Summit Daily letters: What’s next for the economy in Trump’s America?
November 20, 2016
Trump beats all
The confetti has been swept from the floors. The released balloons have long since drifted away. The placards are down and the speeches are finished. Now the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election has begun.
The thugs are rioting in the streets of several major cities, though we have learned that many of these misguided people did not vote, nor did they possess any significant information about the candidates who are at the center of their protests. Rumor has it that they may have been paid to create chaos.
During the campaign, President-elect Donald J. Trump had been unmercifully vilified. He had been labeled as a clown, ignorant, unqualified, a racist, misogynist, unfit along with a string of other adjectives and expletives. In fact, the editor of this newspaper had referred to Trump as a clown (It was the editor of a sister newspaper and not the Summit Daily — ed. note). But none have been proven to be true! They were only the emotionally charged rhetoric of disenchanted prospective voters and members of the media.
That part of the campaign was somewhat humorist because, ironically, most of the name callers couldn't carry Trump's briefcase, so to speak. They are not in the same "league" nor experienced any of the success similar to that of Mr. Trump. And, they are not equipped to judge what qualities are needed to be a world leader. The loser's disenchantment is purely histrionics.
The Trump organization employees 34,000 people, according to CNNMoney and approximately 43 percent are equally paid females, many being top executives. With a multiple factor of just two, that is approximately 68,000 people who are living on income from the Trump organization.
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He has more experience at managing a large organization and successfully negotiating "deals" than either Obama or Hillary, going into the presidency. This is private enterprise, not at the public "trough." His organization actually paid employees from company earnings, not from taxpayer-funded government positions. He understands P & L statements and budgetary requirements.
So why did Trump win the election? Because he connected with the heartland voters in spite of his disconnect with the old line establishment of the Republican Party. Trump won in every state once defined as the Southern Democrat domain. He won in the so-called "rust belt" states previously the domain of the Democrat-controlled, highly unionized citizens. The irony is that billionaire Trump became the champion of the blue-collar population of the heartland. Trump is a fresh new face who represented the disenfranchised citizens who agreed with what he represented. They want their constitutional rights protected, they want the economy to be vibrant, they want decent jobs, they want the borders of our nation secure, they want protection against terrorists, they want a secure nation and a strong military force, and they want to feel that their voices are heard. Messrs Trump and Pence heard their voices and promised positive action.
So after all of the sadness and injured egos of the Clinton fans, the rioting and looting by the Clinton machine members and the attempts to change the results through some divine providence, it is time to move on, just as was done after the unlikely elections of President Obama.
Manufacturing economy not coming back
Christina Holbrook's perspective of our changing, or shall I say changed, world she wrote about in "Get a grip, losers, Part 2" is, in my opinion, spot on.
I first gained a sense of our new economy and workforce reality when I traveled to China in 1998. At the time, I was researching the shoe manufacturing industry and associated processes. When I went to the Nike, Reebok and Adidas manufacturing sites in Shenzhen China, I expected to see a very manual process and wasn't disappointed. Multiple floors of dozens of work stations pumping out athletic shoes in thousands of styles and colors. The environment was busy and crowded, but not harsh or any different than what you'd see in a textile plant in the U.S. at the time. And in 1998 there were still a few. What I didn't expect to see, however, (and this was in 1998!) were the first floors of these factories with air conditioned modern offices and large staffs of local designers and engineers working away on CAD developing future products and or solutions to manufacturing problems. Designs and mold changes could and would be turned around in a fraction of time that we assumed was the standard back home in the U.S. It was a wake-up call for me in my small corner of the business world, not to accept standard operating procedures. Others were handily and willing doing it. These folks would do anything and everything to succeed. If it meant taking ownership of delivery dates, they would do whatever it took to deliver and hence garner more business. And garner more business they did! At the cost of jobs here in the U.S., for sure.
We've all heard the reasons for the shift in manufacturing jobs overseas: low labor rates, government-subsidized industries and plants, etc. Additionally, I'd like to add the idea of a motivated workforce. What I saw on the first floor of those plants in 1998, dozens of CAD stations manned by competent and motivated engineers told me that not only are these folks filling manufacturing roles but they're gunning for our high skilled, high pay work. After all, this was the front end, technology driven portion of a mature business that was assumed to be the strength of the up-and-coming U.S. workforce. While in the U.S. we accepted "standard operating procedure" and the lead times and costs associated with it, other countries were throwing away those standards and winning "big league"!
It is imperative that for the U.S. to succeed we cannot be looking backwards. There is no future in restarting our steel mills or being in denial that "clean coal" is the future. It's time, as Christina points out, for America to recognize the world has changed. It changed back in 1998. If you wish you had the job you did back then, you're kidding yourself. It's gone and is never coming back. Re-tool yourself, force yourself to learn new skills or you're going to continue to be left behind. "Have the courage to do what it takes to improve your life."
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