Wednesday, November 16, 2016

White Workers Wanted Change - But Voted Against It

 There were different reasons why people voted for Donald Trump. Some voted for him simply because he ran on the Republican ticket, and they would vote for any Republican (even one they didn't particularly like). Others liked the bigoted, xenophobic, and racist positions exposed during his campaign. They have voted for other Republicans, but have never been so happy to support as candidate as they are with Trump. They see him as someone who supports their sick beliefs. Both of these groups can be counted on to vote Republican in any election.

But there is another groups that came out big for Trump in this election -- white working class voters, a group that is normally considered independent or leaning Democratic. Why did they vote for Trump?

These workers are the ones that have been left behind by the economy. Their wages have been stagnant, their good jobs exported to other countries, they still struggle to recover form the recent recession, and their buying power is decreasing because of inflation while their taxes do not. They wanted CHANGE, and I don't blame them -- they deserve a change that would let them reap some of the benefits from our economy. The problem is that they didn't really vote for the change they wanted. They voted against it by voting for Trump and his Republican cohorts.

If they wanted higher wages, they voted for the wrong party. Raising the minimum wage (which a majority of Americans support) would put upward pressure on all wages, and ripple throughout the economy. But the Republicans oppose raising the minimum wage, and Trump says wages are already too high.

Another way to help increase wages is to see that companies share their rising productivity with workers. Since the recession, corporate owners and management have gobbled up over 95% of rising productivity for themselves -- leaving millions of workers to share the remaining 4%-5%. The Republicans are not going to change that either. Their true constituents are the rich and the corporations (who like things exactly as they are).

Strengthening labor unions and making it easier for workers to form a union would also help these workers. But the Republicans they helped to elect are not going to do that. They have always opposed labor unions, and have taken every opportunity to reduce the scope and power of labor unions.

They also want the exporting of good American jobs to stop, and for some of those jobs to come back home. Trump did promise this during his campaign. Unfortunately, the Republican congress does not want this -- and they have voted down all attempts to punish companies that export jobs. There is no reason to think they will change.

Trump and the Republicans did promise to reduce taxes. But they were not talking about reducing taxes for the working class. They want to give the rich and the corporations massive new tax breaks, and the upper middle class a small tax break.The rest of the middle class and workers will be lucky to get a pittance, if anything at all.

The sad part is that change was available to the workers in this election. Democrats have tried to raise the minimum wage, strengthen labor unions, encourage a sharing of rising productivity, penalizing companies that export jobs, and a tax break for the working and middle classes (paid for by raising taxes on the rich and making corporations pay their taxes). Democrats would have delivered the change these workers wanted.

The workers wanted change, and they deserve it -- but they voted for the party that will deny them that change. In effect, they voted against the change they wanted.

(NOTE -- The graphic above left is from The Guardian, and the one above right is from

1 comment:

  1. nope, wrong, Trump said he would bring mfg back and stop the replacement of tech workers - whether he does this remains to be seen - but he spoke of this and this is why he was elected

    Also, shutting down immigration is needed if citizens want to have work for them - not enough jobs for 7 billion people


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