Trump’s main supporters are the poor whites in places such as Ohio.
“Over the last ten years, manufacturing output has grown more slowly in the United States than in Japan and Germany.”
(Manufacturing output, measured in each country’s local currency adjusted for inflation).
Japan and Germany have avoided wars.
“The rust belt has experienced high unemployment, poverty, and urban blight.”
“The military cost of the Vietnam war as a percentage of GDP was 9.5% in the peak spending year of 1968.”
The Vietnam War meant that the USA failed to increase investment at home, and failed to see a rise in GDP.
According to Edward Luce:
1. Mortality rates for America’s blue-collar (working class) whites have been soaring.
In 1970, low income middle age men had an average life expectancy five years below that of high income men of the same age.
By 1990 that gap had risen to 12 years.
The latest estimates put it at almost 15 years.
3. One in six US prime age blue-collar males are now out of the labour force – a higher share than for any wealthy nation except Italy.
More than half of those are on prescription painkillers, according to Alan Krueger, a Princeton economist.
Of these, two-thirds are on opioids.
4. Trump’s cure – ‘Americanism’ – would be worse than the disease.
Workers would be hit by price rises in the shops.
Trump would not be able to reopen coal mines and out-of-date factories.
Trump’s tax cuts would drastically worsen inequality.
5. Poor white America is trapped in a culture that rejects self-help, disdains education and is prone to family break-up.
Some poor whites ostracise the studious as gay.