Ravengate
Partners - Stock market, economic and political commentary by Patricia Chadwick

Posts Tagged ‘Donald Trump’

An American Asset – The Immigrants Who Come to Our Shores

Friday, January 1st, 2016

December 31, 2015
One of the most gratifying experiences that comes with living in the United States is encountering newcomers to this country — immigrants whose energy, spirit and entrepreneurial drive have overcome the seemingly endless obstacles put before them as they try to build a new life here. Their stories of arrival and survival can evoke tears but are often heartwarming.Perhaps it’s a quintessentially American trait to feel an emotional bond with foreigners who move here, because each of us natural-born Americans has at most a four-hundred-year history in this country, and most have far less than that.I love the stories. My dental hygienist came from Russia with a master’s degree in electrical engineering, but wasn’t allowed to practice here. (Really? A Russian electrical engineer is inferior to an American one?) But that didn’t stop her — she went back to school to learn a new profession.The man who refurbished my kitchen hails from Ireland. For the first few years, he did small jobs; now he is building McMansions, has a wife and three American boys and is on his way to U.S. citizenship. He’ll probably build his own McMansion soon.The Polish aesthetician, whom I met the day after she arrived in this country, could hardly make herself understood in English. Today, she owns her own skincare salon and her own house. She is now an American citizen, as are her husband and her two children.

The Indian friend of mine arrived in New York harbor with a college degree and $125 in his pocket thirty years ago. Today he is a wealthy man, overseeing a firm that invests in biotechnology startups. He told me that every time he sees the Statue of Liberty, he has to wipe away tears.

The stories are legion, but what triggered this blog was a small encounter yesterday.

I returned a lamp to a furniture store because it had fallen apart. There were six sales people sitting together as I entered. When I explained my problem, they quickly advised me that they weren’t responsible for handling any product without a warranty or that had been purchased more than a year ago.

Then one man quietly approached me and taking the lamp in his hands examined it. “The screw is too short; let me see what I can do,” he said in a gentle voice with a hint of a foreign accent. In short order, he found a longer screw and spent the next half hour working on the lamp until it was repaired. (Mind you, he, too was a salesman, not a repairman.) As I thanked him, I couldn’t resist asking where he was from. “I’m Persian,” he said, with a note of pride.

Driving home, I pondered the contrast between the xenophobic, nationalistic rhetoric of Donald Trump and our everyday reality, the substantial benefit to each of us Americans from the influx of immigrants.

The litany of immigrant luminaries in this country is awe-inspiring. They have come to our shores from scores of countries, pursuing a vast array of professions and subscribing to diverse political and religious beliefs. Contrasting them is interesting: Rupert Murdoch and George Soros; Ayn Rand and Emma Goldman; Madelaine Albright and Henry Kissinger.

And in contrast to Trump’s diatribes against generalized “immigrants” and the crimes he declares they commit, the data show clearly that the crime rate among immigrants is markedly lower than among the rest of the population. That’s not surprising; why would they relocate to these shores to improve their lot in life and then set out to destroy it by breaking the law?

The many refugees from the chaos of war in Syria and Iraq are not a threat to us in this country. The vetting system refugees are required to endure is arduous and long. We have much more to fear from those who might arrive on student and tourist visas. This is a process that has little vetting and is the route by which nearly all the 9/11 hijackers arrived. There’s where more effective control is needed.

American exceptionalism is a term that has been debased in recent years by certain loud conservative zealots. American exceptionalism is indeed at the core of our country’s founding ideology; it is based on freedom of religion, speech and ideas, combined with the ability and determination to seek opportunity and to pursue one’s dream under the umbrella of a system of government established on the principle that all are created equal and endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights that include life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

That’s what immigrants are seeking when they come to America. Let’s open our doors to them and prove that the American dream that attracted our ancestors still lives in our land today.

Happy New Year!

 

 

© Copyright 2015 Patricia W. Chadwick

Ravengate Partners LLC Patricia Chadwick, President
31 Hillcrest Park Road Ronnie Snow, Assistant
Old Greenwich, CT  06870
203-698-0676 www.ravengate.com

Cracks in the Pedestal (Trump’s Pedestal)

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

As Peter Vermilye, a sage of Wall Street, used to say to me, “Once you’re on the pedestal, you have no place to go but down.”

