US PRESIDENT Donald Trump’s address to the annual get together of politicians, billionaires, bankers and other assorted ‘running dogs’ of capitalism at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort Davos was 30 minutes of boasting about how he had single-handedly ‘saved’ American capitalism and ushered in a period of unprecedented prosperity.
Trump announced: ‘I’m proud to say that the US is in an economic boom, the likes of which the world has never seen before.’
The US was ‘thriving, flourishing and winning’ according to Trump who boasted that ‘America’s newfound prosperity is undeniable, unprecedented and unmatched anywhere in the world.’
He claimed that all American workers had benefited, that the US was enjoying near full employment and citing ‘unemployment rates among African Americans have reached record lows’ as proof.
As for the explosive fact that America is drowning in debt, Trump declared his love for debt. It is so great that he would like to see interest rates go from near zero to negative rates. He gushed that negative interest rates mean you ‘get paid to borrow money, something I could get used to very quickly. Love that.’
All this will come as a shock to the millions of US workers who have seen their wages slashed in the aftermath of the 2008 banking crash, plunging them into massive debt.
Leading bourgeois economist Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate in economics, in an article published in the Guardian the day before Trump’s speech, pointed out that the average ‘wage of a full-time male worker (and those with full-time jobs are the lucky ones) is still more than 3% below what it was 40 years ago.’
As for all the new jobs Trump boasts of creating – according to a report from the Job Quality Index over 63% are low-wage, low-hour jobs that don’t offer benefits like health insurance (vital in America’s private health system).
African Americans are enjoying, according to Trump, a veritable job paradise. It turns out that on average they earn 26% less than other workers while the disparity between Hispanic workers is wider still. According to official figures this is a product of the jobs being in the gig economy.
It is a class issue. Trump has been a ‘good’ president for the filthy rich – he handed $1.5 trillion dollars in tax cuts to the millionaires and corporations two years ago, a hand out that was supposed to be invested in productive industry.
Stiglitz wrote: ‘Instead, they triggered an all-time record binge of share buybacks – some $800bn in 2018 – by some of the most profitable companies in the US and led to record peacetime deficits (almost $1tn in fiscal 2019) in a country supposedly near full employment. And even with weak investment, the US had to borrow massively abroad: the most recent data show foreign borrowing at almost $500bn a year, with an increase of more than 10% in the country’s net indebtedness position in one year alone.’
Contrary to the fantasy world inhabited by Trump, the US economy is sliding fast into a manufacturing recession while simultaneously existing entirely on debt.
Trump’s speech stands in stark contrast with the dire warning from the International Monetary Fund, the Bank for International Settlements and the World Bank that the massive $19 trillion debt mountain run up by capitalism is on the point of explosion.
While Trump was speaking at Davos, back home he was facing impeachment over allegations that he attempted to force the Ukrainian government to investigate Democratic front runner for the presidency, Joe Biden, and his family for corruption.
The Democrats seemingly are oblivious of the fact that not only is Trump on trial but the spotlight is also falling on the activities of Biden and the part he allegedly played in the looting of Ukraine after the US-financed coup.
The two main bourgeois parties are now very determinedly tearing each other apart. They are creating a situation where the US working class will make a great leap forward by breaking with both Democrats and Republicans to form its own Labour Party.
This leap will will create the conditions and the necessity for US workers building a section of the Fourth International to lead the struggle to put an end to bankrupt capitalism and advance to socialism, as part of the world socialist revolution!