Archive for the ‘Econ. 101’ category

Is There A Wage Gap Between Men And Women?

April 4, 2017

The ‘gender pay gap’ is a myth which has been spread for years. I have been reading about this ‘fake cause’ since I can remember. In 1984 Thomas Sowell covered this topic in chapter 5 of his book “Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality”.

Here is a Prager University video by Christina Hoff Sommers explaining the statistical fudging that takes place when the gender pay cause becomes bigger than the truth.

THOMAS SOWELL  addresses this topic in my article: “The ‘Equal Pay Day’ Canard” .

In this article titled: Equal Pay Day Is An Annual Event That Spreads Statistical Misinformation About The Gender Pay Gap, by Mark J. Perry, at carpediemblog, Mark J. Perry says choices made about hours worked, type of work, and marriage and motherhood are three of the deciding factors on how much a person is paid. Women and men make different choices in these three areas. When you compare men and women who make the same decisions the wage gap is negligible.

Mark J. Perry’s article titled: “Equal Pay Day’ This Year Is April 4th – The Next ‘Equal Occupational Fatality Day’ Will Be On January 21st 2029, shows how men work in riskier jobs than women. Thirteen men die while working on the job for every one women who dies on the job. Riskier jobs pay more. Choices have consequences.

Ignorance Perpetuates This Myth.

Supposedly smart people are ignorant when it comes to the gender pay gap. Here are two articles showing this ignorance.

The Chief Operating Officer Of Facebook Appears Clueless When It Comes To The Wage Gap, at economicjournal.com.

Ivanka Wage Gap Ignorance, at economicpolicyjournal.com.

We don’t have to be ignorant about issues like this. All we have to do is look beyond the rhetoric of the people pushing the cause.

Healthcare: Market Solutions vs. Bureaucratic Decrees

March 28, 2017

Modern thin line design concept for HEALTHCARE website banner. Vector illustration concept for healthcare diagnosis and treatment.

Our current battle over healthcare is being debated from a false premise. Most people have bought into the lie that healthcare is or should be a right. It isn’t a right as understood by most people. The right to keep and bare arms doesn’t mean someone else is obligated to supply a gun. The right to free speech  doesn’t mean someone else is obligated to supply a microphone, a stage and an audience. But for some reason we think a right to healthcare means someone is obligated to provide it.

The truth is healthcare is an economic good or service produced by individuals. These individuals own what they produce. It is their property. No one has a right to what someone else produces.

How can you gain possession of what someone else owns? 1) You can produce something they want and exchange it for what they have produced. 2) They may give it to you as a gift. 3) You can steal it. 4) You can have someone steal another persons production, exchange it for what you want, and have them give it to you indirectly. 5) You can have someone else steal it and give it to you directly.

Government intervention into the healthcare market, up to and including Obamacare, has been an incremental march away from the first two and toward the last two. Everyone knows that direct theft of another person’s property is unethical and immoral because it is illegal. But when we are one or two steps removed from the direct theft, for some reason we think it’s ethical and moral because government says it’s legal.

hand writing economic demand - supply graph on chalkboard

ECONOMIC REALITY OF HEALTHCARE

Healthcare is an economic good ruled by the laws of economics. Scarcity, subjective value, supply and demand are a few laws we need to look at in order to understand why government central planning isn’t the right process to ration the scarce good we call healthcare.

SCARCITY: Healthcare has to be produced. It is a scarce good. It isn’t like the air we breathe. Air doesn’t have to be produced by anyone. The abundant supply of air exists naturally. You might say the air I put in my tires Isn’t free. The air you put in your tires is first compressed and then forced into your tires. Compressed air has to be produced, therefore it is an economic good and not free like the air you breathe.

SUBJECTIVE VALUE: Everyone values healthcare differently. There is no objective value that can be placed on healthcare. The value for healthcare is subjective depending on each individual’s needs and wants. Both the demand for and the supply of healthcare is valued subjectively.

