Hello again Tackle Traders,

In case you missed Part I of Environmental Hedging: Perspective, you can click here and check it out.
 Now, continuing from where we left, let’s jump right into Deep Thinking Principle #2.

Deep Thinking Principle #2 — Don’t Be a Sucker for Identity Slogans:

Another conversation I had with Europeans often pertained to slogans, like MAGA or Fake News. The slogan “fake news” was brought up the most, however. Especially as applied to professional journalism. A Swedish girl named Alex nailed it on the head, telling me: “it creates a dangerous environment for America, one where everything is true but not true at the same time.” And, as Dr. David Lovekin already pointed out: it is in such environments that ‘the freedom of information can only be the masquerading of freedom’… It becomes the ultimate escape tactic, only handy when difficult questions are asked whereby summiting an answer would only reveal the true depths of cruel incompetence being crafted. We need to be more intelligent consumers of information, and…in a perfect world, better educated citizens. Enough of this Pepsi and Coke rift-raft…we are much more than that.

In summation, have commonsense…the world doesn’t have to be so black and white. The truth is there are many shades of grey in all of this. When it comes to information best you check up on sources and be wary of the slogan “fake news”… It is in and of itself, fake. It is an image, folks…a slogan, and one designed to distort reality, mold perspective, and disrupt journalistic integrity. Indeed, there is in fact ‘fake-news’ out there…but most commonly they are advertisement schemes and clickbait traps of some sort…and are more often than not, easy to detect. We need to get better at identify B.S. #hashtagfakenewsallcaps #notrealbutreal #myheadhurts

A Crisis of Perspective
You know we are in poor shape when the 43rd president of the United States, George W. Bush — you know, the guy who had a hard time pronouncing the names of dictators he was at war with, let alone effectively articulating complex ideas — could waltz onto stage this Wednesday and put it to the current administration: condemning it as “nationalism distorted into nativism”. A cabinet whose rhetoric he derided as “discourse degraded by casual cruelty” which is making our political systems more “vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication”.

Always is it that the worse part of a two-party system is that it only comes in two different flavors. You have your Pepsi people, and you have your Coca-Cola people. One guy likes fruits and nuts, the other guy, gunpowder. Indeed, it’s true that when dealing with polarities most people fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, maybe leaning slightly to one side over the other. However, as the gap widens… Eventually, the ridiculousness becomes apparent and onlookers begin to panic. This is another viewpoint cleaved from many Europeans — a general atmosphere of concern for American leadership and party politics.

This is not to say Europe does not have problems of their own. As in the United States, polarization and economic nationalism is taking root in there, much like it did once before in the late 1930s. The grounds for this shift in perspective are similar to what it was once before: many people feel opportunity is being stripped away by immigrants or a particular ethnic group; there are economic problems present; people feel their governments are not addressing their political needs in appropriate fashion; and, as a result, people are beginning to lose faith and confidence in leadership.

Which is not so indifferent to our American crisis in perspective. However, one thing that stands out about Europe is that perspective is still mostly a constructive debate. On many levels being critical of one’s country is the first step in making that country a better place…in many ways that is commonsensical. In the United States, well, that’s “un-American”. Its only in tyrannical societies that slogans like “un-American” are hauled out. Try wagering that charge with a group of Italians over dinner — you will have them gut-busting in laughter no matter what political topics are presented. Indeed, they will debate opposing perspectives and will do so passionately, but there will be no grudges held. That and they are very comfortable in their skin — they as well love their country and want what is best for it… Even if that doesn’t align with their own perspective on the matter. They have the right impression of things and are very open to different viewpoints — its patriotism at its finest.

I suppose the core distinction here is that there is a massive difference between party politics and identity politics. Europeans do not exactly have identity politics in the same way that America does. You can have a conversation with a voting conservative and conceivably half of their political viewpoints may be the hallmarks of the opposing leftist party. And in the next election cycle, they may vote left for no other reason other than it is commonsensical. I believe this is something we as Americans ought to strive for. I do not see constructive governance arising from the complete and unfettered tradition of voting Democratic or Republican no matter what the talking heads are on stage are uttering… Listen, analyze, and choose wisely. There is nothing wrong drinking Pepsi one day and then Coke another day. Remember, your patriotic duty is to craft a better future — who cares if its an Elephant or a Donkey.

Wuerker, Matt — Now, where were we?

Deep Thought Principle #3 — Be Open to New Perspectives:

Beyond being open to other people’s viewpoints and a willingness to evolve past identity politics there is a third perspective I would like to address, one that was whispered throughout Europe — something which both polarities, assuming there has to be just two, uphold and are on board within Europe: Economic Environmentalism. Europeans are rather excited about self-sufficiency and sustainability as base ideas. The conservative lot typically purports it as self-sufficiency. i.e. sticking it to the government and providing for oneself. The leftist lot, well, they call it sustainability, i.e. their contribution to a healthier planet. At the end of the day, both viewpoints are precisely the same… You see, it is very interesting but economic environmentalism is bi-partisan by its very definition. It precludes politics and upholds natural determinism and commonsense and it works in both Capitalistic and Socialist economic models. Which is why the lion’s share of Europe adopting it — and as far as I could tell, it is working very well.

I have conveyed in prior blogs this idea, but through the filter of investment and personal infrastructure. It may not be the answer of answers, but a very important aspect of that grand solution. Indeed, we must continue to “work-out” our social predicaments, but while we are caught up bickering over the left and the right and conspiracy vs. conspiracy we are missing that most fundamental perspective — that we live on a planet, with an atmosphere, with limited resources and limited space. And no, that is not the Chardonnay talking. That’s reality, that is scientific truth.

And to beg the question: think about Economic Environmentalism in terms of MAGAnomics. Well, developing clean-tech infrastructure and cornering that market would provide more jobs and growth than any series of ideas submitted thus far. Also, consider the geopolitical ramifications of such an effort. We would have fewer wars, less of a need for military interventionism, and would not be as dependent on governments that are jockeying for American demise — all because of energy. Such an endeavor would secure the next “American Century”, stimulate production, investment, and economic growth…It would restore faith and confidence in the American system and, most importantly, we would be doing right by future generations. I call it the “pretty straightforward but makes complete sense if you really think about it” approach to geopolitics and globalization.

Environmental Hedging: PERSPECTIVE


Bob Shannon