Trump Jobs Plan Stymied by High Tech Highway Tolls

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The story of what is happening to toll collectors across the country illustrates why Trump's protectionist jobs plan will fail.

Submitted: January 24, 2017

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Submitted: January 24, 2017



Take a look at the picture below.

It shows the toll booths on the Massachusetts Turnpike one year ago. At the time, the Turnpike employed 400 full-time and part-time toll collectors.

Massachusetts Turnpike toll collectors


This is what the new toll system looks like.

What's missing? If you guessed the 400 part-time and full-time toll collectors, you are correct. They are gone, the most senior offered early retirement, the others given their walking papers.

Where did those jobs go? To the software and hardware engineers at Raytheon who designed and built the new automatic toll system.

Will Trump's plan to put tariffs on goods and services manufactured abroad bring any of these jobs back? No. The movement from a muscle based economy to a silicon based one will continue no matter what Trump does and starting a trade war is nothing but grandstanding to resolve the problem of displaced workers.

So, the next time Trump says we are going to tax goods made abroad or place high tariffs on imported goods, just think about the Massachusetts Turnpike and the toll collectors who didn't lose their jobs to Chinese or Mexican workers, but to lines of code.



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