Australia-Unemployment, poverty, suicide... Can Biden save the Midwestern Rust Belt? | Australia Chinatown

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The recognized core problem is the opposition between different ethnic groups in American society after years of unequal distribution of resources. The most prominent one is the "rust belt" in the Midwest, because unemployment and poverty caused by the migration of manufacturing industries have been ignored for a long time.

By Cai Tingyi, Caijing reporter Editor | Hao Zhou

"There is no peace without unity. There is only suffering and anger." With the deployment of large-scale military and police to maintain order, the 46th US President Biden formally took office on January 1. He called on the American people to unite through his inauguration speech. It is a historical moment when we face crises and challenges...Unity is the only way ahead."


Trump supporters’ unwillingness to accept the outcome of Biden’s victory undermined voters’ confidence in the electoral system, and the extreme competition between the two parties led to further division of their respective supporters.Some American political scholars describe that the United States has become a "2000% country" since 49. The result of the fighting between the two parties is that no one party can seize power by an absolute majority. As politics continues to consume, the country faces crises. getting bigger.

The deepening of the division has long-term and short-term causes. In addition to Trump's refusal to admit defeat and constant allegations of lack of evidence, the reasons behind it include the accumulation of race, religion, economic distribution, and uneven distribution of resources in suburban areas.Coupled with the fact that online fake news has fueled the flames in recent years, the protests that were brewing after the election finally broke out on January 1. Some radical groups violently attacked Capitol Hill and eventually led to the situation getting out of control.

These radical groups plan in advance and explore the way in advance. The FBI’s investigation revealed that they even planned to break into Capitol Hill to kidnap or kill Vice President Pence or Speaker of the House of Representatives Pelosi on January 1. Fortunately, the plan was not reached.But these people ended up in a catastrophe that tarnished the history of American democracy. "This is more serious than the '6' incident, because it is not from foreign enemies but domestic armed forces." A retired senior US official said angrily to a reporter from Caijing.

U.S. law enforcement agencies have launched investigations and hunts across the country since January 1. As the investigation continues to deepen, the severity of domestic problems has been more brutally exposed to the sun. Current and retired police officers, soldiers, and firefighters, mainly white, will The reality of the battlefield on Capitol Hill is worrying. The rise of domestic extremism, white supremacy, and domestic terrorism represented by these "enemies from within the country" has become one of the most pressing challenges for the United States.

After incurring unanimous criticism in the United States, Trump quickly turned to accuse those people he instigated for breaking the law and paying the price in the last two weeks of his term.However, Trump's accusations made these supporters "feel betrayed."They left messages on the Internet and began to attack Trump, "He said that the struggle would get out of control, and when things really got out of control, he said that it was a bad attack, and he gave the middle finger to the supporters he called out." Some supporters and the Republican Party Members gradually changed their attitudes. They believed that Trump was the main reason why the Republicans lost the presidency, the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Trump chose to leave Washington, D.C., for Florida, where the Sea Lake Manor is located, in the early morning of the day he resigned on January 1.But for American society and the new President Biden, the more realistic problem is that all the problems that cause division have not disappeared with Trump's departure.

"(Our society) will not be able to reconcile...because there is an unreconcilable gap between us, this struggle is just beginning." Freedomring17, a Trump supporter, said in a message on the Internet.

A rift that is difficult to bridge

Whether American society can heal from the tears of elections is becoming a question of reflection from all walks of life in American society.




A survey conducted by the Pew Center, a polling agency, after the November election in the United States found that supporters on both sides still hold different views on what is the core value of the United States. What is more prominent is that both camps believe that supporters of the other camp do not understand themselves. , 11% of Biden supporters and 26% of Trump supporters hope that the other camp will try to understand the important value of their support.


For Biden supporters, Trump incited irrational supporters and even planned a coup to harm the American democratic system.For Trump supporters, the presidential election is unjust and unjust. As long as those who support the election result are sinners, their actions are only part of a series of actions to bring the country back.

美国记者毕晓普(Bill Bishop)在其对美国社会群体的研究着作《大排序》(The Big

Rosenfeld)则从制度层面解释美国的分裂。他对《财经》记者指出,The rigidity caused by party antagonism is a systemic proliferation phenomenon, which cannot be changed by any individual leader, so he "expressed doubts about how far Biden promised to'turn down' party politics and unite the country."

Abandoned countryside


Scholars in many fields have different interpretations of the reasons for the increasingly antagonistic society, but the recognized core problem is the antagonism formed by different ethnic groups in American society after years of uneven resource distribution. The most prominent one is the "rust belt" in the Midwest. "The unemployment and poverty problems caused by the relocation of manufacturing industries have been ignored for a long time.

This explains why Trump's 2016 election slogan "Make America Great Again" and corresponding policies, such as border wall construction and expulsion of illegal immigrants, will be welcomed by voters in the "rust belt".During Trump's 2016 campaign, he told voters that globalization and those who "promote globalization" like Hillary Clinton have caused the current plight of the American working class.


By industry, Biden’s supporters are characterized by multi-ethnicity, white-collar workers, and well-educated; Trump’s supporters are mainly white, and the main groups are farmers, veterans, police, firefighters, and manufacturing workers. Wait.Considering the economic and employment situation, many young people in the Midwest who cannot go to university smoothly turn to public service or become soldiers. However, once they are discharged from the army, they will face unemployment. Their career setbacks and military training background make them social instead. Flammable point.

In terms of regional distribution, in the development history of the United States, the Midwest Rust Belt once represented the most stable area in the United States, but these agricultural and manufacturing-based states have been attacked by globalization and capital in the past 30 years. Food and milk Prices have been declining since 2012, factories have been closed and relocated, traditional lifestyles and income have gradually disappeared, and the suicide rate has increased year by year in recent years.

