What’s Going On Now

by Byron on January 22, 2017

Decker and Gibson,

You guys are four and two.  Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States this past Friday.  Yesterday, there was a massive protest of Trump and his presidency, mostly led by women fighting for equal rights.  Today, four NFL teams will get whittled down to two to play in the 51st Superbowl.  The Dow Jones might hit 20,000 soon.  There is serious conflict in various parts of the world, including Syria, Southern Russia, various parts of Africa, and elsewhere.  The rate of change is accelerating.  The rate of technology change is advancing exponentially.  This means we can barely comprehend where this world will be as you guys reach adulthood.  That’s scary stuff.

Donald Trump got elected, largely, on his promise to bring American jobs back.  He was also elected because of Hillary Clinton’s shortcomings, promises to put “America first” and Russian interference in the election.  That last one is horrifying.  Another country interfered in our election.  Granted, the US does it with a certain regularity, but the thought of it being done to us is terrifying.  I wonder if every country feels that way?

Donald Trump didn’t really seem to care much about Russian interference in the election.  Maybe we will learn more about that in the coming years.  Maybe not.  Maybe this will be disaster, maybe not.  Unfortunately, I’d bet on bad before I’d bet on good, but though I like to estimate it, I cannot predict the future.

One thing that won’t likely happen is Donald Trump won’t likely bring back American jobs.  He used fear of the future, fear of technology, and fear of the unknown to get elected.  But that doesn’t mean he can change it.  He can’t.  He can temporarily slow it down if he is willing to sacrifice the environment and he is willing to sacrifice various aspects of International trade and expose us to significant inflation.  Both environmental problems and inflation will likely come.  Both will probably be pretty bad, and neither will stem the inevitable changes anyway.

The divide between the rich and the poor will grow.  The divide between the educated and the uneducated will grow even more substantially.

Without substantial evolution of human behavior, there will be far less work as you guys reach adulthood, not more.  Technology is in the third inning and has already wiped out numerous jobs.  So many more will be gone within the next decade or two.

My head is on a swivel for you guys.

I don’t like Trump.  There are a lot of reasons for my dislike, but I’ll leave it, for now, at: I think he is far more into himself than our country.  That’s a terrible quality for a president.  Again, time will tell.  I am grateful where I live in a society in which I get to write those words.  Never forget how valuable that is.

I wrote some thoughts after Trump’s dark, dividing inaugural address.

 

We are Americans.

We want freedom.
We want to look out for the less fortunate among us.
We want a good job available for anyone willing and able to work.

We want to pay reasonable taxes.
We want to be part of something bigger than us.
We want to be left alone when we want to be left alone.
We want somewhere to go when we need somewhere to go.
We want to be able to raise our children in peace.
We want to be respected on the world stage.
We want to combat terrorism.

We want politicians to remember they work for us.
We don’t want to ruin the earth.
We believe in our Constitution.

 

I love you guys.

 

Dad

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