Tag Archives: Donald Trump

Wake Up! The Stock Market Impacts Wage Increases… and You!

stockmarket

Recently, the stock market suffered two of the largest one day drops in history. Even if you are not heavily invested in the market, it does affect you. Before we dive in, we need to give a short explanation of how the stock market works. NOTE: There are numerous factors to consider too lengthy to list here. Therefore, this is brief overview of the market in very general terms…

Companies offer stocks (individual parts of the company) that can be bought by investors. The money from stock purchases is used to run companies. Investors buy stocks at a certain price that is determined by numerous factors. As these factors change, so does the value (price) of each stock. Investors make money by buying stocks as a lower price, and selling them when they are at a higher price.

To prevent massive selloffs as stock values increase, dividends (money the company pays out to investors as its stock’s value increases) and stock splits are offered to shareholders. So shareholders want companies to make profits so stocks values rise, dividends rise, and they make more money on their investments. Any factor that prohibits or slows this “process” is hostile to a shareholder and could result in a selloff of stocks. This is how the stock market decreases.

Now that we have this understanding, I want to draw your attention to some key points in an article about the recent stock market drops 

“The historic Dow Jones drop that occurred on Monday was in part a reaction to Friday’s jobs report, which showed stronger wage growth than at any point since 2009.”

What does this mean?

The stock market reacts negatively to higher wages earned by employees. The latest monthly jobs report included data that showed a wage increase. While this is great and welcomed news for employees, it is not great news for the companies they work for. The obvious reason is the companies are paying out more to employees, so their costs of doing business go up. If not leveraged correctly, a company loses money when it increases wages for its employees. So how does this affect the stock market? Read the next key point…

“As companies sink more money into wages, there’s less left for shareholders.”

What does this mean?

Shareholders, otherwise known as people who have invested money in a company, expect to make money off their investment. They don’t want to a little money. They want to make a lot of money! This means their interest (making money) is in direct conflict with your interest (higher wages as an employee). It is crystal clear: as companies sink more money into wages, there’s less (money to make off their investments) left for shareholders. Who wins this battle? Shareholders, who are necessary because of the money they invest in a company, or wage earners, who are necessary because of the work they do for a company.

“Wage growth also contributes to concerns about inflation — another drag on corporate profits and the expectation thereof, which is what motivates the stock market.”

What does this mean?

Wage growth contributes to concerns about inflation (a rise in the overall cost of living due to a rise in the cost of goods and services). Higher wages mean a company has to recover losses due to paying higher wages. An easy way to do this is to raise prices of their goods and services. This leads to inflation (notice the expression “another drag on corporate profits”). If higher prices result in fewer sales, corporate profits take a hit here, in addition to the hit taken from paying employees higher wages. These two losses mean less money for shareholders, which will lower the stock market if they decide to sell their stocks.

Now that we have a better understanding of the stock market, one must think about a few things and ask a couple questions:

  • If you do not buy stocks, or have the “disposable income” to do so, why not?
  • Who does the company you work for value more: you as their employee or their shareholders?
  • Who is not in favor of wages rising for employees, because it could negatively affect the stock market?
  • Who benefits most when the stock market rises?
  • Who tries to get out of the stock market when it starts to decline?
  • Who is more likely to own large amounts of stock: a poor/middle class person or an upper class/ wealthy person?
  •  Why are economics, finance, and the stock market not taught more in public grade and high schools where public education is free?

Please understand this issue is all about color. The color I am referring to is not white or black. The color is green (money). When we realize green controls everything AND it “trumps” all other colors, we will understand this has nothing to do with most issues that divide us. It has nothing to do with race, greed, skin color, gender, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, or political affiliation. The stock market only deals with money. For those heavily invested in the market, anything that causes values to increase is good. On the flip side, anything that causes value to go down is not good. Unfortunately, this includes higher wages for working people.

Wake Up! The stock market impacts wage increases… and you!

