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Trump's "Take America Back"

by John Jazwiec

I am not sure what kind of ground game Trump has. But it is impossible to go anywhere and not see people and billboards supporting him under the moniker of "Take America Back". 

I am also not sure Trump can deliver anything he is promising. But let's put ourselves in his supporter's shoes. 

It is too easy (and I am as wrong as any smarter pundit) to say that Trump represents only racists, misogynists, men, blue collar workers and non-educated voters. I have talked to a broad representation that supports Trump that doesn't fit that label. Let's call them the "unrecognized" Trump supporter. They are additive to the "recognized" Trump supporter.

Trump's unrecognized supporters have four things in common. They have been negatively impacted by globalization/computerization, immigration, federal regulation and/or don't understand economics.

Globalization/computerization/immigration/federal regulation has weakened the wages of many white collar workers and professionals. 

To wit, medical P.H.Ds (GP's, Radiologists, Pharmacists and Opticians) have been impacted by immigration, federal regulation and globalization. The supply of GPs and managed health care have made large investments in education paradoxically upside down. Radiologists have been outsourced with technology. A doctorate in pharmacy gets you a job at CVS on the graveyard shift. And Opticians now are part-time workers at LensCrafters. 
Lawyers - without some specialty - are also impacted negatively by technology and outsourcing. Every white collar wage has been under pressure well before the 2008 banking crisis. 
But here is the problem - the "unrecognized" Trump supporter doesn't understand economics.
Without worldwide trade, there is not a big enough market to sell into. Without worldwide trade, goods, components and services will go up in price. That's called a recession/depression with hyperinflation.
Without immigration, wages might rise, but so will the prices of every thing, including food production.
Rising goods and services prices - and the resulting inflationary forces - means US interest rates will have to jump (circa early 1980s) to bring down inflation. Does anyone really want to buy a house at +10% interest rates? Does anyone think someone is going to buy their house when interest rates are this high? 
Realistically I have no idea what Trump says and what he really believes. But what he is saying is resonating with a large amount of voters. 
Of the four dimensions - the three spacial dimensions and time - the latter doesn't work backwards. No one fights a war with a musket instead of a machine gun. No one buys electronic components without cheaper Asian mass production. No one wants their medical expenses to go up. Everyone wants to pull into CVS - without getting out of you car - and fulfill your medication. No one wants to spend more money procuring an eye prescription. 
While Americans have slowly begun to understand the move from a manufacturing to a services economy (that took about 35 years); they refuse to even consider that we have been moving into a knowledge economy for the last 20 years. Being valuable in a knowledge economy requires unique value creation. Knowledge is a commodity; while the manipulation of knowledge adds value, resulting in rising wages and wealth creation.
My views on the changing economy, education and realism are pretty much contained within a chapter of NYT's Thomas Friedman's "That Used To Be Us". 
But here is the thing, Friedman and I were talking about how to navigate impactful forces that are upon us now. We were both not suggesting the recipe was turning the clock back to the 1960s. 
Bottom line. 1. Trump will either not be able to deliver on his candidate promises and/or 2. Even assuming he doesn't deport 11 million immigrants, his policies will lead to economic consequences worse than anyone can imagine.

Seeing Trump Fascism Winning With Hindsight

by John Jazwiec

I don't know if Trump will be elected president. I don't think any expert can either.

But if he wins, I can tell you why such a candidate won in 2016. And what will happen.

There are three major issues too many Americans have on their mind: wealth inequality, blaming the government for their social/economic disenfranchisement, and racism. All fall under cognitive dissonance. More on that later. 

While no one can deny that the economy has recovered remarkably since 2008, it simply hasn't improved the majority of Americans economic way of life. This wealth disparity has been incubating since the 1980s. Ironically, this issue has now been brought to fore, because the economy was saved and people went back to work. But when they went back to work, median wages didn't increase. When the stock market returned to pre-2008 levels, IRA values didn't increase. It's analogous to having a heart attack, having the doctor save you, and resenting that your old life didn't change. 

Washington is hated. But that opinion is hardly new. It's not like the majority of Americans track legislative bills and track nothing getting done. They may hear of gridlock. But ask most Americans who their legislative leaders are and most can't tell you; like some kind of Jay Leno street sketch. What they are really saying is "I am economically depressed and Washington must be part of the problem". Or "they earn a lot more than me and they don't have to accomplish anything like me". 

