The main intrigue of the Trump's era

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meerov21
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Feb 3 2017 21:56
The main intrigue of the Trump's era

There are at least 3 main intrigue of the era of Donald Trump, and one Central issue. The potential of social protests of the USA workers depends on the decision of the Central issue: this is the question of re-industrialization.

1. Will there be a turn in US foreign policy; confrontation between America and China? Does America create an Alliance with India and (perhaps?) with Russia against China? Is this serious at all? How, then, will become the world looks like and what can cause a spiral of confrontation of the giants?

...Almost nobody talk about it, but in fact the tension between the US and China began to increase during Obama's time due to the collision of interests of the two greatest Nations in East Asia. Obama's sanctions against North Korea made China very angry. It is possible that the increase confrontation between US and China is an objective process (it is an opinion expressed by some serious experts on East Asia).

2. Can Trump run a massive programme of re-industrialization of the USA on the basis of modern technologys?

This question is Central. Trump's program includes three main points:

a) Radical increase of duties on imported goods in the US
b) Radical reduction of taxes on business)
с) Radical deregulation.

This combination of Protectionism and Reaganomics was designed to protect American trade and to return USA millions of jobs from China and Mexico.

Protectionism means a trade war with China and organically linked with the project of political confrontation between the USA and China. To this we must add the idea of a president Trump to increase dramatically the military spending. It is aimed at the increase in jobs in the United States and the increase of American military force aimed against China.

But China may use even more radical tax cuts for corporate business to keep it. Actually nobody knows what will be the economic and political implications from all this.

Economist Konstantin Frumkin: "There are Estimates already published, according to which a large part of the of jobs in the U.S. industry in recent years was eliminated not due to the transfer of production to Asia but due to new technologies. So the more return policy in production will not bring many jobs back in the USA."

3. What will happen to the working class of the US?

A Professor at Columbia University Navid Hassanpour:

""Trump became President of the "Rust belt" — the American Midwest, which is suffering from the decline of industrial production, unemployment and General economic distress. Most States, proved victory of Trump, are concentrated in this region - Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Aiowa... Michigan has made a dramatic shift in their electoral preferences for the first time in a long time voted for the Republican candidate. In Michigan you can find the worst examples of the collapse of the first successful cities and social decline. What an important: Victory of Trump, with one exception (Florida), was won in the "Rust belt" means that his promises to "restore the manufacturing sector within the United States" and "the return of plants to the homeland" worked among those who are most hard hit by de-industrialization... In the last 20 years the motor of electoral politics in America was the support of multiculturalism, which is inextricably linked with the services sector is expected to thrive while the sector is growing. But at the same time, the mechanism of electoral mobilization in America still relies on slow-moving institutions related to industry and agriculture... It's still has meaning to build campaign around the communities suffering from industrial decline. Donald Trump seems to have understood it"".

Left (s-d) Russian economist Boris Kagarlitsky told US created the conditions for the formation of a new industry and theoretically this could lead to the creation of many jobs. Moreover, re-industrialization is already happening thanks to the shale revolution in the oil industry there were several large strikes. On the other hand, if the re-industrialization will not happen, it can cause the anger of workers and unemployed in the Rust-belt - the territory gave victory to Trump.

In any case, there is possibility for the large-scale proletarian protests. It would be curious if it was found group, which could create Real IWW - a multinational organization of struggle at the factory, rejecting the collective agreement with the boss and cooperation with the state commissions and courts. Theoretically, the preconditions for such workers direct action can appear.

Cleishbotham
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Feb 5 2017 11:35

Don't know if this helps the discussion of part one or even if the link works but her goes
http://www.leftcom.org/en/articles/2017-02-03/russia-china-and-the-usa%E2%80%99s-new-world-disorder

BloodDiamond
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Feb 5 2017 17:20

I think these recent events of right wing populism are a sad but necessary event. Basically this is frustration on behalf of the working class in the developed countries, but they still have enough faith in capitalism to propose capitalist solutions. They remember when times were better, jobs were more secure, wages were higher and jobs weren't being outsourced to Asia and Mexico. This is why they fall for vague slogans such as "make America great again" and this is why they support capitalist solutions.

