Back to blog

The State of the Union is fractious

See blog

Readers' comments

Reader comments are listed below. Comments are currently closed and new comments are no longer being accepted.



Some people are missing the point here about Trump, his role and what he represents.

Trump is a SYMPTOM of a broken system. The deeper problems have always been much more than Trump, and many Team Blue advocates seem to miss that point because they are too partisan, like their Team Red compatriots.

Last year I said that Trump winning the election was only the start of a great unwind, and that it will expose the Oligarchy and mainstream media even more. That has already happened.

He is not the final destination for America. He is the start of a greater movement, and the beginning of the end of the Oligarchy in its present form. The Oligarchy is being exposed. The problem is not a bunch of partisan Dems or Republicans. The problem is the Deep/Shadow government that operates on a rogue basis against the elected government. An entity beholden to parochial interests that stays in power no matter what idiot gets shuffled around every 4 years in the game of charade.

The important thing was that Trump was not their handpick; Clinton was. And despite all their big budgets, mainstream propaganda outlets, powerful connections, they still could not stop Trump and their handpick Clinton lost. Now that was funny because it meant there is a limit to their power.

So what will they do? They are trying to wrap their tentacles over Trump. They will try to impeach him. They will try a soft coup. They will try to rig elections. But the rubicon has been crossed. The Oligarchy is falling apart and infighting. Trump is the first stop in a long journey to clean out America from this catharsis. The internal threat has always been greater than any Russia, China or Iran.

Trump was a guy at the right time and the right place to tap into a mood and a movement that cannot be put back into the bottle. He is clumsy and silly. He is not a politician. Until the rogue US Deep State is reigned in, hell bent on empire, pillaging, fraud and racketeering instead of governing, the movement will not end.

The Team Red vs Team Blue kabuki is exactly that. The 2 party duopoly has served its purpose. Independent parties are needed, the existing parties need to be completely re-vamped. All the senile old timers from the bygone era need to go as well. Their time is up, - they are outdated dinosaurs not up to the task anymore. Younger people need to step up and take over and inject new fresh values and policies instead of the bankrupt cold war practices of their elders, who play like broken records nowadays.


State of the Union is like a motivational speech given by a Roman emperor to the serf underclass.

Trade wars are stoopid. But if that is to be had compared to hot wars for Zionist Neocon war-mongers, then we can say humanity is slowly evolving. But don't hold your breath. You can't make America productive by edict or tariffs. You do that by making better stuff at a competitive price. But "competition" in the US empire is a funny thing, the ruling classes can't seem to grasp the concept very well.

mullah_assassin in reply to milpitasguy

Its Western corporations that are running away from employing Western workers. Blaming foreigners for "stealing jobs" is misguided. The ones who ultimately take the decisions to do so are employers in the West, not workers in the East.

It's the same retarded nonsense about blaming Muslims and immigrants. Who let them in? Who is attacking their countries? Again, Western governments are responsible.

Globalism was always first and foremost a project for the corporatocracy. The added benefits - free movement of people, came much later after free movement of goods, services and money were ensured first for the barons.

The most troubling aspect is how unchecked the greed can go. With all the productivity gains thanks to technology, it still isn't good enough for the greedy barons. Workers are more stressed and work longer hours than ever before, have very little job security, all the workers rights and unions have been smashed deliberately to shift disproportionate power into employers, while all the onus of responsibility in every business model that I see and encounter, from customer "service" to retail, is thrown on the consumer/customer. Corporations are pushing accountability away from themselves, while entrenching themselves in "too-big-to-fail" ways, leeching off the State and cutting costs and squeezing the last penny with no end in sight.

Remember, these people call workers "human resources", in another one of their lifeless euphemisms.

Even when robots and full automation comes out, they will still try to justify cutting costs, because greed is never enough. What will people do then? Work for robots of course! And they'll tell you how free and happy you are supposed to be.

You would think that with all the productivity gains thanks to technology, this has allowed people to have more leisure time. Not at all. With the twisted "values" this society is espousing like endless consumerism and instant gratification, no wonder why so many people are so stressed out trying to chase rainbows, and that goes for corporations and consumers alike.

Society needs to make some fundamental re-adjustments before it burns out.