And then there is good old racism. Racism never goes away. It might hide out during good times, but that train is always on time when things go bad. The first aspect of racism started with a reactionary element of Obama being elected twice. I have heard too many white people - who's lots in life are disappointing - expressing rage by the juxtaposition of an African American "making it" and they "have not". Then there is racism against American Muslims. Forget that 99.9% love being American, identify themselves as American, have the best assimilation of the world; since 9/11 there have been a handful of terrorism attacks and now people want them to be registered and tracked like the Jews under Hitler. Finally Mexican Americans. Forget that they pay more in taxes than benefits received, or that they do jobs that others are unwilling to do; they are to blame for taking your job or reducing your pay. 

All three of these issues can be explained by the psychology of cognitive dissonance. This aspect of psychology refers to people trying to make sense of reality when they are uncomfortable. Cognitive dissonance leads to dissonance reductionism. A classic example of cognitive dissonance/reductionism is trying to lose weight. "I used to be skinny and now I am fat". One cognitive reduction is to changing behavior - eating habits. Another reduction is justifying behavior - I am allowed to cheat. The worst cognitive reduction is ignoring/denying behavior - it's not me, it's all the "stuff added by the man" to food today that's is the problem. 

Although everyone has been told how and why the economy is changing, people are unwilling to change behavior (train for 21st century jobs); rather they engage in the worst cognitive reductionism - ignoring/denying behavior. "It's not my fault that I am not being paid as much as I want. It's due to other forces. Eliminate those forces and maybe I have a chance". 

Today's cognitive dissonance maybe as great as it was in 1930's Germany and the US. It's not just about being poor, it's about why others are not. And how wide the disparity is. Both countries faced growing pressure that its elites ignored. After it was too late, no "expert" could see there were only two options and they were askew to status quo: socialism (US) or fascism (Germany). 

Which brings me to the election of 2016 and why we all got it wrong and why we are still getting it wrong. The middle isn't holding. Status quo - established politicians regardless of their clear competencies - isn't what people with pitchforks want. The pitchforks want either an incompetent Sanders or an incompetent/authoritarian Trump. A Trump/Clinton battle will ultimately be decided by how many people are carrying pitchforks and those that are not. 

Now let's look at how Trump has masterfully played this out. They called Hitler a buffoon too. Trump/Hitler? Racism card? Check. Misogynistic? Check. Smirking when supporters get out of control? Check. Blaming non-white people? Check. The world doesn't respect us? Check. Shock and awe vs. respectful dialog? Check. 

With Sanders eventually taking his socialism hay away; all that's left is Trump/Fascism hay for all the pitchforks. 

While I don't know how much Trump fascism is political vs. how much will be real; I can tell you from his politics what will happen quickly. And it's the order that matters, starting with #1 - 

  1. Expectations of Trump's economic isolationism - the opposite of free trade - has a 100% chance of making the stock market crash.
  2. Ending free trade will likely lead to war with China.
  3. Trump's response to all of this will not be pragmatic. He will not listen to the best and the brightest. Rather he is more likely to demand more executive power, restrict constitutional and civil rights, and "please the masses" by deportation, race/ethnic identification, and getting the economy back on track by "bringing manufacturing back home" in the form of building - not the stuff we want - but the stuff needed in warfare. 

And when all the people who tried to solve their cognitive dissonance with cognitive reductionism of the worst kind, see the errors of their ways, it will be too late. 

The reader might think Trump is a joke. I made the same mistake. Germany made the same mistake. Trump isn't a joke. His election is a real and perhaps likely possibility. Afterwards I believe that the narrative I have laid out, will be the one being written after the election. And while I hope I am wrong about its consequences; I am more afraid I am right. 


Why Chinese Nationalism Eclipses Russian Nationalism

by John Jazwiec

The Obama administration has been derided for its response - economic sanctions - as Russia has been forced to promote nationalism due to declining personal economic conditions. 

But the Obama administration - again has been derided - by focusing on the Pacific China seas. 

Natural fossil fuel distribution isn't an American present danger; but electronic parts and computer manufacturing not flowing through the Pacific Ocean is a present danger.

As the Chinese economy slows, they will have to turn to nationalism. And their war making will not be land-based, but ocean based.

The template is already there. It's what Japan did in the 20th century. Steady accumulation of Pacific islands and a strong navy. 

