What course should we, America, be following? Mr. Trump attacks various trade agreements. He states that these have given an unfair advantage to foreign countries and competitors. Traditionally the Republican Party has supported such agreements as beneficial to business. The Democratic Party has been less inclined to support them as harmful to labor. I want to believe that the motivation for each is the hope of improving the US economy in a global environment. Now it seems as if these are all tossed around and mixed up. If everybody is right then nobody is wrong. How can this be?
Economics and the economy have lots of experts telling us what’s right and wrong without much agreement. Who should a person believe? As a lay person I know I need a job and to earn more money than I spend. If I lose my job there will be a problem fairly quickly particularly if I can not find another job of comparable pay soon. This is the basic economic problem and understanding of economics which most of us face.
Today and for quite a few years now manufacturing jobs have been declining in numbers and many new jobs in the service economy pay low or minimum wage. Therefore any job loss presents a serious problem for people and their families. When there does not seem to be an alternate job opportunity or a means to learn a new trade or skill, then what are the options? Some might call for some type of government intervention such as economic help, health care assistance, public sector job creation, job training or government efforts to stop the job losses. This is not a free ride people seek just a lift, a temporary boost. While such ideas as these are discussed and generally discredited those who have lost jobs and saw their income shrink felt left out, overlooked and neglected. If it was only an individual person, one person can find a way to survive. That’s not the case because a family a husband, a wife, children all struggle as well. The inability to provide for or maintain a lifestyle causes a person to agonize over one’s plight and feel responsible. People become dejected and ultimately angry, very angry.
These people are ripe for picking by the likes of Mr. Trump. He offers no solutions only tells us who and what to blame. It feels better to point outside to others rather than inside. Mr. Trump fosters false hope with misinformation, partial truths and falsehoods. His ego aside this is who he is. He has been elected President and can serve for four years.
The question to ask is why did anyone vote for him other than those who are very narrow-minded and believe as he does that blame is better than understanding a problem and developing solutions that actually can correct our problems. Mr. Trump is only one person. Where are and where have the other 538 elected leaders in congress been hiding. No political party gets a free pass on this. A global economy has been evolving and growing for 30 maybe 40 years or better. Does it offer any benefit to us as workers in America? Did our leaders blindly take our country and our industry into this global world? Was their rationale that some people in this country will get very rich and the vast majority are left to flounder? My limited knowledge of economics tells me that some of these leaders believed that this globalization process could be good for our nation and our workers. The catchy phrases that various trade agreements would drain jobs and impoverish us didn’t clarify how to us and why. For that matter why did so many of our leaders say it would be beneficial? Was it greed? Maybe some thought workers were overpaid or under worked. Regardless our leaders didn’t meet with us or our unions when these existed in higher numbers to explain what was happening be it outsourcing, relocation or automation. Our economy was and is changing but the workers were left out of any discussion. Our economists are generally educated and informed people. No one taught them how to speak to workers in an understandable fashion. These people, working people, are not stupid but when left uninformed can occasionally do some stupid things. Now we have Mr. Trump. We still need to know where are our leaders? Is anyone trying to explain how we adjust or change our skills in order to be part of the global economy? A bunch of self-centered egotistical millionaires and billionaires are not our people. They certainly are not going to help us. Perhaps the time has come to expect those 538 other leaders to finally rise up and help. A better option may be the potential leaders who do not currently fill any of those 538 spots. Now is the time to correct our stupidity. Anyone who cares and will talk to us, help us, guide us, lead us, please enter the political arena. You will have our vote. This is not a time to complain although we will make our concerns known, now is the time for actual change for working America. Calling all leaders with both a heart and a head.
When our economy changed from agricultural to industrial there weren’t thousands of unemployed people out in the streets looking for a handout. ATM machines did not result in thousands of bank tellers out of a job. As the various changes occurred so too did jobs. Our government even some businesses helped in the transition with job training and retraining. Preparing the best workforce in the history of the world to keep the greatest economy moving forward is an ongoing process. It is a bit late but not too late to get all of America working again at jobs paying a decent wage with benefits. The rich can still get rich as they have in the past. Our current and future leaders need to lead and we need to elect the people who can lead. Now is the time but not later than 2018 to alter the road Mr. Trump and his supporters are taking. Leaders exist, we just need to elect them.