SUPPLY AND DEMAND: Since healthcare is scarce and valued subjectively, the law of supply and demand comes into play coordinating its production and consumption. The price reflects subjective valuations by individuals related to supply and demand. The subjective valuations at the existing price drives supply and demand to a new coordinating price.

The law of supply and demand states that more is demanded at a lower price than a higher price and more is supplied at higher price than a lower price. Price changes are constantly re-coordinating supply and demand according to the subjective valuations of individuals.

The supply of healthcare is limited by the scarcity of the resources, labor, capital and time needed to produce it. It is also limited by the demand for healthcare. If the demand for healthcare increases against a fixed supply, the price will go up in order to ration the scarce resource. As the price rises more resources, labor, capital, and time will be attracted to producing healthcare. As the supply increases to meet the higher demand a point will be reached where the price will stabilize and then decrease as supply outpaces demand.

The changing price sends information to consumers and producers about the scarcity of healthcare. These price changes are figured into the subjective valuations of how much each consumer will demand and how much each producer will supply.

Free market prices are the most efficient way to ration healthcare in a world of scarcity and subjective value.

government regulations, magnifier, pencil

GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION INTO HEALTHCARE

Government mandated healthcare subsidies, taxes and regulations distort the prices that would normally exist in a free market. Consumers demands and producers supplies are going to change according to these distorted prices. A mismatch of the supply of and demand for these scarce resources is brought about by government intervention.

What did you think was going to happen when more consumers were brought into the market by the Obamacare individual mandate? Subsidies also increase demand. Prices were guaranteed to rise as demand was artificially increased.

What happens when prices for healthcare services paid by Medicare and Medicaid are fixed below what they would be in a free market? The supply of health care would decrease at these lower prices.

Obamacare created more demand and at the same time created the incentive to supply less. What happens to the price when more is demanded and less is supplied? Even though our politicians told us costs would go down under The Affordable Care Act, anyone who understood basic economics could have predicted which way the price would go. And that isn’t even including paying for the government bureaucracy needed to implement the ACA.

NOW WHAT?

The failure of the Republican repeal and replace bill is a good thing. The bill was just an exchange of a set of not quite as bad new government regulations for the existing bad government regulations. Their is only one way to reduce the cost of healthcare. Get rid of government subsidies, taxes and regulations. Unfortunately all Democrats and a majority of Republicans don’t understand basic economics.

Quoting Ludwig von Mises – “Economic history is a long record of Government policies that failed because they were designed with a bold disregard for the laws of economics.

Republicans are also scared of political fall out when they get rid of healthcare entitlements. The Democrats and their accomplices in the main stream media will trot out all the sob stories of people whose ‘access’ to healthcare was taken away. Of course the MSM didn’t tell the stories of all the people who had their healthcare costs sky rocket under the ACA. These rising premiums paid for the increased costs and subsidies caused by government intervention.

Millions of families got crushed by the higher cost of healthcare. These were small businessmen and people who worked for small businesses in the more rural counties in America. These are the same people who were barely able to stay afloat when the economy crashed in 08. They cut their discretionary spending to the bone. Many had to use their savings and retirement accounts to make it through the recession.

When the Affordable Care Act was implemented after 2013 there was no spending left to cut to pay for the higher cost of healthcare. Wives had to go back to work just for the insurance. Men took second jobs for the same reason. These are the people in the swing states of Ohio, North Carolina, Florida, Iowa, and the Democrat States of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania who voted for Trump. He was their only hope. They literally couldn’t afford to vote for Hilary.

Fortunately market alternatives to Obamacare are starting to appear around the country.

Read Here- Direct Primary Care, A No-Insurance Model.

Read Here – Florida West Virginia Lawmakers Take Interest In Insurance Free Approach.

Read Here – Atlas MD, Wichita’s Premiere Cash-Only Clinic.

As the price of Obamacare goes higher the demand for Obamacare will decrease. This higher price will also bring about lower cost market alternatives to the Government run system. These alternatives will be outside of the system. We can call these free market alternatives as long as Government doesn’t try to shut them down with regulations. If they do try to shut them down they will then become black market alternatives (the new free market).

