Who’ll Stop the Train, and Other Predictions for the Coming New Year

Make America apes again. One of many Trump-Orangutang memes circulating on the internet.

Well, it sure has been an exciting year, eh? Frankly, I’ve spent much of it in a state of shock and confusion, reeling from the occasional wild haymaker landed by the orangoutang currently occupying the oval office. Say what you want about President Donald J. Trump, but that monkey can punch!

He’s also one lucky primate. Who knew the Obama recovery would finally kick in once he left office? Actually, lots of people did, but no matter, because Trump’s taking all the credit now.

A certain Trumpismo pervades the financial sector, an infectious yet irrational exuberance that during Trump’s first year in office has lifted the stock market to a record number of all-time-highs and pumped national GDP above three percent three quarters in a row for the first time in decades, without Trump or the Republicans in Congress enacting a single meaningful piece of economic legislation.

That all changes this week, when Republicans pass and Trump signs into law “tax reform” that permanently cuts the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent, offers minor, temporary tweaks to the personal income tax brackets, and eliminates Obamacare’s individual mandate penalty, a cynical move designed to destroy Obamacare that will remove millions of people from the health insurance rolls.

And guess what? Once they’ve got tax cuts for their rich corporate donors out of the way, establishment Republicans will let the mad monkey off the leash in 2018, in the hopes that he might mortally wound his own presidency without taking the Republican Party, not to mention the entire country, down with him as collateral damage.

From pulling the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement to pardoning Sheriff Joe, there’s just no telling where this monkey might go. He’s the proverbial bull in the china shop, except the china shop is the executive branch and the bull has been repeatedly pricked by establishment Republicans, Democrats and the mainstream media.

I know what you’re thinking. I’m mixing metaphors. First I said he was a monkey, then I said he was a bull. It’s no error. Trump’s a monkey-bull. No, wait. He’s a bull monkey. A money-grubbing, pussy-grabbing, raging bull monkey in a china shop astride a roaring locomotive with no conductor heading straight down the hot rails to hell.

Entering 2018, Trump has all the momentum. At this moment in time, it’s unclear who’ll stop the train.

What goes up, must come down. Or does it?

Live By The Numbers: Bitcoin and the Stock Market

I was first introduced to Bitcoin several years ago by a story subject I was interviewing, who was using the cryptocurrency to anonymously purchase psychedelic substances on the darkweb. That guy’s probably a bitcoin millionaire by now, presuming he didn’t try to short his holdings the numerous times Bitcoin’s value has caved on the way to its present five-digit-and-rising valuation.

There’s no question about it. Bitcoin’s block chain technology, which may or many not have originated with the National Security Agency, is the future of currency. It’s already proven that it can meet the three functions of money. Bitcoins can be used as a medium of exchange, for a store of value and as a unit of account. Its current speculative volatility diminishes its utility somewhat, making it difficult to say whether Bitcoin will continue to boom or bust, but the technology is here to stay.

In a certain sense, bitcoins are mined the same way the U.S. Federal Reserve creates money: out of thin air. Unlike the Fed, which prints as many dollars as it wants, there’s a limited amount of total coins that can be mined, thanks to the block chain algorithm, which makes bitcoin akin to gold as a store of value. Theoretically, there’s nothing to stop Bitcoin from reaching six figures. It’s an enormous amount of economic power for central bankers and sovereign countries to concede to a private entity, but it may not stay private for long.

Russia and China are already experimenting with cryptocurrencies linked to both gold and petroleum, in much the same way U.S. “petrodollars,” the world’s reserve currency for nearly a half-century, are linked to the price of oil set by OPEC. The United States has not responded kindly to past attempts by nations to purchase oil in anything but U.S. dollars; Iran, Iraq and Libya being prime examples. The potential for drama is high.

Whether Bitcoin turns out to be the sound money utopia long dreamed of by libertarians or a crushing corporate dystopia in which every human interaction is reduced to the mere exchange of government-issued digital credits remains to be seen, but I’m betting on dystopia.

Nowadays, we live by the numbers, enslaved to the algorithms of high-frequency hedge fund managers, who will now factor corporate tax cuts into their formulas as the Fed raises interest rates and phases out its quantitative easing program, which kept the stock market afloat during the Obama years. Can the Masters of the Universe continue to defy economic gravity?

