Monday, July 31, 2017

Trump Prefers The Rich To Be In Charge Of The Economy

(This image is from The Irish Times.)

Donald Trump promised to "drain the swamp" during the presidential campaign. Once elected, he has people his cabinet with the richest people he could find -- especially in the jobs that control the economy. He has chosen corporate CEO's and Wall Street bankers for those positions. The question, of course, is are these the people who would institute policies that would be good for all Americans.

When he was asked about this, here's what he said:

“Somebody said, ‘Why did you appoint a rich person to be in charge of the economy?’

“So I said …. because that’s the kind of thinking we want… because they’re representing the country.

“These are people that are great, brilliant business minds, and that’s what we need, that’s what we have to have so the world doesn’t take advantage of us.
“We can’t have the world taking advantage of us any more. And I love all people, rich or poor, but in those particular positions I just don’t want a poor person.
“Does that make sense? Does that make sense?
“If you insist I’ll do it but I like it better this way, right?”
Well, it doesn't make sense to me. I have questions about the thinking he is egging in (if he's doing any thinking at all). Do the rich really understand the problems faced by working people in this country? Do they believe the Republican myth that whatever is good for the rich is also good for everyone in the country?
I can understand why someone like Trump would want rich people in charge of the economy. They are much more likely to institute economic policies that would protect rich people like him, and insure they would get even richer (even if it's at the expense of the working man/woman). 
Personally, I want a smart person to be in charge of the economy. But I don't want that smart person to be rich (at least not super-rich, like Trump's appointees). I would prefer that smart person to be a working person who needs the salary he/she makes to live on -- a person who knows what it's like to worry about paying the rent, buying the groceries, and paying for all the things his/her family needs on a salary that sometimes is not enough.
The person in charge of the economy is naturally going to support policies that benefit people like them and their friends. A rich person is going to like policies that benefit the rich. A working person is going to prefer policies that benefit working families. 
In the last few decades, the Republicans have instituted a "trickle-down" economic policy, and they have made sure that policy stays in place. But that is a policy that tilts the economic playing field to favor the rich, in the mistaken belief that what's good for the rich is good for all Americans -- and for the economy in general. But that's just not true. That's the kind of thinking that has kept the economy limping along (after causing a recession), and has kept wages stagnant for most working Americans.
Trump's question about whether we'd prefer a rich or poor person to be in charge of the economy is a false choice. Why can't we have a working person who's neither rich nor poor, but understands the problems facing most Americans trying to pay their bills and meet their obligations while inflation eats away at their salary? Wouldn't that make more sense? Wouldn't that be better for all Americans?

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