Not the man for the job

To the Editor:

If I told you I went to my real estate agent for advice on having heart surgery, or sought help from my financial advisor on how to wire my house, you would think me daft for choosing the wrong people for the job.

When we elected Trump to be president, we ignored basic tenets that a president should have, in addition to an unselfish desire for public service and a work ethic that requires self-sacrifice.

One would hope that a president would have the knowledge of how government works, the history of this nation and of other countries that are necessary for thoughtful assessments of the complexities of running a government that requires an understanding of domestic as well as international issues.

It is not enough to put one’s trust in someone who may be successful in making real estate deals or hosting a TV show because of disillusionment with Washington.

Even if we can forgive the Trump Administration for its lack of knowledge of how things work in government — and politics — and hold out hope that he and his administration will “catch up,” we are still left with what we know: that we have a president who is morally, ethically and psychologically unfit for the position.

Every day, he makes news with contradicting statements, outright falsehoods and confusing and changing positions on just about everything that he utters or tweets.

Rather than bringing the country together, Trump is supporting its division with his remarks and policies. His “base,” consisting of those who look for change — a change back in time where America was the industrial leader, where their definition of morality could not be questioned and those who see skin color other than white as a threat, are deluding themselves and are as ignorant of reality as is Trump.

Wayne Kirkbride

Twain Harte

Regulations

To the Editor:

In the theoretical world of laissez-faire capitalism, free markets are unleashed from regulations to benefit mankind without negative consequences. This mistaken belief defies common sense. For example, Mr. Grab owns a widget factory that needs to dispose of some poisonous liquid, a few drops per widget. He saves money by just letting it flow into the river. The other widget factories all do the same. After millions of widgets, the river is poisoned. The market decided that profits for Mr. Grab and friends are more important than clean water for wildlife, recreation and drinking. The people who live along the river have different ideas, and they demand regulations. Mr. Grab and friends call them names and say that if you want jobs, you have to let us poison your river. But the people prevail, and regulations are imposed.

Mr. Grab and friends know that they can make some big profits if they are free to pollute the water, foul the air, contaminate the land, plunder natural resources, sell unsafe products, mistreat the workers, swindle customers, and hide the truth. So they invest a lot of money in political campaigns and propaganda until they control enough politicians to get their way. Then, the president appoints regulators who will do the bidding of Mr. Grab and friends. The new regulators find ways to ignore the law and misinterpret the facts in order to get rid of or weaken every regulation they can. Greed wins; the people lose.

This is where we are now in the real world. But well-managed businesses could prosper under responsible regulations that protect the quality of life. That makes better sense. Instead of whining about onerous regulations, Mr. Grab and friends could focus on competing within the rules.

John Watson

Columbia

18209578