Most of us remember the childhood story of the Emperor’s New Clothes. It appears there’s a new version taking place in Washington which I will refer to as Trump’s New Clothes. For those of you who may have forgotten or never read the original story it is a short story written by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen:
The story is about two weavers who promise an emperor a new suit of clothes that they say is invisible to those who are unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent – while in reality, they make no clothes at all, making everyone believe the clothes are invisible to them. When the emperor parades before his subjects in his new “clothes”, no one dares to say that they do not see any suit of clothes on him for fear that they will be seen as stupid. Finally, a child cries out, “But he isn’t wearing anything at all!” – The Emperor’s New Clothes
In the new version of this story our Emperor Donald Trump’s new clothes is no matter what room he walks into, he is the smartest person in the room. The exit awaits anyone brave enough to disagree as with the child in our story. It seems President Trump is also tyrant Trump when it comes to his opinion. The odd thing is he changes his mind so often it has to be difficult for anyone to know when they will disagree with him. This changes from hour to hour or day-to-day. One thing is clear Donald Trump believes his instincts are right more than any expert’s opinions.
White House officials say this is what a President increasingly confident in his own abilities and instincts looks like. As one White House official described it, “The President feels he’s got this now.” For the President, there are two choices for those who want to keep their jobs: “Fall in line with the President’s agenda or leave. We aren’t having meetings just to have them any more.” – Time Magazine
So the White House staff’s job is not to provide the president with facts, but to skew the facts to meet his already held positions or instincts. Trump is running the White House and the country as he has run his business. There are no discussions or debates merely meetings where Trump shares his views on domestic and world events and the staff searches out ways to confirm and reinforce his views (new clothes). Where past presidents have sought debate and diverse opinions when addressing complex issues, this president does not feel compelled to make decisions with any internal dissension.
In what amounts to his own “real” reality show with the American public as the audience this president is changing cast members and production crew as if he were producing “The President” reality show. Whether it is a longtime aide or new acquaintances, no one immune from Trump’s ego. Here is a list of the staff who were fired or resigned. As I expressed in an earlier post, Trump’s personality will not allow him to accept any advice which promotes compromise. It is win at all cost no matter what the situation or the fallout. There is only one opinion that matters and its Trump’s (new clothes). Can you run a global power like you run a reality show? The truth is we don’t know. I believe we are witnessing a train wreck waiting to happen. Let’s not forget Trump’s instincts haven’t always been right. Although he likes to brag about his business savvy, these failures show a complete misreading of the markets.
In the high stakes game of global power mistakes like those could cost America dearly and for years to come. As we begin season two of “The President” reality show we will continue to see casting and crew changes as Trump continues to play central casting. Searching for the perfect cast who will continue to admire his new clothes and for those who don’t. Trump seems to ready and willing to utter the words, “You’re Fired”. Is this the season when the American people tell the Emperor Trump, he’s fired?
Is President Trump’s plan to place tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum a pipe dream or a great strategy? There is no shortage of conversation concerning President Trump’s decision to place the tariffs. The idea has raised red flags among business leaders and even among Trump’s own party. The question remains is it too late to resuscitate or in some cases resurrect the manufacturing sectors as many have suggested. Trump ran on a platform of Make America Great Again which included bringing back manufacturing and infrastructure spending. America used to be a producer and now we are the world’s largest consumer. Everything from cell phones, clothes, and drugs we lead the world. Because of this change in status many Americans are being left behind, most of whom voted for Mr. Trump.
The Rust Belt epicenter of the Trump electoral map says a lot about the emotional origins of his appeal, but so do the facts of employment and productivity in U.S. manufacturing industries. The collapse of labor-intensive commodity manufacturing in recent decades and the expansion in this decade of super-productive advanced manufacturing have left millions of working-class white people feeling abandoned, irrelevant, and angry.
Much of the dislocation was concentrated in Midwestern and other Rust Belt states, where entire communities were devastated by the loss of production work. This clearly visited widespread dislocation on blue-collar workers in manufacturing-oriented metropolitan areas. Since 2000 alone, millions of workers have lost manufacturing jobs paying $25 per hour plus health and retirement benefits. Often the only alternatives were service-sector jobs without benefits, paying $12 an hour. – Technology Review
As a nation what will we do with this excess in labor? What happens to those who fall through the cracks of this global economy? If we continue down this road, there will be millions of people unemployed or employed at very low wages in service sector jobs. The problem will be only a few can afford those services. We have tried retraining programs in the past and they were woefully under-funded. And few have shown the ability to train these workers in the new technology of the future. As we proceed headlong into the future of robotics and technology relevant questions must be considered by us as a nation concerning our obsolete workforce. Pipe dream or great strategy?
