Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Please Support CounterPunch’s Annual Fund Drive
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We only ask you once a year, but when we ask we mean it. So, please, help as much as you can. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. All contributions are tax-deductible.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

How the Economy Loses Under Trump or Clinton: “Gordon Gekko” Explains

Photo by David Ohmer | CC BY 2.0

Photo by David Ohmer | CC BY 2.0

Famous Wall Street Investor Asher Edelman served as the inspiration for the character Gordon Gekko, played by Michael Douglas in the 1980’s Oliver Stone film, Wall Street. A recent CNN article published on August 23rd about Donald Trump’s controversial investing in the 1980’s referred to the time as the “Gordon Gekko Era” though Edelman, the character’s inspiration, called the election between Trump and Clinton, “the worst of two evils or the best of two evils,” in a phone interview with me, noting “I guess Hillary is the best of two evils.”

Earlier this year, Edelman’s segment during a CNBC interview in which he described his support for Bernie Sanderswent viral. He described Sanders as the best candidate for the economy due to Sanders’ ambitions to redistribute wealth in this country to the lower and middle classes who tend to spend much more of their income than the wealthy. Recent trends have seen wealth increase for the wealthy, while the consumer base of the lower and middle classes continues to shrink. As far as providing solutions to the increasing wealth and income inequality throughout the United States, the candidacies of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump don’t provide any, according to Edelman.

“I think a Clinton presidency would leave us in the same position we are in today. That is to say with the middle class and lower classes remaining disadvantaged, with the wealthier people becoming wealthier, with favoritism towards Wall street, the oil companies, and the pharmaceutical companies,” he said. “I think with a Trump presidency, it’s foolish to even think of one, but it’s a remote possibility because of Hillary’s difficulties.”

Edelman cited the idea of Trump having the authority to fire nuclear weapons increases the threat of nuclear war, but even if that were evaded, the United States would still be headed towards an economic disaster. “Donald Trump doesn’t have a clue about economics, and doesn’t have a clue about macroeconomics. I imagine you would have one of these dictatorships which are favorable to his friends and unfavorable to the rest of the country, with most businesses moving offshore pretty quickly.”

One of the most economically divisive issues this presidential election is the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.Hillary Clinton has vocally opposed it, although she helped further negotiations as Secretary of State, the surrogates she appointed to the Democratic Party platform voted in support of it, and her running mate, Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) has spoken highly of the deal. Bernie Sanders has vehemently opposed the trade agreement and led progressive opposition against the deal, while Donald Trump has also opposed the agreement for different reasons.

Edelman explained it’s a much bigger question as to opposing or supporting the agreement.

“You have to make a couple of decisions. Whether your real wish is to attempt to continue to dominate the world both politically and economically or whether you want to run trade as something that has to do with trade and not something that has to do with political needs and advantages,” he said. “If you were to take that trade agreement and convert it into something slightly different from what it is, and I wouldn’t say I’m very in favor of it, and that something has to do with protecting labor from the consequences of cheap labor elsewhere. This would mean you would try to adjust tariffs in a way that reflected the cost of labor in the countries with which you were dealing as oppose to having total open trade without any additional expenses for those countries that are taking advantage of very inexpensive labor.”

Edelman also added the deal would also have to apply this to American companies who exported their manufacturing and service jobs to countries with cheap labor, and adjust tariffs for them accordingly.  “I think that would very successful and I think something like that is necessary because you do need these trade agreements. The U.S. can’t isolate itself from the rest of world, but it also can’t use it to politically dominate the world. These agreements have to be used to be economically sound both for the U.S. and its relationships with other countries.”

More articles by:

Michael Sainato’s writing has appeared in the Guardian, Miami Herald, Baltimore Sun, Denver Post, Buffalo News, the Hill, Alternet, and several other publications . Follow him on twitter: @MSainat1

October 15, 2018
Rob Urie
Climate Crisis is Upon Us
Conn Hallinan
Syria’s Chessboard
Patrick Cockburn
The Saudi Atrocities in Yemen are a Worse Story Than the Disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi
Sheldon Richman
Trump’s Middle East Delusions Persist
Justin T. McPhee
Uberrima Fides? Witness K, East Timor and the Economy of Espionage
Tom Gill
Spain’s Left Turn?
Jeff Cohen
Few Democrats Offer Alternatives to War-Weary Voters
Dean Baker
Corporate Debt Scares
Gary Leupp
The Khashoggi Affair and and the Anti-Iran Axis
Russell Mokhiber
Sarah Chayes Calls on West Virginians to Write In No More Manchins
Clark T. Scott
Acclimated Behaviorisms
Kary Love
Evolution of Religion
Colin Todhunter
From GM Potatoes to Glyphosate: Regulatory Delinquency and Toxic Agriculture
Binoy Kampmark
Evacuating Nauru: Médecins Sans Frontières and Australia’s Refugee Dilemma
Marvin Kitman
The Kitman Plan for Peace in the Middle East: Two Proposals
Weekend Edition
October 12, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Becky Grant
My History with Alexander Cockburn and The Financial Future of CounterPunch
Paul Street
For Popular Sovereignty, Beyond Absurdity
Nick Pemberton
The Colonial Pantsuit: What We Didn’t Want to Know About Africa
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Summer of No Return
Jeff Halper
Choices Made: From Zionist Settler Colonialism to Decolonization
Gary Leupp
The Khashoggi Incident: Trump’s Special Relationship With the Saudi Monarchy
Andrew Levine
Democrats: Boost, Knock, Enthuse
Barbara Kantz
The Deportation Crisis: Report From Long Island
Doug Johnson
Nate Silver and 538’s Measurable 3.5% Democratic Bias and the 2018 House Race
Gwen Carr
This Stops Today: Seeking Justice for My Son Eric Garner
Robert Hunziker
Peak Carbon Emissions By 2020, or Else!
Arshad Khan
Is There Hope on a World Warming at 1.5 Degrees Celsius?
David Rosen
Packing the Supreme Court in the 21stCentury
Brian Cloughley
Trump’s Threats of Death and Destruction
Joel A. Harrison
The Case for a Non-Profit Single-Payer Healthcare System
Ramzy Baroud
That Single Line of Blood: Nassir al-Mosabeh and Mohammed al-Durrah
Zhivko Illeieff
Addiction and Microtargeting: How “Social” Networks Expose us to Manipulation
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
What is Truth?
Michael Doliner
Were the Constitution and the Bill of Rights a Mistake?
Victor Grossman
Cassandra Calls
Ralph E. Shaffer
Could Kavanaugh’s Confirmation Hearing Ended Differently?
Vanessa Cid
Our Everyday Family Separations
Walaa Al Ghussein
The Risks of Being a Journalist in Gaza
Ron Jacobs
Betrayal and Treachery—The Extremism of Moderates
James Munson
Identity Politics and the Ruling Class
P. Sainath
The Floods of Kerala: the Bank That Went Under…Almost
Ariel Dorfman
How We Roasted Donald Duck, Disney’s Agent of Imperialism
Joe Emersberger
Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno’s Assault on Human Rights and Judicial Independence
Ed Meek
White Victimhood: Brett Kavanaugh and the New GOP Brand
Andrew McLean, MD
A Call for “Open Space”
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail