portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reposts global

government | political theory

"It's the economy stupid!"

US unemployment at the start of April 2020 is higher than at the peak of the 1929 Great Depression. Trump is to blame for the botched response to the Coronavirus that he initially called a hoax. To generate economic activity, he recently proposed raising CEO deductions for entertainment and restaurant bills. We face a collapse of the GDP, consumption, investments and tax revenues. The real hoax is Trump's commitment to America!
"It's the economy stupid!"

The economy becomes the crucial moment for the 2020 US Presidential Election

By Detlef Umbach

[This article published on August 2, 2019 is translated abridged from the German on the Internet, www.sozialismus.de.]

"For the American right-wing, Trump's inauguration into office was... a moment of political rebirth." [1] The rule of political correctness that Democrats and large parts of Republicans carried out for a long time seemed to end at last.

Under the banner of a brutal nationalism - "America first!" - sexism, hostility to foreigners and racism returned openly in national politics. The Republican Party turned into the Trump Party that will do everything to help Trump to victory.

The election campaign began with a new invocation of the "socialist danger." Focusing hatred on the four female newcomers in the House of Representatives - Omar, Ocasia-Cortez, Tlaib and Pressley -, Trump sought to slander democrats altogether as un-American socialists and America's enemies. Very early on, Trump's hate campaigns reached a new dimension. He demands that elected delegates of the House of Representatives lose their civil rights be cause of their convictions and be expelled from the US. "Send them back!" This is only the beginning.

Trump's approval ratings in the population are stable at 42%. These ratings are a good indicator for Republican election chances. 42% is only 4% less than were enough for the 2016 victory. The whole election campaign will turn on a few percent more or less for Trump. The Democrats cannot rely on a stronger voter potential. In the November 2018 elections, the two parties were nearly equal in mobilizing their followers.

The Democrats have strong majorities in states with large metropolitan regions... [2] The Democrats must win back one region, the Rust-Belt states. That was crucial in the last election: Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio [3]. In these states, the share of whites without college degrees is very high. The problem here is winning back Trump voters for the Democrats. That succeeded in part in the 2018 elections. Trump's weakness was not having any solution in the realm of health insurance. The failed attempts at abolishing Obama's Affordable Care Act and the continued financial sabotage of the existing legal regulations have made health insurance into a bristling theme in the population.

Trump is a peculiar president. He is not a usual politician from whom voters quickly turn away in recessions, scandals or breakdowns. Trump is the leading figure of a movement. His supporters follow him unperturbed. This close relation between the leading figure and his supporters was first clear after the "pussy-grabbing scandal" hardly had any effect in the 2016 election campaign. A politician who made public the sexist conviction he could grab the genitals of any woman would normally have been "finished."

But Trump won the election. Putting children of illegal immigrants in cages is a scandal with a similar gravity. These children suffer under separation from their parents and are kept in "child-prisons." Child-prisons are a white-washing or glossing over of the shameful reality. This scandal continued for months without having any effects on the approval rating of the president.

Whites without college degrees have been strongly affected by the negative changes on the labor market in the last decades and since the worldwide economic crisis. A long process of decline caused by the worsening of vocational possibilities for persons with little education made life increasingly hard for the less educated in their marriages, in life and with the chances of their children and not only with their occupational possibilities. [4] For whites without a college degree, "the American dream" of achieving a good living standard through hard work is increasingly threatened. On the other hand, a college degree is increasingly the "key" for social ascent and protection of the living standard.

After ten years of upswing, there are also higher wages and more chances on the labor market for whites without college degrees. This gives them the impression that Trump did something for them. Parts of Trump's following even interpret the "trade war" with China that the president is going all out for their jobs. [5] Trump spreads the nostalgic hope that he ensures industrial jobs with good wages will come back.

Actually Trump does nothing to improve the future chances of wage-earners without college degrees. He doesn't have either a notion of industrial policy or advanced vocational training. The Democratic Party lacks a political answer...

