It appears to me that business people at all levels don’t know quite what to think about our new president and dictator Donald Trump. On the one hand they like the idea of a lessening of costly regulations, on the other hand they are coming to the realization that upsetting global trade with the cancellation or suspension of free-trade deals could be detrimental to them.
Same with labor. Yes, blocking foreign competition would seem to offer more opportunity for United States workers, and in some cases that could be true, and in some cases not. Overall, it seems it could be a net loss for home-grown labor — I don’t pretend to know the real answer. But I have seen the stories about American businesses that depend upon foreign trade and components or parts coming in from other nations in order to keep their operations running.
Trump is playing hardball, using his vaunted (and possibly exaggerated) business negotiating skills to get a better deal with foreign competitors in trade but to me it seems he is engaging in overkill and may be inflicting so much damage to our nation’s relations around the world and the prestige of America that it will be hard to overcome and counter-productive to the goal of helping American workers and business he has set.
And since we know, the whole world knows, that Trump’s tactics are intimidation and the bluff, how long does it take before any advantage to that wears off?
(And beyond trade, how will Trump have any credibility with foreign leaders when he displays a penchant for lying and ignoring facts, even when those facts are plain to see? I mean that little game might work when you are just trying to impress those who follow you in blind trust but it is useless on the rest of the world.)
The immigrant or travel ban he set in motion with nothing more than a dictatorial decree, not even consulting his own executive departments, has created chaos. Although his stated goal is to prevent terrorists from entering the country, due to the haste and sloppy way it has been handled, it has seemingly caught good and innocent people in its net.
Students and research scientists and others who have valid visas and/or green cards have been caught up in the net. It’s as if a crime was committed in New York city and all its residents were detained — I know hyperbole, I’m just trying to make a point.
From Trump’s campaign rhetoric (that has turned into more than just rhetoric), we know that he is keeping a promise to his base, or should I say pandering to his base. And I would describe his base as, well not deplorables, but let’s just say not open-minded but rather narrow-minded people who don’t care for analyzing things and scoff at people who do as liberals (as if that were something horrible) who can think through problems but can’t get anything done.
Well, Trump may be getting things done but if it continues on this way the whole nation will suffer.
Most of Trump’s goals seem laudable — I mean if you say what you are doing is the make our country great again (well it always has been), how can one argue with that? But seriously protecting or bringing about more jobs for Americans and protecting all of us from terrorism — that has to be good, no? But I for one am not willing to give up our democracy and civil rights and destroy our image around the world to do this, and I am fairly sure that left unchecked Trump’s actions will for the most part have the opposite effect that he claims they will.
For now I will put my faith in an informed citizenry, a free and responsible press, a judiciary, and even the Republican majority (with the Democratic minority) to do its duty and maintain our democracy.
Trump’s right-hand girl Kelleyanne Conway, and others, claim that a little loss of freedom is a small price to pay for making us safer. Well if making us safer means giving up freedom I’d rather live dangerously. And yes, I realize there are or could be times when a state of emergency might require unusual action — this is not that time.
Also, we are assured that any temporary confusion is just a matter of getting the bugs worked out of policy. I have the suspicion that it has more to do with mal intent and amateurism at the top.