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wardd
01-17-2014, 03:02 PM
This may explain why Republican officials who have been casting their votes against unions, against expanding Medicaid, against raising the minimum wage, against extended unemployment insurance, and against jobs bills that would put people to work, continue to be elected and re-elected. They obviously have the support of corporate patrons who want to keep unemployment high and workers insecure because a pliant working class helps their bottom lines. But they also, paradoxically, get the votes of many workers who are clinging so desperately to their jobs that they’re afraid of change and too cowed to make a ruckus.

http://www.salon.com/2014/01/17/robert_reich_red_state_voters_are_paralyzed_by_eco nomic_anxieties_partner/

ahp
01-17-2014, 03:12 PM
http://www.salon.com/2014/01/17/robert_reich_red_state_voters_are_paralyzed_by_eco nomic_anxieties_partner/

Karl Marx commented that one tool the capitalists had for suppressing the workers was "The Reserve Army of the Unemployed".

The sad thing is that the red state proletariat are being screwed and they don't know why or how. The Republicans are very good at pointing the finger, some other place.

skuthorp
01-17-2014, 04:22 PM
There it is again:
"that they’re afraid of change and too cowed to make a ruckus."

wardd
01-17-2014, 05:41 PM
There it is again:
"that they’re afraid of change and too cowed to make a ruckus."

until recently how well has boehner stood up to the tparty?

Durnik
01-17-2014, 06:12 PM
wardd posted -
until recently how well has boehner stood up to the tparty?

Immanuel Wallerstein (http://www2.binghamton.edu/fbc/archive/iw-hk-pao.htm)


The existing system has not created two homogenized classes (much less one homogenized humanity), but a subtle skein of privilege and exploitation.

Boehner lives in fear of change, too.

Fear, it's all they got.

enjoy
bobby

elf
01-17-2014, 06:20 PM
Damn. And I just changed my avatar.

S.V. Airlie
01-17-2014, 06:26 PM
http://www.salon.com/2014/01/17/robert_reich_red_state_voters_are_paralyzed_by_eco nomic_anxieties_partner/I don't think the job bills put people to work. It does keep many watching TV and the soaps though.

C. Ross
01-17-2014, 06:45 PM
My goodness, how ... desperate?

By comparison, consider this analysis and data-rich article on the same subject in the very liberal Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/oct/29/working-class-voters-america-republican

Shall we decompose Mr. Reich's argument?


For years political scientists have wondered why so many working class and poor citizens of so-called “red” states vote against their economic self-interest. The usual explanation is that, for these voters, economic issues are trumped by social and cultural issues like guns, abortion, and race.


Well ... yeah. Occam's razor is usually pretty sharp. But really, since it's so frustrating that those damn poor people don't believe in and vote for good solid liberal values (I mean how dare they turn their backs on their patrons?) Mr Reich looks for a more ... complex explanation.


I’m not so sure.

Oh oh. Turn back.


The wages of production workers have been dropping for thirty years, adjusted for inflation, and their economic security has disappeared. Companies can and do shut down, sometimes literally overnight. A smaller share of working-age Americans hold jobs today than at any time in more than three decades.

True, true, and true. And quite a problem.


People are so desperate for jobs they don’t want to rock the boat. They don’t want rules and regulations enforced that might cost them their livelihoods. For them, a job is precious — sometimes even more precious than a safe workplace or safe drinking water.

OK, so let's think it through. Someone in the secrecy of the voting booth doesn't want to rock the boat because of retribution? No, no, he's arguing it's because of the actual consequences. Fair enough.

So he's saying that poor people are insightful enough to understand that voting for candidates who favor enforcement of rules and regulations (or maybe will create even more new ones) might lead to losing their jobs.

Well, if it's true - and I think it is more likely a soothing apologia for why those damn poor people don't love Democrats even more than they already do, since most DO vote Democratic - why is that conclusion ... wrong? Why shouldn't someone put an imperfect job ahead of a job with more workplace safety and cleaner water. I might not choose that, you might not choose that, but is it ... wrong?

PeterSibley
01-17-2014, 06:59 PM
It's not wrong but it will result in a negative bidding war between state legislatures to lower their workplace or waste control regulations. I mean they are in competition with China and Vietnam.

The results could be interesting .

C. Ross
01-17-2014, 07:12 PM
absolutely true Peter. The problem is that we don't know howto create enough jobs to compete with cheap Asian labor and environmental standards.that could be a political issue but I think it's more an industrial issue. I worry about this a lot.

oznabrag
01-17-2014, 07:52 PM
Karl Marx commented that one tool the capitalists had for suppressing the workers was "The Reserve Army of the Unemployed".

The sad thing is that the red state proletariat are being screwed and they don't know why or how. The Republicans are very good at pointing the finger, some other place.
Another tool that only US capitalists have to ensure a compliant workforce is workplace-linked healthcare. There are a whole lot of people who hate their jobs and can not leave their health care.

Only in America.

@Mr. Ross: When you get up on your self righteous soapbox and begin pontificating your pretensions to understanding the working class, I begin to experience waves of nausea and inexplicable urges toward sociopathy.

Please desist.

Thanks in advance.

Your pal,

Oznabrag

wardd
01-17-2014, 08:30 PM
absolutely true Peter. The problem is that we don't know howto create enough jobs to compete with cheap Asian labor and environmental standards.that could be a political issue but I think it's more an industrial issue. I worry about this a lot.

it's fast coming to a time when not enough jobs can be created at any one time unless it's government sponsored make work jobs

johnw
01-17-2014, 08:40 PM
My goodness, how ... desperate?

By comparison, consider this analysis and data-rich article on the same subject in the very liberal Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/oct/29/working-class-voters-america-republican

Shall we decompose Mr. Reich's argument?



Well ... yeah. Occam's razor is usually pretty sharp. But really, since it's so frustrating that those damn poor people don't believe in and vote for good solid liberal values (I mean how dare they turn their backs on their patrons?) Mr Reich looks for a more ... complex explanation.



Oh oh. Turn back.



True, true, and true. And quite a problem.



OK, so let's think it through. Someone in the secrecy of the voting booth doesn't want to rock the boat because of retribution? No, no, he's arguing it's because of the actual consequences. Fair enough.

So he's saying that poor people are insightful enough to understand that voting for candidates who favor enforcement of rules and regulations (or maybe will create even more new ones) might lead to losing their jobs.

Well, if it's true - and I think it is more likely a soothing apologia for why those damn poor people don't love Democrats even more than they already do, since most DO vote Democratic - why is that conclusion ... wrong? Why shouldn't someone put an imperfect job ahead of a job with more workplace safety and cleaner water. I might not choose that, you might not choose that, but is it ... wrong?

I'm with you on this. I haven't been impressed by Richard Reich's analysis since -- well, ever.

You didn't have to live through a time when the "hardhats" were attacking hippies to know that this is about the culture wars, not economics, and certainly not some notion of false consciousness, the old Marxist excuse for the fact that actual workers didn't much like their ideas.

C. Ross
01-17-2014, 09:11 PM
@Mr. Ross: When you get up on your self righteous soapbox and begin pontificating your pretensions to understanding the working class, I begin to experience waves of nausea and inexplicable urges toward sociopathy.

Please desist.

Thanks in advance.

Your pal,

Oznabrag

Ouch. I'll do my best to warn you in the future.

If I don't understand the working class, by god I understand liberal academic elitism. That's what I was pontificating about - fight fire with fire, I say!

(And if anybody is climbing a soapbox, it's gotta be the 4' 11" Reich. I'm 6'5". In any case...johnw said it better than me.)

wardd...probably true, and not a good thing. I seriously have no idea who's going to create jobs for people with a high school degree or less, and without some kind of trade skill. Unskilled service jobs might be an ok starter job for a single 20-something, but it doesn't look like those jobs lead much of anywhere.

Anyway, I've digressed from the political slant of this thread. Carry on.

Soundbounder
01-18-2014, 05:48 AM
What's The Matter With Kansas? (2004) looks at this issue extensively. It's one of the best books I've read in the past decade.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/What's_the_Matter_with_Kansas%3F


Not these days. Out here the gravity of discontent pulls in only one direction: to the right, to the right, further to the right. Strip today's Kansans of their job security, and they head out to become registered Republicans. Push them off their land, and next thing you know they're protesting in front of abortion clinics. Squander their life savings on manicures for the CEO (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CEO), and there's a good chance they'll join the John Birch Society (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Birch_Society). But ask them about the remedies their ancestors proposed (unions, antitrust, public ownership), and you might as well be referring to the days when knighthood was in flower.

slug
01-18-2014, 06:34 AM
Polarized by economic anxieties ?



hmmm...its not so simple.


