We are getting close to agreement here: “Currently, that’s actually happening. But not by raising the quality of the Vietnamese workers’ existence. Instead, the worker in Columbus is seeing his livelihood decremented to third world status. Gone are living wage jobs with security and benefits around which one could build a future. Instead, we see people cobbling together a living from a handful of part time gig economy jobs with no security and no benefits.
It’s the entire reason Trump won in the first place”
It is called International Arbitrage, which basically says that under free trade, Vietnamese wages will rise and American wages will fall until a point of equilibrium is reached where the Labour cost in Vietnam plus the freight cost to the US is equal to the Labour Cost in the US. This economic theory was never explained to the American working class: They just saw their high-paying jobs off-shored, replaced by casual McJobs which have low wages and no job security. Free Trade proponents knew it would happen, but did nothing to provide a living for those whose jobs were off-shored.
Of course it is why Trump won: Bill Clinton and Obama were both pro-Free Trade, and Hillary Clinton offered only insults to the American working class. Her language was progressive, politically correct Orwellian double-talk, but her actions were all benefiting Wall St. As Wikileaks famously proved, she had one policy for public consumption, but the promises that counted were the private ones she made to her financial backers.
Trump is the only candidate in 30 years who actually spoke to the suffering disenfranchised American working class, and promised to bring jobs back to America, who said he would try to make things better for them. Having been abandoned as a “basket of deplorables” by the party who once represented them, what did they have to lose? A year on, the unemployment rate is down to 4.1%, the Stock Market is up by 25% in a single year, and confidence is at an all-time high: those who voted for Trump are getting what they were promised.
I think Trump is already “on the Medicare for All train”, but he can’t get the Republican party to back what they see as a socialist measure, an attitude reinforced by the fact that I think many of them are in the pay of Pharmaceutical and Medical Insurance companies. The other Constitutional barrier to a National Health system is that Health is a State, not a Federal responsibility. It would take a charismatic leader to drag Congress and Senate to support universal free basic healthcare, but Trump may be able to get there if he is reelected. He would sell it on the basis that it is good for US Companies, it is ethical to help the poor, and it would reduce the cost of healthcare Nationally. It obviously would need to be limited basic healthcare, because otherwise it would run the Country broke while putting Private hospitals out of business. It wouldn’t cover cosmetic surgery or extremely expensive interventions such as organ transplants: you would still need medical insurance for those things, but it would mean that no injured or sick poor person would be refused treatment because they didn’t have insurance.
Every other western democracy has some sort of Government-funded National Health system, and most of those countries are still Capitalist free enterprise economies: they just made a special case for healthcare. I hope Trump can get it done.