No one should ever underestimate Trump’s skill as a salesman. He has made a lot of money with that talent, but it’s hard to imagine anything that ranks with his sale of the promised land of jobs.
Start with the basics:
– Trump is opposed to unions and any increase in the historically low minimum wage .
– In his own enterprises he has used foreign manufacture and imported foreign employees on a continuing basis
– His treatment of contractors and investors in his huge bankruptcies was both devastating and deliberate.
– He is opposed to regulatory protections for working conditions.
– In his budget he has proposed a complete dismantling of the safety net to protect people who lose jobs.
All told one can say without exaggeration that Trump’s attitude toward workers is that government should do everything possible to weaken their position in dealing with management.
The promised land of new jobs is supposed to counterbalance that.
What stands behind all those jobs? Only two items:
– Removing any regulation that any businessman doesn’t like.
– Cutting taxes on corporations and rich people.
The only thing that is guaranteed about those items is that they will make people like Trump richer. The connection to jobs is so problematical that it is hard to believe that he ever cared enough to look at it:
– Reducing personal income taxes on rich people has a long track record of failure to produce growth.
– Deficit-based stimulation at this stage of the business cycle is at best risky. The most likely scenario is inflation leading to job losses, but it even invites another 2008-like crash.
– Neither corporate tax cuts nor deregulation has a history of increasing jobs. Corporate tax cuts tend to get passed through to investors. Level of regulation is not necessarily even correlated with jobs. One can even argue that states with more regulation perform better economically.
– We are moving ever faster into a two-tiered society with participants and (increasingly many) non-participants in the technology-driven economy–none of which is addressed or even recognized in this picture.
Trump’s jobs proposal isn’t one–it’s just a shopping list of what’s good for him.
Trump is the same Trump he has always been: lead salesman for his businesses. The most you can say is that he probably believes that what’s good for himself is good for everyone–but that’s as far as the thought goes.
Six bankruptcies (among other things) have shown the consequences of believing him.
But he’s sure a hell of a salesman!
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