas and bet it all on “00”.

About Kevin

Just an old guy with opinions that I like to bounce off other people.
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