why Trump is President

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why Trump is President

Postby hyksos on October 23rd, 2019, 6:19 pm 

In this article, I will describe the conditions that allowed for the rise and preeminent political victory of Donald Trump in 2016 election.

The danger is when you turn your TV on, or lift a copy of Newsweek from the news stand. Those are liberal media outlets (CNN, MSBC). They will saturate you in some bizarre narrative about the 2016 election was "stolen" from Queen Hillary Rodham-Clinton. Stolen by the interference of Russian troll farms and Russian hackers stealing and spewing DNC documents.

The election was not stolen. That's fabrication meant to enrage a certain bluehaired base. Donald Trump won the election duly. Me, being a staunch Bernie voter am in no shape or form happy about this. But this article is not about punditry or emotion. This article about listing facts. Here I expose and enumerate the causes of Trump's election victory.

Economic underpinnings of Trump
Andrew Yang and Michael Moore have already discovered what is going on. Yang is calling it the "4th Industrial Revolution." In essence, automation and high tech internet economy is destroying the ability of the businesses and companies to hire many young men.

Example from heavy industry. In the year 1981, it took a total of 30 workers to create 1 kilometer of steel wire. In 2019, it takes 6.

Example from high tech. Yahoo is a publicly-traded internet conglomerate. Its market cap is over $100 billion. "Yahoo" began as a website run out of a dorm room by two young men. Big name websites like Yahoo, tinder, instagram, and Amazon go public with traded shares over $200, which then goes up from there. But "tinder" is literally one building and 130 employees in a parking garage. That's it. That's all they are. These super internet websites (reddit) do not have branch campuses and do not operate manufacturing facilities. Their total number of people on their payroll rarely exceeds 500.

High tech does not hire many workers. High tech does not "provide good jobs" for the working man. When a tech company takes up office space in a city or town, it creates a little microcosm in the middle of the city comprised of overly-paid technocrats. Many mayors believe such companies are even a nuisance. Several mayors have tried to take steps that keep them out.

The following textbook is the ethics and legality of technology. The authors fully admit that technology is not a phenomenon in human life that "levels the economic playing field" by providing good-paying jobs. Instead, technology only speeds up the rate at which capital is driven into the hands of fewer and fewer.
Code: Select all
Ethics for the information age / Michael J. Quinn.—5th ed.
(c) 2013
ISBN 978-0-13-285553-2
ISBN 0-13-285553-4
ch. 10  "Work and Wealth"



Geography and demographics
We will examine the places where Hillary inexplicably lost electoral votes. There is swathe of land running from Minnesota to Pennsylvania. Hillary's campaign either visited there rarely, or not at all, under the belief that those areas were sewn up for an easy win. By about midnight of the night of the 2016 election, Jon Podesta walked out onto a stage that was oddly shaped like a giant star. Podesta told the crowd to "Go home" because it was "too early to call." Some midwestern states had gone deep red.

Image
Michael Moore referred to these states as the "Brexit states", with all the requisite implications. When Donald Trump told the rural areas of these states that he would bring back manufacturing jobs, it was, in the words of Moore , "..music to their ears."

The key demographic that thrust wide victories of the Republican candidate in those states were white men. Your protoypical Trump voter was white, male, between the ages of 45 and 59, and had no college degree.

Why that demographic, though? If you do a little bit of math, these were men in the midwest who would have been teenagers in the 1980s. Some of the older ones were transitioning out of high school into the workforce. They remember when companies would hire people right out of high school, directly into a good-paying job, with benefits. By the time you were 26, you were putting a down payment on a house. Also, because many of the younger ones, not-quite-out-of-high-school would look back on the '80s Reagan Era with nostalgia and the rose-tinted glasses that a person's teenage years often creates.

The 1990s brought something other effect called NAFTA. NAFTA allowed, among other things, movement of uncertified Mexican shipping trucks across the border. Companies in Ohio that used to manufacture boots closed their doors and moved to Mexico.. wherein they basically hired teen girls to sew boots for $4/hour.

The meaning of MAGA

"Make America Great Again" does not mean a return to the 1920s. It does not mean a return to WW2, the 1950s, or leave-it-to-Beaver family values. Whatever was going on in America in the 1950s was wholly rejected by the Baby Boomers, who were at the time hippies and flower children. By 1976, a return to the alleged greatness of the 1940s/1950s was lost forever.

What Donald Trump was selling to white men in rural Michigan was a return to the 1980s.
+ You will graduate high school.

+ You will work at the local aluminum plant for good wages and benefits.

+ By the time you are 27,you will be putting a down payment on a house.

A demographic in the midwest, of just the right age, remembers this, even if the memory is slightly blurry and puffed up to a mythology. In any case, this is the true meaning of MAGA. Things were good -- (or they seemed like they were better) -- then something went woefully wrong in the 1990s. That's how one's blurry personal history remembers it.

The reality however, is what has already been exposited above. Automation is destroying the manufacturing economy, and destroying industry's needs for many working hands. High Technology is concentrating wealth into a tiny few, and increasing the rate of this concentration each year.

Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg will soon build an orbiting space station to live on , while the remnants of industrial civilization will eek out an existence on the dirty surface. There will only be a select few in the orbiting Cloud City, (or Elysium, or whatever they end up calling it ) just a few technocrat friends with their pumpkin spice lattes. They will walk around in futuristic gardens talking whimsically about "Front-end web development" and CSS version 6.0 But whatever they do , it won't involve hiring anyone.