My take is that people who live in places like Kansas , or other fly over states, have a deep distrust of the elites from the left and right coasts who rule the country. anything that these coastal elites propose is resisted.

America would function better if it was dimembered into three new countries...left coast ruled by space cadets, right coast ruled by blue bloods and the fly over zone ruled by good ole boys.

C. Ross
01-18-2014, 09:13 AM
OK Oznabrag, you may want to look the other way now.

Interesting comments, and I've got to read "What's the Matter With Kansas?" My parents live there and I sure can't figure it out.

I highly recommend the Guardian piece I linked to earlier. Some excerpts:


So why do poor people vote Republican? The first thing to note is that most of them don't. In 2008 73% of those who earned less than $15,000, 60% of those who earned between $15,000 and $30,000, and 55% of those who earned between $30,000 and $50,000 voted for Obama. This year 57% of those earning less than $36,000 plan to vote Democrat as do 50% of those with a high school diploma or less. Even in deeply conservative Mississippi the overwhelming majority of the poor voted for Obama.

...

The question of why poor people vote Republican is not simply an issue of income but primarily race and partly region and gender. Poor people may be more likely to vote Democrat; poor white people are not. In 2008 McCain won a slim majority (51%) of white Americans who earn less than $50,000 (this is just below the national median income which is not poor but the only figure available from exit polls that breaks down votes down by race and income), while Obama won a whopping majority of non-whites in the same category (86%). Asked in May which candidate would do more to advance their family's economic interests middle-class white voters who say they are struggling to maintain their financial positions gave Romney a 26 point lead over Obama.

But that support is less pronounced among white women than white men and is not uniform across the country. In Mississippi 84% of whites who earn below $50,000 backed McCain: in Vermont 70% in the same category voted for Obama. Of the nine states that backed Obama in 2008 in three less affluent whites went for McCain, in five they backed Obama and one was a tie. In all of them non-whites voted Democrat.

"In Republican states, rich and poor have similar views on social issues," wrote Andrew Gelman, Lake Kenworthy and Yu-Sung Su in a paper, Income inequality and partisan voting in the United States, in the Social Science Quarterly. "But in Democratic states, the rich are quite a bit more socially liberal than the poor. Factors such as religion and education result in a less clear pattern of class-based voting than we might expect based on income in- equality alone."

The fact that race is a factor does not necessarily follow that racism is the driving force (more of that later) or that Obama's race is the principle motivating force. Things are more complicated than that. ... Race is so deeply embedded in American history and culture that to talk of where politics ends and race begins sets up a false dichotomy. Since the end of the second world war Democrats have only once (in 1964) won the presidency with a majority of the white vote. A far higher percentage and number of whites voted for Obama than voted for Kerry.

On some level explaining why poorer whites would vote for the Republicans demands a resource sorely lacking in American political culture at present – particularly during election time: empathy. There are more to "interests" than just the economic. If someone's core conviction is that abortion is murder or gay marriage is wrong then their decision to vote for a candidate who is against abortion or gay marriage is not an act of delusion but conviction. In any case working class white voters who are against abortion are significantly more likely to vote Democrat than their more affluent counterparts. So the economy still matters.

But it is not the only consideration. In 2008 Obama won narrowly among people who earn $200,000 or more. Given his plans to tax high earners more heavily many of them were voting against their economic interests as do Warren Buffett, George Soros and all of Obama's wealthy funders. If poor states voting Republican is a paradox then the fact that 9 out of 10 states with the highest median income vote Democrat is no less so.

Moreover some people, despite being poor, legitimately believe in free market and small government, even if it doesn't benefit them in precisely the same way that wealthy people may favour greater government intervention even if it doesn't benefit them.

...poverty is not necessarily a permanent state. People fall in and climb out of it. Americans are particularly reluctant to describe themselves as even working class let alone poor. A Pew survey in 2008 revealed that 91% believe they are either middle class, upper-middle class or lower-middle class. Relatively few claim to be working class or upper class, intimating more of a cultural aspiration than an economic relationship. Amy Pezzani, the executive director of the Larimer county food bank in Colorado, explained that politicians are reluctant to refer to "the poor" and "poverty" because it turns low-income voters off. "People who find themselves in these situations don't want to consider themselves poor. They're more likely to refer to themselves as the 'struggling middle class'.

In a report from Minnesota earlier this year the New York Times examined the growing number of people who were simultaneously dependent on government aid and against more government spending. "Many people say they are angry because the government is wasting money and giving money to people who do not deserve it," it concluded. "But more than that, they say they want to reduce the role of government in their own lives. They are frustrated that they need help, feel guilty for taking it and resent the government for providing it. They say they want less help for themselves; less help in caring for relatives; less assistance when they reach old age."

In a country where social mobility is assumed – even if it has in fact stalled – and class consciousness is week the poor may vote in the interests of an imagined, but not necessarily imaginary future, rather than solidarity based on shared economic hardships. A Gallup poll in 2005 showed that while only 2% of Americans described themselves as "rich", 31% thought it very likely or somewhat likely they would "ever be rich". No doubt that figure will have dropped since the crisis but it doubtless remains high.

In fact, the truly shocking thing about income and voting patterns in the US isn't the number of poor people who vote Republican but the number who don't vote at all. Inequality in income is intimately related to inequality in turnout. In 2008, 41% of voters who earn less than $10,000 voted; among those who earn more than $150,000 the figure was 78%. One can only assume that many poor people do not feel they have anyone to vote for.
...

When liberals depict the existence of poor white Republicans as an expression of mass idiocy and false consciousness they not only disparage poor white people, they provide conservatives with one of their key talking points which is that liberals are elitists who look down on poorer whites.

Soundbounder
01-18-2014, 11:25 AM
By comparison, consider this analysis and data-rich article on the same subject in the very liberal Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/oct/29/working-class-voters-america-republican

Thanks for posting this.
I liked it so much that I'm going to read it again

Garret
01-18-2014, 11:44 AM
Seems to me that globalization - which is running at breakneck speed - is a simple explanation. If all markets are equally open to each other, everything will eventually even out as far as purchasing & manufacturing instead of being artificially separated. This means that workers in Vietnam & China will earn more & workers in Europe & North America will earn less.

I realize this seems simplistic, but how can it be otherwise?

C. Ross
01-18-2014, 12:17 PM
I realize this seems simplistic, but how can it be otherwise?

Yes.

And it could be otherwise if Europeans and North Americans have jobs that produce more value than manufacturing. I believe the country is splitting and will continue to split on the basis of who can get a higher value added job and who cannot.

I'm glad when President Obama and others raise the issue of income inequality. When they propose things like better education I cheer. When the argument begins to turn to how government tax policy created inequality and government tax policy can fix it, I become deeply skeptical. The divide in wealth is because of a massive and widening division in pre-tax income, and only a small fraction because of differences in taxation. And no nation, not even the Scandinavian countries and certainly not the US, would tolerate the kind of tax and wealth transfer necessary to return us to 1970s levels of income equity. This is a long term, cultural, industrial, educational, sociological problem.

slug
01-18-2014, 12:46 PM
Yes.

And it could be otherwise if Europeans and North Americans have jobs that produce more value than manufacturing. I believe the country is splitting and will continue to split on the basis of who can get a higher value added job and who cannot.

I'm glad when President Obama and others raise the issue of income inequality. When they propose things like better education I cheer. When the argument begins to turn to how government tax policy created inequality and government tax policy can fix it, I become deeply skeptical. The divide in wealth is because of a massive and widening division in pre-tax income, and only a small fraction because of differences in taxation. And no nation, not even the Scandinavian countries and certainly not the US, would tolerate the kind of tax and wealth transfer necessary to return us to 1970s levels of income equity. This is a long term, cultural, industrial, educational, sociological problem.


The wealth tax. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wealth_tax

John Smith
01-18-2014, 02:35 PM
Another tool that only US capitalists have to ensure a compliant workforce is workplace-linked healthcare. There are a whole lot of people who hate their jobs and can not leave their health care.

Only in America.

@Mr. Ross: When you get up on your self righteous soapbox and begin pontificating your pretensions to understanding the working class, I begin to experience waves of nausea and inexplicable urges toward sociopathy.

Please desist.

Thanks in advance.

Your pal,

Oznabrag
That employer based health insurance is also a major part of the "high cost of American labor" that makes us unable to compete with other nations.

