Sunday, March 5, 2017

Increasing violence in American Politics

When I came to this country in 2001 Feb, economy was doing good-and violence in politics, riots were almost unheard. I remember the guy who was giving me driving lesson in NJ, an unemployed law grad-even he didn't know the name of NJ Governor. It was a time, when political polarization was almost absent.

What happened then since? China joined WTO and started dumping all of their products in USA. By 2005-6, no product made-in-USA can be found in Wallmart. During the same period, thousands of Call Center and customer service jobs have been outsourced to India. Also, thanks to automation, many Americans were losing jobs. And benefit of automation, which is increasing IT jobs didn't to go to American middleclass. Again, it has been outsourced to IT majors in India.

Results of all of these have been devastating on small American towns which relied heavily on manufacturing jobs.  I can bring example of Allentown, a small model town in Pennsylvania which used to be home for many manufacturing units. I used to visit this city for my job in 2001. It was a bustling town then. When I last visited them in 2015, the city has lost much of its manufacturing jobs.  

And when people are deprived of their basic means of living, there will be political consequence. Trump is fallout of that consequence.  We, Indians are unfortunate victim of the situation now.

Obviously American politics is no more about civilized mainstream politicians of yesteryear. It is becoming violent and polarized. Since I have grown up in India, specially in WB, violent politics is nothing new to me. But unfortunately, I never ever imagined, I had to see the same in my adopted country.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Inauguration Speech by Donald Trump

If his inauguration speech is anything to believe, it is quite clear, Trump is focused on delivering his promise-practice of protectionism to create and save American jobs. Curb on illegal immigration. Eradicate Islamic radicalism which is another cancer of the civilization.

Right now, we have Putin in Russia, Modi in India and Trump in United States. Give and take, they all follow a similar pattern. A mixed brand of politics of nationalism, protectionism, manufacturing focused economy, tough stance against Islamic radicals and dilution of liberal values prevailing in the name of political correctness.

Now, first thing to consider, why liberal America is such a bad loser in all of this. Think what happened when Bernie lost hands down against Hillary by huge popular vote. They came up with all sorts of conspiracy theories by DNC etc. Left liberals conveniently ignored and forgot, Democratic party is a coalition of vested interest groups of labors, teachers, minorities etc. and among those groups, Hillary had far better support. In Maryland Primary Hillary won by 68-28 margin. In most of the states, where there exists a proper closed primary by Democratic card holders, Bernie lost badly. Yes, left liberals refused to unite under Hillary.

Next, I will reflect on Hillary campaign. To begin with she outsourced to wrong campaign manager, John Podesta. By all fair means he is incapable. Anyone like me who travels in the rural belts of Pennsylvania, knew well that Trump will carry the Rust Belt. Almost every house in this Belt was turning a proud Trump supporter by placing "Make America Great Again Placard" in their yard . Sign was quite ominous. We were also frustrated with Obamacare which almost tripled my insurance pay while cutting the benefit by half. It may have worked for 30M poor Americans but that was at the expense of raising insurance premiums for other 270M. Anger against Obamacare was so visible. How could you not take it seriously? Instead she went on political hyperbole of feminism. What was the point? Will a single feminist ever vote for Trump? They would vote for her anyway. So strategy for Hillary would have been to focus with American working class who were disappointed with Clinton because he initiated China into GATT. Her campaign was a totally misled strategy and out of touch with common Americans. Trump did far better in getting connected to common Americans.

Even then when Trump was elected, left liberals defied all the democratic decorum to claim he is not a legitimate president! By defying a sound democratic process by which Hillary won nomination or Trump won presidency, you only prove yourself a lunatic and not an activist. Moreover, you distance yourself further from the common people who voted for Trump because beyond any reasonable doubt he exposed political corruption of DC.

So what would be political discourse for the next? We have to wait and see what Trump delivers for the American people. If he fails to deliver, American people will throw him out. But you do not throw him out before he is given a chance when such is the desire of the democracy.

