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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A Tragic But Real State Of The Union

If we think back to the election, we had a choice between two sides of Neoliberal Captialism. One side, Hillary's side, promised to put some curbs and taxes on the domestic businesses front while freeing up restraints that would allow more business freedom on the international level. The other side, the Donald side, saw a freeing of domestic businesses from their social responsibilities to the nation in the promises to reduce both taxes and regulations. While one candidate represented global side of neoliberalism, the other side promoted the domestic side of  neoliberalism. Neoliberalism here is the drastic reduction of government control over and taxes on businesses. And the businesses which stood to gain the most with either candidate were big businesses.

Increasing the control that business has over society is nothing new--this increase in control is often reflected in a reduction of governmental control over business. From the Obama Administration's failure to criminally prosecute those responsible for the 2008 economic collapse, to the writing of laws like Obamacare and to an extent Dodd-Frank, and to the attempt to fast tracking the TPP, big businesses were benefiting from Obama's Presidency. So while conservatives thought that government was the problem, big business has now gained an even greater control over our government with the election of Trump. Thus, the election was rigged. It wasn't rigged in the sense that either Hillary or the Donald was selected to win. It was fixed so that big business would gain more significant control over a government they already had decent amount of control of regardless of who was elected. Regardless of who was elected, any change in the status quo would further the position of wealth and power in society.
 

So while the Democratic Party suppressed its populist urges, Republican populism was merely a tool as its leaders exercised some slight of hand to make the public think that it was voting for a change in direction.

From Trump's appointments, to his promises to cut taxes and regulations made to the CEOs of major corporations, to his sabotaging of the EPA with Scott Pruitt, to his support of the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines, to his AG stating that the Federal prison system will return to relying on private prisons, and to his unnecessary plans to boost defense spending, Trump is championing the cause of big business while pretending to be concerned about the people who voted for him.

In the meantime, this President is giving unprecedented treatment of the press with him and some of his supporters claiming that the media is the enemy of the American people. Such  only plays to his base but it does so powerfully. We should note that many conservatives already form a strongly insular group. So that revelations by the press about Trump and his responses do nothing more than make his base more and more defensive. In addition, some of the conservative press is relying on promoting racial and religious prejudice to reinforce the belief among conservatives that all of their enemies are external ones--external in the sense that their enemies are either domestic nonconservatives or foreigners who do not share their religion and race.

The above is a description of the state of our union as far as I can see things.  And what is different between what the state of our union was under Obama from what it now is under Trump is not seen in the direction in which our nation is heading, the difference is seen in the speed our nation is traveling toward its final destination.




 

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