First necessary step in creating good jobs here is to go to single payer.

John Smith
01-18-2014, 02:38 PM
Ouch. I'll do my best to warn you in the future.

If I don't understand the working class, by god I understand liberal academic elitism. That's what I was pontificating about - fight fire with fire, I say!

(And if anybody is climbing a soapbox, it's gotta be the 4' 11" Reich. I'm 6'5". In any case...johnw said it better than me.)

wardd...probably true, and not a good thing. I seriously have no idea who's going to create jobs for people with a high school degree or less, and without some kind of trade skill. Unskilled service jobs might be an ok starter job for a single 20-something, but it doesn't look like those jobs lead much of anywhere.

Anyway, I've digressed from the political slant of this thread. Carry on.
How about we begin with modernizing our infrastructure, using domestically supplied materials? That will provide a demand that will get these industries going, and, hopefully, private demand will keep them going.

Osborne Russell
01-18-2014, 03:26 PM
I highly recommend the Guardian piece I linked to earlier. Some excerpts:


When liberals depict the existence of poor white Republicans as an expression of mass idiocy and false consciousness they not only disparage poor white people, they provide conservatives with one of their key talking points which is that liberals are elitists who look down on poorer whites.

Let the truth be told:

1. They're idiots full of false consciousness; and they're by no means all poor.

2. The only reason anyone takes up their cause is for their votes and their money. I invite anyone cynical enough to do so, to do so and be damned.

3. There is a mass of them because they are the lowest common denominator.

They're full of false consciousness because they are lazy and cowardly. Because they are lazy and cowardly, they are ignorant and bigoted. They expect most questions to be settled by reference to accepted prejudices.

They are insecure economically and culturally because they want the maximum of security for the minimum of effort -- because they are lazy and cowardly -- and it hasn't worked out, because it can't. They want a situation where their economic and culturally security can be assumed, including protection from being "looked down upon." That would require a government of powers near-magical in extent and efficiency. Huge in scope, capable of steering and securing economics and culture, but invisible in operation, and cheap bordering on free. All on behalf of people who can't be bothered to learn much about it. F them.

Osborne Russell
01-18-2014, 03:28 PM
How about we begin with modernizing our infrastructure, using domestically supplied materials? That will provide a demand that will get these industries going, and, hopefully, private demand will keep them going.

Sounds like a plan, economically. Culturally, forget it. Where's the getting ahead? <-- The heart's desire of the Right. Pushing a wheelbarrow, are you kidding?

johnw
01-18-2014, 04:04 PM
That employer based health insurance is also a major part of the "high cost of American labor" that makes us unable to compete with other nations.

First necessary step in creating good jobs here is to go to single payer.

We have one of the most productive (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_%28PPP%29_per_hour_worked ) workforces in the world. That's why we have one of the highest median incomes (http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/sites/soc_glance-2011-en/04/01/g4_ge1-01.html?itemId=/content/chapter/soc_glance-2011-6-en) in the world. That's markets acting as they should. Certainly, we'd get more for our incomes if we had lower health care costs, but American workers are not expensive for the productivity they provide.

Keith Wilson
01-18-2014, 04:14 PM
They're full of false consciousness because they are lazy and cowardly. . . A bit uncharitable, I think. I've worked with a fair number of conservative white working-class folks over the years, some evangelical Protestants, who voted very much against their economic self-interest. They didn't think so, of course. Very few of them could be described as either lazy or cowardly. Ignorant, sometimes, and often badly mistaken about quite a few things, but certainly not lazy and almost never cowardly.

wardd
01-18-2014, 04:21 PM
the republicans retain their power by promising the gun nut their guns, the social conservatives no abortion and gay marriage and the wealthy low taxes

Landrith
01-18-2014, 08:20 PM
absolutely true Peter. The problem is that we don't know howto create enough jobs to compete with cheap Asian labor and environmental standards.that could be a political issue but I think it's more an industrial issue. I worry about this a lot.

I would settle for you just not taxing the rest of us to subsidize the transfer of those jobs to Asia and to subsidize the infrastructure in other countries required to keep those jobs, and yes not sending our troops to maintain the security in those other countries and along the shipping lanes.

PeterSibley
01-18-2014, 09:09 PM
I would settle for you just not taxing the rest of us to subsidize the transfer of those jobs to Asia and to subsidize the infrastructure in other countries required to keep those jobs, and yes not sending our troops to maintain the security in those other countries and along the shipping lanes.

Your corporations need that security to keep importing cheap Asian imports and making blinding fortune, your young men do the dying and your citizens pay the taxes. The corporations seem happy.

Canoeyawl
01-18-2014, 10:38 PM
Polarized by economic anxieties ?
hmmm...its not so simple

America would function better if it was dimembered into three new countries...left coast ruled by space cadets, right coast ruled by blue bloods and the fly over zone ruled by good ole boys.

Like Israel, Iraq and Iran... perfect harmony

Garret
01-18-2014, 11:05 PM
I would settle for you just not taxing the rest of us to subsidize the transfer of those jobs to Asia and to subsidize the infrastructure in other countries required to keep those jobs, and yes not sending our troops to maintain the security in those other countries and along the shipping lanes.

Who wants that? Besides the corporations, that is. Show me someone left of center that supports policies like that. That's a Republican agenda.

slug
01-19-2014, 02:35 AM
Economists have long understood that America's tort system acts as a serious drag on economy.

This 850 billion dollar per year drag reduces competitiness and costs jobs.

oznabrag
01-19-2014, 11:09 AM
Has anybody ever see Slug and Thud in the same place?

wardd
01-19-2014, 12:27 PM
Has anybody ever see Slug and Thud in the same place?

nobody has ever seen me and superman in the same place

Osborne Russell
01-19-2014, 12:47 PM
A bit uncharitable, I think. I've worked with a fair number of conservative white working-class folks over the years, some evangelical Protestants, who voted very much against their economic self-interest. They didn't think so, of course. Very few of them could be described as either lazy or cowardly. Ignorant, sometimes, and often badly mistaken about quite a few things, but certainly not lazy and almost never cowardly.

They're not pacifists, that's for sure. They're not opposed to butt-kicking, they just want to hire it out, unless maybe they can do it within the safety of a mob -- nah, best leave it to the authorities! That old-time lowest common denominator banality of evil kind of vicious cowardice.

A product of their essential cowardice and/or laziness, i.e. the refusal to question the assumptions on which their culture is built and take an individual stand pro or con. However expedient that refusal may appear the first few times, after a couple of decades they aren't just ignorant, but firmly bigoted in their lazy, cowardly ignorance and practiced at rationalizing it. Meanwhile their conscience hounds them and the culture is seen to have betrayed them, as history marches on. So they construct a reactionary emotion-ideology which they imagine will relieve them of the consequences of their choice not to educate themselves or question their culture. They used to be insulated by conformity, which they imagined produced an acceptable level of security without the need for too much government.


We don't let our hair grow long and shaggy
Beads and Roman sandals won't be seen
We don't burn our draft cards down at the courthouse
'Cause we like livin' right and bein' free.

-- Merle Haggard, "Okie From Muscogee"


But once the conformity evaporates, and the perceived security with it, here's what's left: a mass of people unequipped by temperament and thus also unequipped by education or experience to re-establish it by persuasion of their fellow citizens, who therefore want the government to coerce it back into existence -- their so-called "social conservatism".

Durnik
01-19-2014, 12:50 PM
Has anybody ever see Slug and Thud in the same place?

For them to be the same, the latter has learned a whole lot since the former went bye-bye. Has Slug even once even implied 'the darkie did all teh bad stuff'? - that being most of Thuds 'message'.



Canoeyawl had the basic point, but here's slugs comment with a piece CY left out.



Polarized by economic anxieties ?



hmmm...its not so simple.


My take is that people who live in places like Kansas , or other fly over states, have a deep distrust of the elites from the left and right coasts who rule the country. anything that these coastal elites propose is resisted.

America would function better if it was dimembered into three new countries...left coast ruled by space cadets, right coast ruled by blue bloods and the fly over zone ruled by good ole boys.

The bolded part is mostly true - but left out is just whom is 'stoking the fire' of 'distrust the liberuls'.. IE, follow the money - which brings us back to the op.


Further up the page I saw reference to & denial of poor conservatives voting against their own best interests. To those who deny, I give this - Republicans are the Party of the Wealthy. AL, MS, TN, OK, LA & on vote Tpublican.. even tho they're all (mostly) poor. That they are uneducated almost goes without saying. It takes a large blind spot to not realize there is a massive propaganda campaign going on in the U.S. - & either denial or outright lying to say it's not coming from the collusion of the social & economic conservatives.

