Friedman: After Trump’s Policies ‘There Will Be No Jobs,’ Everything Automated!

In what seemed like the ramblings of a 19th century Luddite, New York Times columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner, Tom Friedman appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday where he issued a ridiculous warning about the US economy under President Donald Trump. “So what’s going to happen if prices go up? American companies will build those factories here,” he exclaimed, “And you know what they'll do? They'll completely robotize them. There will be no jobs!

Friedman’s tirade was triggered by the very active first week of the Trump administration where the president signed executive orders on everything from immigration to economics. He warned of a cascading effect that started with Trump’s position on immigration. “One is we want to keep immigrants out. Where are greatest immigration-flows happening in the world today,” he rhetorically asked.

For the US, Friedman said the immigration flow was coming from Central America a place “hammered” by over “population and climate change. The collapse of small-scale agriculture.” No mention of out of control socialist governments. Friedman was up in arms that the US would take away funding for abortion as a way for them to have population control. “What does this administration come up full scale against? A family planning technology being extended by the US government and climate change is a complete myth,” he chided.

He argued that the increase in population coupled with the border wall would lead to a breakdown in the US/Mexico relationship when it came to national security. “Now how are the Mexicans gonna feel about keeping that going when we're building a high wall? Same thing with economics,” he conjectured. He was also concerned by Trump’s 20 percent tariff on goods coming in from Mexico.

And although tariffs are harmful to consumers, Friedman made an Evel Knievel-like leap to a rather laughable conclusion:

Okay. What's going to happen? Prices will go up to American companies. Remember what happened on 9/11. On 9/11 the supply chain which goes from Canada to Mexico completely collapsed and completely disrupted our auto industry. So what’s going to happen if prices go up? American companies will build those factories here. And you know what they'll do? They'll completely robotize them. There will be no jobs!

If the NYT columnist was really appalled by the loss of jobs, he would be against the $15 per hour minimum wage he supports, which has been shown drive up prices and result in businesses closing. That’s not to mention that he repeated the long-debunked economic fallacy that automation equals no jobs.

In the book Economics in One Lesson, the world renowned economist and another NYT writer, Henry Hazlitt noted that the advancement in technology did more to add jobs in the automotive industry than to destroy them. “In 1910, 140,000 persons were employed in the United States in the newly created automotive industry,” Hazlitt wrote. He noted that when measured every 10 years there were over 100,000 thousand jobs added. Finally, he wrote, “In 1973 it had risen to 941,000.” And according to the Bureau of Labor Statists, in 2015, the number of people who worked in the industry was over 4 million.

But such baseless hyperbole is expected from the man who argued on the same show that “maybe this party needs to crash and burn and this version of the Republican Party needs to die.” And his laughable suggestions include fighting ISIS by putting a carbon tax on America, an idea even MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough scoffed at

Transcript below:

<<< Please support MRC's NewsBusters team with a tax-deductible contribution today. >>>

NBC
Meet the Press
January 29, 2017
10:52:02 PM Eastern

CHUCK TODD: Discipline, Tom Friedman, I don't know, but then again Donald Trump doesn't mind the chaos.

TOM FRIEDMAN: You know, Chuck, one of the points I actually make in my book is from a systems analyst named Lynn Wells who said, “You shouldn't think in the box or out of the box. You should always think without a box.” And what he meant by that is the world is seamlessly integrated where telecommunications and markets and climate/environment they’re all interwoven.

So think about some of these policies that we heard this week. One is we want to keep immigrants out. Where are greatest immigration-flows happening in the world today? They’re actually coming from central Africa toward Europe and not actually from Mexico for us, from Central American the northern triangle. Both are hammered by the same problem, population and climate change. The collapse of small-scale agriculture.

What does this administration come up full scale against? A family planning technology being extended by the US government and climate change is a complete myth. Now let's talk about the wall. We'll protect ourselves from Mexico by building a wall. How many Americans know, I dare ask, Chuck, does President Trump know, that if you play into Mexico from Baghdad or Damascus do you know that your name pops up on Homeland Security here? Same as if you fly into Toronto. We have actually created a seamless North American security envelope.

Now how are the Mexicans gonna feel about keeping that going when we're building a high wall? Same thing with economics. You know, Trump says we'll have a 20 percent tariff on Mexican goods. Okay. What's going to happen? Prices will go up to American companies. Remember what happened on 9/11. On 9/11 the supply chain which goes from Canada to Mexico completely collapsed and completely disrupted our auto industry. So what’s going to happen if prices go up? American companies will build those factories here. And you know what they'll do? They'll completely robotize them. There will be no jobs!

TODD: That’s been the fear. 

CyberAlerts Economy Unemployment Foreign Policy Latin America Mexico Conspiracy Theories Covert Liberal Activists Labeling NBC Meet the Press Video Tom Friedman Donald Trump