 

Reference

https://thinkprogress.org/trump-claims-stock-market-is-rigged-against-him-3cee051d4736/

 

 

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They Wanted the Presidential Pendulum to Swing, So They Voted Against Their Own Interests

Analysts, pundits, and even voters have questioned how the political rise of Donald Trump happened so quickly. There are several narratives to explain Trump’s ascent to the Presidency. He is an outsider without “ties” to Washington. He is not a politician. He is a job creator. While each of these statements is true to some degree, I believe there is a different reason for Trump. To me, it’s obvious: the main reason why Donald Trump is now the President of the United States is because a lot of people wanted the “Presidential Pendulum” to swing as far away from Barack Hussein Obama as possible.

pendulum

  • A lot of people cast their vote , in large part because they wanted the “Presidential Pendulum” to swing as far away from Barack Hussein Obama as possible.
  • A lot of people can see our demographics changing, so they wanted the “Presidential Pendulum” to swing as far away from Barack Hussein Obama as possible.
  • A lot of people desire to “Make America Great Again,” so they wanted the “Presidential Pendulum” to swing as far away from Barack Hussein Obama as possible.

Opponents and critics intentionally presented doom and gloom scenarios about a Barack Hussein Obama Presidency to scare people. Even though many of the doomsday scenarios the Obama Presidency was sure to bring never occurred, people were scared. Even as the Obama Presidency came to end, people were still scared. Even in the post-Obama era, people will be scared going forward. They needed someone to alleviate their fears. They chose Donald Trump. They wanted the “Presidential Pendulum” to swing as far away from Barack Hussein Obama as possible.

One thing about the transition of power from Barack Hussein Obama to Donald Trump is many people chose to vote against their own interests because they wanted the “Presidential Pendulum” to swing as far away from Barack Hussein Obama as possible. Let’s apply some logic by using a couple examples. To be clear, not all voters use one criterion to determine their vote. Also, not all people in deep-red states blindly vote Republican. Nevertheless, the examples that follow are worth consideration.

If Obama was the “Food Stamp President” and voting for Hillary Clinton was an extension of his policies, then why would deep-red states vote Republican? Take Mississippi for example. In 2015, Mississippi ranked first in the percentage of residents on food stamps (21.7%), and had over 650,000 total recipients. Although this is not the only reason to cast a vote, if I was a food stamp recipient in Mississippi I would strongly consider voting for any Democrat, especially the “Food Stamp President” (similar food stamp statistics also exist in deep-red states like Tennessee, Louisiana, and West Virginia to name a few).

Sure, this is only one example of people potentially voting against their interests because they wanted the “Presidential Pendulum” to swing as far away from Barack Hussein Obama as possible. Another example is healthcare. As we all know, the controversy surrounding the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) has been tremendous. Republicans have held numerous unsuccessful votes to repeal Obamacare. Now that Donald Trump is in Office, the race to repeal Obamacare has picked up even more steam. Yet voters in deep-red states have enrolled in and benefit from Obamacare, so repeal would cause them to lose, or at least change, their healthcare options. Keep in mind that a lot of these people were uninsured before Obamacare.

A list of Obamacare enrollments in some deep-red states as of January 17, 2017:

  • Alabama: 178,414
  • Georgia: 493,880
  • South Carolina: 230,211
  • Tennessee: 234,125
  • Texas: 1,227,290

To be clear, this does not mean all of the Obamacare enrollees voted Republican, but you can be sure some of them did. It also does not mean those who voted against this interest would have turned the result of the election in each particular state from Republican to Democrat. Yet it does show that people in deep-red states, who have been “told” how bad Obamacare is, still benefit from the law. If I was an Obamacare enrollee in Tennessee I would strongly consider voting for any Democrat, because their party introduced Obamacare.

These are not the only examples of people potentially voting against their interests because they wanted the “Presidential Pendulum” to swing as far away from Barack Hussein Obama as possible. If you want more, look for thing like “Obama Deporter-in-Chief”, Obama phones, and Obama and The Dodd-Frank Act as three additional reasons why deep red state Republican voters could have leaned Democrat instead of voting against their self-interests. Careful review of these, and many other examples, leads me to believe that there was a reason for the vitriol against Barack Hussein Obama and the love for Donald Trump (not to mention the hatred for Hillary Clinton).