But we know of course that these problems are simply part of the nature of capitalism. Capital will always seek lower wages abroad and more mechanisation at the expense of labour. Capitalist solutions cannot solve these problems. Global capital is a global force and no government, not even Trump's, can control it.

I predict that when he shows that he can't achieve his plans to re-industrialise America and more and more people fall into the ranks of the poor proletariat, right wing populism will be replaced by a left wing populism as people realise that capitalism cannot solve the problems: capitalism is the problem.

Spikymike
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Feb 6 2017 11:52

The CWO linked text in post No2 is well worth a read providing a much welcome background to Putin's attempts at reversing the Wests gains from the earlier collapse of the old Soviet Union, recent shifts in USA foreign policy in relation to the Middle East including the oft quoted ''pivot to Asia'' initially under Obama and the increased uncertainty and dangers of Trump's 'erratic unilateralism'.

meerov21
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Feb 6 2017 14:33

Capital will always seek lower wages abroad and more mechanisation at the expense of labour. Capitalist solutions cannot solve these problems.

I think Yes and no.

1. One of the largest researchers of capitalism Karl Polanyi was writing about the fact that capitalism has always oscillated between protectionism and free trade. After the great depression the era of protectionism came which ended the Second imperialist world war. Did Protectionism and world war gave the solution of the contradictions of capitalism? No, because the contradictions still remain. Yes, because that was the growth of industry and at the same time, excess labor force, unemployed, etc. was destroyed and burned at the front, and in the course of the genocide and deportations.

2. Reindustrialization of the USA and the return of production from China is already happening. It started before Trump due to the rising cost of labor in China. The problem is that according to some studies the new factory will be automated and can not create many jobs.

S. Artesian
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Feb 6 2017 16:35
meerov21 wrote:
Capital will always seek lower wages abroad and more mechanisation at the expense of labour. Capitalist solutions cannot solve these problems.

I think Yes and no.

1. One of the largest researchers of capitalism Karl Polanyi was writing about the fact that capitalism has always oscillated between protectionism and free trade. After the great depression the era of protectionism came which ended the Second imperialist world war. Did Protectionism and world war gave the solution of the contradictions of capitalism? No, because the contradictions still remain. Yes, because that was the growth of industry and at the same time, excess labor force, unemployed, etc. was destroyed and burned at the front, and in the course of the genocide and deportations.

2. Reindustrialization of the USA and the return of production from China is already happening. It started before Trump due to the rising cost of labor in China. The problem is that according to some studies the new factory will be automated and can not create many jobs.

Actually protectionism in the US preceded and accompanied the depression of the 1930s. From the 1830s until WW2 the US pretty much maintained protectionist policies, with tariffs an important source of government revenue.

It was after WW2 that the US turned towards a "free trade" policy, the better to penetrate other markets, based on the fact that the US was the dominant capitalist power. After WW2, revenues from tariffs declined steadily both as a percentage of GDP and as a source of government revenues.

Since 2008, the US has adopted a slew of protectionist measures, none or all of which have accomplished much of anything.

Regarding reindustrialization--- if you mean industrial production, that never "left" the US. Outputs in volumes and value are greater than 30 years ago. If you mean, the return of production that was previously conducted in other countries-- that's an empirical question and we need to see the empirical data to make a judgment. From the little investigation I've conducted into this, I think such a "return" is, like LBJ's Great Society, conspicuous only in its absence (check out the reference to San Francisco 60s bands in that pithy characterization).

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Steven.
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Feb 6 2017 17:53
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This combination of Protectionism and Reaganomics was designed to protect American trade and to return USA millions of jobs from China and Mexico.

Just on this bit, I think it's worth challenging as we should avoid just parroting right-wing propaganda. Not completely sure on the stats regarding the US, but I think it is very unlikely that US jobs have actually "gone overseas". In the UK for example we have had a massive reduction of jobs in manufacturing since the 1970s which is often credited to "off shoring". However that is not actually the case: industrial production is roughly the same as it was in the 70s, but jobs have been slashed by automation. Increased consumption and population growth has led to increased demand for manufactured goods, hence there being more manufacturing in places like China and Mexico as well.

edited to add I have just seen that Artesian has already said this, never mind

meerov21
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Feb 6 2017 19:10

Professor of Chicago University (a supporter of the system of ideas of Wallerstein) George Derlugyan notes that Western business has begun to move production from Europe and USA to Asia and South America after the riots and protests of the 1970s then workers class become dangerous.

