Washington, DC -- (ReleaseWire) -- 08/31/2016 --DAWN BENNETT: Mark Davis is a talk-show host in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area, and he's also the author of a new book, Upside Down: How the Left Turned Right into Wrong, Truth into Lies and Good into Bad. In this book, Mark focuses on why the press and other liberals say things like 'fossil fuels are bad, illegal immigration is necessary for economy to flourish,' and talks about why today's "free markets" are not free-flowing but are really arbitrary and cruel. Mark, welcome to Financial Myth Busting.
MARK DAVIS: Thank you. It's a pleasure to be here. I appreciate it, Dawn.
BENNETT: Your book, I think, captures what so many of us are thinking in that today's prevailing wisdom on so many topics as the exact opposite of the actual truth, and in that world things like debt, inflation, and soaring home prices are considered positives when in reality the opposite is true. You blame the left for turning things around. Explain why you think progressives are to blame and why trying to change our thinking is going to be difficult.
DAVIS: Well, thank you. And what we're up against is kind of a psychological warfare. If it was all nuts and bolts, if all we had to do was step in and say that lower taxation and reasonable regulation, getting spending under control was smart and wise, I could argue that in my sleep. But, what we have up against us are people who say 'Wait a minute! If you want smaller government you must hate people. You must be cruel!' If you want to have a flat tax, for example, it must mean you want to give a tax break to the rich because the rich pay no taxes, they get a free ride. All of these lies, these crazy, unsupportable things are prevailing in far too many conversations, so I wanted to give people an opportunity to push back.
BENNETT: The subtitle of your book says that the left is turning 'right into wrong'. What do you mean by this and are there things we used to view as vices that are now considered virtues?
DAVIS: Listen, what a wonderful way to phrase it. Thank you so much! And I don't need everybody to agree with me on everything. There are debates that we can have about gay rights, about marriage, about law enforcement, but all these things have been turned on their head. Now, all of a sudden if you step forward and say 'Hey, all lives matter', and the police are 99 and a half percent admirable, you will get an argument. It's as if you said something provocative, so some of the shared values that we used to have we just don't have anymore. It makes an already complicated world way more complicated and it makes it difficult to have constructive discourse.
BENNETT: You know, one of the arguments you also take on is the idea that there's too much money in politics. You know, this one isn't intuitively wrong but we do know that money equates to speech, and so much more. Do you think that we really need more or less money in politics at this stage?
DAVIS: You have phrased it exactly right. I want as much money in politics as people wish to put there. Campaign spending is free speech. I've always advocated removing every limit on every contribution by everybody to everybody with the following stipulation: that everything that everybody donates, everything that everybody gives will instantly be divulged completely online so that if Candidate A gets a zillion dollars from the NRA people can either like that or not. If Candidate B gets a zillion dollars from a Labor Union or if a bunch of candidates get a lot of things from Hollywood stars or CEOs, people can either like that or not like that in the opinion marketplace.
BENNETT: I'm going to head on to another topic – global warming. I think that perfectly captures the ease with which so many people can so quickly believe something so unfounded and in particular we recently saw the Olympics opening ceremony lecture the world about the need to take climate change more seriously. Why do you think this perspective is being bought into, world-wide?
DAVIS: You know, I have to hand it to those who have ramrodded this. You can't prove a negative, so those of us speaking to say that man is not causing the warming of the planet, we should never step forward to say that we know that it's not happening. We have failed to make it incumbent on those who do say that it's happening to give not just a scientific but even a logical reason. Climate change is absolutely real. Climates will change, the planet will get warmer, and it will get cooler. In the 1970s there was a major concern that there was global cooling and that food production may well be at risk. It was in the 70s after we have had decades of incredible belching of stuff out into the atmosphere. Why did the planet cool in the 1970s? So planets will warm, they will cool… The hard sell, what should be a hard sell is the notion that human productivity is causing it, so what I offer since no one will ever prove this either way is rather than have the job-crushing draconian legislation that people seek in order to bring us back to God only knows what kind of pre-industrial age why don't we take care of the planet for its own sake? Let's welcome all green technologies that actually work. There are solar panels that are powering houses, there are electric cars all over the place. These people wanted them, didn't require a single government subsidy to make them want them. Let's welcome all green technologies that work but let's also welcome the fossil fuels that have built the entire civilized work.