President Trump lacks new life-giving themes. [6] He covers up the continued radicalization of his last great theme, hatred of foreigners and illegal immigration. The scandalous treatment of children of illegal immigrants fits in here. Children are shown the misanthropy and violence of Trump's America to illegal immigrants. According to Gallup, Trump successfully made immigration the most important election campaign theme. [7]

Trump celebrates his successes with the slogan "Keep America Great!": the good economy, the tax cuts and the deregulation of environmental-, health- and bank-conditions. In the Republican worldview, the good economy is the result of these "liberations" from taxes and annoying conditions. That the economy rests on the achievements of the Obama administration after the worldwide economic crisis is forgotten.

Trump's tax reform catapulted corporate profits after taxes... State spending that must be financed through deficit spending has a stimulating effect on the economy. [8]

These are clear signs of an economic weakening: the inverse interest-structure, the disproportion between profits and investments in the business sector and the decline of mandated working hours. Whether more than an economic lull occurs is open. A slight recession already had far-reaching consequences for Trump's election campaign. Hopes for the nostalgic return of American greatness could crumble. The number of voters would fall who would vote for Trump on account of the good economy while rejecting him as a person.

Through the budget compromise up to 2021 reached in Congress, Trump has no possibility of stabilizing a tottering economy through further deficit spending with an infrastructure package of $200 billion. The economy will be the determining moment for the 2020 election campaign. Trump's chances for reelection rest on reviving the good economy.

[Translator's note: US unemployment at the start of April 2020 is higher than at the peak of the 1929 Great Depression. Trump is to blame for the botched response to the Coronavirus that he initially called a hoax. To generate economic activity, he recently proposed raising CEO deductions for entertainment and restaurant bills. We face a collapse of the GDP, consumption, investments and tax revenues. Trump is unquestionably a con man, chronic liar, misanthrope, sexist, racist, misogynist, xenophobe, corrupt and incompetent. The real hoax is Trump's commitment to America!]

The Breeding Ground for Social Tensions

Interview with Karin Zauner-Lohmeyer

[This interview published on August 1, 2019 is translated from the German on the Internet, www.nachdenkseiten.de. Karin Zauner-Lohmeyer is a spokesperson of the Initiative "European Housing for All". She works in Vienna and hopes to have a million signatures by March 2020.]

"The `free market' will never supply large parts of the population with affordable housing."... Persons in the middle class have problems finding affordable living space. "Housing," the Austrian activist says, "is increasingly a problem and not a matter of course anymore. Impoverishment, misery and homelessness are growing."

Ms. Zauner, affordable housing is in a terrible state in parts of Germany. What is the situation in other European countries?

The housing situation is dramatic in most EU-member states. Housing is nearly unaffordable in many metropolitan areas. Much too little is invested in social and public-interest oriented housing. Speculation on living space makes land and real estate prices explode. For years, housing costs have risen much faster than salaries. More and more people must leave the cities because they cannot afford the housing there. I speak of those workers whom we describe as the "middle of society" like police officers, firefighters, teachers and nurses, not low-income groups.

What mistakes were made by political decision-makers in the past regarding affordable housing?

The root of all evil lies in the prevailing neoliberal conviction that the unfettered market makes everything better. More than 700,000 public apartments were privatized in Germany since 1997. Reasonably-priced living space is lacking in cities today. This neoliberal market-gullibility increasingly leads to a European socio-political cul-de-sac with devastating consequences.

The Middle Class is Upended

Yes, the higher paid feel the development. Housing is increasingly a problem and is not a matter of course anymore. Impoverishment, misery and homelessness grow. This is the breeding ground for spreading social tensions - not to mention right-wing extremist developments.

