Politics, not Solutions

President Trump doesn’t understand either economics or foreign trade. Neither, unsurprisingly, do most of his supporters. As a businessman and a college graduate, Trump ought to understand comparative advantage. He clearly doesn’t. He also should understand that, under current world economic conditions, a trade war based on increasing tariffs will hurt the U.S. more than China and will push up the U.S. cost-of-living without creating significantly more, if any, jobs in the United States. His actions are entirely “political,” to demonstrate his toughness on China to his political supporters.

Sending National Guard troops to our southern border won’t do much to deal with the immigration problem, because the majority of the current immigration problems don’t lie there, and the number of additional troops will have little effect. They won’t deal with resolving the problems of undocumented young people brought to the U.S. as small children who’ve known no other country and who are able, willing, and ready to work and pay taxes. But they will make Trump’s supporters think he’s doing something meaningful.

He’s also pared back wilderness and national monument acreage on the grounds that it will increase coal production. That’s anti-environmental action that will have no economic benefit whatsoever, given that there are only 50,000 coal jobs at present and that coal usage is declining as natural gas, wind, and solar power increase, as evidenced by the almost a quarter of a million jobs in various aspects of solar power.

Where are the infrastructure programs that will rebuilt the thousands of decaying highways and bridges? Or a program to upgrade our hodge-podge and overstrained electrical grid? Or the improvements to our air traffic control system, also largely outdated and overstrained?

Where are the proposals to deal with overpriced prescription drugs and the most-expensive and least efficient health system in the industrialized world?

Where are the economic proposals to reduce wasteful spending and to balance the federal budget? So far the only legislation dealing with this has been a tax cut that has increased the deficit and largely benefitted the wealthiest of Americans.

Where is the realization that Vladimir Putin is an intelligent thug who is playing Trump for a sucker? Or any understanding that Russia is already conducting cyberwar against the United States?

Of course, I can point all this out, as others are doing as well, but it’s not likely to change much, because too many people want to believe what isn’t so, and modern communications technology has ensured that they can all get together and reassure each other that our “beloved” President is standing up for America, even as almost every action he takes weakens it.

2 thoughts on “Politics, not Solutions”

  1. Wine Guy says:

    While I agree whole heartedly with your sentiments, getting either Trump or his rabid supporters to even listen to the points you’ve made (much less seriously consider them) is an exercise in futility.

    I am reminded of a six year-old who has his fingers stuck in his ears yelling, “I’m not listening because what you say is stupid!”

  2. JerryChops says:

    I must agree with Wine Guy, getting Trump supporters to listen is rather difficult, even when you have known them for years.

    I have tried and have been met with counter-arguments that completely ignore most of Trumps actions after becoming President. Thankfully my friend and I have come to an understanding that neither will be convinced that the other is wrong, and thus we no longer discuss the topic.

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