Trump and Economic Inequality

I posted the following on Jay Bookman’s blog on January 26, 2017: Link:

I came here at this time to share some insights from the book I am reading, “White Trash,” by Nancy Isenberg. I see that Trump’s follies continue. At the moment, I am sick of this man. The below will explain why we are suffering economic inequality in America because of the policies of the top 1% in America, of which Trump is only the culmination of 45 years of greed from the top, manipulated into power by fooling the masses.


From the book, ‘White Trash,’ pp. 214 and 216:

“At its most visionary, (social scientist Milburn Lincoln) Wilson saw rehabilitation as the process of taking stranded coal miners in abandoned towns, displaced factory workers without jobs, and tenants trapped on unproductive land and helping them all adopt a new way of life. The modern homestead of his design was a source of genuine democracy, producing ‘a sturdy rather than servile citizenry.’ If ever there was a proactive policy for creating the yeoman republic of Thomas Jefferson’s imagination, this was it. . . .

Both Wilson and (Secretary of Agriculture Henry) Wallace dismissed the notion that class (or even race) was biologically preordained. Wallace stressed the importance of understanding class insecurity. Over time, he warned, economic benefits accrued to the stronger, shrewder people in society, and if unrestrained by government, conditions would lead to ‘economic autocracy’ and ‘political despotism.’ Sounding a lot like the critics in our present who deplore the concentration of wealthy among the top 1 percent of Americans, Wallace in 1936 argued that liberty was impossible if ’36 thousand families at the top of the economic pyramid get as much income as 12 million families at the bottom.’ ” (Footnote 25: Wilson, “Problem of Poverty in Agriculture,” 20, 23, 28; Wallace, “Chapter VII: The Blessing of General Liberty” in “Whose Constitution? An Inquiry into the General Welfare,” 102 -103.)

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One Response to Trump and Economic Inequality

  1. Two points about 1936.

    A lot of the poverty then resulted from the Great Depression, which was caused and worsened by government interference. The Federal Reserve had been following easy credit policies that created a bubble of unsound speculation that had to burst sooner or later. When it burst, that started the depression. Then Herbert Hoover propped up wages and prices and signed the Smoot-Hawley tariff act. Propping up wages and prices priced people, goods, and services out of the market. The Smoot-Hawley act restricted trade when it needed to be opened up, and provoked other countries to do the same. Both prolonged and worsened the depression. We would have been much better off under laissez-faire capitalism.

    By 1936 mixed-economy statism and the resulting pressure-group warfare had both been around for a long time. This gave those with wealth and/or power time to turn mixed-economy statism and the resulting pressure-group warfare to their short- and intermediate-term advantage. Again, we would have been better off under laissez-faire capitalism.

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