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What in the world is happening on Wall Street? Economic indicators knows where this is going to end.


To understand the economy, you have to understand human nature. This podcast is powered by Akehurst. How you doing there? It's David. I know you I'm kind of sick of Americans at this stage. I must admit, I have never in all my life stayed up. Watched polls, listened to American commentary, never really American elections came and went. Yeah, I was interested. It was never a big deal. But this time I was that person who was flicking around American TV channels to see what was the latest.


What about you? What would I do that? All the time I did last week was fantastic for me. Like this is John's idea of heaven. I got very little sleep and I had loads of work to do so but I loved it. And I spent a lot of time looking at Fox News. Now, that is an eye opener. Genov. Did you get to see any of it, though? Because I don't have it right here.


I was up in it online, but it was it's an eye opener into the American psyche. It really is. Let me tell you a couple of things about Fox, because, first of all, they're new. They're all perfectly turned out. Oh, yeah. Like Botox and big hair with the heck of the program with these big gladiatorial music, like real we're going to war type of stuff. But isn't that whole? This whole thing is we are at war, isn't it?


And we are on one side and you guys on the other.


Yeah, absolutely. And they wield on all their their Republican guys and they're, you know, really pushy. So what about the fraud and what about the irregularities? And Huckerby under amazingly, all of their guests were saying, yeah, well, it's a it is a concern and it's this and it's that that not one of them used fraud was not one of them, which I thought was amazing. So the president thought they would be all using the fraud.


What? So did I. But they're all leaving the sinking ship and they are really they are like rats leaving that ship, aren't they saluting? But then the Fox presenter says, come remember which one he was? He says, yeah, well, that's right. That might not be any evidence now, but if there is, we're going after it. And then they will in the next lot ask the same questions. So just stoking the whole base poke in the bear.


I haven't seen Fox News, but I've been on this. I've been on Fox News. Oh, yeah. I was actually on Patrick's Day 2007. Right. I was on the Pope's children 2008, actually. Pope's children was published in the States and I was on a book tour. Right. And it happened to coincide with Patrick's Day.


And this is long after the Irish edition. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. But that's what happens is usually a book by an American publisher picks up on it and whatever, and they finally finish it and go, oh yeah.


OK, yeah that's fair enough. Is it took me two years to read that anyway so I turned to turn up. So you're on the circuit so you're doing CNN, you do NBC, you know that old thing. But Fox is really quite different. So you're in New York and you know the Radio City building in New York. Yeah, I know. Yeah.


The Rockefeller Center, where basically all major news organizations have an office of a studio and FOX is completely different in the sense that you go in if you go to like NBC or even or TI or any sort of things, it's very it's quite a chill, sort of relaxed idea. Fox you're kind of hyped up before you go in. Right. And all you see is these stuffed shirt Republican guys. Right, with big heads. Yeah. It's like televisions, gleaming white teeth.


You must be white, you know, and these extraordinary, beautiful women, right. Yeah, but they're all full on mantle Republicans.


So I can of course, and Patrick's Day and I'm there talking about and of course they want to talk about politics. But of course what happened was Bear Stearns collapsed on Patrick's Day 2000. Oh, okay. Right. So suddenly I end up talking about banks and the whole thing about banking system, whatever. But what was amazing is that even though you're slightly on edge or maybe because you're slightly on edge, you perform better on Fox, right. To be quite lethargic.


Another TV station is going through the motions, whereas in Fox you're kind of aware that they don't care. You've got to pitch to them, you know, sales pitch. But it's I didn't I didn't I you know, the reason I didn't watch Fox was number one is I find it very hard to find a live thing on Twitter. When I go to Twitter, I can't find the live thing, so I just see things try to get cross at.


The second thing is, I was I was obviously like you were for Biden, so I didn't want to see the other side. Oh, yeah. No, see, I'm a firm believer in that. You always got to know your enemy. Exactly. But let me tell you just very quickly, the other really interesting part of watching Fox was watching their ads, of which they have outbreaks every two minutes. I'll tell you a hell of a lot about who's watching.