It seems doubtful, but I’m the sort of person who watches NASCAR for the crashes, and Wall Street’s “everything bubble” is long overdue for a correction, according to many economists. If the economy goes south, it will take any good will Trump has earned outside his base with it.

Now 76, is Sen. Bernie Sanders too old to run in 2020?

Die By The Numbers: Socialism In America?

A specter haunts America, as it once haunted Europe 170 years ago: socialism, openly embraced by Sen. Bernie Sanders during the 2016 presidential primaries, whose message resonated with millions of urban, suburban and rural Americans still recovering from the last financial crisis. This large, diverse group includes late baby boomers such as myself, gen-Xers and millennials, whose lives have been disrupted by the transition to the digital economy, what’s being called the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Tell them the economy is doing fine, and they’ll point out increasing income inequality isn’t reflected in the GDP and stock market figures, which is why the number of homeless people nationwide can increase amid all the supposed prosperity.

Tell me, Shasta County voter, which economy do you live in? The one where all boats are magically rising together as the trickle-down accumulates, or the one with wandering, mentally ill homeless people who defecate on storefronts and porches? If it’s any consolation, the folks in San Francisco face the same issues.

At any rate, it might just be Republicans who let the specter in the door for the November midterms, if in the new year they follow through with threats to cut Social Security and Medicare to balance the 15 percent tax cut they gave their corporate cronies. That’s not going to go over too well with people like the older lady who recently cut my hair in Redding.

It was the week before the Judge Roy Moore and Doug Jones showdown, “Sweet Home Alabama” was playing on the barber shop’s radio as I sat down in the chair. “Oh, we’ll be hearing a lot about Alabama this week,” I quipped. Turned out she was a Roy Moore fan. I humored her, agreeing that it’s 100 percent normal for 30-year-olds to date 14-year-olds in Alabama and that all Democrats are communists. She was all for the Republican tax plan. “What are you gonna do when they try to cut Social Security and Medicare?” I asked.

“They’d never do that,” she said, scissors whizzing away on my sidewalls. “That would be suicide.”

I chuckled to myself. I’d just written a column titled “Suicide By Trump” that basically said the exact same thing. I didn’t bother explaining to her Social Security and Medicare are socialist programs, there was no need to. Such programs are held sacrosanct by a large majority of Americans, and if Republicans turn the raging bull monkey loose to promote cuts to programs he continually promised to defend on the campaign trail, there will be a political price to pay.

Will Democrats seize the opportunity? The Sanders wing of the party appears to be ready, and recently released a detailed autopsy on 2016’s catastrophic loss that’s well worth reading. Whether Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi pay any attention to it is another matter entirely.

One hopes that as the Russian collusion investigation winds down due to the fact that there’s no evidence of collusion, Democrats don’t simply switch to investigating the many allegations of sexual harassment against the president, riding the wave of the #MeToo movement. Raging bull monkeys are shameless and it won’t lead to impeachment, but it will create a sideshow distracting the Democratic base from the fact that the party’s corporate donors love those tax cuts, too.

In my dreams, Stillwater Business Park has already been sold to Amazon.

An Imaginary Conversation With Jeff Bezos

Back here at home in Shasta County, I’ve scoured the internet trying to find some major industry we can draw to the region to give the economy a real boost, but there just doesn’t seem to be very many ideas out there, anywhere, for rural America.

So I’ve been forced to use my imagination. In my latest fantasy, I’m a salesman for Stillwater Business Park, and somehow lure Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos from Seattle down to Redding, to convince him to locate Amazon’s second corporate headquarters right here in Shasta County.

Naturally, we meet in a bar, and I get Bezos drunk, so he’s blinded to the surroundings.

“Look, Mr. Bezos, “ I say, “we’re killing ourselves for Amazon out here. We could care less that the big box stores and the malls and all the little mom and pop stores are dying. I recently ordered some motorcycle tires off Amazon, instead of going down to the local shop, and they arrived on my doorstep in 22 hours flat. My UPS driver is an animal! Amazon is the greatest! You owe it to us to locate your second headquarters here.”

