November 30, 2015
By: Bobby Casey, Managing Director GWP
There’s always a poll to support one opinion or another. If you look at MSNBC polls versus Fox News polls, it becomes apparent what their respective viewership composition is, so I take those with a grain of salt. There’s nothing much to glean from liberals want liberal things while conservatives want conservative things.
Where things get interesting is when we start observing people’s actual behaviors. It’s one thing to share your opinion based on cleverly formulated questions, it’s another to see what people DO. People do their real voting with their actions, not when they tick a box for a poll or in a booth. And those actions reflect the reality of the respective countries’ conditions.
Experience might sculpt our worldview, but circumstances largely dictate our choices.
For example, while conservative politicians are wailing over immigration from Mexico and beating their chests over ideas like more walls and border agents, the truth is there’s been a considerable decline in migration from Mexico into the United States. In fact, the US experienced a net negative in immigration and net positive in EMIGRATION back to Mexico… including families that had American born children.
Polls might suggest that people think we still have a growing immigration problem. The truth is, we have a shrinking one, if we are to view immigration as a problem in the first place. Polls might also suggest that Mexican immigrants are deliberately having children in the United States as “anchor babies” to legitimize their residency here. The reality suggests otherwise: they might be having kids here, but they aren’t staying here despite their birthright.
That’s not to say that people aren’t still trying to get into the United State from Mexico. They absolutely are. But certainly not in the same numbers, and they aren’t staying.
There’s little room for disagreement on the physical migration patterns here, but the conditions that lead to those decisions are fairly predictable: starting or joining a family and/or jobs. While the immigrant might believe there are opportunities in the United States, the emigrant realizes there are less opportunities in the United States and more back home in Mexico.
The truth is, the US has not recuperated from the “Great Recession” the way Obama defenders claim. U3 unemployment numbers are indeed at an all-time low; U6 unemployment numbers are not much different than they were during 2009. The DOW might be up and gas prices down (not that Obama had a damn thing to do with either), but the dollar is worth less and the debt is sprinting toward $20 trillion.
Meanwhile, the conditions that once had Mexicans sold on the idea of northern migration in the 80’s and 90’s have changed in Mexico. The country is aging. Young labor is in higher demand. The chances and opportunity landscape is more favorable in Mexico now, certainly when juxtaposed with the United States.
“While the US economic recovery is sluggish, Mexico has been free in recent years from the economic tailspins that drove earlier generations north in the 1980s and 1990s. The peso is relatively stable, inflation is manageable, and while many parts of Mexico suffer grinding poverty and violence, others – especially in the more industrial northern half – have become thriving manufacturing centers under the North American Free Trade Agreement, producing cars, aircraft and other heavy equipment.” (Source: The Guardian)
There’s more. Numbers indicate that more people now have health insurance thanks to Obamacare. This is true. We went from 16% or so Americans not having health insurance to something like 9%. Again, the straight numbers tell one story. But the behaviors and decisions of primary actors tell something different. A few weeks back we wrote about the various mergers in the healthcare industry. This was prompted by the fact that many players in the healthcare industry are struggling to stay in the black under Obamacare.
“United [Healthcare] announced during an investor briefing Thursday that it was expecting a whopping $425 million hit on its earnings this year, primarily due to mounting losses on its ObamaCare exchange business.”
“Other commercial insurers, such as Aetna, Anthem, and Cigna, have raised premiums by double digits and still say they can’t make the numbers work in their favor. Hence, they have withdrawn from counties where their losses were particularly acute.”
(Source: The Week)
With a disproportionate number of sick to healthy registrants on their exchange, these losses are unsustainable. The provision in the ACA that was supposed to address this particular problem is the “risk corridor” programs. The basic gist of this is that those that over perform would pay into a pool to help those who are underperforming. This risk mitigation tactic was meant to prevent the cherry picking activity mentioned above.
What happens when the risk corridor suffers as shortfall can can’t meet the demands of the companies that are incurring unsustainable hits in their margins? What if that shortfall was by 86.4%?? Why should anyone in office right now even care since the payout isn’t due until mid-2017?
Businesses and people (citizen and non-citizens alike) are abandoning the failing and ailing policies of the United States. The US is not only seeing record number of immigrants returning to their home country, but it is seeing record number of Americans finding a new home country. We aren’t just seeing companies opt out of Obamacare exchanges, they are opting out of operating in the US through corporate inversion.
Actions speak louder than polls. Polls are decent indicators of where the general sentiments lie, but the actions reflect the priorities of the individuals most adversely affected. Sentiments don’t move the market needle, actions do. The vote that matters the most, and has the greatest impact on you and the system, are the physical choices you make for yourself and your wealth. People and businesses aren’t sticking around for “more reforms”. They are finding better and safer places for themselves and their assets and making their own reforms. If that’s something you would like to explore for yourself, then let’s set up a time to talk. Click here to schedule an appointment.