Right-wing extremist groups develop explosively because they seek and find alleged scapegoats for the worsening living conditions. With the great 2008/ 2009 bank crash, the political decision-makers must recognize that unrestricted competition and maximum greed destroy our economies and societies. Just as a lion isn't a vegetarian, the "free market" doesn't worry about public welfare or public interest. The "free market" will never provide large parts of the population with affordable living space. It has not and will not do that. Quite the contrary, speculation with housing continuously forces us land- and property prices. In times of extremely low interests, the money flows very intensely to real estate since massive profits can be gained there. Global real estate companies, hedge funds and pension funds buy up whole parts of the city, raise the rents and people must pay or leave. Making money is central, not housing. Renters are only "annoyed" at this disruptive element. If prices climb, the property will be sold again like a share. Cities and all the people fall or come to grief...

homepage: homepage: http://www.freembtranslations.net
address: address: www.therealnews.com

hey ^Stupid (author and re-poster of article) already was *BEFORE* Virus! 08.Apr.2020 10:35


since 1980s we don't live in 'capitalism' but rather FINANCIALIZATION :


Without humility, there is no sense of wonder 08.Apr.2020 13:51

Be nice to translators

US unemployment at the start of April 2020 is higher than at the peak of the 1929 Great Depression. Trump is to blame for the botched response to the Coronavirus that he initially called a hoax. To generate economic activity, he recently proposed raising CEO deductions for entertainment and restaurant bills. We face a collapse of the GDP, consumption, investments and tax revenues. The real hoax is Trump's commitment to America!

Does folksy Joe know or care that 10K firms are registered at 1208 Orange Ave in Wilmington? He was a war cheerleader and anti-Saddam zealot from day one in 1992 as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, a NAFTA booster, a federal spending freezer for four decades, and a three-strikes-you're-out advocate. He's to the right of Hillary andhas no mass movement, a history of making the wrong decision on every foreign policy question!

Bernie was the one to cushion and redesign the collapse. We need a new FDR. Without humility, we can't have a sense of wonder! (Soren Kierkegaard) Taxes are the price we pay for living in a republic (Oliver Wendell Holmes). Whoever has a vision can be a healer!

more at www.freembtranslations.net, www.academia.edu, www.grin.com, www.deepl.com, www.billmoyers.com, www.citizen.com, www.therealnews.com, and www.onthecommons.org

Footnotes 08.Apr.2020 15:37



Detlef Umbach lebt als Rentner und SPD-Mitglied in Hamburg. Der Text wurde am 29.7.2019 beendet. Der Titel des Beitrags war die Wahlkampfparole von Bill Clinton 1992.

[1] Adam Tooze, Democracy and Its Discontents, The New York Review of Books, 6.6.2019, Übers.D.U.
[2] Vgl. Nate Cohn, Trump's Electoral College Edge could Grow in 2020, NYT, 19.7.2019.
[3] Ohne diese Staaten wird eine Abwahl von Trump sehr schwierig werden. Vgl Ronald Browstein, The Democatic Debate Over Winning Back Trump's Base, The Atlantic, 2.5.2019.
[4] Vgl. Anne Case u. Angus Deaton, Mortality and Morbidity in the 21th Century, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Spring 2017, S. 397-476.
[5] Vgl. Trip Gabriel, There's No Boom in Youngstown, but Blue-Collar Workers Are Sticking With Trump, NYT, 20.5.2019.
[6] Siehe Detlef Umbach, USA - Wut der republikanischen Wähler*innen und Politik des Vorurteils, Sozialismus.de, Heft 4-2019.
[7] Dieses Thema und auch den demokratischen Vorwahlkampf greife ich demnächst gesondert auf.
[8] Vgl. Paul Krugman, The Economics of Donald J. Keynes, New York Times (NYT), 6.5.2019.

addendum RE: Trump Derangement Syndrome 08.Apr.2020 16:06


now that Bernie Sanders has officially dropped out, it is a certainty that Trump will be victorious in the November 2020 election (provided, assuming that pandemic protocols have dissolved by that time...)

so you need to get over the notion of Trump (himself) being the enemy.

In fact, you need to remove your thinking from all Ideological and political / politicized trappings whatsoever. especially Team Sports politics ("Democrats" vs "Republicans", "left" vs "right)

get rid of Ideology ! Banish ideology from your thoughts and discourse.

the economic enemy is FIAT CURRENCY issued by PRIVATELY-owned central banks. <---THAT is your Satan. Your Devil. Your Enemy. Your sworn adversary. Your 'ideological' foe. The 'virus' which infects your life.

once you get that through your thick skulls (instead of posting frivolous "analysis" that we need a "new FDR") you'll be in Fighting Stance.