I’d omit mentioning the summer heat and the transient crime problem and take him on a tour of Stillwater. “All this is yours, 16 lots, free land, free electricity, free water, all the hook-ups already in place. That’s right, free. We’ll give it to you, free, $40 million in value at least, tax credits too, if only you will come.”

Sure, it’s a fantasy, we’ll never be in that league. The truly sad thing is hundreds of cities across America with much more to give away than us are currently prostituting themselves for the chance to be the chosen location.

Thus the disruption continues.

Mystery solved?

Potential Suspect In Papini Kidnapping Case?

It’s been more than a year since Mountain Gate resident and super mother-of-two Sherri Papini was kidnapped, abused for several weeks and then released, allegedly by two Latinas, who remain at large. The Shasta County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI have so far failed to identify the alleged perpetrators.

Now, there may finally be a break in the case.

Ever since enhanced sketches of the perpetrators were released several months ago, I’ve been fixated on the portrait on the right. Where have I seen that mug before? Even with the bandana, you have to admit, that’s one ugly woman. The kind of ugly you don’t forget. Then it dawned on me. That’s no woman.

It’s a man, baby.

In fact, could it be none other than noted Hollywood character actor Danny Trejo, star of Machete, Machete Kills, Machete Kills in Space and Sons of Anarchy?

I’ll leave it up to the Sheriff and the FBI, with their advanced facial recognition software, to confirm whether or not the sketch is indeed of Mr. Trejo. In the meantime, keep in mind that to some Americans, all Mexicans look alike.

(Writer’s note: The last bit is satire and by no means intended to disparage the Papinis or the ongoing investigation into Sherri’s abductors. For the record, Danny Trejo is Mexican-American.)

R.V. Scheide
R.V. Scheide has been a northern California journalist for more than 20 years. He appreciates your comments and story ideas.
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74 Responses

  1. Beverly Stafford says:

    Each time another Republican jumps ship and says he, too, will vote for the tax plan, my shoulders slump a little lower. I had high hopes that Congressional members would actually represent their constituents, but like your musing of Amazon coming to Stillwater, it appears to be just a dream. Instead we have the nightmare of yet another sell-out.

  2. conservative says:

    The liberal media have done an outstanding job making the case against pro growth tax reform. If armageddon is at hand, progressives should sell their houses and rent. Progressives should sell their stocks and go to cash. What progressives do is more important than what they say.

  3. Virginia says:

    What I suppose was supposed to be a humorous mock of President Trump is sickening. If it was done to President Obama you would be furious!

    Most of you of who do comment on this type of article remind me of Chicken Little saying constantly, “The sky is falling!”

    Grow up people. Life isn’t perfect, and since most of us did survive the previous president, I am sure we will do the same with this one…..

    • You are 100 percent correct Virginia. It’s sickening the depths I’ve fallen to. In the past, I’ve never supported calling the president names. Even George W. Bush. But this guy, Trump? Within a week, he’d tarnished the presidency so much, I was forced to reconsider my own values.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Virginia — Eventually the Roman Empire, the British Empire, and the Soviet Union fell. There is no guarantee that the United States will endure forever. It’s not that difficult to imagine the nation being torn to pieces—the divide between blue and red America is growing. Worse, the divide between the haves and the have-nots is growing. It takes zero imagination to see that our current POTUS is a narcissistic sociopath who cares only about himself—the kind of mad tyrant that a desperate people turn to when they’ve lost their way.

      That said, I’m old enough to remember the 1960s. A disastrous and costly war, rioting in the streets, racial strife, economic chaos*, and political divisions the likes of which are just now beginning to look familiar.

      *Remember Nixon’s anti-inflationary price controls? Phase 1: Freeze wages and prices. Phase 2…. It worked until he defeated McGovern in a landslide. Once the freezes were removed, we had almost instant hyper-inflation. I also remember the graffiti: Phase 4: Freeze Nixon’s Meat.

    • Joanne Lobeski Snyder says:

      Survived Obama’s presidency? I was content with low cost medical insurance and being proud of a wonderful first family…and a diplomatic and educated President who never made me grimace in shame. I’m still amazed about our economic recovery after Bush took us into a misguided war we were not rich enough to fight. I would never direct to our current President the sort of vitriolic and racist comments I read and heard.

