American Consequences - November 2019

A Thanksgiving Tragedy

Did This Company Just Kill Netflix?

The Mother of All Bubbles

AMERICAN CONSEQUENCES

I D E A S T H A T M A T T E R

E D I T E D B Y P . J . O ’ R O U R K E

EVERYTHING YOU THINK YOU KNOW ABOUT CRYPTO IS ABOUT TO CHANGE ERICWADE

CHARLIE SHREM CRYPTO

NOVEMBER 2 0 1 9

12-Term U.S. Congressman Ron Paul Joins Massive Crypto Event on Nov. 20th One new penny crypto could soon become the most talked-about investment in America… and create hundreds of surprise millionaires.

If you didn’t buy bitcoin for 5 cents back in 2010… Then get ready for November 20th. 12-term U.S. Congressman Ron Paul will discuss the future of cryptocurren- cy and the markets at 8pm ET. In short, Dr. Paul will discuss a massive crypto story for 2020. You’ll see why it could hand you the biggest investment gain of your life… on a crypto trading for less than a penny today. In this exclusive event, you’ll hear about a single new investment that could soon be on the tip of everyone’s tongue… Not bitcoin… Libra… or anything you’ve ever heard of before. It’s a radical new crypto that could soon disrupt the biggest companies in America, and transform the way you shop, eat, interact online, and more. To give you the full story, Congress- man Paul will join a legend of the crypto world who’s made 21 times his money in 4 months on Substratum… 14 times his money in 7 months on Litecoin… and dozens more… They’ll brief you on a world-changing new phase in the crypto space that could change the way you think of bit- coin and how you do business, forever. You can’t afford to miss this event… It’s a transformation that could make a

single new cryptocurrency outperform gold and the stock market by 50 to 100 times in the coming months. And in the process, create an oppor- tunity the likes of which we haven’t seen since the 37,473,900% rise of bitcoin. On November 20th, get ready for a behind-the-scenes look at why EV- ERYTHING YOU KNOW about the crypto space is about to radically change… And why 2020 could see a bigger crypto boom than we’ve ever seen before. This online event is free to watch. But we anticipate massive demand to hear Congressman Paul. If you’re inter- ested, reserve a spot as soon as possible at www.DrRonPaulCryptos.com . As you’ll learn on November 20th… A crypto that is MUCH, MUCH smaller than bitcoin could soon make you thousands of percent… and fulfill one of the original func- tions of bitcoin in a way few people can imagine is even possible right now.

In fact, it could ultimately spell the end of Uber, eBay, PayPal, Airbnb, and several other well-known businesses. Already, this “next bitcoin” is being used in over 100 countries… requires no trusted third party… and is current- ly being presented to governments, corporations and banks. Even better, at today’s prices – about a penny – if you invest just $100 into the “next bitcoin” and it hits only $50 a coin, you’d be up more than half a million dollars. That’s why… even if you’re skep- tical of cryptos… we urge you to consider at least a SMALL specula- tion in this investment right now. On November 20th, join Congress- man Ron Paul for this breaking story. You’ll learn why $100 could hand you one of the biggest investment gains of your life, no matter where bitcoin goes next… and no matter what your background. On Nov. 20th, 12-Term U.S. Congressman Dr. Ron Paul will discuss a development that could soon become the most talked-about story in America. Quickly, reserve a free spot at www.DrRonPaulCryptos.com .

Some experts call it “The Next Bitcoin.”

It’s not a currency in any convention- al sense. And yet, it will ultimately change the way you and millions of other Americans do business in dozens of different ways.

For free access to his briefing, detailing the #1 penny crypto to buy now, visit: www.DrRonPaulCryptos.com

CONTENTS

NOVEMBER 2019 : ISSUE 30

LOST? CLICK HERE

56

60

64

60

6 68

38 The Allure and Limits of Monetized Fiscal Deficits BY NOURIEL ROUBINI BAD POLITICS why I’m thank ul for

4 Inside This Issue

AMERICAN CONSEQUENCES

BY STEVEN LONGENECKER

6 Letter From the Editor BY P.J. O'ROURKE

42 Crypto King: Eric Wade

BY STEVEN LONGENECKER

Editor in Chief: P.J. O’Rourke Editorial Director: Carli Flippen Publisher: Steven Longenecker Executive Editor: Buck Sexton Managing Editor: Laura Greaver Creative Director: Erica Wood Contributing Editors: Michael J. Boskin, Dr. David Eifrig, Kim Iskyan, Stephen Moore, Dr. Ron Paul, Nouriel Roubini, Charlie Shrem, John Stossel, Eric Wade, Selena Zito Cartoon Director: Frank Stansberry General Manager: Jamison Miller Advertising:

10 From Our Inbox

50 Become a Blockchain Expert BY ERIC WADE

16 A Thanksgiving Tragedy BY JOHN STOSSEL

56 A Can In The Can

20 Did This Company Just Kill Netflix? BY DR. DAVID EIFRIG 24 Will The Democrats Miss Middle America Again? BY SELENA ZITO

