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White working class

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    The New York Times had an interesting article about his demographic group on Sunday:

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/12/14/opinion/rural-america-trump-decline.html

    Coincidentally, I finished reading the book "white working class" over the weekend. It's an easy read, at 131 pages, but it helps to explain why all of us liberal people have the opinions that we do, and also why the "white working class" has their attitudes - and why it is impossible for them to change.

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    Arizona -- Yes rural America's decline is something we have discussed in this website, but without consensus. I think that this one paragraph from the NYT article is relevant:

    "There are, to be sure, some rural communities with productivity as high as some big cities. But they rely on heavily mechanized and automated industries that support few jobs: oil extraction or large-scale agriculture, in which tractors talk to satellites and no drivers are involved. The livestock business on the vast pastures of Sioux County, Neb., for example, supports an economy worth $306,000 per worker, according to data from Mr. Muro and Jacob Whiton of Brookings. But only 1,200 people live there."

    Automation and "large scale agriculture" is the biggest reason that the population has declined in rural America. The small family farm of the Norman Rockwell era that supported so many farm workers is becoming a victim of the times. With fewer workers, then the mom and pop stores and other businesses in rural small towns across America do not have enough customers to survive. And the towns likewise do not have enough tax revenue to support their declining infrastructure and schools.

    With consolidation of farms, there are left just a few rich farmers and factory farms operated by a few people with high tech machines instead of manual laborers. Those that are left to survive vote Republican because they blame the liberal urbanites for their problems. They cling to their religion and patriotism. They want to take their country back (in time) and will vote for anyone who makes that promise. And those making the promises are opportunistic Republicans telling them what they want to hear...plus Donald Trump. They have a disproportionate share of the vote in the Senate, but no matter what politicaisn tell them, the economics for sustaining their past life styles do not work well.

    The solutions are much more difficult as the NYT article states. I think owning up to the problem rather than casting blame is a first step. However, that would require honest politicians.

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    Schmidt, good analyses. Please inform Trump and his cronies about that; may be these "laborers" can built the "wall" for him. Just kidding. The worst thing is that because of the "electoral college" these people who live in the middle of "nowhere" get more seats in the government than California. Just look at who have now the biggest mouths like McConnell ( Kentucky), Grassly (Iowa?), Orin Hatch (Utah), Ryan (Wisconsin) etc. Instead of "working" on their local State problems they think they "know it all" about the whole world and "meddle" more in things they have no clue at all about. No wonder this form of government does not work.
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    Although the white working class largely voted for Trump, they are the ones who will be hurt the most by his policies.

    One example is the Arkansas new rule (first in the nation) that requires work in order to qualify for Medicare. For people in a low-income, struggling county in Arkansas the idea that there are just jobs out there waiting for them now that they're being faced with work requirements for their Medicaid program is almost laughable. Now, residents are having to skip care after they're dropped from the rolls. “I am just putting it in God’s hands,” said Elizabeth Cloinger, 47. “He is going to let me stay on this Earth to see my grandbaby be raised.”

    https://khn.org/morning-breakout/the-reality-of-medicaid-work-requirements-life-in-job-scarce-arkansas-county-paints-picture-of-confusion-helplessness/

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    Schmidt Wrote:
    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.

    Growth is slowing as it must. Too much called growth is inflation even though the bureaucratic definition of inflation is low. Large scale production caused by the innovations including water purification, wastewater treatment, mass transit, cars, refrigeration etc all were labor-creating. Innovation now is labor destroying.

    May I also suggest Stephen D. King’s “Grave New World: The End of Globalization, The Return of History.”

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    That guy in AZ said:

    "Although the white working class largely voted for Trump, they are the ones who will be hurt the most by his policies."

    Why did they vote for Trump??

    He promised:

    1. Lots of good paying jobs.

    2. Health Insurance for everybody even if insured can't pay.

    3. Make America great again.

    Don't blame people for voting for Trump when they:

    1. were in the class of stagnated wages for 50 years.

    2 Health insurance or coverage denied because they couldn't pay.

    3. Watched their country turned over to the top 1% while their kids graduated from college with useless degrees and tens of thousands of dollars of debt.

    The sad irony is elite democrats are blaming the lower classes for their own problems. Used to be only the elite right wingers that blamed the poor for their own problems.

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    lonely bird Wrote:
    Schmidt Wrote:
    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.

    Growth is slowing as it must. Too much called growth is inflation even though the bureaucratic definition of inflation is low. Large scale production caused by the innovations including water purification, wastewater treatment, mass transit, cars, refrigeration etc all were labor-creating. Innovation now is labor destroying.

    May I also suggest Stephen D. King’s “Grave New World: The End of Globalization, The Return of History.”

    Inflation is going to be ignored by accounting methods citing "unusual circumstances. Loss of jobs and increased shutterings are going to be covered up in the same accounting methods. Dire consequences are looking. No hope because the resulting correction will just put more America on the chopping block of stocks falling to pennies on the dollar. They super wealthy will buy more of America just like in every crash..
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    I wrote yesterday about the new law in Arkansas that required people on Medicaid to work at least 80 hours a month in order to retain their benefits.

    This morning, I learned that the problem is even bigger:

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/medicaid-work-requirements-tossed-by-federal-judge_n_5c9bec3fe4b072a7f6042a2b

    Last January, the Trump administration invited states to impose these requirements on Medicaid beneficiaries for the first time. Since then, the federal government has approved work requirements in eight states and is considering applications in seven more.

    FORTUNATELY, a federal judge in D.C. yesterday ruled that the new laws are improper, and should not be enforced. His ruling will eliminate some of the problem, but there are a few states where the work requirement will still apply.