Lefsetz Letter » Blog Archive » Hope

Lefsetz Letter » Blog Archive » Hope

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Today I’m feeling optimistic, and I haven’t had that spirt here for a very long time.

Let’s start with France banning private jets:

“As France Swelters, Private Jets Come Under Attack – Politicians are proposing regulating or banning flights by such planes after a summer of extreme heat and soaring energy prices prompted growing calls to tackle the causes of climate change.”: https://nyti.ms/3Ks9AaH

I like to fly private as much as the next person, but not at the cost of burning up the planet.

Now the interesting thing is this has been a bottom-up effort. It started with that kid tracking Elon Musk’s flights, and evidence came out of the short trips taken by a Kardashian, Drake and Taylor Swift and… We have been told for decades that money rules and there’s nothing we can do about it other than to try and get ours. But the truth is the game is rigged, and in most cases we can’t get ours, and certainly not enough money to influence policy.

So the hated California goes all electric in 2035, and what do the car companies say? FANTASTIC! What kind of bizarre world do we live in where Detroit is ahead of the population? Yes, Detroit has historically had to be dragged into the future, with average fuel economy standards as the Japanese and even the Koreans continue to eat their lunch in terms of quality and longevity. But now Detroit realizes if it doesn’t go electric, it’s going to go out of business. You either disrupt yourself or you get disrupted, and fall by the wayside, like Kodak, like even tech companies. The news is a sideshow when it comes to business, it doesn’t matter how many ignorant people support fossil fuels, Ford and GM don’t want to go out of business.

And then there’s the IRS and the tax situation.

My favorite story on this comes from today’s “Washington Post”: 

“Leaked audio of a billionaire GOP donor hands Democrats a weapon”: https://wapo.st/3AMUk58

Most people don’t even itemize deductions, their tax forms are simple, and they can’t be rigged, these filers can’t cheat. But if you do itemize deductions, which usually means you’re making beaucoup bucks, or if you’re a billionaire not making most of your money via salary, IT’S OPEN SEASON!

This is the Trump tax issue. And I’d delineate it but most people still wouldn’t understand it. The point is, if there’d been oversight the shenanigans never would have passed muster. But there weren’t enough IRS agents to dig down deep into the returns!

That’s right, the odds of ANYONE getting audited have decreased dramatically over the past decade plus. Because the IRS has been starved. I mean if there’s no law, there’s going to be many scofflaws.

I mean you don’t want to intentionally cheat on your taxes, because that’s a CRIMINAL matter. It’s not just a matter of paying what’s owed plus interest, you go to jail. And nobody wants to go to jail, not even to save a few bucks, which you end up paying anyway.

Wesley Snipes got caught in a cockamamie the government doesn’t deserve my tax money scheme and the end result? HE WENT TO JAIL! And his career was decimated. There are no good optics in being a tax cheat.

So, the Republicans are trying to say that the addition of IRS agents is going to hurt the hoi polloi, when this is patently untrue, unless you’re avoiding taxes by taking cash and not declaring it, when in truth it’s the rich who have something to lose.

But every time they pursue what they perceive to be a winning theme, the right loses!

2022 is going to be like 2018. As in Democrats are going to do much better in the midterm elections than predicted. Because polls have failed and now it has turned into a one issue election, abortion! And the dyed-in-the-wool Republicans are not going to switch parties, but those on the fence and the previously unregistered…are registering and will come out in droves, that’s the story of Kansas. Women are mad as hell and ain’t going to take it!

As for Trump… This isn’t about his anointed candidates winning primaries, this is about Rupert Murdoch and Fox pulling away from him. Fox is already being sued by Dominion, every person who supported Trump’s bogus claim that he won the election seems to have been subpoenaed, and some have lost their right to practice law and nobody wants to go down with the ship, not even Trump himself. I don’t agree with the Democrats supporting far right candidates in order to make elections more winnable, because you never really know, and if you’re wrong the result is heinous, but it’s turning out the only people supporting Trump are those with blind faith desirous of living in the past, and the past never comes back, even if an authoritarian is in power, that’s the power of the people, it’s just a matter of when.