Forget what will seem as a quant Russian Cold War. Prepare for a more muscular and far more dangerous Chinese Pacific Ocean game of dominos. 

American Racism And False Milestones

by John Jazwiec

African Americans have served in every war since the American Revolution with the largest per capita enlistment rates of all races. 

General Washington, who was outmanned required more manpower than he had. His call-to-arms was the US Constitution, which African Americans believed - that all men are created equal - but afterwards it didn't happen.

They fought in large numbers during the Civil War. All it did was make them sharecroppers on Southern plantations and subject to lynching. 

They fought bravely during both World Wars. While they were free in Europe, they returned to Jim Crow laws. 

Truman did desegregate the military in Korea. But yet again they came back home to segregation.

LBJ did pass the Civil Rights Bill and the Voting Act. But the truth of Vietnam was it allowed African Americans to fight the most, while white students got deferrals. Was LBJ the great emancipator; or did he game out what was needed to fight a long and deadly battle?

MLK was a milestone. But who remembers that he was killed for supporting garbage workers in Memphis; as more and more African Americans increasingly tuned him out. 

Certainly the election of Barack Obama was a milestone. But the African American community is at best still economically and socially disenfranchised; and 2,000,000 African Americans are incarcerated. 

The truth is that many drugs were once legal. They were and are used by the wealthy. Depressed people turn to drugs. Once they were made illegal, it allowed African Americans to be rounded up and sent to prison.

This is not just a white or black thing. Mexican Americans are rounded up for drugs. Poor white people are rounded up for using crack or crystal methamphetamine. 

In the meantime - after all of the milestones - African Americans, Mexican Americans and poor white people are "housed" in the largest prisons in the world. Even if they didn't harm anyone, they still receive so large of sentences that they systemically break down the family structure and generations to come. 

America is not only bifurcated by income - the haves and have nots - but by 21st century equivalent of slavery, lynching, and Jim Crow laws.

Racism historically starts out by identification - "Blacks", "Wet backs" and "white trash". Step 2 is to make sure they are quarantined outside of places where the privileged don't have to come into contact with them. Step 3 is mass incarceration so there is no chance for the privileged to see them. And step 4 is execution (state planned or with the prison).

I wouldn't recommend FX's "The People Vs OJ Simpson". But Chris Darden - the African American and co-counsel for the prosecution - warned Johnny Cochran at the end, that all people would remember from the trial was his antics and it wouldn't change how African Americans are treated by the police. 

Now some 20 years have gone by. And we still need a "blacks-matter movement". 

Perhaps change is slower than I am saying. But I don't think so, Promises made from the Revolutionary War to Obama's historic election have NOT translated into the "land of freedom" we are so proud of saying.

You may have an idea that being an American is your proudest accomplishment. But surely the left-behind don't share that same pride.

Paul Ryan - The Most Important Leader Of The GOP

by John Jazwiec

Paul Ryan boldly said he is not ready to support Donald Trump Friday. People may say that Ryan has an agenda. I don't think so. I believe Ryan's only agenda is trying his best to keep the GOP united, sufficiently conservative and capable of proving to Americans they can pass legislation in Congress.

John Boehner fought the good fight. He was ripped apart by the a new dysfunctional radical conservatism movement called the Tea Party. He wisely handled this impossible job off to a younger man. Even today, after being SOTH for about 6 months, Ryan is still trying to figure out how to make a GOP-lead House functional. He is trying.

Paul Ryan is the youngest SOTH since the 19th century. He is the most important leader of the GOP. Because he knows its divisions and he can play the long game.

Today's GOP is a mix of business Republicans, conservatives who have an actual intellectual argument that the country is least served by a large federal government, a Tea Party with no actual intellectual argument other than obstructionism and now Trump-ism - anti-immigration, anything but conservatism (a strong Washington leader that is going to make the US "great again", misogynist and vulgar. 

The first three groups are making the GOP fractured by Republican ideological disagreements. While Trump-ism is nothing short of a brand new GOP the other three groups can't accept. 

His message to Trump is simple. So is McCain and Graham. "You will not accomplish anything in Washington unless you follow us. You think things didn't get done with Obama ... wait until you try to pass any legislation under Trump-ism".

Paul Ryan is not only the most important leader of the GOP; but he is the only hope for America.

