Weekly Rundown: January 9th, 2017

Quote of the Week

“As a result of a meeting between foreign ministers of Russia, Iran, and Turkey last month, a ceasefire in Syria has been worked out and is being implemented. So far it appears to be holding, and after nearly six years of horrible warfare the people of Syria are finally facing the possibility of rebuilding their lives.” — Former Congressman Ron Paul on the “planned, agreed to, and implemented” cease-fire without the participation of the US government.

140 Characters or Less

19 Million Strong…After saying on 60 minutes that he would use less social media as a platform to announce policy direction or ire towards individuals or organizations, the President-Elect has not shied away from using Twitter in the last few weeks leading up to his inauguration. From calling out Toyota, expressing disdain for the spying community, and quoting Wikileaks founder Julian Assange regarding his belief of dishonest media coverage, Trump’s tweets will now qualify as breaking news.

More Surprises From Wikileaks…If anyone thought that the Wikileaks revelations from 2016 that uncovered DNC collusion against Bernie Sanders and media collusion with the Clinton campaign wasn’t enough, Wikileaks intimated more surprises are in store for release in 2017. Wikileaks has been mum on the details.

Billary to Attend Inauguration…A tweet from an ABC news reporter indicated that Bill and Hillary Clinton plan to attend Trump’s inauguration, according to aides of the couple. Trump has indicated that he wouldn’t move forward with investigating Hillary Clinton’s use of private email servers during her time as Secretary of State when he takes office. Does this mean that the acrimony between Trump and Clinton is over?

In Other News

Weakling Millennials…A poll has shown that simple life skills are not being taught to or learned by millennials. These skills include tying knots, navigating a paper map, starting a fire, or catching their own food, such as through fishing. With supermarkets having only enough food inventory for three days, any major disruption could spell catastrophic for millennials who haven’t learned basic survival skills.

Streaming Ahead…ESPN and other cable channels have lost millions of subscribers as their traditional audience has flocked towards streaming alternatives like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. Thanks to their original programming and cheaper price, streaming options are gaining in popularity. What’s ahead in 2017 in streaming? Netflix will release over 1,000 hours of original programming. Hulu is launching a live-TV streaming service to compete with the likes of Verizon and Time Warner. And Amazon is in talks to start offering live sports.

Dr. Keynes or: How I Stopped Worrying and Started to Love Bad Economics

Right to Income…Finland just announced a pilot to give a random group of welfare recipients $587 a month “that is guaranteed regardless of income, wealth or employment status.” Finland’s program hopes that it will “encourage more jobless people to look for work, because they won’t have to worry about losing unemployment benefits.” Economics teaches us that if we subsidize a behavior, we’ll get more of it. Instead of creating another government program (universal income) to fix the unintended consequences of the previous program (unemployment benefits), why not try to eliminate the aforementioned unemployment benefits altogether?

Waiters to Wait…As a response to 4 states where increases to the minimum wage were accepted, many companies who utilize minimum wage workers are planning on reducing open positions or eliminating staff as a result of the increased costs in paying their workers. Anyone that has attended an economics course should know that raising the minimum wage has always resulted in job losses. In fact, higher labor costs have spurred automation technology, such as ordering kiosks aimed at eliminating the need to hire cashiers.

Trump Tax…This past week Ford announced it was scrapping plans to build an auto manufacturing plant in Mexico as a result of Trump’s proposed tax plans. Toyota-one of Ford’s competitors-had other plans. Just as Toyota proposed to build a plant in Mexico, Trump blasted the company in a tweet threatening them with a border tax on imported Corollas if the company were to move operations. The mercantilist policies proposed by Trump may sound positive to the American worker, but will not lower any costs for the car-buying public. Is the role of a business to create jobs or to serve the consumer? Perhaps the carrot of making US tax and regulatory schemes business friendly would do more good than making threats of additional taxes.

The Mindset of an Amescalito

How to Be the Best: The TB12 Way…Tom Brady has famously said that he’s never tasted coffee or strawberries. According to Brady’s chef and recipes within his $200 nutrition manual, the quarterback won’t eat any foods that could cause inflammation. Even if one doesn’t adopt Brady’s diet, one must admit the quarterback’s play has been better than ever this year. Just announced is an Under Armour partnership with Brady on a new sleepwear line called “Athelete Recovery Sleepwear powered by TB12”. The “fancy pajamas” harness far infrared by inserting a bioceramic print on the inside of the fabric which harnesses the body’s natural heat and reflects far infrared back to the skin. Benefits include faster recovery, reduced inflammation, and better sleep. If we know one thing about the sleepwear, it will reduce the inflammation of one’s wallet.

Master-Debater…Two weeks ago, Amescalito featured a book written by Dilbert creator Scott Adams titled, How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big. The author had written in a blog post leading up to the election that Hillary would lose and Trump would win. It wasn’t because of Trump’s policies he said, but because of his persuasion techniques. Trump may sound ridiculous at times, but his manner of speech is purposeful. The words Trump used to described his opponents, like calling Ted Cruz “Lying Ted” were never used before in politics and tainted voters opinion’s of those candidates. Trump engaged in hyperbole through exaggerated claims of building a wall and having Mexico pay for it. Trump’s sheer audacity captivated the minds of many voters. In short, Trump was a master persuader; Clinton wasn’t.

Amescalito Book Club

How to Steal Like an Artist…A French writer André Gide once said, “Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But, since no one was listening, everything must be said again.” In the book Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative, the author teaches you how. Being creative doesn’t involve taking peyote buttons in the Joshua Tree forest like Glenn Frey of the Eagles or dropping acid like Steve Jobs. It involves more with the company we all keep and taking action. Relationship choices in marriage, friendship, and business are predictors of success. But perhaps more than anything, adhering to Nike’s famous phrase “Just do it” is the key. The author says that, “If I’d waited to know who I was or what I was about before I started being creative, well, I’d still be sitting around trying to figure myself out instead of making things.” Don’t wait. Just do it.

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