BY CHARLIE SHREM

60 The Mother of All Bubbles BY DR. RON PAUL

64 Electing America's Economic Future

BY MICHAEL J. BOSKIN

28 Stop Scaring the Children BY STEPHEN MOORE

68 The Final Word

BY BUCK SEXTON

32 The Economic Itch the IMF Can’t Stop Trying to Scratch BY KIM ISKYAN 36 This Year's Holiday Gift Guide BY P.J. O'ROURKE AND HENRY SMITH

Ricky D'Andrea, Jill Peterson Editorial feedback: feedback@ americanconsequences.com

72 Featured Contributors

American Consequences

3

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

H ere at American Consequences, we’ve been watching blockchain technology and cryptocurrency for more than two years now with equal parts fascination and skepticism... This year, bitcoin has nearly tripled from its low. And one man’s name keeps getting brought up in conversations at conferences and industry events... We’ve featured him on the cover of our November magazine for good reason. From making $1 million from a domain name during the dot-com bubble... flying to 9/11 to help days after the attack... and being on the ground floor of the bitcoin-mining frenzy, his story is absolutely incredible. And if you’re still a crypto novice, fear not... we’ll show you how to become a blockchain expert in less than four minutes. Editor in Chief P.J. O’Rourke gets this month’s issue rolling with a silver-lining perspective on why he’s thankful for bad politics. Journalist John Stossel offers a different look at Turkey Day and private property rights in his Thanksgiving Tragedy. We can all agree streaming is the future... But which service will win? Dr. David Eifrig tackles this question in Did This Company Just Kill Netflix? “Trump was the symptom, not the cause,” writes shoeleather journalist Salena Zito in her search as to whether Democrats will miss middle America again in the 2020 election.

And economist Stephen Moore thinks it’s time we stopped scaring the children with climate-change hysteria. Then, we’re talking money... • Bitcoin pioneer Charlie Shrem shares his tale of unlikely money lessons he learned in federal prison • Investing writer Kim Iskyan takes on debt- ridden Argentina this month in his essay The Economic Itch the IMF Can’t Stop Trying to Scratch • And economist Nouriel Roubini examines the allure and limits of monetized fiscal deficits. Haven’t started your holiday shopping? Take a look at P.J. O’Rourke’s Gift Idea spread (for what not to buy!). And don’t miss former presidential candidate and congressman Dr. Ron Paul , who has a dire warning for you: Is the Mother of All Bubbles About to Pop? Professor of Economics Michael J. Boskin dives into what we need to think about when Electing America’s Economic Future. And for this month’s Final Word, executive editor Buck Sexton asks, Will the Never- Trumpers Get Their Revenge? We’ve uploaded a PDF suitable for printing to our archive page. And tell us what you think at feedback@ americanconsequences.com. Regards, Steven Longenecker Publisher, American Consequences

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November 2019

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From Editor in Chief P.J. O’Rourke

BAD POLITICS why I’m thankful for

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November 2019

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

A well-known saying is attributed to the Spanish mystic and Carmelite nun St. Teresa of Ávila (1515- 1582): “There are more tears shed over answered prayers than over unanswered prayers.” Likewise – let us hope to heaven – there are more smiles spread by things we had prayed would never happen... And certainly, if we’re people of conscience and faith, we prayed that American politics wouldn’t become as bad as they are at the moment. But bad politics do have a few good aspects (or such is my fervent wish in this otherwise politically bleak Thanksgiving season). First, let us be thankful that, in the matter of our domestic politics, we are a bitterly divided nation. This sounds like an odd thing to say. But highly polarized partisanship about internal political issues is, in fact, a kind of luxury. It shows that America is blessed with not being under grave external threat. When the U.S. is under grave external threat, Americans unite in a jiffy – the way we did after Pearl Harbor or 9/11. This unity is an awesome thing to behold. Also, it’s a “shock and awesome” thing to behold if you’re an enemy of America. If you’re someone who’s caused this grave external threat, we’re going to come and get you whether you’re in Berlin, Tokyo, Abbottabad, or a hole in the ground in Idlib, Syria.

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But when America is not under grave external threat, we Americans get to go back to indulging ourselves – in a wild extravagance of bickering with each other, the way we’ve been doing since 1776. Of course, this internal political strife can get out of hand... It did during the Civil War. However, as heated as America’s arguments may be at the moment, 2019 is not 1861. Fort Sumter is not taking any incoming fire. Our political battles are all smoke and no lethal fire. Except among a few fringe lunatics, our weapons are just TV shows and other such media pie fights. And the projectiles don’t land with deadly effect – they land with a stupid splat like Rachel Maddow and Sean Hannity. A second thing to be thankful for is that bad politics are a healthy reminder that politics are bad. Actually, being a “good” politician specifically requires committing every single one of the Seven Deadly Sins. “ Let us be thankful that, in the matter of our domestic politics, we are a bitterly divided nation. This sounds like an odd thing to say. But highly polarized partisanship about internal political issues is, in fact, a kind of luxury.