The Case For Why HRC Is More Likely To Win

by John Jazwiec
  1. A small percent of voters vote in primaries. They can distort the picture of the nation's "pulse". He/she who excites wins the primary. He/she who is the least worst wins the general election.
  2. 29% of Americans are Democrats and 27% are Republicans. While 42% are independents. There is no independent primary.
  3. The electoral math has changed since the turn of the millennium. Remember Bush - who was pro-immigration and carried the Mexican American vote - won two close electoral victories. While Obama won large electoral victories. 
  4. HRC has Obama's African American vote. She has his single white women vote. It is hard to see how Trump can poll anything close to McCain and Romney with all white women voters. And Trump will lose the Mexican American vote by the largest margins in history. African Americans, Mexican Americans and women voters; that's what HRC starts with and Trump doesn't.
  5. I do expect the elderly to vote Trump as much as they have not voted for Obama. 
  6. I expect Trump to lock up the Archie Bunker vote. Angry white people. But I don't know if there are enough of them as of this writing.

Who Is Trump?

by John Jazwiec


I thought it was kinda funny. Someone sent me the following end-of-the-world/New York Building Ghostbuster conversation after Trump crushed it on Tuesday. 

To his fans and his voters: you wanted him and now you have him.

I have read too many profile pieces on Trump that really haven't landed. But I would highly recommend the following - 


Highlights - 

  • Trump's real estate ventures had to be cosigned by his father. His dad had to sign for everything until his death when he was in his 90s. Then Trump inherited about $150 million. 
  • Trump's lines of credit have at times been so large/underwater that banks considered them to big to fail. Through his fathers connections and Donald's "salesmanship", it was too late for banks to cry foul after finding out that his financial records were false. At that point - because they failed at their own due diligence - they were essentially in collusion. 
  • After his bankruptcies in the 1990s - when everyone else was making money - Trump stopped building things and now collects royalties based on his name. An example is a golf course. No debt. Just his name and members buying shares. He gets just a salary for Celebrity Apprentice. The rest of his income is royalties.
  • An hour’s worth of Trump quotes equals about six or seven hours’ worth of fact-checking. It’s either half-truths, non-truths, lies.
  • When you hold Trump's feet to the fire on a fact pattern, he does not handle it well. He recently melted on Fox after they put up slides. He also claimed that he was excluded from Vietnam by his draft number, and it wasn’t true. When confronted on the falsehood he said it was because of heal spurs and couldn't be in the infantry ... but he walks and plays 18 holes of golf all the time. Trump thinks there’s no cat he can’t charm out of the tree, but then when you back him in, he goes crazy.
  • Trump said, “Obama negotiated this horrible deal with Iran. It’s a bad deal, and when I get to Washington, there won’t be bad deals anymore. I’m a great deal-maker.” And then the reality, the objective reality, is that Trump has been a horrible deal-maker. His career is littered with bad deals.
  • Trump's career is really three parts. Days with his father cosigning and at times bailing him out. Being a joke after four bankruptcies from 1993 to 2003. And then comes Celebrity Apprentice. The irony is that Trump as the "business expert" on the show was theatre; but he did it so well that his name became synonymous with being a great businessman. Which then lead to his brand and royalty income. 
  • On Trump's plane, somewhere over the Midwest, Trump began talking about these guys [Atlantic City partners], and I said, “Did you ever think that Ken Shapiro or Dan Sullivan had mob ties?” And Trump said to the effect that—and I should go to the book for the exact quote; I don’t have it with me—but he said, “Oh, sure. I was definitely worried. There were rumors that Dan Sullivan killed Jimmy Hoffa. And, uh, yeah, maybe because I was wary of these guys, that’s what saved me,” which was completely at odds with his reported testimony in the early 1980s.
  • The heads of all five crime families, according to federal files, used to meet in Roy Cohn’s office, because they could all claim lawyer-client privilege, and the feds couldn’t eavesdrop on any of the conversations. So Roy was pivotal with all five crime families in New York. Fat Tony Salerno [Genovese Boss]—who only got 100 years in prison, subsequent to this; he died there—met with Donald in Roy Cohn’s offices, and Donald winds up using a concrete company that Fat Tony controlled, at Trump Plaza.

There is more in the article. But I at least got a better sense of Trump the man and his history. 

Which leaves us to the real question: What happens when the hated but overly known HRC attacks the hated but unknown Trump?