Like last night is good example. At least half or more than half of the ads on Fox were medical ads. I cannot choose to, you know, get your Nurofen type of stuff. These are like for heavy duty to, for instance, which you need most mornings. Indeed. But for instance, one of them was for a chemotherapy, a home. Chemotherapy does sounds kind of crazy. Absolutely. The ad was about two or three minutes long.


Italy going through all the benefits, et cetera, et cetera, and then the last I'd say members of the ad was a list of side effects like memory loss, diarrhea, loss of appetite, tingling in the fingers. It just went on all the things you don't want to happen for. You know what? That's interesting. It shows you no one who's watching.


Yeah, but no, to reveal something much more interesting from an economic side as well, or maybe as interesting, which is how medicine is consumed in the United States. The United States spends 15 percent of GDP on health, and yet it has the most significant proportion of its population without health care. Think about this. Right. So it spends a fortune on medicine, a fortune. And what you have is crazily privatized medicine so that if you're old and you're watching Fox and you're reasonably well off or maybe you're middle class, a huge proportion of your income is going to medicine all the time.


And it's also interesting that that correlates with the opioid crisis in America, which is bigger than anywhere else. I love your tangency. I love your taxes. I'm be going for my I guess, my hair. Did you know GDP? And you're like you're like you're down and dirty. The opioid crisis, that is the reason living through is in the room is coming. But it actually means that over half of Fox's audience are sick and old and grumpy and angry.




So let's talk about angry America, because what has been the real takeaway from this election, John, is nobody won. Yeah, Biden won by a whisker. But, you know, the Democrats were hoping this was going to be a plebiscite on Donald Trump and he was going to lose. And you say, OK, that's over. Trump ism ain't over at all. It's going to reincarnate and he's going to change the American political landscape. Number two is Biden now has got to deal with.


A Senate which could be Republican dominated. So he's got one hand tied behind his back. So all the things that Biden and the Democrats promised during their their own internal party discussions are now not so much on ice. But now he's going to have to deal with Mitch McConnell. He's going have to do what Obama did on Clinton did, which is make compromises all the time. So the sort of the AOC Bernie side that wanted the huge green New Deal and wanted the idea that we'd have helicopter money, the idea that we'd have MMT and all that stuff as Stephanie Cutter Yeah, that's all part because he's going to have to go right down the center.


But the one thing is before the election, John, the big criticism of Biden was that he wasn't charismatic, he wasn't a leader. He was a backroom guy who made deals, who walked across the floor. Who is this guy who believed in the bipartisanship knows thing in America? Yeah. You have to want. And everyone said that's all folks want a leader. Now, in actual fact, Biden has the qualities that could be absolutely necessary to actually do the deals in the way that maybe other leaders of the Democrats don't have because he has to do a deal.


McConnell and what you might remember, we talked last week about triangulation with Clinton is that is how do Clinton get things done when he was dealing with Newt Gingrich? Yes, he had to give a little bit. He had to give SOPs to the Republicans to get his own stuff through. So I think we're going to look at real dirty politics for the next four years of horse trading. You know, this idea of behind the closed doors, the smoke filled rooms and politics as we used to know it, and that's what Biden's good at.


So I think John would, with that in mind, that it's going to be trading, negotiating because, like, we can do the Trump stuff. OK, but the more interesting stuff is what does American politics look like for the next four years? And why don't we go and talk to somebody who was actually in Clinton's cabinet during those four years? This is the woman who run economic policy for Clinton when Clinton was dealing with Newt Gingrich. Dealing with all those sort of things you said is how do you run a country when you have one hand tied behind your back and you have your opponent, someone like Trump or Gingrich, who is prepared to do anything to block your passage?


So the great thing is we have a mate of mine, Laura Tyson, who was the chairwoman of Clinton's economic advisers. She is professor at Berkeley. She has done everything you can possibly imagine doing in economics. She's in California. It's early morning there. Let's go over to her.


Laura, it's gorgeous to have you on the podcast. How are things you must be feeling pretty OK now about America.


