Behind Trump’s clash with the Fed: Looming economic crisis and class conflict
18 April 2019
The repeated calls by President Donald Trump for the US Federal Reserve loosen its monetary policy and provide a further boost to the stock market expose the economic and political reality behind the mask of official ideology.
In his latest remarks, contained in a tweet last Sunday, Trump said the Dow Jones Industrial Average would be 5,000 or even 10,000 points above its present near-record level if the Fed had not tightened interest rates last year. He demanded that the central bank resume the program of “quantitative easing,” under which it poured trillions into the financial markets in the wake of the 2008 finance crash.
For more than three decades the stock market has served as the primary financial mechanism through which the American ruling class has carried out an unprecedented redistribution of wealth from the working population to the rich. Under Democratic as well as Republican administrations, the Dow has risen 17-fold since 1985 on the basis of a relentless assault on workers’ jobs and wages and cuts in education, health care and other social services.
Under Obama, the Dow rose more than 250 percent. Under Trump, it has risen a further 32 percent.
The official refrain has been the lie that “there is no money” for schools, health care, housing or pensions, while unlimited sums have been squandered to pay for more yachts, private islands and Manhattan penthouses for the modern-day aristocrats, along with new and more deadly conventional and nuclear weapons to prepare a new military Armageddon.
Wealth and income inequality have reached record levels, consolidating the rule of the financial oligarchy over every aspect of American social and political life.