Also there is Another factor - the new openness of the Chinese economy after the reforms + inexpensive and the quality of Chinese labor. It is true that US corporations have created millions of jobs in China and Mexico but large areas in the United States turned into a zone of de-industrialization. American economist L. Waldman wrote the same. He noted that the transfer of production to China has led to increased social stratification of Americans. Management income increased, while the situation for ordinary workers have deteriorated. Part of the former skilled workers and professionals became unemployed or sellers of Chinese products.

Program of Trump is not some special "right-wing propaganda", but just the capitalist program of protectionism in the modern world.

In modern terms, wrote the sociologist Zygmunt Bauman "States turned into police stations competing among themselves for investments". Trump wants to make manufacturing in the US more attractive to investors than manufacturing in China.

Another thing is that the transition to protectionism is always accompanied by trade wars among States. Protectionism is always associated with nationalism, trade wars and military conflicts. I prefer to talk at this level, not to talk about "right-wing propaganda.".

I mean, I don't doubt that trump is a racist. But his policies is dangerous not only for the specified reason. There are much more serious things.

meerov21
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Feb 6 2017 19:13

In the UK for example we have had a massive reduction of jobs in manufacturing since the 1970s which is often credited to "off shoring". However that is not actually the case: industrial production is roughly the same as it was in the 70s, but jobs have been slashed by automation.

I'm interested in this question and discussed it with economists. Some of the jobs were lost to automation, may be the majority but a large part was lost because of the transfer of production to Asia.

BloodDiamond
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Feb 6 2017 19:18
meerov21 wrote:
I think Yes and no.

1. One of the largest researchers of capitalism Karl Polanyi was writing about the fact that capitalism has always oscillated between protectionism and free trade. After the great depression the era of protectionism came which ended the Second imperialist world war. Did Protectionism and world war gave the solution of the contradictions of capitalism? No, because the contradictions still remain. Yes, because that was the growth of industry and at the same time, excess labor force, unemployed, etc. was destroyed and burned at the front, and in the course of the genocide and deportations.

2. Reindustrialization of the USA and the return of production from China is already happening. It started before Trump due to the rising cost of labor in China. The problem is that according to some studies the new factory will be automated and can not create many jobs.

Well I think you are correct in pointing out the post-war boom in the West (and Japan) benefiting from a shortage of labour. Also let's not forget that large parts of the global labour force were not on the world market as they are today (i.e. China) so the Western bourgeoisie had no choice but to use their own proletariat for production.

The problem with reindustrialisation, as you say, is the decline in the number of jobs due to automation. This in turn will drive wages down due to a fall in demand for labour. Universal basic income might keep the wolves at bay for a time but surely the entire money system will eventually come crashing down.

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Soapy
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Feb 6 2017 20:38
Steven. wrote:
Quote:
This combination of Protectionism and Reaganomics was designed to protect American trade and to return USA millions of jobs from China and Mexico.

Just on this bit, I think it's worth challenging as we should avoid just parroting right-wing propaganda. Not completely sure on the stats regarding the US, but I think it is very unlikely that US jobs have actually "gone overseas". In the UK for example we have had a massive reduction of jobs in manufacturing since the 1970s which is often credited to "off shoring". However that is not actually the case: industrial production is roughly the same as it was in the 70s, but jobs have been slashed by automation.

I'm not sure how much truth there really is to claims about jobs being lost to automation.

The best indicator of jobs lost to automation is productivity growth, which in the U.S. was actually quite low throughout the 1970s and 80s, was high again between 1995-2005, and is very low currently. Makes sense that jobs would be lost to China which has a devalued currency and weak worker protection laws.