Well, you know, I've always described myself in economics and life as cautiously optimistic. So let me say, rather than elated, jubilant, jumping up and down all of that, I'm cautiously optimistic. But I mean, given what could have happened, you know, that you can drop the caution for a while. I mean, let's let's get into this, you know, I mean, Irish people, as you know, I mean, you're from an Italian background.


You in you Irish people when you were growing up. We've a long, long connection with the United States, like the Italian community. Yes. The United States that presented itself to us now is is a weird creature. It's not something we really get a handle on. What does the last week say about the USA?


I want to say that it's weird for an American like myself as well. The level of divisiveness which we began to see in twenty sixteen, which President Trump has absolutely played upon, has absolutely played a and he's not a president of the country. He's the president of his team, only his team. And that has taken what was already growing divisiveness in the United States and said it made it more rigid. So I'm surprised as well. You know, one of the people who's written a lot on this is Ezra Klein.


And Ezra wrote a very good book about where why were divided before this election. And, you know, what you see is people have their religious affiliation and their party affiliation and their class affiliation and then their social affiliation all come together in a sense of identity. And then you also have in that divisiveness, you then have, I think, a very important, unique element which Europe understands. And the US, I think has understood in its history before, but not recently.


And that is the cult of a person. So there is a cult around Donald Trump, but that cult is very strong and it's not going to go away. So essentially the next four years under a Biden presidency is going to have to try to heal some of that division that's going to have to try to. And I think the Biden team knows that. And and I think you hear Biden all the time talking about he will be a president, not just of the people who elect him, but the people who voted against him.


I think he's going to try very, very hard to do that and to do some healing, which is essential as we move out of this divisiveness, very painful, bitter, angry divisiveness into more a greater sense of unity. That's going to be a real challenge for the new president president.


So if we go back 25 years, you are the chair of Clinton's economic advisers. America is a is the wealthiest country in the world. It's the most technologically savvy country in the world. It has the biggest military at that stage. It was the only superpower. The Soviet Union had collapsed. It was gone. It was under Yeltsin. China was emerging.


But it's not really threatening everything. America has all the aces. It has all the cards. Sure. When you were at Washington, you were aware that we're in a unique position. When you look at that twenty odd year period, what's happened to create the environment where a demagogue could come through and emerge with like forty nine percent of people?


This is not an overwhelming, resounding statement. So I think we have to read the election outcome carefully. What what is it saying? What is the message? So in terms of the vision, if I go back to the mid 1990s and think about what happened, first of all, we had passed since about nineteen eighty significant increases in inequality, in income and wealth, and they have continued. And so they've driven into the electorate much more class issues, much more kind of economic struggle issue, much more for some of the electorate.


We want you the president, we want you, the administration to help us. But then you have others who actually and this was an important theme in this campaign, others who say watch out, the progressive Democrats want socialism. They want to take away from the people who have made it their their income, their rights, their responsibilities. So we have this income inequality issue that is very, very important in terms of what's happened to divisiveness. Along with that, this is probably true in throughout Europe.


My understanding is from working with McKinsey, it's true growing differences among regions. So instead of having during the post-war period up to. Let's say in the mid 1990s, regional differences, economic differences were declining, there was more of a convergence into, say things the per capita income, education levels, ability to invest in entrepreneurial activities. There was a convergence that started to change, that started to change sometime in the 2000s. It was really exacerbated by the Great Recession, which I think we also need to talk about here, because that was a major force that drove this tendency toward division greater.


So and then this to me say that there is a lot of concern in the United States and existed back in nineteen nineties. I remember dealing with it that the loss of good jobs and those are manufacturing jobs, those are jobs that don't require a college education. Those jobs, those good jobs that require a college education have been declining. People blame that on the government. They blame it on trade, they blame it on trade, and they feel like their positions have not been protected and they're not represented.


So there's a lot of underlying Longer-Term structural forces at play here that the erosion of the middle wage jobs with high school education is a long term trend. The growing income and wealth inequality, a long term trend, the regional divergence of economic prospects is become a longer term trend. We have to try to reverse all of these things.


