Forget about manufacturing and Mexico wall promises. From a likely confrontation with China to a deportation force, here are the disasters Americans should expect. “>
We see that Donald Trumps transition team made the news Thursday morning in the form of a short write-up in Politico describing the industriousness with which the group is going about its business. Or something like that. The idea of Trump even having a transition team is simultaneously terrifying (as it reminds us that he might yet actually become the president) and grotesquely comical, like David Duke taking sensitivity training. Its fitting that the team is led by a bunch of hangers-on of Chris Christie, the governor who managed to hit the exacta of being both thoroughly incompetent and totally corrupt.
Anyway, it seems like a good time to remind readers of what Trumpand a Republican Congress, because if he were to win the GOP would be virtually guaranteed to hold the House and the Senatewould actually do as president. Substance has been lost in this campaign, more than usual, and with the media still largely hyperventilating about Hillary Clintons emails, Id like to direct your attention to some other matters.
First of all, heres what Trump wouldnt do: He wouldnt save manufacturing. This is why a lot of people are voting for him, people who arent the deplorables, who arent crazy racists. They like what hes saying about blue-collar work.
People love the image of the America of the 1940s and 50s, when we made all the stuff in peoples houses. Televisions, console stereos, refrigerators. Made in the USA. Lets start doing that again!
Its a mirage. Just Google Can Trump revive manufacturing? and youll get a flood of articles like this one explaining that its impossible, and why. In a word its automation. We still make stuff in this country, plenty of stuff, from broomsticks to auto parts to the most sophisticated elements of high technology. But the stuff is made with a fraction of the old workforce. In the 1940s, 40 percent of the U.S. workforce was in manufacturing. Today its 10 percent. Its not going up. Its just not. Its going down. A lot of economists even think this kind of work will be done more by machines than people in the not-too-distant future.
And a President Trump is not going to be able to call the CEO of Ford or General Electric and instruct them not to move that plant to Mexico. Those executives are responsible to shareholders, not the president. Hes sold people a fantasy about how the world ought to work, with a strongman bending others to his will.
Hes not reviving coal, either. Coal jobs have dried up, again, because of automation. Theyre mining as much coal in my home state of West Virginia as they did in the 1940s, by tonnage, even a little more. And theyre doing it with about one-tenth of the workforce. Now, coal is dying even more because natural gas is cheaper and cleaner. China is laying off 1.3 million coal miners. Trump would do away with Obamas EPA rules, and theyd cheer that in Appalachia, but it wouldnt have much effect against these larger trends.
Heres a third thing he wont do: He wont build that wall. Trump has said it would cost around $10 billion. The Washington Post fact-checker came up with $25 billion. Others came up with much higher figures. And thats just to build it, forget manning it and maintaining it. And no, Mexico isnt paying. This isnt Atlantic City. He has no mechanism to make Mexico do anything. And anyway, the engineers would report to him that along much of the terrain, building a wall would be well-nigh impossible. Hed scrap the idea and try to pretend he never said it, the way he does.
Thats what he wouldnt do. Heres what he would do, which of course is a lot more disturbing.
Hes talking a lot about Obamacare lately, and the Affordable Care Act has its problems, although theyre overstated in the mediadrastic premium spikes are regionalized, not a national phenomenon. But OK, there are problems. But they can only be fixed by getting more younger and healthier people to sign up. More of those types of customers, who are less expensive to cover, will keep insurers in the game.
Republicans in Congress have voted a jillion times to repeal Obamacare. But have you noticed how they never seem to get around to the replace part? Thats because they know they cant, on the cheapthe way theyve promised. Trump, proudly ignorant about most issues, employs a lot of people and presumably insures them, so this is something he might actually know.
Hed start a trade war with China. Again, just Google Cost of Trumps trade war with China and youll get the picture fast. If you want to pay 30-35 percent more for your next refrigerator, Trump is your man.
Likewise, Google Cost of Trumps deportation plan. Of course the chief cost here would be moral, as the United States of America raises a police force that goes into peoples homes and breaks families apart (because some people came here legally and others didnt). But the general estimate is $500 billion to implement this. And then there are the associated costs to the economy, because youre talking about 12 million peoplethe vast majority of whom do work.
Those are his major so-called plans. Now lets picture him handling the presidency. Were due for a recession. Overdue. Its going to happen no matter whos president. Do you really want to hear that cretin whining, blaming the Fed (i.e., Jews), blaming the media for not reporting the truth about the economy? Then lets say a mass shooting happens. Will you be reassured to hear your president stand up there and say this just proves that we need to arm everybody, which is surely what hed say? Then comes an incident in the South China Sea, which he would elevate into a crisis. And on, and on, and on.
Oh: And bear in mind that he would be serving while involved in a fraud trial over his bogus university, and quite possibly a child-rape trial as well.
I suppose the people on this transition team are fooling themselves by preparing briefing papers and whatnot. But really, they might as well be playing Free Cell all day. And through some miracle in these last few days it might be nice for cable news to stop obsessing about the latest supposed crisis in Hillaryland and remind people that they are voting for a president, and one of the two candidates has been deemed unqualified by nearly every newspaper in the country, by most retired generals, by a huge phalanx of foreign-policy people of both parties, by nearly every serious economist, and basically by everyone except a few people who are either blinded by their hatred of Clinton or too scared of their more rabid constituents to say a cross word about this madman. To quote someone close to the situation, believe me, its a disaster, folks.