Posts Tagged ‘Donald Trump

20
Jan
17

The Oaf of Office – More USA Jobs or Less?

This is written specifically for Inauguration Day. With Donald Trump being sworn in as the 45th President, the question is whether his administration will be good for the American worker and the Made in USA movement which ultimately means more jobs for Americans.

What Can We Expect for Made in USA jobs under the Trump Administration?

Will the Trump administration increase Made in USA jobs or will the Trump administration continue the Republican doctrine and do the opposite: to decrease good paying jobs in the USA? To predict these two outcomes, we have to know what Trump believes by what he has said (which is sometimes difficult as sometimes he is on both sides of the same issue). We know that he agrees with the ultra-right of the Republican Party on all issues except possibly two: first, the GOP has always been wary of Communism and Russia. Interestingly enough, Trump has expressed the exact opposite of this wariness. Second, the GOP are in full support of Free Trade, exporting US jobs and maximizing profits for the company’s CEOs. While Trump had previously offshored jobs and has his Trump clothing line (and his family’s products) made outside of the U.S, suddenly, in mid-campaign, Trump said that he is against Free Trade treaties.

Policies of the Republicans and Therefore, Trump and its effect on the USA.

So let us quickly look at some of the policies of the Republicans (and therefore, Trump) and see how it would effect US jobs. These include minimum wage, income taxes, Immigration, Free Trade, Energy, Mergers, Economic Growth, Free Press.

Wages and the Minimum Wage

For the past 100 years, the traditional view of Republicans towards business has always been on the side of owners of businesses.  This has not changed. Republicans have always been against all issues that would make the bosses pay more: minimum wage, vacations, 40 hour work week, overtime pay, social security, unions, pensions, employee health care, disability, child labor, worker’s compensation,  and workplace laws that outlaw discrimination or harassment. These issues were fine when the United States was an overwhelmingly run by small businesses. But, since 1980, the USA has become the Mega company capital of the world and many of these giant companies are multi-nationally owned. In fact, large corporations (since 2007) employ more Americans than small businesses (small business being defined as less than 500 employees). The US is so top-heavy (big corporations dominate) that just 6 companies made 50% of all profit in the US in 2015 (according to USA Today) and 28 companies made 50% of the profit to the S & P. So, sometimes it seems ludicrous that the Republicans go to great lengths to protect the mega-Rich, who already have their own lobbyists, but very little for small business owners. So, what about the workers? Workers compensation has been stagnant especially when compared to corporate profits and CEO pay. Workers wages are just starting to go up over the past two years, but many workers depend on the Federal Minimum Wage to make a living. The Minimum Wage has been unchanged since 2007 (as passed by a Democratic Congress), it is still $7.25 per hour (Louisiana and Tennessee do not follow the federal minimum wage). It has been shown by many economists that the minimum wage has not kept up with inflation. And at the present time, an employee working a forty hour week at minimum wage would still put one at the poverty level. Critics (mainly Republicans) have charged that the raising of the minimum wage kills jobs. This has never been proven, in fact, there evidence to the contrary (Business Insider) and (US News).

History of US Federal Minimum wage to Nominal Dollars

History of US Federal Minimum wage to Nominal Dollars

What is the opinion of Trump? He wants to repeal the minimum wage. But, of course, he has flip-flopped on this issue multiple times (see Washington Post Flip-flops on minimum wage). But if Trump follows standard Republican orthodoxy, and many expect that he will, Trump will try to repeal the minimum wage. What does this mean for American workers? The prospects don’t look good. It is assured that the Federal Minimum Wage will not be raised. However, some Democratic states have, on their own, voted to increase their own state minimum wage. These states have shown the greatest economic growth. Growth in these states will be great, because they are innovative, and despite the efforts of the Trump administration.

Income Taxes

Trump has promised to change the tax code. It has always been hard to pin down Trump, especially when what he says does not match what he says on paper. But the written Trump Plan is a basic Republican plan, First, it gets rid of the Inheritance Estate Tax which would help only the top 1%. Second, it decreases the corporate tax rate from 35% to 15%. Third,  it would decrease the rate of the top income makers from 37% to 33%. The group of $91,150 – $110,000 per year  would also get a small tax break from 28% to 25%. There is no change from $37,500 – $91,150. In fact, most may be paying more. (You can see more on the Trump Tax Plan/NPR analysis). The final verdict: This is classic trickledown economics, giving more money to the top 1%. It didn’t work with Reagan did it, it won’t work now. When you give more money to the rich ,they do not spend it (there is no trickledown), they invest it. Additionally with substantially less income coming to the government, the cost to the government is $62 Trillion per year (greatly increasing the deficit). Final Cost to the worker: more taxes paid by the middle class, less money from the corporations, less money from the top 1%, less money for the government to finance infrastructure. In fact, this is the exact same policy that caused the middle class to disappear in the first place.

income-tax

Immigration

Historically, there have always been groups that have hated immigrants: at first, it was directed at the Irish, and then the Germans, then the Chinese and Japanese and then later, the Hispanics. The Republicans haven’t always been about deporting immigrants. For Republicans, this is a relatively new phenomenon. I mean there were always a sub-group of Republicans – the KKK, the John Birch society, the segregationists, and other White Supremistist groups (they had been Democrats until the Civil Rights Acts of 1965, then they became Republicans) whose voices have always been minimal until recently. Now they are quite vocal. The cause of this movement? It happened after President Reagan repealed the Fairness Doctrine in journalism and Media. This is when Right Wing Media went into action. It encouraged prejudiced people who were previously silent to speak out publicly. And this is where Trump has made his connection. Trump loved to inflame this crowd with hatred towards immigrants: He said he would build a wall. And then he said Mexico would pay for it. Of course, it was talk, just saying outrageous things to get people to listen.

trump-minority

The Wall Between the US and Mexico

So, how serious is the possibility of building the wall between the US and Mexico? Even Trump supporters didn’t take this idea seriously, but they loved the hateful rhetoric anyways. Let us look at the 119 mile wall between Mexico and the United States. The Washington Post said that building just the wall would cost $25 Billion (not million- and it doesn’t consider surveillance). But, we know the actual costs are always more than estimated by three to four times. So, that would make it approximately $100 Billion. And Mexico is sure not going to pay for it. So, guess who is going to pay for a wall that won’t keep immigrants out? You are, the American tax payer. Estimated cost per person $308.

trump-wall                                                                                                    The Trump Wall

Republicans know that immigrants are a vital source of labor for certain business especially the farming community. In fact, the Senate had passed a Comprehensive Immigration bill in 2013 (that is right – both Democrats and Republicans worked together). However, some Republican Tea Party members scuttled the bill in the House and now, we are in the same state as before. Final decision: I can’t see Trump getting enough Republican votes to build the wall. Some Republicans are thinking about the future of their party. They know they can’t stay in power as the all-white Party about increasing their chances of getting Hispanics to vote for them. The Republican can’t stay the all-white Party, not without a lot of tricks anyways (like the ones they are already employing – gerrymandering, voter suppression), so they will need to lure some Hispanic voters. Theoretically, what if Trump built the wall , and deports all the ones he said he would (11 million), many industries would be hit hard: agriculture, construction, Home Health, Hotels, Motels, restaurants, landscaping, wine growers, etc. Some anti-immigrants say that this will “free up jobs for Americans.” My experience, Americans don’t take those jobs. When the Great Recession hit in 2009, how many Americans did you see working on the farm or Home Health? Practically none. Americans would rather collect unemployment than do the heavy manual labor that the immigrants do.