 

Crack Number One in Trump’s Pedastal:The kerfuffle on August 28 regarding the signage at a rally for Donald Trump that read:

 

“Please have checks made payable to: Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., or cash ready on entry. Thank you.”

The event was being hosted by Ernie Boch, Jr. (purported to be worth $500 million), although both he and Trump (who says he is worth $10 billion, but has yet to prove it) claimed to be footing the bill. Regardless, either one of them most assuredly could have defrayed the cost of the event with a rich man’s equivalent of pocket change.

So why were attendees being asked for money, even if it was for only $50?

“I’m self-funding”

is how Trump has described the financing of his campaign. Notice his use of the present tense. What he has never said is: “I will self-fund my entire presidential campaign.”

Trump may be rich, but I’ll wager he doesn’t want to spend his personal fortune on what it will take to try to secure the Republican nomination. And when he capitulates, he’ll be just like all the other candidates — an ordinary person doing his best to raise sacks of money from the public, because that’s what it takes to try to become President of the United States.

 

Crack Number Two:

On September 3, Hugh Hewitt, the conservative radio talk show host, exposed Trump’s stunning lack of knowledge regarding the leadership of well-known political and terrorist organizations in the Middle East.

Trump’s later diatribe against Hewitt, asserting he asked a

“gotcha question,”

and his retort that

“I’m a delegator. I find great people…..”

are sad defenses and will serve him ill, as future debates will inevitably focus on each candidate’s personal grip on foreign policy and global affairs.

 

Crack Number Three:

A day later on September 4, Donald Trump “took the pledge,” signing (in ink but not in blood) a piece of paper (not legally binding, mind you) promising  to support the party’s eventual nominee, giving up the option to run as an Independent should another candidate get the Republican nomination.

In response to questions on the matter, he stated that he

“got absolutely nothing in response for signing the pledge.”

But wait a minute. South Carolina was threatening to keep his name off its primary ballot if he didn’t sign such a pledge, and Virginia and North Carolina were considering requiring loyalty pledges, as well.

Trump caved! It’s as simple as that. And the quid pro quo was huge: You take the pledge, and your name is on the ballot; You don’t take the pledge and your name is not on the ballot.

 

Crack Number Four:

Perhaps the lowest blow in Trump’s ad hominem attacks against fellow Republican contenders was his comment on September 2 regarding Doctor Ben Carson, whose genteel demeanor and thoughtful delivery are in sublime contrast to Trump’s own narcissistic style.

In Trump’s own words,

 

“I just think it’s a very difficult situation that he [Carson] puts himself into, to have a doctor who wasn’t creating
jobs and would have a nurse or maybe two nurses…. I’ve
created tens of thousands of jobs over the years.”

So the only criterion for president is how many jobs you have created? That would imply that the only legitimate candidate for president is someone from a very large private sector organization. Unless you are winking past Franklin Delano Roosevelt, whose New Deal created millions of government-funded jobs for the unemployed during the Great Depression.

Well, there hasn’t been an elected president who hailed from the private sector in Trump’s lifetime. In fact, I believe George Washington may be the only president who had a long private sector career before becoming president.

Without belaboring the point, Trump’s comment about Carson is both vile and absurd, and the litany of his vitriolic jabs against those in both the Republican and the Democratic race for president is losing its appeal as comic relief.

Bombastic rhetoric may fire up the audience, boost television ratings and steal headlines. But it is at best an edifice built on a suspect foundation.

In summary, the cracks in Trump’s pedestal are the harbingers of his day of reckoning. When grandiloquent edicts regarding issues of national, economic and social importance are not backed up by coherent and viable solutions, it can’t be long before the statue topples.

That day is fast approaching for Donald Trump.

 

 

© Copyright 2015 Patricia W. Chadwick

Ravengate Partners LLC Patricia Chadwick, President
31 Hillcrest Park Road Ronnie Snow, Assistant
Old Greenwich, CT 06870
203-698-0676 www.ravengate.com