HOME   //   PROFILE   //   RSS

Democrats Are Making A Big Mistake

by John Jazwiec

A Democratic vote, it seems now, isn't an idealogical vote. Rather it is a protest vote against Trump and his anti-minority positions - January 17, 2018

Although DACA is a fight worth fighting for - despite Democratic and talking-heads saying a government shutdown will be blamed on the Republicans - this all presumes that Democrats can successfully mount a publicity attack on Republicans.

But Democrats don't fight as well as Republicans. They may be on the right side of history and the people's wishes (DACA has a staggering 87% support amongst the voters according to CBS polling), but they are more than likely to be blamed for a government shutdown.

Despite some GOP senators saying they will not vote for another CR (Continuing Resolution), expect that to change. There will be 50 GOP senators able to vote on the CR. They will all vote to support. Leaving it up to 40 of 49 (John McCain isn't voting and because there is likely to be no tie, Mike Pence will not be voting) Democrats to vote the CR down within the 60 vote filibuster rule. 

As I said before, the Democratic party is nothing more than a Trump protest vote. So the Democrats would be wise to not put themselves in a possible/probable position of carrying the blame of a government shutdown so close to the 2018 mid-terms. 

If a Lindsey Graham decides to vote against the CR ... than go ahead and vote against it. But assuming Graham goes with party over country ... the Democrats have to find more than 9 votes to make the CR pass.

The anti-Trump multi-party crowd doesn't want to hear the likes of a Bernie Sanders lecturing to them. Ditto Schumer and Pelosi. 

So bite the bullet. Vote for the CR. Negotiate on DACA during the February debt ceiling/full fiscal year vote. And just keep the party out of the news until this November.

Losing the battle, with a weak but viable alternative to Trump, will help them and the 60% of us to win the war. 

From Reince Priebus To Now

by John Jazwiec

After the 2012 election, RNC chair Reince Priebus did an autopsy of the Republican party, and determined that the party had to reach out to minority voters. It was both a tactical and strategic calculation. 

Obviously through Trump, but mostly HRC, on a tactical level, his autopsy was disregarded and maligned. 

But his minority outreach strategy on a strategic level was sound. The nation's demographics - even if we shut down minority immigration - requires GOP minority voters to sustain the party of Lincoln. And it's not just minorities, in themselves, that threaten a non-minority-focused GOP. It's the real danger of changing  demographics in which millennials are more likely to empathize with minorities. Or said another way, they will not accept a country that is not like themselves: comfortable with minority friends. 

Right now the GOP seems to be stuck at the tactical level and going backwards on the strategic level. By their silence on Trump's racist remarks they seem to have decided to give up on the minority voter.

If you thought Roy Moore and Alabama was an anomaly, note Democrat Patty Schachtner scored a 9-point victory in a special election in Wisconsin's State Senate District 10 last night, flipping a district that had been held by the GOP since 2000 and that President Trump won by 17 points in 2016. The district is a rural district. 

Make no mistake about it, the Democratic party isn't as strong as the GOP. Which makes the troubling signs for the GOP in 2018 - Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker called last night's race a wake up call - even more ominous.

A Democratic vote, it seems now, isn't an idealogical vote. Rather it is a protest vote against Trump and his anti-minority positions. 

There is almost certainly going to be a day of reckoning coming. The GOP has to enlarge its tent. When is a question. If is not.

A Decision To Write Again

by John Jazwiec

It has been almost two months since my last post. I felt, in the daily reality show that has become Trump, I couldn't keep up. Nonetheless and perhaps due to being reenergized from a hiatus, I have decided to write again. The following are some points, that bridge the past two months to today.

Trump's economic populism - the empty promises to downtrodden Americans, have given way to a more standard Republican driven economic policy of helping the wealthy and paying lip service to the average worker. Our nation's economic populist president is planning on attending Davos? Having read the new book "Fire and Fury" - with all its flaws, did illuminate what drives Trump: himself, daily instant gratification and a life-long frustration of not being an accepted member of the economic elite. The issue for me is less the mental state of Trump, although I am concerned. It is more the state of his hypocrisy and preying on people to vote for him, because they were, are and will be economically fragile. 