Free Trade

Free Trade is a Republican creation, taking root under the Reagan administration. It undermines what our Founding Fathers had started which was, in order to protect fledgling U.S. businesses, the government would levy tariffs on products coming from other countries. The first Free Trade Agreement passed was the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which was an agreement between the US, Canada and Mexico. The next Free Trade agreement was a whopper. It was the World Trade Organization (WTO) which brought in tons of more countries, including China. And guess what happened, just as previous President contender, Ross Perot predicted, this created “a giant sucking sound” of American jobs to other countries. By eliminating import tariffs, it made imports much cheaper, American products suffered, businesses closed, and, then, American business owners joined the foreign competition by closing down American factories and sending the jobs to China, Mexico, Vietnam, India, Bangladesh, etc. (where labor is cheap and regulations minimal). Multiple industries in the USA have been hurt, severely injured and many are on life-support. A lot of good paying manufacturing jobs had been eliminated in the United States, which has created a giant vacuum in the US economy – that vacuum is from the loss of the middle class.

Trump had always been a Free Trader, in fact, he has offshored his Trump clothing to places like China and Mexico. He was never against Free Trade until, during his campaign, he had read a survey where people felt it was important that jobs be kept in the USA. During the campaign to whip up this anti-trade talk, Trump had made insinuations that he would raise the tariffs on China.

Buick Envision made in China

Buick Envision made in China

It is interesting that Trump has targeted companies auto companies that have planned to off-shore to Mexico, but does he say anything about China bringing cars into the USA? No. How about the Buick, Chinese – made, Envision? Nope, not a word. Then, there is the new all-electric car, Atieva which just changed its name to Lucid, to make it look like it is American, which is totally financed by Chinese businesses, will Trump comment on this? Nope. Trump will only comment once there is enough publicity to make it worth commenting on it. It is not like he really cares whether it is US made or not.

Will Trump raise tariffs on Imports from China?

So, the question is whether Trump will levy tariffs of 35 or 45% like he threatened. My prediction is No. Trump has too many ties to China (from Time Magazine). He has plans to build 20 Hotels in China over the next 10-15 years and not to mention that the Bank of China is his biggest tenant in Trump Towers. If Trump really infuriates the Chinese government, the Chinese could impound his company that makes Trump clothing and they could jail all of his employees and managers as spies, because totalitarian governments are like that. This is called conflict of interest. Federal policy is being influenced on how it effects hid business personally. Another potential conflict of Interest: The Obama administration has filed a suit against Fiat-Chrysler . Fiat is hoping that can make a deal with the Trump administration. Fiat might be thinking instead of being sued or paying a fine, maybe we could just make a contribution to some Trump business?

So How Will Trump Save American Jobs?

If  import tariffs on Chinese products are not raised, then, how will Trump save American jobs? My prediction is he won’t. What he will do, is what he has been doing since being elected? He will tweet and threaten a company who have had thoughts about building factories in Mexico. (See Ford and Toyota – Washingon Post). Also, see Fiat-Chrysler. In all cases, Trump took credit where no credit was due. He did not change the course of their company. Think about it, do you think corporations make millions of dollars in investment just because of a tweet? This is not a charity auction. (“I bid 30 milllion dolllars to bring jobs back to the USA!”) These corporation have been formulating these plans for years. (In reality, Trump should be thanking Obama for all these actions, but Obama is not one to be a credit hog.) Will he truly go after NAFTA which would hurt his most loyal constituents, the Farmers? Maybe, but Trump has no loyalty and no interest in agriculture.

Will there be serious reforms towards Free Trade? I truly doubt it. Trump will give the outward appearance that he cares. In the meantime, American companies will continue to off-shore, and companies that come back (re-shore of jobs), instead of being little noticed (like the present time), it will be crowed about by Trump who will take all the credit where none was due. One good thing to come out of this is that traditional Republicans like Paul Ryan are looking to decrease taxes on American products that are to be exported, they haven’t gone so far as to say that they will increase tariffs on foreign imports or getting rid of tax exemptions for moving expenses for companies as they move their company from the USA to another country. At least, the Republicans are entertaining some Democratic ideas, but don’t let them hear that.

Other Issues That May effect the Economy

Health Care

Health Care can strongly influence consumer’s pocket book. At the present, Trump and the Republicans are ready to repeal The Affordable Care Act (ACA). If the Republicans do replace the Affordable Care Act with a comprehensive Health Plan that covers everyone, providing good health care at less cost, this would be one of the greatest breakthroughs in the history of American government. But will the GOP take that giant and brave step. Not a chance.

The Evaluation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

The ACA did many great things, it insured an additional 20 million Americans, the highest percentage of insured Americans ever in the history of the nation. It controlled expenses, brought down the price of healthcare, paid for preventive health and eliminated exclusion based on pre-existing conditions. But, the ACA wasn’t close to a perfect system. One of the main problems with the ACA was that is was based on the obsolete notion that companies wanted to give their employees health insurance. Today, companies bend over backwards to make sure employees are not full-time and, therefore, does not have to pay benefits). In fact, companies like Macys keeps track to the minute any employee that comes close to qualifying for benefits, and makes sure that it does not happen. My belief was that the ACA was a band-aid to the health care system, to decrease its expenses – to delay the eventual bankruptcy of the nation from health care for several more years.

obamacare-insurance-rates

The Cost of Repealing The Affordable Care Act

There are a couple of problems with the idea of repealing the ACA. One is the Republicans have no replacement policy. Even though Trump says they have a plan and it is close and Everyone will be covered, better care, less cost. This is definitely a case of over-promise and under-deliver. (Especially if Medicare for everybody is off the table.) The other problem with the Affordable Care Act is that it is a Republican idea from the Heritage Foundation. The only “real” thing that the Republicans don’t like about the ACA is that President Barack Obama takes all the credit for it and therefore, for political expediency, it had to be demonized. The idea behind the ACA was to add more competition between the insurance companies (health insurance exchanges) and, therefore, decreases costs. The only wrinkle from the GOP brain trust, thus far, is that the insurance companies can compete across state lines. Wow, what a change. (Oh yeah, Health Savings Accounts which are available in the ACA, great idea). The problem with the ACA and the GOP wrinkle is that insurance companies can drop out of the competition at any time (because many times there are “agreements” between oligopolies) which raises the price of insurance premiums. The fact is the Republicans want to repeal only the name of Obamacare and leave the rest of the system untouched. They don’t want to go back to the extremely expensive  and dysfunctional old system. But that is the only way. So, what the GOP did under the dark of night was to hide the fact that repealing the ACA will cost the nation trillions of dollars, the GOP wrote a resolution that repealed a mandate that The Congressional Budget Office keep track of how much repealing the Affordable Care Act would cost. In the same article, it highlighted:The result of repeal is estimate that $140 billion of federal funding would be cut to states by 2019, resulting in the loss of 3 million jobs by 2021, loss of $1.5 trillion in gross state products and a $2.6 trillion reduction in business output. State and local tax revenues will fall by $48 billion. Obviously, the repeal of the ACA will be very costly, and it is very probable that the average American will be paying a lot more for Health Care. And expect a lot more Americans to declare bankruptcy due to medical expenses. The AP reported than premiums will increase by 25%, that 18 million more people will be uninsured one year after enactment and 32 million more uninsured by 2026. Look at it another way, the Trumpcare model will be so expensive and exclude so many people that it would rapidly drive the nation and individuals into bankruptcy, that the electorate would be willing to give the model of Medicare-for-all model a very serious look many years sooner. (But, the Republicans are very serious of getting rid of Medicare by privatizing it based on a model like Obamacare).