The question the tea baggers ask is "why do they hate america?" Well, why _do_ the tea baggers, the poor (& their handlers, the wealthy) hate america" - cause it sure as hell ain't the progressives/liberals bent on destroying everything!




nobody has ever seen me and superman in the same place

Super!, man.. ;-)

enjoy
bobby

C. Ross
01-19-2014, 01:41 PM
Osborne, I'm interested in your comments but I'm not sure who exactly "they" are in your context. Can you define it a little?

Landrith
01-19-2014, 02:07 PM
This "What's Wrong With Kansas?" line is the lingering failure liberals feel over people leaving the rust belt for the chances of jobs in the Texas oil industry in the early 1980's. Why did these model working class Northern, unionized Blue collar workers leave when their jobs were killed? And, why did they stop voting for social safety nets when clearly they would have benefited from increased spending in housing and education? The reason still haunts those that are unable to see David Rockefeller's funding behind their information sources and the globalists' plan to deindustrialize America.

If you go back to those people who left the urban North East in the 1980's. They were leaving failing schools and failing cities, where local government was allocating resources not for what was needed for operations but instead based on some warped idea of reparations. So increased government spending was not one of their priorities. Also, the government programs, unemployment benefits and later food stamps as the joblessness wore on were not going to save their homes or way of life. Their kids were not going to grow up and get work there either. Rockefeller's service economy did not include everybody, and almost no one in it had a living wage. The saying at the time was "everybody couldn't work at McDonalds or mow each other's lawns for a living." There had to be more:

"A gradual expansion of the U.S. trade deficit with China began in 1985. In the ensuing years the U.S. developed a massive trade deficit with the Asian nations of China, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea. As a result, the traditional manufacturing workers in the region have experienced economic upheaval. This effect has devastated government budgets across the U.S and increased corporate borrowing to fund retiree benefits.[26][27] Some economists believe that GDP and employment can be dragged down by large long-run trade deficits.[30][31][32][33]
A March 3, 2008 Wall Street Journal editorial claimed that, while Ohio lost 10,000 jobs in the past decade, Texas created 1.6 million new jobs. The editorial stated, "Ohio's most crippling handicap may be that its politicians – and thus its employers – are still in the grip of such industrial unions as the United Auto Workers."[34] A September 13, 2008 opinion column by Phil Gramm and Mike Solon stated, "Yes, Michigan lost 83,000 auto manufacturing jobs during the past decade and a half, but more than 91,000 new auto manufacturing jobs sprung up in Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia and Texas."[35]" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rust_Belt

In actuality the Liberals and Progressives spend too much time crying about those lost sheep. The reality was that in the 1980's, a larger cohort of Blue collar workers abandoned the Democrat party. The national union leadership could not deliver their members' votes in the surviving heavy industry that was dominated by defense spending. Reagan copied the Kennedy brother's strategy of steering defense jobs to where people had voted the wrong way. The East and West Coasts got the largess to help secure Reagan's reelection while Kansas and MidWest stayed in the recession (we called it Central America for a reason). I remember my IAM shop steward telling us to vote Republican, it would bring more jobs. Even though we were building airliners, not doing military work.

Obama, like Clinton was able to get the benefit of the union rank and file and their organized electioneering. However, under Obama, massive spending (i.e. the $700 Trillion bail out of the financial sector) did not lead to more jobs. Look at who is getting the jobs despite no income tax and doing everything wrong according to our Liberal forumites: Texas http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/05/houston-is-unstoppable-why-texas-juggernaut-is-americas-1-job-creator/275927/

If you count this boom with the Dakotas and Montana, you probably have a replay of the migration to Texas and the Sun Belt. If you are a stake holder in the government jobs to service this population, you might not like seeing your customers leave, and worse yet taking their intergenerational employment traditions with them to create revenue for Southern and Western states. Maybe we will get to write about a migration of teachers, social workers and college professors in the future.

skuthorp
01-19-2014, 02:37 PM
Population is a big part of the problem, too much population for the jobs that are and will be available in developed countries. And despite best efforts TV sport, talent shows and soft porn movies do not fill the gap. Then there's the post-war population bump retiring if they can. As for govt. welfare, many are actually subsidies to corporations paying sweat shop wages, and it's not a long term plan is it?

slug
01-19-2014, 03:37 PM
To produce the goods and services that society needs only requires half the workforce. This wont change no matter what policy you enact. Society will need to find a way to deal with the surplus workforce.

wardd
01-19-2014, 03:50 PM
To produce the goods and services that society needs only requires half the workforce. This wont change no matter what policy you enact. Society will need to find a way to deal with the surplus workforce.

in the near future that percentage will be less

Durnik
01-19-2014, 04:03 PM
....

Society will need to find a way to deal with the surplus workforce.

Conservatives have one, in a nutshell - "let them starve".

peace
bobby

bobbys
01-19-2014, 05:16 PM
Conservatives have one, in a nutshell - "let them starve".

peace
bobby
Who said that and please post a link.

Landrith
01-19-2014, 05:24 PM
To produce the goods and services that society needs only requires half the workforce. This wont change no matter what policy you enact. Society will need to find a way to deal with the surplus workforce.

I think you are falling for the David Rockefeller/Globalist/Death Cult/Neocon/Statist world view based on Malthusian principles. There was probably no decrease in human workers supplying products to North America between the 1970's and today. The myth furthered by Neocon tool Jeremy Rifkin in his 1995 book The End of Work: The Decline of the Global Labor Force and the Dawn of the Post-Market Era was just the Neocons and their white shoe Republican friends preparing you for their Neo-feudalism.

More growth equals more wealth, better environmental conditions, more demand, and falling birthrates. Growth is abhorrent to government. Government's business model is control and taxation. If the economy grows, changes and empowers more people, there is less demand for government.

Tom Hunter
01-19-2014, 05:26 PM
Find me an instance of Robert Reich asking any of these people why they vote the way they do. He makes stuff up and hopes we will not question it. A lot like the Cal Thomas editorial I commented on earlier today.

oznabrag
01-19-2014, 05:35 PM
...
More growth equals more wealth, better environmental conditions, more demand, and falling birthrates. Growth is abhorrent to government. Government's business model is control and taxation. If the economy grows, changes and empowers more people, there is less demand for government.

Aside from being confused about almost everything, you have this idea completely backwards.

Name any organism that grows forever.

The economy must stop growing or we will run out of Earth to exploit.
In fact, we are past that point already.

The thing that angers me most is people like you, who somehow have convinced themselves that their own, particular version of greed is good.

There. I said it!

slug
01-19-2014, 05:49 PM
Aside from being confused about almost everything, you have this idea completely backwards.

Name any organism that grows forever.

The economy must stop growing or we will run out of Earth to exploit.
In fact, we are past that point already.

The thing that angers me most is people like you, who somehow have convinced themselves that their own, particular version of greed is good.

There. I said it!
Yes indeed..growth. Its unsustainable. Already humans have stripped the earth clean of resources.

the future will not be about growth, it will be about the quality of life, the quality of the water you drink, the food you eat.

robots will supply the needed products and services...humans will maintain the ecosystem

Landrith
01-19-2014, 05:53 PM
Oznabrag, you are insightful. I am following that Ayn Rand idea "greed is good". I also look to biological models utilizing energy in the environment. My take away is that competition in the environment among organisms, leads to the most efficient use of inputs. That is the first thing government works to destroy. Or more precisely, the first thing super capitalists use government for to protect their accumulated wealth from growth and change. The reason why we fight increased governance is that it does not save or preserve. It kills. Our guy was Julian Lincoln Simon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Simon. More people equals more problems equals more solutions.

People that want government to pick winners or allocate resources don't realize who is controlling government and are defenseless and unable to rationally address public policy. I said on another thread, give government a cookie and it will give you a war. Look at how growth threatening environmental harm say in agriculture was handled by this administration, just turn over any possibility of regulation to Monsanto. A free market and rule of law would kill Monsanto. Monsanto needs government protection and ever increasing government inputs. Go look at the fat kids on today's school playgrounds and think about whether Monsanto needs your maximum protection and subsidization. Its just like how government handles its foreign policy...