Imagine you were now sitting with the same ways. You were sitting with Clinton, you were sitting with Joe Biden and you said, OK, President, here are the issues. We've just laid them out here. We still have enormous capability in this country. Right? This is not a country it's not a country going bust. This is not a Brazil and Argentina. This is the United States. So we've got all the stuff we have. We can fix this.


Right. And I saw something you wrote recently about small businesses and entrepreneurship and sort of if you were to say to Joe Biden, here's a few things we should do on the economic front of the microphone, what to do, what to do, what to do. So let's lay out the agenda, assuming he would have the ability to do this, because I think that is I need to underscore the divided government nature of the US. OK, we have a Supreme Court now which is in the hands of the of an agenda that is not the agenda that I would want to put forward.


OK, we have and it's very unlikely, even though we might get it's possible. There are so many there are three races now in the Senate that are such that there might be runoffs and that we might find ourselves in January with a 50 50 Senate. We could possibly find ourselves not a flip one, but a 50 50 one, which is amazing. And then, of course, the vice president has the last vote. So it would be total Democratic majority.


But I just want to start that, because when one gives the president advice, he knows very well because he spent all those years in the Senate what he can possibly try to do by executive order and what he's going to have to try to figure out a way to negotiate with the Republican majority or with the 50 50 Senate. That being said, he has identified actually clearly in his economic policy proposals. And by the way, an amazing thing about this.


Trump has had none. Trump has had none. There was no Republican Party platform. We do not know what his economic agenda is. He's never said his economic agenda. Biden has laid it out so very important to President Biden.


And I think maybe because of the dynamics will get this the Great Recession. It took the US a long time. It took Europe a longer time to get out of the Great Recession. There was a lot of pain imposed on the very people who feel they were disenfranchised, not represented. The system was rigged against them. All of those, OK, because we didn't do enough to address the problem of the Great Recession. It meant very, very slow recoveries.


It meant that a lot of the pain lasted for a long period of time in the low wage sector. Most of the jobs created, for example, in California after the coming out of this very long great recession, you know, it hit some twenty eight thousand nine. The recovery is almost literally takes up to the brink after the break of the coronavirus pandemic. OK, we just got back. We just got back. And in that process, a lot of those jobs were low wage jobs and many small business jobs.


Small business jobs, I think are very important. So what does that tell me about the president? Number one? He will. I think argue and it may happen it may happen now because of the dynamics of the Senate. We do need another round of economic stimulus. We need that. We absolutely need that. We need that for the small business community. We need that for the state and local governments. You know, even in Republican cities and Republican states, those governors and mayors are trying to do things for the small business community, just as an example, or for their community college system, just as an example.


But they are largely particularly the cities. But many states, they have a tremendous budget shortfall now. So they're going to start laying off people and cutting back these services. So first is economic stimulus and the stimulus has to go essentially to help the unemployed who remain unemployed, help state and local governments. That's what I would put if we're going to have a business loan program, something like the what's called the PPP, the payroll protection program that was very, very poorly targeted.


It did not in general go to the smallest, hardest hits business in the hardest hit sectors. We could do better. We should do better. So that stimulus going forward, Biden's long run policies, he has a lot of emphasis, which I think is absolutely correct on infrastructure and tie that to climate change. This is a way to employ a lot of people.


And this is the kind of green New Deal idea this. Yeah. Yeah, but yes, that's right. The Green New Deal idea, the more extreme versions of it, had guaranteed jobs and guaranteed incomes. It can't it won't be that can't be that. But it can be a significant amount of funding for infrastructure and for green technological development and for green educational programs and for any any policies that promote the use of alternative energy. OK, so I think that's a I would say that's a really important area.


Another important area that I would say and this is much harder, I think. Well, I won't say much harder. I don't know. The politics would be health care and just care in general, because we are we're headed to a court case outcome of the Supreme Court sometime in the summer of twenty twenty one that I think will basically eviscerate the Affordable Care Act. So all of a sudden we will be without that.


We'll be without it, because we know that that we know that the latest, most recently appointed judge has already come out against the ACA because it's against something that Europeans find really hard to get our heads around losing.


