With the recent election of real estate mogul Donald Trump as President of the United States, it is necessary to provide an analysis of some of his more prevalent economic and social policies so as to better understand their impact on the day to day lives of Americans. Donald Trump ran a campaign that was especially harsh towards several sects of our society, primarily towards immigrants and minorities. Fortunately, based on some post-election interviews with now President-Elect Donald Trump, it seems that much of the rather extreme rhetoric was empty at best, with his willingness to compromise and concede some of the main campaign promises he made seemingly having increased drastically. That does not mean, however, that it is wise to let down our guard as active and involved citizens in our country’s political system.
First, let’s discuss Trump’s immigration policy. The benefits to a stronger southern border and decreased immigration is the primarily the freezing of the influx of immigrants obtaining jobs in America. There is a minor contribution to the positive impacts from the controlling of crime, but that is a minor issue when compared to the Job Freeing Misconception as I like to call it. What many of these same people who propose stronger borders and limited worker’s visas fail to take into account is that the jobs immigrants are taking are not jobs that Americans are willing to do. They are our farming laborers, trash men, and other jobs with severe manual labor that Americans are certainly not equipped to handle, nor are they willing to do them. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to evaluating the impact of Trump’s immigration plan. There are additional costs he wishes to incur from building his border wall, which has a nearly $25 billion price tag attached to it, and doubling the border patrol, thus doubling border security expenses. To that final point, doubling the border patrol, President-Elect Trump has discussed massive funding increases to compensate for the massive regulatory increases he wishes to impose on the border. What I would propose, instead of increasing regulations, is to give the states and the Border Patrol more flexibility with how they intend to manage the border. In that, the federal government can decrease their involvement and can duly decrease taxes as is necessary.
The next proposal of Trump that I would like to discuss is his foreign trade policy. While it may seem that he is a proponent of free trade, which inherently is intended to decrease prices and expenses for consumers and companies respectively, he is not a proponent of anything of the sort. His protective tariffs (otherwise identified as protectionism) are enough evidence of this deviance from free market capitalism. 35% and 45% tariffs, or import taxes, on goods from Mexico and China respectively will nearly double the prices of millions of goods across American stores, from iPhones to clothing to myriad other items. This is not to imply that everyone will be evenly affected by these price increases. The top income brackets of our nation will remain relatively unaffected. Their expenses will increase the same as everyone else’s, but the impact will be much less felt because of their much larger disposable income. The individuals who will truly feel the impact of these massive price increases are those in the lower income bracket. At current, there are 42 million individuals on food stamp with approximately the same amount receiving food stamps. Imagine how a 45% increase on simple things, such as cell phones and simple baby toys, will have an impact on low income families. Mr. Trump had also discussed retreating from American commitments to NATO, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and NAFTA, amongst other international agreements. NAFTA has been more of a side piece to Trump’s anti-international cooperation rhetoric, and was most likely used as an attempt to connect his opponent, Hillary Clinton, to NAFTA’s failures as it was her husband, Bill Clinton, who passed the agreement under his administration. Mr Trump, however, has continued insisting his intent to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and to put pressure on NATO to fulfill their commitments (2% of their GDP being dedicated to defense). Just recently, in an address published on YouTube by his White House Transition Team, he has reiterated his immediate intent to “notify other member nations on [America’s] intention of withdrawal” from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This move has the ability to create harmful impacts on the global economy, especially in member nations, which are among some of the poorest that border the Pacific Ocean. It will result in a slowdown of international trade with the United States, alongside a gradual, but substantial, increase in prices for Americans that will, once again, only impact the lower class in a negative manner. It seems like President-Elect Trump has a zero sum agenda in mind, which favors the upper class while having the poor take the brunt of the impact, both economically and socially.
The final point I would like to address is Mr. Trump’s plan to rebuild infrastructure. Don’t misunderstand me, I entirely support the reconstruction and addition of infrastructure to America. I do not, however, support the massive spending increases proposed by Mr. Trump, which have been estimated by the President-Elect himself to carry the weight of nearly $1 trillion dollars. Many believe that this is phenomenal, and that the best thing the federal government can do to stimulate the economy is to invest in infrastructure. No offense to those who do believe that, but you’re flat out wrong. Accruing billions upon billions of dollars of federal debt to both domestic and global groups is simply going to put America on the edge of economic collapse. Instead, there should be a steady decline in spending on welfare programs, such as Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid, which can then free up tax revenues to be put toward funding new infrastructure projects.
The next four years are sure to be interesting. There have already been numerous calls for impeachment, for civil unrest, and for President Obama to have a third term in office. While the several things I have discussed above may be frightening, unsettling, or angering, I advise everyone who has read to this point to keep a calm and level head about them. There are many experts who agree that Mr. Trump needs to take office in order for any of these policies to become reality, and then he will need time in office in order to put most of his policies into action. I have pledged to myself to give the President-Elect his first 100 days in office to impress me and my peers with his initial actions. These first 100 days of a presidency typically are the tone-setter for the rest of his tenure in office, therefore I advise my peers to wait and see what he has in store for our nation.