top
Newswire
Calendar
Features
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
Related Categories: U.S. | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | Government & Elections | Health, Housing, and Public Services | Labor & Workers
A Year of Trump and Right-wing Populism
by Conrad Schuhler
Monday Feb 5th, 2018 4:27 AM
In the GOP tax bill, $5 trillion is given to households with over $1 million income. Seniors, the poor, children and students are attacked. The severe cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, HUD, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, SNAP, food stamps, WIC food assistance, Pell grants, the EPA, the Department of Education, the National Institute for Health and the Legal Corporation are sadistic. Are we headed back to the 11th century when narcissism and illiteracy were accepted and not overcome?
A YEAR OF TRUMP AND RIGHT-WING POPULISM


By Conrad Schuhler


[This article published on January 21, 2018, is translated from the German on the Internet, http://www.isw-muenchen.de.]


Trump aptly described the overall result of his first year in office. The president invited guests to celebrate at his "winter White House," his feudal Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida (annual membership fee: $200,000). Attendance at the celebratory dinner cost $200,000 a couple, no problem for the super-rich. Trump wanted to greet his guests with the words: "You all just got a lot richer." He had to forego that. The government shutdown forced him to remain in Washington. However, the forecast hit the bull's eye when Trump's tax reform was accepted in Congress. The richest 1% will get a tax gift of $207,000 per household up to 2027. The inheritance tax is rescinded; the corporate tax rate is lowered from 35 to 21%.


The tax reform (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, TCJA) is only one of many "reforms" and measures carried out by Trump in the interest of Big Money. The "clown in the White House" described in the media as dumb and lazy eagerly presses ahead with tax gifts for Wall Street and Big Business. There were 70 executive orders and new laws on environmental protection alone. Step by step, the emission restrictions introduced by Obama are retracted. Areas protected in the past are opened up for oil- and gas exploration. The whole coast – except for Florida where trump owns large sections of the ocean – is open for offshore drilling today. Crude oil exports of the US tripled in 2017. Altogether the fossil fuel businesses are experiencing an enormous comeback. In 2018, the exports of liquid natural gas should double thanks to five new docks.


Trump introduced 18 new provisions in labor law and public finance, 18 in the public health system, 17 in labor-and consumer protection, and 13 in immigration. Employees are always in a worse position and the business side is privileged. The protection of wages in the catering trade was annulled. Tips can be kept by the owners and not paid out to the employees. Employees could lose $7 billion a year. Increasing overtime pay was canceled and employees lose $1.2 billion annually. The right to class actions – where employees can challenge employers in collective lawsuits – should be rescinded. Actions should be filed in courts of arbitration. Over 60 million employees lose the possibility of protecting their rights in public courts. With the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA), immigrants who came into the country as children received a work permit. These persons lose the ability to work in the legal labor market. With DACA, 800,000 persons received an 84% wage increase annually; without DACA, the3y will lose it again. The lower wage will also negatively impact their colleagues.

The new appointments on courts and administrative bodies are also in the interest of capital. Trump appointed more federal judges in his first year in office than his predecessor. For decades, a conservative-reactionary perspective was encouraged. The nomination of Neil Gorsuch to be a justice of the Supreme Court is an example. Over decades, Gorsuch gained a reputation as a judge for big money. The case of Randal Quarles nominated to be a member of the Federal Reserve Board, the Fed, was similar. Previously Quarles was a partner of the Carlyle Group, one of the largest speculation- and buyout businesses in the world. Wall Street is appointed the official monitor over the monetary system.


Businesses and the rich honor Trump's achievements for them. A year ago, three-quarters of the members of the National Association of Manufacturers complained about an "unfavorable business climate," excessive taxes and too much regulation. Today, less than a quarter of businessmen are dissatisfied with the "business climate."


The satisfaction of the capitalist class has a quantitative foundation. The economic growth in the 4th quarter of 2017 was 4%. A more powerful growth is forecast for 2018. Unemployment has fallen to 4.1%, the lowest rate in the last 50 years. All the data is on green. The Washington Times, once Trump's journalist adversary, exclaims: "The economy is taking off one year after Trump's inauguration in office."


