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Does Trump See Whole Economy When It Comes to Jobs?

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By    |   Saturday, 14 Jan 2017 04:41 PM

President-elect Donald Trump says the U.S. economy is a "disaster."

To bolster his frequent arguments in this vein, Trump long-ago cast himself as a conservative populist candidate for president (even before he officially announced) but with a twist.

His style of eco-jingoism/populism/progressivism is not really wholly reminiscent of a domestically-entrenched sort, as that of let’s say, Robert La Follette, William McKinley, William Jennings Bryan, or even Patrick Buchanan. But more as a hyper-warp speeded-up (and vocal) promoter of capitalism: its arguably inherently free markets, it being a bedrock of the land of (mostly real estate) opportunities, etc.

Trump’s campaign(ing) wrinkle has been to wrap himself in an espoused caring for the collective fate of blue collar workers, and how their destiny is tied to both middle and upper-class America and the U.S. economy overall. (Yes, that includes the equities markets).

To ensure his running narrative didn’t go stale, pre or post-campaign, populist Trump also touted the benefits of business ownership, deal-making, financial markets, investing, tax breaks, etc. — unceasingly. In this regard Mr. Trump got to work early, with (mostly via telephone) appearances on MSNBC, Fox, Fox Business Network, etc. (c. 2005 to more or less now).

To additionally keep his on-going message fresh, he got to work immediately following his election. The most high profile action he took on jobs thus far has been with Carrier Corporation. Has it saved 800 or 1,000 jobs? More or less — in fact, or not? The debate may continue. And his short-lived arm-wrestling match with Carrier has been seen by some as overreaching intimidation of big business by a soon to be commander in chief.

But, there was not going to be any making of promises, then conveniently forgetting they were made; there was to be no coasting until Inauguration Day.

Not from Camp Trump.

And while this posturing and resultant applied tactics have gotten the attention of both political and economic pundits and wonks on varying places on the media spectrum, the man, his positions, and his actions may be overlooking the whole economy, at least in terms of the skills make-up of various (labor) actors participating (or not) in it, and what is really impacting those workers.

Will they reap the benefits of what Mr. Trump promises?

The president-elect may not be fully visualizing the impact of his proposed polices and economic promises will actually have, or the effect they may not have, at the end of a very long policy day; that they will change little to nothing for both blue and white collar workers.

Even the term “market forces” may be worn out in terms of what’s really happening to the U.S. economy and the jobs it will feature, create — or that will not materialize — ever.

Recently Fortune magazine, in an article by Wolfgang Lehmacher, said, "If you ask Republican presidential Candidate Donald Trump [(where all the jobs have gone)] the answer is clear: China." But according to Lehmacher, “[t]o paraphrase Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, "It’s the robots, stupid."

Paralleling this stark, bottom line reality is a recent article in The New York Times.
While some economists see Trump’s policies as actually raising U.S. economic growth, and small business owners — especially — will welcome tax cuts, Nariman Behravesh of IHS Markit, cites a conundrum, “Stronger growth will help with the low [(labor)] participation rate but what it’ not going to do is help workers who have been left behind by a lack of education and training.”

The New York Times adds, "That’s especially true in the factory sector, which is likely to employ more highly skilled workers in the future, albeit in smaller numbers, than in the past."

Mr. Behravesh, for his part, can’t completely reconcile Trump’s vision for the U.S. labor force in this way, "A lot of those manufacturing jobs are gone forever. He is raising expectations, but it’s not going to work. Even if they don’t go to Mexico, a lot of jobs will be automated out of existence."

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The president-elect may not be fully visualizing the impact of his proposed polices and economic promises will actually have, or the effect they may not have, at the end of a very long policy day; that they will change little.
trump, economy, jobs, robots
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2017-41-14
Saturday, 14 Jan 2017 04:41 PM
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