obamacare-repeal-vote-cartoon-luckovich

Energy

Trump has nominated Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon, as Secretary of State. What does this mean? Well, detente with Russia, of course. But, with regards to oil, we should expect to see more widespread drilling everywhere including the Oceans, the Arctic and National Parks. Expect more pipeline projects across the United States. And, you will definitely be spending a lot more for gasoline. The price of gasoline is not actually based on supply and demand (as people traditionally think) but rather on speculation (see my blog entry: Wall Street and the price of Oil). The price of oil hit a low in January 20, 2016 at $27 a barrel. Now, with the election of oil friendly politicians, the price of oil has increased to close to $54 per barrel (this is definitely not due to increased demand or decreased supply). It is estimated that in 2017 the cost of oil per barrel will be in the $60s, however, I believe this is severely underestimated and that speculators will push this up much higher. Remember it wasn’t all that long ago when a barrel of oil was $114 (in June, 2014). So, expect to pay a lot more at the pump.

take-me-to-your-leader

Mergers

Trump and the GOP believe in the government staying out of the way when it comes to businesses. We know from history that the natural outcome of unfettered capitalism is monopolies. But since this was outlawed by Theodore Roosevelt, the natural end point is oligopolies (a few companies that own everything). By collusion (oligopolies say instead “a gentleman’s agreement), a few companies can drive prices up without actually competing. For 2017, one can expect many new giant mergers to pass without fight from the Federal government. AT&T with Time-Warner will merger as will Monsanto and Bayer. Even Fortune Magazine has made this prediction with their headline A Trump Presidency Could Unleash a Pharma Merger Boom. So, maybe Pfizer and Allergan could try a try another merger (it was thwarted by the Obama administration). The effect for consumers: Pay More for Less Choice.

merger

Economic Growth

One thing that people forget is that the United States is at near maximal employment, the US economy is very strong (all economist believe this, maybe not political pundits). The economic growth has been steady at 2% per year. Yet, enough people (not a majority) still wanted a change. Here is what Goldman-Sachs predicts for 2017:

Donald Trump promised economic growth of 5-6%. No other economist is coming close to predicting this. It is another case of over-promising and under-delivering. In fact, some are thinking that Trump may slow the economy and Citi group thinks that it is a 50% probability that Trump will not even finish out his term. The next year – there will be growth and it will be all due to the Obama administration. Plus, there is no evidence of weakness in the economy, unlike years previous to The Great Recession. However, after that, it will be Trump’s baby. Sometimes, growth and recession have nothing to do with the President and there are swings that naturally occur or sometimes things occur can effect the economy (9/11). I predict based on the cycles of the economy, that we are due for a “slowing” as we have never seen this many consecutive years of positive growth ever. Certainly, President’s do make a difference. Sometimes it takes several years to really see the effect – but is plain when you evaluate Reagan’s legacy both on the United States and on California, (back when he was governor). The United States and California have never recovered. There is distrust in government, the government tax base is shrinking, infrastructure has almost collapsed. Are there any great infrastructure projects in the USA anymore? (Just compare the USA to China’s incredible growth, we look like Ancient Rome).

Conclusion

Trump’s policies are like Reagan’s. It is Voodoo economics. Bad for everybody except for the 1%. There will be more large corporation mergers, Health Care will become much more expensive, the middle class will have to pay more in income taxes, the Federal deficit will explode, oil prices will increase, the rich get richer and no real change in jobs coming back to the USA. The only potential bright lights for the economy are: Republicans working on adjusting their Free Trade policies and a “big” infrastructure project. The infrastructure project could be done right, but I severely have my doubts with this group of Republicans. As Trump takes the oath of office, he becomes the oaf in office. This inauguration is like scene from a parallel universe, like what if Hitler didn’t attack Russia, or what if we didn’t discover Penicillin. The American public have not grasped that we are living in a great time, but have decided that we needed a “change”. People for some reason can’t grasp the concept that change can be for the worse, sometimes much worse. So, for the people who to vote for a temper-“mental” man without one day of public service, “You reap what you sow”. If the economy goes south, you go bankrupt, you lose your health insurance, well you brought it upon yourself. 70 million Americans voted against your choice. As far as bringing jobs back into the USA, Trump will bring none, not even his Trump clothing line from China.

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Free Press

This last issue does not have to do with economic issues, but there has been a disturbing trend. With the rise of right-wing news groups, Breitbart, Fox News, Alex Jones, it is getting difficult for Republicans to know what is real news and what is fake news. Trump only reads the most extreme right wing news, so he does not know what is real news versus fake news. And if Trump is confronted by the real truth, he belittles the Press. Trump is kicking the Press out of the White House to limit access. He didn’t allow the regular Press to ask questions during his so-called “Press Conference”.He has threatened to sue the Press or jail them like other dictators. In the meantime, they have hired KellyAnne Conway as the Reich Minister of Propaganda (ala Joseph Goebbels). I believe that if he can intimidate the Press, then he can intimidate any Americans who disagree with him. My idea is that all networks should fact-check in real time – which means while a political participant or President speaks, at the same time, in close captioning – it says whether the person is lying. It would be easy because almost all of these TV shows are tape-delayed.

free-pressWe need to support the Free Press and they should be free from the intimidation of a dictatorial President. And we need to stay strong against the Trump and his trolls who threaten violence and vitriol on all who disagree with Don the Con.

 

11
Nov
16

Calexit – The Move For California to Secede from the Union

Let us face it, California is so different than the rest of the United States. California is so Progressive and Democratic-leaning that the two candidates for the US Senate were both Democrats. The surprise election result of President-Neglect, Donald Trump, was a true revulsion to the over 5.4 million voters. In fact, the voting for Democrats was so overwhelming that California single-handedly turned the popular vote in favor of Hilary Clinton.(5,488,261 to 2,969,532).

A giant paper bust of Donald Trump is burnered during a Anti-Donald Trump protest in front of City Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016 in Los Angeles. Donald Trump has been elected as the next president of the United States. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

A giant paper bust of Donald Trump is burnered during a Anti-Donald Trump protest in front of City Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016 in Los Angeles. Donald Trump has been elected as the next president of the United States. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

Some of the Silicon Valley elites, like Uber investor and Hyperloop One co-founder Shervin Pishevar, have been vocal about California seceding from the Union, according to Fusion.net.

Now that California has legalized marijuana, it is expected the new tax revenue for the state should be astronomical. This would make California much less dependent on any Federal Aid at any time in the modern Era. It would be an ideal time to leave.

secession

Is California Big Enough to Support Itself As a Country?

California is 250 miles by 770 miles long (163,696 sq mile or 423,970 km2). It would be the sixth largest country in Europe or 60th in the world. California’s population is 39,144,818. That compromises about 1/8 of the US population. It would be the 34th most populated country in the world. Plus, California has 4 of the top 11 largest cities in the USA: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose and San Francisco.

California has a multiple variety of landscapes: oceans, mountains, deserts, valleys, ski slopes, beaches and Hollywood. And it is home to some of the best winegrowers in the world.

