Trump, Economics & Unconscious Bias- What the hell to do with it?
If one looks at history of human growth as tribes, one would notice that it does involve exploring new ideas and places, exchanging those with each other & many a times even violently imposing your views, ideas and people on to others. Human history is replete with multiple instances of these from the invasion of Mughal’s in India to the Nazi’s systemic hatred towards jews and the british colonization of the world.
So when the now widely famous (or ill famous) president Trump of USA is talking of building walls and restricting entry of “foreigners” is it really just going against the current expected rhetoric or is he fundamentally looking to change assumptions at play?
Take a look at this particular story published on Linkedin. One specific part of the story attracted my attention as to me this is the root cause:
“ Your visa says you are a software engineer. Is that correct?” the officer asked Omin in a tone the engineer described as accusatory”
Celestine Omin was accustomed to tackling tough engineering problems. Just not the two that the Border Agent had put in…www.linkedin.com
What is the country trying to achieve here? Is it filtering of the talent? is it racial discrimination? or is it both? What are the possible benefits of doing this?
And if the basis is racist then I suggest anyone of you who supports this view to take a look at this video. And many others like this as part of the DNA Journey experiment.
We all have bias, conscious and unconscious. Typically any attempt made to clearly state the unconscious bias or accept that it exists is fought,both by the holder and the receiver. The leverage however lies in holding this tension in a positive manner and managing this polarity. Unfortunately it’s easier said than done.
In the same country where we had its first african american president for 2 terms the pendulum seems to have swung the other way where Obama’s cousins will have to face same or more level of humiliation and scrutiny while entering the promised land of America, as faced by Obama’s forefathers.
Closer home, in India suddenly with restrictions of H1-B visas, people are trying to figure out what would happen next. While the reality is that irrespective of the policies of regime the tribes will find alternatives. Especially in today’s day and age with the advent of technology, these restrictions might just force businesses to look at solving the talent problem in an extremely innovative manner.
All businesses are commercial enterprises, and more so in the USA where they exist to “maximize” stakeholder value. In such situation, imposing restrictions on business will only increase input costs and subsequently prices for end consumers. I suggest you read this short piece from Economist & Author Sanjeev Sanyal on “Trumponomics”. At the end of the day its economics stupid!.
His critical points in this article are quoted here
Moreover, this investment-led strategy will be attempted at the time that unemployment is down at 4.9% and the output gap (IMF estimates) has dropped from a peak of –4.7% in 2009 to almost zero. This means that wages and prices of domestic non-tradables will begin to rise even as the current account deficit widens.
This brings us to the second irony of Trump’s likely economic strategy: it will make US imports rise sharply. Restrictions and tariffs will change the mix of imported goods, but will not really change the quantum”
And if we think that restrictions, invasions are all bad, then look at Indian railways. The rail network built by british is something that still serves the country very well. So if we one chooses to look at the bright side, all technological breakthroughs and path defining changes have come in times of crisis — either perceived or created (Just like the Indian railways). So while Mr.Trump is busy disturbing certain fundamental assumptions that we all seem to have gotten used to, I am hopeful that some of us will see the bright side & take this opportunity to alter those fundamental assumptions, fundamentally!!
We recently concluded our local municipal body elections and like they told us during that time — all bad politicians are elected by good people who didn’t vote.
I certainly didn’t vote in the US elections- What about you? :-D