Donald Trump gave an absolutely incredible speech yesterday on trade and the economy:
“It is great to be here. I’d like to thank Alumisource and all the amazing workers here for hosting us.
Today, I am going to talk about how to Make America Wealthy Again.
We are thirty miles from Steel City. Pittsburgh played a central role in building our nation.
The legacy of Pennsylvania steelworkers lives in the bridges, railways and skyscrapers that make up our great American landscape.
But our workers’ loyalty was repaid with betrayal.
Our politicians have aggressively pursued a policy of globalization – moving our jobs, our wealth and our factories to Mexico and overseas.
Globalization has made the financial elite who donate to politicians very wealthy. But it has left millions of our workers with nothing but poverty and heartache.
When subsidized foreign steel is dumped into our markets, threatening our factories, the politicians do nothing.
For years, they watched on the sidelines as our jobs vanished and our communities were plunged into depression-level unemployment.
Many of these areas have still never recovered.
Our politicians took away from the people their means of making a living and supporting their families.
Skilled craftsmen and tradespeople and factory workers have seen the jobs they loved shipped thousands of miles away.
Many Pennsylvania towns once thriving and humming are now in a state despair.
This wave of globalization has wiped out our middle class.
It doesn’t have to be this way. We can turn it all around – and we can turn it around fast.
But if we’re going to deliver real change, we’re going to have to reject the campaign of fear and intimidation being pushed by powerful corporations, media elites, and political dynasties.
The people who rigged the system for their benefit will do anything – and say anything – to keep things exactly as they are.
The people who rigged the system are supporting Hillary Clinton because they know as long as she is in charge nothing will ever change.
The inner cities will remain poor.
The factories will remain closed.
The borders will remain open.
The special interests will remain firmly in control. …”
Trump is directly addressing what happened to Pittsburgh and the Rust Belt here, but his message of industrial decline is equally applicable to Birmingham, North Carolina, and thousands of towns across the South from which the globalists have sucked their economic lifeblood. The industrialization of the South had barely hit liftoff in the 1950s before many of our core industries started relocating to the Third World.
The only quibble that I have here is that we can’t reform our trade policy from within the WTO. If anything is going to get done on that front, we will have to withdraw from it. The underlying principles of Trump’s nationalist position should lead to that outcome when the inevitable conflict comes. Still, it is hard to exaggerate how much the overall worldview presented in this speech is a break from the globalist status quo.
Bernie is warning the Democrats that they better wake up:
“Surprise, surprise. Workers in Britain, many of whom have seen a decline in their standard of living while the very rich in their country have become much richer, have turned their backs on the European Union and a globalized economy that is failing them and their children. …
During my campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, I’ve visited 46 states. What I saw and heard on too many occasions were painful realities that the political and media establishment fail even to recognize.
In the last 15 years, nearly 60,000 factories in this country have closed, and more than 4.8 million well-paid manufacturing jobs have disappeared. Much of this is related to disastrous trade agreements that encourage corporations to move to low-wage countries.
Despite major increases in productivity, the median male worker in America today is making $726 dollars less than he did in 1973, while the median female worker is making $1,154 less than she did in 2007, after adjusting for inflation. …
Let’s be clear. The global economy is not working for the majority of people in our country and the world. This is an economic model developed by the economic elite to benefit the economic elite. We need real change.
But we do not need change based on the demagogy, bigotry and anti-immigrant sentiment that punctuated so much of the Leave campaign’s rhetoric — and is central to Donald J. Trump’s message. …”
Trump’s biggest problem is that most of the Sanders supporters and millions of White Northerners agree with his message about trade and the decline of the middle class, particularly in the Rust Belt, but they would rather engage in empty posturing and virtue signaling about racism than tackle the most serious problems facing the country, whether it is free trade and globalization, terrorism, or the state of our borders.
How can Trump lose states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan in spite of giving a full-throated speech on trade like this? Because of the millions of white collar, college educated idiots who live in places like suburban Philadelphia, Columbus, and Milwaukee.