Keith Wilson
01-19-2014, 06:27 PM
I am following that Ayn Rand idea "greed is good". I also look to biological models utilizing energy in the environment. My take away is that competition in the environment among organisms, leads to the most efficient use of inputs. If you look to biological models, you must recognize that human beings have been so successful because we cooperate better, more thoroughly, and on a larger scale than any other species - except perhaps the social insects, which have also been spectacularly successful. That's what we're good at; our intelligence allows us to build gigantic incredibly complex networks of cooperation. Consider all that's necessary for us to have this conversation. Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum (later Ayn Rand) was badly damaged by her childhood in Soviet Russia, and understood nothing about biology. The idea that natural systems are optimally efficient is utter flaming nonsense.

Anarcho-Capitalism leads to the rule by the Monsantos of this world far more reliably than imperfect messy democracy.

Book recommendation: Mutual Aid, by Peter Kropotkin. He was the father of modern Anarchism, and didn't like government any better than you do, but he understood things far better than Ayn Rand.

purri
01-19-2014, 07:19 PM
And don't forget an alternative is anarcho-syndicalism. Anyone read Proudhon?

BTW I'll vote for this as thread of the year if such exists.

Landrith
01-19-2014, 08:42 PM
There you go Keith with your communitarianism. lol. Ayn Rand was not so inspired by biology as she was by what you and I would now call Social Darwinism. I was talking about absolute competition and use of inputs in an ecosystem. What occurs in nature as opposed to what occurs when resource inputs are controlled, such as displacing indigenous plants with a mono crop. Less diversity, more vulnerability to disease, and ultimately less adapted or efficient in the use of energy. Not that I am arguing for a utopic return to primitivism like Daniel Quinn did in Ishmael. I am just saying that with government (and especially government policy makers guided by "Science") you are far more likely to get big mistakes like Lysenkoism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysenkoism . When resources are within private ownership and allocated in competition, you tend to get diverse solutions to problems and resources are more protected.

You are hitting the root of our disagreement though. Some of our past applied Free market people (notably Dr. Paul Craig Roberts) have backed away from endorsing libertarian-Republican practices because of the lawless destruction of the American financial sector (and the world economy) by a few too big to fail private actors that went entirely without regulation from Clinton through Obama. Libertarians would argue that private property should have been protected from this massive fraud theft and they have a good point that if government did not bail them out, natural selection would have solved the problem. However you and I associate with the two governing parties responsible and we created policies where Lloyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon did not go to prison http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-paul/jamie-dimon-and-lloyd-bla_b_3009036.html. This coupled with almost all US media concentrated in six corporations http://www.businessinsider.com/these-6-corporations-control-90-of-the-media-in-america-2012-6 deeply committed to the further concentration of wealth and statism, even at the cost of their profitability, and your measuring points of a healthy egalitarian civil society go out the window.

I can speak for my side of the fence. The only people trying to rein in the globalist corporations and their confiscation of public and private funds, not to mention protected confiscation of natural resources are the Tea party Republicans and the libertarian Republicans you are most critical of. They probably won't succeed. The new budget deal is an example. We could go listen to Rockefeller's National Petroleum Radio and feel good that the new budget saves the whales or polar bears, but look at that military spending. Every depleted uranium round fired in every war in the MidEast to consolidate the losing last years of the petroenergy monopoly and retain their profitability and continued pollution at public expense while they dictate our future policies is obscene. It can only happen when government becomes too strong. I try to support policies that increase individual liberty. If I vote, I will likely vote for Tea Party Republican or libertarian-Republican candidates. I feel that if I do, it will be a vote against our modern robber-barons. By the way, Ayn Rand hated libertarians. She thought it made more sense to stick with the established political power. Alan Greenspan proved that right.

Osborne Russell
01-20-2014, 12:00 AM
This "What's Wrong With Kansas?" line is the lingering failure liberals feel over people leaving the rust belt for the chances of jobs in the Texas oil industry in the early 1980's.

1. Kansas isn't in the rust belt.

2. The best data to support your contention would come from the census and/or Department of Labor, I imagine. Was it a huge number? Then it would have to be readily available. Or for some reason significant in spite of being a small number? Some kind of Exodus? I'm surprised I never heard of it before today.

3. Why would anyone let alone liberals care if people left the rust belt for jobs in the oil fields of Texas?

Osborne Russell
01-20-2014, 12:05 AM
My take away is that competition in the environment among organisms, leads to the most efficient use of inputs.

MEM in a science costume. Nature is unconcerned with efficiency or anything else. Nature doesn't have a purpose.

Landrith
01-20-2014, 03:05 AM
1. Kansas isn't in the rust belt.

2. The best data to support your contention would come from the census and/or Department of Labor, I imagine. Was it a huge number? Then it would have to be readily available. Or for some reason significant in spite of being a small number? Some kind of Exodus? I'm surprised I never heard of it before today.

3. Why would anyone let alone liberals care if people left the rust belt for jobs in the oil fields of Texas?

I will try again Osborne. I am in Kansas. Kansas is not the Rust belt. What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America (2004) is a book by Thomas Frank. I was insinuating that Thomas Frank leans toward Democratic Party ideas about government and social safety nets. I was also suggesting that in 2004 Thomas Frank was re-plowing ground in social studies about the early 80's migration of workers from the Rust Belt to jobs in the Texas Oil Fields:

"Officials in Michigan, where the unemployment rate was about 7 percent in July, said they were unconcerned about the Wyoming employment campaign, mostly because it had involved only a small fraction of the state’s workers and had not signaled a wholesale migration. The state also has some experience with this situation: in the early 1980’s, thousands of laid-off auto workers moved to Texas during the oil boom there."

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/13/us/13rust.html?ex=1315800000&en=9b6eb47e015eb8a3&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&_r=0

The collapse of industrial jobs and migration from Rust Belt jobs to the South and the West (I worked with a guy from an Ohio Steel plant that had stopped in Wichita to earn the money to move on to Phoenix) was in our consciousness at the time many people in the traditional Democratic Party Blue Collar demographic were turning Republican:

"The problems began in the auto industry. The Big Three automakers -- Ford, Chrysler and General Motors -- built 9.3 million vehicles in 1978. Three years later they built only 6.2 million. Their losses were the worst in the industry's history. There were two culprits:a severe nationwide recession and cheaper imports from Japan. (See "Car Wars," Material Things, Set 1.) Between 1978 and 1981, 300,000 auto jobs were lost. With fewer cars sold, fewer parts and less steel was required. By the end of 1981, Michigan's unemployment rate stood at nearly 13%, while the national average was 8%. Business and personal bankruptcies tripled. Mortgages went unpaid, medical bills mounted, soup kitchens proliferated. Laid-off workers were hard-pressed to find any kind of employment. Living in the Rust Belt proved impossible for many, who packed up their families and migrated to the Sunbelt. At times there seemed to be as many Michigan license plates as Texas ones on the streets of Houston, only one of several southwestern cities that boomed in the first half of the decade.

Big Steel suffered similar problems as the Big Three automakers. Foreign competition was stiff, and the wages required by unionized employees made American steel too costly to compete -- in 1982 employment costs per hour for an American steelworker was $23.99, compared to $13.45 in West Germany, $11.08 in Japan, and $2.32 in South Korea. Many mills and fabricating plants had outdated equipment. As the 18-month recession of 1981-82 drew to an end, nearly 50 percent of the industry's 450,000 workers had been laid off, and production hovered at around 30% of capacity. In 1973, American steelworkers had produced 150 million tons; ten years later the U.S. Commerce Department reckoned only 80 million tons would be needed."

http://eightiesclub.tripod.com/id336.htm

I am a Kansan so I was born Republican. I am the most Republican with the smallest income that it is humanly possible to be. But, Thomas Frank's thesis is that Kansas Republicans vote the wrong way and against their own interest and tracks very closely with college lectures given in college Political Science classes during the 1990's about those workers migrating to Texas and the Sun Belt and voting Republican against their practical self interest (at least in the eyes of college professors). Of course Thomas Frank appeared on television and a documentary film was made because what he writes about is a worthwhile critique of the Republican Party's attraction to poorer conservatives across the nation. Osborne I think you have repeatedly expressed the same sentiments.

As far as why the migration of labor in the 1980's is not more widely known until now, I don't know. Maybe its only now that the government pension funds in some North Eastern cities are being canceled that government officials are waking up to the failure of their policies. But those of us with that populist streak remember Ross Perot telling us what NAFTA and GATT would do to America. Those other guys in my party (you know Osborne, the polished, educated William F. Buckley types you like) wrote the plan. The US gets brought down because its easier than raising the rest of the world up. David Rockefeller's vision of a single global market.

