Last summer, my father and mother flew back to Calgary from their first winter of being Canadian snowbirds in Vegas. Over steak and wine, on the patio of their home in the Hamptons, my Dad, brother and I made small talk eventually with the topic of politics coming up.
“What do you think of Donald Trump?” I asked my Dad who, before retiring, was a senior executive with one of the largest oil companies in Canada.
“I met him at a golf tournament one time. He’s an asshole.” He replied.
“Why do you think that?” I asked.
“He sort of talks out of his ass. He’s really opinionated. He’s kind of like you, actually.” My Dad said mockingly.
I smiled and continued making small talk with him and my brother.
In some ways, I am like Donald Trump.
I was not born into a rich family (my family was dirt poor when I was born), but I certainly had financial help from my Dad in my adult years. I pissed a lot of it away by making some incredibly boneheaded decisions – like buying into the Calgary real estate market at the peak of the bubble in 2006. Best learning experiences of my life, to be honest.
I say what’s on my mind – sharing what I know and what my opinions are, never compromising on the truth for the sake of other people’s comfort or to gain a favorable personal opinion from them.
I invest in real estate and consider myself as hardcore a capitalist as one can be. At 32 years old, I’m not a billionaire (yet), but I won’t rule it out as a possibility. Neither will I be ashamed if it comes to pass.
I really enjoyed a book Donald Trump co-wrote with Robert Kiyosaki whose title I think is the real rationale for his presidential run. (A book I highly recommend to entrepreneurs and investors).
His mockery aside, I love my Dad and am very proud of his accomplishments. He spent his whole life proudly contributing to Canada. I, on the other hand believe Canada will not survive my lifetime and feel any such contributions to it are a waste.
Canada is nothing more than an economic satellite of the US. Our entire national existence is predicated on our geographic co-location with the US, which has enabled the most lucrative trade partnership in the history of the world.
So integrated with the US is Canada that Canada doesn’t even bother maintaining an effective military. Something no other nation on the planet has the luxury of doing. The US Navy protects us from any foreign threat while Canada struts around like an arrogant wimpy kid who is best friends with the biggest, meanest kid on the block.
That said, this lucrative arrangement means that Canada’s economy is intrinsically connected to the economy of the United States. There is an old saying that summarizes this relationship very well:
“If the US gets a cold, Canada gets pneumonia.”
The US economy today is showing the early symptoms of something far worse than a cold.
A fundamental difference between the US and Canada, as American Geopolitical Analyst Peter Zeihan likes to say is “We [the US] can’t mess this up.” (Another highly recommended book).
The US culture, geography, climate, and demography ensure no matter how sick it gets (either economically or politically), it will survive and thrive as a nation.
Canada is not so fortunate.
The fundamentals of Canada are far less favorable than the US, with the nation unable to endure much before national unity completely falls apart.
Case in point – does anyone actually believe Quebec would stay in Confederation if not for the $200 billion worth of transfers that have come from Alberta in the past 15 years? With the Alberta economy crippled by low oil prices and no other province with an economy to sustain such transfers, does anyone believe Quebec will stay in the future?
To the point of economic integration, the American economy in the near future is going to experience an economic shaking the likes of which it has not seen in at least 4 generations. It may be the biggest economic downturn in the nations history, as the Americans struggle to fund nearly $130 Trillion USD (That’s about $175 Trillion CAD, BTW) of unfunded liabilities with the largest portion of it’s productive workforce entering mass retirement.
Canada’s situation is much, much worse. Endless economic contraction (high unemployment, low wages, low growth), austerity, unimaginably high taxes, even out right bankruptcy are all but guaranteed in Canada’s future.
How does Donald Trump factor into the equation?
Without a doubt, Trump is the most qualified person to profitably run the American economy. He is the very embodiment of real American Capitalism.
His whole life is the story of a man inheriting a fortune, growing it into an empire, screwing it up and coming to the brink of bankruptcy, than staging an unfathomable comeback. This is the the story of the United States, regardless of who is actually elected President in 2016.
The key question for Canada is timing.
The American mega-depression will almost certainly come during the next US Presidential term. When it does and the American economy catches pneumonia, the Canadian economy will become comatose and put on machine assisted life support.
With Donald Trump in the oval office, Canada may not need doctor assisted suicide.
With either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, pulling the plug would make more sense.
The reason is simple.
His bombastic personality aside, Donald Trump is a man who ACTUALLY gets stuff done. He understands the business cycle, the monetary system, how to create value (which in turn creates sustainable businesses and jobs) and how to properly use debt to create wealth.
In short, all the things no one on either the established political left or right in both Canada and the US understand, Trump is a master of.
A Trump presidency will make the unavoidable American mega-depression as short as it can be. Maybe short enough that Canada can survive as an united nation.
Any other US Presidential candidate is all but guaranteed to create a decade (or longer) Depression that will ravage the entire world as the Great Depression did from 1929 – 1939.
Side note: Many economists assert that the Depression was NOT ended by government spending due to the start of World War 2 (1939), but rather, government austerity that resulted because of the end of War (1946) and the ensuing return to free market, non-interventionist government policy. I personally am of this opinion, as well.
Trump is the one candidate most likely to pull off a repeat of the 1920-1921 US depression, which was contained to the US and lead to a rapid, global economic recovery known as “The Roaring 20’s.” An economic miracle that almost the entire world (including Canada) benefited from.
A repeat of such a historic singularity is the only chance Canada has to survive the coming Canadian shipwreck.
This puts me as an Alberta separatist in a bit of a tizzy.
On the one hand, I believe everyone in Canada would benefit from Canada ceasing to exist – the most probable outcome if Trump looses.
On the other hand, if Trump wins, there is a possibility of an era of roaring prosperity that could hold Canada together.
At least for a little while longer.