For me it’s obvious:

They wanted to slow the demographic shift of the United States, so they voted against their own interests.

They wanted to erase the legacy of Barack Hussein Obama, so they voted against their own interests. 

They wanted the “Presidential Pendulum” to swing as far away from Barack Hussein Obama as possible, so they voted against their own interests.

What is not so obvious is who are “they”?

 

 

 

I’m Mad With Your Race

A lady I know, let’s call her 223, approached me and said “I’m mad at your race!” She is white. The “good” news is she felt “comfortable” saying this to me. I like to know where people stand on issues of race and culture. The bad news is I knew where this was headed. I responded with two questions:
“What race?”  
“The human race?”
Her response was “no, I mean YOUR race.” I replied, “oh, you mean MY race.”
Before we continue, let me provide a little background information. The debate about confederate flags and monuments, and Neo-Nazis and the KKK, is currently engulfing our nation. It seems that community after community is facing the question about what to do with Confederate monuments that are a sense of pride for some, and a symbol of hate for others. Here in the Tampa Bay area, removal of a monument of two Confederate soldiers has been a hot topic and it has spawned a heated debate. With this as the backdrop, 223 thought it was appropriate to say to me “I’m mad at YOUR race!”
Now that we established 223’s anger with “MY race,” I pressed on with the conversation. “Why are you mad with MY race?”
223 responded, “Because you want the monuments taken down.”
These are the times when I go into my interviewer/teacher/great debater role. I welcome these conversations; you know the ones about “MY race,” provided the person I am speaking to is willing to listen. Most of the time, I know these conversations probably will not resolve anything or change anyone’s opinion. But, I believe that if we talk these things out and try to listen to each other, at least we might get a glimpse (and maybe a little understanding) of how others think.  I tend to ask questions too, in hopes of getting my “opponent” to think and provide answer to support their point-of-view. Hold that thought…
So I engaged 223 with my interviewer hat on. “You do realize there are plenty of (using Donald Trump’s words) “very fine people,” I mean WHITE people who also want the monuments taken down too. Are you also mad at them?”
There was my first question. I threw that pitch right down the middle of the plate! I just wanted an answer that would confirm what I already knew, but hoped was not true: she was really mad at MY race.
She didn’t give a response! Instead, she launched into the next talking point (also espoused by Donald Trump). 223 said “who comes next: George Washington and Thomas Jefferson?” I was ready for that one. It was time to put on my teacher hat. “You do realize why Washington and Jefferson are viewed differently right?” No response to question two either.
Time to teach. Washington and Jefferson (and the other Founding Fathers), though neither saints  nor heroes in my eyes, at least had the forethought to put mechanisms in place to “decide” questions of race in the future. Although their idea was to produce a perfect union, they knew the society they created had flaws, which is one reason why the Constitution they created can be amended as needed. I give them credit for that. However, their reluctance to act upon their moral responsibility to end the “peculiar institution” has caused a, slow, but steady ripple effect that leads some people, even in 2017 to say: “I’m mad at YOUR race!”
Back to the story. This trail of logic would have been too much for 223, so I condensed it. I told her, “the difference is Washington and Jefferson never took up arms against the United States. The soldiers on this and other Confederate monuments (in particular Robert E. Lee) did. So monuments erected for them are viewed differently.”
Although this wasn’t a question, I thought maybe I could get a response worthy of continuing the “conversation.” Instead I got this: “well they were all involved in slavery.”  This is a valid point. But, it misses the mark because Washington and Jefferson are known more for the good they accomplished for our country. Robert E. Lee is known for his opposition to our country. I knew this response would require the great debater role in me. Should I take it there?
I did want to lay a tactful, yet pointed, smack down on my “opponent,” because unknowingly (I think) she put her foot in the slavery “debate.” All I needed to hear next was the talking point about how good slavery was for MY race back then. Believe it or not, in 2017, there are people who present and even accept as true the idea that slavery was beneficial…
Sometimes you should accept the fact that you have the high ground, and your opponent can’t take it from you. I was there. Any further conversation would have led to an “unnecessary” confrontation. I could not change 223’s heart or mind. It wasn’t worth it. I am the kind of person who can agree to disagree. By the way, I do like 223 as a person, and I think she likes me as a person too. However, I am not sure if our “acquaintance” trumps (pun intended) her opinion of “MY race.” It does mean I should keep 223 at the proper distance in regards to this topic, unless she chooses to have meaningful dialogue about it in the future.
I guess 223 is still mad at “MY race.”
What really concerns me is how many others feel the same way?