Fracking is an example of a market alternative to the OPEC cartel and our Governments regulations on drilling off shore and on public land. When the price of oil rose to above $110 dollars a barrel it became affordable for hydraulic fracturing to take off on private land. Now that it is profitable to frack at $45 a barrel the OPEC cartel has lost its monopoly power. The high price of $110 was what eventually brought the price of oil down. Healthcare will be no different. The market will find an alternative as the price goes higher.

Read Here – Trumpcare Defeat Could Be A Small But Important Victory For Healthcare Freedom.

Read Here – Ryancare Is Failing -What Should Happen Next?

Read Here – Forget Obamacare, Ryancare, And Any Future Reformcare – The Healthcare System Is Completely Broken.

Economic reality will end Obamacare. Let’s hope the Government doesn’t end the market alternatives that have started to take root.

 

Economic Ignorance Has Caused Our Political Chaos.

March 8, 2017

Microeconomics or Micro Economics as a Concept

What do Jeffery Sachs (economics professor at Columbia), Bill Gates, the Pope, Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress have in common?….. Economic ignorance!

Why are  pronouncements by people with authority rarely challenged?….. Economic ignorance!

I found some recent articles on economicpolicyjournl.com which have a similar theme: People with authority demonstrating their ignorance about basic economic principles.

Here are the articles.

Harvard Educated Economist Clueless About The Fundamentals Of Economics.

I Never Realized The Economic Ignoramus Bill Gates Is….Until Now.

The Pope’s Problem With Basic Economics.

Trump In Melbourne Spilling His Economic Plans And How Non-Free Market Are They.

House Republican Border Adjustment Tax Plan Gains Support In White House: Prepare For Higher Prices And Less Product.

Jeffery Sachs, Bill Gates and the Pope don’t have the power of Government behind anything they say. Their authority exists in the minds of the people who believe they have authority. They can’t force their economic ignorance on us

The President and Congress have the power of Government behind their policies. Politicians and bureaucrats can force their economic ignorance on us.

OUR ECONOMIC IGNORANCE

The increasing political chaos existing in the U.S is rooted in the economic ignorance of a vast majority of people. Both the masses, and people with “authority”, bear responsibility for our present political and economic situation.

People with “authority” being economically ignorant creates a problem because we the masses accept what they say as truth. This leads to the passage of Governmental policies which can’t produce the outcomes predicted by the people with authority.

We have the power to be a check on these people with authority. But we reinforce their authority on the one hand, and increase the economic ignorance of the masses on the other, when we don’t challenge the economic validity of what they say.

People with authority always want more power. Their power can’t be increased unless we allow it. Authority not backed by the force of Government isn’t real authority. We voluntarily give people their position of authority.

With politicians and bureaucrats it’s different. Their authority is backed by the force of Government. Our first non-violent voluntary recourse to their power is to vote the economically ignorant out of office, or not to vote them into office in the first place. Our second is putting political pressure on politicians. But this only works if a overwhelming majority of people put political pressure on them.

The ability of politicians and bureaucrats to grow their power, rests on the economic ignorance of the electorate. If the economic consequences of the policies passed by these politicians were known by the voters, they wouldn’t have been passed. Understanding basic economic principles allows us to look over the horizon and see the consequences of these policies.

EXAMPLES OF FAILED POLICIES

The Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare sounds great. But the laws of economics will not allow the ACA to lower the cost of healthcare. The costs can be shifted, but not lowered by government decree. The result of passing the ACA is chaos in the healthcare market, or what is left of a healthcare market.

Increasing the minimum wage for low skilled workers sounds great. But the laws of economics won’t allow increasing the minimum wage, above what that labor produces. The result of passing this law is fewer low skilled workers will be employed.

FORSEEABLE CONSEQUENCES

If, we the people, understood some basic principles of economics we wouldn’t allow these interventionist ideas to be planted, let alone take root.