We thought it was about elections, we thought it was about money, but really it’s about people. People have the power, they just have to exercise it. And once some victories emerge, other people get optimistic and take action.

Not that I don’t expect the pendulum to swing back at some point, I’ve learned this in so many years of life, but the tide is turning as I write this, and if you’re rich and flaunting your wealth…

You’d better shut up right now. Because you’re out of touch and out of time. Boasting about your lifestyle, your yacht, your cars, your trips…you thought it was aspirational for the public, but it turns out the public is pissed it can never get there, and sees that in order to live your large lifestyle you’re oftentimes exhibiting not only bad behavior, but even illegal behavior.

How come there’s not more publicity about Fetty Wap pleading guilty?

“Rapper Fetty Wap pleads guilty in drug-trafficking case, faces minimum 5 years in federal prison”: https://bit.ly/3ThdZBo

Bottom line? There’s not enough money in one hit to live large for the rest of your life. And you might think the life of an outlaw is admirable, but in truth those who continue to flout the law get caught. Being a billionaire helps, but you’d better not advertise your wealth, this is how Trump got into trouble to begin with. If he hadn’t run for president, if he’d kept a lower profile, his business dealings, his tax offenses, would have gone unexamined.

It’s only the newly wealthy who boast about what they’ve got. They think they’ve earned the attention, it’s part of their success. Whereas those with older money have learned there’s no upside in going public, none!

So we’ve got an entire music industry based on money. Quality is irrelevant. Hell, sign that TikTok star with a zillion views. But people are sick of this, what does it have to do with music?

Which is why all the excitement, all the innovation, is coming from outside the major label system. And if that’s where you live you’d better stop bitching about what you’re getting paid and start emphasizing values because the enemy is not Spotify, but the major labels, and in truth you just can’t make that much money in music, but you do have a big voice if you choose to exercise it, speaking truth to power.

Sponsorships, perfumes, clothing, that’s all short term money. I hope you invest wisely, because it won’t last forever, a few years at most, and your image, your credibility, will be undercut by selling out. All this b.s. about people not caring about their favorites selling out is just that, b.s.

So what we have here is a change in public consciousness. And too often the Boomers and Gen-X are out of touch. They keep saying that Millennials and Gen-Z don’t want to work, want to be paid more, want unions… Now let me see, just because you crapped in an outhouse does that mean everybody else must continue to do so?

And Djokovic not playing in the U.S. Open because he refuses to get the vaccine?

Well, all the rest of the players have been vaxxed, and you don’t hear them complaining it’s hurt their game. And irrelevant of whether they personally want to get vaxxed, most Americans want  foreigners who come into this country to be vaxxed. So how is Djokovic winning here?

He’s not! Not in either court, public opinion or tennis.

The Covid vax wars are history. That’s not what people talk about anymore. He could get vaxxed and declare victory, but instead he feels required to stand his ground, continue to state beliefs that are out of date.

This is what happens when you believe you can’t change, that you must be consistent forever. The world changes, if you’re not changing with it, you’re left behind. It’s a badge of honor to change your mind.

And we can all see climate change. Yes, you can doctor a video, but you know when it’s 120 degrees out, when it doesn’t stop raining and it floods. It’s not about convincing the deniers, it’s about knowing that others are on your side, waking up too.

The times truly are changin’. The wheels of change move slowly, but they gain momentum overnight, impossible change suddenly becomes obvious, and then happens. I mean who would have predicted the legality of marijuana? Not me! They’ve been fighting for that since the sixties!

And Putin… If Zelensky and Ukraine can hold their ground against them, do we really have to be afraid of Russia? And in truth, Russia is not the economic power of China, nowhere close.

So if you’re confronted with the issue of standing your ground, making decisions based on the past, or going into the unknown… Now is the time to go into the unknown, now is the time to take the temperature of the public as opposed to the corporations and the rich. Hell, the mainstream missed the Trump phenomenon back in 2016, no one really knows what’s going on, including me.

But change is in the air.

I can feel the wind blowin’. That’s where you get the answer, not from those preaching falsehoods in order to get people to sacrifice their futures in order to hold on to a past that never existed in the first place.

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