American Consequences

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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

Pride is foremost, of course. What kind of too-big-for-your-britches swell-head grandstander has the sheer damn conceit to flash the brass and come right out and claim that he or she ought to be president of the United States? It’s a nearly impossible job, and anyone who doesn’t admit that is unqualified for the position. The only kind of people we should want to be president are the kind of people we’d have to drag, kicking and cursing, into the Oval Office. (Anybody know where Clint Eastwood hangs out?) Envy is pride’s inevitable twin. Even the most successful politician is always envious of someone whose britches are further split at the seams, whose head has a more pronounced case of mumps above the ears, whose bleachers are jammed with a larger crowd of jerkwad fans. Hillary Clinton’s green glow of envy still shines so brightly that you can use it at midnight to read newspaper stories about Donald Trump from across the street from her house in Chappaqua. Wrath is the defining emotion of politics today. All the presidential front-runners are furious... Trump’s angry... Warren’s angry... “ Hillary Clinton’s green glow of envy still shines so brightly that you can use it to read newspaper stories about Donald Trump at midnight from across the street from her house in Chappaqua.

Biden is angry – although we sometimes have to wait a moment for him to remember what he’s angry about. Greed, Gluttony, and Lust play vital roles in politics. And I’m not referring to money, food, and rolls in the hay. Although with corruption, $1,000-a-plate campaign fund- raising dinners, and #MeToo stalking the halls of power, those transgressions do abound. But the true mortal sin of politics is greed, gluttony, and lust for power. The avaricious, the voracious, and the horny may be forgiven, but people whose deepest desire is to bend others to their will and lord it over mankind go to hell. And let us not forget Sloth. Politics might seem to be a busy and active profession with laziness rare among politicians. But politicians sure can be indolent, idle do- nothings when it comes to answering the needs of the American people. To give just one sinful example: The 15th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified on February 3, 1870. Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. Then came 95 years of Jim Crow state and local lawmaking until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed. And lastly, let us give thanks that our bad politics provide our terrible politicians with

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November 2019

something relatively harmless to do. They’re spending most of their time these days campaigning on their godawful political platforms. This keeps them away from the rest of us in remote places like Iowa, New Hampshire, and the Twittersphere where they’re out of our hair. It could be worse... They could be engaged in ordinary day-to-day life nearby. For example, if Joe Biden weren’t being driven from place to place on the campaign trail, he might be driving his own car in typical elderly fashion... at 15 mph and going the wrong way down a one-way street while leaving his turn signal on for half an hour. And however you feel about Donald Trump, you can be thankful that he’s too busy these days for much real estate development. Trump Taj Mahal, Trump Plaza Hotel, and Trump Entertainment Resorts all went bankrupt. Speaking of which, Elizabeth Warren’s practice, she might be working for Google or Amazon or Microsoft... and Google or Amazon or Microsoft would be bankrupt. Which South Bend, Indiana, might as well be, with a poverty rate of 25.4% compared to the national average of 12.3%. Plus, the city’s violent crime rate is 157% higher than the nation’s. Whatever Pete Buttigieg was doing as South Bend’s mayor, South Bend residents must be thankful that he’s off trying to do it to Iowans. Let us all bow our head in thanks for bad politics. specialty as a law school professor was bankruptcy law. If she were in private

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American Consequences

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FROM OUR INBOX

We hope we do comprehend the threat of collectivization. But we also try to keep in mind that collectivization can come from the right wing of the political spectrum too – as it did with 20th century European fascism. At 81 years of age, I have “seen it all”! I’m now impressed with a source that appears to be realistic about the results of current politics. Our nation needs this. Good work, American Consequences ! – Audie D. P.J. O’Rourke comment: Audie, it’s always good to hear from a grown-up (which I still define as “someone older than me,” and you’ve got me beat by nine years). Compliments from those who’ve seen it all mean a lot to us. Re: We’re Seeing Cracks in the Economy Debt binge? I used to joke that a nice dinner for two – cooking it at home – cost $50. It's now about $100. Then there’s healthcare, car payments, auto insurance, mortgage or rent, and upkeep if you own a house. One has to use a credit card to bridge the gap. Or have any kind of a life. My salary has remained the same since 2008... this year I actually and finally got a small raise, and I am a healthcare provider! So It’s unimaginable to me how those making half my salary live. Yes we are headed to a scary reckoning, no one I know is spending money on frivolous things. – Martine K.

Re: Our Newest Readers Weigh In

I am new to American Consequences but like what I’ve seen so far. – Roger R. P.J. O’Rourke comment: Roger, we like what we’ve seen of you so far, too! And we hope we do our job in a way that means we’ll see a lot more of you. Thank You Gentlemen for your wise and sound perspective on these important events! – Bob P. P.J. O’Rourke comment: We do our best to keep things in perspective. But it can be tough in a world (both political and economic) where too many people insist on seeing things in a one-dimensional way. Thank you for the insight and all objective views. Humble and grateful. – Charles W. P.J. O’Rourke comment: Charles, we’re proud and grateful to have you as a reader, so leave the humility to us (we could probably use some). Thanks for your newsletter. I don’t believe that a lot of moderate/conservative outlets, as well as the old guard, artifact Republican politicians, and the general population, fully comprehend is the threat of the collectivization of the left. – Tony C. P.J. O’Rourke comment: You’re welcome, Tony.

