The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Whether Trump Stays or Goes, We Will Face the Same Problems

Dec 17, 2017

Will Trump hang on, or will he be dumped? No one can say for sure.

But this is what we CAN say: the working class will confront the same problems next year, and worse, regardless of what happens to Trump.

We won’t find good-paying decent jobs. Trump or Pence will announce, just like Obama did, that the unemployment rate is looking really good. But the unemployment rate hasn’t given an accurate picture for a long time. Today, it’s useless. It ignores the fact that 39% of working age adults are without a job today.

Companies may announce they are hiring – but hiring for what? If you have two or three degrees, you can get a decent job. Maybe. Certainly if you have a wealthy family or connections to a big boss, you can get a decent job. But what about everyone else? We get hired as two-tier or part-time or temporary workers, or contract workers – with no rights and little job security, one day to the next.

The economists pretend to be surprised that wages aren’t rising. The economy is doing so well – so they say! Yes, THEIR economy is doing well. The stock market and company profits are jumping. But that’s exactly why wages are low. Higher profits are built on lower wages.

Why are the schools our children attend in such bad shape? Why aren’t there enough teachers, enough books, enough supplies? The capitalist class, which searches everywhere for more money, is draining money out of the public schools.

Roads crumble; public services degrade; water systems collapse – all because money isn’t spent on them. Money that should go to public services is instead funneled into the bank accounts of the corporations and the wealthy.

A new tax bill is being pushed through Congress – one which will cut taxes to corporations and wealthy people to the tune of 1.3 trillion dollars. Everyone else will get a little cut in the first years – BUT every one of us who works for our living will soon see higher taxes. It’s a bait and switch scam.

This time it’s Donald Trump giving tax breaks to the wealthy, but Bill Clinton, George Bush and Barack Obama did the same thing.

For more than 40 years, working people have been living precariously, trying to keep our balance on a slippery, downward slope. It’s as though we went through the Crash of 1929 in slow motion. It’s just taking us longer to hit bottom.

It’s a disaster. It’s been a disaster. And – if we do nothing – it’s going to go on being a disaster. The same corporations and the wealthy class that owns them will keep pushing, to steal more from us in order to accumulate more for themselves.

Fifty years ago, if our grandparents had been able to look forward to today, they would not have believed it. How could they have imagined that their children would be worse off today than they were? How could they possibly imagine that it would be even worse for their grandchildren?

There is only one way to respond to this situation – and that is to do what our grandparents and great grandparents once did: they fought to defend themselves. They put their confidence in their own abilities. They put their trust in the people around them.

Many of them understood what we still have to learn: that we do have the means to make a decent life for ourselves – if we lean on the rest of our class, the working class.

That means, our whole class: black and white; immigrant and native born; women and men; young and old. When we let ourselves be divided, let ourselves be set one against another, we lose.

Trump knows this – it’s why he works to divide us. We would be fools to let him do it.