We fought hard to get a red round is when I look at those Trump rallies and the people in the pickup trucks and all those cars. Right. And I listen to them and it's very clear to me that they are the losers in the new world, OK? Those are the people who've fallen behind. And that's when Joe Biden says, look, we're going to have to represent everything.


How how do you get to a situation where the losers support policies like low taxes for the very wealthy that reinforce the winners and reinforce their newsroom, and yet there's celebrate these policies?


Well, I want to start by saying again, this is a little bit of the understanding the the system in the United States, the overwhelming majority of the population, that's like sixty five to seventy five percent support health care. They support Obamacare. They're not opposed to it. OK, they supported the use of facemasks in the pandemic. They support it. They support, for example, something that is very threatening. Now, the right and obviously an issue has been an issue in Ireland, the right to abortion.


But the majority of Americans absolutely support the right to choose for women. That's it.


But the way our system works, there can be there are vocal minorities, which in certain places, certain regions, certain states, there are enough really as a percentage of the state to carry the state in the election, the senatorial races in the election, and to organize all of these protests and big rallies. Guns is another one. I mean, guns. Most Americans, the majority of Americans would like to have much stricter review before someone can buy a gun, much stricter registration, much stricter control of heavy duty weaponry, which is not what you need for hunting.


But then there are the gun control enthusiasts and again, small minorities in some some small minorities overall in the country, but very powerful as a voice, particularly in states, because you got to look at the electoral map and the senatorial map and then you can see how that happens.


Well, I mean, it is an interesting. Thing, because sometimes, you know, we kind of go along Laura, thinking, oh, well, the majority rules in most cases, but in actual fact, what you see is small, heavily organized vocal minorities, actually key rule because the vast majority of this kind of shrugged her shoulders, like, yeah, whatever. And these guys.


Yeah, I think it's also the case that it's it's not helpful in the US given the senatorial representation. So basically, you have to think about it. You have a state like California, two senators, you have a state like South Dakota. Almost everyone can find it. And it's not even as big in population as Los Angeles. It's not even close to the population of Los Angeles. It's got to senatorial votes and it's got electoral votes in the presidential races.


So that's where you can have essentially, I would say over the last four years under President Trump, we have had minority rule. What the Senate and the president want in terms of all of those issues I just talked about were what the president and the Senate wanted something different than what the majority of Americans want. So we are we have a system which does allow for the capture of the system by minority rule. And that has been part of what we've been living through, part of what we've been living through.


Can I just ask you finally, before the Trump is it doesn't go away. It's still there. Is there so many Trump cleverer, smarter? I mean, it's hard not to be clever and smarter. Trump coming along that will take up this month, because what it strikes me is that the U.S. is at this this real tipping point. It's like a if feels like an FDR type tipping point or 1950s movie. JFK thought that the United States is in this massive culture war and it's not going away.


And economics might soothe some of the hurt on both sides and other sides. But this idea of you're with us, you're against this is my tribe, this is your tribe. Are you worried that a clever Trump will emerge?


So there's no evidence right now. This has been such a Trump ism, has also been a cult of personality, and the Republican leadership around the country has essentially connected to that rather than develop an alternative voice. It's going to be interesting to see, you know, yesterday the president used the White House podium to make unsubstantiated allegations against the election system and to call for a stopping the vote and to call for a movement to the Supreme Court. These are all violations of serious violations of American norms of government and divided power and all the rest.


They are pure Trump. So far, only a limited number of Republicans have said anything about this, they just have not come out and said, no, we're for Trump is and we're for the kind of government that we, the Senate, have been working with you or we, the Republican governors have working with you. We're for that. But we're not for you because you are basically misstating this, using personalizing the institutions of government in an unethical and violative way, an illegal, illegal way.


But what you see is so far, there is no one is rising to sort of take this as, OK, you are not doing the right thing, you need to go. But we need to continue with your agenda. There's no voice so far that has come forth. So I can't see that right now. But I can see the policy agenda associated with Trump continuing where you don't have the ability to use the Senate to sort of change that agenda.


