Between the years 1943 and 1963, an industrial revolution took place in the United States at a pace faster than that of any other country in the world.
In 1963, scholars concluded that the industrial revolution changed the North American social layers on a scale never before dreamed of: 60 percent of the jobs held by the working population in 1963 didn’t even exist during World War I. “Unexpected” optimist James Boggs expressed the following belief: “In America, more than in any other country, the revolutions in the mode of production have been accompanied by changes in the composition and status of classes.”
Beginning in 2016, some indicators of what has been happening in the United States since about 2006 may, to some extent, grab our attention — or since the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which associates the [United] States with neighbors Mexico and Canada. First, the liberalization of imports — according to NAFTA’s regulations — had little or unconvincing consequences: Exports increased, but wages and living conditions worsened, especially in Mexico. (Canada, in 2008, rejected most of the more than 5,000 Mexicans who asked for asylum to escape political violence and insecurity generated by narcos and kidnappers’ gangs.) In 2006 the United States was going through an economic recession that, as expected, affected both Mexico and Canada.
The regional interdependence, as we see, cannot be concealed. Nor can the data of the current composition of rural America. The 2010 census should not have changed, since the rural scenario in the country of Donald Trump represents only 16 percent of the population. Another concerning factor for Canada and the United States would be the aging of the population. The phenomenon explains the striking decline in labor force, a condition of shortage that has been disguised by the influx of immigrants … from Mexico and other places in Latin America.
In 2007, the White House implemented the program “More Kids in the Woods.” The World Bank, however, stressed income inequality and worse, it reminded us of the 12 percent of the U.S. population living below the poverty line. This has not prevented demagogues — and the culture of celebrities, magazines and televisions that illustrate an easy life for all — from maintaining, to date, the possibility of putting extreme right-wing Republicans in the White House such as Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush, among others.
Don’t be surprised, since the hawkish flight of Donald Trump, whose radical culture of "dollarocracy," monolithic business and selective authoritarianism is not just slightly similar to those of great American businessmen of the late 19th century. Men such as Thomas Edison, inventor of the electric light bulb and the phonograph; or Andrew Carnegie, steel producer; John David Rockefeller, founder of oil refineries and Standard Oil Company; Henry Ford, prominent automobile manufacturer; and especially John Pierpont Morgan, aka J.P. Morgan, considered the greatest banker in history.
Talking about what really matters, it is awkward to write the name of J.P. Morgan in a text that also features the name of the furious millionaire Donald Trump, considered a possible candidate to succeed Barack Obama. To Trump, being contradictory, negative and demeaning is the direction that has made the so-called greatest banker in history, John Pierpont Morgan, a philanthropist able to risk all his assets in times of high economic risk. Morgan, son of another banker, began his own private banking company in 1871 and made it so powerful that during the financial panic of 1895, even the United States government, which at that time had yet to create the Federal Reserve System, had to turn to the credit prowess built by [Morgan], also a notorious and extravagant art collector. Moreover, J.P. Morgan helped prevent several economic crises by creating emergency programs to save Uncle Sam’s hide. He died in 1913 at the age of 75.
The moral heritage that Morgan personifies is not visible in the United States of James Boggs, who, with an ideological excitement comparable to Trump’s, observed the last gasp of the American labor movement in the country in the 1960s. He stated: “In the face of the social and ideological adjustments that are necessary to meet the revolutionary changes that have taken place in technology, organized labor is as reactionary today (1960–1965) as organized capital was 30 years ago. The fundamental reason for this,” a prolix Boggs continues, “is that organized labor continues to cherish the idea that man must work in order to live, in an age when it is technologically possible for men simply to walk out on the streets and get their milk and honey.”*
James Boggs, an African-American social activist, was [poised] on many fronts but had a pathetically wondrous view of the United States. It’s a pity he is already dead (1993), because we would like to see him comment on the idea that nowadays, men don’t even need "to walk out on the streets to get their milk and honey.”
Campaigns and elections in the United States — the current campaign is a reflex of the unsolved racial diversity of the country and its demographic future — sequester or hide a lot in geophysical spaces considered peripheral by the White House. Thus, in weakened Europe, orders for more austerity are increasingly given in places where citizens are devoid of home and healthcare, and in the labor world that nowadays even Boggs would certainly evade, self-employed workers, low-paid wages and easy dismissals support the proliferation of millionaire owners of relentless and chaotic “great companies.” Therefore, beware of what Donald Trump represents.
*Editor's note: The original quotation, accurately translated, could not be verified.