His constant argument that Americans are being murdered by immigrants, while an utter farce with no basis in reality (immigrants are still less likely to commit crimes than natural-born American citizens-- 44% less likely, according to the Cato Institute's research), will certainly play well to the more bigoted side of the Republican voter base. But it's also galvanizing the Democratic base against him.
Naturally, Trump claimed credit for the economy, naturally-- though there's no evidence that presidents have direct and immediate effect on economic growth. The US was already leaving the recession on the tail end of the Obama presidency. In a tragic irony, Trump tried to brag about the stock market; the Dow Jones fell by 362.59 points today, or 1.37% of its total value. Disregarding blips like this, though, the stock market has been growing steadily since March of 2009-- I wouldn't hold the stock market on its own as evidence of a stable economy, unless you're willing to give Obama credit for the same thing.
His speech didn't really touch anything at all on foreign policy; perhaps this is for the best, given the general lack of respect most of the world's leaders appear to have for him, and his own inability to staff important diplomatic positions-- though he looked like he was -finally- going to send a diplomat to South Korea, that nomination has been rescinded as of today.
The one good aspect of his speech was his support for an infrastructure bill; time will tell how successful he is at actually getting one passed. In 2017, Trump caved in to the whims and desires of Capital Hill Republicans, rather than push his own concerns-- even outright saying, at least once, that he'd pass whatever congress sent him. While Democrats could get on board with a comprehensive, intelligently put together infrastructure bill, Republicans have been struck by constant infighting over everything related to spending. Aside from spending trillions on the tax cut, Republicans have been very tight with the purse-string.

soundwave106 in reply to Ludwig Von Mises

I have enjoyed "The Economist" for the past 20 years and have not noticed a huge drift in opinion regarding the magazine. This is the same Economist that declared Silvio Berlusconi (a figure very much like Trump, nationalistic and full of economic populism) unfit to run Italy in 2001. It's not a shock that they don't like Trump. They really don't have a history that I see of caring for strongmen / authoritarian governments, or even authoritarian-wannabes like Trump. (It took you 10 years to recognize that The Economist is opinionated? Well, okay then.)
What instead I have noticed is that much of the American right wing has changed. It has more or less embraced a populist approach, *particularly* in economic policy. Previously, the American right wing (especially its libertarian-ish think-tanks ala Cato) were all about openness to free trade, globalization, and other ways of loosening restrictions between the nations. Reagan laid down the ideas that created NAFTA, which George HW Bush signed in. In the current modern right wing, Trump rails against NAFTA and other free trade agreements, complaining that (numbers be damned) we get a raw deal out of them. There is also a distinct drift towards authoritarianism (at the very least, an embrace of world strongmen that would horrify the 1980s GOP) and racial-tinged nationalism in certain circles now that, while not exactly new, are more prominent than ever.
In other words, from my perspective, you are incorrect. The American right wing has more or less drifted away from The Economist. Not the other way around.


The problem for the USA isn't Trump. He's merely an infantile halfwit whose accidental presidency is marked by incompetence, chaos, and lack of direction. The problem for the USA is that Trump demonstrated the fact that there is a huge bloc of voters who are even more simple-minded and gullible than even the most cynical Republican campaign strategist had hitherto dared to imagine.

Thus Trump, in himself nothing more than a blustering innumerate buffoon, presages a time soon to come when a far more intelligent and self-disciplined individual ascends to the presidency on the back of those who currently support the orange halfwit. This individual will take the USA from farce democracy to barely-disguised tyranny. And the simple-minded will cheer him on, hailing his "patriotism" and his desire to "help people like us."

When we look back on Hitler and Stalin and their ilk we do so through the comforting rear-view mirror of history, in which everyone has been assigned their place. Contemporary events are far more difficult to judge properly, shrouded as they always are in bogus appeals to nationalist/protectionist sentiments that are swallowed whole by the ignorant and cognitively limited. We imagine that "one person, one vote" is a recipe suitable for a complex world in which there are no simplistic solutions; in reality it is the mechanism through which collapse and destruction is inexorably ushered in.


“ He boasted that African-American unemployment is at its lowest rate ever; the cutaway shot to the Congressional Black Caucus looking deeply unimpressed was perhaps the night’s niftiest camera work.”

Those seconds of video right there summarize how Democrats view what is good for their black constituents. Participation in the American Dream it is not.

Ludwig Von Mises

As an actual economist I enjoyed "The Economist" in the past. Over the last 10 years the slow leftward drift of the publication changed the reading experience to drudgery. I now monitor just how biased the "reporting" has become. It is a shame. Just look at the title "The State of the Union is Fractious". That is opinion not reporting. By the way, the State of the Union address should be mostly about what is happening in the US right now and much less about future plans that may or may not pass the legislative branch. Last night you saw the real America expressed by a real American who is fearless. "Americans are Dreamers too", is inspirational not divisive.

