I have been avoiding media coverage of Trump thus far. I mean, i assumed there was no chance he would become the nominee, so what was the point? Two of the three newspapers I read – WaPo and NYTimes – have been giving Trump a ridiculous amount of coverage, almost entirely negative. They can pat themselves on the back for helping him to the nomination.
What snippets I have heard about Trump has not seemed all that bad to me. For example, I heard he stated that he supported the mandate part of Obama’s health plan, in other words, the requirement that everyone buy health insurance. While ObamaCare has many major drawbacks, it has significantly reduced the number of uninsured, and that is a very good thing. I think every US resident in this country should have access to healthcare. To me, it’s a moral question.
I also heard he has spoken in favor of tariffs and against NAFTA. I grew up hearing my Dad rail against international trade agreements. Who could blame him? We lived in upstate NY when I was little. GE is to upstate NY what GM was to Flint, and GE has turned off the lights, its business moved overseas. Dad saw the writing on the wall, and we moved to Pennsylvania next. The same thing happened again, and we moved to Roanoke. The factory Dad supported in Roanoke, which was one of the biggest employers in the city, has since closed up shop as well, its business moved overseas.
Are tariffs and protectionism good for everyone? No. There are winners and losers. Wealthy business owners are winners because it enables them to make more money with their businesses. The educated upper class (ie us) are winners because the goods we want to buy from furniture to shoes to cars are much cheaper. The former working class – factory workers and artisans – are losers because their jobs move overseas. Unions are losers because how can they compete with China and Bangladesh? Foreign workers in developing countries are winners because their economies are exploding and providing opportunities for a new middle class – say goodbye to the US middle class and see a new one start in China instead.
People keep gnashing their teeth about an increasing gap between rich and poor. But there is no increasing gap between rich and poor – not internationally that is. Thanks to these international agreements, the gap between rich and poor is closing around the world (though it’s still quite large). Of course, in the US, it’s widening. To me it’s obvious what’s happening. As far as business goes, borders are falling, and we are becoming one big happy world. That means the formerly wealthy countries develop and underclass, and the formerly poor countries develop more wealth. For the poorer nations, this is a very good thing. For the former American middle class, not so much.
Democrats like Obama tend to propose that the government look out for the less affluent – free health care, earned income credit, food stamps, etc. But does the person who used to earn a good living working for GM really want to become a waiter or a shoe salesman or some other service job that requires no skill and can’t be shipped overseas and live off government benefits? I doubt it. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s better than starving, but I think most people would prefer a reliable, well-paying job at which they are well-treated than enhanced benefits from the government. But I see us riding a one-way train to a place where, if you can’t earn a college degree, you are going to struggle. And not everyone has the IQ to earn a college degree.
Of course, the third and last thing I’ve heard about Trump is that he thinks Mexico is going to pay for a wall. I’m not sure if he really believes this, but it’s clearly nuts. Also, our former nanny, about whom we care deeply, has current legal status thanks to Obama, and I am highly opposed to any politician who would jeopardize that.
I have been generally opposed to Trump since I first heard his name thrown out because I used to watch the apprentice. Great show! But if you have seen it, you know he is an egomaniac, even more than your average politician. The idea of him negotiating with Iran or Russia is frankly very scary. (About as scary as the idea of Bernie doing the same.)