I could have picked any day to reenforce that Trump seems to be a racist playing to his "base". But his comment that "brown countries" are "sh*t holes, maybe the the most harmful verbal threat to American values, amongst his other American value dilutions, during his first year in office. And racism isn't the only harmful attack on America. So is his disdain for the constitution and American institutions. He is degrading the US Justice department. He consistently has attacked the nation's fourth estate. He continues to attack the American court system, which by the nature of his oath of office, he is supposed to defend. He lies habitually, including saying he didn't say "sh*t holes a day later. Finally, his crude comments and tweets, has taken a toll on parents trying to raise their children from the darker forces of expression. 

Trump is tearing up people's hearts. Here is a short video of an anchor reporting Trump's vulgar comments of racism. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5CpPA3ywxg. I think what made it even more emotional, was the fact that the inspiring tweet came from Bill Kristol, a neocon conservative, who may be far right of center, but nonetheless shares what we all think are nonpartisan universal values. Here is the importance. I have seen the same kind of emotion from many people who are scared and offended by Trump. He is tearing people up and tearing up their hearts.

Collusion/obstruction of justice vs. following the money. The latter gets all the ink. The former is mostly on the news back burner. Note that Mueller's first hires were experts in money laundering. Some Trump condos have seen a 70% increase in LLC buying since being elected. Some LLCs might be just American's hiding the fact that they have bought Trump real estate. But some maybe foreign nationals. And they use cash. Mueller knows collusion and obstruction of justice - which have to clear the high bar on intent - is not worth his investigation if that's all he has. But by following the money, he maybe able to prove where Trump gets his money. And if it is from money laundering, that's not only more significant, but also could show why there appears to be collusion and obstruction of justice. 

Finally, the stock market is entering a dangerous zone.

Screen Shot 2018-01-12 at 9.43.20 AM

The Shiller P-E ratio - that takes into consideration inflation and a 10-year moving average - has a mean of 16. Today that ratio is double the mean. This is the second time the Shiller P-E ratio has topped the 1929 Black Tuesday ratio. The stock market is in dangerous territory. 

Thoughts On The GOP's Tax "Reform"

by John Jazwiec

Polls show that about 70% of Americans don't support the House and Senate's plans for tax "reform". 

Economic impacts of the GOP's plans besides the obvious benefits to the wealthy - 

The housing market is going to get crushed. Just as the housing market is returning to 2008 levels, capping mortgage interest deductions by definition will deflate home prices. When contemplating a home purchase, or qualifying a for a home loan, the tax deduction is a net add to cash flow to offset the net cost of the mortgage. The cap will mostly effect suburban housing. Which is a key GOP battleground. 

Putting aside eliminating deductions for state taxes, caps on property taxes are going to negatively effect public education. Home ownership and home prices, are how public education is funded. Reducing the tax deduction of mortgage interest and property taxes means either less money to public schools and/or higher property taxes. The latter is an equation for economic contraction. Furthermore, consider people like myself, who have sent their children to private schools (Catholic). These tax changes means that private school consumers - who already are effectively subsidizing public schools - will not be able to afford to do so. That compounds the economic problem for public schools. New public schools will have to be built to support more students. That is a big local capital bad surprise. In turn, that will almost assuredly mean a big jump in property taxes. Another huge negative effect to the key battleground of the suburbs for the GOP. 

So why is the GOP doing this?

It's not about proving to voters they can get something done.

It is a calculated kamikaze dive for the benefit of their donors/emperors. 

Here are the political facts. GOP lawmakers face two problems. One is anti-Trump anger and the movement of Democrats to vote against Republicans in 2018 in greater forces than normal. The other is Bannon, who wants to replace GOP lawmakers with ... whatever crazy people want .. like Roy Moore. 

So, many already feel dead politically. By passing a draconian tax "reform" - which will be deeply unpopular - it nonetheless will stick for at least three more years. Even a Democratic majority can't reverse it, because Trump will still be president and will veto it. Even on the rare chance Trump is impeached, all succession planning means a GOP veto. 

