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White working class

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  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Tucson, AZ
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    We're all puzzled why the white working class continues to vote against their own interest be voting for extreme Republican candidates - and Trump is far from the only candidate to benefit from this phenomenon.

    I recently became aware of a book that helps to explain the problem. The Amazon link is posted below:

    https://www.amazon.com/White-Working-Class-Overcoming-Cluelessness/dp/1633693783/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1543936613&sr=1-1&keywords=white+working+class+by+joan+c.+williams

    The first paragraph in this link sums it up very well:

    Around the world, populist movements are gaining traction among the white working class. Meanwhile, members of the professional elite―journalists, managers, and establishment politicians--are on the outside looking in, left to argue over the reasons. In White Working Class, Joan C. Williams, described as having "something approaching rock star status" by the New York Times, explains why so much of the elite's analysis of the white working class is misguided, rooted in class cluelessness.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    Stagnated wages over 40 years, kids never being able to afford college, suffering more and dying earlier because they can't afford health care, a government that let big money take money from jobs producing, a regressive trending tax code becoming even worse with expanding tolls and toll roads. Worse than all of that is the attitude that anything that helps the poor is socialistic. ....... college debt the size of the world's 13th largest GDP.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Kenosha, WI
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    A lot of white working class "think" that everything is just hunky dory right now, but in reality, this economy is not that great, the only ones benefitting in this economy are the affluent. The lower class, people working two or more jobs will tell everyone that this economy sucks.
  • Independent
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    There are so many factors at work. Robert Gordon writes about the end of growth due to innovation that does not create jobs and growth on the scale seen from the 19th century through the middle of the twentieth century. Innovation has gone from job-creating to job-destroying. Short term thinking due to financialization as well as intensified globalization has exposed workers everywhere to a race to the bottom. Low skill jobs are being replaced by automation. Higher skilled jobs will suffer the same fate. Charlatans under the guise of populism turn to hatred of “the other” whether Muslims, immigrants, women or just about anyone who isn’t white male to get elected.

    Do you want to know the real reason why? People are scared to death of change. When leaders of whatever stripe: political, economic, religious have no solutions that do not involve pain the masses will turn to the charlatan.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Yes, indeed there are many factors involved. One of the main factors is that the right "education" is lacking. Schools and institutions are running way behind the "technology" developments" and are stuck in their old ways of teaching. Also the "cost" of education in this country is a "lifetime burden" for anyone who wants to study. Just because of the cost and the "level" of education as well that of the teachers forms an"gap" between the industry and workers. China invests it the right way and looks ahead. Here we rather look backwards and stick to the "old" ways as on any "island". Our trade wars are a symbol of our incompetence and lack of world wide knowledge as well the logistics of trade and structure. Nowadays seldom the whole product is made in one place; worldwide production and interfaces as well on time management require different skills to put all the pieces together and make an product what people or the industry wants.

    Since we have an incompetent leader" who lacks any "education", let alone "world" knowledge, then indeed little progress will be made to lift this country out of its own created "mess", if the "leader" only knows how to "bully" and has no "comprehensive idea" about the "whole picture" of the "why" and "how" things work in this world

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    "Robert Gordon writes about the end of growth due to innovation"

    And that is because the right wing is opposed to spending and laws of any kind that doesn't directly benefit the upper right wing. Tax and spend is not a critical admonition. Tax and spend is the solution to world peace. Money can't be destroyed. When money is spent it still ends up in the bank of the same people it came from. Spending is the life of an economy. Saving is the death of an economy.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Dutch Wrote:

    Yes, indeed there are many factors involved. One of the main factors is that the right "education" is lacking. Schools and institutions are running way behind the "technology" developments" and are stuck in their old ways of teaching. Also the "cost" of education in this country is a "lifetime burden" for anyone who wants to study. Just because of the cost and the "level" of education as well that of the teachers forms an"gap" between the industry and workers. China invests it the right way and looks ahead. Here we rather look backwards and stick to the "old" ways as on any "island". Our trade wars are a symbol of our incompetence and lack of world wide knowledge as well the logistics of trade and structure. Nowadays seldom the whole product is made in one place; worldwide production and interfaces as well on time management require different skills to put all the pieces together and make an product what people or the industry wants.

