Trump’s Shutdown Is a Savage Assault on the Working Class – VICE
“Trump basically views peoples’ worth by how powerful they are, and the fact that Trump can stiff you proves that it’s OK for Trump to stiff you,” Jeff Hauser, founder and director of the Revolving Door Project at the Center for Economic and Policy Research and a former AFL-CIO strategist, told me Tuesday, adding, “He’s a got a very radical social eugenics view of the world. He thinks there are superior and inferior people, and he believes people who work in government are sort of necessarily inferior.” (Full disclosure: As a writer and editor at VICE, I am a member of the Writers Guild of America-East, an AFL-CIO affiliate.)
Of course, it’s not exactly novel for a Republican to despise—or be cruel to—public employees, who have historically skewed somewhat less white than the population at large. Ronald Reagan famously crushed the air-traffic controllers’ union in 1981, firing over 11,000 people who refused to return to work and banning them from government employment for the rest of their lives. The Supreme Court has, for decades, been trending toward bosses and away from workers—thanks in no small part to the emergence of anti-union conservative institutions, think tanks, and political action committees funded by billionaires. This culminated over the past year in a cascade of devastating decisions for workers and the unions that represent them, whether the Epic Systems ruling that made it easier for your boss to steal from employees or the Janus case that made it way harder for public-sector unions to collectively bargain.
“Despite claims he made on the campaign trail—where he would put workers’ interest first—over and over and over again, every decision he made, he’s put corporate interests over those of workers,” Heidi Shierholz, senior economist and director of policy at the left-leaning Economy Policy Institute and a veteran of the Obama administration, told me. “So we know where his ultimate loyalty lies—it’s with the 1 percent, not with the rest of America.”