The Economy of California

Most importantly, California is the 6th world’s largest economy. It compromises about 14% of the United States economy. California’s economy is dependent on trade and international related commerce accounts for about one-quarter of the state’s economy. In 2008, California exported $144 billion worth of goods.[149] Computers and electronic products are California’s top export, accounting for 42 percent of all the state’s exports in 2008.[149]

Agriculture – Although only 1.5% of the state’s economy,[14] California’s agriculture industry has the highest output of any United States state. It is a cold hard fact that the United States would suffer tremendously economically, if California were to say adios to Trumpland.

How Could California Secede From the Union – The Legal Issues

The following two paragraphs are from Heavy magazine:

The Supreme Court case Texas v. White (1869) set the ground rules for how a state could leave the Union after the Civil War. In that case, the Texas Reconstruction government argued that the state’s Confederate government illegally sold U.S. bonds during the war. However, the Court ruled that Texas never officially left the Union because states cannot do so unilaterally. In other words, the California state government couldn’t just one day decide to secede from the union and expect the U.S. government to accept that.

Here’s the specific part of Texas v. White relevant to this case:

When, therefore, Texas became one of the United States, she entered into an indissoluble relation. All the obligations of perpetual union, and all the guaranties of republican government in the Union, attached at once to the State. The act which consummated her admission into the Union was something more than a compact; it was the incorporation of a new member into the political body. And it was final. The union between Texas and the other States was as complete, as perpetual, and as indissoluble as the union between the original States. There was no place for reconsideration or revocation, except through revolution or through consent of the States.

The first step to California (or any state for that matter) seceding from the Union is likely a ballot measure for voters. There is already a group called Yes California pushing for a referendum on Californian independence, noting that the state would be the sixth-largest economy in the world if it were its own country.

Getting the referendum on the ballot and winning in an election might be the easiest part of this procedure. As Yes California notes, there are two possible next steps. First, a member of California’s congressional delegation could propose an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to allow California to leave. The Amendment needs to pass two-thirds of the House and senate and then be approved by at least 38 of 50 states.

A second possible path after a referendum would be California calling for a states convention, where two-thirds of the delegates from 50 states approve it. If it passes, it would still need to be ratified by 38 of the 50 state legislatures.

A group called “Yes California” has even gone as far as to propose a 2019 ballot referendum to sever ties between the Golden State and the federal government and planned to hold an event in the state’s capitol on Wednesday.

The Reality of Actual Leaving The United States

Every state has, at times, thought about leaving the Union, especially the hot-headed Confederate states, but the reality of going through the process of actually seceding, as detailed above, is nearly impossible. Then, there are the complex logistics of trying to unwind the “Federal versus State” issues. Especially when it comes to roadways, property, health (Medicare/MediCal), National parks. Then, it would have to figure out other issues:

  • Print money (bills and coins)
  • Declare war
  • Establish an army and navy
  • Enter into treaties with foreign governments
  • Regulate commerce between states and international trade
  • Establish post offices and issue postage
  • Make laws necessary to enforce the Constitution

The possibility that California could be its own sovereign country is truly a pipe dream. If it were to happen, the country of California would be much more like one of the European nations than anything from the Midwest. It would be truly incredible, mind-blowing, even. I can’t wait to hear the new National Anthem.

10
Nov
16

Lessons From the 2016 Election

It is Deja Vu except With Lots of Heartburn

This is Deja Vu except with lots of heart burn.  There was a popular President who had ushered in great economic growth yet his Party lost in a disputed electoral college loss (while winning the popular vote) and lost to an unqualified opponent. In 1992, George W. Bush brought in an immediate recession, dismissed warnings from the Clinton administration about a character named Osama Bin Laden, who, then, brought down the Twin Towers, which accelerated the Recession. Then, Bush committed the ultimate blunder (by consensus) by unilaterally attacking Iraq for no reason, allowing ousted Iraqi Sunni soldiers to become ISIS. If all that wasn’t bad enough, Bush brought in The Great Recession – (don’t kid yourself, 2008-2010 was a Great Depression) – causing millions to lose their homes, their life savings and their jobs. Then, came the election of  Barack Obama. This was followed by seven years of solid  and uninterrupted economic growth (you can’t turn around a Depression in less than a year), he brought unemployment down from 10% to 4.9%. Wages were going up, jobs were plentiful. And then came the 2016 Election. And now here we go again. Get ready for the Republican Party to make us slide into another Recession.

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Lessons From the 2016 Election

  1. Hate Trumps Love
  2. Lies Trumps Truth
  3. The Electoral College is obsolete
  4. Cheating (Voter Suppression, Election Rigging) always beats the ones that play by the rules.
  5. Bigotry always beats Tolerance and Acceptance
  6. Outside agencies (The Russians, the FBI) in the Presidential election will never have to pay the consequences.
  7. Fake campaign promises always beat realistic solutions.
  8. Going low always beats going high.
  9. No transparency beats high transparency.
  10. Timing of scandals just prior to the election is the key to winning.
  11. The gullibility of the American people knows no bounds.
  12. Fake scandals trump real scandals.
  13. For a so-called “Christian” country, a candidate who possessed the least amount (ever) of Christian values was elected, I guess the lesson from this fact, is that “Hypocrisy” is King in the United States.
  14. The strategy of total obstruction, government shutdowns, never compromising, lying, and opposing everything the President wants is the blueprint to take over the Presidency in the next election cycle.
  15. The Media normalized Donald Trump, and were guilty of carrying out a double standard.
  16. The American Dream is a myth.

I would say the Republicans have shown the way to take over the topple the Presidency. I would recommend the Democrats from Day One do the same thing that the Republicans did – to never work with Trump and show no respect towards him as he has never shown any respect to anybody else.

 

The Issue that Galvanized the Populace: The Rejection of Free Trade

Let me stress one important fact. Free Trade is the bedrock of the Republican Party ever since Ronald Reagan and his financial guru Alan Greenspan introduced it to Washington, DC in the 1980s. It is ridiculous to think that the continuation of Free Trade was part of the Democratic platform (somehow, low information voters thought it was). After the Economic Depression caused by Deregulation and the Big Bank/Housing crash, people started rethinking whether Free Trade is good or bad. Free Trade is where we stop charging import taxes on products from other countries. The premise was: by decreasing the cost of imports, the US can buy more stuff which pumps up the US economy. Just a little hitch, as the cost of import products went down, it made American products comparatively more expensive, ultimately costing American jobs. And then larger corporations started taking advantage of lower costs of living (plus no import taxes) in other countries, by moving US jobs directly to the other countries (offshoring).

The Democratic Party has always been the political party against Free Trade. Backed by Unions who felt that Free Trade jobs would take away American jobs – the unions were correct. Today, unions within private businesses comprise only 7% of companies where it used to run about 45-50% in the 1950s. The Democrats who have been for Free Trade are the so-called “Business Friendly” Democrats. During the 1990s, when Free Trade was the most popular, the split was 60% against Free Trade and 40% for Free Trade. Today, the Democratic Party is 80% against Free Trade and 20% for Free Trade. The Republicans are 85% for Free Trade.