Join the Political Debate

Join the Political Debate: a chapter from the book:

Rise Up! 42 Additional Ways to Improve Black America Now, written by Gary A. McAbee

cropped-cropped-rise-up.jpg

NOTE: this excerpt was written in 2012, when I encouraged all people to get involved in the political process. It was an attempt to get people to wake up, and learn about the ways politics affect our daily lives. Today, the idea that people should pay closer attention to politics is more important than ever. As a country, we need to read and educate ourselves every day to join the political debate…

 

Now that we have an African-American President, there really is no excuse for black people to doubt the validity of the political process. The system still has subtle inequalities and injustices here and there, but for the most part we can believe that it works. We can believe that our votes are counted and they have meaning. We can believe that our voices, so often ignored in the past, have been heard. Now there is no excuse why we should not be more involved in politics, and issues that shape our communities, and nation as a whole.

How many ways are there for African Americans to contribute to the political process? We can start by voting. Barack Obama’s candidacy energized a new generation of voters while reawakening so many disenchanted ones. Let’s face it: many blacks were turned off by politics until Barack Obama came along. As a result, our voter turnout results were among the lowest of any race people until 2008. This is a trend that can continue if we ride the political wave that we are currently on.

We cannot forget the sacrifices that our predecessors made so that we can vote today. By voting, we can validate their efforts and the hardships they endured for future generations of African Americans like us. Until recently, our heroes such as Fannie Lou Hamer and Frederick Douglass would have been disappointed in us because of our spotty voting history. However, this disappointment would undoubtedly be turned into pride now that we voted en masse and helped to elect our current leader. In the future, we must continue to honor the legacies of those who paved the way for us to vote today by filling the ballot box.

African Americans can join in the political process by remaining aware of the decisions made on the local level. The decisions made by our city councils have long-lasting impacts on the issues currently affecting our lives. For example, I spoke in this book about the amount of bars and liquor stores in my old neighborhood. It takes licensing and zoning laws to operate businesses, so how can we have so many operating in a given area? The answer is because it is legal and allowed to happen. What can we do to change this?

We can start by getting involved by letting our local elected officials know that this is not acceptable. One thing we can do is voice our displeasure so that more of these places are not allowed to open in our communities. Take this action a step further. If we are not satisfied with our local representatives, we can email, call, or visit them! After all, they work for us and we can vote them out. Our strength lies in the fact that they are aware of this. So, if enough African Americans in Jersey City, NJ choose to complain about the establishments in our neighborhoods, changes would surely follow.

Moving on, education must become a part of the debate when joining the political process. Our schools do not place enough emphasis on the workings of government; therefore, we are left out of the loop when it comes to political matters. We can easily overcome this by using a very powerful tool at our disposal: the computer. With the advent of the computer, there is no excuse for a lack of knowledge in today’s society! We can learn about politics, the legal system, and policy formulation all by accessing the internet. As a result, we can be better prepared to join the political debate.

Increasing our knowledge base would lead to more African Americans who can become involved in the political process as candidates. A great way to influence and direct change in our communities is to elect our own officials. Our elected officials are vital to our agenda of better education, better and safer schools, and cleaner communities just by their presence alone. Their voice in government is better than having no representation at all. Therefore, we need to be sure that we are raising our next generation of politicians who will shape the future of African Americans.

This influx of talented minds would help to close the gap of a lack of African Americans on the national political scene as well. We are not visible enough in national politics. An illustration of this point is from studies of the Sunday early morning and daily cable news political shows and roundtable discussions. These are the best opportunities for elected officials to join the national political debate in front of millions of interested viewers. The studies paint an interesting picture.