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November 2019

And we are on the hook – one way or another. Student loans keep getting larger... and can never be discharged in bankruptcy. Hospital bills are soaring... funded by payment plans and harassment from collectors. Credit-card debt, mortgage debt, personal debt – all are rising. For politicians, this desperation is an opportunity to win an election by “doubling down” and making bigger and bigger promises that they can’t pay for... and will only make these problems worse. For example – free college and the outright forgiveness of $1.5 trillion in student loans, free money via a “universal basic income,” or free health care via “Medicare for All.” But it will be an unrecoverable disaster for most Americans. However, we did recently read with interest a presentation about America’s huge wealth shift... and perhaps the end of American capitalism as we know it. If you’re interested in reading it too, click here.

Steven Longenecker comment: That’s a bit pricier than the home- cooked meals I make... We’re partial to a simple roasted chicken and a few vegetables on the side. But you’re right, Martine, higher in the past decade. But remember, that’s right at the 2% inflation that the Fed targets . So most folks in Washington, D.C. actually believe that this system of inflation and debt is working exactly the way it should. I think one real thing to take action on is our run-away national debt. When was it ever OK to spend what you don’t have to begin with? We also have a looming private/personal debt crisis in this country. – Mark E. Steven Longenecker comment: You’re absolutely right, Mark. And what’s worse, within the next 10 years, two things alone will eat up ALL government revenues: entitlements and the interest on the national debt. that prices have been climbing. Inflation stats from the Federal Reserve put prices at least 20%

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American Consequences

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FROM OUR INBOX

take his Geritol, and yet by now have simply had enough, and way more than enough, dammit, of our “extremely stable genius,” that font of “great and unmatched wisdom” who, in between tweeting, binge-watching TV, playing golf, selling out our allies and sucking up to our enemies (as long as they flatter him), seems to be running these “United Sheish” (sheesh indeed!) exactly as he ran his casinos? No, seriously, what the hell do we do? No fair urging us to emigrate! – Julian L. P.J. O’Rourke comment: Damn good question, Julian. And thank you for your witty and wise letter. You and I agree about the present political situation. I guess the only advice I would have is for us to keep in mind that as normal non-extremist Democrat Tip O’Neill said, “All politics is local.” There may not be much we can do about the dearth of political leadership at the top of the ballot. But there are plenty of broadly moderate to center- right Americans running for local offices. We should pay attention to them and support their campaigns and hope that they, as they climb the political ladder, will show us the way to a more sensible future. You wrote: “Warren thinks we can improve our economy by returning personal and corporate income taxes to Clinton-era levels. Are higher taxes good for the economy? U.S. per capita GDP, adjusted for inflation: $44,314 in 1998, $57,821 now. Question answered.” NOT! Using a totally irrelevant factoid to support the old right wing talking point that

Re: An Unflinching Look at ElizabethWarren’s Campaign Platform Thanks for your piece on Elizabeth Warren. The chuckles it inspired, however, failed to dispel an increasing sense of impending doom. Honestly, are our choices really (a) Warren (b) Biden, who clearly by now should be relaxing in Florida with his “record player,” and (c) Trump? Talk about picking your poison! Perhaps mine is an idle question, because I happen to live on the Upper West Side, where, let’s face it, even a dog turd labeled (D) could beat Trump next November, just as there are plenty of places in America that are Planet Manhattan’s mirror opposites, places where people sport “better Russian than Democrat” T-shirts (a choice nonexistent in Russia itself, where in “elections” the Boss wins 107% of the vote in some districts, and even 124% of the vote in others, and where those who dare express their displeasure with the Shirtless One risk being clubbed by Cossacks – or worse). But seriously, what’s your realistic advice not just to your readers, but more broadly to the millions (there used to be millions of us, at any rate) of normal non-extremist, broadly moderate to center-right Americans, and especially those lucky enough to live in places where their votes actually matter and the outcome of the election is not a foregone conclusion? What on earth should we do should we do if we just can’t stand Warren, can see that Uncle Joe forgot to

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November 2019

Re: Stop Scaring the Children on the Climate I’m about to turn 60 and I think we have been totally irresponsible in our handling of so many issues and to expect our children to fix it determines what history will say is that we are a me me me generation of narcissists and self-serving people... I’m proud of Greta and all teachers who are speaking up. How about blaming yourself for the situation and they have to speak upon the first place... – Pamela M. Steven Longenecker comment: Pamela, we wouldn’t think of arguing that the government hasn’t been irresponsible. That’s what the government does. But claims that politicians have “stolen my dreams and my childhood,” as Greta Thunberg put it, are a tantrum thrown by a teenager. The world isn’t going to end in 8.5 years... 10 years... or 12 years. And no politician is ever going to fix the climate. But the good news is that just as the world has improved in the past 100 years, the world will continue to improve in the next 100. Thank each new generation of inventors, entrepreneurs, and investors for that... not backward-looking governments or activists. Anyone who has actually read enough of the science to qualify as having an informed opinion knows perfectlywell that the alleged “doomsday” dates being bandied about are potential tipping point dates, not end-of-world dates. Some histrionic young millennials may well be confusing the two, but in general, the climate “doomsday” clock is not actually a thing. Calling it a doomsday clock in order

