They probably don’t want to hear it right now, but the people who voted for Donald Trump because they believe he will improve their economic situation better be careful what they wish for.
We’re told that Trump’s unexpected victory was fueled by the anger of the white working class that has seen good paying blue-collar jobs disappear in our new global economy, mixed with resentment that the so-called elite mock their conservative social values and deeply held religious beliefs.
Of course, these analyses are being offered by the same mainstream media pundits who didn’t see Trump’s victory coming (I include Fox News in this group) but a quick look at voting patterns suggests the deplorables and their neighbors in the fly over states are saying, Hey, we matter too.
A lot of this anger comes from the fact that many people have yet to recover from the recession that started in the final days of the George W. Bush administration. Many of those people had jobs that have since been sent overseas or eliminated through automation, victims of one of the largest transformations the economy has made since we went from an agricultural to an industrial society in the late 1800s.
Their plight has largely been ignored by the Obama Administration and Democrats in Congress, where a stagnant economy that worked for the coastal elite but practically nobody else was good enough. That made for easy pickings by Trump.
The white working class was convinced that Hillary Clinton was part of the problem and that Trump is the solution. But people who believe that are making a leap of faith because there’s nothing in Trump’s history–or the realities of our economy–to suggest he’ll come up with a solution that will make them whole again.
Those former steel workers in Ohio who put the Buckeye State in Trump’s win column? Those jobs aren’t coming back because steel can be made cheaper elsewhere. Why do you think Trump imports his steel?
You can also forget about those auto jobs that left Michigan for Mexico. That’s where the Big Three make sub-compact and entry-level cars: Low-price vehicles that require cheap labor to be profitable.
Some coal workers may get back in the mines, but that industry will never be the same. Utilities and other large users of coal have spent billions switching to natural gas, and they’re not going back. Natural gas is cheaper than coal anyway.
Trump has never cared about any of this in the past. He has spent his entire career looking out for No. 1, building his fortune on cheap labor, fighting unions that tried to make his workers’ lives better, buying steel and other material overseas, battling subcontractors and other vendors–you know, the little guys–over every dollar. Why do you think he’s been sued over 4,000 times?
Then there’s the Republican Party, hardly the friend of the working man. They’re going to “stimulate” the economy by giving big tax breaks to the wealthy–a strategy they know doesn’t work–and might even go along with Trump’s proposal to tear up our trade agreements. Hobbling one of the biggest job generators we have is no way to grow the economy, but it will play well with Trump’s new constituency.
There is one possible bright spot in all of this. If Trump follows through with his threat to deport all of the illegals and build his “big, beautiful wall” along the Mexican border, there will be plenty of work harvesting America’s rotting crops.