In the election campaign, these voters from Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Iowa have played a key role in the election results since 2008. The reason is that these voters believe that their interests have been ignored for a long time. They all hope to vote for leaders who can bring about change.


These dairy farmers watched the college-educated people of these high-tech companies drive them from their land and ruin their way of life.Under the speculation of the developers, the local government increased the value-added tax on land prices. In the end, dairy farmers were forced to sell their farmland because they could not pay the land price tax. "These developers are destroying their communities, their values ​​and lifestyles like cockroaches... No matter how hard they work, they cannot pay off their debts. They can only hope that their children go to college and leave the countryside immediately."


In order to see the change, he voted for Obama in the 2008 presidential election, hoping that his government could adopt the same way as Canada, by controlling milk supply to control milk prices, but this system was ultimately unable to be implemented due to opposition from large farms;For the same reason, he switched to Trump in 2016. He believes that Trump has indeed brought "fundamental changes" to dairy farmers.He pointed out that Trump is the only president willing to touch on trade issues. For example, he insisted on renegotiating the North American Trade Agreement to increase the number of dairy products exported by the United States to Canada.

Examining Trump’s trade policy, figures show that the Sino-US trade war he initiated has actually hurt many American farmers. From 2017 to 2018, US soybean exports to China fell by 75%, despite the Trump administration’s large-scale provision. 280 billion US dollars in subsidies, but most farmers face huge cash flow pressure.Jagan pointed out that these farmers, under the interference of some false media news, did not clearly understand the final harm Trump's trade policy caused to them.

Jagan further pointed out that because these farmers feel neglected for a long time, voters in these areas always feel disgusted or suspicious of the government's policies. For example, in the policy to fight against the new crown pneumonia epidemic, whether the government considers unemployment and income decline, etc. Overreaction is the main question of these voters."Those who can easily work from home, those with guaranteed income, or those government officials and retirees who can easily criticize these people who carelessly cooperate in the fight against the epidemic are hillbillies... But what these'elites' don't understand are these blue-collar workers. , The price that farmers in rural areas need to pay, they may lose everything because of the economic shutdown."

Trump became the Republican presidential candidate to win Wisconsin for the first time since 2016 with more than 2.2 votes. In the same year's election, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton never visited the state to canvass votes. , Was considered too arrogant to not put voters in the state in the eyes.


Cramer)指出,The entire U.S. political system and the media have ignored these rural issues for many years. Therefore, voters in these areas have rejected the existing system and media to a degree that the elites have imagined. This is why the outcome of the 2020 presidential election will be so close. the reason.

The challenges faced by other Midwestern states are the same as Wisconsin, or more serious. "The Heartland of the United States under Globalization" published in 2010 described the disappearance of shops, family farms, and schools in small towns in Iowa. The main streets that were once the busiest on weekends turned into empty and deserted scenes.According to the book, in these small towns, "One of the nights on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday was when people from nearby villages drove into the city. Everyone used this evening to sell their own produce and chat with friends. The coffee shop was overcrowded. Some places call that night'Egg and Daughter Day' because on that day farmers went to the city to buy eggs and show off their daughters (grow up again)".


Gilens)的研究也显示,For a long time, politicians always give priority to the needs of the rich when formulating policies. The rural areas have not received the resources they deserve. The urban elites look down on the rural people. He emphasized that "the differences in American society are not only on political issues, but It is the most basic-who are we? What role should the government play in society? Who pays?"

The challenge of rural modernization


Pippa emphasized that the United States has only had "assistance projects" for rural areas since 1970, but there is no complete strategy.According to his research, the federal government, including the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Transport and Transportation, the Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Veterans, has launched more than 400 projects to assist rural development, but these projects are not effective under the leadership of the Ministry of Agriculture. ideal.Pippa pointed out that Biden’s top priority is to modernize the federal government’s rural policies. The federal government will establish a modern fund to assist in rural economic reforms. A new White House-level official will be established to be responsible for integration, and then a cross-party group will be established in Congress. And under supervision and implementation of policies, the formation of movement-style reforms.

Sullivan, the newly appointed National Security Adviser of the Biden administration, recently admitted that the foreign policy of the Obama era did not take into account the impact of foreign and security policies on the United States. The new administration will correct the original mistakes. Next,Foreign and national security policies will take into account the “impact on workers’ families, the middle class and Americans in general” in the United States. He pointed out that the previous government put pressure on Wall Street investment banks such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan to open the Chinese market, but it “has a negative impact on the United States. What are the benefits of employment and salary?"

A senior Washington lobbyist also told the Caijing reporter that the strong lobbying of large American companies in Washington for many years and the large amounts of political contributions to politicians have led to deviations in government policies. Whether Biden can smoothly promote reforms will be awaited. Observed.

Jagan explained to a reporter from Caijing that what voters in the Midwest seek to maintain a lifestyle like their parents’ generation. In addition to being able to provide for college students, raise a car, and own a summer hut, the working-class families of that generation The employment situation is totally unaffordable.He emphasized that what these residents need is a safety net.In a small town in Wisconsin, hospitals, doctors and medical insurance no longer exist. Once farmers are injured, they may have to sell their farmland.Biden tries to deal with these accumulating problems, which "need to solve health insurance, employment problems, and make education affordable."After all, a degree at a state university currently costs US$7.2. Without a degree, there is no upward mobility. How the government handles these problems is a question mark.

University)哲学教授塔利斯(Robert Talisse)表示。

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