  4. conservative says:

    Retailers are building their distribution centers and fulfilment centers on the I-80 rail and road corridor from east of Reno to Sac. The corridor also has access to international airports and the container port of Oakland.

    Redding works as an end of the line for retail shipments. It could not compete as a location for distribution and fulfilment centers. Mail sorting is done in Sac. The WSJ is printed in Sac. People at the Redding end of the line will have to get more of their healthcare near the I-80 corridor.

    Stillwater failed because it is in the wrong location. Next time you are in Carson City, take a five minute trip on Arrowhead to see what Stillwater could have been.

    • Yep. We’re at the end of line. Sad.

      • conservative says:

        What will become of the Sears closed in Chico and the Kmart closed in Eureka? Some closed Sears can become distribution centers if they have a good strategic location. Weaverville and Redding do not have good strategic locations.

        The business press predicts a wave of closures after the Christmas shopping season.

        • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

          My wife and I drove by Shasta Mall yesterday—the weekend before Christmas—and pointed out that the parking lot wasn’t close to half-full. The Dana Drive traffic was fairly normal, too. Barnes & Noble no more busy than usual.

          It wasn’t even 10 years ago that I avoided Shasta Mall/Dana Drive for a month leading up to Christmas. The parking lot was typically packed, and the traffic in the area was horrific.

          • I keep hearing rumors that Macy’s and Sears and Kohl’s and KMarts are closing, but when I check it out online, they appear to be that, rumors, at least for Redding. Or maybe I missed the story?

          • Tim says:

            Sears Holding Co hasn’t yet announced closings for Redding, but Chico got very little notice and it is only a matter of time before Sears & Kmart go bankrupt entirely. Once worth nearly $12 billion, SHLD currently has a market cap of just ~$400 million (viewed as a business, Redding’s Bethel Church is worth more). Websites like “Tears for Sears” have chronicled the recent decline, and most folks blame the reclusive CEO Eddie Lampert.

            But barring a brief reprieve after 1993’s successful “softer side of sears” campaign, the general downward trend goes back to the 80’s. Most companies would have closed already, but Lampert has invested a great deal of ego, along with his hedge fund investors’ fortunes, in proving everyone else wrong. (In a 2005 college lecture Warren Buffett, famous for praising by name & criticizing by category, said Eddie Lampert was a smart guy but department stores were a losing hand and that Buffett himself had failed to turn around slipping department stores in the 70s).

            Lately, Lampert has resorted to personal loans to keep the company going while he tries to buy more time for an increasingly unlikely turnaround by selling off brands like Craftsman, DieHard, Kenmore, & LandsEnd.

  5. Common Sense says:

    No evidence of Collusion? Now that’s a funny one!!….Yes, Virginia, we will survive this president also.

    The Difference is the former President didn’t have mental issues, didn’t lie as much by about 90% Didn’t have any sexual assault allegations against him and was actually INTELLIGENT.

    Next Ornament on Trumps Hall of Shame Tree to go will be Andrew McCabe. Someone has to go to make the pressure temporarily go away….or so #45 thinks.

    Mueller has ALL the emails from the Transition team…All the Cell Phones and All the Computers….so if you think there is nothing in all that info….you are just too far down the Rabbit Hole to understand at this point.

    Once this tax bill is signed….the GOP has no use for 45 and will gladly look forward to Mueller to finish up so they can distance themselves and tell the base….”See it wasn’t us that did this to your wonderful president it was Mueller”…..they will run from 45 like a pack of dogs chasing a rabbit once Mueller get a little further into this Surgical Extraction!

    It’s pretty simple now…..cut a deal with Mueller or Do time……the whole gang is going down or will have to cut deals…….anyone associated is subject to investigation and charges….and that’s the Majority of people in the Admin and Transition team!

    The GOP Must distance themselves….and quickly if they want to stand a chance in the Mid Terms….there is no loyalty…its every one for himself with the goal of re election….

    • Virginia says:

      You are making assumptions.

      • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

        Try crafting and presenting an argument without making assumptions. Good luck.

        The question is whether or not the assumptions are plausible. If you think CS’s assumptions are not plausible, explain why. Otherwise, your critique is empty.

