Mahinda’s and Trump’s campaigns

DR.Vickramabahu Karunaratne

Mahinda says that the country should be given back to him, so that he can solve all problems and bring prosperity to Lanka again. There is a similarity between Mahinda’s campaign and Donald Trump’s campaign in America. Donald Trump also says he is going to make America ‘great again’. That’s part of his campaign. What is this greatness these people refer to? Is this greatness measured by money and armaments collected by the elite? If so, Lanka was great during the time of the Mahinda regime. Of course, America is already great. It is the wealthiest country with the largest military in the world. Except the poorest, all have arms for private security. So, there is a difference but we can be sure that armed hooligans will have freehand if Mahinda comes back to rule.
On the other hand, there is a serious problem for Donald, because of forces kept outside the American soil. If Donald Trump wishes the country to be isolationist, he will need to withdraw or reduce 800 military bases in 80 countries and minimize the role of Wall Street in global markets. In isolation Mahinda will be nothing; when he was in power he was connected to all global powers! That is why he was so confident.
Is greatness measured by the revenues of the country’s big business? If so, for America that means revenue of Wal-Mart – ranked number one in the Fortune 500 – is not only great but the greatest, for it also is number one in the Fortune Global 500 and ranks number eight in the ten most profitable US companies, given in Fortune statistics compiled in 2015. So, why the hell these workers at Wal-Mart rebel over low wages when they helped make Wal-Mart the largest retailer in the world? Isn’t it enough for the advanced proletariat to take credit for helping America remain ‘great’? Why complain about wages? Mahinda regime miserably failed during their rule. Mahinda did not improve income; he only increased spending. So, even in a small way he improved the wealth of the land of Trump.
A supermarket
check-out lady
If you ask a supermarket check-out lady , anywhere in the world, if she is a full-time employee or part-time, her unhappy reply will be that the corporation now hires only part-time workers of thirty hours or less. Does she get a living wage; she may shout “No, I need a fair wage!” What is the difference between a ‘living’ and a ‘fair’ wage to her? What each term means to one person might mean something altogether different to another.
To a single 22-year-old, for example, a wage that pays the rent on an efficiency apartment, and can buy basic food and clothing is livable, for the time being anywhere in the world. But to a middle-American couple in their 40s a ‘living wage’ means the ability to pay a mortgage, car loan, credit cards, cable and cell phone bills and save for their kids’ college education, at minimum. To ask a middle-American to live like a 22-year-old isn’t ‘fair’. But the point is the American dream is also disappearing; that is why Bernie Sanders has created a problem for Donald Trump.
People still believe that prices are determined by markets, and purchase is determined by income. But Marx explained that value of a commodity is determined by the amount of labour hours spent in the process. However, in a democratic set up wages are determined by negotiation between two competing entities: employer who seeks to maximize profits and employee whose needs require a basic ‘living wage’. “When the water level rises, all ships rise with it. When the minimum wage rises, all wages above it rise. Therefore, it is in the interest of all workers and employees to increase the minimum wage; but it is not in the interest of profits. Ranil wants to increase the minimum wage in all sectors, this is something avoided by the Mahinda regime.
“Of the many policies that would lift wages, raising the minimum wage is the simplest way to help millions of low-paid workers pay the bills and ensure that businesses are doing their fair share to provide working families with the means to a decent life,” wrote the Economic Policy Institute of US . While Mahinda wanted to imitate Trump, American researchers are shifting towards the movement of Bernie Sanders. One researcher said: “While remaining Americans, we now are citizens of a globalized world.
We account for only five per cent of the global population. Remaining an economic and military powerhouse, we face a process of equalization that is occurring between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ in America and the West; and it is a series of drama-inducing adjustments to the global shift or paradigm shift, if you will, that is creating a multipolar planet.”