So, unless the reader is a selfish zillionare, the risks of this tax plan (a) being enacted, (b) you being negatively effected, and (c) the economics of your community and the greater economy being upended, have unfortunately increased, due to political undercurrents brought on by Trump and Bannon.

The Upward Bend Of History, Hillary Clinton And Donald Trump

by John Jazwiec

On a tactical basis, this country often takes a step backwards, but strategically always takes two steps forward. In perfecting a more perfect union - while we will never be perfect - we do continue to make progress.

There has been a raging debate on why Trump won in 2016. More ink has been spent on why Trump won at the expense of why Hillary Clinton lost. 

Yesterday in Virginia - from the governor's race to the state assembly - Democrats won because Trump was on the ballot. A transgender won in Robert E. Lee's country. In Maine, voters voted for Medicare expansion. In Pennsylvania, the Delaware County Democrats out-polled Republicans in a County Council election for the first time in history.

Trump didn't win in 2016. Clinton lost. Yesterday Trump lost. He lost because of the anger of the "forgotten" 60%. He lost because he has infected the GOP by a 40% trap. 

Now the GOP is at a crossroads. Trying to end Obamacare is a political loser. Now pressured to "do something", tax "reform" - in which the wealthy get the benefit and the not-wealthy don't - would be the nail in the coffin. 

Look for more GOP retirements. Look for more tax reform foot dragging or dissension on aspects of the bill. Look for the Bannon/Trump movement colliding with the GOP establishment. Look for the Democratic party to recruit candidates than can win by appealing to the 60%. Look for women, minorities, LGBTs and the economically disenfranchised to turn the vote out.

Because while 2016 was a big misread of the appeal of Trump-ism, 2017 and 2018 is and will be a big repudiation of the guy that beat Clinton and the beginning of taking two steps forward.

A Country Divided By The Middle Of Mazlow

by John Jazwiec

Image result for maslow's hierarchy of needs

I am by nature not transactional. My profession requires me to look at the larger picture to explain human behavior.

I have been giving a lot of thought to the current divides within this country.

"Maslow's hierarchy of needs" is a theory in psychology proposed and published by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation”.

By and large, the West and the US, has evolved and takes for granted that our physiological needs are met. So too, are we safe and that allows us to find love and a sense of belonging to family and tribe. 

The same couldn't have been said during World War II through the Cold War. According to Maslow we were stuck on safety. Such large scale safety threats ironically bound us all together.

But by the end of the Cold War - some quarter of a decade ago - to the present day, we have become balkanized by the Maslow fault line of self-esteem. 

Too many of us lack self esteem, while too few of us focus on our cognitive needs, aesthetic needs and self-actualization. 

This is why both sides have difficulty understanding each other. 

The group that lacks self esteem - from economic and social disenfranchisement in a rapidly changing world, who increasingly turn to alcohol and opiates - cling to the what they do have: a sense of belonging. Affiliation and political tribalism isn't just a means to itself, but a strong bond that is required for survival.

Self actualized people simply have a hard time understanding this group. They wonder why they are not more mentally curious. They wonder why they only get their news from social media from their tribe. They wonder why others are not focused on the nuance of higher literature and art. They wonder why this other group doesn't seem to care about anyone but themselves. 

It seems to me that Maslow's theory rather nicely explains the divides within this country. It explains in some part why people are drawn to messianic figures like religion and Trump. It explains why we all don't share the same views from current events. And most importantly, it explains why we just don't understand each other. 

Finally, it explains what the right answer is to the problem. Our divides can't be eliminated until we address the self esteem fault line - not by generalities - but by real programs that allow all of us to gain self-esteem. And that means real programs to lift people economically, through eliminating their taxes which gives rise to wages and socially, through addressing their substance abuse. 

The US government is trying to come up with the right kind of budget and taxation system. I can say, with a great deal of certainty, that any new taxation system that doesn't address stagnant wages and doesn't address substance abuse - as if it were fighting a new "war" - simply will just make the problem larger.

