We are fighting for a new society
So, is it possible, can jobs be brought back? At the top of the list of Donald Trump’s promises to the American people is that he will bring jobs back. Many who voted for him held their noses or at least turned a blind eye to his divisive, racially charged rhetoric believing or hoping he could make good on the promise. But, for as far back as our collective memory goes as a nation, politicians have always made campaign promises designed to get them in office only to break those promises once they get in.
Trump is no ordinary politician. He is a corporate owner and member of the capitalist class, which contrary to his claims of being an outsider, makes him the ultimate insider. His cabinet choices confirm that he represents the billionaires. Trump knows that whatever jobs are saved, brought back or created will be mainly poverty-wage or temporary at best. The real killer of American jobs is not some foreign country or immigrant worker. It is the robot and the computer. And it is Mr. Trump’s fellow capitalists who have been introducing this technology into the workplace for quite some time now.
Take a look, for example, at the valiant struggle of minimum wage workers who are demanding $15 per hour so that they may have the dignity of feeding their families. In response to the Fight For 15 demonstrations that have taken place in hundreds of American cities, the McDonald’s Corporation has warned that rather than pay those wages, they will automate their restaurants. Once automated, those jobs are gone forever, just like what has been going on in the manufacturing sector for decades. This has the added effect of forcing the competition to lower costs by lowering the wages of their workers or replacing them altogether with robots to avoid being priced out of business.
In the short term, on the one side amasses maximum profit and wealth for the capitalist while on the other side is perpetual poverty, unemployment, dispossession and homelessness for workers. Keep in mind that while robots are more productive and cheaper than humans, they don’t shop. Obviously, this cannot continue without in the long run pushing us into another economic crisis more severe than the last. This is a market driven phenomenon and it’s spreading globally. No “Wall” can stop that.
It is in this context that Mr. Trump is asking the American people to unite behind his presidency and his program to get jobs. However, even if Trump is successful at getting some manufacturers to return because of his relaxed regulations and tax breaks, there is no guarantee that those jobs won’t be replaced by robots. The only guarantee we do have is we the American worker are going through this nightmare together.
It is we who must view any program for jobs, not from the point of view of how much profit it makes for this or that corporation, but from how many of us who are homeless get housed, or how many get healthcare, food, and clean water.
Just as what has happened to us transcends race, religion, ethnicity or national origin, so must be our unity. Without that unity there is little chance of building a new America where the human and economic needs of all our people are met. The robot and the computer make such a new America possible but it will become a reality only when they operate in the interest of “We The People” and not the corporations.