blue asgard in reply to KillingSpree

If you are referring to the Mueller investigation the latest scam there is to discredit the FBI. The claim is that there is a 'conspiracy within the FBI against Trump'. Really?
While the Trump administration would 'naturally' (being traitors all) talk this nonsense up it is quite disgusting that the Republican party is giving it time of day. Do they, too, want to be stained by the inevitable accusations of treachery which will follow? Why then are they planning to suppress the Democrats rebuttal? What are they afraid of?
As Mark Twain said, 'you can fool some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but, never all of the people all of the time'. This is all going to unravel just in time for the mid-terms, which means that the now anticipated democratic sweep of both houses is all the more likely. And that in turn will make Mueller's charges against Trump stick when it comes to the anticipated impeachment hearings. Timing is everything, just as it is in showbusiness :-)
Maybe of course it's the Republican conspiracy against Trump driving all this. They hate him for his attacks on them and for his lack of class generally, so their tactics are to ensure that democratic majority so Trump can get his just deserts without a single Republican hand raised against him. Perish the thought. What it will do for the GOP is another matter, however. Paranoia rules.

A. Andros

"I have a dream." MLK, 1963 (an inspiration to the nation.)
"Americans are dreamers too." Mr. Trump, 2018 (and, according to the Left, racism!)

What we witnessed last night was political theater. What did we think we were about to see -- the Bolshoi Ballet?
TE sneers at Mr. Trump's slapping tariffs on imported solar panels and adds that there is not much of such industry in America. Probably, one thinks, because of imported solar panels.
Mr. Trump asks for a deal on DACA. TE feels he should waive a white flag but TE has not urged that the 700,000 DACA people migrate to England.
It is hard to sympathize with an illegal immigrant who asks that he be allowed to bring more foreigners into the USA -- on account of they are "family." They may well be. My family lives over a thousand miles away and I buy an airplane ticket and visit them. Any reason why the DACA cannot do the same -- or are all the airports closed in Mexico?
Mr. Trump's comments on M18 might be reasonably understood to paint all Salvadoreans as criminals -- just as indicting Mafia bosses might imply that all Italians are criminals. They most certainly are not. But, very few capos were of Swedish extraction so Mr. Trump has a point.
And, if it is NOT a dangerous world then why did TE headline an article last week on Anglo-Franco military cooperation? Just a chowder-and-marching society with nuclear weapons?
The Democrats showed a cheesy attitude as we knew they would. If you don't like the man then respect the office. When, a few years ago, an over-wrought GOP Congressman yelled "Liar!" at Mr. Obama during HIS SOTH address I was disgusted with his lack of manners. Democrats, especially African-American congress people, are simply beyond even respecting the office.
Mr. Obama's minions DID tap his offices. A fiction about "uncovering" Mr. Trump "by accident" was floated by the Obama administration and, of course, one is free to believe this.
Mr. Trump was not eloquent. He was not inspirational. He was not racist. He was mundane, rather tedious . . . and that is all.
"Mundane and tedious?" -- now which magazine we all know falls into such a category?


his mercantilist belief that exporting is winning and importing is losing.
Yeah, we win when we sell someone something and get just decorated slips of paper of minimal inherent value in return. Slips which we can give them in return for something valuable. We lose when be get something, and give them just decorated slips of paper. Which they can't use, since we apparently don't have anything that they need in return. Got it.
This kind of stupidity might have made notional sense when payment was in gold, rather than decorated slips of paper (or electrons, more likely). But today it's utter lunacy.


A commenter in this forum wrote, "[Trump's] constant argument that Americans are being murdered by immigrants, while an utter farce with no basis in reality (immigrants are still less likely to commit crimes than natural-born American citizens-- 44% less likely, according to the Cato Institute's research), will certainly play well to the more bigoted side of the Republican voter base."
The commenter is deliberately trying to deceive the reader by aggregating all ethnicities and races in the comparison between native criminality and immigrant criminality.
Here are the facts. A study by the Cato Institute shows that immigrants are incarcerated at a lower rate than natives for each ethnicity or race. This study also shows that Africans and Hispanics of the 2nd and later generations are incarcerated at a much higher rate than (1) Africans and Hispanics of the 1st generation (i.e., the immigrant generation) and (2) Asians and Europeans of all generations.
Africans and Hispanics who are immigrants fear being deported back to the inferior countries created by their native cultures. So, these people behave properly upon entry into the United States. The 2nd generation of Africans and Hispanics are safe from deportation, so they behave improperly and become criminals.
There is more information about this issue. That information includes a Web link to the study by the Cato Institute. It shows that Hispanic illegal aliens are incarcerated at a much higher rate than Asians and Europeans of all generations.

