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Trump Inaugural Eve Thoughts

by John on 01/19/2017

trump-hatersHere are some tidbits and ideas in my notebook that I want to spill as we head into the Trump Administration.

Negative Polls: Trump’s Tweets

Trump’s approval ratings are very low, around 40%.  My guess: some Trump voters are more upset about his over-use of his Twitter account.  Going after John Lewis and Meryl Streep just doesn’t seem presidential.  “I wish he would cut it out,” a Trump supporter told me.

I agree.  Even if you want less government, you still want a President who is diligent and paying attention to everything.  After all, we did hire him to work for us not being a social media maven.

Discussions Away From The Media

I am getting a lot of this in person or privately online: “Despite the media, every single business owner I know up here is secretly excited about the next several years.”

I agree.  The next few years will be good for business activity thanks to Trump.  He will try to unleash business growth in the hopes that jobs will be plentiful.  My fear is that the structure of the world economy might create a lot of activity but not a ton of jobs.  His bullying of companies to keep jobs here could backfire if those companies see their costs go up and their profits drop while at the same time foreign competitors are making bigger gains.  Again, I believe that the explosion of technology is not going to create jobs here.  In fact, they are either taking jobs away or reducing salaries.  Plus, tech is allowing developing or Third World countries to compete with us.

Trade Irony

China seems more “free trade” than US?  Sure, it seems that way.  Still, I would be careful about China’s free trade rhetoric.  President Xi is looking to tie up Asia, Africa, and South America for decades to come.   My fear is that we can’t alienate China and Mexico.  Mexico has the chance to be the next China for us and our economy.  On the other hand, if this is Trump trying a new form of negotiation that might help work for better trade deals, then let’s let him try.

Trump Stifling Innovation

Right now reading Tom Friedman’s “Thank You For Being Late.”  Great read about the ever-changing world and light speed changing technology.  He documents how Third World entrepreneurs are thriving now thanks to smart phones and the cloud.  My thought: do we really want to cut ourselves off from these countries and these innovators by restricting trade or changing trade deals entirely in our favor?

Why Can Trump Do This?  Shale

What Trump is proposing for trade would have been instantly dismissed 5-to-10 years ago.  But it is not today.  Thank shale oil.  The increase in fracking – along with the Saudis increasing oil production – has kept prices down for all of us.  But keep an eye on gas prices rising.  OPEC seems to be sticking to their production cuts.  We also heard that Oklahoma has had a series of earthquakes allegedly connected to fracking.  No one is really factoring in what a new spike in oil might cause.

Most Of Us Can’t Decide

I think a big sticking point for Trump is what Americans really want from foreign policy.  Are we going to be hawks and up our military muscle?  Or are we going to continue drifting towards isolationism?  Trump gives off conflicting signals: bomb ISIS; leave Europe to Russia; leave Asia to China; then provoke China by recognizing Taiwan.  As mixed up as he is, I think he gets it from the American public.  Obama went through the same thing: we ignore the line in the sand with Syria; then look at the increased troops in Europe and Afghanistan as he leaves office.  Sure, it could be Obama sticking it to Trump.

Your thoughts?

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