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    By Sheryl Hamlin

    The firm of Mehlman Castagnetti is a lobbying firm specializing in outcomes based strategy. This means that knowing history and given a certain mix of inputs, they devise strategies based on predictive outputs or forecasts.

    Their new presentation reminds us that it was a century ago that the United States proceeded through what historians call “The Roaring 20’s” where fortunes were made and lost. Readers are free to draw their own conclusions to the provocative charts. Each chart will be discussed individually. To download the entire presentation, click here.

    Table of Contents

    Slides 4 though 9 take us through the past forty years in graphs

    On Slide 4, we see that GDP has increased 112.1%, while the Real Median Family income has increased 18.5% during this period.

    Slide 5 compares the S&P 500 to family net worth of the lower 80% of income earners.

    Slide 6 reveals that the largest and richest corporations are hiring fewer people per each $1 billion market cap. This means that these behemoths have increased their productivity without adding workers or this could translate into a slow slide of the power of the mega-companies.

    Since 1986, tax policy has become more progressive, while deficits have risen, as shown on slide 7… but not consistently so that a correlation stands out.

    Globalization, as shown on slide 8 , has been a positive factor for both the poor and the rich with more rising from poverty and more billionaires created.

    The blame game is shown on slide 9…capitalism is under siege.

    100 Years of Capitalism

    Slide 10 shows colorful figures in the last 100 years who have criticized capitalism. Slide 11 suggest that the Gilded Age of the last century is repeating. From the Pax Britania to World War I and II, followed by the Pax Americana leading to China Rising, is there a potential conflict implied in slide 12? Note how the US demographics have changed since 1950.

    Policy, Technology and Demographics

    Is the talk of de-globalization real? If so how is it manifested in policy? Changes in market access, supply chains and security will require new technology.The idea that technology evolved in a free-wheeling permissionless environment may be over with new global policies of increased regulation.

    Activism Rising… Fast Track to Stardom

    Slide 17 suggests that activism is increasing. But is it increasing or just more visible in the age of technology? Slide 18 shows how quickly one can rise to stardom with the right publicity and messaging. Slide 19 suggests a new “social compact”, but that seems at odds with a new age of billionaires.

    Compromise, Fiscal/Monetary Policy and Religion

    While these topics may seem disparate, they are actually related. With the political divide creating an era of gridlock, will a new coalition be needed to break such gridlock? In the event of an economic incident, are current tools outmoded? Who will re-conceptualize the economic tools needed for the Roaring 2020’s? And finally, the rise of secularism realigns historic coalitions.

    Envisioning Reform

    The next two slides show the grab bag of reforms which are now being tossed around the campaign trail. Will voters respond to such reforms?

    The Politics of 2019-2020

    The last eight slides predict how each party’s behavior will change in the event it becomes the minority party. The authors indicate headwinds and tailwinds for a Trump re-election. Are there such people as “ideological extremists” anymore or are we seeing a permanent shift? How would a recession affect the 2020 election? History gives us a clue.The GOP needs 18 seats to retake the House, while the Democrats need 12 to take the Senate. Which messaging will prevail and under what economic conditions?

    Presentation used with permission from consultants.

    For more information on author click sherylhamlin dot com


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