      • Common Sense says:

        America’s Real def·i·cit…Critical Thinking Skills…..

    • Common Sense, I assert, backed up by the link provided in the story, to Consortium News, in my opinion one of the best websites covering the intelligence community in the United States, that there has been no evidence found yet of Trump colluding with the Russians to hack the election. Go to the link provided and learn how Democrats, the FBI and the mainstream media have created the Russia collusion narrative.

      That said, it’s certainly possible that Mueller & Co. will uncover or provoke some sort of process crime, as he’s done with Flynn, or some past financial crime, as with Manafort. If they do indeed charge Trump with something, it better be a doozy if it’s gonna lead to impeachment.

      I predict Mueller will not indict Trump on any charges of “Russian collusion.” The whole thing has been orchestrated to derail Trump, the Democrats have put all their energy into it, and they way they’re talking now, they’re going to keep at it through 2018. In my opinion it’s a serious tactical error, if the goal is to win back the Congress in the midterms.

      • Common Sense says:

        Since part of your headline is predictions for the coming year….2018, I will start with Bitcoin being at $50,000 prior to the end of 2018 or higher! The only thing that could stop bitcoin at this point….would be a Fed Coin!…and that won’t happen overnight…but it’s coming!

        Now onto Politics…..based on Muellers Investigation there will be Numerous charges against not only #45 ( sealed Indictment A) but many in his Administration. The GOP will move to remove #45 to try and save their own bacon in the Mid Terms. Based on the backlash of this latest tax bill…..it won’t matter…..The Dem’s will sweep the house and possibly the Senate as voters are outraged at the latest tax bill and whom it actually benefits…when they learn that “their tax cuts” are temporary….whilst the rich and corps are permanent this will help propel the backlash at the voting booths. In the event that the GOP Doesn’t move to remove/impeach etc….the Dem’s will for sure when they take majority….all based on Muellers Evidence….not some opinions….

      • Common Sense says:

        R.V the reason Flynn got off with a slap on the hand is that he cut a deal! He alone has provided enough info to sink the entire ship. But Mueller is going to have 50,000 pages of evidence when he is done. He is very thorough and will have an airtight case when it goes to the courts. The only real question with Papadopolous and Flynn singing along with others that we don’t know about is whether based on ALL the evidence that is presented…..will the GOP do anything with that? Pence is also in hot water as he knew all along that Flynn was dirty…remember when he came out on T.V backing Flynn??….Now Flynn tells Mueller they knew all along…..no Collusion? Hahahah

        • What Flynn did, talk to the Russian ambassador, is not illegal. Lying to the FBI is. They’ve got all his communications already. Don’t you think if they had some real evidence of collusion, it would have been leaked by now? It hasn’t because it doesn’t exist. Neither Trump nor the Russians are smart enough to pull such a caper off.

          • Common Sense says:

            Nothing has been leaked out of Mueller Investigation….nothing….he is 20 steps ahead of anyone! If you hear of something…..in the news….its because he wanted it leaked…..We still have Indictment A to open and 5 others on the Federal Docket…..so we are only half way through this appetizer tray!….I am not sure you understand how Mueller operates….or his level of skill and intelligence.

      • Common Sense says:

        I don’t buy that Article…not one bit. Right up there with FoXX news….the creator of Fake News is F.N…..

      • Common Sense says:

        Why the dates will be all so important as the investigation continues to move forward….

        http://www.bluedotdaily.com/lawyer-exposes-single-most-important-fact-in-muellers-investigation-that-no-one-is-talking-about-djt/

  6. cheyenne says:

    I will have to disagree with the statement that Trump is taking credit for the so-called Obama recovery, at least here in the high Rockies. Another article today in the Denver Post highlights the rise of fracking on the Colorado eastern plains. The reason, because Trump over ruled Obama’s emission rules. As I have posted many times about the increase in fracking around Cheyenne due to the Obama restrictions being removed and now a clean coal power plant, built in Oklahoma, is being moved to northeast Wyoming and will be in operation in 2018. This was not possible under Obama and would not have been possible under Clinton. Sanders drew huge crowds to his rallies in Wyoming and I think he would have been favorable to an industry that creates many jobs in rural areas and pays taxes needed for Sanders social programs. But, the enviros, who live elsewhere condemn fossil fuel jobs.

