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24 July 2016 - I am Breaking a Rule

In all of the years I have been doing Samuelson Sez, I have never devoted my commentary to politics. I am going to break that rule this week because in e-mails and conversations around the country, many of you have asked - “How are you dealing with this election? Who will get your vote?”

I will not answer the second question, but I will write how I feel about this election. I have been voting in Presidential elections since 1952. I can honestly say this will be the most difficult election I have ever experienced.

I know this will make some of you angry, my opinion of the two candidates . . . one is an arrogant liar, the other is an arrogant egotist who cannot communicate without attacking or using profanity. And I have to mention the third one, who lasted quite a while, a Socialist who would give away everything in this country.

What does that leave us as we go to the polls? I think many of us will be voting AGAINST, rather than FOR. We must vote, however, because the right to vote is more than a privilege, it is a responsibility preserved by the thousands of people in the military who have given their lives in the past 240 years. It would dishonor their memory if we refused or failed to vote.

From the standpoint of agriculture, both candidates leave a lot to be desired for me because I don’t believe they know, understand or even care about our most basic and important industry. I did not hear the word agriculture used by any speaker at last week’s convention and I’m betting it will be the same at this week’s convention. They mention a lot of other workers or industries, but they don’t mention the one that makes all the other jobs possible, the people who produce food, fiber and energy.

They do not understand the importance of agricultural trade to our national economy and the millions of jobs it produces. They do not want any new trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and they even want to cancel agreements like NAFTA, saying trade agreements move American jobs to other countries. I think American jobs have moved because companies look for cheaper labor, and I don’t hear anybody talking about the jobs created by foreign companies building plants in America and hiring American workers.

It doesn’t leave me with much of a choice, but I did recently hear a radio interview with Libertarian candidates - two former Governors - Johnson and Weld. I liked what I heard. They understand business; they understand trade; they understand the concern for safety and the threats in the world. I might vote Libertarian....then again, I might not. But I will vote and I urge you to do the same.

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