Better the Devil You Know?

We are providing around-the-clock nursing care to our invalid wife, who is back at home, with cracked ribs, unable to move. We are upstairs in the bedroom – the shutters closed against the heat (we have no air-conditioning) – taking a few minutes to update our Diary… but with nothing important to say.


2016_presidential_marathonEvery day, we look at the headlines, think about what is going on in the big wide world and try to connect a dot or two. It is probably the same in your life. You go about your business. You have work to do. Projects, goals, deadlines. Your priorities. Your investments. Your schedule. Your plan.

Cartoon by Ramirez


And you’re thinking, too – important thoughts about the presidential election…  about crime… about the state of the nation… and the world. For instance, will Trump really be a better president than Clinton?

Madame Clinton is clearly the devil-you-know. You can see the horns and tail for yourself. But what kind of devilish imp is Donald Trump? You don’t know. But judging from yesterday’s Diary Mailbag, many dear readers want to find out.


Deep State in Control

We’re keeping an open mind. But we suspect that, no matter who wins, most Americans will be disappointed. The next president might make marginal and largely symbolic changes. But suppose Mr. Trump were elected…

Would Congress put aside its squalid self-seeking and vapid grandstanding to rally behind him? Would it actually pass the new laws he asks for? Would lobbyists go home? Would Washington apparatchiks, operatives, wonks, and nebbishes get behind the new administration to “Make America Great Again”?

Would federal agencies stop enacting pettifogging regulations to benefit one special interest or another? Would the bailouts, subsidies, and insider privileges stop? Would the cronies lose their sweetheart deals? Would the zombies have to get real jobs?

What would really change? Medical care? Education? War? Bureaucracy? Taxes?


Hillary-DonaldDecisions, decisions…


Queen of the Establishment

The New York Times recently sent a reporter to cover Mr. Trump’s visit to the coalfields of West Virginia. The out-of-work miners are behind him. One said that the Republican candidate “could be our only hope.” Hope for what?

Yes, of course, the miners have been dealt a bad hand. And Hillary, Queen of the Establishment, has even said she would put more of them out of work.

The Deep State – with its millions of hangers-on, chiselers, wheeler-dealers, cronies, and zombies – produces no wealth. It can only grow wealthier (relative to the rest of the population) by taking wealth from others.

If it gives a subsidy to Al Gore’s solar power, it must take the money from the rest of economy. If it bails out the banks, someone must put up the money.  If it builds planes, bombs, and drones – the contractors get rich, but someone must pay. Who’s going to reshuffle that deck? And how? Donald Trump?

The press reports that economist Judy Shelton is one of his advisors… and that she favors a return to the gold standard. If Trump is elected, will she be able to reform the money system?


SheltonDr. Judy Shelton has joined Trump’s team as an economic advisor – she favors a return to the gold standard, which we find quite interesting. We recall though that a number of Reagan’s advisors also did so, at a time when it would still have been much easier to  return to a gold-backed money. One gold commission report later, the whole thing was quietly dropped. And yet…

Photo credit: Judy Shelton


Hmmm…. you are studying the dots, you are thinking all these things – about money and politics, war and peace, progress and civilization. And then something happens… someone in your family gets sick,  a divorce,  an accident…

Suddenly these worldly cares don’t seem so important. And maybe they never were.


The above article originally appeared at the Diary of a Rogue Economist, written for Bonner & Partners. Bill Bonner founded Agora, Inc in 1978. It has since grown into one of the largest independent newsletter publishing companies in the world. He has also written three New York Times bestselling books, Financial Reckoning Day, Empire of Debt and Mobs, Messiahs and Markets.




Dear Readers!

You may have noticed that our header carries ab black flag. This is due to the recent passing of the main author of the Acting Man blog, Heinz Blasnik, under his nom de plume 'Pater Tenebrarum'. We want to thank you for following his blog for meanwhile 11 years and refer you to the 'Acting Man Classics' on the sidebar to get an introduction to his way of seeing economics. In the future, we will keep the blog running with regular uptates from our well known Co-Authors. For that, some financial help would be greatly appreciated. A special thank you to all readers who have already chipped in, your generosity is greatly appreciated. Regardless of that, we are honored by everybody's readership and hope we have managed to add a little value to your life.


Bitcoin address: 12vB2LeWQNjWh59tyfWw23ySqJ9kTfJifA


3 Responses to “The Devil You Know – or the One You Don’t?”

  • wmbean:

    Do you remember the scene in Paint Your Wagon when the husband asks his second wife, “How do you know what’ll get?” Her reply is what many who would vote for Trump might say. “I don’t. But I know what I’ve had.” Of course in the long run we’re all dead. If Mr trump could also head a clean sweep of congress he might make as great difference. But as one can see from the sidelines few individuals, both businessmen and politicians really understand how nations and economies really work.

    So what is to be done? A revolution? Oh please. The idiots who could lead and win a revolution will lose any hope of real reform in the confabs that result. A dictatorship perhaps? It took the ruthlessness of Stalin to pull Russia out of the eighteenth century and into the twentieth. But even that was fraught with grave incompetencies. Centrally planned nation building and destruction never ends well. After all, it was only a year or two after the king was forced to sign the Magna Carta that it was abandoned by said king.

  • wrldtrst:

    Health truly is the most important thing by several magnitudes. I am very sorry to hear about your difficulties and wish you and your family the best possible.

  • FreemonSandlewould:

    More nothing burger from Bonner. In addition object to the conflation that Trump is to be considered repulsive as Shrillary the Old Crone.

Your comment:

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Most read in the last 20 days:

  • The Zombie Ship of Theseus
      The Zombie Ship of Theseus The Ship of Theseus is an old philosophical thought experiment. It asks a question about identity. Suppose you replace all of the boards of a ship with new ones—is it still the same ship? We are not going to try to resolve this millennia-old paradox. Instead, we are going to add one more element, and then tie it to the monetary system. The additional element is what if the replacement boards are adulterated in some way. That is, each new board is warped,...

Support Acting Man

Austrian Theory and Investment


THE GOLD CARTEL: Government Intervention on Gold, the Mega Bubble in Paper and What This Means for Your Future

Realtime Charts


Gold in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from]



Gold in EUR:

[Most Recent Quotes from]



Silver in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from]



Platinum in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from]



USD - Index:

[Most Recent USD from]


Mish Talk

    Buy Silver Now!
    Buy Gold Now!