Regardless, as Dean Baker points out, one thing that is overlooked in the whole globalization story is that while workers in the US are now forced to compete with workers in the developing world, there has been no such competition unleashed for lawyers, doctors, or dentists. In order to practice on of those professions in the US one needs a degree or certification from a US school (sometimes Canada is allowed). There is no reason for this other than the fact that lawyers, dentists, and doctors are more powerful politically than manufacturing workers and thus are no subjected to the laws of the free market. The result of course is that the average doctor makes $250,000 a year, and when you go to the ER and the doctor sees you for a total of 5 minutes over a 3 hour period you still have to pay him $600 because he charges $200/hour.

meerov21
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Feb 6 2017 20:43

From the 1830s until WW2 the US pretty much maintained protectionist policies, with tariffs an important source of government revenue.
It was after WW2 that the US turned towards a "free trade" policy,

Theere is the fact after the Great Depression, there was a move towards autarkic empires, to protectionism, after the "Golden thread of Finance (linking the globe) burst," writes Polanyi's. It's a pretty known fact with regard to Russia, partly to Germany. I don't know to what extent it has affected the United States.

meerov21
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Feb 6 2017 21:19

Soapy wrote

I'm not sure how much truth there really is to claims about jobs being lost to automation.
The best indicator of jobs lost to automation is productivity growth, which in the U.S. was actually quite low throughout the 1970s and 80s, was high again between 1995-2005, and is very low currently. Makes sense that jobs would be lost to China which has a devalued currency and weak worker protection laws.
Regardless, as Dean Baker points out, one thing that is overlooked in the whole globalization story is that while workers in the US are now forced to compete with workers in the developing world, there has been no such competition unleashed for lawyers, doctors, or dentists. In order to practice on of those professions in the US one needs a degree or certification from a US school (sometimes Canada is allowed). There is no reason for this other than the fact that lawyers, dentists, and doctors are more powerful politically than manufacturing workers and thus are no subjected to the laws of the free market. The result of course is that the average doctor makes $250,000 a year, and when you go to the ER and the doctor sees you for a total of 5 minutes over a 3 hour period you still have to pay him $600 because he charges $200/hour.

Yeah, I heard similar arguments in relation to jobs. Also there are economists and sociologists who say that only some of the jobs lost due to automation, and that millions of jobs have gone to China and Mexico. I think it can be truth and I think it should be discussed.

Why Trump was able to gain influence? He drew attention to these things and addressed it to the areas of de-industrialization, to the Rust-belt. I think this question should be discussed.

Trump wants to discuss the matter in a racist manner or in a protectionist style, demanding to take action against China. The alternative I see is "people can discuss this issue with other positions". The working class (workers, engineers, professionals) have the right to control their production and they workplace. They should not allow dismissal regardless of the reason of dismissal :No matter what it is: automation or that management have an idea "it is more profitable to move the factory to China". It is necessary to speak in the spirit of resistance of the working class, organized in councils. Workers of all color must not allow to move the plants anywhere. This is an alternative that should be discussed.

The second point. Policy of Trump is a danger not so much because he touched someone's ass. I think that many US presidents were much worse than him in this area. Policy of Trump is dangerous because it threatens to conflict not only with Iran but also with China. Need to explain : a trade war of business grow to the war of the States. Protectionism always dramatically enhances the threat of imperialist war.

Economic Protectionism of Trump, his racism and his desire for conflict with Iran and China - all three are related to each other. So the result can be a global conflict.

S. Artesian
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Feb 6 2017 23:42
meerov21 wrote:
From the 1830s until WW2 the US pretty much maintained protectionist policies, with tariffs an important source of government revenue.
It was after WW2 that the US turned towards a "free trade" policy,

Theere is the fact after the Great Depression, there was a move towards autarkic empires, to protectionism, after the "Golden thread of Finance (linking the globe) burst," writes Polanyi's. It's a pretty known fact with regard to Russia, partly to Germany. I don't know to what extent it has affected the United States.

After the Great Depression of the 1930s? After the Great Depression of the 1930s came WW2, making the issue of tariffs moot. After WW2, there was the general movement to the "liberalization" of trade, the reduction of tariffs among capitalist countries. The EU was originally founded on that basis. I don't know what Polanyi is talking about, but GATT was initiated in 1947-- the purpose of which was "the substantial reduction of tariffs and trade barriers..."