For example, let us look at the vote on the recent controversial Free Trade treaty, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – an agreement between the USA and 13 other countries. In 2016, the vote in the Senate: passed 60-38 (Yeas: 47 GOP, 13 Dems; Nays: 7 GOP, 31 Dems & Ind.). The House vote: The vote was 218-208 (Yeas: 190 GOP, 28 Dems, Nays: 50 GOP, 158 Dems). This vote allowed the treaty to be brought up for vote without allowing any amendments. This bill still sits in Congress. It is feared that the GOP will try and secretly pass the TPP bill during the lame duck session.

The Candidates Remedies for Free Trade

Donald Trump rallied against Free Trade yet his policy was lacking of any substance. Many times, even during the campaign, Trump would say: “I am the biggest Free Trader”, yet he was ready to impose a tax of up to 45% (as a threat), which makes it the exact opposite of Free Trade. Realistically, Trump could not by Executive Order impose a 45% tariff on a country. Trump also said that we need to renogotiate the Free Trade Treaties, but what does he really mean? Would Republicans go along with Trumps popular sentiment of being against Free Trade? Highly unlikely – the GOP is the party of the 1%, big banks and multi-national corporations. Now, that Heir Trump is President, I believe that the Free Trade issue will be untouched and Trump will continue to make his clothing in China, Vietnam and Mexico. There will be no new jobs from “changing” Free Trade. I predict a recession within the next two years. Trump voters deserve what they get.

 

 

13
Jul
16

Will RNC Delegates Flip-Flop on Trade?

Interesting News: It seems that people do have a voice, however, it comes only during the time of the Presidential elections. For years, many people have felt that Free Trade has been a killer of American jobs (but have been unable to do anything about it). Exactly who has been AGAINST Free Trade for years? Progressive Democrats. Who has been FOR Free Trade? All Republicans (until now) and several big-business-friendly Democrats. Since the second Great Depression, there has been a slow growing resentment of Free Trade agreements. And, of course, now, both political parties are pandering for these discontented voters. For more about Free Trade, see my blog  entry: Why Free Trade is devastating to the USA.

Here are a couple of articles showing the current positions on Free Trade of the political parties.

Source: Tuesday Preview: Will RNC Delegates Flip-Flop on Trade? – Washington Wire – WSJ

Will RNC Delegates Flip-Flop on Trade – Wall Street Journal

Greetings from sunny Cleveland, where Republican Party delegates writing GOP platform will be in a windowless conference room to formally determine the party’s trade and immigration policies.

Headed into Tuesday, the big question on trade will be how far GOP Platform Committee delegates flip-flop on free trade. In 2012, the party formally called for enacting the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. On Monday, delegates in a subcommittee stripped from the party platform draft language opposing passage of the TPP in the congressional lame-duck session this winter.

 Though Republican National Committee delegates will hash out the party’s platform this morning, the most likely outcome now appears to be sticking with a specific language condemning trade deficits without offering a position on either the North American Free Trade Agreement or the TPP, both of which presumptive nominee Donald Trump has promised to upend.

“There’s going to be nothing controversial in the platform because Republicans want to stay away from controversy,” said Justin Everett, a Platform Committee delegate from Colorado. “The true fight is going to be in the Rules Committee over our candidate.”


Republican Platform Subcommittee Follow Trump on Trade – Bloomberg Politics

Republican Platform Subcommittee Follows Trump on Trade – Bloomberg Politics

The Republican Party, which has long backed free trade, is poised to support slowing down approval of trade agreements with Donald Trump as its presumptive presidential nominee.

A party platform subcommittee on the economy, jobs and debt voted on Monday in Cleveland to recommend language that significant trade agreements should not be rushed or undertaken in a lame-duck Congress. It also removed a reference to the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement at the request of members who oppose it and didn’t want any suggestion of support. The full Platform Committee, meeting in advance of the party’s convention next week, will vote on the provision either late Monday or Tuesday.

The 2012 Republican platform called international trade “crucial for our economy” and said a Republican president will complete negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership to open Asian markets to U.S. products. Trump’s stringent opposition to trade deals such as TPP — which he has called “a rape of our country” — pits him against some party stalwarts and pro-business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“I expected it to be contentious and it wasn’t,” Andrew Puzder, chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants Inc. and co-chairman of the subcommittee, said about the debate on trade. “People all seemed to be going toward the same goal here, which is to get our candidate elected.”

Democrats stopped short of calling for a “no” vote on TPP during their platform committee meetings this weekend. Delegates for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders unsuccessfully pushed an amendment blocking TPP and urged that the trade deal not come to a vote in Congress.

The Republican Platform Committee sessions on Monday and Tuesday and Rules Committee later in the week are offering the first signs of how much turbulence Trump will face on his convention flight to the Republican presidential nomination on July 21.

Anti-Trump delegates are trying change party rules so that delegates who are bound by election results to back Trump can “vote their conscience” in Cleveland. Critics of the effort say that plan lacks the votes it needs and would thwart the will of about 13.3 million people who voted for Trump in the party’s primaries and caucuses.

Puzder, a Trump supporter whose company owns the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. fast-food chains, said he backs free trade and that there’s no disagreement that the U.S. needs it. Yet Trump regularly states that the country doesn’t need large trade deficits, that existing deals should be enforced, and that they can be improved with better terms has broad appeal.

 “Who can argue with, ‘We should have a better deal?”’ Puzder asked in an interview. “It has emerged in this election cycle that free trade is not the overwhelming popular issue it used to be because working-class Americans and middle-class Americas — whether accurately or inaccurately — perceive that they have borne the burdens of free trade, whereas other sectors of the economy have garnered the benefits.”

David Johnson, a member of the platform committee’s economic subcommittee, owns Summitville Tiles in eastern Ohio and said trade deals have decimated his company. It once had 800 workers and now is struggling to maintain 150, he said.

“Wall Street likes TPP, but the 70 percent of the people that are employed in this country by small businesses don’t like it,” Johnson said during the subcommittee meeting. He called trade a huge issue in the election as Trump seeks to appeal to working-class voters in states such as Ohio.

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Republican Party Platform Takes a Hard Turn on Trade – Alliance for American Manufacturing

Republican Party Platform Takes a Hard Turn on Trade | Alliance for American Manufacturing

GOP’s official stance could be very “Trumpian.”

The Republicans are working out their official party platform right now. And CNN, an enterprising newsgathering upstart, got a hold of a first draft of the platform document.

A lot of its content is what you might call “the usual” from the GOP. But, as CNN notes:

The most substantial changes to the 2012 platform came on trade — a key issue for Trump where he has sparred with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other reliable conservative business backers. The new language sounds remarkably like Trump, though it stays away from some of his more inflammatory positions including renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Here’s a snippet of that language that is downright Trumpian:

We need better negotiated trade agreements that put America first. When trade agreements have been carefully negotiated with friendly democracies, they have resulted in millions of new jobs here at home supported by our exports. When those agreements do not adequately protect U.S. interests, or when they are violated with impunity, they must be rejected. We cannot allow foreign governments to limit American access to their markets while stealing our designs, patents, brands, know-how, and technology. We cannot allow China to continue its currency manipulation, exclusion of U.S. products from government purchases, and subsidization of Chinese companies to thwart American imports. The current administration’s way of dealing with these violations of world trade standards has been a virtual surrender.

That this is in the draft language of a bona fide GOP platform pretty remarkable. This kinda talk doesn’t go over well in some corners of the Republican establishment; the Chamber of Commerce is not a fan.

