blog maverick

Some Thoughts on the Presidential Race and SocioCapitalism – Updated

1. Social Media Influencers are more important than traditional political endorsements

There is a mantra I repeat all the time: “If the information is important it will find me” . We don’t go find the news. It finds us.  The majority of presidential election voters don’t turn on the evening news or open a newspaper or even tune to cable news network to learn about the candidates and decide on who they will vote for it.  They probably can’t name all the candidates running for POTUS.  I’m not sure if they care.

What they trust are their social media news feeds.  Whats on their instagram.  Whats mentioned on snapchat stories.  What’s in their FB feed.

 

We are on the verge of Ground Game meaning not just what influencers you can get going door to door or calling their friends, but who will develop a FB, snapchat, instagram and twitter following and push messages out.

Along these same lines, while we have seen some Youtubers during debates, we haven’t really seen any endorsements of candidates from big time social media influencers.  IMHO, any candidate that wants to win the youth vote should be more interested in getting an endorsement from Nash Grier types than traditional political influencers.

It’s a new political world.

2. SocioCapitalism is and has been Capitalism for Millennials. You haven’t been paying attention. Bernie has.

If you watch Shark Tank  you may have noticed a trend.  Entrepreneurs don’t just want to make a profit, they want to make a profit and share their success with those less fortunate.  I first saw this in the mid 90’s when Rob Glaser founded Progressive Networks and promised 5 pct of their profits to those less fortunate.

We saw this type of philanthropy gain interest with Tom’s Shoes and their One for One program.

Today, charitable give aways, or inclusive hiring  as part of a product or service purchase is more than just common place. We see it on Shark Tank in almost every pitch from a 20-something entrepreneur. Several of my recent Shark Tank deals reflect this trend, RRiveter , Combat Flip FlopsLiving Christmas Trees to name just a few.

Not only are 20-something entrepreneurs starting companies with a social component , 20 – Something consumers are EXPECTING a social component from companies they do business with.

So how can it be a surprise that Millennials are excited about Bernie Sanders ? Millennials EXPECT capitalism to reflect a socialist element.  I don’t think Bernie knew this going in. Either way, any candidate that expects to get millennial votes needs to understand that your father’s capitalism is not what how they understand the world.  Soci0-Capitalism is who they are and what this country will be. Whether you like it or not.  

To each according to their ability, from each support for those in need. d

3. There has not been a single instance of leadership from any of the candidates

Bitching about everyone else is not leadership. It may play to the base, but it certainly doesn’t reflect an ability to lead.  This years candidates seem to want to prove to everyone that they conform to “party principles” rather than offering strategies and solutions and rallying consensus behind it.  In fact, they argue with each other about who conforms to party standards more. IMHO, this is just crazy.

The democrats argue about who can give away more stuff and is more progressive. The republicans argue about who is the purer conservative and how hard they will work to undo what is already done.  Both sides stick purely to issues that are raised in polls and in debates. None of the candidates have moved into new territory.

It’s as if there is an island for democrats and an island for republicans and no one ventures off.

A leader would come up with new ideas and new solutions for issues that are outside what everyone is talking about and make people realize just how important they are to the country.  It may not seem like it sometimes, but this country does want exciting new ideas. We want to know there is a positive direction for us.  The future of this country can’t just be about free stuff, raising taxes on the rich or cutting taxes for everyone,  keeping people out and undoing what is already done.

There are new ideas in this world that matter.   It would be nice to get one from a Presidential candidate.

4. It’s a problem that all the candidates appear to be technologically illiterate.

Using or not using email, being on social media, neither reflect a knowledge of technology.  No one is saying they have to be hard core geeks, but the future of this country, our jobs, economy, security, culture, lifestyle and more are intertwined with advanced technology. How can you hope to strategize and create solutions to issues we face without having more than a basic understanding of technology ?

 

Wars won’t be fought with bombs and bullets as much as bytes and advanced technologies. Homeland security will be much more about machine vision, learning and Artificial Intelligence than walls.  The future of healthcare and its cost will be much more about personalized medicine and CRISPR than trying to defund Obamacare. Do our candidates realize that when it comes to hacking, there are only 2 kinds of  companies and government agencies, those who have been hacked, and those who don’t know they have been hacked ? And what about our stock markets  ? Does anyone understand what is going on in the markets and how technology has completely upended companies ability to raise capital publicly and undermined the confidence our citizens have in our markets ? Financial terrorism is more than just a possibility.

This isn’t about the age of the candidates. It’s about their knowledge. None has given us any reason to believe they could make a decision on the technology used by a tiny business let alone the country.

5. The Ultimate Stress Test – Updated

A theme in this election has been anger.  Voters are angry at Washington.  I disagree. Voters have never expected anything from Washington. So the concept of insiders vs outsiders, establishment vs non-establishment is really just headline fodder.

I think the real problem is the uncertainty that comes with more than half of the country  having under 10k in liquid assets and about 35pct having under 1k.

I’ve been there. When you don’t have enough to buy  health insurance, even with subsidies, that is stress. If you are fortunate enough to get insurance and your savings are less than your deductible, thats stress. When you know that one problem with your car and you are carless, that is stress.

Much of the savings from the drop in gas prices has not been spent because of these stresses

Think of it as an equation:

If Savings < (Car Insurance Deductible + Health Insurance Deductible + Expected Car Repairs + Transportation Payments + Health Insurance Payments ) = You are in deep shit

If you are a parent, add the risk of healthcare for you kids

If you have student loans, add your minimum monthly payment.

And each individual has additional items that they will add to this formula.

Add it all up and at least half the country is stressed about keeping their heads above water.  It’s not that they are mad at politicians, it’s that no one, politicians or elsewhere has proposed anything that gives anyone a glimmer of hope of swimming above their debt. 

Tax cuts won’t do it.  Redistribution of wealth might help in the short term, but won’t solve the problem. The first step is to understand just what the budgets of underwater American families are and to look for ways to provide ways to cut those costs. Hopefully the free market can find answers. Here is what I have asked a couple of  people to look at.

I asked a machine learning company to try to find nutrition databases of readily available, deliverable foods from Amazon and to cross reference those databases against the Amazon delivered price in one urban city. The goal is to create the least cost,  deliverable daily or weekly menu of food that meets a high level of nutritional requirements for individuals and families.

Can we do it ? It is far from certain. Will it work ?  It should, but that doesn’t mean it will. Will people use it if it does save them money and provide viable menu options ? The odds are firmly against it.  But there is only one way to find out.  This isn’t a quick turn project. It will take time. If you have a better idea, tell us.

6. Now for my pet peeve.

There has never been an investor in the history of investors that has believed a 10 year projection in a business plan.  Yet for some reason we allow candidates to deliver tax , healthcare and other financial plans over a 10 year period.

The only certainty is that they are wrong.

Are we that stupid ?

if you have gotten this far, thanks for reading my rant

As always you can discuss with me on the Cyber Dust app , user ID  – Blogmaverick