    • Cheyenne, the increased fracking you’re pointing out, because Trump did indeed relax some of the regulations, has almost undoubtedly accounted for a large chunk of the recent rise in GDP. That’s not legislation, it’s de-regulation. De-regulation comes at a cost–in this case to the water tables wherever fracking is being conducted–that isn’t counted in GDP, but it’s a loss all the same.

      • cheyenne says:

        RV, you don’t need to tell me about the cost of fracking as I pass and am passed by fracking trucks on narrow two lane roads all the time. Water is a big issue all through the west.
        The trouble with Redding is no one is installing fracking rigs or wanting to build a pipeline through there so you don’t know personally how it would affect you. Wyoming has no choice but to embrace mineral extraction or we would be Mississippi. Colorado has a choice in diversity but Colorado was built on mineral extraction and it is hard to change centuries long attitudes.
        As far as the Amazon lottery the city manager of Glendale, Arizona, who is from Seattle, sent a letter to Amazon, don’t come to Arizona. While Denver is pushing for Amazon many in the community don’t want it. More population in an area already over populated. Where Amazon should go is where it would be most needed such as Redding but that isn’t the way businesses think.

        • Before I was an a journalist, I was an engineer, and there was a lot of natural gas extraction going on in the Sacramento River delta. After I became a journalist, I asked these guys, let’s do a story on what you do, about the work, the engineering, and their bosses always said, no fucking way, if they find out how much water we’re using we’re through.

          • cheyenne says:

            RV, Wyofile and the Denver Post do extensive articles on fracking here. The oil/gas money is being spent big time to influence politicians and city,county,state regulations. Some of the Denver oil companies, as I have posted, have barred anyone not favorable from their public meetings. Two Colorado legislators had to be escorted by local police into a Crestone so-called public meeting because Crestone security guards wouldn’t let them in. Here in Cheyenne the fracking companies, from out of state, keep sending their information meeting posts to the wrong addresses. I have sent photos of the fracking signs and guard trailers that were taken from inside my car as the companies are very protective of their turf. I could show more photos of the half a dozen fracking rigs that are right next to Chalk Cliffs Road, a dirt road southeast of Cheyenne.
            I stand by my statement that you personally don’t know what it is like to live in fracking country.

          • The precise exact thing is going on here in California, expedited by Mr. Trump and Mr. Brown.

          • cheyenne says:

            RV, I have posted a picture of a pipeline surrounded by chain link fencing coming from the Samson oil field. It runs about twenty feet along the ground from emerging to going under ground again that just appeared since September. There are at least three I can see from the road. They go right through Cheyenne. Do you have a fracking pipeline going through Redding. Finding information on these is hard but I already know where they go. To a pumping station in south Cheyenne where the oil/gas is pumped to Carr, Colorado where it is loaded on trains.
            Love your picture of Trump. Did you do that or Doni?

          • The Trump picture is a meme that’s been circulating with many similar memes on Facebook. I picked this one because it was the nicest. I think he looks … regal, for raging bull monkey.

      • cheyenne says:

        Posting a link about the economy that is six months old is not relevant today. I don’t know about elsewhere but I can personally say there has been an enormous uptick in fracking here in the last six months. That uptick raises all boats.

  7. conservative says:

    Along the line of “watch what they do, not what they say” are McClatchy employees putting their houses up for sale? MNI has lost 36% in the last 365 days. The Sac Bee is even more strident than National Public Radio and Paul Krugman.

    • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

      National Public Radio is strident? That’s hilarious when you compare NPR to typical right-wing media outlets.

      “IS ROBERT MUELLER REALLY HILLARY IN A LATEX MASK? WE’LL ASK TED NUGENT! BUT FIRST, THE LATEST ON ALLEGATIONS THAT EVERY LIBERAL IN HOLLYWOOD IS A SUPPORTER OF NAMBLA! THE LATEST ON THAT FROM SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT SARAH PALIN!” —Fox News

    • Another reporter and I did some of the best work on McClatchy’s fall during the housing bubble crash. One of their editors is a friend of mine, and he finally had to jump ship and go to a non-McClatchy paper. When I first started in journalism, McClatchy was one of the few major chains that was doing good work.