Trump Cabinet is oligarchy of Billionairs. There is a good and bad side of it. On better sides, they come with executive experience of running business and people. Execution is expected to be better. This was the worst problem of Obama administration-it was extremely poor on execution because mostly ideologues run it. On bitter side-they are out of touch with middle-class hard working Americans-will they think of them? We don't know answer yet. But if Trump can force them to deliver for common and poor people, they can do it better coming from their experience.

And then there is too much of ado of Islamic radicalism that Trump is speaking about. I don't see how Trump would be able to do things differently. Dollar is a reserve currency of the world, because Saudis would give oil only in dollar -in return they earned the protection for their monarchy. How will Trump reign Saudi dollar which is breeding Wahabi Islam when dollar needs house of Sauds ?

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Trump sent wrong signals so far

What is the political situation now in USA? Clear answer is nobody knows including Trump. WP writes " Trumpworld is a place where there are dueling centers of power, where actual motives are opaque and where only those related by blood or marriage are ever truly trusted and invulnerable".

So by all signs and signatures, country has voted to trust a businessman to lift their economic condition which is steadily sliding in United States. Voters have registered their loss of faith in career politicians. Question is-can Trump turn around this country using his business acumen ?

In all fairness, he can do it well if he desires to. He needs to hire more businessmen like Romney into his cabinet. But by hiring people like Steve Bannon and Jeff Sessions, he sent wrong signals so far. Bannon and Session are more interested in a white nation than doing business across the isles.

Trump is right when he said, only way to move forward is to create more and more new business in USA. But that can't happen without immigrants in USA. Nearly 2/3rd of the new technology companies in USA have been created by immigrants. Appointing anti-immigrant nuts like Bannon and Sessions wont help boosting US business. Cracking down and deportation of convicted illegal immigrants are fine but rest of the illegal immigrants could have been used in much better productive way if there is a way to grant them a sort of work permit even if that doesn't need to be categorized as green card so that path to citizenship is blocked to be fair with legal immigrants who have been waiting for such a long time for a green card. Middle path can always be sorted out to balance concerns of both sides.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Trump and education of my children

Most fearful thing, that I was apprehending of Trump administration had to do with education. My son has been fortunate to have his primary education under Obama administration which was raising the school education for American children consistently through common core- a national level standardization for school education. Trump wants to dump it because he said, common core had issues- which is partially true because I found teachers are not prepared well for it. Only students who have well educated parents were benefiting. For rest it was not making much difference partially because teachers were not trained well for new syllabus. This is one of the many cases, where Obama had fantastic good idea but as his signature trademark, execution was poor. But nevertheless, for families like us, Obama's education policy was doing great for my son.

Trump raised his kids well and so far whatever, I learned about him he does have keen interest in upbringing of children in very strict manner. By replacing common core, Trump wants to get back to original days in which a school district will be formulating the school syllabus. It used to be that way and American school education was sliding down. Reason is simple. School districts have limited budget. They can't afford experts that department of education can have. They can't build the software that department of education build to evaluate the progress of the students. Even most of the decent republicans like Jeb Bush wanted to continue with common core. It is also because of common core, Saas like IXL emerged to evaluate progress with the kids automatically. Despite its poor execution, common core is a great idea.

Now it is difficult to say what Trump will do. One good thing about him - he is smart and open minded to learn what works and what doesn't. He changes position based on what he "thinks" is good. He already rolled back on Obamacare. Hope he will role back on common core as well by keeping its key provision while allowing the school district to do more complimentary education with common core.

I am hoping best for the America's future. Obama had good ideas and objectives, but his execution is pathetically poor. He is not a good executive. Trump on the other hand is much better at execution. Therefore it will be best for the country if Trump keeps some of the successful ideas of Obama while improving it with better execution. I think that is going to happen.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Presidential Election 2016 : Success of Trump or failure of Clinton campaign ?

