International Finance Advisor / engincivan.tr@gmail.com

Scenes From America

22 Eylül 2020 - 17:21

There are 6 weeks left until the American Presidential election.

This election is critically important.

For the United States, the World, and Turkey important dynamics are in motion.

The Pandemic has shown the lack of U.S. preparedness for the emergence of a highly contagious infectious disease/epidemic.

The society like a watermelon is evenly split down the middle.

Even the question of wearing or not wearing a mask has been politicized.

Donald Trump who is walking an election tightrope between victory and defeat has grievances.

I’ve been watching and agree!

With the pre-Covid economy in a Golden Age a Trump’s election victory was all but guaranteed.

But Covid changed the situation.

The tactics of Democratic politicians and local administrators are clear: postpone economic relief using Covid as an alibi.

Clearly the intent is to reduce Trump’s chances of re-election.

We see this approach in big states such as California and New York.

Restaurants in Manhattan are still shuddered.

At the same time an event occurred in California that captured little attention.

With your permission I’d like to share an illustrative story.

There is virtually no one left that has not heard of Elon Musk and Tesla.

Musk and the brands he’s created are destroying previous records.

Musk invested billions and built a factory in California.

Can you imagine the health commissioner of a small local district (called a “County” but without an equivalent in Turkish) refusing permission for the factory to open?

Musk with all his power and influence demands a reversal of the decision.

But to no effect! The local official refuses to budge!

Finally Musk throws up his hands in frustration and decides to move the factory to Texas.

This example is important in my view because it is a thermostat for relations between modern capitalism and local officialdom.

One stubborn local official cost California thousands of jobs and billions in taxes.


There is a popular saying; ignore the small fry when there’s a much bigger fish to catch.

Last Friday Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg passed away.

Although small in stature and physique the 87 year old possessed a highly regarded legal mind.

Ginsburg passed away at age 87.

I’m deliberately mentioning her age!

Because successful candidates are appointed for life in an attempt to insulate them from political pressures.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a legal scholar who wrote important opinions impacting such areas as equal pay, sexual preference, and abortion.

A graduate of world renowned Columbia University which is known for its’ liberal pedagogical tradition.

An impromptu memorial took shape in front of the Supreme Court upon Ginsburg’s passing last weekend. Thousands of citizens decorated the building’s steps and stairs with candles, flowers, and small toys animals.

Despite the short time left until the election Trump stated that he “would appoint a new candidate”.

Joe Biden viewing Trump’s move as “opportunistic” objected stating that “waiting for the results of the election would be preferable”.

Yes there is no consensus on the question.

Because Carter’s appointment despite losing the election to Reagan might be considered a precedent.

The appointment process works in this manner: The President chooses a candidate and the Senate confirms. Before voting on a candidate public hearings are held with Senators questioning (Democrats in this case) and skewering the candidate. A quite entertaining process.

Here’s the rub! If the President is successful in having his candidate appointed to the Supreme Court conservative ideology will have achieved control over America’s internal political life for the next 25 years.

There are some disputed questions that the Conservative wing has been eagerly waiting to settle for a long time.

Most importantly is the question of expanding health insurance coverage upon which Obama expended so much political capital.

I’ve been writing for years on how the majority of people in Turkey are unaware of how lucky they are to possess National Health Insurance and of the need for something similar in America.

Barack Obama’s preparatory work and the pandemic experience have together nearly made National Health Insurance a reality but the momentum could be rolled back for the above stated reasons.

In short the long awaited change may turn into a radioactive internal political question.

A second important question concerns abortion rights. The American right has been attempting to change the abortion laws for years through lawsuits brought to the Supreme Court. On every occasion they’ve bumped up against the walls of the Greco-Roman architectural style building.

But we mustn’t forget that a conservative judge could change the equation.

This is the situation worthy readers.

I wanted to share some background on the topic before you hear chatter that “He Will Win or Lose” from commentators you see on your screens.

Translation: Deniz Mehmed