An Engineer’s Proposal
Because I am an engineer I vote based on numbers, and because the Democrats have been delivering better results, I have just voted Democratic. Now that the Republicans won, I believe facts still have a chance to influence our policies for the better. My proposal is to have the Democrats come to President-elect Trump and say the following:
As the greatest salesperson ever, you know that people sign-up for a service based on promises but renew it based on performance. To get re-elected, you need to fulfill your promise to create jobs, but there are six factors working against you:
1. You are a Republican president. Since WWII, Democrats have created 61 million private-sector jobs, compared to 26 million created under Republicans. The average monthly number created during the last 4 administrations was 195,000 under Democrats and 27,000 under Republicans.
2. The current recovery started 85 months ago. For job growth to continue over the next four years you’ll need a recovery that will have lasted 133 months. Since the average expansion in the postwar era lasted just 58 months, the chances of that happening are small.
3. Since 1960, manufacturing has been contributing 12% of the GDP, but its share of jobs has declined from 24% to 9%. The surging use of automation will cause millions more of your voters to lose their jobs.
4. If you go ahead with deportation, the economy, according to the Wall Street Journal, may lose 3% of private-sector GDP.
5. If you go ahead with protectionist policies, the world economy will shrink. Even Fox News described George W. Bush’s decision to impose tariffs on imported steel as “so completely wrong that it physically hurts”.
6. High-caliber scientists and engineers from around the world have been coming to the US to enjoy a better career and a welcoming society (five of the six American Nobel Laureates this year are immigrants). The anti-foreigner sentiments that have been unleashed will cause many of them to not come here, thus depriving the American economy of important contributors while adding them to our economic rivals.
Based on the above, your chances to be re-elected are slim. We are here to offer you a deal: you will help the average American, and we will help you get re-elected. Examples of what you can do include:
1. Infrastructure projects will create many jobs and have bipartisan support. To pay for them you need to raise taxes on the rich, fulfilling what you promised during the campaign.
2. Fulfill your promise to replace Obamacare with something better by introducing the public option. The private health insurance companies provide the same service as the government’s Medicare, but they incur an overhead of 30% and 1% respectively. By reducing health expenses by 29%, which translates to 5.2% of the GDP you’ll save the economy more that we spend right now on education (4.9%) or the military (3.5%).
3. Fulfill your promise to run the country as a businessman. Repeal the anti-competitive law prohibiting Medicare from negotiating prices with pharmaceutical companies.
4. Countries that make abortions illegal actually have a higher rate, so a better approach would be to adopt Colorado’s proven Family Planning Initiative at the federal level. It reduced the abortion rate for women ages 15–19 by 48% over 5 years.
5. Refrain from implementing damaging policies, like adding trillions to the debt, privatizing social security and Medicare, reducing the estate tax, appointing a constitutional conservative to the Supreme Court, and reneging on the Paris agreement.
We realize that it would be hard for you to deliver even half of the above items, but think of the reward — we are going to block any attempt by the Republicans to impeach you.
If you accept the deal, you’ll be able to call yourself the second Reagan. He too started as a Democrat, became a Republican president, but then tried to do what’s right regardless of ideology. He passed the biggest tax cut in US history, but also the biggest tax hike. He called Russia an evil empire, but 5 years later was kissing babies in Red Square. In your case, doing the right thing may mean to realize that Putin is not a leader to kiss up to but an evil dictator, and that an across-the-board undoing of the policies of your predecessor may cause great harm to our country.