    Since we have an incompetent leader" who lacks any "education", let alone "world" knowledge, then indeed little progress will be made to lift this country out of its own created "mess", if the "leader" only knows how to "bully" and has no "comprehensive idea" about the "whole picture" of the "why" and "how" things work in this world

    Dutch -- Yes, the White Working Class (WWC) is largely held down by education. However, the designation WWC means different things to different people...many are white collar as well as blue collar...and women. I met many WWC when I was canvassing for my candidate for governor this summer, and I didn't find a universal message that I could stereotype them. I was surprised at the push back I got at some of my candidate's proposals to help the poor. Many WWC are fiercely independent and are proud of what they have achieved or acquired without government help. On that note, some have a disdain for people on food stamps or other government perks.

    There are many ways to slice and dice the American public to come up with reasons for why we are divided against each other. I think the WWC designation in certainly one of them but probably overplayed. Religious beliefs play a part as well as race and ethnicities, but beyond that there are other reasons such as guns that force us into smaller tribes.

    I think not having a global forward perspective on how America fits into the global economy hurts us. It allows demagogues to use fear and ignorance to exploit the political and economic situation. People believe what they want to believe and any demagogue pointing fingers at others is more believable than one who is pointing the finger at you to take responsibility for your own actions.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt, Yes you are correct as well. The main issue for this country (as I've said so many times) is the government structure and selection of the "leaders" via an corrupt system. All of this has effect on how people think here. Also the lack of uniformity in everything including that each State is actually defining their own "rules" makes it even more chaotic.

    Therefore "education" should be uniform throughout the country, as well should be "free" of cost to the student and be an part of an comprehensive well thought out "program" and "tie" up with what the industry wants. Having an stupid "money hungry" person like DeVos does not help. Again the selection and "vetting" for such person is laughable.

    If this country wants to survive then "education" is an key factor to raise the quality of the WWC people and others to learn analytic thinking and help this country flourish on the world market. The point which they forget here, especially with trade and manufacturing is that we now live in an world economy and no longer can maintain an "island we know it all, British like" attitude. ( Don't forget the "baked in" British anomalies of governing and measurements, which the rest of the world dumped a long time ago)

    As a note: Brexit did not happen for nothing. Sorry but they did not fit in with the rest (majority) of the world; neither does the US.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    Dutch said:

    "As a note: Brexit did not happen for nothing. Sorry but they did not fit in with the rest (majority) of the world; neither does the US."

    The United States more closely resembles the entire European Union than it does England. There is probably more diversity over the United States than in the EU. "United We Stand" is almost an archaic contradictory statement. I the people wanting to get their way eliminating the electoral college then the next step could be California pushing to secede because they could better serve themselves with a selfish interest.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Chet Ruminski Wrote:

    Dutch said:

    "As a note: Brexit did not happen for nothing. Sorry but they did not fit in with the rest (majority) of the world; neither does the US."

    The United States more closely resembles the entire European Union than it does England. There is probably more diversity over the United States than in the EU. "United We Stand" is almost an archaic contradictory statement. I the people wanting to get their way eliminating the electoral college then the next step could be California pushing to secede because they could better serve themselves with a selfish interest.

    Chet, The EU uses "metrics/weights/volume" as well an "parliamentary" system; the only difference is that we don't drive on the left side of the street. I've got an tool box full of all these oddball wrenches and even British standard thread taps, which are also different from the US oddball treads. Since nowadays the whole world interacts, it would be lots cheaper to perform engineering using one standard i.e. "metric". My Chrysler Pacifia is an good example: The engine is Mercedes, thus metric; the console, shifter and electronics are metric; the rest of the car is US "inches" Thus an mess.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    Dutch Wrote:
    Chet Ruminski Wrote:

    Dutch said:

    "As a note: Brexit did not happen for nothing. Sorry but they did not fit in with the rest (majority) of the world; neither does the US."

    The United States more closely resembles the entire European Union than it does England. There is probably more diversity over the United States than in the EU. "United We Stand" is almost an archaic contradictory statement. I the people wanting to get their way eliminating the electoral college then the next step could be California pushing to secede because they could better serve themselves with a selfish interest.

