The full impact of a global economy on American labor and business became evident after President Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement [“Taiwan talk just ‘courtesy call,’ ” News, Dec. 5]. The few voices that warned of dire consequences were drowned out by politicians who assured us that any economic disruptions would be resolved through worker retraining.
Under the Bush and Obama administrations, cheap labor flowed in from all over the world, and businesses flowed out. Fellow Americans became more desperate for decent- paying jobs. Their complaints were met with condescension: They were called racist and xenophobic.
Depression in the heartland turned to anger. And then this character from, of all places, Queens, New York, came along. Donald Trump is a big, lumbering, coarse man with a blond flip haircut reminiscent of the 1950s. He said he would make America great again. In desperation, people grabbed this lifeline.
Every once in a while there’s a realignment, a change in the trajectory of the nation. Time will tell if Trump will be able to pull off a collaboration between business and labor that will keep American business competitive and provide decent-paying jobs. We should hope and pray he does.
Laurann Pandelakis, Manhasset