Trump as President? Meaning for Landscape Architects?

Trump promises a lot of deregulation, a lot of infrastructure building, jobs, economic growth, and, he's an experienced developer... so how do you think his presidency will impact our profession? Will we see more projects coming in? Less red tape? Or... are you worried?

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I'm a residential LA. I'm hoping for more diversity of demographic in clientele. It has become about 80% people who work for financial firms in the last 6 years. It used to be all kinds of people. Oddly enough, Wall Street has done way better than Main Street in recent years. That and the lack of home equity has limited real estate changes in ownership mostly to high end waterfront raze and replace properties being purchased for summer homes for those with a ton of money in my area - not complaining about the work, just that it is limited to the lucky few who are referred in such a market.

I expect that there may be more opportunities for the middle class creating a wider potential market for us to work in.

Also hoping for reduction in red tape that will make it easier for businesses to have full time employees. Right now a lot are limiting their employees to part time to avoid benefits to control costs. That will empower the middle class as well.

These are all hopes. I have no idea that they will happen, but they clearly were not happening under status quo. Something needed to be shook up.

Our own LANewsDigest had an article in the last issue giving as close to a "state of things" as we can get from surveying our own profession, and it is described as "tepid."

Of course, that is not a prediction. And it's hard to get a pulse anyway, when there are wide variations in focus and size of firms in so many different locations. But I think it helps explain all the "where do I go from here" questions by new grads, and the disquieting feeling that things have only come up from a bottom, never having regained an (overall) comfortable plateau yet. 

It could be argued that most regulations are a mixed bag.  New technology and infrastructure improvements necessary to meet tighter regulations can equate to more jobs and capital improvements, but tighter regulations can also result in a higher cost of doing business which leaves less money for affected businesses to invest in new equipment and growth.  There will probably be many ripple effects and few direct impacts.

This article on the Chesapeake Bay TMDL is a good example of how this might play out.  The TMDL has been the kick in the pants that many municipalities have needed to make the necessary improvements to their sanitary and storm sewer infrastructures, which include a lot of stormwater BMP retrofits.

We live & die by oil down here in Texas. Simple as that. To be fair, there are other industries that shore things up, but when the oil guys are down & out, everyone feels it. I'm in favor of meaningful regulations, but want fewer of the ones that aren't accomplishing anything. And $3.00/gal gas (currently $2.00/gal around here). $3.00 seems to be the tipping point between a stable economy and a booming one here in the lone star state.

What a piece of hair-on-fire bullshit.

Let's talk about election promises for a minute.  How did that GITMO thing work out for Obama?

Go on, Trump, tell us how much that wall is really going to cost, being a federally funded (even if Mexico DOES pay for it) wage-scale project and all.  Also something to keep in mind, unlike a private developer/GC, the Contractor actually has to pay their subs because of something called a payment bond.  And those subs will not be permitted to hire cheap illegal labor, because there are people that check on that stuff, thanks to those pesky regulations.  Being that this project is related to National security, I wouldn't be surprised if at least some of the project team will be required to have a security clearance = more $.  Factor in A/E design schedule, permitting, and procurement and he'll be lucky to break ground before his term is over.

"...this presidency will be the greatest constraint many of us will work under in our lifetimes..."

Um, no.  ASLA is still the greatest constraint that many of us will work under in our lifetimes.  They haven't done me any favors with the Continuing Practice law that they lobbied for in Maryland.  So go find yourself a paper bag, put it up to your mouth, and breathe.


I think President Trump knows he HAS to get going on the WALL along the Mexican was one of his biggest campaign promises to the American People.

There are MANY creative ways to fund that wall....regardless of the costs involved.

The U.S. spends $85 Billion annually in "Foreign Aid".  Looking at the list of Nations (that includes Mexico) is ridiculous!  Even Russia & Gaza get Foreign Aid from the U.S....really? I'm sure there are some "good" reasons for some of this aid, but, I think Congress should go back to ZERO with every Nation and determine a "reasonable" amount.  Also, WHY is the U.S. giving the U.N. the most $$$???  If the other NATO Countries don't pay their share...I'd say, cut em off.  Thanks to Obama...we have a National debt of almost $20 Trillion!  And giving Iran that Billions of dollars (as part of the Iran Nuke deal) was very suspicious...paid in foreign currency too. We build a $14 million gasoline station in Afghanistan...really?!  Hillary Clinton couldn't account for something like $50 million when she was Secretary of State....waste, waste and more waste.  Gov't employees are paid MORE than their counterparts in the private sector...WHY?  Plus, they get bonuses, nice pay raises, great benefits and they can NOT be fired (as they all belong to a Union).  Gov't gone wild.

Cutting back on Gov't employees in the Post Office, EPA, Education & Energy Departments alone would be a HUGE help.  Personally, I'd be fine getting "snail mail" twice a week....more wasted taxpayer money!

Trump wants to build a 30 Ft. High wall.....I vote for placing "electrified razor wire" on top of the entire wall.....OR the Illegals will manage to find a way to get over it.  Also, maybe, every U.S. military personnel should be req'd to serve 6 months of their enlistment patrolling the WALL.  But, the wall also needs "surveillance" (cameras, drones and under ground sensors).