Some of these basic principles are: 1) Scarcity, 2) Subjective Value, 3) Supply and Demand 4) Production Precedes Consumption.

Lets look at the Affordable Care Act and mandated minimum wage increases through the binoculars of scarcity, and supply and demand.

Scarcity is the first rule of economics. Scarcity simply means, “what everybody wants adds up to more than there is”. Put differently. Their are limited means available to satisfy the unlimited ends we seek. These limited means have to be allocated toward producing the ends we seek. There are two ways to allocate these means. One way is voluntary cooperation, through prices in a free market. The other way is force, through the edicts of politicians and bureaucrats using government power.

Supply and Demand is easy to understand. Put simply; More is demanded and less is supplied at a low price, and more is supplied and less is demanded at a high price. Prices reflect and drive supply and demand. If their is a sudden drop in the supply of a product, the price rises. This increase in price rations the existing supply, and sends a signal that more needs to be produced. On the flip side of the coin, if their is a sudden increase in the supply of a product, the price will go down. This decrease in price sells off the existing glut, and sends a signal less needs to be produced.

AFFORDABLE CARE ACT AND MINIMUM WAGE LAWS

The Affordable Care Act forced “30 million” uninsured people to enter the healthcare market. This meant the demand for healthcare was going to increased. Even though the supply of healthcare couldn’t be increased as quickly. (Example) It takes years for people to become doctors and nurses. Increasing the supply takes more time than the almost instant increase in demand brought about by the stroke of pen. If we apply the economic principles of scarcity, and supply and demand to the Affordable Care Act, what was going to happen to the price of healthcare? And this is not even calculating the cost of the regulations and new bureaucracy created by the 2500 page bill.

Raising the minimum wage increases the price of labor. According to the law of supply and demand, less is demanded at the high price. Voting for laws which increase the wages of people who we think are not being paid enough doesn’t help these people. Fewer people will be employed at the higher price. Many times these low skilled workers jobs will disappear all together because they can be replaced by automation. The price of labor was artificially increased to the point where it was economical to automate (read here). If we apply the law of supply and demand to the rhetoric of increasing the minimum wage, people wouldn’t have been fooled into thinking they were helping the people the law was actually hurting..

OUR CHOICES

Economic principles are always in play. Government edicts can’t negate economic reality. The political chaos we have today is the result of ignoring the reality of basic economics. We can’t wish these realities away because we don’t like the fact they limit what we demand.

I’m going to quote a person with authority at this point. So don’t take this quote as authoritative. Figure it out yourself.

F. A. Hayek a Nobel Prize winning economist, (how is that for status), said: “Planning, or central direction of economic activity, presupposes the existence of common ideals and common values; and the degree to which planning can be carried is limited to the extent to which agreement on such a common scale of values can be obtained or enforced.

Let’s get educated in basic economics. Life is easier to understand when you understand how the world works. Here is another quote.

F. A. Hayek: “The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little the really know, about what he imagines he can design.”

We have two choices. Scarce resources can be rationed through prices voluntarily in the free market. Or Scarce resources can be rationed forcibly by politicians and bureaucrats through the power of Government. Which direction are we moving?

CONCLUSION

Political insiders of both parties have shaped the battle field into a choice between the R’s and the D’s. In reality the real battle is between the insiders in both parties who want to grow the power of Government, and people who stand for free markets and want to cut the power of government. Neither group is a majority. The majority of people are the economically ignorant. These people have been fooled into fighting the battle through the R and D paradigm.

Our job is to educate the economically ignorant. When this majority understands basic economic principles, they will they stop fighting on the fake R and D battlefield and start fighting on the real battlefield: central planning vs. voluntary cooperation.

 

Related ArticleMinimum Wage Laws Create Unemployment, at austrianaddict.com

Related ArticleIncome Inequality Part II: Increase The Minimum Wage, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleThe Reality Of Obamacare, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleThe Economics of Healthcare vs. The Right To Healthcare, at austrianaddict.com.