That’s not to say the free-trade-at-all-costs types are particularly enamored with Trump’s likely opponent, Hillary Clinton, either. The Democratic nominee has taken a trade-skeptical position this election season – presumably because her rival, Bernie Sanders, pushed her very hard on the issue.

And that’s not to say that either party has suddenly become vehemently opposed to trade deals: The platform committees for both rejected attempts to get anti-Trans-Pacific Partnership language into the drafts.

But still: The polling, particularly in swing states, backs up the calls for trade skepticism. Whether or not explicit, yes-or-no language is included in either party’s platforms, voters are clearly concerned that American jobs – often manufacturing jobs – are put at risk by our government’s current approach to trade policy.

If they weren’t, no one would be talking about this so seriously in 2016, and Donald Trump wouldn’t be poised to win the presidential nomination of the Republican party.

Anyway, the drafting continues. So let ’em know: Pro-manufacturing policy deserves a place in their platforms.


Editor’s Note

It is interesting that both political parties want to represent that they are AGAINST Free Trade Deals without actually coming out and officially opposing them. The GOP, who are the architects of these Free Trade agreements and champions of “Free Trade”, have suddenly become the “Trump Party”. Is the GOP all just full of hot air? One way to find out: the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Deal with Vietnam, Malaysia, Peru, Chile, Japan, Singapore, Australia, Brunei, is sitting in Congress waiting to become law during the Lame Duck session (after election day).  Let us see which party calls for the rejection of the TPP. Will it be the GOP who really want it to pass or the Democrats who really don’t want it to pass, except President Obama who would like it to pass. What did the TPP vote in 2016 look like? The vote in the Senate: passed 60-38 (Yeas: 47 GOP, 13 Dems; Nays: 7 GOP, 31 Dems & Ind.). The House vote: The vote was 218-208 (Yeas: 190 GOP, 28 Dems, Nays: 50 GOP, 158 Dems).

Free Trade has, without a doubt, costs the United States millions of good paying jobs and changed the US trade surplus into a giant trade deficit. Buy American, support your neighbor and reject the TPP and these awful Free Trade Deals.

I would recommend the elimination of all Free Trade deals except with the countries that have the same standards as the USA like Canada, and Western Europe. Which party will do that? Stay tuned.

16
Apr
16

Americans Have No Right To Be Angry

Americans really have no right to be angry. Really?! These two newspaper articles prove that we Americans have brought our economic malaise upon ourselves. After so many years and with all of the evidence, a majority of Americans still don’t realize that we have directly caused the middle class to disappear and why all the profits go to the top 1%. The first article is “Americans prefer low prices to items ‘Made in the USA'”. The second article is “Exit Polls: Wisconsin Voters Say Trade Leads to Job Losses.”

Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have turned conventional politics upside down. A large part of their message is that Americans are sick and tired of losing jobs overseas which has created a decrease in good paying jobs. This has caused an angry electorate. So, why does the angry electorate not decry the Free Trade agreements, or stopping buying slave labor made products?  I think that maybe the angry electorate either has no clue what is causing the problem or are so selfish that since it does not effect themselves personally, it won’t change their actions. I believe it is a little of both.

Is Free Trade Sinking?

Is Free Trade Sinking?

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Source: Poll: Americans prefer low prices to items “Made in the USA” – CBS News

WASHINGTON – The vast majority of Americans say they prefer lower prices instead of paying a premium for items labeled “Made in the USA,” even if it means those cheaper items are made abroad, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll.

While presidential candidates like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are vowing to bring back millions of American jobs lost to China and other foreign competitors, public sentiment reflects core challenges confronting the U.S. economy. Incomes have barely improved, forcing many households to look for the most convenient bargains instead of goods made in America.

Employers now seek workers with college degrees, leaving those with only a high school degree who once would have held assembly lines jobs in the lurch. And some Americans who work at companies with clients worldwide see themselves as part of a global market.

Nearly three in four say they would like to buy goods manufactured inside the United States, but those items are often too costly or difficult to find, according to the survey released Thursday. A mere 9 percent say they only buy American.

Asked about a real world example of choosing between $50 pants made in another country or an $85 pair made in the United States – one retailer sells two such pairs made with the same fabric and design – 67 percent say they’d buy the cheaper pair. Only 30 percent would pony up for the more expensive American-made one. People in higher earning households earning more than $100,000 a year are no less likely than lower-income Americans to say they’d go for the lower price.

“Low prices are a positive for US consumers – it stretches budgets and allows people to save for their retirements, if they’re wise, with dollars that would otherwise be spent on day-to-day living,” said Sonya Grob, 57, a middle school secretary from Norman, Oklahoma who described herself as a “liberal Democrat.”

But Trump and Sanders have galvanized many voters by attacking recent trade deals.

From their perspective, layoffs and shuttered factories have erased the benefits to the economy from reduced consumer prices.

“We’re getting ripped off on trade by everyone,” said Trump, the Republican front-runner, at a Monday speech in Albany, New York. “Jobs are going down the drain, folks.”

The real estate mogul and reality television star has threatened to shred the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada. He has also threatened to slap sharp tariffs on China in hopes of erasing the overall $540 billion trade deficit.

Economists doubt that Trump could deliver on his promises to create the first trade surplus since 1975. Many see the backlash against trade as frustration with a broader economy coping with sluggish income gains.

“The reaction to trade is less about trade and more about the decline in people’s ability to achieve the American Dream,” said Caroline Freund, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “It’s a lot easier to blame the foreigner than other forces that are affecting stagnant wage growth like technology.”

But Trump’s message appeals to Merry Post, 58, of Paris, Texas where the empty factories are daily reminders of what was lost. Sixty-eight percent of people with a favorable opinion of Trump said that free trade agreements decreased the number of jobs available to Americans.

“In our area down here in Texas, there used to be sewing factories and a lot of cotton gins,” Post said. “I’ve watched them all shut down as things went to China, Mexico and the Philippines. All my friends had to take early retirements or walk away.”

Sanders, the Vermont senator battling for the Democratic nomination, has pledged to end the exodus of jobs overseas.

“I will stop it by renegotiating all of the trade agreements that we have,” Sanders told the New York Daily News editorial board earlier this month, saying that the wages paid to foreigner workers and environmental standards would be part of any deal he would strike.

Still, voters are divided as to whether free trade agreements hurt job creation and incomes.

Americans are slightly more likely to say free trade agreements are positive for the economy overall than negative, 33 percent to 27 percent. But 37 percent say the deals make no difference. Republicans (35 percent) are more likely than Democrats (22 percent) to say free trade agreements are bad for the economy.

On jobs, 46 percent say the agreements decrease jobs for American workers, while 11 percent say they improve employment opportunities and 40 percent that they make no difference. Pessimism was especially pronounced among the 18 percent of respondents with a family member or friend whose job was offshored. Sixty-four percent of this group said free trade had decreased the availability of jobs.

