Tech must rethink working with the hobgoblins, cf. scorpions & turtles – TrumpTech

And just today, [Bloomberg is reporting] another executive order being drafted focused on work visas that tech companies depend on, which will have a big impact on how critical talent is recruited. According to the report, “companies would have to try to hire American first and if they recruit foreign workers, priority would be given to the most highly paid.”

More: I was at a chock-full event in Palo Alto last week, as tech types planned their attack on the defunding of Planned Parenthood and the reinstatement of the global gag rule by Trump and the GOP that restricts foreign aid to those organizations that reference abortions in family planning. It was a move that Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg spoke out against last week. “We don’t have to guess,” she wrote, noting that the move is a disaster for women globally. “We know what this will do.”

What else? Well, now there are rumors that Trump could sign another executive order aimed at restricting advances in rights made by gays and lesbians, such as allowing people to refuse to do business with them due to religious objections (expect federal legislation here too). And, earlier this week, press secretary Sean Spicer also said, “I don’t know,” when asked if Trump would rescind a Barack Obama executive order banning anti-LGBT discrimination by federal contractors.

Given tech leaders have been very vocal in their support of gay issues, which are important to their employees, if Trump does any of this, it should go off like a Roman candle in Silicon Valley.

Kara Swisher lays out the naïve basis of thinking things would go well, then a suggestion for tech black-balling Trump and his cronies: they’ll likely take actions to harm tech labor and culture, and business as well.

I’m all for fail-fast when it’s in the world of business, but the confusion and whip-lashing in the immigration stuff this weekend shows that the hobgoblins are both in over their heads and also don’t realize how dangerous caviler their policy setting is.

My concern – as it always has been – is that the Trump adminstration is both against my morals and inept enough to dangerously goof things up. Their bald-facing (any petty!) lying and moronic roll-our of this Muslim Ban shows them to be unfit.

Just imagine how damaging that ineptitude will be when it comes to the nuanced, complicated world of tech. For example: anyone fancy their electronic toys being 30% to 45% more expensive?

Read more reporting on how poorly this was all handled from today’s NY Times piece.

See also Victor Rozek’s history-injected opinion and advice in this topic. Also, a round-up of tech executives public statements on the topic, from Sam Biddle. Also, RedMonk’s call to action.

Costs that go into a $185 shirt, including snacks & other human affordances

At a fast-fashion retailer such as H&M, a simple cut-and-sew top can cost as little as $15. At Gap, something similar might run about $45. At Elizabeth Suzann, a small fashion label based in Nashville, Tennessee, one of the brand’s minimal kimono-sleeved t-shirts, made of cotton twill, is $140.

This seems like the kind of analysis that’ll be handy in the up-coming trade wars.

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Meddling with Apple and Chinese Manufacturing

A nice discussion that highlights the complexity id trade policy and, thus, rhe high risks of fucking it up. I like this critique of trade criticism:

What makes Navarro’s critique challenging is that it’s not wholly wrong, at least from the American worker perspective, yet it’s not particularly actionable.

So often, that last part is overlooked: you have to actually be able to on something, despite the past. Until we have time machines, finding flaws and suggesting how we should have fixed them is little use on its own. Sure, you need a good analysis of history to figure out what to do next, but it’s deciding what to do next, and doing it, that count.

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Who’ll pay to “fix” trade, jobs, and wages?

“If he institutes a 35-percent penal tariff on every export from China, then most of what you buy at Walmart is 35 percent more expensive,” said Roger Entner, a wireless analyst at Recon Analytics.

The intention of plans like this is always to re-build the entire system and structure. That takes a long time, one assumes. So, what’s important is to describe how the transition phase works.

Another unstated assumption of such thinking is “corporations make too much profit,” that is, Apple and Wal-Mart should take the hit. I’d rather we be having a debate about that: how much money do individuals deserve versus corporate profits and how do we do anything about it?

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