 

Prosperity Comes From Free Markets Not Government Planning

January 26, 2017

Thomas Sowell said: “The first rule of economics is scarcity. There is not enough to satisfy what everyone desires. The first rule of politics is to ignore the first rule of economics“. When individuals are free to decide what to produce, consume, exchange and save according to their subjective valuations, inside this world of scarcity, the result is a higher standard of living with the least amount of waste and a high degree of individual want satisfaction. Government economic planning creates a lower standard of living with a high amount of waste and a low degree of individual want satisfaction.

Here is a video from Prager University (click here) giving some examples of why free markets are better than Government planning.

 

TRUMP’S MARKET INTERVENTIONS

We should be pushing back when Trump talks about trade barriers, to save or bring back ‘American’ jobs, and infrastructure spending. These are government interventions into the free market and we know what the results will be: 1) an over all lower standard of living, 2) a waste of resources, labor, time and capital, 3) less want satisfaction.

Tariffs save some jobs at the cost of higher prices for consumers. The money used by consumers to pay the higher prices can’t be used in other areas of commerce. This ultimately means more net jobs are lost than saved by tariffs. Unfortunately the jobs saved are seen and the jobs lost are unseen as Bastiat wrote about in the 1800′s.

Every dollar “invested” by Government is first taken from the private sector. In other words the individuals subjective value on how to he will use what he has produced, is replaced by the subjective valuations of bureaucrats on how they will use what they didn’t produce. What happened to all the infrastructure spending in Obama’s $900 billion ‘American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’ of 2009? Remember Obama saying, “Shovel ready was not as shovel ready as we expected.”

 

Related ArticleLOVE  “GOV”, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticlePrivate Property vs. Collective Ownership: One Deals With Scarcity Better Than The Other, at austrianaddict.com.

Related Article – ‘CAR WARS’ Return Of The Jitneys, at austrianaddict.com.

Prager University: Democratic Socialism Is Still Socialism

December 14, 2016

Capitalism or Socialism - Traffic sign with two options - socialist centralized economic planning or capitalist liberated free market

Socialism is defined as Government owning the means of production. In a Capitalist economic system, the means of production are owned by individuals. Many systems today try to have a delicate balance between these two systems. They are similar to the economic Fascism that existed under Mussolini in Italy where the means of production are still owned by individuals, but Government politicians and bureaucrats make rules and regulations on how these means are to be used, as well as taxing away a high percentage of profits.

If a country is in the middle between Socialism and Capitalism the important question is; which direction is it headed? Is a country moving toward more economic freedom or toward more government central planning. The U.S. has been traveling, at varying speeds, down the road toward more central planning since the 60’s, with the accelerator pressed to the floor in the last 8 years.

This past election was a response to what has happened in the last 8 years. Lets hope Trump and Congress want to turn around and head in the direction of more economic freedom. But I wouldn’t count on it. I just hope they take their foot off the accelerator.

DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM IS STILL SOCIALISM

Steven Crowder looks for the differences between Democratic Socialism and Socialism in this video from Prager University. Even though a majority of people vote for (sanction) this system, it doesn’t change the reality that it doesn’t work.

In 1848 Alexis de Tocqueville wrote this about Democracy and Socialism:

Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom, Socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man, Socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. Democracy and Socialism have nothing in common but one word: Equality. But notice the difference. While Democracy seeks equality in liberty, Socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.”

 

Here are some statements about Socialism.

Paul Craig Roberts: “We should all be thankful to the Soviets, because they have proved conclusively that Socialism doesn’t work. No one can say they didn’t have enough power or enough bureaucracy or enough planners or they didn’t go far enough.”

F. A. Hayek:There can be no doubt that the promise of greater freedom as become one of the most effective weapons of socialist propaganda and that the belief that socialism would bring freedom is genuine and sincere. But this would only heighten the tragedy if it should prove that what was promised to us as the road to freedom was in fact the high road to servitude.

Ludwig von Mises: “Men must choose between the market economy and socialism……Some agency must determine what should be produced. If it is not the consumer by means of demand and supply on the market. It must be the government by compulsion.”

