Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Last minute fact-checking the Trump campaign

1,  Donald Trump has made "trade deals" one of the key issues of his campaign:   a promise to renegotiate all the "bad" trade deals that are robbing people of their jobs and sending them overseas.   He promises that he will "bring back your jobs" and make "the greatest deals."   He'll stop all the companies moving to Mexico.   And he will restore the coal mining industry, the steel industry.

Those are empty promises.  Coal mining is not coming back because cleaner, cheaper energy is now available, and robots are taking over some of the jobs that remain.  The same for the steel industry.  What is needed, which Clinton is focusing on, is bringing in new kinds of jobs and helping people get trained to do them.

As to job loss and bad trade deals.   That's not it either, and now there is data to prove it.   A survey at Ball State University found that trade accounted for only 13% of lost factory jobs, while the vast majority of them -- 86% -- were taken by robots and other factors that reduced the need for human labor.  The tough question for the future will be:   what do we do with people who are no longer needed in the labor market?

2.   There was an overwhelming turnout of mostly Latino voters in Clark County (Reno), Nevada on the last day of early voting.   The head of the state GOP complained that election officials kept polls open until 10 pm "to accommodate certain people."   That is a false charge.   It is customary, all over the country, in every election, to allow everyone who is in line when the polls close to vote.   So, they don't "stay open" in the sense of letting more people get in line;  but they do allow those in line at closing time to cast their vote.  Clark County polls closed on time;  it just took until 10 pm for all of them to get through.

As Ronald Reagan would say, "There you go again."   When Trump is losing, he whines.   He blames somebody for . . .  something.   Get ready for charges that the election is rigged.  He's already been saying it -- until the FBI started actually rigging it in his favor.   Then he kept quiet -- until Comey cleared Clinton once again.   Now, again, it rigged.  In the Trump lexicon, if he loses, it was rigged.   If he wins, "great expression of the people's will."


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