What I don’t understand is manufacturing is continuing in other countries so it’s not like manufacturing has completely removed workers from the process. Even China seeking to become the robotics and the new age manufacturer of the future still has millions of workers doing labor intensive work. Naturally, they are doing it for much cheaper than American workers, but the work is still being done. There has to be a balance somewhere between automation and workforce utilization. We can never compensate millions of unemployed people through some guaranteed wage program.
So where does that leave the US, which has a president that wants to bring jobs back and manufacture goods in America, but lacks the robotics and automation resources of other countries? We won’t know the answer for quite a few years, but the US is increasingly in a precarious position, Rendall said. It does not have a leading robotics company in the global market, and the public is deeply unsettled by automation as a concept, he says.
Those fears are very real. According to researchers Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne, who penned an influential 2013 paper titled “The Future of Employment,” nearly half of all jobs could be automated over the next 30 to 40 years. This isn’t just about the diminishing of personal livelihood — automation at this scale could have profound effects on how people spend every minute of every day, self-identify in society, and ultimately stay alive in the absence of government benefits like universal health care or a universal basic income, the report concludes. – The Verge.com
Imagine one half of our current workforce which already includes millions of unemployed becoming obsolete. While I am not sure of his methods at least Mr. Trump recognizes the dilemma and is taking action. We cannot continue to be a consumer society trafficking in information and providing menial service opportunities to our fellow citizens. And this impending crisis will hit the black community hardest because of our unskilled workforce which is falling further behind every year. So what is the answer? Is it a pipe dream or a great strategy? I would love to hear from you.
The gun debate is brought to the forefront again, due to a mass shooting in Florida. As usual, all we hear from the media are calls to violate our second amendment rights, and ban guns.
But something surprising did take place this time. President Trump called for teachers to arm themselves. You heard correctly, Trump wants to arm our teachers to protect our children.
Now, for those of us who support the second amendment, this is music to our ears. But to those who wish to stomp all over the rights of Americans, you’re probably extremely pissed off.
But here is the main problem with the anti-gun advocates… you don’t actually know anything about guns! They call weapons like an AR-15 an assault rifle (which is not a thing, by the way).
They say that civilians shouldn’t have access to weapons that are used in the military (an AR-15 is not a weapon used in the military). And will suggest that somehow semi-automatic is magically AUTOMATIC.
Sorry to burst the bubble of anti-gun activists, but semi-automatic means one bullet per one trigger pull. This includes more than the so-called “military style” weapons. A vast majority of handguns are also semi-automatic.
But apparently, anti-gun advocates don’t need accurate information about guns to call for their removal. They instead, call second amendment right advocates monsters; and ask why we don’t care about the lives of children.
Right, because those of us who appreciate our second amendment rights also love the idea of tax-funded abortions on demand (which, by the way, is killing children before they are even born).
So I ask you, how would arming our teachers make us irresponsible, or mean that we hate our children? Because having more guns means having more mass shootings? Because teachers would shoot children that misbehave? Or maybe, teachers would be lax on securing their weapon and children would get them?
No, no, and no! Stripping law-abiding citizens of their right to protect themselves is monstrous. Not having an immediate way of protecting our children is irresponsible.
It is perfectly acceptable to have armed security for our politicians. It’s necessary to have our airports armed to the teeth. Armed security is even afforded to the rich and famous. But for some reason, having that option for our children is irresponsible.
The one common thread of all mass shootings are not the weapons used, but the lack of weapons of law-abiding citizens. A vast majority of shootings happened in gun-free zones.
So, wouldn’t it stand to reason that stripping the American people of guns would leave more vulnerable to attack? Especially when you consider that it takes 5 – 7 minutes for police to arrive, and 2 minutes for the shooter to commit his violent acts.
So, logically, you would have to conclude that anyone who wants to strip you of your constitutionally protected right to arm yourself, is the real monster. And to truly protect our children from future horrific events, we need to arm our teachers!
Repealing the Second Amendment
Communism? Really? (Part 1)