PeterSibley
01-20-2014, 03:18 AM
'' The US gets brought down because its easier than raising the rest of the world up. ''

That sir is amongst the most economically irrational thing you have said, a lot of what you say makes sense but that doesn't.

Soundbounder
01-20-2014, 06:26 AM
I will try again Osborne. I am in Kansas. Kansas is not the Rust belt. What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America (2004) is a book by Thomas Frank. I was insinuating that Thomas Frank leans toward Democratic Party

You should read the book before you use it in your arguments.

Also, migration from the rust belt and northeast to the sunbelt was a postwar pattern which occurred simultaneously with the exodus to the suburbs, peaking in the 1960-70s. By the 1980s, cities such as Boston and New York (the liberal northeast, as you would say) had turned the corner and were again experiencing a net increase in population.

Keith Wilson
01-20-2014, 08:33 AM
. . . migration from the rust belt and northeast to the sunbelt was a postwar pattern which occurred simultaneously with the exodus to the suburbs, peaking in the 1960-70s.Which coincided with the large-scale introduction if air-conditioning in houses. By 1965, one could live in Dallas and be comfortable in the summer.

Thomas Frank is indeed a liberal Democrat, but his book is only marginally concerned with any kind of migration, rather with white working-class and middle-class attitudes in the Midwest and some of the South.

Landrith, you're quite right about communitarian ideas and our fundamental disagreement. I do not believe unfettered competition is at the heart of a desirable or just human society. I think Libertarianism is a hopelessly idealistic dream, plausible in theory but untethered to reality, much resembling Communism in its early years, which would produce equally bad results if put into practice. The fundamental libertarian fallacy is that only governments can be oppressive. History shows this to be false. The surest way toward rule by the Monsantos of this world is to diminish government to the point where it can no longer control corporations.

Garret
01-20-2014, 08:42 AM
"The problems began in the auto industry. The Big Three automakers -- Ford, Chrysler and General Motors -- built 9.3 million vehicles in 1978. Three years later they built only 6.2 million. Their losses were the worst in the industry's history. There were two culprits:a severe nationwide recession and cheaper imports from Japan.

The main reason was neither of these. It was Detroit's arrogance in what they produced (which is still hurting them today - though far less) - the old "We'll tell America what they want to drive" attitude. A significant 4th reason was low quality on US built vehicles.


Big Steel suffered similar problems as the Big Three automakers. Foreign competition was stiff, and the wages required by unionized employees made American steel too costly to compete -- in 1982 employment costs per hour for an American steelworker was $23.99, compared to $13.45 in West Germany, $11.08 in Japan, and $2.32 in South Korea. Many mills and fabricating plants had outdated equipment. As the 18-month recession of 1981-82 drew to an end, nearly 50 percent of the industry's 450,000 workers had been laid off, and production hovered at around 30% of capacity. In 1973, American steelworkers had produced 150 million tons

Another one with a huge piece missing: Lack of reinvestment in facilities - making US steel mills far less efficient than foreign ones.

I know you are not a Wall St. fan, but it seems to me that giving industries like this a pass on poor management is much the same as supporting Wall St. The Big Three & Steel were 2 industries that were, in many ways, too big to fail - or maybe better said, too important to fail. When we did little for steel, it caused a lot of hardship & (I'd argue) hurt our national security a great deal.

Soundbounder
01-20-2014, 09:55 AM
Which coincided with the large-scale introduction if air-conditioning in houses. By 1965, one could live in Dallas and be comfortable in the summer.

Yes, along with large amounts of federal spending (defense industry, NASA, infrastructure) that allowed many of the sunbelt cities to attract workers, not just retirees or the self-employed.


Thomas Frank is indeed a liberal Democrat, but his book is only marginally concerned with any kind of migration, rather with white working-class and middle-class attitudes in the Midwest and some of the South.

Agree, and yet Landrith seems determined to argue otherwise

Just another day in the Bilge :ycool:

Keith Wilson
01-20-2014, 09:57 AM
The main reason was neither of these. It was Detroit's arrogance in what they produced . . . Exactly. The fundamental problem with Japanese competition for the US big three automakers in the '80s was not cheaper prices (although since the Japanese made small cars, they were often cheaper) it was that the Japanese cars were simply better, in terms of both design and reliability. Remember the Pinto? The early Ford Escorts? The Chevtte? Whatever piece of crap Chrysler made - the Omni/Horizon? Thy were competing with Toyota Corollas and Camrys, Honda Civics and Accords. And you wonder why they lost market share? Now to give them credit, the US car makers got their act together and are now producing some very good cars, but at that time things were different.

Soundbounder
01-20-2014, 10:15 AM
The OPEC oil embargo was in 1973/74. Six years later, this was GM's answer to compete against all the Datsuns, VWs, Hondas, and Toyotas on the road:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PvBZIFa-aQ

Has anyone here read The Reckoning by David Halberstam?

LeeG
01-20-2014, 10:37 AM
Oznabrag, you are insightful. I am following that Ayn Rand idea "greed is good". I also look to biological models utilizing energy in the environment. My take away is that competition in the environment among organisms, leads to the most efficient use of inputs. ...

Er,uh, competition for an energy resource might make for efficient ways of acquiring it but not necessarily utilizing it. If your supply is ever expanding there is little motivation to use it efficiently, there's always more.

Once the supply starts contracting you're in a whole new world with competing priorities and then using it efficiently is inevitable. It would be preferable to plan for this but humans rarely do. We migrate to greener pastures.

LeeG
01-20-2014, 10:50 AM
'' The US gets brought down because its easier than raising the rest of the world up. ''

That sir is amongst the most economically irrational thing you have said, a lot of what you say makes sense but that doesn't.

As though there's a golden goose out there supplying free energy inputs so we don't have to compete for finite resources and the Earth continues to be an infinitely large septic tank for our waste.

Osborne Russell
01-20-2014, 12:09 PM
Osborne, I'm interested in your comments but I'm not sure who exactly "they" are in your context. Can you define it a little?

Like Keith says, conservative white working-class folks who vote very much against their economic self-interest. The basic model Republican. In reality they range up to people with advanced degrees who do very difficult work but we're not talking about that, we're talking about what they have in common, which makes them vote as they do. Their world view.

Landrith
01-20-2014, 12:12 PM
Yes, along with large amounts of federal spending (defense industry, NASA, infrastructure) that allowed many of the sunbelt cities to attract workers, not just retirees or the self-employed.



Agree, and yet Landrith seems determined to argue otherwise

Just another day in the Bilge :ycool:

I know Thomas Frank is not writing about migration. I am saying his book is about people voting Republican when they are in an economic segment that the Democratic Party advocates policies for but that the Republican Party ignores. That is why his book was brought up in a posting on this thread. Very appropriately. Our liberal forumites have essentially been arguing Tea Party and libertarian Republicans are too stupid to vote for Democrats. I merely pointed out that Thomas Frank's book had re-plowed the same ground I heard state college professors incorporating into their classes on (against) Reaganomics, trickle down, and the change in the electorate during the 1980's. The sub title of Frank's book is "How Conservatives Won the Heart of America".

The most moving part of these lectures was typically about the Rust Belt worker sitting in a dilapidated trailer in West Texas without social services for his family or any of the infrastructure or civic institutions his tax dollars as a steel worker in Ohio or Michigan had built. The tenure track professors would invariably point out how this American spirit of self sufficiency and individualism (contrary to Keith's communitarianism) hurt the worker and his family, and to top it off these people stupidly voted Republican. Thomas Frank just followed the main rule of writing an interesting book. He transferred the theme to what he knew. Not Texas, but Kansas. And it was tough being a Democrat in Kansas in the 80's and 90's. But, just like Texas worked out pretty good for those migrants, Kansas following those pro private property, pro business, smaller government Republican principles did well also:

"Perhaps the folks in Kansas know a lot better what their interests are than Frank thinks they do.

I asked Frank why his hometown of Shawnee, Kansas, didn't make an appearance in the film. Also lacking was Johnson County in which Shawnee is located and whose economic situation Frank so laments in his book.

Frank replied that while Winston did film in Johnson County, he didn't use it so he could keep "geographic unity" in the movie. Winston didn't address the question.

Perhaps the concern was geographic unity. Or perhaps it's that we'd have seen a Johnson County not much like the one Frank describes in the book. As Steven Malanga pointed out, "Shawnee and the rest of Johnson County, have done especially well. For three years in the 1990s, the Shawnee area's unemployment rate actually dipped below 3%, making it one of the tightest labor markets anywhere." Furthermore, "And though Mr. Frank describes the place as practically desolate, Shawnee's population grew by a robust 27% during the 1990s. Even more astonishing, today, only 3.3% of its citizens live below the poverty level, compared with about 12.5% nationally."

