Goldman Sachs begins its current 104-page Outlook, “American Preeminence in a Rattled World,” with a sonnet whose final lines you surely know:

The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
— Emma Lazarus (1849–1887)

Updated for 2019 (by me, not Goldman):

Asylum seekers, beacon bound — turn back;
You must turn around.
Thousands of miles to plead your case — turn back;
We’re now a different place.
This golden land you now are nearing — turn back;
You’ll get no hearing.
Kids in tow, we won’t engage them — turn back;
We’ll grab and cage them.
(And if somehow you sneak them thru — your precious cargo —
Look for a job at Mar-a-Lago.)

Goldman Sachs thinks (to summarize the 104 pages): American economic preeminence is likely to persist; stay largely invested in U.S. equities this year.

My for-profit strategy is to diversify and keep expenses low (click here for a 296-page elaboration).

My non-profit strategy revolves around electing Democrats . . . to empower an Obama/Biden-like vision for the world (to shorthand it) rather than a Bush/Cheney vision or a Trump/Pence/McConnell vision.

  1. I put no resources into fighting Democrats (i.e., primaries).
  2. I put only a little into state and local races — mainly: governors, secretaries of state and A.G.’s.  (New York City has a dozen fine progressives running for Public advocate. I wish them all well but decline their requests. They don’t make national policy or lifetime judicial appointments.)
  3. I give relatively little to individual candidates, much as I want them to win:

a) The candidates over-spend on advertising, in my view (their consultants often get a slice; and, being human, they want to make their case on TV and respond to attacks) . . .

b. Yet, elections these days, I think, are mainly about turn-out, not persuasion.  Great TV ads are not going to persuade many people to switch tribes.

Candidates can’t abandon advertising, of course; but I see little risk they will underspend on TV.

The smart money, it seems to me, goes into the ground game – organizing for massive registration and turn-out of folks who will surely vote our way IF THEY VOTE.

4. I give mainly to the DNC because this is the DNC’s focus: enabling a massive turnout.

I feel particularly good supporting the DNC now that Tom Perez runs it. (President Obama considered him one of his very most effective Cabinet secretaries.) And now that Raffi Krikorian is Tom’s CTO. (Ex-head of global infrastructure for Twitter, wooed away by Uber to lead the team that delivered their self-driving car, he is a tech super star – the kind we never had before.)

5. A massive turn-out is so much more efficient than targeting specific races.  If we get our folks to the polls, they typically vote for ALL our candidates – even when they know nothing about them, just that they’re Democrats.

6. I give early – a year’s worth last week – because (a) relatively few others do, so that’s when it’s most needed; (b) the longer organizers have to recruit, train, and inspire volunteers, the larger the snowball grows.

I don’t want to let the Republicans keep building to beat us in 2020 while we take a break and start all over again next year.

In case you want to join “the January Club” (not a real thing: just the way I think of those of us who give at the start of each year), click here.

I’ll see whatever you do the minute you do it, to say thanks.

“History has its eyes on us.”

Melodramatic but true.



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