Trump - Ego Vs. Guilt

by John Jazwiec

The US intelligence community had determined that Russia interfered in the 2016 election by January of this year and briefed Trump. 

Mueller is investigating - amongst other things - whether the Trump Campaign colluded with the Russian government. 

As to the former point, Trump has taken great pains to be less vigorous in damning and punishing Russia. As to the latter point, Trump has called any allegation of campaign collusion a hoax.

It is important to differentiate President Trump from the "Trump Campaign".

It is possible that the Trump Campaign colluded with Russia. I am not qualified to say whether it is probable.

But I can say, that Trump calling it a hoax, isn't necessarily an admission of guilt. It might just be his ego. It is consistent with Trump's personality to not admit (a) he got unwitting help from Russia when Trump himself believes he won because ... well he is great and he did it by himself and (b) the same would go for members of his campaign staff helping Russia.

I know some anti-Trump voters are drawing a direct line between Mueller's investigation and Trump. They may ending up being right. But right now, on this day, they are engaging in wishful thinking.

I am anti-Trump because of a difference in politics. Specifically, I loathe his actions that are contrary to his position as America's head of state, his profound use of hyper-identity politics and most of his policies.

As such, I believe the best course of action, is to vote in the next general election. I would advise other anti-Trumps to think the same way. If every anti/never-Trump voter would vote - they didn't before - Trump would be out of office in 3 and 1/2 years.

A democracy requires citizen action. Not simply hoping the DOJ will do the work for them.

Trump's Real Stock Market VI

by John Jazwiec

Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 12.02.37 PM

I have been tracking the Gallup Trump Daily Approval/Disapproval this entire year. 

Why? While any poll can be flawed and biased in their approach, Gallup's daily poll uses the same approach every day, however flawed and biased it maybe. 

Hence, it serves a purpose like a flawed and biased stock market. Its trends and tops/bottoms are relevant within relation to each other. 

The poll is published every day and is a three day moving average. Clearly by Sunday - whatever was/is happening from Friday to Sunday - Trump's disapproval hit a new time high of 62% AND his approval hit a new time low of 33%.

From some recent polling by NBC/Wall Street - with different numbers but nonetheless the same trends - it looks to me like independent/"lets give someone new a try" voters are becoming fatigued by the Trump presidency. 

As always, minus something we don't know, all of this doesn't mean anything until 2020 and how a broken Democratic Party reacts. 

The Parallel Universe Of John McCain And Joe Biden Yesterday

by John Jazwiec


The same day that Trump lambasted his predecessors, Joe Biden gave a moving speech full of bipartitism and love for John McCain when receiving a well-deserved Liberty Medal.

John McCain's speech was one for the ages. Reminding us how special the US is. Reminding us how much good the US has done abroad. And reminding us why reactionary nationalism is contrary to what the US has historically done - which is to defeat nationalism abroad and reduce it to the ash heaps of history. 

John McCain is an American hero. Our wishes go out to him as he fights his current medical battle. John McCain is an inspiration to us all, during these troubled times. And a hope that we may again see Profiles In Courage again.

The Narcissist Bully Who Says His Dog Ate His Homework

by John Jazwiec

Yesterday, Trump encapsulated his entire presidency, when talking about the fallen heroes of Niger.

He was asked why he hadn't talked about the green beret casualties for two weeks. Trump said he "wrote" letters to the families that will go out this week. He clearly hadn't done the homework his high office requires. He was caught off guard. So he deflected like a child who says his dog ate his homework. 

Then he deflected - like a narcissist bully - claiming that President Obama and his predecessors didn't write and call gold star families. That was a lie. Bush and Obama did. They just didn't publicize such a sacred duty. 

Trump also said that it was a hard job to do that. Well it isn't as hard as the families that lost their children.

Just another example, of the presidency defining the character of the man. This man - Trump - has repeatedly proved that he only cares about himself. Yesterday was a sad day for the country. There have been so many over the last 9 months. And unfortunately more to come. 

« Previous | Next »
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 >>

Hierarchy of corporate success

What does it take for businesses to break out of bad habits and succeed?
Download John’s free white paper >>