The way I am looking at Presidential Election 2016

1. There are four major issues : A) Declining income of American middle class B) Job loss due to outsourcing & bad trade agreement like NAFTA C) Burden of Student loan D) Escalated healthcare premium due to Obamacare

2. Anything else like racism, anti-immigration rant etc are the after effect of declining income of traditional American middle class.

3. Unless A-D are addressed properly, racism will only escalate.

4. You can't stop globalization by politics. You can't stop job loss due to automation by politics. Protectionism will kill American economy further. But people do need relief. So only way out is to invest on education of American people and research.

5. People love to think protectionism will save their job and income. It won't. Only way to save their job is to create more opportunities in America by research and innovation and reskilling American population.

6. Hillary Clinton is on right track when she is talking about boosting manufacturing by research and innovation. Trump's protectionism is a failed idea. Also he doesn't have a plan to reduce burden of Student loan.

7. But there are issues. Clinton has lost a lot of trust by being associated with dubious people. Common people are not trusting career politician anymore and Trump is taking advantage of common anger.

8. Also when I looked at both the candidates, Trump is more grounded than Clinton. Trump clearly understood mistakes of some of the trade deals while Clinton simply ignored them. This may prove costly to Clinton.

9. Trump campaign is based on anger and emotion. He has moved a force by hook or by crook. Clinton failed to move her base. Her campaign made very little effort to organize volunteers, while Trump managed more volunteering force for him.

10. Clinton's election strategy is also not well thought out. She is still trying get women voters which is useless now-because she already maximized that option. She needed to assure on two aspects and she has not done well on that A. How she will change Obamacare B. How she will protect American jobs.

Overall-it is a very close election and much of it is failure of Clinton campaign than success of Trump.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Bernie is simply fooling around with socialist rhetoric-Part-1

Sugarcoated socialist rhetoric against rich class to blame them for the misery of poor is nothing new in the history. Unfortunately history is also clear, such socialist blame game never worked. Let's review what Bernie had to offer against what we know about when such policies were implemented elsewhere. I will analyze it in a series of articles, focusing on each of the sixteen points he made :

 Bernie Campaign proclaimed ( point no-1 in his proposal ) : 

" Demanding that the wealthy and large corporations pay their fair share in taxes. As president, Sen. Sanders will stop corporations from shifting their profits and jobs overseas to avoid paying U.S. income taxes. He will create a progressive estate tax on the top 0.3 percent of Americans who inherit more than $3.5 million. He will also enact a tax on Wall Street speculators who caused millions of Americans to lose their jobs, homes, and life savings. "

  >>>Corporate Tax is already very high in USA. You increase it further, more jobs will be lost. Most of the business in USA are surviving under a hanging sword. Not every business makes money like Google or Apple. 99% business are barely floating. Pointing at a few banks and large corporations which make huge money and then showcase it to show American business is running on huge profit, is simple travesty of facts. Like the way top 1% makes most of the American wealth, similarly  only top 1% companies in USA, makes top profit. Rest are struggling everyday to survive.

  But Corporate tax is fairly flat in structure unlike income tax. So corporate tax increase will hit even mid-sized business which is not in great shape in America.

 So what would happen if Corporate tax is increased?

 A. Increase of corporate tax is completely vague term used by Bernie without any specific details. If he means to say, employment tax to be increased or property tax or tax on profit, then I must say from my experience of running business, in either case most of the business will be hurt and to remain floating, they will do more lay off.

 B. If Tax on profit is increased, then management will pocket more bonus to reduce profit margin. Which in turn will reduce cash reserve for American corporation. Net affect will be reduced expenditure on R&D and marketing/sales. So more R&D and sales jobs will be lost.

 If people start believing in such trash thrown by Bernie campaign, they will simply be paid back by losing their jobs if corporate tax is further raised. 

