That Politics Guy
- Joshua M Brown
- September 22nd, 2012
You probably have "that politics guy" in your office too.
Never misses a chance to bring up the latest political story or to turn a non-political story into something about politics. I have a politics guy who works near me. He wastes roughly 20 minutes of my day every day.
"Can you believe Obama just blah blah blah..."
"Hey, did you see the Rasmussen numbers this morning?"
Rasmussen can blow me, I'm swamped with work, bro.
"I just thought it was interesting, they have Scott Brown up by-"
Dude, I don't care at all. Sorry...
My politics guy is one of these "If Obama wins the stock market's gonna get cut in half because he's going to tank the economy with taxes" guys. He was probably telling people in 2008 that Obama was going to be the worst president for the stock market in history. He's a trader and not managing anyone's money, thank god.
Now, I'm a pretty tolerant guy in person. Owing mainly to the fact that I'm sure I can get on people's nerves myself sometimes. But the problem with our interactions is that I do have to manage people's money in real life and so having that politics-masquerading-as-finance garbage spewed in my ear everyday adds a level of distraction that I simply don't need.
The thing is, we're not just talking about annoying conversations, we're talking about utterly worthless ones. Because 94% of the electorate has already made up its mind before the party even has a nominee. And the last 6% is the most ridiculous 6% to convince, it makes decisions based on last names and religion and so on. But that's the only 6% that matters, confined to only a few key states, PA, FL, OH, VA. And so all this back-and-forth ends up being a huge waste of time unless you're a billionaire who is active in politics or you conduct the spending of a SuperPAC. Then, you might just matter. The rest of us are totally off to the sidelines, whether we realize it or not.
Here's Bill Moyers:
You could see and hear one of the guests ask Mitt Romney what they could do to help. The governor answers, “Frankly, what I need you to do is to raise millions of dollars, because the president’s going to have about $800 to $900 million. And that’s — that’s by far the most important thing you could do.”
He’s being truthful there, because money rules these campaigns...
And we mean both parties. Not far from us the other night, at a Manhattan fundraiser hosted by Jay-Z and Beyoncé, President Obama joked, “If somebody here has a $10 million check — I can’t solicit it from you, but feel free to use it wisely.” At least we think he was joking — Obama and Romney alike now shape their schedules as much around moneymaking events as rallies and town halls....
This is a racket, plain and simple. A new report from Moody’s Investor Service says that all that spending by the parties, corporations, super PACs and other outside groups will push political ad spending up this year by half a billion dollars — 25 percent higher than 2010 – the biggest increase in history.
I would try to explain this to the Politics Guy in my office but then I realize that he doesn't care. This was never about him actually believing he could sway me or others. It's really just one big masturbatory exercise of passive-aggressive pedantry.
I also have a few friends who are always bringing up the election and politics no matter what we're doing. One is a Republican asshole and the other is a liberal asshole.
And they have these bickering bitchfights over and over for the last 20 years, and no one ever concedes a single point to anyone else and it's just the same nonsense on and on. And finally, the other night at a bar I'm like, "Look, who gives a shit? You watch Fox News and you watch MSNBC and that way you both get your own predilections and predispositions stroked and let that be the end of it. What's the point of even discussing any of this, you're not going to change each others' minds ever and you're certainly not going to solve the country's problems! No one in this whole world gives a shit what you think! You live in New York State, you fucking dummy. You have no vote! None of this will ever matter! Ever! So get over it and shut the fuck up."
There was an uncomfortable silence and then we started cracking up. We all laughed like bastards and the next round of beers arrived. And then we went home and went to bed and who gives a shit about any of it? Why waste any time at all on a political process that has been stripped from us. The whole US presidential election will be decided by 200 demi-illiterates in Hamilton County, Ohio this November. Ungodly sums of money will be concentrated house by house, block by block until all of it spent and hoopeheads shuffle off to vote for whomever's commercial is freshest at the forefront of their minds. Flip a coin, Kenyan socialist or Mormon tax cheat.
And then it will be done and your mortgage payment and life insurance premium will be due the next week regardless.
So let's not spend even another second being the politics guy who thinks his opinions matter.
Full Disclosure: Nothing on this site should ever be considered to be advice, research or an invitation to buy or sell any securities, please see my Terms & Conditions page for a full disclaimer.blog comments powered by Disqus
The Reformed Broker is a blog about financial markets and the economy. Joshua Brown is a New York City-based investment advisor for high net worth individuals, charitable foundations, retirement plans and corporations... More.