Americans have to feed their kids, and that may be the toughest everyday challenge for Trump voters.
His antics don’t solve their economic troubles. He has failed to sell just about anyone — other than professional conservatives among the Beltway intelligentsia and the occupants of corporate CEO suites — on the idea that his economic policies will do much to help the country at large, but in particular those stranded in rural areas and small cities left behind by the Obama recovery. Specifically, those Americans who delivered to him a peculiar Electoral College victory but not nearly a popular vote plurality.
A few extra dollars in the after-tax pay envelopes of the working poor and semiskilled worker will hardly compensate them for the declining conditions wrought by decaying infrastructure, more imports from China and competition from less-educated immigrants, who find their way into their communities that still have factory jobs to offer.
The president’s infrastructure initiative will hardly scratch the surface of those problems, and Republicans’ ideas about health care reform — lax responses to the monopolization of hospitals, insurance markets and medical practices, and little appetite for price regulations — will likely make things worse.
Targeting specific industries — for example aluminum and solar panels — for tougher enforcement of trade laws against subsidies and dumping is proving inadequate to the broader structural failings of the WTO and U.S. policy to address the systemic inconsistencies between China’s socialist-market economy and market capitalism as practiced in the West.
Instead, President Trump digs in on building a wall that not even his supporters along the Mexican border endorse; they believe the money could be better spent on more sophisticated intervention techniques.