It is a word that brings one inevitably back to the World War 2 era in America, where President Roosevelt tried his best against an unswerving public to try to get the country into the war effort until Pearl Harbor changed everything.
As the war came to a close and the decades passed by, America has opened itself up to the world economically step by step, fostering trade with China and signing numerous free trade agreements that would supposedly benefit the nation in the long run.
And then Donald Trump decided to run for office.
His “America First” campaign slogan and promises to bring more jobs to the United States from overseas inspired millions to vote for him, setting the stage for one of the most dramatic upsets in a presidential election since the office was first created in the 18th century.
We have all heard promises from presidents in the past to fix this or promote that, but none ever seemingly get to fulfill any of their major talking points due mainly in part to divided government. What this means is that one party controls one branch of government (Congress, or even one part of it such as the Senate) while the other controls another part of it. Each party is vying to maintain and gain more power over the other, and as a result what you see in the United States these days is a stalemate on most major programs. No Republican or Democrat would dare touch social security for instance, as doing so would invite the other party to simply criticize them as not seeking out the best interests of the elderly, the next generation, or whomever.
That is how politics works in America these days.
However, President Trump may be on to something. Ever since taking office he has wholeheartedly gone all-in on his America First policy, with the most recent tax bill being a prime example of this. Among the major changes: individual income tax brackets were modified to make them broader, with the top tax rate lowered from 39.6 to 37; standard deductions were increased significantly (from $6,500 to $12,000 for single filers for instance); the corporate tax rate was lowered from 39 percent (one of the highest rates in the world) to 21 percent, which puts it roughly in the middle of the pack. Another minor change included in the bill was a one-time allowance for companies to repatriate overseas funds to the United States at a 15.5% rate. Due to this change alone, Apple has decided to repatriate all of its money from overseas (nearly $250 billion), paying approximately $38 billion to the government.
What President Trump promoted in his major speech at Davos, Switzerland wasn’t really protectionism at all. He is simply looking out for America’s best interests, in a similar way to what Vladimir Putin is doing with Russia (aside from annexing territories and allegedly influencing elections in other countries). He wants to encourage more foreign investment in America because it will inevitably bring more wealth and jobs to the nation. President Trump also wants to reconsider some of the free trade deals that have been ongoing for some time because they have had a negative effect upon job creation (NAFTA, for instance, has led to some 700,000 jobs being moved over to Mexico because the cost of doing business in the country is much less than in the United States).
Say what you want about the man’s twitter account or past statements and actions towards particular groups of people, but when it comes to the economy, President Trump’s speech at Davos only reinforced what his campaign has tried to deliver on since inauguration:
Jobs, jobs, jobs.