Still caught in the 1960s, his stenographer waiting to take dictation and type out that all-important letter to Vladimir Putin on her Selectric, Trump has a similarly dated view of the American economy. For the president, the country outside of Manhattan and parts of California is made up of thousands of small towns populated by God-fearing white people, with hubbie heading off every day to the local widget factory carrying his trusty lunch bucket while Harriet stays home to look after the kids. Of course, that was before the evil Mexicans turned up one dark night and stole all their jobs.
So when Trump talks about ‘saving’ jobs, he’s thinking about manufacturing and the Rust Belt. He said as much when he met automakers last month to berate them for being disloyal and to bully them into never sending another manufacturing job outside America.
Plants are where it’s at for Donald Trump — making real stuff, in states that voted for him. Offices, research and development centres, universities … not so much. He doesn’t understand what they do and, in any case, they’re likely located in states like California, Massachusetts and Washington and college towns across America — places which voted for Hillary instead.
But that's not the economy he's living in. And the new economy has thrived because of immigrants:
Tech companies depend on talent to survive and prosper — and they’re irate. Diversity is literally in their DNA. Steve Jobs, the late founder of Apple, was the son of a Syrian immigrant. Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google, was born in Russia. Brin was so upset he joined the anti-Trump protests at San Francisco’s international airport after the refugee ban was imposed.
Travis Kalanick, Uber’s chief executive, quit Trump’s economic advisory council after suffering a barrage of criticism for appearing to back the president on the migrant ban. In a note to employees, he said that “immigration and openness to refugees is an important part of our country’s success and quite honestly to Uber’s.” Microsoft, complaining that 76 of its employees and their families had been affected by the travel ban already, is pleading with the Trump administration to create exceptions for their affected employees.
Freeman suggests that Canada should make the most of Trump's ignorance:
What the Canadian government should do now is call the president of Microsoft and offer expedited visas for any affected Microsoft employees that would allow them to work at Microsoft’s Vancouver campus, or any other facility across the country. Similar offers can be made to Google — which already employs 1,000 people at facilities in Waterloo, Toronto and Montreal — and to any other U.S. tech company.
A group of Canadian tech leaders has already asked the Trudeau government to offer “immediate and targeted” assistance, including temporary residency that would allow those people banned by the Trump executive orders to live and work in Canada until they complete permanent residency applications here.
We can even send a couple of chartered planes down to Seattle or San Jose to fetch these high-tech workers and have our telegenic prime minister greet them with a smile, a handshake and a warm parka on arrival, letting them know that they’re safe now and can sleep soundly without fear of a roundup by U.S. immigration officials.
Rather than fulminating about Trump's stupidity, Canadians should take advantage of it.
Image: Canadian Immigrant