Sunday, November 13, 2022


Because of the delay this year to the start of winter, I have yet to begin reading much. While the tomato plants in the garden have died from frost, I am still eating tomatoes, making this year the longest season I've had here for home-grown ones. The usual fall tasks, such as leaf removal, tractor and lawnmower maintenance and wood stacking, are finished for the year, and I'm now awaiting cold weather and snow. According to the weather forecast, we may get some this week. On the positive side, my daughter and her husband are finally closing on a house in West Lebanon, New Hampshire. I've seen it myself and think it's a good choice. Though poorly-maintained by its autistic owner, a divorced woman with two children, for the last fourteen years, the structure is solid, and the neighborhood is good. You can walk to the Connecticut River, which is about one-hundred feet lower in elevation, so will not flood the neighborhood in future storms. My son-in-law can still take a bus to work, meaning that they won't have to buy a second car. Also, the yard is small, so there will be little lawn maintenance, though there is still space for a vegetable garden.

I have been following the midterm elections and was glad to see that the Republicans didn't do as well as expected. I think that this is another nail in the coffin for Donald Trump, who, without the backing of political supporters, will soon fade away into oblivion. One can sense the growing boredom surrounding his "stolen election" narrative. No one seems to care in the slightest that MAGA candidates lost, and I doubt that any of the election results will be contested. I don't think that Trump will be able to survive all of his legal challenges, but, even if he does, his political career is probably winding down. The surest sign of this is that Rupert Murdoch, one of the chief beneficiaries of Trump's political ascent, has already dumped him. Despite the theorizing one reads about populism, this is still primarily a capitalistic country, and Trump probably would not have done as well as he did if billionaires such as Rupert Murdoch and Peter Thiel hadn't supported him; to the extent that he had any political agenda, his policies were pro-big-business. Tax cuts for the rich are actually about as anti-populist as you can get. One of the greatest failings of the American press in recent years has been its inability to characterize Trump as a wealthy opportunist who has nothing in common with his populist supporters other than poor judgment and bad taste.

Some people are already claiming that the midterm results are an example of how democracy works and is a better option than the other political systems available. I hope to return to this topic again during the winter, because I am not at all confident that democracy will survive or even that it is a system worth preserving. It is reassuring to see Joe Biden, the fuddy-duddy politician, prevail over the Trumpists, but it is appalling that Trump ever acquired political power, given what we know about him. Misinformation is so rampant these days that good ideas now have only the tiniest margin of popularity over demonstrably bad ideas, and, as the political and physical environments deteriorate, small errors in political decision-making could have catastrophic consequences.

One of my distractions from writing on this blog continues to be my concentration on investing, since early 2020. Although it's too early to say, it seems possible that the current rate of inflation may abate soon, in the U.S. at least, and that stock markets will begin to rise again. I am keeping an eye on China, because I believe that many of the best investment opportunities lie there, though it is still rather risky.

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