Trump has plan for income inequality


REID SLAUGHTER, Opinion Columnist

This piece is in response to a column published in the Northern Iowan January 14th, 2016 titled: “Five irrelevant issues in Donald Trump’s speech.”

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is nothing short of a miracle. The multi-billionaire, real estate mogul, reality TV star has enjoyed commanding lead in the Republican primary ahead of the Iowa caucuses. He has captured the anger and dissatisfaction Americans have with their elected officials, and, unlike his Republican rivals, he draws from a wide pool of voters including conservatives, moderates and liberals.

However, his campaign is drawing fire, not just from Democratic primary candidates, such as Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, but also from the staunch conservative magazine the National Review, as well as British Parliament.

Because Trump has both the “Establishment” right and left trying to defeat him, much misinformation has been spread about the candidate or what issues he talks about. For example, the Northern Iowan published an opinion piece on Jan. 14 of this year. The author claims that Mr. Trump “did not address income inequality, nor did he utter the words.” As someone who has been following Donald Trump since the beginning of his campaign, watched many of his rallies (attended two) and watched all of the debates, I can assure you that one of his biggest talking points is income inequality.

A candidate like Bernie Sanders will utter buzzwords like income inequality, blame Wall St. and call it a day. Mr. Trump, however, dedicates sections of his rallies to why we have income inequality rather than just simply stating that we have it. The following are three major points he touches on during his rallies that have caused income inequality.

1.) China manipulates its currency. According to the World Bank via Wikipedia, China grew from the world’s 9th largest economy in 1970 to the second largest in 2015. Its currency should have inflated along with that change, meaning middle class Chinese citizens gaining wealth and buying foreign goods along with more balanced trade.

However, because China has devalued its currency multiple times, it has kept Chinese citizens poor, kept jobs in China, encouraged more investment in China and encouraged China’s geographic and economic rivals to follow suit. How can we fight income inequality when China is preventing good paying, manufacturing jobs from returning to the United States and preventing their people from being wealthy enough to buy the good we do produce?

2.) Corporate Inversion. Because of the complex U.S. tax code, extra employee costs, like Obamacare and cheap college educated employees abroad, corporations are not only moving factories overseas but headquarters as well. How can we solve income inequality when businesses are moving the white collar jobs away from America along with blue collar ones?

3.) Legal Immigration. The H-1B work visa is reserved for “specialty occupations” that require college education and highly trained skills. It is a method for the United States to seduce high-quality foreign labor from their native countries. However, tech businesses like Disney use these H-1B Visa workers to replace (more expensive) American workers. Why pay an American STEM grad a decent salary when you can import one, pay him less, and if he doesn’t like it, deport them?

Income inequality cannot be solved when businesses are unwilling to hire native college graduates, especially those who put in the time to get more difficult degrees such as STEM.

At the same time, we have illegal immigration. Stereotypically, we think of Hispanics being the gardeners, the maids and the construction workers. However, before the 1970’s increase in illegal immigration, those jobs were primarily worked by black Americans.

Illegal immigration is one of the contributing factors to the large amount of black unemployment and underemployment in this country. We cannot solve income inequality when we have foreign nationals illegally residing in this country and taking jobs from the most vulnerable minority group.

Trump has always been focused on income inequality as these are all issues that need to be addressed and are very important to the country. Just because he does not state the words does not mean the issues he mentions are not the causes of the problem. We cannot possibly focus on other issues such as climate change, the mission to Mars, or defeating the Islamic State unless we solve income inequality.

The only presidential hopeful who is tackling the causes of income equality rather than the symptoms is Donald Trump.