So will we be able to someone talk the other day about how they had read Secretary Pompeii's speech from a year ago, basically talking about the environmental risk to national security coming through the melting of the Arctic? The Arctic never mentioned climate change once. Cannot cannot you cannot actually mention climate change in the current version of Trump ism.


You cannot believe in climate change. Maybe maybe we actually see some Republicans. I know that there's a bipartisan group in the Senate thinking about just exploring a carbon tax. So. Well, I don't see an individual leader coming up to replace Trump right now in Trump ism. I do see the possibility that certain key elements of Trump ism, sort of anti climate change agenda, there seems to be some Republican leadership around the country and even in the Senate to do something.


So let's say Trump ism, we take it apart piece by piece of art, piece by halakhah, trump card, Trump ism. And of course, that's also about setting the moral tone and moral character of the nation. And I think that is going to be over. I think that is going to be over. That that may be the most powerful thing that happened. What what the president can stand for and continue to say. I am the president of all of us.


That's very important for the rest of the world. It's very important. It's very important because you have more stability in the intelligence services in the Justice Department, in the national security arena, which I would say it's not Trump ism that it's basically you're now instead of having Trump making foreign policy sort of from his you know, from his Twitter account, you have people who are thinking hard about should we have a really good deal between the US and Europe?


I think that's going to be an agenda for the Biden administration. How can we repair economic trade, finance, you name it, relations with Europe? We need to do that. How can we improve? How do we take away the hostility and confrontation of US relations with China? They're going to be complicated. There's always going to be competition. But to go to to sort of the kind of confrontation and conflict that Trump has either threatened or done, I think those things all get adjusted.


So elements of Trump ism that are really associated with Trump himself and his personality and his own agenda, I think those elements are going to to change, and particularly in foreign policy, where the president, a president has a lot of executive authority and independent authority. I think you can look to major changes. Apparently, a lot of Americans who might you thought might have voted for Trump. Let's take the Hispanic community where a surprising minority of the Hispanic community, but a minority but larger than expected, voted for Trump.


What's going on here? It turns out that around the country there was a concern that about socialism, about communism, about the the the the the progressive wing of the Democratic Party was willing to use the term socialist. They they really should not because people don't know the history of socialism. And it connotes a very, very bad thing in the United States. OK, we we said our entire post-war period, fighting against communism and socialism is so that issue of trying to work with people to understand that there can be a role for public policy, say, in the health care system, which is not socialist.


We have got to we now I'm talking about the Democrats have got to be clear that our commitment is to a private, market driven system. I would use market driven and we're not socialist. We are capitalists in the sense that we believe in property and we believe in property rights. But we also believe in an important role for the public sector, where the private sector, even with profit motivation, is not it's not their job. It's actually not their job to do this.


So I feel that if we're talking about lessons from Europe, it's really more lessons about the role of public policy. That is not that's not socialism. I mean, we've got to get out of the US. We've got to work. We, the Democrats, very, very hard to get rid of that characterization.


We've got to end. And Germany's Germany's got its a market social.


It's a social market system. They don't use the term socialism. They use market. It's right there in the definition. They're self definition. We are a market system. So yeah, we think we could learn from Germany this.


It was lovely to talk to. Really love your doctor. We will have you back. Economics, we great.


OK, it was a lot of fun too. As I expected. It would be expected pretty soon just by.


Your dad's skills are a match for anyone, you should have no problem entertaining your five year old daughter and her little sister. You say they can do whatever they like. They put red lipstick on you, on your cheeks, your eyes, your nose. You look like a big man doll. You don't get in a flap. You have a fly heaven's flapjack. A delicious mix of Irish Otey goodness and gorgeousness.


You tell them enough is enough to take the red lipstick off them and you give them a purple one instead. Klavern, flapjacks stay unflappable.


You know, it's really interesting to actually hear from somebody who was in the room, you know, Laura was yeah, absolutely is a bit like Maugham's before being in the room with JFK. But actually, this is this is more prescient now. And one of the really interesting things she said, there was this whole thing about minority rule, like it's something that we've spoken about before, about how these small groups actually have the loudest voice. Well, it's it's very true.


