Trump: Selling “White America” Trash

September 8, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

Andrew Cline

 

By

Sami Jamil Jadallah

White middle age America has every reason to be angry, there is no reason to believe that Donald Trump will deliver prosperity and give it back the good old days, when a high school education and working in the steel mills allowed you to own a home, two cars, and some leftover money to send your kids to junior college. Those days are gone, done with and neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump will ever bring back those days. Statements coming from presidential candidates about giving back America Middle Class status are at best, trash.

I should know, though classified by the US Census Bureau as “others”, I am an immigrant, yes; a legal immigrant fingerprinted, issued a permanent visa and arrived in Chicago on a TWA flight. I am an Arab-American who lived in and grew up in the industrial town of Gary, Indiana.

Back in the 60’s my father, who had no high school education, worked in the steel mills, as did I after completing my military service working the midnight shift at Inland Steel in East Chicago. We both earned around 2.75 /hr but it allowed my father and I to own a decent house and each to own our own car and support our siblings. We could never do that again, even if we get a minimum wage of $12/hr.

White Americans of the early fifties and sixties enjoyed the industrial boom that came after the end of the war. With Europe and Japan’s industrial base totally destroyed, American, mainly White Americans enjoyed and benefited from the fact that America’s industrial base was intact, and was easily converted from military manufacturing to civilian manufacturing.

Steel mills flourished from Milwaukee all the way to Chicago to East Chicago to Gary to Pittsburgh and Ohio with great companies of the times such as Inland, US, Bethlehem, and Republic Steel employing hundreds of thousands. These factories supplied the steel to booming car industries all over the State of Michigan, Ohio, even Indiana and Wisconsin.

The South also had its share of the industrial boom, with textile and furniture manufacturing, in addition to factories producing refrigerators, televisions, washers and dryers to meet the needs of every household in America. White Americans, with high school education were the engine behind such an industrial boom and a good job they did. Many small towns became big towns, with the spread of suburbia came the demands for cars and all the amenities the suburbs can provide.

All of that changed and changed it did during the Reagan years, where the very idea of a “trickle down” economy was promoted as the new hope for White America. Well, partially true, it made the rich richer but it left White America with a high school education behind.

A changing economy was taking shape while White America slept through it. Walmart set up shops that competed with downtown Sears, JC Pennies and Goldblatts, and with a business model that attracted buyers looking for cheap items, over 500,000 small businesses in small town America had to close down because they could not compete with Walmart, many loyal and lifetime customers abandoning these community shops. The wealth of these 500,000 owners overnight was transferred to a family of 100.

Those White Americans lost their jobs in these shops and lost their jobs in over 500,000 industrial manufacturers that also closed, no different than the hundreds of thousands of steel mills workers who lost their jobs in the industrial Mid-West, the one that won the war neglected and became the Rust Belt.

As the wealth shifted from the owners of these small shops through the Walmart effect, so did many of the factories in the South, closing down or moving to China and Mexico, no thanks to Congressional tax policies that gave the financial incentives to America’s big corporation to move their manufacturing operation overseas, depriving tens of millions of White Americans a job and the dreams of retiring as Middle Class.

Abandoned by both Republicans and Democratic administrations, certainly, by a corrupt Congress, White America is showing its anger by rallying to the side of a man who represents everything but the very ideals that White Middle-Class America holds, hard work, family values, and love for the country.

Donald Trump, notwithstanding his rhetoric, is no lover of America, seeking much deferment to avoid military service, born into a privilege and wealth most of which from morally questionable sources, who is the darling of Wall Street having filed for and been bailed out by Wall Street six times; Taj Mahal 1991, Trump Castle 1992, Trump Plaza and Casino 1992, Trump Hotels and Casino Resort 2004 and Trump Entertainment Resorts 2004.

