Thomas Friedman on Why Trump Needs to Protect Workers, Not Jobs

Thomas Friedman appears on BBC. (Credit: BBC)

On Monday, President Donald Trump kicked off a week of addressing jobs in this country with moves including pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, reaching out to U.S. auto CEOs, and promising to wipe out at least 75 percent of government regulations that hinder their businesses.

But is he focusing his efforts in the right areas to make the biggest impact to America’s workforce?

New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman and author of Thank You For Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations, a field guide on globalization and politics, argues that the president’s strong-arm tactics is not the answer.

While promoting his book in London, Friedman penned an op-ed for the Times and appeared on BBC highlighting what smart approaches Trump and others in Washington should be focused on.

In the article, Friedman quotes Gidi Grinstein, president of Israel’s Reut Institute, who explains, “Trump wants to protect jobs. What we really need is to protect workers.”

Friedman goes on to suggest that “the best way you help workers is by ensuring that they are flexible — that they have the skills, safety nets, health care and lifelong learning opportunities to make those leaps and that they live in cities open to innovation, entrepreneurship and high-I.Q. risk-takers.”

On BBC, Friedman argues that Trump’s response to the rapid changes in America’s workforce are dated and how his strategy “to build walls, to keep these whirlwinds out, rather than really focus on how we empower citizens and companies to live within the wind,” won’t work long-term.

Click here to read his full piece.

Watch a portion from his BBC interview below.

Thomas Friedman on BBC

Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times columnist and author of “Thank You For Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations” talks President Trump and approaches to the changing workforce on BBC.

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