Americans Don’t Really Care About The Stock Market. But You Can Sure Fool Them

You can scarcely open Twitter without seeing something you don't want to see, irrespective of how scrupulous you've been in choosing who to follow. Earlier this week, while attempting to source a soundbite from Nancy Pelosi on stimulus talks, I ran across a rather unfortunate short clip of what looked like a kind of ad hoc, parking lot gathering of Donald Trump supporters -- a tailgate without the football game. People milled aimlessly about, moving between a smattering of late 90s sedans and

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24 thoughts on “Americans Don’t Really Care About The Stock Market. But You Can Sure Fool Them

  1. The fact that stupid people back Trump doesn’t surprise me. What does surprise me is how many smart people back him! And I attribute it to Fox News, which I think is the worst thing that’s happened to this country in the last 20 years. Very smart friends of mine buy all the crap that Fox peddles, and it just amazes me…and sadly, makes me think less of them as a result.

      1. Actually, I’d include MSN as well. While Fox presentation is structured like the WWF (who will win the argument-Captain America or the Iron Sheik?) both CNN and MSN have a style that is very appealing to the liberal intellectual-the appearance of being fact based and balanced. Remember the magician controls the direction and engagement of your attention. The “news” also engages your emotion…the hook is what keeps you watching.

        1. The appearance? I find CNN to be insufferably pro-America in its discussions of foreign affairs but, that asides, it seems pretty fact based.

    1. When people ask my sister how our father died, she says, “Fox News killed him.” If they dare engage her, she adds, “It’s just like poison. Take in enough and it will kill you.”

  2. As a California resident, this discussion reminds of prop 13 and how it has become a sacred cow here. For those that are unaware, prop 13 caps property tax increases at 2% per year as long as you (or your heirs) own the property. It’s a huge giveaway to the wealthy at the expense of new homeowners much like the tax cuts of the past 40 years. They use scare tactics like kicking granny out of her house because she can’t pay her property taxes while ignoring that granny is probably sitting on a six figure (or more) equity gain just by virtue of owning their house. Meanwhile, wealthy homeowners continue to build huge amounts of equity and hold onto properties to rent them out because of the massive tax subsidies they receive. This reinforces the cycle of higher property values because fewer units come on the market and fuels massive wealth inequality. Similar houses in a similar neighborhood can have tax bills that vary by thousands or tens of thousands of dollars, but no politician will touch the subject because at the end of the day these people will fight tooth and nail to protect their advantage and scare the rest of the population with stories of massive tax increase when in reality the overall taxes would just be spread more evenly.

  3. Until last night (Friday, Oct 30) I was pretty convinced that Biden had a better then 50% chance of winning. Then I went to visit some friends in an upscale part of Northern Virginia, a community called Del Ray where the typical home goes for over $1 million. Both of them hold master’s, they are obviously affluent, early 50’s, white, and both now support Trump after supporting Clinton in the last election. I left their house last night in a minor state of shock and firmly convinced that Trump will be re-elected.

    When I walked in the door I had no clue they had become Trump supporters. I made an off-hand remark about a Trump comment and she said to me “we support Trump watch what you say”. Her best friend was also there and we both looked at each other in total surprise. Her friend lives several blocks away, they see each other a couple of times a week and it was apparent this was the first time she had heard that as well. They do not have a sign in their yard, they don’t shout it out, and she couldn’t (wouldn’t) really explain why the change. These two intelligent, college educated, upper middle class, formerly moderate people had become all in for Trump.

    All the above is to illustrate that there are large number of people that are not showing up in the 2020 polling just like they did not show up in the 2016 polling but they are going to vote and they will vote on Nov 3rd. My personal belief is that at this moment Trump will carry FL, PA, MI, and most likely WS because of people like my friends above. The old saying “Quiet but Deadly” still holds true.

    My personal politics are centrist (in another day I would have been labeled conservative) but if pressed I would like to vote for someone like Gerald Ford. If you are too young to know that name google it. It is worth the time. He was vilified for a pardon but at that moment in history it was the best outcome that could be had. He was for a brief time what a true USA president should be.

