Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Cranks for President

Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, cranks, nuts, populists, illustration

Some of us who think of ourselves as populists — or just ordinary people, hence “outsiders” — are having a hard time this political season. The two most talked-about outsider candidates, billionaire Donald Trump and socialist Bernie Sanders, make for strange populists.

A billionaire as a “man of the people”? Not very plausible. It is his lack of a self-censor, his free-wheeling, stream-of-conscious grade-school-level discourse, that impresses many folks. Definitely not scripted.

A socialist as populist? Socialism, long associated with elitists, would put the State into every area of everyday life. Most folks with horse sense resist that.

But Trump and Sanders do have something in common. They rely upon common misconceptions about everyday market life. They both fan the flames of conspiracy theories about prices.

When the price of fuel was spiking a few years ago, Bernie Sanders warned us: “Forget what you may have read about the laws of supply and demand. Oil and gas prices have almost nothing to do with economic fundamentals.” It’s all greed, you see: arbitrary power.

But, as Daniel Bier reminds us at The Freeman, believing that businesses are superpowers out to screw us with ever-rising prices, unhampered by supply and demand, is not just socialist silliness, it’s Billionaire Trump silliness, too — four years ago, the developer not only trumpeted the idea that we simply threaten OPEC for lower prices, but suggested we actually seize foreign oil fields.

This is not common sense. It’s crankism.

It’s the kind of thing folks say when they’re drunk.

Maybe on power.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

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Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, cranks, nuts, populists, illustration


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  1. JFB says:

    Of course, for it is the false hope of every polititian and government that they can control the laws of economics which is the seed of their eventual downfall. 

  2. Lynn Atherton Bloxham says:

    Paul and JFB right on. Great job of parallel.

  3. Keith Gardner says:

    Well, it has been well documented over the last several decades that OPEC literally HAS been out to screw and control the world and oil prices by their agreed upon levels of output.  They manipulate markets by gathering and deciding upon how much they will produce to keep prices at certain levels.  The current low prices have one goal in mind – to drive the competing US oil businesses out of the market.  Yes, a common practice here in the US back in the 60s and 70s when the huge oil refiners were gobbling up the little guys right and left to consolidate their power, and now, we have all the control in a handful of very large companies who know they have the power to do nearly what they will.

  4. Rick says:

    Actually the drop in oil prices signal one thing above all.  The Saudis are looking around the world and seeing progress being made in many areas.  Electric, hybrid cars and trucks.  Natural gas could today displace millions of barrels of oil, hence gasoline demand.  But one thing above all is guiding them.  It is the certain knowledge that they only have about 10 years to get their money out of the ground.  


    In a doughnut-shaped chamber in eastern China, scientists have been able to produce hydrogen gas more than three times hotter than the core of the Sun using nuclear fusion – and maintain this temperature for 102 seconds.

    To see how this technology is being developed worldwide google “compact fusion”.  Watch Lockheed Martins’ skunkworks video on “restarting the nuclear age”.  Google ITER, Stelerator, Washington University’s work on fusion, MIT, etc.  See Princeton Particlel Physics Lab work on the subject of fusion.  It is happening, the market is reacting to it and the Saudis and Iranians are doing the only thing that makes since to their best interests. 

    Lockheed says they will demonstrate this in 5 years.  Several out there think they can beat them to market with different variations of this new, environmentally clean, unlimited source of energy.  One bottle of water( you’ll have to read up on this to get it)  could power tractor trailer rigs for years.

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