Wall Street always came to the rescue of a man who is presenting himself as a successful businessman, a Wall Street that failed to bail out tens of millions of Americans but looted them, looted their assets and their pensions. Most of Mr. Trump’s business is casino business, fleecing the very poor by selling them dreams. Bus loads of poor Whites and Blacks board the buses every day and every weekend only to drop the little of what they have in Mr. Trump’s treasury. Anyone who believes this man will bail out America is a stupid fool.

Of course I can understand why White America is angry, and yes for good reasons, left behind in a changing economy, when America’s political and business leadership failed to anticipate the changing economies and never invested in “retraining” White America for the new jobs and new economies that while accepting high school education required a highly skilled labor force. It is too late, the game is over.

One can also understand the anger at the “illegal immigrant” who is taking the White Man job, but if you look around, these immigrants legal and illegal work hard in home and housing construction, cutting grass on highways, maintaining parks, picking up garbage, cleaning offices, doing all the hard work and accepting minimum wage which requires them to work two jobs and have 2 or 3 members of their families working to make ends meet. You hardly see a Latino loitering and without a job.

Angry, yes and for good reasons, but do not be fooled that Donald Trump will make America great by his policies of building walls and have Mexico pay for it, or deporting over 5 million illegal immigrants causing America to come to a halt. Will White America, that lost its status as Middle-Class, roll up its sleeves and do the dirty work these “immigrants” do, from picking lettuce in farms to cleaning the streets, I doubt it?

We are all mistaken that Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton has the magic wand to make America Great now or again. It is the Congress and only Congress that enabled the policies that deprived White America of its cherished Middle Class status, by allowing American corporations to set shops overseas giving them tax benefits, by never accepting the very idea of “investing” in people and the White labor force to train and provide them with the skills for the new economies.

I never understand why White America is against the government. I understand it is against this kind of government that we have, beholding to big money, big business and to the privileged few. But never understood why White America thinks that “libertarianism” is the right thing for America with the views that the less government, the people are better off? Well think about it, without the government investing in its people, in their education, in their health in their well-being, they will never be able to regain their Middle-Class status. If they think that Donald Trump will use his money to bail them out they are more than stupid fools.

What we need in America is not big or a small government, we need a responsible efficient government, corruption free, that gives us as much as it takes from us, that while we contribute to the treasury it must also contribute to and save our social security and retirement and give us the security we need in our old age as we become sick and fragile. Why does Congress write their own health policies and we have to fight for ours? Even the people in the need of real health care are opposed to public health, never understanding such logic. After working so many years contributing to the treasury with most of our money ($ trillions) going to wars, I think that our government owes us something, a safety net; we worked for it and we earned it. Think about it before you cast your votes for a lousy businessman who is selling White America “trash”, and he knows it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sami Jamil Jadallah

Sami is a Palestinian-American immigrated to the US while in high school. He was drafted in the US Army during Vietnam War earning the leadership award from the US Sixth Army Non-Commission Officer Academy.

After honorable discharge, Sami enrolled at Indiana University where he was active in student politics, elected class president, student president and chairman of the Indiana Student Association representing students from all colleges and universities in the State of Indiana.

Sami earned his Bachelor Degree (economics and politics), Master of Public and Environmental Affairs and Doctor of Jurisprudence. After a 2 years stint with a major Wall Street law firm Sami took on the job as general counsel of a major international construction company in Saudi Arabia. As an international legal and business consultant, Sami served as owner representative on major projects such as hotels, conservation foundation, defense, and technology.

In the area of public service, Sami was the founding member of the United Palestinian Appeal, a well known not for profit organization serving the needs of Palestinians refugees with over $100 millions in projects and donations serving 16 years as a trustee.

Sami as founding member and executive director of the New Arab Foundation, a US based Not for Profit Tax Exemp, a think tank (with a mission) and management consulting organization, and is working now on the launching of the Arab Peace Crops inspired by President John F Kennedy’s American Peace Corps.

Sami lives in Fairfax, VA and is married to Dr. Alma Abdul-Hadi Jadallah an international expert in mediations and conflict resolution, they have three children all living and working in Washington DC.

0 Comments

No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Leave a Reply