  8. Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

    Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman in his column this morning regarding the GOP tax plan:

    “(Treasury Secretary) Mnuchin said his department had a study showing great effects on growth; that was a lie. Donald Trump says the bill is “not good for me”; that’s a lie. Senator John Cornyn said, “This is not a bill that is designed primarily to benefit the wealthy and the large businesses”; that was a lie. Senator Bob Corker said he wouldn’t support a plan “adding one penny to the deficit”; that was a lie.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/30/opinion/republican-tax-lies-fed.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fpaul-krugman&action=click&contentCollection=opinion&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=collection

  9. Tim says:

    If Amazon came to stillwater, it would look a lot like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_eG7leM6ew

  10. Dodie says:

    What a bunch of garbage…..I could hardly get through the Trump crap. What goes around…comes around! If you can’t say something nice Mr. R.V. SCHEIDE, JR…….quit posting!

    • Of course, if you followed your own advice, your post wouldn’t exist.

      Anyway: Support Trump, you own his racism, sexism, xenophobia, etc. I suggest you really immerse yourself in it.

    • Barbara Rice Barbara Rice says:

      Dodie, thank you for commenting. If you would like to submit a column rebutting RV’s views, please submit at the “Contact Us” link at the top.

      Please note also our comment policy:

      Please keep your comments positive and civilized. If your comment is critical, please make it constructive. If your comment is rude, we will delete it. If you are constantly negative or a general pest, troll, or hater, we will ban you from the site forever. The definition of terms is left solely up to us.

  11. Joanne Lobeski Snyder says:

    Brilliant article R.V. Thank you. What I’m noticing with your responders is they fall into a couple a categories 1) civil dialog and added information about what you wrote 2) questions about what you wrote and 3) blanket dismissal and vilification of everything you wrote.
    I believe that a government of a country exists to protect health welfare and interests of the all citizens of that country. In our country, the majority of those people are the workers.

    • Why thank you Joanne. I always expect responses to be all over the board, that’s part of the fun of it. I used to write a three dot column like this every week, with 4-5 subjects. I may try to revive this in the future. I hope workers can unite next year and stop Congress and Trump from cutting the social safety net.

  12. cheyenne says:

    RV, another great article always love them. Our disagreements are based on the fact you live in a Shasta County that, according to you and others on here, did not exist when I left 12 years ago. Trump did not cause those problems. His policies are not going to aid Shasta County but then Clinton’s wouldn’t have ether. California has recovered economically but not in all parts of the state, Shasta County among them.
    I live in Laramie County, Wyoming where school enrollment is up, sales taxes have increased, unemployment is down but like California not all areas of the state have improved. Even in areas where mineral extraction has rebounded the jobs have not come back. The price of oil is creeping up leading to more fracking. But the small fly-by-night companies are gone and the remaining companies are doing more production with less cost, fewer workers. Colorado is the same, while the northern section of the state is recovering the southern part is stuck in it’s own Shasta County like recession. I can point to Trump’s policies, deregulation or easing environmental restrictions, as aiding this recovery.
    If you lived here your articles would be about fracking, good or bad, about Denver’s rise in real estate leading to people fleeing to Cheyenne for cheaper housing and driving real estate prices up. About the proposed Hyperloop that will run from Pueblo to Cheyenne and DIA to Vail.
    We live in two different economic areas.

    • The conditions in rural America, in Shasta County, Wyoming, the Midwest, the South, upstate New York, etc. are what I was alluding to with that Amazon bit. I’ve got all sorts of “rural” news links that I check frequently, looking for some sign of life out there that might be useful for us here in Shasta County. I haven’t found anything at yet. A few readers have noticed that I totally left marijuana out of the equation. I had no choice, because Shasta County is not going to seize that opportunity. It’s depressing!

    • Cheyenne, here’s a link by an investigative journalist friend of mine, Dan Bacher, on fracking in L.A.

      https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2017/12/19/18805369.php

  13. Robert V. Scheide Sr. says:

    WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH AMERICA
    Now RV’s piece is about predictions but I see few predictions in the replies. So here goes. What I see in the immediate future is a new GREATEST DEPRESSION brought on by several bumps in the road that are actually mountains. A trillion + student loan debt, a trillion dollar financed care debt (only 8% were credit checked) and of course another housing bubble about to pop. Any one of these could be the trigger. Yet you have all heard of these three so of course none of them will be the trigger.

