Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
In a Pittsburgh speech yesterday, Donald Trump illustrated what I call “nostalgia economics.” Trump, according to Politico, “vowed to bring back Pittsburgh’s once-thriving steel and coal industries at a rally here on Wednesday night.” Just as he has vowed to reverse decades of globalization and automation to “bring back” manufacturing jobs from Asia. But, as Politico’s Ben Shreckinger points out, Trump’s depiction of Pittsburgh might be outdated:
And his economic message may feel a bit anachronistic in a city that prides itself on its decades-long recovery from the collapse of the steel industry, which is no longer the major employer here. Pittsburgh’s dynamic mayor, William Peduto — a new-school Democrat who held a rally with Hillary Clinton here last week — has sought to make the city a laboratory for urban reinvention by luring tech companies and boosting its university-powered research sector. After years of decline, the economy has begun adding jobs again, albeit slowly, and unemployment rate is just under the national average.
Pittsburgh is now a leader in the emerging robotics industry, which Trump did not mention on Wednesday. Google opened a major research office in the city in 2006, housed in a former Nabisco factory. And Uber, the ride-sharing company, last year poached dozens of robotics engineers from Carnegie Mellon University to open a center to research self-driving cars. In February, Uber announced it is acquiring a former locomotive roundhouse along the Monongahela River — where the LTV Coke Works long ago belched out the kind of toxic smoke that once earned the city the description “hell with the lid off” — to serve as a proving ground for its new vehicles.