Putin Understands US Politics Better Than US Elites – ‘Globalism Has Hurt the US Middle Class’ by A Political Junkie for Russia-Insider
In a recent interview with Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times, Russian President Vladimir Putin had some very interesting and accurate comments about the current political situation in the United States, particularly as it relates to America’s middle class. Here are some of the key comments:
“Russia has been accused, and, strange as it may seem, it is still being accused, despite the Mueller report [on the investigation into allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign], of mythical interference in the US election. What happened in reality? Mr Trump looked into his opponents’ attitude to him and saw changes in American society, and he took advantage of this.
You and I are talking ahead of the G20 meeting. It is an economic forum, and it will undoubtedly have discussions on globalisation, global trade and international finance.
The middle class in the US has not benefited from globalisation . . . The Trump team sensed this very keenly and clearly and they used this in the election campaign. Has anyone ever given a thought to who actually benefited and what benefits were gained from globalisation, the development of which we have been observing and participating in over the past 25 years, since the 1990s?
China has made use of globalisation, in particular, to pull millions of Chinese out of poverty.
What happened in the US, and how did it happen? In the US, the leading US companies — the companies, their managers, shareholders and partners — made use of these benefits. The middle class hardly benefited from globalisation. The take-home pay in the US (we are likely to talk later about real incomes in Russia, which need special attention from the government). The middle class in the US has not benefited from globalisation; it was left out when this pie was divided up.
The Trump team sensed this very keenly and clearly, and they used this in the election campaign. It is where you should look for reasons behind Trump’s victory, rather than in any alleged foreign interference. This is what we should be talking about here, including when it comes to the global economy.” (my bolds)
Mr. Putin clearly lays the defeat of Hillary Clinton in 2016 at the feet of disillusioned American middle class voters. Let’s look at some of the reasons for this disillusionment:
1.) Stagnant wages: Here is a graphic showing what has happened to median real wages for full-time workers aged 16 and over since 1979 (setting 1979 wages at 100):
Over the four decade period since the beginning of 1979, real wages for American full-time workers has only increased by 6.6 percent. If that isn’t wage stagnation, I don’t know what is.