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It is strange that the party that has always supported the Free Trade Agreements are more likely than the Democrats to look unfavorably towards the Free Trade agreements. It is, also, paradoxical, that any Bernie Sanders supporters would support the Free Trade policies as he has been the only candidate who has consistently been against the Free Trade policies.
If you want to know more about the consequences of Free Trade, see my concise blog entry Why Free Trade is Devastating to the USA.
The United States is by no means out of the woods when it comes to offshoring jobs to other countries – companies are closing down plants in the United States and moving to other countries every week, see Carrier, Ford. While multi-national companies like Tyson Chicken continue to shut down all their US plants while expanding to other countries, like Hershey’s Chocolates did soon after NAFTA passed. The USA is bringing back some jobs back from other countries, but it is a trickle. And do not forget that it is quite likely that your own jobs is potentially offshorable in the next five years. According to the Congressional Research Service 25% of all service US jobs (or 40 million jobs) may be offshored. That is on top of the manufacturing jobs that are continuing to be offshored.
Spread the word: Buying Made in USA is very important and Free Trade Agreements are THE reason why we are losing so many good paying jobs.
23
Mar
16

Yes Donald, You Can Make Suits in America | Alliance for American Manufacturing

Yes Donald, You Can Make Suits in America

Yes Donald, You Can Make Suits in America | Alliance for American Manufacturing

Joseph Abboud worked with six other Made in America designers to "put together an epic collection" during New York Fashion Week. | Photo via Joseph Abboud on Instagram

Joseph Abboud worked with six other Made in America designers to “put together an epic collection” during New York Fashion Week. | Photo via Joseph Abboud on Instagram

Trump says he doesn’t make his suits here because it’s “very hard.” Here’s proof he’s wrong.

One of the prevailing storylines of the 2016 presidential election has been Donald Trump’s rather combative stance toward companies that offshore their production.

The Donald has threatened Apple. And Ford. And Nabisco. Once he’s president, Trump promises that he will force these companies to bring their production back to American shores.

Here at the Alliance for American Manufacturing, we’d love to see companies like these bring their factories back to the United States. But let’s be real: Trump is a huge hypocrite.

His own line of suits and ties are made outside the United States in places like China and Mexico. Trump’s daughter Ivanka also outsources production of her popular fashion line, which includes shoes, dresses, and handbags. Trump owns up to this, saying that it’s “very, very hard to have anything in apparel made in this country.

But if Trump really wanted to manufacture his clothing line in America, he could. Below are just a handful of the (very successful!) suit and tie makers who make their products in the United States.

Joseph Abboud

The popular suits — sold at the Men’s Wearhouse chain — are made in the designer’s home state of Massachusetts. Abboud takes pride in keeping it Made in America, and even gave Gov. Charlie Baker a tour of his factory this week.

“The workforce is a highly skilled workforce,” Abboud told the Boston Globe. “When you have 700 to 800 people in your factory, they aren’t individual people, they’re families… I always say it’s great to be made in America, but our distinction is that we’re made well in America.”

Brooks Brothers

Every retail tie produced by the classic chain has at least some of it made by hand in Long Island City, just 20 minutes from midtown Manhattan. Some of the chain’s clothing and accessories also are made in the United States, including suits, jeans, loafers, and cuff links.

Hardwick

Founded in 1880 in Tennessee, Hardwick bills itself as “America’s Oldest Tailor Made Clothing Company.” The company’s Italian Super 150’s Navy Blazer was named a 2015 Made in the South Awards winner by Garden and Gun magazine.

Read Wall

Launched in Washington’s preppy Georgetown neighborhood, Read Wall calls itself a purveyor of “great, American tailored clothing.” Suits are made to order, and the company also prides itself on sourcing fabric from American mills whenever possible.

Hart Schaffner Marx

While Read Wall began just a few years ago, Hart Schaffner Marx traces its roots way back to 1887, when immigrant brothers Harry and Max Hart opened up a men’s store in downtown Chicago. The brand continues to thrive, as its American-made men’s suits are available at retailers such as Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s.

Hickey Freeman

Dillards and Nordstrom are among the retailers that sell suits from this New York company, whose motto is “Keep the Quality Up.” Since 1899, the retailer has made its suits in a factory in Rochester dubbed “The Temple.”

Ratio Clothing

Looking for an American-made dress or tuxedo shirt? Eric Powell founded Ratio in 2009 because he couldn’t find a quality shirt that fit well. Ratio manufactures all of its custom-made shirts in the United States, and has been featured in men’s style magazines like Esquire and Details.

Todd Shelton

Like Ratio, this New Jersey-based menswear brand is dedicated to manufacturing dress shirts that fit well. The company also offers jeans, pants and T-shirts, all of which is made at the company’s factory in East Rutherford.

This article is from The Alliance for American Manufacturing website.

02
Mar
16

Celebrity President

Celebrity President

(The Background)

With the Presidential Primaries halfway through, it is important to see which Presidential candidate will bring back U.S. jobs from overseas and bring back manufacturing, which will strengthen our economy. Since this is a popular sentiment, any candidate that does not mention this is obviously not a candidate who is interested in stopping offshoring and stopping the Free Trade treaties like the Trans-Pacific Partnership Pact (TPP). The candidates who are silent on this subject are: Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson and John Kasich. That leaves three candidates: one Republican and both Democratic candidates. Of the Democratic candidates, Bernie Sanders for years has been consistently against the Free Trade treaties, against offshoring US jobs, against the TPP and for keeping jobs in the USA. Regarding Hilary Clinton, the jury is still out. In years past, she was for Free Trade Policies, but during this campaign, she has said: “I am against the TPP as it is currently written.” This could mean if they change some language, then she might be for it. Regarding the Republican candidate, Donald Trump, it is an even bigger question mark. He says he will tax China’s imports, he will make Apple makes all their phones and computers in the United States. But how he will do this is anybody’s guess. It appears inevitable that Donald Trump will be the Republican standard bearer. So what if he won the general election for the Presidency, would he bring back jobs from China?  Or is it just another ploy to garner public opinion. The following is a fictional scenario, if Donald Trump became President.

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The Celebrity President: Season One, Episode One

The Setting: The Oval Office, the day after the inauguration.

Omarosa (“famous” reality TV star from The Apprentice) walks in, holds the double doors open and calls out: “Everybody, right this way.”

An army of  people carrying cameras, lights and microphones come in. A person (named Jerry) directs where to put all the equipment in their correct places.

Omarosa: “President Trump will be right with you.”

Trump enters, “Hello, Jerry, thanks for doing this, this will be the greatest reality show the world has ever seen. Set up your stuff wherever you need to. And make sure that each one of your staff gets one of my coffee mugs that says “Donald Trump 45th U.S. President.” It’s free to all the staff, but I am charging $20 to everybody else. Jerry,  I am sure you already know Omarosa”. They shake hands.

The cameras start rolling, Trump starts,”Okay, let’s bring them all in. All of you, for the Press Secretary position.”

Ten people of different ages, races, heights, weights and backgrounds all file in, including one familiar face.

Trump: “George Stephanopoulos, so good to see you.” They shake hands. Trump continues: “What brings you around here? You know you are totally over-qualified for this gig.”

Stephanopoulos (ABC News Anchor and previous Press Secretary to President Bill Clinton): “Well, it is in my wheel house being a previous Press Secretary, but, you, being the President, this is the biggest story of the decade and I wanted to be right there when something happens.”

Trump: “George, you know you can’t report this stuff on the news until we air it on Celebrity President, right? I mean, all of this should make a really great book, maybe even a TV series, movies, franchises… I’ll be set for life, baby. I’ll go easy on you at first, George, but, then you will be just like all of the other schlubs, I mean apprentices.”

Stephanopoulos: “Don’t give me any special treatment, just act like you don’t know me.”

Trump: “Okay”. He gives him a thumbs up sign.

Jerry, the director of Celebrity President, says to Trump, “Would you like to meet all the new candidates?”

