What is going to happen next?
That is an eternally relevant question. While the answer can only be found on a person-to-person basis for things in our daily lives -- and even then, it might be wise to expect the unexpected -- when broader societal trends enter consideration, there is one man who assuredly knows more than most of us do.
Gerald Celente is, bar none, the most respected trend researcher in modern America.
His biography at the Trends Research Institute, which he established during 1980, describes him as "the author of the national bestseller Trends 2000 and Trend Tracking: Far Better than Megatrends (Warner Books), and publisher of the internationally distributed quarterly Trends Journal.
"For more than three decades, Celente has built his reputation as a fearless teller of the truth, an accurate forecaster and an analyst whose expertise crosses many arenas, from economics to politics, from health to science, and more. Most important, Celente is a pure political atheist. Unencumbered by political dogma, rigid ideology or conventional wisdom, Celente—whose motto is "think for yourself"—observes and analyzes the current events forming future trends, seeing them for what they are – not as what he'd like them to be.
"As with a doctor who gives his diagnosis after gathering the facts, whether or not you like the prognosis doesn’t alter the outcome, it’s simply what is."
Celente recently spoke with me about many timely topics. Some of our conversation is included below.
Joseph Ford Cotto: A few years ago, certain political forecasters claimed that the future of America's center-right belongs to libertarians. Since the 2012 presidential election, protectionism has surged in both major parties.
Gerald Celente: We would disagree. Both parties were pro-globalization, rather than protectionists. Remember, President Barack Obama pushed for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal that Hillary Clinton called the “gold standard” when she was Secretary of State, only to change her position when she entered the 2016 race for the White House, playing to the polls. And of course it was candidate Donald Trump that campaigned against the TPP and killed it immediately after taking office. However, now he is said to support a variation of that deal.
And as for the Republican Party, with the exception of a small faction, they have long been pro-global traders.
Cotto: Now, in the age of Donald Trump, libertarianism's once-ascendant nature seems a distant memory. Would you say that right-libertarian politics have any serious potential under Trump?
Celente: As for libertarians, while they express anti-globalization/anti-
multinational sentiments, they are very much opposed to foreign entanglements, the military industrial/security complex and are strong supporters of Constitutional Rights.
These issues are extremely important to the faction that helped elect Trump but are now abandoning him since he launched the missile strike against Syria, the “mother of all bombs” attack in Afghanistan, and his ratcheted up war rhetoric with North Korea. And, with Trump filling his Cabinet and key White House positions with billionaires, multi-millionaires, generals and defense contractors, his failing to live up to his campaign promise to “drain the swamp” is also a negative for libertarians.
Trump is also backtracking on a number of campaign promises that gained him favor with libertarians. Among them, his recent support for the Export-Import Bank and low-interest rate policy, which he was against when he was candidate Trump.
Cotto: More than anything else, why did protectionist economics propel Trump during the GOP primaries; events in which free marketeers once dominated?
Celente: It’s about jobs. And it’s bigger than the United States. Anti-globalist movements are strong in France, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, etc. Citizens across Europe believe free market policies have dramatically lowered their earning potential and increased the cost of living while paying more taxes and receiving less government services as the rich get richer.
It’s a fact. According to a recent Oxfam report, just eight men have more wealth than half the world’s population … the 3.6 billion people in the poorer half of mankind.
Therefore, it wasn’t the messenger Trump that won the election, it was the message. It was the message that Occupy Wall Street popularized in the United States: The one percent have it all and the working class can hardly make ends meet. Thus, with so many jobs off-shored, Trump adroitly played the protectionist card by promising to bring back those jobs that were sent abroad by “free marketers.”