Trump trumped Hillary to become the 45th president of the United States of America, which left much of the world in shock.
Trump’s presidential campaign was perhaps the most controversial in American history.
You expect that someone who blatantly makes racist remarks and often belies facts in favour of populist statements won’t be elected to the White House.
Given the extent to which he has been trolled on the internet, you would think that most people are on the side of sanity. However, there is a pertinent reason why Trump won.
His appeal to the rust belt worked.
The states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin comprise the rust belt. These are the regions that once enjoyed their heydays of manufacturing jobs in the ‘60s and the’70s. For instance, General Motors alone employed more than 75,000 people in the Flint area in the late ‘70s. That number today stands at a little over 7,000.
NAFTA, the free trade agreement signed by Clinton in 1993 is frequently blamed for converting factories in the region into ghost towns. However, the decline of the region, much like the rest of the belt, had already begun in the late ‘80s. NAFTA was the final nail in the coffin, if it can be called that.
Trump appealed to the disgruntled native Americans of the belt by promising to bring manufacturing jobs back. He vowed to “make America great again”. He appealed to people who felt marginalized in a global economy.
Can Trump actually bring jobs back?
While you can blame third world countries all you want for taking away your daily bread, there is another side to the picture. Even before NAFTA came into force, the decline of manufacturing as the largest employment sector had already begun. Much of it could be “blamed” on automation, not globalization.
For example, if General Motors needed 25,000 workers to make a certain number of cars in the ‘60s, today, it can complete the job with just 5,000 employees.
Right-to-work law also played its part in driving work away from these states.
You need to ride with the times:
A third of Americans are already a part of the gig economy – an “on-demand” economy as it is called.
Earlier this year, the US government acknowledged the rise of the gig economy and the potential it holds for generating livelihood for people. A gig economy is the ideal solution for regions that are past their prime. It can stop brain drain – as is happening, with young graduates moving to regions like Chicago that offer better job opportunities. It can also help you stay in the area you have grown up in, or an area that you have a special fondness for. A large part of the gig economy relies on telecommuting, so you don’t have to report to work every day, or every week for that matter.
It is important to ready yourself:
In order to reap the benefits of “work from anyplace” and not depend on policymakers every election season, it is imperative to upgrade your skill set. IT is the obvious choice and the biggest driver of gig economy.
However, if coding is not your strong suite, (as it is not mine!) there are always other opportunities available.
For instance, you can learn medical transcription that pays handsomely. In fact, healthcare is the top employment sector in Michigan today, and one of the top employment sectors in the US overall, which means increased opportunities.
Other sectors are catching up too. Check out apps like TaskRabbit and FancyHands, where you can sell almost any skill set under the sun.
The rise of Uber is a pertinent case in favour of the gig economy.
All you need is a keen sense of direction.
Millions of people around the globe are finding work in global economies where distance is the last thing you need to worry about.
I have been thriving in the gig economy for the last 6 years, working as a freelance writer.
In fact, I am writing this as I enjoy a gorgeous sunset and a perfectly made Pina Colada. No, I don’t have a house by the beach, and neither do I want one.
The views and opinions expressed are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of MindShift.money.