The US imposed significant tariffs as industrial capitalism began to emerge in the North, and by 1832, the US South was so paranoid about retaliation by Britain upon cotton exports that South Carolina actually attempted to secede from the Union.

Tariffs were a major contributor to government revenues up until WW1, and the movement towards free trade ran up against the limits of capitalism in the 1920s. Tariffs were increased in 1922 and in 1930 the Smoot Hawley Tariff act was passed, raising tariffs to the second highest assessments ever in US history. This was followed by retaliatory acts from other countries. This was at the beginning of the Depression, not after.

As for Russia, imposing tariffs... not hardly. The Soviet Union maintained a monopoly on foreign trade and determined, on the basis of a supposed "economic plan" what and how much of what was to be imported. These were direct decisions of "central planning" and not "market" decisions where a tariff was imposed to protect emerging industry.

For all that, international trade was a "bit player" in the former Soviet Union.

We have yet to see how real Trump's protectionism is-- tariffs have to be instituted by an act of Congress. Anti- dumping and unfair trade practices duties can be imposed by the US Dept. of Commerce under provision of the 1930 act, but the DOC has to first conduct an investigation and determine that the product is being dumped, and is in fact harming a US industry. Nothing Trump has cited, not Ford or Carrier or BMW or Toyota moving production to Mexico and selling to the US market qualifies as dumping or an unfair trade practice, so Trump's only route is to "jawbone" or go to Congress.

I suspect, like everything else, this protectionism is all bullshit, and public spectacle-- where it is not already simply a reflection of slowing trade, and the old "beggar they neighbor" policy.

In any case, to trigger anti-dumping duties a US corporation has to file a petition with Dept of Commerce. Ford isn't about to file against itself, or against GM, or BMW for that matter.

meerov21
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Feb 7 2017 03:22

Tariffs were a major contributor to government revenues up until WW1, and the movement towards free trade ran up against the limits of capitalism in the 1920s. Tariffs were increased in 1922 and in 1930 the Smoot Hawley Tariff act was passed, raising tariffs to the second highest assessments ever in US history. This was followed by retaliatory acts from other countries. This was at the beginning of the Depression, not after.

I'm sorry, English is not my native language. Probably I have been unclear. I meant the following idea: Polanyi wrote the Tariffs have been increased after the beginning of the Great Depression, not after it end.

As for Russia, imposing tariffs... not hardly. The Soviet Union maintained a monopoly on foreign trade and determined, on the basis of a supposed "economic plan" what and how much of what was to be imported. These were direct decisions of "central planning" and not "market" decisions where a tariff was imposed to protect emerging industry.

It is important that around the mid-1930s, the export-import transactions of the USSR has fallen dramatically. Polanyi's says that in this period autarkic Empires arise.

I suspect, like everything else, this protectionism is all bullshit, and public spectacle-- where it is not already simply a reflection of slowing trade, and the old "beggar they neighbor" policy.

I admit that protectionism of Trump will be just like... empty words. But on the other hand it is normal for capitalism move from periods of free trade to protectionism and back. So at list I would take seriously the possibility.

S. Artesian
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Feb 7 2017 13:00
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I admit that protectionism of Trump will be just like... empty words. But on the other hand it is normal for capitalism move from periods of free trade to protectionism and back. So at list I would take seriously the possibility.

That certainly is possible, in fact more than possible, but I think the attention should be placed on the forces at work globally that have slowed international trade, and even driven it into contraction.

Spikymike
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May 3 2017 20:46

Just noticed this little reference to a China connection with a different member of the Trump family now in high office:
www.refinery29.uk/2017/04/151866/ivanka-trump-factory-underpaid-workers

Fleur
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May 3 2017 23:49

Don't take this as an endorsement of any of the Trump family but -

Quote:
Daughter's eponymous brand since 2012, routinely had its employees work overtime exceeding the legal limit, while making less than minimum wage and oftentimes without receiving benefits, in 2016.

- this is pretty routine throughout the whole of the garment trade, irrespective of brand. You'll be hard pressed to find any company operating in the fashion industry which doesn't operate in the same way. It's hyper exploitative.