The tax reform is the background for that. The taxes on corporations and the rich were lowered considerably. The reduction of taxes on foreign profits has special significance. That rate was lowered to 8 to 15.5% Mammoth corporations have stashed away $3 trillion of cash reserves in foreign countries today to escape the past 35% corporate tax rate… Trump's "reform" brings Apple a tax advantage of $43 billion. The return from tax havens abroad will be rewarding.


Corporations like Apple show their appreciation. Trump's economic policy is explicitly and vigorously praised. The political needs of the White House are understood. Trump has to deliver for big capital; he must also include his base again. Apple and Wal-Mart among others now announce they will pass on the billions gained through the tax reform to their workforce – raising the minimum wage from $11 to $12 (Wal-Mart) and one-time bonuses to co-workers ($2500 per co-workers at Apple, up to $1000 at Wal-Mart and paid parental leave for parts of the personnel). Only a third of the tax advantages will be passed on to co-workers, the trade press estimates. The new investments were really planned by companies for a long time. Still, the transfer will be great and is celebrated in the closing of ranks with Trump. One thing should be clear: such an "America First" policy will benefit all Americans, particularly the poorer part, and is not only in the interest of Wall Street and other corporations.


Stephen Bannon was removed since his gossip of revolution and anti-capitalism got on the nerves of the super-rich sponsors… The Bannon coup is the modern version of the Rohm coup in check-book diplomacy (the SA-leader Rohm who spoke of a "social revolution" against big capital was murdered in 1934 by the Hitler NSDAP).


What should the anti-Trump side do? A third of US citizens give bad marks to Trump as president after a year. As motives, critics are annoyed about Trump's attitude toward climate change and his behavior in international politics. Trump's economic and social policy – "it's the economy, stupid," the economy decides the issue, idiot, said Bill Clinton – is approved by the majority of Americans.


The Democratic Party that could have special importance on account of the legally-privileged two-party system is divided. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders mobilize for improvement of the lower and middle classes and for dismantling racist prejudices and regulations. However, the party has been at loggerheads for years between minority-protection policy and representing the interests of the 99% against the "1%" of the super-rich. The AFL-CIO union understands the support of many members for the Trumpian "industry nationalism."


The Trump presidency is more contested internationally than in the US itself. Gallup reports that the approval of US leadership on the global plane fell from 48% to 30% since Trump's assumption of office. Trump's rejection rose from 28 to 43%. The result suits the globalists in Germany's elites just fine. Germany has replaced the US as the most respected world power. Germany is now in 1st place with 41%. The US and China come next at around 31%.


RELATED LINKS

Common Cause and Democracy 21, The Art of the Lie
Trump Historic First Year Failure on Government Integrity and Accountability Issues
January 2018, 32 pp
http://www.democracy21.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/ArtoftheLie_D21-CC.pdf

Attacking seniors, children, students and the poor make professing belief in God ridiculous! In money we trust - to make greed, profit shifting, corruption, insider trading, and Orwellian doubletalk normal!

GRIN.COM is an incredible portal from Munich, Germany with over 194K reading samples of eBooks and dissertations. In the US in 2018, reductionism and for-profit education encourage narrow-mindedness, neoliberal myths and the herd instinct. Here are links that could change our priorities and perspectives. Happy reading and happy researching!