I am one who hates to use statistics, because statistics can be analyzed from many different viewpoints. However, the following statistics about the lack of African-American viewpoints cannot be denied. For example, during a 16-month study on the Sunday morning talk show circuit, only 1 out of every 10 political figures invited was African-American. In fact, 60% of these shows had no black guests at all during the study. As a final thought, 69% of all African-American appearances were made by only three people: Juan Williams (author and FOX News correspondent), and former Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice.

This lack of representation points to the fact that our underrepresentation must be challenged and improved. Even if these political figures could push an agenda favorable to African Americans, how much impact could they really have on today’s political discussions? Therefore, we need more African Americans in politics to keep issues that affect us on the table.

There is one last point to be made about today’s political landscape. This is a reminder to our people, as well as our politicians, not to get caught up in the typical gridlock in our politics thanks in large part to political affiliations. It shouldn’t matter that Barack Obama is a Democrat. Nor should it matter that JC Watts is a Republican. It should not matter to us that Al Sharpton attracts negative publicity. Nor should it matter that Clarence Thomas possesses conservative views. They are all African-American political leaders that we can learn a lot from if we are open to joining the political debate. Their ideals can help us become more interested and educated about the political process.

Tearing Down Barack Obama: Who Will Finish The Job of Erasing His Legacy?

The Presidency of Barack Obama was historic for so many reasons. The most obvious is that he was the first African-American to serve as President of the United States. As a black man, I gushed with pride knowing that the ultimate glass ceiling, the office of the President, has been shattered by Barack Obama. Now young black males can look to the example of Barack Obama and dream of one day becoming the second African-American President of the United States. If you do not understand the importance of this, I suggest you think about it and try to find some empathy to comprehend the magnitude of this achievement.

Of course, the Presidency of Barack Obama had to come with a price. The price was the typical back-and-forth debates that happen constantly in Washington. Members of both political parties, Democrats and Republicans, play a significant role in these occurrences. Both political parties would like to limit the power of success of the other, all in an attempt to push their agenda through. It was under this backdrop that Barack Obama took office eight years ago. Naturally, he would be subject to the political wrangling and scrutiny that all Presidents must face while in office. However, upon careful review, I am one person who wonders if the scrutiny President Obama faced was typical, or greater than previous Presidents.

(…if you lean Republican, have conservative ideologies, or possess another motive not to be discussed here, I hope that you continue reading anyway. I am sure that your natural tendency is to immediately dismiss the premise I am about to present. I will give you that. However, I will not give you the right to discharge my point-of-view without at least trying to understand it. Without trying to frame his Presidency within the historical terms of black people in America, It will be difficult for you to accept what I will say next, nor agree with it at all. I only ask that you proceed and make an honest attempt at gaining some understanding…)

Post-election, was there a concerted effort to tear down Barack Obama, his Presidency, and the legacy he would leave behind? Let’s tart from the beginning and see where we go. It is known and proven that leaders of the Republican Party met behind closed doors immediately after the first election of Barack Obama. Their mission was laid out. They would obstruct President Obama at every turn, as well as try to render him a one-term President. I suppose this is normal and a method both Republicans and Democrats use once the other party wins the Presidency. However, was this the first time such a meeting was confirmed to have taken place?

I could be wrong (and feel free to provide facts that will do so), but I have followed American politics closely since the 2000 Bush vs. Gore election fight. I do not recall immediate opposition to President Bush, or at least not a backdoor meeting that went public. Nevertheless, the stage was set for opposition and obstruction of President-elect Obama. This is undeniable.

Now back to my original point: how does it look when the first African-American President faces obstruction and purposeful attempts to “sabotage” his Presidency from day one? How am I, given all of the obstruction black people have faced in America, supposed to feel  when I know there are member of our own Government dead-set against this President?

Let’s fast forward to how many times during both of his terms that Barack Obama was “delegitimized” as President. In other words, how many times did his critics act as if he never won, or should have won the Presidency twice? Obama has been called weak at foreign policy, yet a dictator over us about domestic affairs. He has been questioned about his use of executive actions, when he has done this fewer times than his predecessors. He has even been about his vacation time, even though he was away from Washington fewer days than other recent Presidents. Again, these things are always things a President, regardless of political party get scrutinized for doing. But it seems to me Obama got a little more backlash than other Presidents…

Remember in one of his first reception lines, how Russian dignitaries skipped over President Obama by not shaking his hand?

