Russian Roulette with Millennials’ Future

I promise I’ll get to millennials, but first we need to talk Trade Wars.  Trust me, it’s going to come together ;).

Trump’s been salivating to declare trade wars with just about everybody. On March 2nd Trump tweeted that “trade wars are good, and easy to win.” Well this harebrained theory is showing signs of imploding.

Some corporate supporters are beginning to jump ship, most notably Harley Davidson. Trump used this company in his first address to Congress as his exemplar of how he was going to make America great again. This week, Trump is tweet-tacking (my new portmanteau for Trump’s incivility on Twitter) the all-American motorcycle company.

@realDonaldTrump is saying he will drive Harley Davidson out of business because they are moving some production to Europe. Harley Davidson simply can’t afford the retaliatory European tariffs. Other companies have already lost jobs (Mid-Continental Nail). The first wave of trade war blow-back ironically is hitting factory workers in Wisconsin, a key state that gave Trump the presidency.

Our 45th President has a love affair with trade wars and zero-sum thinking. It’s clear he learned economics from playing Monopoly (probably also where he learned his negotiation skills). Some would say that change always brings fissures and Trump may know something that most economists and trade gurus don’t. Well, I guess we are about to find out.

What makes even less sense is China. Wait until the trade war gets going with China. Expect me to be writing about our Asian competition soon, not to mention the ZTE craziness. I’ll say this now, the Trump America First policy is facilitating China’s own goal of being the biggest economy of the 21st century.

Russian Roulette with Millennials’ Future

Now is a scary time for the American worker but especially for millennials like me. I graduated college in the mid-2000s and entered the work force just as the Great Recession smashed our economy. Fear of economic downturn is a big part of millennial life and decision-making. The majority of millennials did not vote for Trump but we are the ones who will bear the long-term effects of his voodoo economics. We just can’t seem to catch a break.

Millennials already think the game is rigged against us. Not just here in the United States but in other developed countries like the United Kingdom and Japan. Millennials have huge financial challenges – high student debt, lower wage growth, unemployment and underemployment — all in the shadow of the Great Recession.

Trump is playing Russian Roulette with our economy and millennials’ future.  My sense is the Trade Wars may be an issue that galvanizes young voters to get to the polls.  But we can’t allow Trump’s “Big Lie” techniques to distract us from the real harm he is doing to our economy.