And what I love about talking to Laura is the fact that I wish more economists could sound like that empathetic. They've they have done the thing. I mean, she's right, but she's got empathy, humanity. She understands that. You know, what we're talking about is trying to move a massive big ship with a huge amount of vested interests and a huge amount of stakeholders. And how do you do this without inflaming one side and inflaming the other, making sure you get through the center rather than going to the extremes and inflaming what is an already inflamed situation?


You know, and that's what I think of economists could strive to that sort of level of wisdom more than anything else.


But I think the minority rule stuff is really fascinating. Well, I just give you a statistic. A minority will jump about America and the way the system works there. Right. Since 1990, 1992, seven out of the last eight presidential elections, the Democrats have won the popular vote. Think about that right. Seven, including this one seven out of the last eight. They've won the popular vote from 1992 until this year. The Democrats have held the presidency six years and the Republicans have held the presidency for 12 years.


And yet, wow, almost every case the Democrats have won the popular vote. So that means that it's not that, say, about their what it says about this, about the Electoral College. Yes, about this. Remember, Laura was talking about the fact that Dakota has two senators. Yeah. Which has got a tiny population, a fraction of the population of L.A. and California as a whole delivers to senators. So therefore. Right. Yeah.


Because every state is right. So therefore, if the senators from Dakota are small state are captured by a vocal minority, that amplifies profoundly the impact of that vocal minority on the national stage. And it's something that's really fascinated me for a long, long time when I'm listening to people blithely talk about democracy and they say, well, you know, the will of the majority and the assumption the majority wins and the majoritarianism is a good thing. Yeah.


Then you actually look at this. Is that the case? Yeah. Does the majority win? And what you actually find in democracies, particularly the way democracies are structured and particularly poor systems of the American electoral system, is that if you have a vocal minority that can guarantee to a politician maybe 100000 votes could guarantee that suddenly changes that politician. The politician is in your back pocket because you can say you need 200000 votes. We can give you 100000 if you do this right.


So if you notice it all over the world, I've always been intrigued. For example, if you look at minorities in every area. If you think about the Bolsheviks in the Mensheviks, right. You remember that there was a big fight between the Mensheviks were actually the bigger party, but the Bolsheviks won through. Why? Because sometimes a small, really committed, ideologically radical element will always have that extra impulse to do their thing. And you see it all of this lack of planning in Dublin.


Right. But in Ireland, power of of the lobbyists. It's absolutely the power of the lobbyists. What not just the lobbyists. It's the power of those coalitions that can be built that can guarantee a certain X amount of votes for a politician. Take, for example, Ardiente. I've always said the most powerful political organization here in this part of the world is a well-organized residents committee. Right. OK, with a current with a big clipboard. OK, now the reason it is is because they can actually bully the politicians into saying we don't want to school here, we don't want a road here.


We don't want a corporation, a state within an hour's roar of our backyard. Right. And they change things. So whereas the majority of people might say, well, you know, we need a housing to solve the housing problem.


These people say, yeah, but not in my backyard, and if enough people say that, you don't solve the problem. Yeah. So the minority supercedes the majority. And this is not even a facet of democracy. It's a condition of our modern democracies. So you get the crazy situations where the Democrats in the United States have won seven out of the last eight presidential elections by the popular vote. Yet they've shared the presidency with the Republicans, who've only won one popular vote out of the last eight since 1980.


It is amazing, isn't. Yeah, that is incredible. And it's interesting that and it was the one thing that I was hoping wouldn't happen. But Moscovitch got back in and he's the guy who held up Obama and all Obama's agenda and is there again for Biden. And apparently Obama is a politician who is aloof, remote, but always remains friendly to most people except for Mitch McConnell. Yeah, Obama will talk to won't talk to him, which is still no.


That's because when he was elected when he first entered office, Mitch McConnell said publicly, we're going to make sure that is a one term president. Extraordinary stuff. But the upside for America, if you're worried about America not being able to function. Joe Biden has all those attributes that are make him much more likely to be able to do a deal with the other side of the House than Obama or certainly, Bernie, are AOC or even Kamala Harris.


