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laripu

No one wants to hear that it's their fault

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So imagine that you're a rural American, you've got a family and a mortgage and you're doing your best, but falling behind. Good manufacturing jobs are rarer and paying less. You didn't go to college, so you're not going to get those kind of jobs. Even the jobs you're looking for are being taken at lower pay by minorities - maybe even by people who don't speak English well. Maybe people that wear a turban or an abaya. Maybe some of them come from Guatemala or from Guacamole, or something like that. And although the unions were done in by Reagan and other Republicans, you've long forgotten all about that, if you ever knew it at all.

 

And you're not retarded, but you're also not that smart. Just normal intelligence.

 

The Democratic candidate tells you the hard truth: if you want a manufacturing job or other high tech job, you'll have to retrain. You'll have to go to school. You'll have to work hard to learn, just in order to be allowed to work. You're not good enough as is.

 

The Trump-thing tells you that you're fine! Nothing wrong with you! It's all the fault of Muslims, illegals, the media, the Democrats, and we'll make America great again, which means you'll have a job and two chickens in every pot (even ones that can only hold one chicken).

 

One message is "you're not good enough, get better". The other is "it's the fault of illegal immigrants, and it will be fine, Trump will make America great again".

 

Who do you believe? Who do you want to believe? Who do believe if you're a person of just normal intelligence?

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Trump has said "I love the poorly educated".  And, more than any other group, they love him.  Not only does he absolve them of all responsibility but makes their skin-color, which no one can take away, an unearned virtue.  And he deceives them with delusions of grandeur about their advantaged role in an America, made great,  just for them, once again.

 

These poorly educated, White Americans, have been ground down by a system they little understand.  They admire a bad boy who breaks all the rules and gets away with it.  And, speaking to them in language they can understand, empowers them to identify with his defiance of the "deep state" that somehow brought them down. 

 

Most of the poorly educated are only dimly aware of governmental policy and its effect on their condition and, more than any other group, are likely to vote for someone who entertains them, rather than a politician who spouts complicated policies and plans, which might, in fact help them ...   Since they don't make the connections, they prefer a showman who imbues them with a false sense of empowerment.

 

it is a sad commentary on the state of our Nation that, in July, 2019, Trump's job approval rating is 42.7%, when in most of the rest of the developed world, he is a laughingstock.

https://news.gallup.com/poll/260780/trump-averages-job-approval-10th-quarter.aspx

 

The best way to remedy this distressing situation is to provide free public education, at all levels, for those with the drive and ability to take advantage of it.

 

 

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19 hours ago, bludog said:

 The best way to remedy this distressing situation is to provide free public education, at all levels, for those with the drive and ability to take advantage of it.

 

Which won't happen with Republicans in office.

 

The problem will only get worse as automation gets better. More and more human work will disappear. Eventually, AI will learn how to create songs, novels, movie scripts, even software. (And with that last, people like me will be thrown out of work, so luckily I'm easing toward retirement.)

 

Eventually, most people will be in a service industry of some kind, or out of work. Cleaning, shelf stocking, fast food work.

 

I expect that there will also be a lot of people selling illegal drugs and prostituting themselves.

 

If governments don't want that, there will have to be a guaranteed living wage paid to everyone. Cradle to grave, or we'll be living in a modern version of the Middle Ages.

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6 hours ago, laripu said:

Which won't happen with Republicans in office.

 

Of course not.  For years they have done their best to dumb down the population, making it more gullible.

 

6 hours ago, laripu said:

The problem will only get worse as automation gets better. More and more human work will disappear. Eventually, AI will learn how to create songs, novels, movie scripts, even software. (And with that last, people like me will be thrown out of work, so luckily I'm easing toward retirement.)

 

Eventually, most people will be in a service industry of some kind, or out of work. Cleaning, shelf stocking, fast food work.

 

I expect that there will also be a lot of people selling illegal drugs and prostituting themselves.

 

This is one direction an AI dominated future could take.

 

6 hours ago, laripu said:

If governments don't want that, there will have to be a guaranteed living wage paid to everyone.  Cradle to grave, or we'll be living in a modern version of the Middle Ages.

 

And this is its opposite.  There are already cradle-to-grave welfare states.  In the US, for the last 40 years, we have been headed in the opposite direction.

 

 

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10 hours ago, bludog said:

Of course not.  For years they have done their best to dumb down the population, making it more gullible.

 

And specifically, ignoring this while exacerbating xenophobia:

 

Immigrants and their children have founded 45% of the U.S.'s Fortune 500 companies.

 

The article does say "Immigrants may have a negative impact on the work prospects of some U.S.-born workers". An article linked in the one above says that the lowest paid either will experience a drop in income prospects due to immigration if low-skilled workers. It also says (in the linked article) that "Bill Gates claims that Microsoft creates four new jobs for every H-1B visa granted".

 

The ones hurt are Trump voters. They're being told by Democrats that in this economy, they need to acquire more skills. There being told by Trump that that there problem is immigration.

 

What happens if so immigration stops? It looks like 1) salaries of the lowest paid workers go up a bit, between 3% and 6%, and 2) an important engine of economic growth is squashed.

 

Who benefits, beside low wage workers? Competing countries who don't get immigration, there ones who don't get the best and brightest from all over the world. (Russia, China, India will benefit, because their talent will be more likely to stay home.)

 

How can we fix it? Bludog suggested free education at all levels for able students, and he's right. A much higher minimum wage would also help. What we don't need is the bureaucratic equivalent of the Berlin Wall, erected to keep others out.

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How many coal mining jobs are there still?

Written by Dean Baker
Published: 15 July 2019

The NYT had a column by Eliza Griswold talking about the prospect of job loss in coal mining areas due to efforts to restrict greenhouse gas emissions. While it is often traumatic for workers to lose jobs, especially long-held jobs, it is important to realize that relatively few jobs are at stake in the coal mining industry.

For example, in Pennsylvania, one of the states mentioned in the piece, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are now 5,000 coal mining jobs in the state. The state has over 6 million workers, which means that coal mining accounts for roughly 0.08 percent of employment in the state. Kentucky has 5,800 jobs in coal mining, with total employment of 1,950,000. That comes to a bit more than 0.3 percent of total employment. Even in West Virginia, the heart of coal country, there are only 23,000 jobs in coal mining out of a total of 740,000 jobs. This comes to a bit more than 3.0 percent of total employment.

In all three states, there were sharp drops in employment in the industry in the past, which drastically reduced the importance of coal mining employment. It is a bit peculiar that the earlier declines in coal mining employment, which were primarily due to productivity growth (specifically, replacing underground mining with strip mining -- a policy often opposed by environmentalists), received relatively little attention in the media or from politicians. By contrast, the prospect of considerably smaller future declines due to efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is drawing extensive attention.

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