Trump’s Wasted Efforts
Doesn’t President Trump have better and more productive things to do, like play golf, or deny his campaign’s collusion with the Russians. Instead, he’s wasting his time working on policies that will have no lasting value for the country and a negative impact temporarily. Some of these he does by presidential fiat and others with the help of a Republican Congress that appears star struck by the Commander-in-Chief.
As an example, we have Trump’s executive order regarding coal and fossil fuels which overturned Obama’s directives on fossil fuels and climate change. Trump is anxious to get more coal mines opened, more miners back to work, and more power plants using coal. He doesn’t care about the climate effects because he doesn’t believe in global warming (independent of all the hot air he puts out). However, he’s been telling Americans for years what a smart guy he is and how his IQ is sky high. Doesn’t he realize that his executive order will be meaningless in a short while? Doesn’t he realize that the market determines what fuels will be utilized depending on cost and convenience. Surely he must know that the market is what really counts, not his executive orders.
So basically, this was just a show for his base and getting miners some work temporarily. Then they will be unemployed again. Natural gas is so cheap, relatively clean and easy to transport, that coal will not be able to compete with it. And renewable energy costs are dropping significantly, though Trump’s tariffs on solar panels may set that back for a while.
Despite the regulatory changes put in place by Trump, miners are losing their jobs and mines are closing. Since Trump’s inauguration, 20 of 380 old coal-powered power plants have been closed in the U.S. or soon will be. Coal’s percentage of energy generation in the United States has dropped from almost half ten years ago to about a third. And the trend is further downward. In less than a decade, there’s been nearly a 40 percent drop in American coal production. Coal country’s population is hurting badly, and no matter what Trump says, coal is not coming back. One can imagine him like King Canute standing in the water and ordering the sea to turn around. Maybe he’s not so smart after all.
Another example of time wasting involves immigration. America needs workers. There are not enough citizens to fill all the jobs that are available. And the fertility rate of Americans is not high enough to grow the population significantly, being either just above or just below the replacement rate in different years. America needs both low skilled and high skilled workers and our H1-B program should be expanded to get highly skilled individuals to help to grow our economy. These are people who get patents and develop start-ups. And legalizing the ‘Dreamers’ will still not be enough for our economy.
Blue collar workers are also in demand as rising wages show. Moving Americans who have lost their jobs to areas that have a deficit of workers will not be enough to fill the void. Immigrants are also required as caregivers for our aging population. Not only are more workers necessary to boost the economy, but to also support Social Security and Medicare.
It’s the height of foolishness and a waste of time for Trump and the Republicans to kick out immigrants who want to work here. Dreamers should be legalized and given a path to citizenship, H1-B workers should be increased and encouraged to stay here, and low skilled immigrants should be given opportunities to remain and ultimately become citizens. We don’t need a wall at our southern border. More Mexicans are going home than coming here, feeling that they are not wanted. They are needed.
And why is Trump working so hard to discredit and end the Mueller investigation if he has nothing to hide. Another waste of time? His efforts and the pressure he’s exerting on Congressional Republicans point to a guilty Trump who’s afraid of what Mueller and his team will find. Unfortunately, Republicans in Congress are putting party over country in the way they are handling Russian meddling and the Trump presidency. What happened to their patriotism. For shame!