My response: Unfortunately, some of the consequences are glaring and brazenly indefensible. Here are a few:
- Black homeownership rates have declined to levels not seen since the 1960s, when private race-based discrimination was legal.(1) The overall decline in homeownership threatens to exacerbate racial inequality for decades to come.The Urban League’s “Main Street Marshall Plan” calls for a 10-year, $4 trillion investment in urban communities in a range of areas, of which one is encouraging Black homeownership. But Trump has largely been hostile to any such plan.(2)
- Since Donald Trump’s election, states across the country have seen increased incidents of racist, anti-Semitic or xenophobic violence and vandalism, many of which have drawn directly on the rhetoric and proposals of President-elect Donald Trump.(3)One woman in Colorado told the Southern Poverty Law Center that her twelve-year-old daughter was approached by a [White] boy who said, “Now that Trump is President, I’m going to shoot you and all the Blacks I can find.”(4)
- Trump’s appeal to working Americans overwhelmingly emphasized the deleterious effects of import competition and immigration. Though this was effective campaign rhetoric, the economics prove otherwise.Changing technologies play a far larger role than Trump’s campaign targets. In the factories of generations past, large numbers of workers performed simple, repetitive tasks. Today, more efficient and cost-effective computer-driven robots have replaced them.(5)Further, the myth of cheap foreign labor that pervades Trump’s arguments is undercut by fact. For example, Japanese, Korean and European automakers have opened plants in the U.S., allowing them to respond more quickly to growing customer demands.(6)
The movement of auto manufacturing overseas a generation ago did take advantage of low wages—but they were mainly simple assembly operations. Today`s high-tech, automated manufacturing depends much less on human labor. Even in the semiconductor industry, success depends more on manufacturing prowess, proximity to customers and political factors such as trade barriers than on low wages.(7)
Also, trade is not a one-way street. One of Trump’s more myopic proposals has the U.S. slapping high tariffs on imports. History, however, suggests that other countries will retaliate by imposing stiff tariffs of their own on American exports.
American exports are substantially more than $2 trillion per year.(7) Tariffs raise prices for American consumers, and the resultant full-scale trade war could lead to a global recession.
- Trump, a political novice, had discussed with Russian President Vladimir Putin “forming an impenetrable Cyber Security unit so that election hacking, and many other negative things, will be guarded and safe.”(9)Trump, who oddly seems to apply Twitter’s 140-character limit to his own vocabulary, apparently does not realize that he has eliminated the need for Russian cyber experts to hack into U.S. systems through a back door by now welcoming them into the house.(10)Hopefully, criticism from Republicans as well as Democrats in both Houses will result in scuttling this leaking ship. If not…