Recently, a long list of well-known technology executives released an open letter opposing Donald Trump's candidacy for president. The letter was clear in its sentiments: the election of Trump would not benefit the technology sector:
We have listened to Donald Trump over the past year and we have concluded: Trump would be a disaster for innovation. His vision stands against the open exchange of ideas, free movement of people, and productive engagement with the outside world that is critical to our economy — and that provide the foundation for innovation and growth.
As I read it, I found several shortcomings in the arguments of these technology sector executives. I speak as someone who has been in the industry for a long time. I worked as a failure analysis engineer (at companies like Qualcom, Texas Instruments, etc.) in semiconductor industry, an industry at the heart of technological innovations. I have authored two volumes to take the technology industry to its next level of innovation and financial success with profound macroeconomic reforms to restore free market economy. In an upcoming third volume, I plan to address technology and macroeconomics with regards to More-than-Moore and Beyond Moore drivers for growth.
Tech industry executives make a claim that they believe in an inclusive country that fosters opportunity, creativity, and a level playing field. However, they fail to consider the broader macroeconomic implications of U.S. Free Trade policies. These changes have significantly improved the profitability of several large multinational corporations (MNCs) but have resulted in joblessness, debt, and poverty for an average American. If the tech industry executives believe in an inclusive country that fosters opportunity then they have to endorse free market economic policies based on the theory of mass capitalism that would ensure that wages of American workforce catches up automatically with their growing productivity. Only when wages catch up with productivity can an economy foster opportunity and creativity by fostering entrepreneurship by ensuring that there is sufficient demand for the rising supply from growth in productivity from technological progress.
In order to achieve a level playing field, free trade policies have to be replaced by fair trade policies. Dr. Stanley Wolf supports this approach and said:
Mass Capitalism offers hope for the embattled U.S. economy. Apek Mulay has seen the negative impacts of offshoring and unequal trade regulations on the microelectronics industry. The solutions he proposes would level the playing field and strengthen the US economy.
Wolf is a legend of semiconductor industry and his four volumes on Silicon Processing of the VLSI Era have been endorsed as a bible by the global semiconductor industry. Wolf also agrees that present trade regulations are unequal and the playing field is not leveled which is weakening the U.S. economy.
Donald Trump is against these free trade policies as they are leading to unsustainable trade deficits for U.S. economy for several decades. Of course, Donald Trump needs to change his inflammatory rhetoric. I had interviewed world-renowned macroeconomist, Ravi Batra in this quest to understand the reasons for rise of Donald Trump in 2016 presidential elections. You can view the interview, titled Career Politicians and Fury in America below:
While an open exchange of ideas, free movement of people, and productive engagement with the outside world is critical to the U.S. economy, a few reforms in work visa programs are needed to eliminate visa fraud and give a higher preference to domestic workers over foreign workers. While innovation comes from talented workforce, macroeconomic growth comes from purchasing power in domestic economy.
If Donald Trump supports legal immigration but opposes illegal immigration, they are good for long term prosperity of America. While there has to be no compromise on free and open exchange of ideas, including over the Internet, as a seed from which innovation springs, there should also be reforms in overall US economy which have permitted rise of collusion between media and corporations. It has become very difficult to trust today's media as they have lost their financial independence as a result of being controlled by big money. Unless, we have a free unbiased media, we cannot restore this lost trust.
While the government plays an important role in the technology economy by investing in infrastructure, education, and scientific research, I believe that political corruption in the U.S. economy has enabled majority of laws to be passed in favor of corporations and those policies have transformed U.S. democracy into corporatocracy.
Additionally, the claim that Donald Trump risks distorting markets, reducing exports, and slowing job creation is unsubstantiated. In reality, these markets are already distorted. As the United States has run persistent trade deficits since 1976 and exports have been falling compared to U.S. imports since 1976. The real wages have been trailing worker productivity since 1970s. Hence, there has been rising supply but decreasing economic demand.
I'd love to know what you think. Let me know in the comments section below.