Recently, the stock market has been dropping, hard and fast. And while the financial pundits keep pointing to the economy as generally healthy, and that the stock market had reached stratospheric highs recently as reasons to say “it’s okay, the market goes up and down. It’ll be up again in the future,” there may be another, more insidious reason everyone is afraid to talk about.
Stock traders, investors, most people who deal with business pay attention to the world beyond the stock exchange. For instance, they watch the government to see what is happening.
And those buyers and sellers are deathly afraid of uncertainty. They know circumstances change, and there are unpredictable factors, like weather. But uncertainty about people is especially worrisome. And more than anything else, President Trump is heaping uncertainty onto the world stage in unprecedented amounts.
Today, for instance, he flip-flopped from agreeing to a short-term spending measure that would keep the government in business, to once again threatening to not sign the bill in an attempt to extort money for his border wall.
Yesterday, it was his sudden announcement that US troops will be withdrawn from Syria, apparently without prior discussion with our allies. And per Secretary of Defense James Mattis’s letter of resignation released today, the President’s decision is at odds with the advice of the Secretary of Defense: an Army general whose expertise and sole job for the last two years has been the safety of the United States through the proper deployment of US troops and equipment.
The President rampaging all over the map without warning, without constancy, and apparently without thought is making us all nervous. A strong nation should be unpredictable to its enemies, but its allies and especially its citizens should be secure in the knowledge that sudden changes will not happen without warning and apparently without reason.
The President needs to tamp down his natural inclination to sudden decisions and sweeping declarations without sufficient foundation and research.
Direct communication to the people is nice, but his use of Twitter is horrible. The President’s unshakeable faith in his own rightness—regardless of the input from his advisors—is misguided. As President of the United States, it is his job to make the most important decisions, and those decisions, those concepts, are so complex that they can not (should not) be explained in 140 characters. As President, he has the ability to surround himself with the smartest people on the planet, the best experts in every field to give the best possible advice. And constancy, comfort, and faith in our President flows from the knowledge that he is relying on that good advice. But it seems every time the President opens his mouth, he shows that he is not bothering to seek out that advice, not bothering to think through the issues. That uncertainty—that we, the people, cannot predict what the President will do from hour to hour—is dangerous and, as we’ve seen, damaging to the economy.
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