Realistic thoughts and practical insight on our incoming president and his policies
As we approach Inauguration Day, the impending Trump administration dawns on us. I, for one, am not looking forward to the increased racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, and other hatred this man promotes. Just about everybody I have talked to, including Trump supporters, acknowledge that he is a terrible person.
But he is going to be our president. There is no more denying this fact. As much as we hope this isn’t coming true, it is coming true. We must therefore prepare for this regime switchover that happens every eight years in the United States of America. I will forewarn my readers: I have my opinions and I have my emotions associated with Trump. I’ll try my best to justify them, but you might not agree with them. Oh well, pure rationality is impossible, so I’ll try the best I can right now to give you my insight on him.
First off, the social aspect of Trump. This is where Obama shines (shined after he leaves office) but Trump completely fails at. The media, SNL, etc. poke fun at his Twitter account and associated tweets of horror, his fiery speeches leading to nowhere, his absurd claims, and his rampant encouragement of hatred. For the next four (or eight) years, expect nothing less than regression in general social etiquette. I hope gullible children do not seriously believe that Obama and Hillary Clinton were the actual founders of ISIS. I don’t wish to cover the obvious points any further, but I wonder if Trump intentionally manipulated and created the alt-right solely to get him elected. I have heard that he saw the resentment of many Americans. I’d like to add to that: he played the anger and won that way. It’s not like Hillary Clinton was any better: she is a liar but at least she gets things done and lies cleanly. I’m deeply saddened and heartbroken that Trump would do this, but considering neither candidate were exactly epitomes of morality, I have become desensitized at this point by the craziness of the election. I do believe Trump did one of two things:
- Played the alt-right so well that it got him elected. After he is elected, he will simply ignore their needs and do his liberal-conservative mashup agenda, à la Trump+GOP.
- Truly is hateful and believes in the alt-right cause so much that he will wreak havoc on the United States for years to come.
This election cycle, the Democrats played on the hatefulness and social instability that Trump brings. They weren’t wrong. I am personally concerned about my well-being. Perhaps I will be deported, even though I am a rightful citizen of the United States. Hope not.
But I have seen a lot of Democratic Party propaganda this election cycle. Now that news is getting less partisan than before, the focus returns on the other main aspect: the economy.
The economic aspect of Trump looks promising but also somewhat concerning. Most people who support him are excited that a successful businessman will be “fixing the economy.” Okay, first off, Obama did an okay job with the economy. He happened to ride on a wave that boosted the American economy from terrible to great. He cleaned up the mess that George W. Bush left us in. Saying that the economy is a wreck is mostly wrong. However, there are legitimate concerns that Trump supporters pose economically. The problem is, while these issues are legitimate, Trump’s ideas are radical, far-fetched, and if not implemented correctly, will ruin the United States economically for decades to come.
On the international level, Trump wants to repeal NAFTA (mainly because of how it links us with Mexico economically) and to impose tariffs solely on China. Both are made in response to the increased outsourcing of labor and primary/secondary economic activities to these countries, as well as the increased leverage this gives China on the global scale. While these concepts directly help the United States, they ultimately harm the US if not done correctly.
The new international division of labor now intricately binds the world economy together, caused by events such as the advent of the World Trade Organization (and China’s admission into it). The result? Outsourcing. (However, it is also important to note that automation is now increasingly replacing outsourcing anyway; regardless of where automation occurs, it always replaces human jobs.) This division is complex and hard to unwind. The intricacy of these arrangements has led to countries around the world becoming increasingly dependent on other countries, just as drug addicts become increasingly dependent on their drugs the more they use them.
Trump’s economic policies seem pro-American, but by returning the United States to isolationism, he could dig us into a very deep hole that we won’t be able to climb out of for several decades if he doesn’t pull this off correctly. If companies decide to continue their outsourcing and automation, there is only so much Trump can do. Commodity prices will rise, food may becoming increasingly expensive or even run out if we end NAFTA/let the drought in California continue. Trump needs to be careful with his every step if he really wants the US to become self-dependent.
I am doubtful that this will work. India previously was self-reliant and isolationist. In the late 80s, they gave up because their isolationist policies failed, so they opened up and now they do the same drug that all countries do, with China growing its opium and the US begging for more heroin. Someone once pointed to Germany as a good example of what was a well-structured economy; it has a healthy amount of workers in the primary and secondary economic sectors, while the US has too few in these two sectors. The result is that the US will collapse if we do not rectify the previous neglect of primary and secondary economic activities. While the United States is a developed country and can subsequently allow for a lower proportion of its population to be in the primary and secondary sectors, it does need to place more focus on keeping these sectors alive. 75% of the labor force in the tertiary sector is a bit concerning. We have outsourced too much of our primary sector to Mexico and too much of our secondary sector to China, resulting in our addiction to marijuana and opium. Trump needs to fix this more so than just gutting NAFTA and imposing tariffs on Chinese imports; those are supposed to be the beginning. If this is fixed, the out-of-work secondary sector will find jobs again (unless they are ousted by automation, in which case Trump faces the dilemma of technological progression vs. maintaining archaic divisions of labor). We need to see more rectifying actions by Trump in order to feel safe about his attempt to quit these addictions to marijuana and opium. As for the German example, I must hesitate to applaud it. Although they seemingly have a healthier ratio of the labor force in their primary and secondary sector compared to their tertiary and quaternary sector, their heavy integration into the European Union economy effectively stymies any argument that more primary and secondary economic activities are needed for isolationism, as Germany is the opposite of isolationist. I would like to further investigate Germany’s economy, however.
On the domestic level, Trump, if successful, will “bring jobs back to America” by reinstating archaic economic activities (manufacturing). While we should probably keep a solid foundation to prevent the house from crumbling onto the floor, there is no way to build another floor upward (of the quaternary/high-tech sector) if we devote too much of resources to continually building a foundation. There needs to be a balance. Some manufacturing jobs need to be brought back to the United States, but we cannot continue to let the coal-mining jobs of West Virginia keep us back in the nineteenth century. It is time to move on. Trump needs to find these coal miners a new job. I hate to say it, but coal mining is past its time and we need to move to clean energy. We just need to find these people a new job.
The remaining parts of this post, in an effort to hasten my completion of this long, confusing post, will be short and disjointed.
As a businessperson, it seems that Trump’s new tax plan will save taxpayers lots of money. Our family will see savings. Yours will too. However, it also potentially makes incorporating my business unnecessary. I am looking forward/hoping that Trump will introduce pro-business plans, but inside, at the same time, I think of the money that we save from his tax cuts. If we didn’t cut taxes and instead diverted the money to a free college education, the monetary loss would be significant but the monetary burdens would be significantly decreased. I will continue to monitor the difference between government interference and personal monetary management as my life progresses. We might want to follow Germany’s college for the smarts, technical school for the capable ideology. Perhaps college for all is not such a great idea. But government interference ensures no rich people (Trump included) manipulate poor people through all of this “monetary freedom.” As you know, too much power on one side leads to abuse and tyranny. Too much power in the government’s hand and we have an autocracy. Too much power in the rich’s hands and we have a plutocracy. Hmm.
The Trump administration has also proposed to upgrade the US’s infrastructure. I applaud that, but I bet it’s going to be done the austerity way, just like the Republicans like it: private financing and whatever. Ugh. I remember the stimulus plans that Obama had given in ’09 quite fondly. I have still yet to see which will work better.
I’ll probably cover foreign policy later. Yes, he’s “cozy” with Putin, but we have yet to see what foreign policy under the Trump administration will look like.