higher taxes destroy economic growth. How was the economy during the Eisenhower administration? In a word Great. There are many examples of strong economies with higher income tax rates than ours at present (including ours). Can tax cuts be a useful boost to the economy? Sometimes yes, especially if you focus the cuts at the low end of the income scale. If poor people get more money, they spend it, because they have to. It’s spending that really boosts the economy, not rich people stuffing their portfolios with tax savings. - Zane P.J. O’Rourke comment: Dear Zane, I doubt you and I are on the same page politically, but we do agree on one thing: Cut taxes on the poor. I’d start with the most regressive taxes, such as the sales tax and the excise taxes on tobacco and alcohol that make the few pleasures the poor are able to afford unaffordable. But I think you should realize that “stuffing portfolios” is also a form of spending. What rich people are spending their money on is a pool of resources – “capital” – that will be available for debt and equity investment in the free market and that investment creates both jobs for poorer people and cheaper and more easily available goods and services for those poorer people to buy. The portfolios may be stuffed for selfish reasons, but the stuffing benefits everybody. One reason to keep this money out of the hands of government (by means of lower taxes) is that government has a long, long record of allocating capital much less efficiently than the free market does. When portfolios are badly stuffed (full of government pork-barrel funding), everybody is harmed.

American Consequences

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FROM OUR INBOX

It seems to me that most alarmists too often end up seeking power and money more than actually solving anything. – Bart H. Steven Longenecker comment: Bart, you understand our point well. The hullabaloo on the urgency of governmental action – whether that’s a carbon tax, banning plastic straws, or a full-fledged Green New Deal – isn’t about helping the environment. It’s about money, power, and fear. As P.J. put it some years ago: “ Everybody wants to save the Earth; nobody wants to help Mom do the dishes .” Case in point, this story from earlier this month: Climate-change confessions of an energy reporter. Re: P.J.’s Top 15 Tips for Saving Energy and Protecting the Environment At first I thought he was nuts, then I understood the satire. Keep it up P.J. You understand America a lot better than most. – Beth Anne G. P.J. O’Rourke comment: Thanks, Beth Anne! But let us note that “nuts” and “satirist” are not mutually exclusive categories. What if the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA) existed during the time of dinosaurs and succeeded at preventing their extinction? Massive beasts would be with us today, thus thwarting the course of nature, that same nature that eliminated these prehistoric species before the advent of humans. Therefore, the purpose of

to dismiss it is a deliberately exaggerated untruth, a red herring, a misleading semantic argument, an ad hominem “Greta’s a snowflake” attack dishonestly put out as an excuse to ignore global warming in general and possible industrial involvement specifically. –WilliamW. Steven Longenecker comment: William, your full e-mail was arguing in good faith and we appreciate it. But we do have to note that the quasi-official Doomsday Clock, maintained by the nonprofit Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists , does adjust its “minutes to midnight” based on climate change – among other clearly apocalyptical threats like all- out nuclear war. And they are not shy about big claims about how close the world is to disaster. I’ve read lots of literature on both sides on all cases. Both sides have quacks, and both sides have people with decent facts and positions. But like statistics, facts can be spun to prove your point no matter which side you are on. Bottom line: stop telling me what to think and what to do. Let me live my life my way, and leave me the hell alone. – Eric M. Steven Longenecker comment: We couldn’t agree more, Eric. As Ronald Reagan said in 1986: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”

Send us a message, question, or criticism at feedback@americanconsequences.com.

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November 2019

Re: Will the ‘Never- Trumpers’ Get Their Revenge?

government and environmental laws are to subvert nature in the name of saving it. “I’ve abandoned free market principles to save the free market system,” (George Bush, December, 2008). And this is howwe got $23 TRILLION in debt; government is in charge. – Bill W. P.J. O’Rourke comment: Yow, Bill! Dinosaurs in my backyard! Scary! I like to think of myself as a conservationist, but I’ve got my limits. So I take your point, especially if those dinosaurs are leaving $23 trillion worth of dinosaur poop on my lawn. Re: Bears For bear advice, go read Ben Kilham’s books. He is a bear expert, raises orphan cubs, instructed the Chinese in how to better raise pandas and writes very interesting books. Your advice is inadequate and, in part, wrong. If you are going to publish advice regarding bears, get the best information first, please. I had a close encounter with a black bear in NH. By staying calm, circling way around it, waiting ‘til it climbed a tree to advance, all was uneventful. Granted, brown bears present more of a challenge. Shooting as a solution seems biophobic. – Alexandra M. Steven Longenecker comment: Thanks for the recommendations, Alexandra. But to be clear, the shoot-first potential solution is only good for five days here in Maryland. For the rest of the year, we’re perfectly happy giving way to a black bear. And we avoid grizzlies as much as we can while in Canada or Alaska.