ashbird in reply to jvictor1789

Hi jvic and jouris, apropos the Q of what evidence is admissible in proceedings against the president, perhaps the following article may shed some light -
. [you can google separately re credentials of author of article and judge her credibility yourself]
Jvic, something tells me Mueller is a rather different character from Ken Star. For one thing, the matter being investigated is rather different from cigars, blow jobs and dress stain. I fully appreciate your frustration with political discourse being "straight-jacketed". I think jouris, himself a former Republican (perhaps still is), is about the most reasonable participant in political discourse on TE as you will find. Personally, as a former myself, all I wish for Trump to stop doing is Tweet like a 5-year old on a daily basis, and demonstrate in some credible fashion he could be consistent in what he says. Not much to ask.

ashbird in reply to jvictor1789

Thanks for the correction. I did say "something like that".
The other thing is few people who are critical of Keynes ever read any Keynes. We know that. And this is not just Keynes, needless to say. All significant thinkers through the ages. The problem is everybody claims (so it seems, rather frequently, in TE community forums) to have more intelligence than they actually possess (one guy proclaimed the only person in the world since the beginning of time and till the end of it who is smarter than he is his wife and she died) :)
Sure, what has helped our species is the existence of language. Not only oral, but written. With the written form, oral history became recordable.
However distorted <<-- as you pointed out. The "distortion" is the most interesting part. Needless to say, that is what Comparative Study in history (and many things else) is about. From the different "versions" of "the truth", if you will, we glean something about what lies behind each "claimed truth", AND, in so doing, we learn about Human Nature. In the end, one thing is quite constant, across the board, and that is Human Nature. Once, I think, we get a hang of the predictability of Human Nature, we'll have a good many things figured out.
The problem or challenge lies with the Gaussian Curve. It is a fact indisputable that most people are not Einsteins, or Booles, or Jesus, or Confucius, or Socrates, or Freud ( he is about 300 years before his time, but of course, precisely because of that, the brunt of ridicule by the stupid and ignoramuses), etc.etc.etc.etc. There is the left-hand side of the curve. So what do you do? You live with that reality, and count your blessings you are on the right-hand side.
One thing for certain, nothing, no human intervention can collapse the curve. Period. For better or for worse.
Listen, I am just talking on top of my head. I have loads of work to do, but commenting on TE is rather like a bad habit. :)
YES, I'd like a long run forward too, regardless how long. Regression is a word that exists only in statistical analysis for me. :)
But there are signs the Apes are taking over. I am going to have some Haagen Dazs.
Always nice to chat with you, jvic. I feel, for some reason, more free , "free" as in neither my brain nor my feet are obliged to be "bound".
All best. Till next time. PS: Ignore typos if there are any (there will be). I have no time to proof-read.


Wonderful SOTU address.

Amazing that so many Americans can’t recognize greatness even as it hits them in the face.

It is mistifying that such a large swath of Americans hate their own country. The USA is the most cosmopolitan, welcoming and creative country in the history of Humanity. What other country defends freedom, encourages personal responsabilty and provides equal opportunities for all ? No wonder that tens of millions would do anything to become American citizens.

I can understand Europeans for their anti-Americanism. Having failed to accomplish anything of significance in the last century (wars and genocides don’t count), Europe is understandably envious of the USA. But Americans hating their own wonderful country ? That’s truly disgusting. These Americans are beneath contempt.


"Throughout the speech he praised policemen and the army; teachers, students and entrepreneurs did not rate a mention."

I'm no Trump fan, but he did talk about small business growth and did point out a husband and wife small business ownership team, along with their employee, a welder. All three folks were in the audience.

I rely on the Economist to get its facts correct. Your mistake merits a correction.


Who are all these trolls who insist on commenting about how the economist sucks and is wrong. If that is your opinion you are clearly not a paying subscriber. You aren't going to change any minds by screeching in here. Go back to the bridges from hence you came. Sean Hannity awaits you.

jouris in reply to Melissia

Even the infrastructure bill, if passed, will depend on what it actually includes. If it were somehow to be a normal bill, say something spending money to fix highways, etc., that would be one thing. But I'll give odds that what actually passes is something more like spending money to pay private companies to build infrastructure on land that is given to them, and which infrastructure they then own and can charge the public for. Forever.

NickyGoodtimes in reply to Jaysonrex

"Donald J. Trump will most certainly be re-elected for another 4 year term since the Nation loves his messages
and his performance so far."
Hmmm.....WORST EVER first year polling for a President- and doing so in THIS economy.
"The Dems, a pretty hateful gang, ought to learn from the Brits how to behave and especially how to accept with grace and dignity the decision of the electorate."
The decision of the electorate was for Hillary by 3M or so- the decision of the Electoral College was for Trump. Do I also need to point out the hypocrisy- via Trump Tweets during the Obama elections- about 'grace and dignity the decision of the electorate'- or are you just going to cut out the middle-man and get everything incorrect?