Some random thoughts

The news cycle has been pretty slow as of late, with the exception of tariffs and such, which as discussed last week are of scant economic significance despite all media attention. The administration revolving door keeps spinning, with Tillerson, McMaster, and Gary Cohn out. Given that the administration still seems to be suffering from the aftermath of the 2016 election, which split the GOP into two (the NRO-right and the Trump-right), it’s becoming increasingly likely that progress in Trump’s first term will be minimal, as time and energy is expended trying to initiate new staff and fending off the daemons from 2015-2016, than actual governing. The first term will be failure in terms of campaign promises (except the tax cuts, which were a shoe-in), but given that I predict the stock market and economy to keep doing well, he will be reelected in a narrow victory. I also predict the remainder of 2017 will be exceptionally, if almost surprisingly so like flipping a coin 100 times and getting all heads, uneventful in term of geopolitical developments and the US economy. The apocalypse the liberal media promised if Trump won will not happen. Although apocalypse does at least seem more interesting.

Which brings me to Steven Pinker’s new book Enlightenment Now (cause apparently it can’t wait), which everyone is talking about, and has gotten lot of backlash from both the left and the right. The left, similar to the right, reject Pinker’s optimism because Pinker ignores wealth inequality and the boogeyman of structural/institutional racism. We’re sorta living in a world now where merely being optimistic is controversial, whereas decades ago Pinker’s thesis would have been dismissed with a shrug of indifference. What it means for the dissent/far-right is, your/our views are not that unique, which is both good and bad; it good because an increasingly large number of people are rejecting the Whig interpretation/narrative of history; it’s bad because as a movement/ideology becomes mainstreamed, its quality and focus tends to become diluted.