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Should the American working class vote for Trump or Biden? Show more Show less
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30-50% of American adults would describe themselves as working class. A large part of the population, yet one which doesn’t feel heard. Both Trump and Biden have appealed to them by making themselves seem more relatable and trustworthy. If elected, how will they support this alienated demographic?

The American working class should vote for Trump Show more Show less

Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan resonated with many voters in 2016. It brings to mind a booming economy and the possibility of bettering one’s own circumstances. Trump’s policies revolve around bringing jobs back to the manufacturing sector, lowering taxes, and investing in infrastructure.
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Trump will bring back jobs in manufacturing

Trump has championed bringing back American manufacturing jobs. He has made it harder for big corporations to move production abroad to increase employment in the sector.

The Argument

Trump will bring back jobs to the American working class and increase their living standards. The white working class has seen their job prospects decline for decades. This demographic has gone from being the “backbone of the economy” to a vulnerable group with little in terms of opportunities, says William Emmons (assistant vice president and lead economist with the Center for Household Financial Stability at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)[1]. This changed from 2016 onward. Prior to the pandemic, white males without colleges degrees have seen their job prospects improve, and even during the pandemic, they have not been the worst hit demographic. This is due, at least in part, to Trump’s focus on revitalising the manufacturing sector of the economy. Under Trump, 450,000 new manufacturing jobs have been created, and despite the chaos and job losses of the pandemic, the sector seems to be on the mend[2]. Voting Trump into a second term would see the continued expansion of the manufacturing sector and jobs returning to declining industries.

Counter arguments

Trump has kept jobs in manufacturing through the use of subsidies and tariffs. This is not a long term solution but one which is temporary and expensive. Subsidies are expensive for the government, who is effectively paying for those jobs, and tariffs increase prices of goods and services for all consumers. These measures ensure some jobs are retained, but at the expense of the rest of society.

Proponents

Framing

Subsidies are commonly used by governments to reduce costs to businesses. This is often the case in necessary industries which would otherwise not be viable or where new businesses may need time to build up experience before they are able to compete with bigger international companies. They are also used to boost employment, but these have proven ineffective. They are too expensive to maintain and often fail to provide incentives to increase productivity or long term job retention[3].

Premises

[P1] Trump is bringing back jobs in the manufacturing sector. [P2] These jobs will benefit the American working class. [P3] The American working class should vote for Trump.

Rejecting the premises

[P1] Most of the jobs created are artificially sustained by subsidies or tariffs for foreign produced products. They are unlikely to be viable in the long term.

References

  1. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/white-working-class-job-prospects-climb-trump-economy
  2. https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/trump-vows-to-transform-america-into-manufacturing-superpower
  3. https://theconversation.com/evidence-from-states-shows-why-trumps-brand-of-carrier-style-dealmaking-wont-work-70571
This page was last edited on Friday, 16 Oct 2020 at 12:23 UTC

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