Photo by Michael Vadon, License: CC by 2.0
Despite outrage from the general populous at the bombastic Donald Trump’s campaign for President, a great number of Republicans continue to support him, and shockingly, he remains the overwhelming favourite for the Republican presidential nomination. This confounding support of Trump can, in truth, be narrowed down to a few key reasons, one of which is a disturbing lack of knowledge regarding actual policy, and a misguided focus on political rhetoric. In my honest opinion, the way to defeat Trump is not to simply slam him for his admittedly asinine stance on immigration, but to deliver a systematic breakdown of his economic policies, and explain how malevolent they would indeed be to the US economy. That is what I seek to achieve in this article; to provide a brief respite from his nauseating rhetoric and to inform the average American what a President Trump could actually mean for their day-to day lives, and indeed, the lives of people around the world. The fact remains that the effects of Donald Trump would not stay consigned merely in American soil, but would be felt around the world, so instead of a simply American issue, this is a global one too, and people around the globe need to act to stop this man getting any sort of political power.
One of Mr. Trump’s landmark policies is a 25% tariff on Chinese goods entering the USA. Now, although the seasoned businessman naïvely suggests that after imposing this tariff on the Chinese, jobs will return back to the USA, it is a shaky claim at best. Assuming the World Trade Organisation would support the USA in doing this, which is highly unlikely in itself, this tariff would result in China creating trade barriers to U.S. exports to China itself. With China taking up a drastically increased proportion of global GDP off late, Xi Jinping’s government will not take the Trump tariff imposition lightly, and would likely respond viciously, hurting America drastically. As China is one of the biggest markets in the world for US exporters, this would drastically decrease the profits of firms operating in the USA and exporting to China, resulting in them having to impose job cuts, the exact antithesis of what Trump wants to happen. Although Trump is correct in saying that China has deliberately undervalued its currency in order to make its exports more competitive and to bring jobs to their economy, inciting a trade war is simply not the right way to combat this, and it would lead to a worsening of the US job situation.
Now, let’s get on to what the majority of this factually dubious Trump campaign hinges on: immigration. Donald Trump’s misinformed immigration policies could lay the framework for a complete and utter slowdown of the US economy, by costing the economy so much that it eventually stalls. A study by the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy claimed that undocumented immigrants contribute $11.84 billion to the US economy each year, a staggering amount, which is far too much to lose. Many of these illegal immigrants also are paid very low wages, and so by driving them out, Trump is instantly raising wages in some states where illegal immigrants make up more than 5% of the general population. The Center for American Progress, in 2010, claimed that deporting all these immigrants would suck $2.5 trillion from the US economy over 10 years, which could have gone into funding other sects of the economy, namely healthcare, which the USA desperately needs to reform. The increase in wages resulting from mass immigration would also result in firms having to impose job cuts, which would further increase unemployment rates and further shrink the economy as a whole, even for much long after Trump has left the White House. That doesn’t seem like making America great again to me.
A vitally important service to the US citizens is healthcare, as mentioned above. Donald Trump, if somehow voted in as President, would completely destroy Obamacare, which the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimated would cost $0.5 trillion to the US economy over the next 10 years after it is implemented. In addition to this, 21 million Americans would lose insurance coverage under this plan, only 5% of whom would regain coverage under Trump’s replacement scheme. In addition to his other policies, the Committee proclaimed that the total debt from a Trump presidency after 10 years would be between 115 and 140% of GDP, reaching unsustainable levels. These significant levels of debt mean that there is a high likelihood that the USA would simply not have enough money to spend on other key areas, for example education, which is a fundamental human right. Therefore, it is easily ascertainable that a few years of a Trump presidency could leave ramifications which would still be felt for decades to come. By voting Trump, one is potentially risking not just their children’s future, but also that of their grandchildren, and when the chips are down and Trump actually has to enact his policy plans, sparks would be felt throughout the world.
Shrey Srivastava, 15