BENNETT: Another topic: immigration. Obviously, immigration is playing a central role in the current Presidential race. Your book has a chapter taking on the idea that America should welcome as many immigrants that want to move here. Do you think the country is becoming overpopulated? Do you think immigrants bring value or do you think immigrants don't bring value?
DAVIS: Let's take those in order. Are we overpopulated? Almost certainly not! Population density is not in and of itself a problem. Hong Kong and South Korea are incredibly population dense. The island of Manhattan is incredibly population dense, as we all well know – not a problem. The problem with some densely populated places is that they lack freedom, free markets and good government. Now, do immigrants bring value? It depends on the immigrant. Ours is a nation that was absolutely built on the backs of, and with the strength of, and with the patriotism of people who came to this country in waves from all over the world with the shared value that we are going to become Americans. Now, too many of our immigrants are illegal. Now, too many of our immigrants come not to absorb into the American culture but to exist alongside it not learning English, not assimilating, just essentially to hop onto our economic system. I think we all know that illegal immigration is a problem. I think we're at a point now where even legal immigration is something we need to take a look at. A lot of conservatives will try to earn nice guy points by saying 'Hey, let's have a high wall but wide doors and let a whole bunch of legal immigrants in'. I don't know about that. There are so many stories. There's a pharmaceutical company where a whole lot of people who have worked there for 15-20 years were pink slipped and told 'We're actually going to let you go in about 30 days and in that month what we need you to do is train the people that we just brought in on H-1B visas from India or wherever who'll do your job for about 50 percent of the salary. Okay, thank you.' And that's totally legal! Maybe we're doing even too much of that.
BENNETT: You're based in Dallas and when you talk about immigration, of course, you can't help to talk about Donald Trump. I know you've gotten on board with Donald Trump, who many conservatives view as something less than a purebred.
DAVIS: Shocking thing! I can't believe it.
BENNETT: And now a monkey wrench has been tossed into the race in the form of independent conservative Evan McMullin. Do you think there is an argument for abandoning Trump in favor of a more traditional conservative like McMullin?
DAVIS: None whatsoever if the Hillary Clinton presidency is to be avoided, and for me, avoiding the Hillary Clinton presidency is job one. I was a Ted Cruz guy at the beginning when we had 17 candidates, and the reason I was is because I wanted his kind of down-the-line consistence, unapologetic, upbeat conservatism. Well, I didn't get that. It didn't happen, so soon after that Indiana primary at the beginning of May, as soon as it was clear that the nominee was going to be Donald Trump it took me about five seconds to become a Trump guy. Is he perfect? No. Is he conservative on everything? Absolutely not! Is it a wheels-off behavioral ride? Sometimes. But is it a million percent better than the known disaster of Hillary Clinton? Yes, it is! So, anybody stepping forward with this Evan McMullin nonsense or staying home or whatever… listen, you can do whatever you want. Everybody is free to do whatever they want, but anyone failing to support Mr. Trump must say under oath that 'The Hillary Clinton presidency is okay with me'. If you can say that, knock yourself out. If the Hillary presidency—if you know it to be the disaster that I know it to be constitutionally, economically, in terms of national security, then you simply have no choice. It is a binary choice: either he'll be the next President or she will.
BENNETT: Regarding Trump, I agree that one of his selling points is his ability to paint the current reality of American politics as completely absurd, and I'm just not sold that he really knows how to fix it. Do you think Trump has a vision and the understanding to turn America right side up again?
DAVIS: I know a lot of people who have spent time with him. Here in my north Texas outpost we have some pretty powerful people—House Government Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling, House Rules Chairman Pete Sessions—neither of whom were big Trump guys at all, but they've spent time with him and found him open, found him willing to absorb wisdom from them on arcane subjects like bank regulation, you know, the constitutional conservatism that he is not particularly fluent in just yet and they are optimistic and they have found a way to board the train for him. If they can, I can, and let's say on all the things that he says he's going to do, if he bats .500 or .600, does half of them or a little over or even little below half, we will be so much better off than the Hillary agenda that has nothing any conservative could possibly tolerate.
