The selfish reason to give is the global depression we’ll have if the Republicans win. Better to give 2% of your net worth now than lose 50% or 80% of it later.
“Sorry, not buying it,” a hedge fund pal smiled as he turned me down last week: “I’m net short.” He’ll do just fine, he thinks, no matter what. And maybe he will. But depressions lead to wars and fascism and all kinds of awful things. I have not given up on him.
When the 2005 edition of my investment guide was going to press in November, 2004, I wrote: “I am dismayed by the reelection of George Bush. . . . I see [our economic] problems getting worse . . . As I write this, stock and real estate prices do not seem to me to reflect all the challenges.”
I may not be right twice (and hope not to find out!) but I know this much:
Historically, the stock market and economy have done much better under Democrats. “You can look it up,” as they say. Or just click here.
Had you invested $10,000 in the S&P 500 under just Republican presidents for the 40 or so years that they controlled the White House since 1929, that $10,000 would have grown to . . . $11,733. Whoop-de-Tea-Party-doo. Had you invested that same $10,000 for the 40 years since 1929 that DEMOCRATS controlled the White House prior to the election of President Obama, it would have grown to $300,671.
Pop quiz: which is more?
And that $300,671 was BEFORE President Obama took office and restored our nation’s standing in the world and decimated Al Qaeda and rescued the auto industry and so on. The S&P is up 38% since then – which turns that $300,671 into $415,000.
[UPDATE: Some of you wrote to say it was unfair for the New York Times to start its comparison in 1929, just before the crash. But note this: the eight years of increasing inequality and speculation leading up to the crash and the Great Depression were also years of Republican stewardship.]
So even if global depression weren’t the alternative, investing in the President’s reelection – and the kind of big Democratic turn-out that will give him a more cooperative Congress – is very much in our self-interest.
In 2000, we strove mightily to fund a Gore win. But not quite enough, as it turned out. The result? The war in Iraq, the destruction of our national balance sheet, and the Court that gave us Citizens United.
So here we go again . . . because if we don’t get it right this time, the Court will be definitively lost for 20 years. And this time, as I say, we will have a global depression.
Governor Romney would go along with the Ryan budget that he’s already endorsed, sucking hundreds of billions of dollars of demand OUT of the economy at exactly the time we should be injecting demand, and at exactly the time Europe and the rest of the world can’t afford to have us pull back. He would find himself out-Hoovering Hoover (another successful businessman).
Governor Romney may REALIZE the Ryan austerity budget is exactly wrong — that in the short run it’s not austerity we need but, rather, massive infrastructure spending. He may REALIZE that with the market eager to lend Uncle Sam long-term money on the cheap, and with so many unemployed, this is the perfect time to revitalize our infrastructure. And that doing so would jump start the economy in the bargain (just as the massive ramp up of World War II ended the Depression).
But even if he does realize these things, and it’s not clear that he does, the Grover-Norquist/Rush-Limbaugh-controlled Republican Congress is so deeply committed to drastic cuts he would never be able to buck their will.
Forward this post to friends or relatives who plan to vote for Governor Romney, no matter what the S&P 500 has done under Republican presidents. Tell them: Listen, if you can’t bring yourself to vote for the President for some reason, at least STAY HOME November 6. Because if you think things are tough now, slamming on the brakes at exactly the time we should be stepping on the gas would be like slashing the military budget in 1943 to rein in our exploding deficits. Can you imagine if we had done that? Can you imagine how insane that would have been? The result would have been a very different world. The “beauty part” of investing heavily to win THIS “war,” 70 years later, is that it’s a war not against people but, rather, a battle to get out of the ditch the Republicans drove us into after taking over from Bill Clinton. So instead of investing to build things that blow up, we’ll be investing in things that last for 50 and 100 years.
Finally: the Court. Citizens United lets corporate interests control legislators with the mere threat of a $10 million negative ad buy. The mere threat – they don’t even have to spend the money – is enough to pretty much kill democracy as the Founders envisioned it. Not to mention all the social issues. And the separation of church and state that Justice Scalia rejects.
So look. It doesn’t really help to give the day before the election. We have just 95 days left. It’s show time. For some of us, $500 is a huge stretch. For others, $50,000. Whatever represents a huge stretch for you, if you’ve got any capacity left, PLEASE click here. And if you don’t have any capacity left, take an hour to inspire someone else to.
Rush Limbaugh gets red in the face listing what he calls “the four pillars of deceit.” They are, he says: “Academia, government, science, and the media.” PLEASE don’t let his side, the anti-science side, take control of all three branches of government and shape the future for the generations that follow. Click.
Have a great weekend.
Quote of the Day
Very few American investors buy any stock for the sake of something which is going to happen more than six months hence, even though its probability is exceedingly high; and it is out of taking advantage of this psychological peculiarity of theirs that most money is made.~John Maynard Keynes
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