Trump: “Not really, I mean, you can shoot those scenes when I am not around, I’ll eventually learn their names. Why don’t we get started?”

The lights go on, the cameras start rolling.

Trump: “Omarosa, you have been since last week, right? Thanks for starting early. As you know, I have been on vacation these last six weeks, because I know I won’t get another break for the next four years. Hoo, Boy! So, what do we have?”

Omarosa: “Well, we have a lot of things. First, did President Obama get a hold of you?  He said it was important, about giving you the run down on things? And something about codes. He left a 500 page binder of your desk.”

Trump, rolling his eyes, “No, he didn’t get a hold of me. And he should be addressed as Ex-President Obama or simply Obama. There’s only one President and that is me. What does he know? He’s a Muslim, born in Kenya, the worst President ever. What can I learn from him?” He tosses the 500 page binder into the round filing cabinet on the floor.

Stephanopoulos: “Well, when there was a disruption of military intelligence in the transition between Clinton and Bush, the 9/11 tragedy happened, which you blamed Bush for. History does repeat itself.”

Trump:”What do you mean?  We are not going be attacked by Saddam Hussein, he’s dead.”

Stephanopoulos: “Uh, Osama Bin Laden.”

Trump: “Dead, right?”

Stephanopolous: “Yes, dead.”

Trump: “See. You can’t be attacked by a dead man. George, I am giving you a warning. Anyway, back to business…Omarosa?”

Omarosa: “Next, a couple of countries have broken off diplomatic relations with us.”

Trump: “F*** them. They will be sorry.”

Omarosa: “We should set up a White House staff and the Cabinet, and maybe a Chief of Staff.”

Trump: “No other Chiefs, just me, we’ll delete that position permanently. Maybe, we should get a Secretary of Defense? Who was the last secretary of defense under the Republicans? Rumplemeyer? Rumsfeld?, Yes, Rumsfeld.”

Omarosa: “I’m connecting you to Secretary Rumsfeld…”

Apprentice #1: “He got us into Iraq.”

Omarosa points to the phone. Trump picks up phone (realizing what was just said): “Hello Rumsfeld, You’re fired!” He looks at the director. “How’s that for good TV?”

Trump: “How about Generals? I would like to get rid of any generals appointed by Obama. Are there any generals fired under Obama?  We’ll bring them back. Then we’ll attack ISIS, wherever that is.”

Apprentice #2 ” The biggest general names would be Petraeus, McKiernan and McChrystal. As for the others, there is usually good reason why they were fired – gambling, sexual misconduct, adultery, incompetence. I am not sure if the President can appoint Generals to the military, But, maybe you can fire them.”

Trump: “You know a lot about the military, play your cards right and you could be my new Secretary of Defense.”

Apprentice #2 “Yes, sir, Mr. President.”

Trump beams as he thinks about being called Mr. President. “Omarosa, get me Chancellor Merkel of Germany and Prime Minister Abe of Japan on a conference call right now.”

Omarosa starts making calls and then gives Trump a ready sign. Trump picks up the phone. “Angie and Abe-baby! Thanks for taking my call. As you know I am the new Big Cheese and you know why I am calling. I am asking for you to pay your fair share. We have been providing you our military forces on the cheap. And I think you aren’t paying at the current 2017 rate. Angie, how much do you think you paid for our servicemen to be there?…..What do you mean it is complicated? I’ll tell you, not enough! As of now, I am raising your rates to both of your countries by 400%, and if you don’t say yes within 48 hours, you will have to pay 800% more. So, call me back within 48 hours. Bye. Okay! Now we are on a roll” Trump starts rubbing his hands together. “What’s next?”

Omarosa: “Why don’t we meet your new Vice-President?”

Trump: “That is a great idea. Send him in.”

Trump turns to the new apprentices and says: “My first choice for Vice president was my wife, Melania, however, she wasn’t eligible because she wasn’t born here and her parents weren’t US citizens – maybe I can change that law? So, I did the next best thing. Everybody meet my son, Donald, Jr.”

Apprentice #3 (says quietly to the others): “Of course, that would be his son’s name.”

Trump: “I like to think of him as Vice President/Prince and I am the King of America. I was thinking of a great new ad campaign: What’s good for Donald Trump is good for America. No, it would be great for The President Of The United States of TrumpAmerica, POTUSOTA! How does that sound? We are going to make America white again!”

Donald, Jr: “It’s great, not white, we are going to make America great again.”

Trump: “Oh that’s right, I am glad I didn’t say that before I got elected. My poll numbers would have plumetted.”

Apprentice #3 (looking at her cellphone): “Oh my God, Germany and Japan have just dropped diplomatic relations with us.”

Trump: “F*** both of them. F*** those f***ing foreign f***s.”

Apprentice #3: “President Trump, I thought you weren’t going to cuss.”

Trump: “That was a campaign promise, it means it is only good when I am campaigning. It is like Lent, it is only good for 40 days.”

Apprentice #3: “You mean like the other promises aren’t any good either like bringing back jobs from China?”

Trump: “That’s right sweetie. My millionaire friends are making millions in China, just like I am doing with my Trump clothing line. Maybe I can buy a little part of China, maybe like one of the industrial cities like Shengzhou, and call it an American territory. The labels will read “Made in Shengzhou, America.”

Apprentice #3: “How about Obamacare? Are you going to repeal it like you promised?”

Trump (looking flustered, with his arms outstretched and his palms pointing upwards): “Replace it with what? You have the old system, then you have the health insurance exchanges (which is Obamacare) and then you have the single payer option, which our party doesn’t want. Wait a minute, I just had a stroke of genius. First, I repeal Obamacare and then replace with the exact same plan but with lots of advertising and press and we will call it TrumpCare! People will eat it up!”

Apprentice #3: “That’s awful. I was one of your biggest supporters, others said not to vote for you, because they said that you’d promise anything like a used car salesman to get your vote and once you did, you were out of luck.”

Trump: “Well that’s politics and that’s business.”

Apprentice #3: “No, it’s not, that is just lying”.

Trump (irritated): “You are so naive. Grow up! And you’re fired!”

Apprentice #3 runs off. Trump walks over to the director and says “You can dub in her name, can’t you?”

Jerry: “Sure, no problem, her name was Annette.”

Trump (turns towards the sound guys and carefully announces): “Annette, Annette.”

Jerry does a few keystrokes and says to Trump: “How does this sound?” Jerry hits another keystroke and voila, you can hear the replay of Trump talking: “You are so naive (Annette)! Grow up. And you’re fired (Annette)!”

Trump (to Jerry): “You are a genius. I had another great idea. How about for tomorrow’s show, Episode 2, we round up ten real judges and we do an Apprentice for Supreme Court Judges? Maybe make some inquiries to see if Judge Judy is around? I love her show.”

Jerry: “That is a great idea, will do.”

Trump (to everybody): “Okay that is a wrap. That was a good 30 minutes of work, I am bushed, no pun intended. I am going home.”

Apprentice #2: “Don’t you live here in the Oval Office?”

Trump: “I never stay where I work, besides this place is a dump. I will see everybody back here at 10 o’clock sharp tomorrow.”

“We are sorry for the interruption, but Celebrity President has been cancelled.”

Trump: “Who said that? I said who said that?!!”

Trump wakes up and realizes he had just been dreaming. He then states aloud:”Damn, I would make a great Celebrity President.”

END

 

 

 




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