BENNETT: You earlier wrote a book called Lone Star America: How Texas Can Save Our Country. Since we don't have a lot of time left, can you share with us whether a secession is one of your proposed remedies (laughs), because it just might be time to start talking about it.
DAVIS: Believe you me, every once in a while there will be a flurry of that. The number of people wanting it will go from 1 percent to 1.5 percent. We're very proud people here, we are the only state that was its own country but there's no groundswell of people who want to do that again. America needs Texas and Texas needs America. The leadership that my State is going to provide is with people like Ted Cruz, governors like Greg Abbott showing how conservative government really, really works, and when I wrote Lone Star America—thanks for bringing it up—everybody was looking for solutions for America and I said 'Listen, we've been doing things like that with taxation, sensible regulation, sticking to core values… We've been doing it in Texas for about 20 years and it works great.'
BENNETT: So, here we are. We're heading into November. Do you think Trump has a chance to beat Hillary? I mean, you've seen the polls, you've seen how people react to Trump and to Hillary, and it just seems like Hillary, no matter what happens, no matter what they find on her, it's just like water off a duck's back. What do you think the odds are?
DAVIS: She's not going to be indicted. The only accountability that can be delivered is from the voters on November 8th. Does Trump have a chance? Of course he does. Is it an uphill climb? Yes, it is. We need to see discipline, we need to keep him on message, and listen, he can go four, five, six, seven, eight days in a row doing that… You know, dare we dream? Dare we dream. And I'm thinking that there are far more good moments than bad if he can do well in the debates where I think he will do well. He absolutely has a chance. He needs to win Florida and Ohio, of course; must win Pennsylvania as well, I believe, and when it comes down to November 8th if he's down 3 or 4 in the polls in the given State, an odds phenomenon may kick in which I'm hearing from folks who say 'You know what? I'm tired of pollsters, I'm tired of getting people giving me grief because I tell them I support Trump.' He may be under-polling like Brexit did in England. It was supposed to lose by 4; it won by 1 because people just didn't want to say they were for it. If that's kicking in then maybe there's hope.
BENNETT: You said something interesting. Trump is starting to meet one on one with individuals and changing their opinion about him. Has that been working to his advantage, and does he know it?
DAVIS: That's a great question! Does he have a certain amount of introspection, self-awareness? Probably not much. I think Kellyanne Conway might be the one to tell him 'Listen, meet with these people, listen to what they say. We'll filter it for you and…' You know, he's going to follow his own instincts. Most of his instincts have been good; some of them have not, and I think there's a final saying here and that is that actually governing is very different than campaigning. It's not like you're going to suddenly turn into a philosopher king but I think it will be a little less wheels-off, and please, Lord, I hope I get the opportunity to find out.
BENNETT: That's right. Mark Davis, thanks for being on Financial Myth Busting and for everybody out there – Get his book, it's excellent! Upside Down: How the Left Turned Right into Wrong, Truth into Lies and Good into Bad.
For over a quarter century, Dawn Bennett has been successfully guiding clients through the complexities of wealth management. Her unique vision and insight into market trends makes Bennett a much sought after expert resource with regular appearances on Fox News Channel, CNBC, Bloomberg TV, and MSNBC as well as being featured in Business Week, Fortune, The NY Times, The NY Sun, Washington Business Journal in addition to her highly regarded weekly talk radio program - Financial Mythbusting. Through prudent and thoughtful advice, Dawn Bennett has strived to consistently provide the highest quality of guidance.
About Dawn Bennett
Dawn Bennett is CEO and Founder of Bennett Group Financial Services. She hosts a national radio program called Financial Myth Busting http://www.financialmythbusting.com.
She discusses educational topics and events in the financial news, along with her thoughts on the economy, financial markets, investments, and more with her live guests, who have included rock legend Ted Nugent, as well as Steve Forbes and Grover Norquist. Listeners can call 855-884-DAWN a as well as take podcasts on the road and forums for interaction.
She can be reached on Twitter @DawnBennettFMB or on Facebook Financial Myth Busting with Dawn Bennett.