Remember former Governor Jan Brewer, and the time she stuck her stuck her finger in President Obama’s face?

Remember the congressman, who interrupted the State of the Union Address to say the President lies?

Remember when President-elect Trump delegitimized the President by asking for Obama’s birth certificate time and time again…

I could go on and on with example after example of attempts to delegitimize the Presidency of Barack Obama. 

Now back to my original point: how does it look when the first African-American President faces obstruction and purposeful attempts to “sabotage” his Presidency while he is in office? All of these slights play out in the public eye, so the world saw and paid attention to these things. Not only that, but people of all races, supporters and non-supporters, friends and foes, also saw the treatment President Obama received. None of these things should have ever happened to the President of the United States. Personally, I do not care who is in office, Democrat or Republican. There is a level of dignity and respect owed to the President at all times.

So what was I to say as I witnesses outward expressions of “hostility” toward the first African-American President? How was I supposed to feel, as a black man, as people tried to tear down President Obama? Please provide me with tangible evidence that warranted this “hostility” as proof that his Presidency was such a disaster. In the meantime, I will share this…

For the record, Obama was reelected in 201, but unemployment did not stay above 8% as predicted by Mitt Romney

For the record, gas prices did not shoot up to $6.00 per gallon as a result of Obama’s reelection…

For the record, the stock market did not crash during either of Obama’s two terms in office…

For the record, Obama did not plan to suspend the election of 2016…

For the record, Obama did not vow to stay in office after 2016 (if Trump won)…

All of these “stories” were either outright lies, or distortions of the truth to make some people fear the first African-American President even more. What makes this sad is the people responsible for the untruths knew they were lies, yet they told these stories anyway. Their goal was to play of the fears of people who are uneducated about civics and the functions of government. It worked! Yet Obama continued to serve as the President of the United States with dignity and class.

Let’s fast forward to the election of 2016. Even though most economic numbers have improved dramatically during his Presidency, this election turned into an indictment to some degree of Barack Obama. As a result, we saw the rise of Donald Trump and his appeal to those who rejected Barack Obama from the start. President-elect Trump rode this wave all the way to the White House. Of course, he used his platform to bash the President and claim how much he has failed after eight years in office. While this is normal during an election season, who can explain why this happened while the President’s approval numbers are at their highest point right now?

Now back to my original point: how does it look when the first African-American President faces obstruction and purposeful attempts to “sabotage” his Presidency as his time in office comes to an end? Given the treatment of so many of my ancestors (and myself and countless other African-Americans), this feels like the ultimate slap in the face. I understand the nature of politics and the desire to downgrade members of a different political party, but really? President Obama’s successes and failures will be scrutinized objectively by Presidential scholars. This treatment is to come later. Right now, to me it feels as if someone is ready to finish the job of tearing down Barack Obama, once and for all.

A wise man posted this on social media back on November 7, 2016, one day before the 2016 election…

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An even wiser man (Van Jones) made a compelling statement concerning the treatment of Barack Obama, especially as a result of the brilliant victory of President-elect Trump. Van Jones could not have said it any better. To paraphrase his comments, he called the victory of Donald Trump (in part) a “whitelash” against President Obama and the demographic shift occurring in the United States. Once again, to fully understand his (and my) point-of-view, you should take into consideration the treatment of black people in America. What are we supposed to tell our children?

See full clip here: Van Jones- CNN November 8, 2016:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdgewCeLtrU

As a final thought, I say we should just let this play out. If you are concerned or need to find additional evidence, please stay tunes and watch how soon the attempts to erase President Obama from history start to occur. Remember that you read about it here “first”. Let’s see, repealing ObamaCare, whether you like it or not, is already the first of Obama’s accomplishments in the crosshairs of the new Congress as soon as Donald Trump takes office? What will be next? I am sure it will not take along before we see several additional attempts to tear down Barack Obama. Who will finish the job of erasing the legacy of Barack Obama? Time will tell…