I enjoy the content of American Consequences and I am supportive of most of the conservative agenda. The left and its media allies are only too willing to demonize us for political gain. But fighting fire with fire only builds a bigger fire. Conservatives need to quietly educate people about how the left has sold them out for their vote for generations. We need to lead by example, not by brashness and ego. We need to support people who are constructive about America’s political problems, and supportive of our allies in a dangerous world. Donald Trump is not that person. – Tim D. P.J. O’Rourke comment: Dear Tim, I’m sad to say I agree with you. I wish I thought President Trump was just a guy with a big mouth whose heart was in the right place. But his egotism and his impulsiveness worry me. Also – and I’m not sad to say this – I think one’s political opponents should be treated with respect. I want to convince liberals that their liberalism doesn’t have the liberal effects that they hope for. I don’t want to convict liberals for being liberal. If I’m going to be convincing, I have to be listened to. And, though it may seem paradoxical to the president, the louder you shout, the less anybody listens. Buck Sexton comment: Tim, I appreciate your thoughtful response. That said, I must respectfully disagree. You either stand up to bullies or get bullied. You fight back against an attacker or you get victimized.

American Consequences

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A THANKSGIVING TRAGEDY

ANYWAY YOU SLICE IT

By John Stossel

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November 2019

PROPERTY RIGHTS ARE A PROVEN

his Thanksgiving, as you celebrate the meal the Pilgrims ate with Indians, pause a moment to thank private property. RECIPE FOR PROSPERITY T

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property, or as Bradford put it, “set corn every man for his own particular. ... Assigned every family a parcel of land.” That simple change brought the Pilgrims so much plenty that they could share food with Indians. Bradford wrote that it “made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.” We see this principle at work all around us today. America is prosperous because private property is mostly respected, and people work hard to protect what they own. China rose out of poverty only when the Communist rulers finally allowed people to own property and keep profits from it. But wait, you say, didn’t the Native Americans live communally? Isn’t that proof that socialism and collective property work? No. It’s a myth that the Native Americans had no property rules. They had property — and European settlers should have treated those rules with respect. Native American property rules varied. There wasn’t much point trying to establish private property in rocky hinterlands where no one traveled. But, writes Terry Anderson of the Property and Environment Research Center, “Private garden plots were common in the East, as were large community fields

I know that seems weird, but before that first Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims nearly starved to death because they didn’t respect private property. When they first arrived in Massachusetts, they acted like Bernie Sanders wants us to act. They farmed “collectively.” Pilgrims said, “We’ll grow food together and divide the harvest equally.” Bad idea. Economists call this the “tragedy of the commons.” When everyone works “together,” some people don’t work very hard. Likewise, when the crops were ready to eat, some grabbed extra food — sometimes picking corn at night, before it was fully ready. Teenagers were especially lazy and likely to steal the commune’s crops. Pilgrims almost starved. Governor Bradford wrote in his diary, “So they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could ... that they might not still thus languish in misery.” His answer: He divided the commune into parcels and assigned each Pilgrim his own

American Consequences

17

ANYWAY YOU SLICE IT

No group in America has been more “helped” and “managed” by the federal government than Indians. Because of that, no group has done worse. over Indians’ lives, in collaboration with the government’s Bureau of Indian Affairs. Since then, no group in America has been more “helped” and “managed” by the federal government than Indians. Because of that, no group has done worse. Homes on reservations are likely to lack electricity and indoor plumbing. There is serious alcoholism and drug abuse. A staggering number of American Indians are unemployed. Many commit suicide. Jules says not being able to own your own land is part of the problem. “You can’t borrow. You can’t get a mortgage. You can’t be bonded. There’s nothing that you can have that’ll allow you to be able to go to the bank on your own without the (government) minister co-signing that loan.” Tribal governments function about as badly as governments run by white people. They waste money, mismanage valuable resources, and give sweetheart deals to crony businesses. If we want to give people — all people — reason to celebrate this Thanksgiving, give them the proven formula for prosperity. Get government out of the way and respect every

with plots assigned to individual families. Harvesting on each plot was done by the owning family, with the bounty stored in the family’s own storehouse.” Today, however, many American Indians live in poverty. It’s not because Native Americans are lazy or irresponsible. When Indians are allowed to own their own land, they prosper. The laws of economics are the same for all people. I asked Manny Jules, chief of the Kamloops Indian Band for 16 years, why so many Indians are poor. “Nobody chooses poverty,” he said. “We’ve been legislated out of the economy by the federal governments, both in the United States and Canada.” That sounds odd to people who know how much money governments spend to “care for” Indians. “Well, by taking care of us, that means providing social welfare programs,” says Jules. “The only way to break the cycle of poverty (is) real property rights.” The U.S. government, after killing thousands of Native Americans and restricting others to reservations, gave tribal governments control John Stossel is an award-winning contrarian journalist and most recently the author of No They Can't! Why Government Fails – But Individuals Succeed.

individual’s property rights. © Creators Syndicate, Inc.

18

November 2019

It’s Been Almost 20 Years ADVERTORIAL Since he walked away from Wall Street

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Studies music…

…and builds guitars from scratch.