    The current situation is so ridiculous that laughing and crying are both the correct answer. If ever a time in my life I wanted to be wrong…

    1. They probably always supported Trump and hoped to shock you. These are the bully boy segment that hope you to be naked and afraid.

    2. Stupid / mentally ill comes in many forms. I know a university professor in a hard discipline who is a devout Catholic. Success, money, education, none of it is any barrier to the onset of aberrant mantal conditions. The only way in which their position makes sense is if they are mistakenly deciding that he is ‘the lesser of 2 evils’. That’s like saying “There’s no coke in the shop, so I’ll drink bleach. It’s that or the rat poison.”

  4. Trump has done a masterful job of convincing his base that the stock market is the economy, and the economy is a proxy for American exceptionalism. Given the data above regarding equity and 401k ownership, it’s a logical explanation – they don’t have a literal vested interest in the stock market, but they live in America with the best economy in the world…so MAGA!

  5. Threat of national debt and your 401 is what runs cover for not having to acknowledge what was once easy.
    White deniability. If I say to a blue collar guy, stop the words and just say you hate blackie they shut up with a smile on their face..
    Educated people drag out Dalio / some such. When I beg to have it explained to me I get the brush off. Thats when bringing up race gets interesting. Then I get that it has no part of their thinking. Not a discussion. The cleverest people tell the cleverest lies to themselves about themselves.

    1. When the democratic primary race in 2008 came down to Hillary and Obama, I said to myself that the democrats had thrown the race away because Americans were not prepared to elect either a black or a woman. I was kind of wrong. Kind of because I think the election of Trump with his explicit racism was in large measure a pushback. So now it’s harder to obfuscate. Like PTR’s comment above, you’re either pro-elitist and willing to tolerate the racism (or actually like it) or you’re not.

  6. Recall that white supremacy was at the core of the founding of the United States, that the constitution both enshrined slavery and catered to slave-holding states to cement the union, and that it is still with us today, in attitudes and in institutions, not least of which are the electoral college and the structure of the Senate. If you’re white in America and feel threatened by Blacks, Latinos, Asians, you support Trump. If you’re a fundamentalist Protestant or Catholic Christian, you support Trump. A majority of whites voted for Trump in 2016. Why should we be surprised if the educated Virginians discussed above support him now? Support for Trump aligns with a gut feeling that True America and True Americans are white and Christian, and that everybody else should know their place. People will rearrange their economic beliefs in whatever way is necessary to accommodate their gut racial/ethnic and religious beliefs.

  7. There is a married young 30 something Africa American with 4 little ones who makes his home in his uncle’s basement, across the street from me, here in the upper middle class suburbs of Atlanta.

    Anthony used to work for a landscaping company but was unhappy with his meager paycheck. He is not quite as bright as he thinks but is bold and brave enough to have networked his way into doing yard construction projects and striking out on his own. I am happy to help people trying to start their own thing and have used his bringing in his “team” for a project earlier last year.

    Ran into him this week after storm winds dropped a tree nearby. Chatted a bit. As I was walking away remembering to do my part to get out the vote I asked “Hey Anthony, did you vote?” He said “Yeah, I voted for Trump.” I must have frozen cause he asked “Who’d you vote for?” After I told him I’d voted for the other guy he explained, “Well you know I’m a businessman now and Trump is a businessman. I haven’t heard anything about business from Biden.” I slowly backed away from that meeting, holding my breath, trying not to freak out. Wondering how many other Anthony’s there are out there.

  8. You can’t put all the Trump supporters in the same box. They’re all different, as are all the Biden supporters. But, if you believe that democracy and the rule of law are to survive in America, you are probably a Biden supporter. If you don’t know that Democracy and the rule of law are threatened you are more likely a Trump supporter.

  9. Of all the 401(k)s I’ve ever had, you determine your allocation into some mutual fund, which most are funds of funds.Most people have no idea what they’re investing in. They don’t know what price they’re buying the shares for until after the NAVs have been calculated after the markets close, and they don’t know what price they’re selling the shares for until after the NAVs have been calculated after the markets close.

    Plus, most people just “buy” shares in mutual funds on the day they get their paychecks.

    Now, that, right there is what I call astute investing.

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