The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

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

Trump’s Poison—Dividing the Working Class

Jan 9, 2017

Donald Trump is riding into the presidency spouting the same racist garbage that he used during his campaign, bragging about how he’s bringing jobs back to America. Executives at big companies happily play along. Meanwhile, the news media provides a big stage for Trump and his lies, without question–just like they did during his campaign.

No, Trump is not saving jobs.

Look at the much-touted deal that Trump made at Carrier in Indiana that supposedly “saved” a few hundred jobs. Not only did Trump and the corporate executives strong-arm the Carrier workers to accept big pay and benefit cuts, but the federal and state governments gave Carrier huge new “incentives,” such as tax breaks and subsidies. Those government giveaways come from taxes workers pay, creating big deficits, which officials then use as an excuse to slash vital government services and programs... along with lots of public sector jobs.

Workers at Carrier and throughout Indiana are paying a heavy price for every job that Trump claimed to have “saved.”

Other announcements were simply a smokescreen. Trump announced that Ford would now create 700 new high-tech jobs at its Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan. In reality, Ford had long planned to do that. Ford first announced this back in December 2015.

In some ways, Trump is doing what other politicians and corporate executives have always done. They lie about creating jobs. Remember how George W. Bush and Barack Obama promised to save auto jobs with the massive government bailout of the auto companies in 2008 and 2009? Auto executives turned around and carried out mass plant and dealership closings, while cutting hundreds of thousands of jobs, devastating cities and towns across the country. As for those left working, the companies imposed enormous concessions–all with the blessings of the same politicians and government officials.

But what is different about Trump is his open racist appeals. Republicans, Democrats and union officials have implicitly resorted to those kinds of lies before. But Trump is making them much more openly, spouting a poison that pits workers against each other.

Workers in other countries are not taking jobs from workers in this country. Want proof? Look at any big auto assembly plant. Over the last 30 years, the number of workers has steadily dwindled, as the line speed has ramped up. Total production is higher than ever. And that’s what’s happening in every industry in this country. Factories in the U.S. are putting out twice as much production as they did 30 years ago, with a much smaller workforce. Today, eight million fewer industrial workers in this country are producing twice as much as workers did 30 years ago.

Those jobs have been taken from the workers by the capitalist class in a real class war that has imposed enormous productivity increases. It has done this not just through more automation and technology, but mainly by forcing workers to work longer and harder, through speed-up, increased overtime, the elimination of breaks, etc.

It’s happening not just in the U.S., but all over the world, including in countries like China and Mexico–which people like Trump claim are the ones taking American jobs. In all those countries, workers are facing the same class war. Many of the same U.S. companies cut jobs by imposing speed-up, leading to worsening unemployment in those other countries.

The workers in other countries are our allies, not our enemies, like Trump and the rest of the capitalist gang want us to believe.

Together, workers around the world produce enough wealth to wipe out unemployment and provide all workers with a decent standard of living. But that wealth is in the hands of the capitalist class, through their big companies and banks. To fall for Trump’s lies means that we disarm ourselves in the face of our real enemies.