In case you were off the planet for the past year, you might have noticed that the world has changed. The old standbys of the “establishment,” experience and wisdom is out of favor and has been replaced by some radical thoughts that these traits don’t matter very much when it come to the levers of power and running the country. These changes could have important and long lasting ramifications for businesses and employment.
The stock market which is off some 10% even though profits are up, the cost of oil which is down 70% tends to increase income as well as disposable consumer spending. And over the last decade profits are up 42%, yet a paradigm shift has been taking place. Nevertheless people are upset and for good reason. The problem lies in wealth distribution. Over a protracted period of time, millions of people have been left out in the cold during this period of prosperity and are now angry and demanding what they believe is their fair share of the gains. The rich have gotten richer and the poor and lower middle class have not prospered much at all.
Usually only in periods of great unrest and desperation, like the 1930’s depression did the US flirt with radical ideas such as Communism and in Europe did the great state of Germany give power to the National Socialist Workers Party. It is true that special interests have had undue influence in Congressional legislation at the detriment of those without clout and financial power. The danger is in the throw the bums out approach, is far too risky for the most critical country which is the United States. Radical ideas will greatly impact economic issues, taxation, social agendas, but also in dealing with world affairs and diplomatic relations. Elections are not a game show. Letting untested and risky proposals take hold have unintended consequences for the US which is the lynch pin of the world. The line from the movie Network, “I am mad as hell and will not take this anymore” was entertainment and not intended to be played out in the real world. For sure reforms need to be made, but in a reasonable way. Some politicians have used these problems to serve their own interests and set one group against another.
Untested policies will likely impact the economy and employment in unpredictable ways with a high probability of unfavorable and unintended consequences. Do we really think we can bring back low skilled jobs that were lost due to higher labor costs and outdated plants will not be closed once again? Do we really think that a $15.00/hour wages across the board for everyone is feasible? Do we not think that a country with a government in gridlock is a bad idea? Do we not think we can create tariff barriers without retribution to our $1.5 trillion in exports? Do we really think those unpleasant agricultural and menial domestic jobs mainly done unskilled immigrants will be taken up by Americans? As we restrict access to the US, do we not know that immigrants’ spawned hundreds of new industries from Sergey Brin (Russia) who co-created Google and Elon Musk (South Africa) founder of PayPal, Tesla and SpaceX, back to Andrew Carnegie (Scotland) who founded US Steel? And do we really think we can dictate to other world leaders what is only in our best interest?
We need leaders who will not sell out to special interests and are not looking to set themselves up for a high paying private sector lobbying gig. Reforms do need to be enacted, but by trustworthy representatives with experience we can unite the country.
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