Preserving Basic U.S. Industries: The Implications of Trumponomics

Cal Clark
Emeritus Professor of Political Science, Auburn University in the USA.

Evelyn A. Clark
Associate Professor of Sociology, SUNY Oswego

Series: Political Leaders and Their Assessment
BISAC: POL040000



Volume 10

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Special issue: Resilience in breaking the cycle of children’s environmental health disparities
Edited by I Leslie Rubin, Robert J Geller, Abby Mutic, Benjamin A Gitterman, Nathan Mutic, Wayne Garfinkel, Claire D Coles, Kurt Martinuzzi, and Joav Merrick


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The commencement of America’s Industrial Revolution in the 1870s set off a “special century” of economic and social progress and transformation. After World War II, the United States created the first middle-class society. Beginning in the 1970s, however, a new transformation began that has produced decidedly mixed results. Globalization pushed many important industries off shore; the emerging information age changed the nature of the U.S. workforce; and shifting business and government policies put increasing pressures on employees. The major losers here were the working class of those who did not possess a college education and people who live in rural areas. Unfortunately, before 2016 neither major party had addressed the need for finding “good jobs” for either set of Americans.

Donald Trump ran for President of the United States in 2016 as a Republican on a platform that included a strong appeal to the white working class, promising to use the power of government to overturn the forces of globalization to bring good jobs back to the U.S. and restore prosperity to the victims of globalization and neoliberalism. Indeed, the term “Trumponomics” was soon coined to describe his distinctive, if not unique, economic strategy. Our analysis is rather skeptical about the potential for helping the American working class preserve a middle-class life style. Most fundamentally, Trump’s strategy of winning elections and maintaining power emphasizes cultural, not economic, issues. Furthermore, three central components of the President’s economic strategy are problematic as well.

First, Trumponomics ignores several key causes of working-class distress; second, some of the President’s economic policies contradict each other and/or may well have counterproductive effects; and third, some are quite controversial and face strong opposition from Democrats or even from important Republican constituencies. Still, Donald Trump should be commended for highlighting economic problems that a considerable number of Americans face; and the opponents of Trumponomics need to rise to the challenge of meeting this creeping economic crisis.
(Imprint: Nova)


Chapter 1. Preserving Basic U.S. Industries: The Implications of Trumponomics

Chapter 2. The Dynamics and Dangers of Development

Chapter 3. The Changing Trajectories of Industrialization in the United States

Chapter 4. The Role of Government in America’s Changing Economic Fortunes

Chapter 5. The Trump Coalition

Chapter 6. Trumponomics as a Strategy for Reviving Working Class Jobs

Chapter 7. Implications


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