Saturday, January 21, 2017
Trump Pledges to Restore American Wealth. I Know Where He Can Find It.
El Presidente Trump has made a vow to restore America's wealth. Of course that's not what he intends to do at all. It's the Big Lie, Day One.
What he actually intends to do is to take a page out of the playbook of Roman emperors and extract "tribute" from other nations. Think of it as a global shakedown. It's the sort of thing that history shows doesn't work out that well for long.
The fact is that he doesn't have to restore America's wealth. It's still right there under his nose. He just has to look for it and, once he finds it, decide what should be done with it.
America's wealth has shifted. It's gone from the Rust Belt. It's been lost by the nation's blue and white collar working classes. It has been moved, quietly shifted. It's a few blocks away from Trump Tower. It has "trickled up" to Wall Street and the 1%.
Big Lie 2, Day One. He says he wants to restore American manufacturing, its former industrial powerhouse. You can't do that where the money sits at the moment.
Manufacturing, even in good times, produces stable but modest returns in the range of a respectable 3 to 4% per annum. Manufacturing revenue is dispersed into many places - wages and salaries, communities, suppliers, all levels of government.
Manufacturing grade revenue is of no interest to Wall Street. There they focus on far greater returns not for making things but for moving paper. And it works in places where the government embraces Taliban-grade laissez faire capitalism which rules out any notion of direct or indirect wealth redistribution. It's the sort of dog eat dog world only in which the really big dogs eat all the little dogs. Lovely.
Trump promises to restore America's manufacturing sector. Can't do that without capital. America has lots of capital but it wants nothing to do with manufacturing. Gotta change that. It's easy enough to do. Tax the rich. Impose punitive taxes on "dead" money that sits idle. Use taxation to redirect that money into investment in preferred targets - employment-intensive industries such as, why of course, manufacturing.
Only that's not going to happen. It's a low-wage world now and Trump is not going to mess with that. He can't risk it. And so he'll continue what he knows his gullibilly base already believes. He'll stay with the xenophobic notion that others, foreigners have stolen American wealth. Trump's addled base love that idea.
We know those outsourced, offshored jobs aren't coming back. It's cheaper to build robotic factories that don't need those redundant American workers and their First World wage scales.
Trump isn't out for restoration. Kim Jong Don's game is extortion and a great many, grievance-fueled Americans are all for that.