But even after all these years, this former hedge fund trader still gets up before dawn to keep a close eye on the financial markets.

 See what he’s discovered – and find out what it means for you.

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By Dr. David Eifrig

DID THIS COMPANY JUST KILL NETFLIX?

20

November 2019

One thing is certain...

Streaming is the future.

Take the music industry – it has entirely shifted to streaming. CDs and iPods are irrelevant. How about the video industry? DVDs and DVD players are now things of the past. Betting on innovative streaming companies should pay off down the road. But which streaming service will win? If you have the foresight to answer that question, you’ll make a lot of money. Ten years ago, if your answer was Netflix (NFLX), you’d be sitting on a small fortune today... If you bought Netflix’s stock in November 2009, you’d be up about 3,500%. Netflix changed the game with its original content, vast library of shows and movies, and simplicity. It’s the clear leader in the video- streaming space right now, with nearly 160 million subscribers globally. But the gap between Netflix and everyone else has been shrinking . Amazon (AMZN) is becoming a contender with its Prime Video streaming service. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you

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Then you have a host of other streaming services like Apple TV+, Showtime, HBO Max, DirectTV Now, and CBS All Access. And every network that has been taking a beating because of the cord-cutting movement is planning to come out with its own streaming service. So which streaming service has the best shot to win over the next few years? It turns out there doesn’t need to be one winner... According to Deloitte’s annual automatically get Prime Video, giving it a huge advantage since the online monolith has more than 100 million Prime members. Original shows like Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan and Carnival Row have been well-received by fans. And Hulu has about 30 million subscribers. Although Hulu is a fraction of Netflix’s size, it grew nearly 50% last year. With hit original shows like Shrill and The Handmaid’s Tale , Hulu is becoming a formidable foe.

But the gap between Netflix and everyone else has been shrinking.

American Consequences

21

NETFLIX

Think about how many die-hard Star Wars and Marvel fans there are. If you think they’re not going to pony up for Disney+, you’re crazy. Disney+ has around 7,000 TV episodes and 400 to 500 movies. Compared with Netflix, that’s still not very big. According to research firm Ampere Analysis, the TV shows on Disney+ only amount to about 16% of what Netflix offers. And the movie library will be roughly eight times smaller than Netflix’s. Don’t let that stat fool you, though... For Disney+, it’s all about quality. Disney having its own streaming service also means it’s going to pull its content from other services like Netflix. Marvel’s new the top streaming services because of its deep treasure trove of content. The company has so much beloved content and can use its characters and stories to churn out hit original shows and movies for years to come... There’s the Star Wars franchise, Marvel, Pixar, and of course all of its iconic cartoon characters. Think about how many die-hard Star Wars and Marvel fans there are. If you think they’re not going to pony up for Disney+, you’re crazy. Disney+ will be for everyone. Children, sci- fi fans, action fans, and even those strange High School Musical fans will want to buy a subscription. And the price of Disney+ is between $6 and $7 a month – about half the cost of a standard Netflix plan. That makes it a no-brainer to purchase.

Digital Media Trends survey, the average U.S. consumer subscribes to three video-streaming services. But a streaming service needs to do one critical thing to attract customers. Each company needs to convince potential customers to download another app and sign up for another monthly charge. Subscribers aren’t going to do that to get access to just one or two shows... or even five shows. These streaming companies need a huge catalog of high-quality content to attract new customers. The customer must need those shows and movies, not just be slightly interested in watching them. To have such a huge catalog, a business needs billions of dollars to either produce shows or buy the rights to them. And to get those billions, it helps if that company already has a lot of customers. Video-streaming is a tough business. It’s hard to bet against Netflix, given its strong position already. And it’s hard to bet against Amazon in just about any business it enters. Yet we think one other streaming service has the power to capture millions of customers. It comes from a world-class company that has the content and size to take on both Netflix and Amazon. GETTING INTO THE GAME Media giant Disney (DIS) didn't used to be known as a streaming company... but it is now. It launched Disney+ on November 12. Disney+ instantly became a competitor to

22

November 2019

Captain Marvel movie will be the first movie to stream exclusively on Disney+. And of course, Disney officially closed its $71 billion acquisition of the major entertainment assets of 21st Century Fox. That means Disney will have access to popular franchises like the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and Avatar. The acquisition is going to make Disney’s star-loaded bench even deeper.

In 2013, the company premiered its first Netflix-produced show, the political drama House of Cards . Then it began raking in subscribers with original content like Orange Is the New Black and Stranger Things . Netflix had about 40 million paying subscribers in 2013. Disney+ is only projected to have 13 million subscribers by the end of next year (with other estimates only a few million higher). This is

If history dictates how Disney will use Fox’s content, then this acquisition makes a ton of sense. To the right are the top-10 grossing movies of all time, which Disney’s studios dominate. Morgan Stanley projects that by the end of 2020, Disney+ could have 13 million subscribers. And the company could have 50 million streaming subscribers when