 However the point is- this suggestion by Bernie is absolute vague and based on voodoo economics. He is simply rallying on unfathomable business illiteracy of extreme left liberals. He never run a business in his whole life. I run 3 business in America. I can clearly say his suggestions are dangerous for Americans.

Increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour by 2020. In the year 2015, no one who works 40 hours a week should be living in poverty.

   >> This is a good goal to have and I support this. But do you know what would happen if average wage is increased? More low wage jobs will be lost in automation. Again, it is good for my business which deals with automation electronics as I have seen, my clients weighs our automation solution against minimum wage workers being replaced. This will fasten automation of low wage jobs-in effect, most of the low wage earners will lose their jobs faster than before.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Why I am for Hillary and not fooled by Bernie

Although I am personally upset by Hillary campaign and her notorious coterie, I don't find any other alternative than Hillary to continue on good works laid by Obama. We need a president who will ignore liberal fools like Michael Moore or evangelical rights. We need a president for common American like us who are neither liberal nor evangelical but want to work hard for making a fortune. We want a president who is friendly to both business and labor class. If a politician is promising a divide between business and labor class, he is simply repeating a disaster seen many times before. Bernie is a populist who is trying to sail on common anger of Americans who have seen their life and fortunes stagnated in last two decades. But Bernie has no solution for it except some well known socialist pacifiers which will make us bankrupt. Only way we will rise again, if education, research and entrepreneurship are given priority and state funding for generating wealth and well paying jobs. That's what Obama did and Bernie is trying to destroy that by villifying American entrepreneurs. If elected he will be the biggest disaster for America. If possible I will support Obama for third time but since that is not possible Hillary is only choice. If Bernie is elected in primary, I will be forced to oppose him to save USA going down to path of Greece.
Hailing from state of West Bengal in India before leaving for USA, for first 27 years of my life, I have lived under a Govt which was "communist " ( Communist party of India -which ruled state of West Bengal for 34 years ) and I have seen how their policies which are similar to Bernie-destroyed the most prosperous state to one of the most poorest state in India now in the name of equality and vodo economics of wealth distribution. Sorry guys, business does not work in the way Bernie thinks it should work. If Bernie imposes those corporate Tax-first thing that you will see-more jobs will fly from USA to India and China-middle class of this country will be even poorer. In state of MD, where I live I wont start my manufacturing-I will prefer Tx or Pen state where laws are more conducive to manufacturing business. Business works on business logic and not on political ideology. So if Bernie  is elected president and Dem also wins Senate and Congress ( which is unlikely) and he is able to raise corporate tax [ which is already high in USA], more business will leave USA-more people will lose their job. Historically  labor benefits/wage increase can happen within a capitalist system by imposing more Anti-trust law and supporting more innovative start-up so that Market doesn't see any monopoly. Nowhere in the world, one can show me a single example, where labor laws guaranteed better labor wages. In fact when such thing happened, business left the shore. What we need is strict-antimonopoly law so that business competes to get best talents and thus, wage is increased. From 1880-1910, US has seen 37,000 labor strikes ( historically the most turbulent time for labor unions)  and yet the country has not seen any wage increase. Wage in USA historically increased only after FDR strictly imposed anti-trust laws-which broke monopoly and thus for acquiring talents and quality, salary for middleclass increased automatically. So learn from history instead of being fooled by Bernie. His recipes are for proven failures.

 I am literally scared to hell when I see so many Americans even don't understand or failing to understand Bernie is simply fooling around without any feasible or tangible solution. Increase corporate tax? First thing that would happen, more jobs will leave for India and China.  Free higher education ? Yes, we need that by curtailing Military budget and not by increasing corporate tax which would impact job growth negatively. Wealth creators are enemy ? OK. Then why did I come here leaving my country to chase American dream of creating new business and technology? It is because US allows such a nice capitalist system to reward hard-work and talents. In the process a nation benefits from innovation and new jobs.