Donald Trump - Caricature

Photo courtesy: DonkeyHotey

(Read in Donald Trump’s voice) ‘JOBS JOBS JOBS. It’s gonna be yuuuuuuge’. Economic policies of former presidents focused on various areas, Ronald Reagen focused on ‘trickle-down’ supply-side economics (famously known as Reaganomics) while Obama was attentive to increasing taxes on high-income American families. For Trump, it’s all about jobs, jobs and jobs. Oh and it’s also about tax cuts for the rich, but he doesn’t want to amplify that yet.

Trump’s election campaign suggested that switching the jobs from the immigrants to Americans to correct the ‘imbalance’ is paramount on his agenda. His recent activities suggest the same. There have been speculations that the current leader of the free world is on the verge of modifying the famous H1B visa, lowering the quota from 85,000 to 65,000. The L1 visas won’t be spared either. Quite catastrophic, if you are an Indian techie craving to live the American dream. This might indeed be effective in achieving what Trump wants, but he has no idea what he has to pay for it.

Here’s where Trumponomics is flawed: Donald Trump is a businessman. Businessmen like Trump tend to be singleminded, with the goal in sight but the underlying effects in order to pursue the goal are not considered to be a concern. He wants to modify the H1B visa? Great. Has he thought about the fact that Silicon Valley is what it is because of H1B? Hasn’t he realised that there are jobs that only the holders of the H1B and L1 visas can fulfil? Michio Kaku, one of the scientists who crafted the famous ‘String Theory’, stated that anti-immigration modifications made to the H1B could cause the collapse of the entire scientific establishment of America. The words collapse and scientific establishment together in a sentence would seem scarier than it sounds.

What’s even worse is the effect on education and research institutions. Since Trump’s other plan to cut taxes is likely to be executed, the budget for public education institutions are set to decrease and these institutions will take a big hit. Private universities won’t take that much of a big hit since the previous elongated periods of excellence will help to withstand a few years of turbulence and eventually prevent destabilisation. For-profit education institutions are likely to increase and may disincentivize Americans to pursue higher education. Funds for research is likely to be cut down, and the decrement of foreign talent to the USA wouldn’t help either. Scientific discoveries will decrease. It would also be harder to pursue an education in the United States for foreigners and hence diverting them to study in countries like New Zealand, Australia, United Kingdom, Singapore and Honk Kong.

And what does he pay for with all this? Jobs. Jobs that most Americans might not even be able to take over.

It is interesting to watch America on the verge to destroy the comparative advantages it has with Trumponomics. The influence on the rest of the world due to Trumponomics is yet to be seen and could be favourable or unfavourable. Who knows? Countries like India managing to keep its talent at home might improve the local scenario and also, who knows? America’s contribution to the global scientific community (which is a lot) might decrease to a very very large extent. This can lead to the halt of major scientific advancements for elongated periods.


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