All-Time Box Office Worldwide Grossing Movies

for a service that costs less than Netflix – only $6.99 a month – and with arguably more desirable original content than Netflix. Plus, folks are primed to pay for digital streaming services. Netflix was the “first mover” in streaming TV and movies. But now Disney doesn’t have to build a new industry from scratch. And just recently, it teamed up with Verizon Communications (VZ)

TITLE

STUDIO

SALES

Avengers: Endgame

Disney

$2.8B

Avatar

Fox

$2.8B $2.2B

Titanic

Paramount

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Disney

$2.1B

Avengers: Infinity War

Disney

$2.0B

Jurassic World Universal

$1.7B $1.7B $1.5B $1.5B

The Lion King Disney

The Avengers

Disney

Furious 7

Universal

Avengers: Age of Ultron Disney

accounting for its other services like Hulu and ESPN+. Morgan Stanley also projects that Disney+ could have more than 130 million subscribers by 2024. We think that’s too conservative. Disney+ will shatter those expectations. Netflix introduced its streaming service in 2007. It had about 7.5 million subscribers (including DVD subscribers). But Netflix didn’t really burst onto the scene until a couple years later.

$1.4B

to offer some its customers one free year of Disney+. That alone will bring in millions of users. The Disney+ subscriber estimates out there are far too conservative. Low expectations mean the stock should do well after investors see how many folks subscribe to Disney+. Disney's future firepower is going to be incredible... and Disney shareholders have a lot to look forward to.

American Consequences

23

ELECTION 2020

WILL THE DEMOCRATS MISS MIDDLE AMERICA AGAIN?

By Salena Zito

24

November 2019

I

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n the weeks, then months, and now years after losing the presidential election in 2016, Hillary Clinton has repeatedly demonstrated in speeches and television interviews that she has no idea why she lost. She has blamed everything from racism to Russia, from the media to sexism, from the “deplorables” to stubborn, backward-looking nostalgia. Now she’s out saying Trump’s presidency is illegitimate and that she would defeat him again. She has not visibly reflected on the effects of her position on guns, her anti-fossil-fuel talk, and her open embrace of globalism. She seemingly hasn’t considered the political cost of living within the bubbles of Washington, New York, and Hollywood. Talk to Democrats today who live outside her bubble – those who either volunteered endless hours to help elect her or voted for her – and they will tell you that Clinton has no idea why she lost. Worse, they see their party going down the same road that led to her defeat four years ago, blaming white resentment... as well as Russia, the media, sexism, and deplorables.

You don’t have to look any further than the sound bites from this past week’s Democratic debate or the recent town halls. Confiscating guns, banning fracking, hiking taxes, providing free health care to illegal immigrants, and stamping out religious liberty were the promises Democrats made to compete for primary votes. Here is what most of Trump’s critics don’t understand about why this new conservative populist coalition voted for Trump over not just Clinton, but also over 17 very qualified, distinguished, mostly establishment Republican candidates in the party’s primary battle... It was never about Trump. It was always about their communities. Trump was the symptom, not the cause. These voters aren’t going to budge. It’s not that everyone who voted for him considers his first term a massive success that has improved

It was never about Trump. It was always about their communities. Trump was the symptom, not the cause.

American Consequences

25

ELECTION 2020

Democrats and Never- Trump Republicans won’t accept any blame for losing the public. Instead, they blame the public.

America’s economy and made us safer. It’s that Democrats and Never-Trump Republicans have done nothing to reflect on why they lost to this guy. They’d rather make fun of the voters – it is easier and makes for great sport on Twitter – than admit their contribution to this flee from normalcy. Successful people, when trying to recover from a setback, ask themselves, “Well, what did I do wrong to get my job/my life in this predicament?” Democrats and Never-Trump Republicans won’t accept any blame for losing the public. Instead, they blame the public. They never exclaim, “Dear God! They picked him over us? Jeez, we’ve got some self-reflection to do.” Which leads us back to what we’ve seen on the debate stage the past few months from the Democratic presidential candidates. They – with the exception of Amy Klobuchar and sometimes Pete Buttigieg – clearly haven’t learned why Clinton lost. Elizabeth Warren certainly hasn’t. The national press see her as a safe front-runner, largely because they find her a familiar character. They know someone in their Salena Zito is a CNN political analyst and a staff reporter and columnist for the Washington Examiner . She reaches the Everyman and Everywoman through shoe-leather journalism, traveling from Main Street to the beltway and all places in between.

personal or professional lives who is just like her: She’s their neighbor, their relative, or like someone they were taught by in college. Warren’s viewpoints are also familiar in the

newsroom, to put it gently. It’s not the same out here.

Democrats have lost the rural areas and are unchallenged in the urban areas, said Paul Sracic, political science professor at Youngstown State University. “Klobuchar and Buttigieg seem to understand that raising middle-class taxes to pay for health care will be a big issue for these voters,” he said of the suburban middle-class voters who could be available to a Democratic presidential nominee. There’s a healthy amount of middle-class suburban voters who are looking for an alternative to their current options. It appears only two on that stage understood the lessons of 2016 and 2018: the senator from a Midwest state and the mayor of a Midwest city. The rest seem to be repeating the mistakes of the former senator from New York. © Creators Syndicate, Inc.

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November 2019

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