Trump supporters ‘going to be sorry’

Published 4:01 pm Thursday, March 9, 2017

To those who voted for President Donald Trump thinking he would bring more jobs and shrink government, I have some bad news. Jobs have disappeared from this country for two reasons: cheaper labor overseas and automation. 

The latter will, in the long run, cause much greater impact. Trump cannot repeal the laws of economics: capital migrates to where the profits are and American workers expect higher wages than most other countries’ workers. He can bully a few companies, like Carrier, into keeping a few jobs here, but even those jobs are doomed by automation.

The reality is that the economy of the future will be able to produce everything that everyone wants and needs with fewer and fewer workers. There simply aren’t and won’t be jobs for everyone, at least in this country. 

Our economy, over the past 30 years, has become dominated by financial companies. They find ways to profit for their owners, precisely by shipping jobs overseas and automating. There is money to be made, but that money is kept by the few at the top who own or run these financial conglomerates.

A good antidote to this is for the government to adopt policies that redistribute the wealth that we produce by a much more aggressive progressive tax structure. That begins with the income tax, which is quite low in this country compared to other developed economies and continues with inheritance taxes, which are disappearing rapidly and need to be re-instituted to prevent massive wealth accumulation by nonproductive heirs. If small businesses would like to create jobs here, the tax structure can accommodate that. It’s the behemoths that we need to reign in. We won’t get that with Trump’s cabinet appointments.

A large reliable source of jobs for the present and future is infrastructure repair. If the government employs people in exchange for the benefits, they will be provided by the wealth redistribution, we can do the repairs with our own workers. If we let Trump handle that, all the money will go into the pockets of his rich buddies with little to show the public in benefit. That’s what happens in Russia, Trump’s favorite model.

The government needs to run the projects to be sure that those doing the work get the benefits, not those hiring the workers.

Lastly, doing away with regulation is what leads to boom and bust economic cycles. The economy will always cycle, but the highs are much higher and lows much lower and longer with deregulation. If we want a smoother ride through life, we need regulation. Setting up the economic system so that everyone has a chance at becoming rich is a fool’s errand. 

With that setup, a few end up owning everything and the rest of us get crumbs, if we’re lucky. The people who voted for Trump are going to be sorry.

Those who know better need to rise up and resist his destructive actions, and Trump fans are welcome to join.