F. A. Hayek: “Planning, or central direction of economic activity, presupposes the existence of common ideals and common values; and the degree to which planning can be carried is limited to the extent of which agreement on such a common scale of values can be obtained or enforced.”

 

Related ArticleWhy Socialism Won’t Work, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleMilton Friedman – “Socialism is Force”, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleDrifting Toward Fascism, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleDoes Socialism Make People Selfish? at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleSocialism Sounds Great, at austrianaddict.com.

 

Lessons From The First Thanksgiving

November 23, 2016

Hand drawn Thanksgiving vintage card. Maple and oak leaves, branches and berries, pumpkin, indian corn, lettering

Richard Ebeling’s Thanksgiving article titled: Thanksgiving Was A Triumph Of Capitalism Over Collectivism, tells the real lesson of the first thanksgiving. The basic idea of government central planning whether it is called collectivism, socialism, communism, et al,  has been around forever. The evidence that collectivism doesn’t produce results that match the rhetoric has also been around forever. But somehow the lure of collectivist ideology still remains strong in spite of the evidence.

Here are some excerpts from the article.

“The English Puritans, who left Great Britain and sailed across the Atlantic on the Mayflower in 1620,……. wanted to erect a New Jerusalem that would not only be religiously devout, but be built on a new foundation of communal sharing and social altruism. Their goal was the communism of Plato’s Republic, in which all would work and share in common, knowing neither private property nor self-interested acquisitiveness……..Two years of communism in practice had left alive only a fraction of the original number of the Plymouth colonists.”

“What resulted is recorded in the journal of Governor William Bradford, the head of the colony. The colonists collectively cleared and worked land, but they brought forth neither the bountiful harvest they hoped for, nor did it create a spirit of shared and cheerful brotherhood
.”

“The less industrious members of the colony came late to their work in the fields, and were slow and easy in their labors. Knowing that they and their families were to receive an equal share of whatever the group produced, they saw little reason to be more diligent their efforts. The harder working among the colonists became resentful that their efforts would be redistributed to the more malingering members of the colony. Soon they, too, were coming late to work and were less energetic in the fields.

“Because of the disincentives and resentments that spread among the population, crops were sparse and the rationed equal shares from the collective harvest were not enough to ward off starvation and death.

Realizing that another season like those that had just passed would mean the extinction of the entire community, the elders of the colony decided to try something radically different: the introduction of private property rights and the right of the individual families to keep the fruits of their own labor.

The Plymouth Colony experienced a great bounty of food. Private ownership meant that there was now a close link between work and reward……..When the harvest time came, not only did many families produce enough for their own needs, but they had surpluses that they could freely exchange with their neighbors for mutual benefit and improvement.”

“Hard experience had taught the Plymouth colonists the fallacy and error in the ideas of that since the time of the ancient Greeks had promised paradise through collectivism rather than individualism.”

Was this realization that communism was incompatible with human nature and the prosperity of humanity to be despaired or be a cause for guilt? Not in Governor Bradford’s eyes. It was simply a matter of accepting that altruism and collectivism were inconsistent with the nature of man, and that human institutions should reflect the reality of man’s nature if he is to prosper.

If these sparsely populated settlements couldn’t make socialism work, how could our present day leaders think that trying to implement socialist policies (like Obamacare), incrementally to a population of 330 million possibly work? Politicians and bureaucrats are heavily invested in the ideology of centrally planning an economy. They will never give up this vision of how the world works, even though the lessons of history are their for all to see.

 

Related ArticleThe Real Thanksgiving Story, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleThanksgiving Proclamations, at austrianaddict.com.

What I wrote last year seems even more appropriate this year.

Even though it seems we are in conflict about everything. Each of us should be thankful that we live in a country that protects our right to complain. We should be thankful our founding principles have led to the creation of a standard of living that other countries could only dream of.”

“We take our individual freedom and our countries wealth for granted, even though they are rare indeed when compared to other countries throughout the history of the world. Be Thankful!”