    The trigger will be an event that went uncovered in MSM news China began accepting the Yuan in payment for oil and that Yuan immediately traded for Gold. Essentially making it a gold for oil trade. Many countries are jumping on to this deal joyfully getting out of the dollar for gold trades. This is the beginning of the end of the dollar as the worlds reserve currency . What the end effect of this is to be is very hard to track down. There are so many possibilities it’s hard to pick just one.

    So of course I will pick one. If we loose reserve currency status other countries will no longer want to hold dollars and will dump their T bills flooding the market forcing the fed to raise interest rates to attract buyers. This will bring about the biggest stock market downturn since the Great Depression.

    How could this be a good thing? Well for one if America would quit voting against it’s own self interest then when the value of the dollar falls and imports get too expensive we will once again start making things for ourselves and with the proper politicians in office we will put tariffs in place to protect what we make.

    So their is my one prediction . We will crash hard and many will be hurt and hurt bad. Just remember we voted ourselves into this mess and we can vote our selves out of it. If we do American could be great again but it won’t be done with republican control..Check history if you think I am wrong. I would susgget you look at economic history from 1920 to 1940 .

    Great picture son

    • Dad, did you notice I didn’t really make any strong prediction either? Basically it looks like the Trump Train is gonna steamroll the Democrats in 2018. Will that bring an immediate Depression? It’s hard to tell. Some folks are already in a depression from the last crisis.

      I agree that currency and cryptocurrency are going to be hot topics and that there may be advantages to not being the world’s reserve currency. However, I don’t think the U.S. is going to let go of its reserve currency status easily. I would have predicted war, if we weren’t at war in seven countries already, so I predict MORE WARS.

      As for the picture, the author is anonymous and it’s been floating around the internet. I grabbed it because I thought it was well-done, but it has apparently upset some readers because it insults the president. I’m completely willing to take a reader vote, and replace it with the official White House photo, if readers so desire. Some people, who aren’t even Trump supporters, are quite upset, and that was not my intention.

      • Tim says:

        I understand where the criticism is coming from and I too think the photo is low humor – more likely galvanize Trump sympathizers than win converts.

        But low humor and idealogical squabbling have been American traits since inception: George Washington retired in large part due to increasingly bitter criticism during his second term. Among the most vocal critics was Thomas Paine, who suggested this for Washington’s statue:

        Take from the mine the coldest, hardest stone
        It needs no fashion, it is Washington;
        But if you chisel, let your strokes be rude
        And on his breast engrave Ingratitude!

        Once president, John Adams (another Federalist) was even less tolerant of Republican criticism: he used the new Alien and Sedition Act to imprison Thomas Cooper after Cooper published an open letter critical of the Adams administration. At trial, Cooper famously declared he knew the king of England could do no wrong, but “did not know till now that the President of the United States had the same attribute.”

      • K. Beck says:

        How about NO photos. I vote for that.

  14. Richard Christoph says:

    Really enjoyed your article, R.V. with just one minor quibble regarding your statement: “…the 15 percent tax cut they gave their corporate cronies.” A 15 percentage point reduction from the current 35% tax rate is actually a 42.9% decrease.

    But since the updated plan reduces the tax rate to 21% rather than 20%, the 14 percentage point reduction is ONLY a 40% decrease in the corporate tax rate.

    Indeed, a rising tide raises all yachts…

    • When Trump through out 20 percent at the start of “negotiations” he said he’d take 25 percent. So 21 percent is winning!

      • Richard Christoph says:

        R.V., perhaps I was unclear. A percentage POINT increase or decrease is not the same as a percentage increase or decrease, and stating that corporate cronies received a “15% tax cut” is incorrect. A decrease in the corporate rate from 35% to 20% would have been a 15 percentage POINT decrease, which computes to a 42.9 percent decrease in the tax rate.

        • Ooooooh, I see what you’re saying. I’m talking about rates, not the actual size of the cut. You are correct. Shit. I should have stated it that way, because 40 percent tax cut sounds a lot worse.

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