End times indeed. 

The Real Reason You Should Be Afraid Of Trump II

by John Jazwiec


"Trump rejects new adviser’s push to make him ‘presidential’""

Donald Trump is bristling at efforts to implement a more conventional presidential campaign strategy, and has expressed misgivings about the political guru behind them, Paul Manafort, for overstepping his bounds, multiple sources close to the campaign tell POLITICO.

Just a week lasted with Trump being "advised". Flip flopping an advisor with no power than a thug, to a seasoned advisor who now knows he has no power.

Donald Trump understands real estate. An American president can't master all the disciplines required. Little stuff, you know, like our armed forces and economics. That's why presidents build teams, cabinet officers and advisors. It is impossible to NOT imagine a Trump presidency where every day, for the next four years, all of his human resource drama will become mentally exhaustive. 

On Monday, as he again mocked the idea of behaving in a more “presidential” manner at two rallies in Pennsylvania, Trump called John Kasich a “slob” after calling attention to his penchant for eating too much on the campaign trail and blasted him and Cruz, whom he called “an ass,” for “colluding” to stop him — every broadside delivered in his trademark vernacular and an implicit rebuke to those handlers looking to rein him in.

Lovely words Donald. Lincoln would be so proud. 

Kasich is a slob? When's the last time you looked at your waist in the mirror?

Cruz "an ass". I guess high praise coming from you.

The Real Reason You Should Be Afraid Of Trump

by John Jazwiec

The majority of Americans are disgusted by Trump's rhetoric. His racial slurs - even the Koch brothers have denounced them - are deeply offensive. The culture of fear he has perpetuated - leading supporters to threaten delegates lives - is both revolting and unprecedented in the American democracy. 

But the biggest reason you should be afraid of Donald Trump is he is unmoored due to his lack of taking advice and making decisions by himself. 

The reality of being president is two fold: head of state and head of the executive branch. Being head of state requires someone to understand diplomacy. Being head of the executive branch requires someone who accepts the checks and balances of the US Constitution. 

The odds of Trump as head of state causing international crises is 100%. But the odds of him facing impeachment is also 100%. He can "pivot" all he wants. But his narcissism - at 70 years old if elected - will drive him and the country into trouble. He can't help it. 

For all Republicans and Democrats that believe he can't be elected think again. HRC has just a little bit less of an un-favorability than Trump. And a potential HRC indictment - be it real or be it used against her with billions of advertising - makes Trump's chance of victory even greater.

Most worrisome is that the GOP is starting to resign itself to the reality of a Trump nomination.  All of the anti-Trump movements within the Republican party haven't worked as of yet. 

So it is incumbent on the GOP to unite against Trump to save the nation. And it is incumbent on the rest of the state primaries - Democrats and Republicans - to vote for Cruz or Kasich. Please do it for the country. 

The Real Reason Europe Is Worried About Trump

by John Jazwiec

I believe the odds are becoming greater and greater that the GOP will ultimately have to nominate Donald Trump. He may not get to the exact delegate count, but the rest of the primaries - sans Indiana - are in blue states (in NY 868,987 votes were cast in the Republican primary while 1,817,552 were cast in the Democratic primary).

This will leave the GOP with two options: a contested nomination that will expose all of its fissures OR letting Trump run and taking their chances. More and more the latter seems to be a GOP resignation than a GOP endorsement. A Trump presidential nomination - and I don't think anyone has thought about it - would allow all factions of the GOP to do what they want in individual races rather than run under a single GOP platform that no one can agree on.

Europe is worried about a Trump presidency. Reasons cited usually fall under his dangerous rhetoric and/or his isolationism. But I don't think those are the real reasons Europe is worried about Trump.

Rather I believe their fears follow the following logic: If racial and economic disfranchisement can drive the US to vote on nationalism; surely the state of Europe - terrorism and depressive economics - will be driven toward nationalism.

While the US knows of nationalism in the abstract, Europe knows the dangers of nationalism as a realism a generation removed.

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From athletic scholar and satirist to computer programmer to CEO success, John Jazwiec brings a unique and often eccentric perspective to business and supply chain challenges. Exploring how they can be solved through the leadership and communication insights found in untraditional sources. This CEO blog demonstrates how business insights from books on history to the music of Linkin Park can help challenge and redefine “successful leadership.” Read Jazwiec’s Profile >>

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