A friend of the blog writes:
I have friends on all political sides. Most have always focused on tabloid style topics rather than policy, but these days the tabloid talk is even more hyped.
Currently, my liberal friends are busy talking about Nike, and how they pay “slave labor” and that is where the outrage should be. (Nike’s wages in developing countries is not new, so why the outrage now versus three days ago?)
On the other hand, my conservative friends aren’t really talking about politics right now, but those that are fierce supporters of Trump are continuing to sing his praises for his skill of distracting the media.
To both, I try to point to the recent NAFTA negotiations.
Part of the current deal includes regulations that would require 40-45% of auto parts to be made by workers earning $16 per hour. Another part of the deal requires 75% of auto content to be made in NAFTA region. This is up from 62% under the old deal. Both of these changes, if adopted, will have real impact on labor and consumer markets. I can see positives and negatives.
I ask my liberal friends, is this what bipartisanship can look like? I mean, they are constantly campaigning for $15 per hour minimum wages.
I ask my Trump supporting friends if this will actually have the effect of bringing back jobs to the US, as Trump promised? I mean, most countries that are currently producing auto parts may not be able to guarantee $16 per hour wages. But, if auto makers move plants back here, who will buy the new cars at the prices sold needed to support those wages? Seems like used car sales will go up, at least in the short term.
I have always been a believer in businesses operating efficiently, and when they do, it helps the consumer, which in turn keeps the economy going. I am not convinced the government knows how to keep business efficient and positively affect the consumer at the same time.
My liberal friends certainly aren’t going to note anything about Trump is positive or that he may be close to them ideologically at times, so they won’t comment. My Trump friends see him as a businessman who gets things done, so they don’t have a problem. But, some of his foreign policy ideas give me pause. But, by all means, let’s get back to Nike and other distractions.
On the one hand, there are a lot of very substantial things going on under the Trump administration.
The obsessive focus on tabloid news is giving a cover to an off a lot of that. Some of it’s good, and some of it is probably stuff that deserve some attention. And it’s not getting it. Again, for better or worse.
The problem with the government is, even if you like the way things start out, if you don’t pay attention to it for long enough, bad things start to happen.