One Day Later

So I got my hopes up and didn’t prepare for what happened in this election. In retrospect, I can see much more clearly why I should have been concerned. I don’t have friends that think Donald Trump would make a good president. Fortunately, you choose your friends, but from a statistical point of view, people you like to hang out with don’t make for good sampling.

I’m looking at my family now, and I can see that things are not as rosy. My Mother, at least one of my three brothers, at least one of my two sisters and her voting-age daughter are either Trump supporters or at least anti-hillary enough to cast a vote for him. My wife’s brother, his wife, her father and stepmother are vigorous supporters of Donald Trump as well. That’s not a small number of relatives and these are only the ones who had a discernable preference before the election.

I know these people, and I’m not really surprised by their political opinions. It’s also a valid point that in my state, their preferences in the presidential race had limited consequences, as did mine. The family members who live out of state contributed more. Such is the nature of the electoral system. Meanwhile, winning or losing a political argument with a family member isn’t a simple matter and can come at some cost. This is not to be trivialized.

This race will be remembered for a lot of things. One is the involvement of James Comey at several points along the way creating openings for Trump to attack Hillary. The leaks of HRC staff emails from John Podesta from Wikileaks. These leaks chronicled a good number of criticisms of Clinton and some dirty pool, but nothing illegal per se. The unforgivable sin of having your dirty laundry in the open is what happened there. Nobody should have any doubt that the Trump campaign had absolute brutal and unfair strategies throughout the primaries. A similar leak would likely have revealed similar embarrassments, but what came out was all on one side and it created problems for HRC during debates and during her campaign.

The Russians were directly involved in degrading Clinton and they had an accomplice in Wikileaks. This wasn’t a good thing, but where the mails came from was never the story. No, the only offset to the stream of bad news from that source would have been a counter-attack. I would love to see the emails between Kellyanne Conway and the rest of the campaign, but it wasn’t to be.

I’ve decided that I’ll be fine. I don’t suspect that much will change for me in the near future. If anyone should be concerned, the people who voted Trump into office probably have the most to lose. If they voted because they have a crappy job and want to go back to work at a factory building stuff, I still can’t see any mechanism by which those empty promises of making dreams come true will be kept. We can scrap treaties, but even if some factories are built or moved here, people don’t hire folks to weld stuff together anymore; robots do that now. The factories may come back, but with only a small fraction of the jobs.

Big River Steel in Arkansas is a 1.3 billion dollar plant that will eventually employ a workforce of 545 people to pour 1.6 million tons of steel per year. That’s an investment of almost 2.4 million dollars per job. Those people will make about 70K or so a year, so those are great jobs. Alabama’s new ThyssenKrupp mill will cost around 5 Billion dollars and employ 2,700 people. That’s a much better economy of scale though at only 1.85 million dollars per job. Putting tariffs on imports could cause steel mills to start rolling again with greater vigor, the downside is a trade war that could cost jobs in other areas.

It’s not simple.

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