Patrick Pobuda, “Humanity in Economics,” 2017. https://www.grin.com/document/368207

(from the Introduction) “Accumulation of wealth accompanied by increasing political influence of wealthy people and diminishing moral principles in societies is an essential threat to the public order because political participation as well as equal opportunities are weakening for social groups who do not belong to the better-off. Unshackled greed in the wake of unregulated markets inspires wealth concentration and will constantly remove the synergies of individual liberty and prosperity. More regulation is required since the market itself is not sufficient to create a fair society that is worth living in. Most investors are seeking for opportunities to increase their returns rather than funding socio-beneficial measures. Human values seem to become less valuable, the world is increasingly turning to a clear divided two-class system – the rich and powerful, who almost govern the world by fuzzy linkages, while subordinate citizens are subject to the shareholder-subjugated companies and to the ruling classes. The goal of economic activity should simply be the prosperity of human beings and their societies, and not the formation of centers of enormous private equity accumulations and huge conglomerates who practically rule the world in their interest. Therefore, humanity, which should be the objective, is on the wane since the division of society is further increased by politicians and managers who are mostly obliged to short-term success and not to sustainability. Egoism and inconsiderateness seem to be the leading character traits in meritocracies.
The public concern about inequality and its consequences is steadily growing while the gap between the rich and the poor is increasing…”

“Beyond GDP – Measuring the Wealth of Nations,” 2009
https://www.grin.com/document/140634

“The Theory of Moral Sentiments,” https://www.grin.com/document/120552

:”Capitalism, Ethics, and the Paradox of Self-Exploitation,” https://www.grin.com/document/51703

“The Failures of Reaganomics and Neoliberalism,” https://www.grin.com/document/339340

“Reflections on Development as Freedom,” https://www.grin.com/document/160478

“Hard Times,” https://www.grin.com/document/120557

“Debate about Alternative Monetary Systems,” https://www.grin.com/document/233437


Comments  (Hide Comments)

by marc
Tuesday Feb 6th, 2018 7:55 AM
Civilizations change their values and priorities to survive.

We don't need to shoot deer to insure the survival of the species.

Colonial civilizations died out because of their narrow-mindedness and arrogance. Technical superiority was confused with genetic superiority. Expeditions in the North and South Poles failed because the differences between polar and moderate climates were ignored.

It's time to celebrate First Nations peoples who make our food possible and live out of holistic and unselfish perspectives.

The digital world of information technology has brought vast increases in productivity. Reducing working hours and exchanging roles become possible. We could all become in part cloud workers as researchers, translators, editors and writers!

194K reading samples of eBooks and dissertations await us at http://www.grin.com. Happy reading! Happy researching!
by marc
Thursday Feb 8th, 2018 5:31 AM
Here’s an hour-long address by economist Richard Wolff broadcast on 2/6/2018 on KBOO’s Flashpoints program

https://www.kboo.fm/sites/default/files/episode_audio/kboo_episode.2.180206.0900.3867.63486.mp3

and a psychological explanation of narcissist personality disorder:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10211367369682208&set=a.10203362305160598.1073741825.1300330192&type=3
by Anytime, anywhere, anyplace!
Saturday Feb 10th, 2018 5:41 PM
The silver lining on the Trump cloud is that at no point in the last several decades has the U.S. ever been more ripe for a true revolution. The French monarchs didn't expect their authority challenged either, until they were marched to the guillotine by the revolutionaries...

Revolutions can happen any time, anywhere and any place. Perhaps the U.S. is in need of some serious government reorganization from the bottom up. The crueler Trump behaves towards the people he claims to rule over, the more likely that the flickering flames discontent can grow into a raging inferno. Now we may just need a modern day Maximilian Robespierre to help ignite it...

In many ways Mr. Trump resembles the King of France who was oblivious to the plight of the peasants until his fate was already sealed. This is the negative aspect of narcissism that is most destructive to the actual narcissist. All the cruelty the narcissist (Mr. Trump) inflicts on others (the poor) will haunt him in the end, though until then he remains blissfully unaware of their suffering and hostility towards him. This makes a surprise attack and toppling of the power structure that much easier as Trump & his cabal of corporatist crooks won't even see it coming. He is so self-obsessed with his image in the media of a "rich, powerful and successful" businessman that he can't understand the damage he does to so many innocent people. The fat cats that he is wanting positive attention from will be the first ones to turn tail and abandon him on the steps of the guillotine, should it ever come to that...