We could address whether what Trump promised was even realistic. Is bringing back the "manufacturing base" of the 1980s even a realistic promise? Should we instead reshape our economies in the way Andrew Yang has suggested?

I tend to agree with many presidential candidates who spoke on stage at recent debates. While there are just still many of them on stage (the number fluctuates between 17 and 22) -- I will say I agree.

We cannot cure our current problems with the same kind of thinking that got us into them in the first place.

This is one of many reasons why Joe Biden is a terrible nightmare for a presidential candidate. This is not age-ism. It is time to pass the torch. Not to pass the torch to new people, but pass the torch to new IDEAS --- to new approaches.
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Re: Precedent for President

Postby Faradave on October 23rd, 2019, 10:24 pm 

Redistribution of wealth (taxation & entitlement) is a tempting pipedream. People need something rewarding to do. Staring at screens is ultimately unfulfilling. Growth demands being part of something bigger than one's self. The MAGA slogan conveys something very close to that.

I suspect that "being part of" involves applying one's talents and a sense of ownership. Anything that achieves that is a "good job". No one has to tell me to sweep my own sidewalk. If I'm a shareholder in Starbucks, I tend to walk an extra block to get my coffee there.

Socialism and communism seem to have the opposite effect as with common pastures which always tend to be over grazed and under cared for. People sense it.
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Re: why Trump is President

Postby TheVat on October 24th, 2019, 10:27 am 

Nordic Model socialist democracy isn't as bad. Social science studies of those nations find high rates of happiness and employment. Yang's proposal would actually go more that direction, from what I've seen of it in the first debates. It would eliminate a lot of welfare bureaucracy, and just give everyone a buffer against destitution, but not so much that you wouldn't still be motivated to work for more income and the other more intangible goals of an occupational pursuit. Sure, a few people would stay home in efficiency apartments playing video games or whatever, or just be buddhists living a life of contemplating, but there are always people like that.

Interesting article - agree there is great need for fresh ideas, as some of the primary candidates are providing.

Trump did offer the illusion of change to the working class, including the pipedream of onshoring jobs already gone, of keeping out scary brown immigrants that some already feared (and could focus on as a way to place blame for their own problems), of rescuing a defunct energy technology already on its way out, and restoring some fantasy of a white christian culture that appealed to people buried in a Grievance Culture. Why people didn't notice he was a reality tv huckster with a history of mob connections, welshing on construction contracts, who had declared bankruptcy four times, who had repeatedly slandered a very popular president, who had Joseph McCarthy's lawyer for years, who hired tons of undocumented workers himself in his hotels, who had publicly extolled the ease of molesting women, who boasted on his talent for cheating, etc....was because so many could see just what they wanted to see, choosing social media and news media that helped keep blinders on at all times.

Good journalism isn't, as historian Howard Zinn once noted, getting ALL the facts. It is rather the ability to determine which facts are important and getting those facts before the public. And it also requires an educated populace (as Jefferson kept harping on) who actively DEMAND those sorts of facts. Let's face it, Trump is just a symptom of the ascent of "Idiocracy."
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Re: why Trump is President

Postby TheVat on October 24th, 2019, 10:36 am 

Due to the meaty topic Hyksos has provided us, I am promoting this thread to the Political Theory section.
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Re: why Trump is President

Postby Serpent on October 24th, 2019, 10:56 am 

Instead of asking why the disaffected, underserviced populations of dysfunctional economies are easy to seduce with facile slogans, why not ask what went right with populations that have a high rate of education, tolerance and life-satisfaction?
Or you can glance back at all the historical instances of a demagogue persuading a population to act against its own best interest. All he has to do is offer to raise their self-esteem by designating a scapegoat to blame for all the troubles caused by the prevailing system.
Or you can go a little bit deeper and examine the operating principles of capitalism.
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Re: why Trump is President

Postby hyksos on October 27th, 2019, 7:55 am 

Image
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Re: why Trump is President

Postby TheVat on October 27th, 2019, 11:53 am 

Code bracket doesn't work. Img bracket does. Fixed it.

Any interpretive material to go with this? What are the actual proportions the color codings indicate?
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Re: why Trump is President

Postby hyksos on October 29th, 2019, 8:47 pm 

TheVat » October 27th, 2019, 7:53 pm wrote:Code bracket doesn't work. Img bracket does. Fixed it.

Any interpretive material to go with this? What are the actual proportions the color codings indicate?

Color indicates the predominant economic activity in that state during the year, where color indicates economy sector.
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Re: why Trump is President

Postby hyksos on October 29th, 2019, 8:49 pm 

More data from the Brexit states.

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Re: why Trump is President

Postby Serpent on October 29th, 2019, 11:34 pm 

We know what they did. We never hear about what was done to them.
It's not simply a matter of economics - people losing their jobs to technology and off-shoring.
There are several other important factors:
- a growing network of right-wing "news" media, which systematically spread distrust of their mainstream counterparts
- the browser feature that directs internet users to the sources that reinforce their prejudices
- blatantly non-factual reporting by those sources
- unbridled fear-mongering and scapegoating by right-wing pundits and candidates
- immense amounts of corporate money supporting right-wing candidates, causes and talking-points
- egregious election manipulating, fraud, gerrymandering and voter suppression by Republican state governments
- the systematic purging from the Republican party of moderate and reasonable voices since 1980
- poor to terrible social policies at the state level
- incoherent economic policies at the federal level
- inordinate amounts of money spent on idiotic wars, intrusive 'security' measures and international intrigue, to the detriment of infrastructure and public education
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