Polemical works like Frank's tend to reveal more about their authors that they do about the people they are supposedly studying. For Frank it is axiomatic the leftist ideas lead to better economic results than conservative ones. If people are voting for conservative politicians, then those folks must be deluded somehow.

A genuine examination might actually ask these people about their economic situation and how that is related to social issues that they care about. If Frank were to do that, he might have to end up questioning whether liberal ideas really do lead to better results. Yet Frank suffers from what Thomas Sowell calls "The Vision of the Anointed." It is a vision held by many intellectuals in our society, a belief in their own superior knowledge and virtue that leads to a belief that they are an anointed elite who is qualified to make decisions for the rest of us in order to lead humanity to a better life. (For more on the incentive and constraints that foster this type of thinking, see Thomas Sowell's great new work, Intellectuals and Society.) To acknowledge that the people of Kansas are best suited to know their own interest and vote accordingly would mean that Frank would have to give up his belief in his superior knowledge and virtue.

At the end of the talk Friday, Frank stated that he was working on a new book about the Tea Party movement. Readers beware…If his new book is much like What's The Matter With Kansas?, you can look forward to learning more about Frank's sense of moral superiority than what motivates Tea Partiers."

http://spectator.org/articles/39883/whats-matter-thomas-frank

In 2012, I could no longer afford even a few square feet in Johnson County where I could afford to store my Thistle and Windmill, I had to move them West to the State Capitol where the concentration of government lowered the value of the real estate. lol.

Soundbounder
01-20-2014, 12:25 PM
I know Thomas Frank is not writing about migration. You haven't read the book. All you've done is C&P'd a few things you found online about the movie and then tried to link it to your argument about migration.

wardd
01-20-2014, 12:29 PM
Which coincided with the large-scale introduction if air-conditioning in houses. By 1965, one could live in Dallas and be comfortable in the summer.

Thomas Frank is indeed a liberal Democrat, but his book is only marginally concerned with any kind of migration, rather with white working-class and middle-class attitudes in the Midwest and some of the South.

Landrith, you're quite right about communitarian ideas and our fundamental disagreement. I do not believe unfettered competition is at the heart of a desirable or just human society. I think Libertarianism is a hopelessly idealistic dream, plausible in theory but untethered to reality, much resembling Communism in its early years, which would produce equally bad results if put into practice. The fundamental libertarian fallacy is that only governments can be oppressive. History shows this to be false. The surest way toward rule by the Monsantos of this world is to diminish government to the point where it can no longer control corporations.

i don't think libertarianism even works in theory, i see it as an incomplete approach to running a society, too many gaps

Landrith
01-20-2014, 01:39 PM
I am sure I would be allergic to the book. But I am being respectful to Thomas Frank and basing my comments on reviews of his book and his appearances on talk shows after the book. I was not familiar with the movie. I was also basing my comments of having lived in Kansas during the time period and having experienced the year at KU (like Frank) and the very different mindset of fellow workers in low wage factory jobs in our Right to Work state. I even read a lot of John Birch Society literature. So I think I can be excused from the reading assignment. I live it.

I did like Michael Moore's tv shows and some of the documentaries he has made along the lines of Roger and Me. I am receptive to the idea that the GOP doesn't have policies or government programs tailored to winning votes with the lower quintiles of the economic ladder. This is against everything in the Democrat Party successful electioneering playbook and I appreciate liberals on this forum offering endless advice to make the Republican Party better. And no one in my party took my Beer Stamps suggestion seriously. We are still the "better right than elected party." But, this cycle we are going to be unbeatable, in spite of pretty much being the architects of what is now the fifth year of a global depression. So Thomas Frank and Michael Moore have some interesting points to make.

johnw
01-20-2014, 04:05 PM
Oznabrag, you are insightful. I am following that Ayn Rand idea "greed is good". I also look to biological models utilizing energy in the environment. My take away is that competition in the environment among organisms, leads to the most efficient use of inputs. That is the first thing government works to destroy. Or more precisely, the first thing super capitalists use government for to protect their accumulated wealth from growth and change. The reason why we fight increased governance is that it does not save or preserve. It kills. Our guy was Julian Lincoln Simon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Simon. More people equals more problems equals more solutions.

People that want government to pick winners or allocate resources don't realize who is controlling government and are defenseless and unable to rationally address public policy. I said on another thread, give government a cookie and it will give you a war. Look at how growth threatening environmental harm say in agriculture was handled by this administration, just turn over any possibility of regulation to Monsanto. A free market and rule of law would kill Monsanto. Monsanto needs government protection and ever increasing government inputs. Go look at the fat kids on today's school playgrounds and think about whether Monsanto needs your maximum protection and subsidization. Its just like how government handles its foreign policy...

Rand's philosophy only works for people without children. The idea that you should live only for yourself won't make sense to anyone who takes parenting seriously, nor does it make sense biologically. We've known for more than a century that mutual aid is a factor of evolution (https://libcom.org/library/mutual-aid-peter-kropotkin), and I suspect Darwin knew it long before that.

The pragmatists, a mainly American philosophical school of thought, figured out that ideas have an evolutionary life. Ideas that work tend to get reproduced. In this sense, Social Darwinism was an evolutionary dead end. Like the coelacanth, it was thought extinct at one time, but has risen from the depths again. I expect it will fail to produce good results again, and sink back to the depths, were it can survive in an environment that isn't too competitive.

Osborne Russell
01-21-2014, 12:50 PM
I was insinuating that Thomas Frank leans toward Democratic Party ideas about government and social safety nets.

Irrelevant. I don't care if he leans toward Marie Antoinette. What is your criticism of his argument? What is his argument, in your view?


I was also suggesting that in 2004 Thomas Frank was re-plowing ground in social studies about the early 80's migration of workers from the Rust Belt to jobs in the Texas Oil Fields

Based on what evidence? He writes a book. Other people do something else. How is that more than a coincidence?


Thomas Frank's thesis is that Kansas Republicans vote the wrong way and against their own interest and tracks very closely with college lectures given . . .

. . . by whom? And whoever it was, how is it more than a coincidence?


As far as why the migration of labor in the 1980's is not more widely known until now, I don't know.

Are you kidding? They haven't stopped blabbing about migration to the Sun Belt since the end of WW2 at the latest. It was well known then. But let's suppose it wasn't. Why is it well known now? What happened to make it suddenly well known? You suggest it's because:


Maybe its only now that the government pension funds in some North Eastern cities are being canceled that government officials are waking up to the failure of their policies.

The migration of labor in the 1980's wasn't known because government officials -- who? -- concealed it? How? "People are no longer moving to the south and west!" Did they think no one would notice such a statement?

Osborne Russell
01-21-2014, 12:56 PM
Thomas Frank is indeed a liberal Democrat, but his book is only marginally concerned with any kind of migration, rather with white working-class and middle-class attitudes in the Midwest and some of the South.

Of course. When they migrate, they bring their attitudes with them. That's why migration is irrelevant.

In their origin myth, their ancestors came west and south and cleared out the aborigines and built the land without the government. But that frontier is closed. Now they want to go south and west from Kansas or wherever and get "their chance"-- only fair! -- to measure up to their ancestors. Out of the way, government!

Landrith
01-21-2014, 01:30 PM
Osborne I did not diminish Thomas Frank by placing his work in the canon of Political Science lectures and journalism dealing with a change in the blue collar electorate to more conservative values. Its not a crime to build on the research of others. Clearly Frank himself intended to expand popular recognition of what to Liberals is a conundrum by using Kansans as an example applying to poor Republicans voting wrong nationwide. You and other liberal forumites have unconvincingly asserted that this was somehow a growth in racism or prejudice that expanded the Republican Party then and the Tea Party today. Frank is more accurate in that we are this way out of values we have for individualism and self sufficiency that to him are irrational and more appropriate to the few rich Republicans.


As far as people not migrating today, Osborne you should look at an article by another one of your Liberal Democrat journalist scholars, Timothy Noah a writer for the Washington Monthly, and author of "The Great Divergence: America’s Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do About It." He wrote an interesting article in December entitled “Stay Put, Young Man,Americans used to be exceptional for how often they moved. But that once-powerful source of both efficiency and upward mobility is now in steep decline.”

