Let’s talk about the presidency

Where do I begin?

Because she's so much cuter than the GOP front-runner.

Because she’s so much cuter than the GOP front-runner.

On the front page of most newspapers last week, if there were six articles, four were about Donald Trump. This week, we’re down to two or three but still too many, particularly since any piece about the GOP presumptive nominee that is more than three letters – WTF – should be dismissed outright as indicative of a nation that has lost its mind. I cannot add to the noise without losing my own.

But…

…six months from today we will have our next president. IT CANNOT BE Donald Trump.

The reasons why are so bright, I can barely see. The same can be said of my readers. But still, I feel an obligation to say something, if only to unburden myself. I’m not entirely sure how to survive from now until November, but when in doubt, talk it out. Please forgive me for being Morris the Explainer, to all those who already know what I’m about to impart. For today, just one thing – trade:

1.) He appears to know little about global trade deals. I know talking about such is hardly sexy, and telling the unemployed he’s going to bring back their jobs is a lot better than, “We’re going to train you for new ones,” but there it is. What those workers did before is now being done elsewhere, for less, or being phased out entirely (like coal). And yes, that stinks. It’s awful for those out of work in industries that have mostly gone away, but:

“Middle-class Americans gain more than a quarter of their purchasing power from trade. Trade allows U.S. consumers to buy a wider variety of goods at lower prices, raising real wages and helping families purchase more with their current incomes. This is especially important for middle-class consumers who spend a larger share of their disposable income on heavily-traded food and clothing items. Compared to a world with no trade, median-income consumers gain an estimated 29 percent of their purchasing power from trade.” – WhiteHouse.gov

In economics and international trade, it’s about “comparative advantage” and “absolute advantage.” And while I know the average Trump supporter, and yes I’m going to say it, Sanders supporter, doesn’t want to hear any of this, the United States is not going to renege on its trade deals with other countries. There is room for improvement, certainly, particularly when we’re talking about workers’ rights, but it won’t come in the form of a 45% tariff on Chinese goods.

This is bullshit: “I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created. I will bring back our jobs from China, from Mexico, from Japan, from so many places. I’ll bring back our jobs and I’ll bring back our money.”

The truth is new jobs must be found in fields where we create an advantage; current jobs need protection from corporate greed; and job training is critical if we’re to fill positions that require specific skills. No one wants to hear the bad stuff, which is why certain politicians promise the moon, but here’s a dose of vinegar on earth: when someone can’t find a job where they are, they often move to where the job is, uprooting family, but then have the ability to clothe and feed said family. Apple isn’t going to build their products here in America no matter what Trump says. But holy cow, learn some tech stuff and I bet you can find a job among the 37 people-per-shift working at any Apple Store. AND you can play on their super cool iPad Pro whenever you want.

Deep down, it’s the anti-intellectualism Trump encourages that makes me die a little bit each day. We send our children to classrooms for more than thirty hours per week, encourage them to graduate high school, promote the advantages of a college degree (Trump has an MBA from Penn’s Wharton School), and then embrace idiocy. Mike Huckabee, on “The Daily Show” a year ago, was promoting the value of Bubbas – southern guys who drive trucks – over Bubbles – city guys who drive BMWs. He asked hypothetically, if you’re on a country road and you get a flat tire, who do you hope drives by first? The Bubba with the truck or the Bubble with the Beemer? He thought the answer was obvious. Both Jon Stewart and I had the same reaction: we just want the guy who can change the goddamn flat! I don’t give a shit what he’s driving! My brother-in-law drives a Lexus, is a handsome soap opera star, intellectual, incredibly well read, and he’s the first person I call when I need someone who can find a stud in the wall on which to hang a hundred-pound flat screen television. He and my liberal fruit- and vegetable-growing friend with the Muslim name, Mosa K, could not only change the tires on my car but build the garage where I can park it after. And that’s only because I’m too busy building soccer goals to do it myself! (And the husband is too busy using his MBA to help him make a good living.) If we then read The New Yorker afterward, does that negate our value?

But back to trade: the President of the United States should know how it works on a global level and how that affects the American worker and consumer. Trump does not.

In the coming months, I’ll try to review more reasons why Trump cannot be president (there are at least seventeen-thousand), while lining football fields and organizing basketball games. I’ll also tell you about our new puppy, Hazel, because we all have to find ways to survive.

I’m off to have U.S. citizen/Hispanic mechanic Ron replace the right front tire on the swagger wagon. So there.

 

 

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Comments

  1. Emily Ball says

    Unfortunately, even the Apple Genius position at Apple retail stores pays well under 40K, on average. A person cannot support a family on that salary anywhere in this country. Well paying union jobs were outsourced and in return the American worker has been forced to accept work at lower wages, has lost all bargaining power and must now buy cheap and flimsy foreign made goods. That sounds like a pretty raw deal to me. I believe Bernie Sanders when he says he will put an end to this, as do many of my fellow, highly educated, upper middle class, incredibly successful, middle aged, suburban neighbors. We are Feeling the Bern in Valencia!

    • Jo says

      A raw deal, yes. Cheap and flimsy foreign made goods, some (many parts, i.e. for cars, would now cripple the auto industry were they to make them here – same with steel). A lot of bargaining power must return, but sadly, many jobs simply will not. We can wring our hands and weep, or we can extend the social safety net further to depressed communities while encouraging movement into new industries. I believe in most of what Bernie stands for, but disagree on how successful he would be implementing it. That said, I’m confident you and your highly educated, upper middle class neighbors will do what’s right in November and not vote for Trump. Thanks for the comment.

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