It’s been almost a month after big shock wave of US presidential elections. There are still some aftershocks of president-elect’s administration decision, however everyone seems to be a little bit calmer. Even to calm I would say. In June after UK referendum, when 17 million people made a decision to leave the EU, aftermath of press and the people was highly more depressing than Trumps victory. Straight drop of the pound, huge increase in xenophobic attacks and no plan for tomorrow, that’s how Brexit morning was looking like. However, Trump case was slightly different. Yes, people were unhappy, some of the protest emerged, but public opinion especially in the newspapers were quite optimistic about the new era of politics. Both cases are regarded as anti-globalist and anti-establishment votes, however both campaigns were led by ultra-neoliberalist faces, while using anti-capitalist rhetoric’s. Trump promises to bring the jobs back to American soil, ban the transnational agreements to stop corporations of cheap labor exploitation and highly tax corporations which will decide to go abroad, seems as an amazing deal, especially if you are blue-collar worker whose only source of living was moved down south, because labor is a bit less wage demanding and health and safety is not that strict. But when this promises are being made by multimillionaire pop-star, you have to have a few questions.
First question that emerges: is he sincere? Well maybe he is. Maybe Mr. Trump in he’s old age understood the value of the working class people their struggles and most importantly that they are same people as him with similar need for love, compassion and security. However realistically speaking is quite hard to believe in he’s quick transition of values, especially looking in Mr. president-elect resume and he’s business culture.
Everyone knows or at least have a bit of insight, how Donald Trump became so rich and influential. He grew up in a wealthy family, he’s father was a New York real estate tycoon who gladly lend he’s son, the future president a “small” 1 million dollars’ loan, to kick-start he’s own carrier in real estate. Soon he took control of he’s fathers company, re-named it as a Trump organization and rest is history. But how neoliberalism had served him? Well we can look into Mr. Trumps executive club in Florida. The club is regarded as one of the most prestigious club in the world who attracts just elite’s elite, besides that labor force policies is highly liberal, you can apply for the job regardless your nationality, of course terms apply. Terms such as lower salary than national standard and complete dedication and trust of your employer. More than 500 visas were issued to foreign workers since 2010 through legal existing programs which lets employers’ temporary hire foreign workers when American labor is not available. Confronted by this facts Donald Trump had very simple explanation, “getting help in Palm beach during the season is almost impossible” while official statistic showed that since 2010 more than 300 US citizens were applying for the job and just 17 have been hired. (Bagli, Twohey: 2016) Donald Trump has assets around the globe worth 3.9 billion dollars according to Forbes, well he says 10 billion (yeah Donald we know you are rich), and to think that all possible loopholes was not used to increase profit is at least naive. He even proudly stated himself during the first presidential debates, that not paying taxis for thirteen years made him smart. Is he sincere? Well in my opinion sincerity is not he’s strongest ally. However, these facts were published and discussed in many mainstream newspapers, social media, debates liberal media really tried to put its all focus in clarifying Trumps agenda.
So what helped him succeed? Well basically because he did made some good points about the flaws of globalization. Since 1970s just 15% of the additional growth the US has generated went to workers and rest 85% to corporations. Playing the card Let’s make the America great again, Trump is referring to 1980s when economic boost was at its peak and job security and living standards was at the higher level. (Elliot: 2016) Triggering the feelings of disenfranchised working class and understanding neoliberal flaws within society, helped Donald Trump to secure biggest election upset in history. However, I don’t think president-elect is going to forget under which circumstances he became as wealthy as he is. He doesn’t look like one who bites the hand who feeds him, especially when it is your own hand.
By Aurimas Mieliauskas
- Bagli, V. and Twohey, M. (2016). Donald Trump to Foreign Workers for Florida Club: You’re Hired. The New York Times. [online] Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/26/us/politics/donald-trump-taps-foreign-work-force-for-his-florida-club.html?_r=0 [Accessed 25 Feb. 2016].
- Elliott, L. (2016). Trump’s economic view is far from neoliberal, but it rides a populist wave. The Guardian. [online] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jul/31/trumps-economic-view-is-far-from-neoliberal-but-it-rides-a-populist-wave [Accessed 31 Jul. 2016].