    Chet, The EU uses "metrics/weights/volume" as well an "parliamentary" system; the only difference is that we don't drive on the left side of the street. I've got an tool box full of all these oddball wrenches and even British standard thread taps, which are also different from the US oddball treads. Since nowadays the whole world interacts, it would be lots cheaper to perform engineering using one standard i.e. "metric". My Chrysler Pacifia is an good example: The engine is Mercedes, thus metric; the console, shifter and electronics are metric; the rest of the car is US "inches" Thus an mess.
    Dutch, From the beginning I have said the switch to metric was influenced by tool makers to sell more tools.I
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    The topic is White Working Class...not measurement metrics. Can you stay on topic?
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Kenosha, WI
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    We're all puzzled why the white working class continues to vote against their own interest be voting for extreme Republican candidates

    Because if the average working stiff receives any type of pay raise, even 50 cents per hour, they think that's great and therefore really believe that the slogan "make America great again does apply, hell, it's 50 cents more that they didn't have before. And when republicans keep hammering tax cuts, the ignorant and uneducated think that's also great. Little do they know that these tax cuts will have a later effect on them when they try to apply for a social service program like EBT. States where republicans have had control of the governorship and the legislature have cut into social programs, and brag that our UE rates is only 2 1/2%, just trying to acquire ebt for assistance can be a real bitch, you have to jump through flaming hoops just to get acceptance, even UE benefits is a pain in the ass for applicants, you're required to actively look for work and you need to prove that you did.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    lonely bird Wrote:

    There are so many factors at work. Robert Gordon writes about the end of growth due to innovation that does not create jobs and growth on the scale seen from the 19th century through the middle of the twentieth century. Innovation has gone from job-creating to job-destroying. Short term thinking due to financialization as well as intensified globalization has exposed workers everywhere to a race to the bottom. Low skill jobs are being replaced by automation. Higher skilled jobs will suffer the same fate. Charlatans under the guise of populism turn to hatred of “the other” whether Muslims, immigrants, women or just about anyone who isn’t white male to get elected.

    Do you want to know the real reason why? People are scared to death of change. When leaders of whatever stripe: political, economic, religious have no solutions that do not involve pain the masses will turn to the charlatan.

    lonely bird -- I didn't read Robert Gordon's book, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, but I did read the Amazon review and those of several of the readers. I would tend to agree with some of the reviewers who pushed back on his contention about innovation:

    "Gordon challenges the view that economic growth can or will continue unabated, and he demonstrates that the life-altering scale of innovations between 1870 and 1970 can't be repeated. He contends that the nation's productivity growth, which has already slowed to a crawl, will be further held back by the vexing headwinds of rising inequality, stagnating education, an aging population, and the rising debt of college students and the federal government. Gordon warns that the younger generation may be the first in American history that fails to exceed their parents' standard of living, and that rather than depend on the great advances of the past, we must find new solutions to overcome the challenges facing us."

    Every generation of Americans (as well as European and Asians) have indeed found "new solutions to overcome the challenges facing us." I look at the millennials (those born between 1980 end early 2000s) with admiration for their push back at the sometimes "status quo" of my baby boomer generation. And I look at the tremendous advances in technology and the quality of life since the 1970s...all due to entrepreneurial innovative spirit, much of it by the new millennials and immigrants.

    That's not to sweep under the rug the problems of inequality, student debt, and the burden that my aging baby boomer generation will place on the younger generation. Those are real problems, but each generation from our inception has faced difficult problems and learned to overcome them. America will indeed may not grow as fast as the post-war period right after World War II. But is that necessarily bad as we realize the greater cost to society of climate change, inequality, and other factors that slow growth? And once the burden of caring for the aging baby boomer generation (born 1946 and after) dies off, the millennials of today will be the new prosperous middle class primed for big things through innovation and a change in the way they view society and equality.

    I know all that may sound corny to some, and will get push back from many people as long as inequality is a product of our capitalist economic well being. Certainly change does not happen over night, and those forces (mainly Republican obstructionism) that are hindering changes in American society today will die off with my generation. I cannot speak for the European, Asian, African or Latin American economies, but recognizing that our global economies are intertwined and dependent on each other is a first step towards a global growth economy.

    Let's just not elect any more selfish Trump like obstructionists.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    About your last line; may be I repeat myself, but "Let's just not elect......." has to do with the stupid super corrupt election system here which "asks" for it to get an idiot. Guess what "elects" an President and others here: "billions of bribery money as well "votes" don't count" is the answer. Nice story about "innovation" however there is no innovation in our government nor "laws" . Everything here is corrupt, what about the lobbyists, is there a special "school" for them? Trump University? Sorry as long as "money" is "king" here and then all the "corruption" only "grows", then that is the major blockage for this country to retain their position in this world. Ask Venezuela; The Russians did sent two nuclear bombers there and a couple of Antanov's to help them. I heard nothing of Trump, but when Kennedy observed that the Russians dumped the same goodies in Cuba, there was an crisis. How come? I guess we've become an "banana republic" as well, who does not care, ask Melania and her coat.