2016 Presidential Election: Let’s Look At The Electoral College Map

November 3, 2016

United States Electoral Map - Vector Illustration of United States map with projected electoral states. Each of the states are grouped into separate, stroked shapes which can be easily edited.

The electoral college is what you need to look at to understand how the 2016 Trump vs. Hillary presidential election will turn out.

To win the presidency a candidate needs 270 electoral votes. When a candidate wins the popular vote in a particular state, he wins all the electoral votes from that state. The amount of electoral votes for each state is the sum of the congressional districts in each state plus the amount of Senators from each state which is 2.

I’ve looked at the last 4 presidential elections to see a pattern on how each state votes. There are solid Democrat and Republican states that are pretty much locks to vote the same way this year. Here is the list of these states and the number of electoral votes for each.

Vote Democrat

Washington -12, Oregon -7, California -55, Minnesota -10, Illinois -20, New York -29, Massachusetts -11, Connecticut -7, Rhode Island -4, New Jersey -14, Delaware -3, Maryland -10, Vermont -3, Maine -4, Hawaii -4, D.C. -3, Michigan -16, Wisconsin -10, Pennsylvania -20.

Total of 242 electoral votes. Need 28 to win.

Vote Republican

Texas -38, Louisiana -8, Mississippi -6, Alabama -9, Tennessee -11, Kentucky -8, West Virginia -5,  Arkansas -6, Missouri -10, Oklahoma -7, Kansas -6, Nebraska -5, South Dakota,-3, North Dakota -3, Montana -3, Idaho -4, Utah -6, Arizona -11,  Alaska -3, Indiana -11, South Carolina -9, Georgia -16,

Total of 188 electoral votes. Need 82 to win.

As you can see the Democrats have a built-in edge in winning every Presidential election.

Solid States That Could Possibly Be Flipped

I see three states for Democrats and three states for Republicans that you need to look at on election night to see how the election will turn out. These are the states in italics above. Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania for the Dems, and Indiana, Georgia, and South Carolina for the Reps. If these states are really close, or vote opposite of the party they voted for the last 4 years, you will have an idea of how the election is going to turn out. If any of the other solid states go the other way, you’ll know who is going to win. But I don’t see any of the non italicized states flipping.

Marginal States

If the solid states stay with their party, we can now look at the marginal states to get an idea of how things are trending. There are three states that lean Democrat, and one state that leans Republican.

These states are New Hampshire -4, New Mexico -5, and Iowa -6, leaning Democrat. North Carolina -15, leans Republican.

Once again, if some of these states vote for the other party you have an idea how the election is going. I think Iowa could possibly go Republican.

If these states go the way they leaning, the Democrat candidate would have 257 electoral votes. He would only need 13 votes to win. The Republican candidate would have 203 electoral votes. He would need 67 to win.

Toss Up States

Florida -29, Ohio -18, Virginia -13, Colorado -9, and Nevada -6, are the 5 toss-up states that have voted for the presidential winner in the last 4 presidential elections, meaning they have voted twice for Dems and twice for Reps.

Since the Democrats would only need 13 electoral votes to win, if they take one from the group of Florida, Ohio, or Virginia they win. Even if they lose those three states, if they win both Colorado and Nevada they win.

The Republicans must win Florida, Ohio, and Virginia. If they sweep those three they still need to win either Colorado or Nevada to win the presidency.

What To Look For?

When you watch the election returns next Tuesday night, look for the toss-up and marginal states where the polls close at 7:00 or 7:30 eastern standard time. These states are New Hampshire, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida. If these states early results show a trend toward one side or the other, or if these states are called early for one side or the other, you will know how the election will turn out and will be able to go to bed early.

Conclusion

No one knows how this is going to turn out because this is such a different kind of election. On the one hand you have a political insider who is playing the game of politics according to Hoyle. On the other hand you have a wild card with no political experience who isn’t playing the game of politics according to Hoyle. Anything can, and probably will, happen in these next five days. So buckle up and hold on tight.