Donald Trump and the American Left 08.Apr.2020 16:25

author: Rob Urie

August 3, 2018

The election of Donald Trump fractured the American Left. The abandonment of class analysis in response to Mr. Trump's racialized nationalism left identity politics to fill the void. This has facilitated the rise of neoliberal nationalism, an embrace of the national security state combined with neoliberal economic analysis put forward as a liberal / Left response to Mr. Trump's program. The result has been profoundly reactionary.

What had been unfocused consensus around issues of economic justice and ending militarism has been sharpened into a political program. A nascent, self-styled socialist movement is pushing domestic issues like single payer health care, strengthening the social safety net and reversing wildly unbalanced income and wealth distribution, forward. Left unaddressed is how this program will move forward without a revolutionary movement to act against countervailing forces.

As widely loathed as the Democratic establishment is, it has been remarkably adept at engineering a reactionary response in favor of establishment forces. Its demonization of Russia! has been approximately as effective at fomenting reactionary nationalism as Mr. Trump's racialized version. Lest this be overlooked, the strategy common to both is the use of oppositional logic through demonization of carefully selected 'others.'

This points to the most potent fracture on the Left, the question of which is the more effective reactionary force, the Democrats' neoliberal nationalism or Mr. Trump's racialized version? As self-evident as the answer apparently is to the liberal / Left, it is only so through abandonment of class analysis. Race, gender and immigration status are either subsets of class or the concept loses meaning.

The Blasey Ford Episode: State Feminism, The Worthless "Left," And Liberal Delusions
The Democratic Party's stunt has nothing to do with the foregoing, absolutely nothing. The Democratic Party's commitment to Identity Politics is not a commitment to the real issues and questions that are the basis for Identity Politics, it is a commitment to marshalling people's energy around these issues and questions to the imperatives of finance capital globalism and American imperialism. It's not an accident that the heroes of this Democratic Party/Identity Politics "feminism," such as Hillary Clinton and Rachel Maddow, are so open and bloodthirsty about their militarism.

What It Means to Put Class First
author: Michael Schwalbe 04.Jan.2019 19:47

A Critical Analysis Of Some Left-Liberal Reaction To The Recent Election

Liberal Brains Pickled In The Formaldehyde Of Identity Politics
A "grab them by the pussy," racist, sexist white man has grabbed the White House, and the polite class is twirling in outrage like dervishes approaching oblivion.

This insult to the "dignity of the office" and the "nation" is more shocking than the action of the black man who took the Nobel Peace Prize and then proceeded to bomb seven countries.

Liberal brains pickled in the formaldehyde of identity politics are unwilling to recognize in the politically incorrect catastrophe of Donald Trump's victory the blowback to the ferocious economic plunder by the neoliberal order, backed by decades of wanton and unchecked military aggressions.

marc1seed, do you not understand/comprehend this *IS* socialism? 08.Apr.2020 17:00


who would want to be president at this point, unless you were wearing a swastika armband?

the Federal Reserve

Do you not understand that no central bank in the history of humanity (not to mention just the U.S. itself) has issued so much fiat currency in the past 2 months?

This is UNPRECEDENTED, marc1seed. No amount of ideological navel gazing by you and your 'analysts' are going to help in dealing with this UNPRECENDENT FASCIST Corporate Bank-Government merger / takeover.

The new "World Central Bank" aka Federal Reserve is FLOOD-INUNDATING the entire planet earth with U.S. dollars, the global reserve currency. That means every recipient of U.S. dollar debt-notes is by definition a debt slave to the Fed. In numerical quantities that have never been seen in human history.

What about ^ this do you not understand? National socialism. Corporate bank+government merger. Takeover of planet (global reserve currency) by debt enslavement.

only by fighting, directly confronting the Enemy itself (the fiat currency-issuing central bank) will you achieve a result.

Provided of course, that you are somehow ? interested at all in achieving a result to begin with (rather than posting repetitive irrelevant navel-gazing screeds to Portland Indymedia).