2018 January 31

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Alfred E. Smith Building
Common Earth
Donald John Trump
Ground Hog Day
Lutheranville State Forest
New York State
Stammer Creek State Forest

January 2018
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Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

Gross Domestic Product of Canada, per Capita (2010 Dollars)

Canada saw a modest jump in it's gross domestic product after passage of the North America Free Trade Agreement, although not as big as Mexico, as Canada previously had much lower tarriffs on many products traded with the United States then Mexico.

Data Source:
World Bank, Constant GDP per capita for Canada [NYGDPPCAPKDCAN], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/NYGDPPCAPKDCAN, March 15, 2017.

In general, I was pretty disappointed with President Trump’s State of the Union address. It was one of the longest State of Union addresses, but failed to mention climate change. You would have though the President would have thought to given it a little thought when he delivered his address. I didn’t expect the President, as a conservative Republican, would promote a radical pro-regulation take on climate change, but he should have at least been pushing for market-based solutions, and noted the progress we’ve made in recent years in decarbonizing the economy as we’ve moved from coal to natural gas as a primary source of power generation. Maybe not enough, but he should have dropped a remark in favor of climate action.

Listening to his immigration portion of his speech, the best way to describe my attitude to his remarks was disgusted. We shouldn’t be turning our backs on our immigrants, especially those who have spent most of their lives in America. There is very little evidence that immigrants take American jobs, indeed most of the jobs they take are at the bottom of the spectrum not widely sought after by Americans. Many immigrants work incredibly hard, as they know what alternative is to not working — going back to a life of poverty in places that don’t offer the freedom or dynamic economy that America has. Immigrants are bringing us new foods, new cultures, new ideas, and are working tirelessly to make our country a better place to live. It’s absurd that we can’t find a solution to fully integrate long-term immigrants — the dreamers into the fabric of our society.

The solution to the tough times that many people in rural America and urban ghettos is not to turn out backs on the immigrants or dig more coal. It’s make the the strategic investment in education, and to work tirelessly to create the jobs of the future. Coal is not the future, renewable energy is the future. Tourism and recreation are the future. As leisure time expands for Americans, we need to make sure we have the parks and recreational facilities of all types for the public to enjoy and take advantage of. We need to make sure rural areas are welcoming, that they are producing the high-value foods and commodities sought out by the increasingly discriminating tastes of urban consumers.

While regulation costs jobs in legacy industries, the truth is regulation often spurs new jobs in compliance with regulations, all while improving the quality of life of millions of Americans. Air pollution controls for automobiles are classic example, but in every industry there are cases of regulation for the public benefit improving the quality of life. Millions of Americans build automobile pollution control devices, including many highly paid engineers and scientists. Certainly government should never interfere with free markets or competition, but it should set up regulations to ensure orderly competition so that all players have fair access to the market and that the market produces products that do as little harm as possible to the public. Trump’s blanket attacks on regulation are foolish and serve no public purpose.

His whole speech wasn’t that bad. Certainly I appreciated his one liner about protecting the second amendment. But he was silent on how he planned to protect the rights of gun owners and hunters like myself. He said nothing about acquiring new public lands, about increasing training and knowledge of sportsmen. He didn’t talk about ways we can protect our public lands for generations to come, or how we can limit the incredible amount of climate change gases and other toxic substances coming out of our big cities and great places of industry.

Maybe I gave Donald Trump too much of the benefit of the doubt during his first year in office. I thought he could have proven to be a good president, somebody who could have brought his business knowledge to the White House to make government work efficiently and promote job creation. But after hearing the president’s speech, I am throughly disappointed with his leadership, and hope we can take our country in a different direction starting in 2018.

Map: NYS Counties Population Cartogram

Map: NYS Counties Population Cartogram

New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. New York is the 27th-most extensive, the 3rd-most populous, and the 7th-most densely populated of the 50 United States. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east. The state has a maritime border with Rhode Island east of Long Island, as well as an international border with the Canadian provinces of Ontario to the west and north, and Quebec to the north. The state of New York is often referred to as New York State to distinguish it from New York City.

Donald Trump just asked Congress to end the rule of law.

I heard this remark last night, and said, aw-shit. I doubt Congress would give up this amount of power, and I'm sure unions would have a problem with this as it would essentially end civil service as we know it.

“I call on the congress to empower every Cabinet secretary with the authority to reward good workers—and to remove federal employees who undermine the public trust or fail the American people.”