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Low Public Approval of President Trump Yet Unusually High Consumer Confidence. Hmmm…

How did we get to a place where The President of the United States has historically low approval at the same time we have recent highs for consumer confidence?

Almost everything President Trump does has an impact on the economy, and on consumers. That includes national security, immigration, taxes, health care, budgets, treaties, government regulations, and international relations. If the public is optimistic about the economy, that is normally the same as having confidence in the president. At least on the big-ticket items.

The types of presidential actions that have lower impact on the economy include court appointments, opinions on confederate statues, NFL kneeling, transgenders in the military, birth control funding, unpresidential tweets, poorly-executed disavowals, hyperbole that fails the fact-checking, seemingly unnecessary political attacks, and all manner of obnoxious presidential behavior. The majority of citizens disapprove of President Trump on at least some of those topics.

I don’t think we’ve ever seen something like this before. A majority of citizens disapprove of President Trump while simultaneously having confidence he’ll get most of the big stuff right and the economy will reflect it.

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Affirmations, Positive Thinking, Trump, and Norman Vincent Peale

For your Friday reading, first check out Politico’s excellent article by Michael Kruse on how the “Power of Positive Thinking” guru, Norman Vincent Peale, influenced President Trump’s approach to rewriting reality. Then see my Periscope where I tie together those thoughts and more. People on Twitter are saying it’s my best yet. You be the judge.

And remember to pre-order my book, Win Bigly, for even more on this topic including a bonus chapter about hypnosis only for the pre-order folks.

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My Suggestion for a National “Dashboard” for Tracking Progress

After years of trying, I think I came up with an idea that nearly 100% of people would agree is a good one. Rare!

The idea is to create a national “dashboard” for citizens to track the progress of government. Imagine a website with a bunch of small graphs on it for each element of national interest, from gun deaths, to national debt, to stock market performance, to the number of people covered by health insurance, and more. Click any graph to see more information, including the legislation in the pipeline to address that area.

I’m imagining some semi-independent group managing the site, but the figures would mostly be generated by the government.

If you want to make something better, you have to measure where you are and how you are trending. Measurement is a base idea behind all management theory. The government already measures lots of stuff, but citizens don’t see it gathered in one place for an overall picture. And you can’t allocate resources until you see how all the topics are doing, because resources are limited. Every expenditure comes at the cost of not spending the same dollars elsewhere. A national dashboard would let everyone see the problem areas at the same time and in the same way.

I talk about this idea on Periscope here.

It might be a good idea to pre-order my new book, Win Bigly, at this special page, because you get a bonus chapter by email. You’ll like it.

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The Worst Gun Control Arguments

I’m pro-gun, but mostly for selfish reasons. Some people (such as celebrities) are probably safer with defensive weapons nearby. But I acknowledge the reality that guns make people less safe in other situations. No two situations are alike. That’s partly why the issue can never be fully resolved. Both sides pretend they are arguing on principle, but neither side is. Both sides are arguing from their personal risk profiles, and those are simply different. Our risk profiles will never be the same across the entire population, so we will never agree on gun control.

That said, I want to call out the worst arguments I have seen on the issue of banning bump stocks. If you are new to the conversation, a bump stock is a $99 add-on to an AR rifle that turns it into an automatic-like weapon for greater kill power. The Vegas gunman used bump stocks. They are legal, whereas a fully automatic rifle is not.

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How a Silicon Valley Investor Does Leadership

Lately I have been describing my personal political views as “left of Bernie, but with a preference for plans that can work.” In other words, I would love universal healthcare and free college. I just don’t know how to get there in any practical way. I don’t think anyone else does either.

This indirectly brings me to Sam Altman, CEO of Y-Combinator, and a billionaire investor. He’s embarking on an experiment to see what happens when you give citizens free money, no strings attached. This is important because our robot-centric future will mean the end of most forms of human labor. And that means one of two things, in all likelihood: 1) 90% of the world starves to death while the robot-owners thrive, or 2) 90% of the world receives some sort of “free money” from the rich, with no strings attached. Sam is testing option two.

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Your Monday Morning Laugh (Mine Too)

In case you missed it, you might enjoy a good laugh with me on this Periscope.

Topics:

1. President Trump’s tweet about “Rocket Man”

2. President Trump’s golf ball tweet

3. My list of magical thinking arguments on Twitter

4. I add a few words to the list of insults that should never be uttered in public.

My book, Win Bigly, is available for pre-order now. It’s your path to the third dimension (persuasion).

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