Sticking Mexico with a 35% import tax; charging Mexicans who cross over into the U.S. a FEE (because, many of them work here, but live in Mexico).  And, IF we're to allow the more than 11 million Illegals to STAY in the U.S. (and I think that figure is way too low)....the U.S. Gov't should charge those Illegals an "Annual Fee" to be here.  Because, you and I KNOW many do NOT pay the IRS Income Taxes each year....they send a lot of their money they earn here (tax free) home to Mexico or some other their families. Hundreds of trucks transporting goods across the Southern border cross daily....hit them with a FEE.  The U.S. sends Mexico Billions of $$ annually for Foreign Aid....that amt. could be cut way back...and apply it towards the WALL.  In addition, American Citizens are being asked to donate to the building of the wall....and it's happening, big time.

Yes, the WALL will be expensive...but, think of the BILLIONS of $$$ that those Illegals coming to the U.S. are costing our U.S. Gov't every have to factor that into the costs.  Plus, hopefully, the wall will slow down drug & human trafficking & help keep terrorists from strolling across the Southern Border with a Nuke or other method to terrorize our Country.

Don't underestimate President Trump.......Hillary did and look where it got her!  Trump is about "action" not "talk" Obama was.  Obama "talked" about creating jobs and improving our economy....but, our economy was no higher than 1% to 2% GDP for 8 straight years....and over 85 Million Americans are unemployed (the REAL unemployment rate according to a 67 yr. old Dartmouth University Professor is currently @ 24%. 

My LA practice was pretty slow those first 7 yrs. of Obama's Presidency....but, it has picked up over the past 10 months.....and even more so recently.  I'm semi-retired, but, still wish to continue designing.  But, for 7 yrs. everyone was sitting on their wallets...not much spending to hire LAs......Americans were more concerned with paying their mortgages and putting food on the table.

I do totally agree with your statement about ASLA.....for all of my LA career, I've been waiting for ASLA to do "something....anything", to really help our design profession.  


I see it as a boom for private sector building and a bust for middle class and public sector. Deregulation tends to support the elites, not the middle class. But deregulation may also open up funding opportunities for people to access and leverage - you know, kinda like what led to the great recession. So IMO, grab your ankles and hold tight.

Really, Jon!? 

These past 8 yrs. were very similar to the Great .Depression of 1929.  The U.S. now has 95 million citizens out of work or who have just stopped looking.  Too many regulations were job killers!  Funny that the Gov't says our unemployment rate is below, it's most likely closer to 15%!  And over 25% for some specific groups of Americans.  I feel sure, that there are several hundred LAs and Landscape Designers in that 95 million unemployed.

I think BOTH the private and public sector will do fine under a Trump administration.  He has stated that he plans to put forth a Trilion dollars on our infrastructure.  And, go after ALL forms of energy, including renewable energy. 

You seem to enjoy using the term "Elites" in your comments.  Men & Women who own companies are, yes, normally pretty well off financially.  I can't think of anyone I have ever met who went to work for a poor person.  

I'm not saying Trump will is the perfect solution, but, definitely the better solution. He's a successful developer, understands business & jobs.  I also thought it was interesting to note that while he is President of the U.S., he will NOT be accepting a "salary".  Nor, will he be controlled by "special interest groups"...he doesn't need their money.  

IMO, a Trump Administration will be good for the LA profession.  These past 8 yrs. have been the worst 8 yrs. in my very long LA career.  It's time for REAL change.  I, for one, am now, optimistic about our Nation's future!

 He has stated that he plans to put forth a Trilion dollars on our infrastructure.  And, go after ALL forms of energy, including renewable energy. 

How will he pay for that? And how will he convince Congressional and GOP rank-and-file deficit hawks to agree to it? Promises are cheap. Infrastructure requires cash.

He's a successful developer, understands business & jobs.  I also thought it was interesting to note that while he is President of the U.S., he will NOT be accepting a "salary".  Nor, will he be controlled by "special interest groups"...he doesn't need their money.  

Actually that is questionable. He is  certainly a sly businessman. But most of his accomplishments depended on cheating, strong-arming and stiffing governments and contractors. But now we are those contractors!

Well, I believe Trump's "Infrastructure Plan" is to be over a 10 yr. period...and effort to get a lot of "privatization" involved with tax credits. Many Democrats back this program...including (D) Nancy Pelosi. But, even this amt. is not enough, according to the National Assoc. of Engineers who believe $3.6 Trillion is needed. Having the Gov't do all Infrastructure projects are too slow and always over budget. The hundreds of thousands of jobs this Plan will create would generate GDP and we do need jobs...95 million Americans are out of job (thanks Obama...4.6% unemployment is a fake number).

I think it's great that Trump is NOT a politician...but, a Developer & businessman. Trumps' resume' runs circles around Obama's when Obama first entered the White House - totally unqualified for the job! Nearly 20 Trillion in Debt & so much unemployment! Yes, most developers are tough negotiators, but, someone needs to start watching the taxpayers' money...Obama wasted Trillions!


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