Noah looks at the census data and argues people move a lot less today, and fewer Americans migrate for job opportunities:

"In our own time, though, all of that has changed. Americans are moving far less often than in the past, and when they do migrate it is typically no longer from places with low wages to places with higher wages. Rather, it’s the reverse. That helps explain why, since the 1970s, income inequality has gone up and upward mobility has (depending on who you ask) either stagnated or gone down.

When people move, it’s usually not very far—as when, for example, a young couple moves to an apartment with an extra bedroom in a nearby suburb after their first child is born. But that’s not the kind of migration Greeley was talking about. For determining how many Americans move in search of economic opportunity, the best available measure comes from data on people moving across state lines that the Census Bureau has collected since shortly after World War II."

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/mag...2.php?page=all

And this is even more recent support for Thomas Frank's observation young poor workers act against their own interest:

"So for example, in the Opportunity Index, presented here, New York State scores far better than Texas. Yet between 2010 and 2011, 26,155 people moved from New York to Texas, while only 9,151 people moved from Texas to New York. Similar results come from Harvard’s Equality of Opportunity Project, which ranks metropolitan areas according to the likelihood that young adults will rise from the bottom to the top of the income scale. Most of the metro areas at the top of this ranking are places experiencing negative net domestic migration, including Boston and San Francisco.

Why are Americans by and large moving away from economic opportunity rather than toward it? It all starts to make sense when you think about “push” rather than “pull.” One “push” factor heavily touted by conservatives is state income taxes. Raise the state income tax, conservative dogma holds, and taxpayers will make an exodus to lower-tax states. But a Reuters report in February cast doubt on this hypothesis, pointing out that the rich typically stay put when state income tax rates rise. As for working-class Americans, moving to a state with low income tax rates hardly makes sense if you have to take a bigger cut in wages. Moreover, states with low income tax rates generally have high sales taxes, which, because they are regressive, punish working-class people the most."

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/november_december_2013/features/stay_put_young_man047332.php?page=all

So Osborne, Do you really want an explanation from us Republicans on why Detroit is dying? So that you won't argue in future posts that Detroit is not in trouble and the pensions are not at risk:

"Federal Judge Steven W. Rhodes ruled that federal law trumps Michigan’s constitutional protection for public pensions. That means that pensions that were promised to more than 21,000 Detroit workers — fire and police, trash haulers, water and street crews — can now be considered as part of the unsecured debt of the city.

To put it in human terms, the public librarian who worked 30 years checking out books, helping countless youngsters learn to read, might see her pension slashed. That might mean this fixed income retiree won’t be able to pay her mortgage or heating bill each month.

According to Detroit Free Press, general city retirees receive about $19,000 in average pension benefits. Police and fire former employees get about $32,000, but they are also not eligible for Social Security benefits as part of their pension agreements.

Those are not astronomical payouts. Raise your hand if you think that’s too much to live on in your retirement.

The danger is that this approach will be presented as inevitable when cities and states finally have to clean up the messes of past poor governance. If the decision is upheld, the way has been greased for other cities to follow suit."

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/12/09/3808775/detroit-and-the-pension-crisis.html#storylink=cpy

Osborne Russell
01-22-2014, 01:05 PM
. . . poor Republicans voting wrong nationwide. You and other liberal forumites have unconvincingly asserted that this was somehow a growth in racism or prejudice that expanded the Republican Party then and the Tea Party today.

Poor Republicans may vote the wrong way without regard to racism. Me and other other liberal forumites have never said anything to the contrary. Racism is frequently associated but that's a different question.


Frank is more accurate in that we are this way out of values we have for individualism and self sufficiency that to him are irrational and more appropriate to the few rich Republicans.

I think you badly mis-state his argument, which is not the values are irrational, but that the choice of path to pursue them is irrational. Where does he say that individualism and self sufficiency are irrational per se?



As far as people not migrating today . . .

You said the book presents an argument the purpose of which is not to advance its own merits but an attempt to conceal a specific migration, driven by guilt; "it's not about Kansas, it's about Texas" is what you seem to be saying. Such an unlikely hypothesis requires explanation to be plausible as a matter of common sense; to say nothing of evidence.

("This "What's Wrong With Kansas?" line is the lingering failure liberals feel over people leaving the rust belt for the chances of jobs in the Texas oil industry in the early 1980's.")


Why are Americans by and large moving away from economic opportunity rather than toward it?

Because Texas is warmer? Because their relatives moved there? Why would you assume that economic opportunity overrules any and all other motives? In any case, the book and I are talking about "Kansas" -- as shorthand for middle America, culturally, and only incidentally geographically -- and the people that live there. No migration involved to rational or irrational about. You are the one talking about people moving to Texas.


So Osborne, Do you really want an explanation from us Republicans on why Detroit is dying? So that you won't argue in future posts that Detroit is not in trouble and the pensions are not at risk:

I never said anything like that and I doubt anyone else did either.

Osborne Russell
01-22-2014, 01:14 PM
Aside from being confused about almost everything, you have this idea completely backwards.

Name any organism that grows forever.

The economy must stop growing or we will run out of Earth to exploit.
In fact, we are past that point already.

The thing that angers me most is people like you, who somehow have convinced themselves that their own, particular version of greed is good.

There. I said it!

Their response is that technology will deliver more growth with less exploitation. They may even wax rhapsodic about how growth will "improve" the environment.

Note the future tense. When has it ever actually happened? Their response will be along the lines of, we use less whale oil. An improvement! Proven fact!

The point is the collective, cumulative impact of the species. Small things for small minds.

slug
01-22-2014, 01:20 PM
Technology doesnt drive growth...energy does.

Keith Wilson
01-22-2014, 01:26 PM
Technology doesn't drive growth...energy does.Eh? What a bizarre statement! So what we know how to do, what we can do with the resources we have, is irrelevant? I'm sorry, but that's nonsense.

Talking about 'growth' is not the important thing. The essential point is that improved technology (which just means that we know how to do more stuff) can deliver a better life, sometimes while doing less damage.

Landrith
01-22-2014, 02:15 PM
Osborne, I still don't follow your argument. "What's the Matter With Kansas" is about Kansas. However, the popularity of the book and the thesis of the book is that poor Republicans are voting against their interests. I said the theme started in Social Science college lectures addressing the phenomenon of unemployed rust belt workers migrating to oil jobs in Texas in the 1980's. A small piece of trivia that you likely didn't hear about unless you were in college during the late 80's or 90's. This "research" had nothing to do with the greater demographic changes that made the Sun Belt more attractive like air conditioning, NASA space contracts, and the Right to Work. And the theme of poor people voting against their own interests was pretty boring. Nothing as big as say the endless papers, studies and books on the 1960's counter-culture and their break with the values of their traditional Democrat working class parents. Its just the kind of stuff state colleges in America spend hundreds of millions of dollars studying while kids in Asia are doing hard science. lol. By the time Thomas Frank wrote about Kansas, all we had remaining was the theme. And I admit it works well applied to Kansans. The American Spectator critique is a little dated. Johnson County is the exception, our most metropolitan county and more recently the most Democratic leaning.

As your later liberal journalist/scholar Timothy Noah points out, there isn't the equal migration today. A little to the Dakotas and Texas due to oil jobs, but not like the numbers from the 1980's. But I am not talking about migration, I am talking about Thomas Frank's theme that poor Republicans vote against their own interests which I say is derivative from the earlier Leftist work on those 80's Rust Belt migrants to Texas. Maybe Frank will take offense and confront me over it the next time I walk into Kelly's Westport Inn some holiday weekend.

I think it is a values difference. Republicans spend a lot of energy on the Right to Life and the bombing of nations deviating from our petrodollar global domination plans. You and Keith would have us doing light rail and reinvesting in our inner cities instead.

Osborne, I did not say you were a Detroit Collapse Denier. I just was reluctant to invest much effort writing about Republican or Libertarian ideology applied to North Eastern cities and their current financial problems and then have you tell me Detroit doesn't have a problem, just like telling me Thomas Frank's theme has nothing to do with state college professors whining over traditional Democrat Blue Collar workers migrating to Texas in the 80's and voting Republican. Its clearly the same theme.

johnw
01-22-2014, 04:36 PM
Technology doesnt drive growth...energy does.

Energy can be neither created nor destroyed. Technology allows us to use it.

Osborne Russell
01-24-2014, 01:04 PM
Osborne, I still don't follow your argument. "What's the Matter With Kansas" is about Kansas.

I'm not making an argument, I'm trying to follow yours. From the book, "What's Wrong With Kansas?" to Texas to Detroit.