The United States is undergoing a staggering economic transformation moving from a manufacturing economy to a post-industrial economy that is information and service based. In considering the next presidential election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton it is important to consider their economic plans and how they could affect the business and startup communities in this country.
With that in mind, The Startup Register is taking this time to consider their positions relative to the economy. Donald Trump’s economic plan is solidly rooted in the past. With a variety of tools in his economic toolbox, his main strategies are tax cuts and federal deregulation, with job creation coming in the restoration of the coal industry and hiring border guards.
Additionally, the Republican candidate seeks policies of trade protectionism which will lower international commerce opportunities for small businesses and startups. His desire to unilaterally renegotiate a long standing treaty in NAFTA without regard to the other signatories will create a global mistrust of this country and jeopardize future trade agreements. Economists who have weighed in on the candidate’s economic plans believe they would be bad for the American economy, raising the national debt and sending the country into a recession.
Supporters of the Republican candidate point to his wealth as a reason to believe in his economic prowess, yet most of his true business ventures have ended in failure costing investors hundreds of millions of dollars. Starting with a large nest egg and using his father’s credit and influence allowed him to recover from his business failures in a way average business people wouldn’t have been able to. He is currently facing a class action lawsuit from attendees of his real estate training school which could be devastating to his net worth should he lose the case.
Like every presidential candidate over the last 40 years, Mr. Trump could present his tax returns to demonstrate his income, assets and obligations. Inexplicably, he has refused to do so. His actual net worth is unknown, though reasonable estimates place it at $3.7 billion. He claims to be worth three times that amount. All the general public can see of Mr. Trump’s wealth are icons of success…autos, planes and buildings…without knowing how much debt possibly lurks behind.
When it comes to the economy and small business, Mrs. Clinton is leaps and bounds ahead of her rival. She understands our economy has changed. It is no longer possible in this country to graduate from high school, get a manufacturing job and join the middle class. She wants to invest in the information economy by supporting the science, technology, engineering and math disciplines that are its foundation. She wants to invest and develop green energy technologies to make the United States a world leader. Sorry Mr. Trump, coal is dead and the free market made that decision.
Hillary Clinton wants to level the playing field between urban and rural America economically. Two of her policies will help do that. Adding affordable high-speed broadband to rural communities will spur economic development in those regions. Making college/re-training free or affordable will provide skilled employees companies need to grow their businesses. Mr. Trump fails to address these needs…at all.
The Democratic nominee wants to develop entrepreneurs and an entrepreneurial spirit in corporate America. She wants work balance and quality of life.
Clinton will work to expand training programs for entrepreneurship, business skills, and certificate programs through partnerships with local business leaders, community colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Hispanic Serving Institutions. She will support more business incubators in underserved areas and call on leaders in Silicon Valley and elsewhere to support new entrepreneurial talent throughout our nation.
Perhaps the greatest reason to support Hillary Clinton for president is her commitment to education. One of the biggest challenges technology companies face are a lack of skilled workers. Traditional colleges and universities can’t meet the demand of employers. An information economy requires educated workers. Her multi-faceted approach lowering college costs, leveraging public-private partnerships, developing apprenticeship programs and providing tax credits to employers will help bridge this skills gap and meet the needs of employers and workers.
Mr. Trump has promised an increase of 18 million jobs over the next ten years, yet the people to fill those jobs don’t exist. As the graph below shows, the mismatch between jobs and the skilled workers to fill them has grown significantly since 2010 as the economy recovered. Mr. Trump’s only nod to education is school choice. He doesn’t address worker re-training. He doesn’t address the role of community colleges and trade schools in training for STEM careers. Without recognizing the problem, he hasn’t created any funding for solutions. Mrs. Clinton has.
In her tenure as First Lady, Mrs. Clinton and her husband presided over the longest running economic expansion in American history…until President Obama surpassed it. While her healthcare initiative for all Americans was scuttled by a Republican congress, her healthcare plan for children was passed and to this day benefits millions of children across the country. It’s this sort of pivot in the face of failure that makes her the right leader to see the American economy through this transition. She possesses a vision for the future of this country that her opponent simply lacks.
From the standpoint of the economy, particularly small businesses and startups, this publication firmly recommends Hillary Clinton as the next President of the United States.