When the financial bubble popped in 2008, many people felt the pain. Many still do. The longer you inflate a bubble, the more it hurts when it pops. Donald Trump’s stunning victory has popped a bubble that has been inflating for decades. Consequently, the awakening that many liberal Americans are now facing is very painful. If Trump is wise, he will help them through this. If, instead, a class conflict erupts in America, it could be very dangerous.
From Production to Manipulation
Post World War II America was truly a superpower. Its robust economy was founded on production of goods that helped rebuild and feed the US citizens, as well as the recovery of Europe. But since roughly the 1970s, manufacturing has begun to move to countries where labor was cheaper, such as China, India, and Mexico, devastating America’s working class as production migrated. Instead of producing goods, America began to print money. Thus, financial manipulations took over and Wall Street became synonymous with wealth and power.
Today, only those who know how to manipulate financial bubbles can gain from such wizardry. The rest of America, people who grew up believing that hard and honest work would provide a decent living, were left with only their illusions. For them, capitalism stopped making sense when work became scarce and pay became demeaning.
Two days after the election, Joan Williams wrote in the Harvard Business Review that “if you want to connect with white working-class voters,” you need to “place economics at the center.” Donald Trump has revived the hopes of the American working class by promising to bring labor and production back to the US. This is why he won the swing states of Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Even if he does not deliver, he has shown that he understands the problem, and this was enough to give him a majority.
Talk Straight and Prioritize Correctly
Another notable deformity that Trump has straightened out is political correctness. When the media determines what is permitted to say and what is not, it is easier to sidetrack public discourse from issues that really matter. When the media derides Trump supporters as racists because they resent the fact that their healthcare premiums are raised in order to pay for free healthcare for migrants, it can only expect backlash. Trump is a straight talker and people appreciate this. He knows that the issue of transgender bathrooms is not more important than, for instance, the fact that the American middle class is sliding into poverty, and he is not afraid to say so. Trump sees America becoming a third world country and he has the guts to bring it up.
Winning Back America
Pointing out the problems is one thing, but solving them is whole other ball game. Wall Street is not just a few financial magnates. Besides the banks, funds, and investment companies, you have the press, the majority of politicians, the Silicon Valley giants, and numerous organizations that benefit from Wall Street’s money making mechanism. These institutions control the government and the media, and they believed they always would. If Trump wants to transition the American economy from dubious financial ingenuity back to authentic production, he will have to garner the support of the current overlords of wealth and power.
The media moguls (on which I will elaborate in my next column) currently support Clinton because she would have strengthened their hold on public discourse. Implementing Trump’s ideology, on the other hand, will entail popping the media bubble, too, and returning to real life—in the media, in society, and in economics.
Education—the Key to Trump’s Success
In my view, the key to Trump’s success in achieving a successful transition is education. Currently, the media serves as America’s prime educator and advocates hatred and division. This must change. The American society has reached dangerous levels of distrust among ethnic groups and between some ethnic groups and the authorities. If the government wants to win back the people, it should do this by offering affordable, if not free education for all, and instate extensive promotion of social cohesion.
Just as nature operates on two forces, one positive and one negative, or giving and receiving, for American society to heal itself, it must introduce the positive side into society. As I detailed in my book, Self Interest vs. Altruism in the Global Era, when receiving is the only mode of operation, which is currently the case in America, society exhausts its resources and eventually collapses. For this reason, programs that advance social solidarity are critical to the health of American society. They should begin in primary schools, continue all the way through universities and colleges, and extend onward to all work places in America. Even unemployment benefits and Food Stamps should be contingent upon passing courses in social cohesion.
All media outlets, which currently promote division, should be required to broadcast a certain percentage of media that promotes social cohesion. It is the spirit of hope that has made Trump President-elect and it is that same spirit that will make positive changes possible. To a great extent, such a change depends on media that supports the process.
Also, the pro-social education should emphasize that building social solidarity and returning to a production-based economy are not the whim of this or that president. These are the basis of any sound society because they are founded on the natural laws of human relations rather than on fanciful ideas. Nature dictates that if you produce, you can sell, and then you will be able to buy what you need. Being able to earn vast amounts of money without producing anything is unnatural and unsustainable.
In other words, the current financial system is a freak. It is a bogus invention crafted in order to produce enormous wealth for the ruling few. The new system will benefit all Americans, regardless of political affiliation. In truth, this would be a far more democratic and liberal economy than the current one. Were it not for the diversion tactics that the media incessantly employed, Trump would have had far more votes than he did, primarily among Sanders supporters, and his victory would not have surprised anyone.
And finally, the world needs a strong America no less than America needs the world. It is my hope that Donald Trump will succeed in bringing America back to sane capitalism, for the sake of America and for the sake of the world.