In fact, Harris in the Democratic primaries accused Biden of being far too close to Republicans. Right, that he wasn't left enough. And in actual fact, now may well be that Uncle Joe is the guy to bring people together. So that could be one plus for the Americans. But what about what do you think now that Biden's in power? Yeah. That the likes of, you know, like the Lincoln Project and those guys are now going to go back to being Republicans.


So what's it say about the Democrat Party where there is you know, they could easily kind of split and so could the Republican Party? I think you're on to something. Here's a thought. Here's a thought. Right. Trump ain't going away, but the way in which the Republicans have abandoned him now in what he would see is his time of need. It means he's going to be pissed off. He's going to be angry. He's going to go back to where he's most comfortable.


His base. Yeah. So he's not a member of the Republican Party. People forget that Trump is not a Republican. He's a Trump for the Republicans grafted themselves onto Trump rather than Trump rafting himself onto the Republicans. So he's a wild card. So imagine the Trump says, OK. I've been robbed not only by the electoral process, but these people who I got into power, the Republicans in the House and the Congress, no, they reject me.


So I'm going to go and I'm going to pick up the pieces of the Trump former Tea Party campaign. Yeah, these are the pickup truck counts, right? Yeah. Trump isn't right. And I I'm going to do like a Ross Perot. I'm going to go on my own. Right. So he breaks away and takes the Tea Party with them. But it's not a romp. It's a big significant Trump will be emboldened because he has got 70 million people who voted for him or thereabouts.


Some crazy figure. Right. So he's going to be happy that the base is there then them their noses at a joint as well. They're all your friends and Fox. OK, so you you imagine American politics for years. That's for years. Trump splits, the Republican Party goes out on his own. The Republicans then become the party of Lincoln and Eisenhower, which they were, and Bush. Right. Kind of waspy right. To become the party of big business, the party of low taxes, but also the party of this sort of idea of one nation Americans that they have this big sense right in the center right.


So the Trump is the radical right populist and the center right party of Lincoln is the right. But also what you're going to see is because Biden, if he has to deal with McConnell all the time, will not be able to deliver on the Bernie AOC agenda of the more the progressives. Yeah, because you heard Laura there talking about it's absolutely imperative as far as she's concerned. She's a centrist Democrat to expunge this idea of being socialist because socialism, the word socialism, such a taboo fears.


This is why they've the expression progressive. Yeah, progressive is making up its true socialism. Right. But it doesn't sound as bad because who doesn't like being progressive is the optimistic looking regressive backward looking. Right. And of course and you know that I've sat with Bernie up in Vermont and talk to them all about this and it's been really interesting. But there is a chance they split Elizabeth Warren, Bernie, and you'll see the left and they begin to look more like a left wing party, like a Labor Party.


And then, of course, the center ground. Democrats become the meritocracy party, the party of the reason be the Lib Dems, guess the America, but it's also the people who've done well. So it's a weird alliance of Wall Street. Think about, yeah, Silicon Valley and Hollywood. That's the strangest alliance. That's what it is. Yeah. So you have there's a there's the walk Republicans vote Republicans. Exactly. But there is a chance, there is a chance that what we have witnessed is the end of the two party system and Trump will trigger that.


But by shaking out the extreme right from the Republicans, he'll focus in on divisions within the Democratic Party. The Bernie wing are going to be fed up because they're not going to get what they want. And they might end up splitting because remember, we always said about the left, they always look for traders, they always look for traders, you're not left enough. Yes, they go back to the good book. They go back to the Old Testament and they say, I believe that, you know, your your your solid and five left wing issues.


But on the sixth, you're not left enough. You are. They'll do what every great Irish revolutionary organization has ever done. They come together because we always hate the Brits. They all come together. We got sandwiches. I hate them too much. And they all sit down and always in an Irish political movement, the first item on the agenda is always the split because one guy splits off, one guy splits here. And at the end of the day, the entire movement atrophies when faced with the responsibility of governance.


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