I really hope you aren't calling me stupid.cromartie wrote:It's the economy, stupid. It's always the economy.
Consider the following:
Only 7% of counties in the US have reached pre 2008 economic crash levels of employment.
The Rust Belt has lost roughly 800,000 manufacturing jobs since 1995.
Of new businesses started between 2010 and 2014, over half of them came from just 20 counties, 16 of which voted Democratic, in six states, four of which went Democratic and one is gradually turning blue.
One of the more prescient statements made last night was about the bright line in the current American economy. If you have a college degree, particularly if you're in a technology or professional field, you're above that bright line and life is pretty good. I am, and it is.
But if you aren't, the transformation that has taken place in the economy scares the hell out of you and rightfully so. It's a transformation akin to the industrialization of the country around the turn of the 20th century. Fortunately, we came out of that with Teddy Roosevelt. This time, Trump.
And when you view it within that context, a simplified anti-trade, anti-immigrant, anti-globalization message plays very, very well, whether the solutions contained with it (if there are any) are actually feasible or not.
You can wring your hands about sexism, racism, bigotry, voter apathy, naivety, lost opportunity..whatever. You can but/but/but all you want, but you're wasting your time. Those are all cultural manifests of life below that bright line and the economic tenuousness, real and perceived, of living beneath it. And trust me on this one, if you grow up with it, you never outgrow it.
But it's the economy, and whomever has the simplest most effective message about the economy wins. That was Trump.
There were two overarching messages here:
"I know what's causing your economic ills and I'll do something to stop them."
"Please, he's crazy and unqualified to be President."
And the response from a plurality of voters in key states was "he may be crazy, but at least he understands what we're going through."
And things are bad enough, or are at least perceived to be bad enough, outside of high density urban areas below that bright line that brought about the results we saw last night.
Jobs is certainly an issue. People are hoping to turn back the clock to the 1960's when you could have a job at the local plant or mine for good pay and your son or daughter could too. Then all those illegals started coming and undercutting the wages, all those darn foreign country's started flooding the markets with cheap mass produced goods that local manufacturers couldn't match, those damn environmentalists with all their regulations....and so the rhetoric goes. They drank the cool aid and at the same time said that "we don't care how awful the guy is, we just want our American Dream". There is no turning back the clock. Those manufacturing jobs that have gone will likely stay where they are because the workforce's are cheaper, more efficient and more easy to deal with. If there are tariffs, they will just pay them and pass the cost along to the end consumers. Those rust belt voters are going to lose either way as the cost of some of those products rise accordingly. They aren't going to like it either if fracking contaminates their ground water or causes earthquakes. We have seen similar issues here with jobs going overseas, to Mexico, China and even the US.
My biggest fear however is the Supreme court. With the one vacancy they are ready to fill and 3 other SC judges over 80, it is possible that the legal compass of the country is going to swing very right and may dominate the landscape for the next 20-30 years.
There are a lot of fearful people in the US tonight. The demonstrations across the nation are unprecedented. I'm sure they will lose steam after a bit until Trump starts to do some of the things he has proposed. Then they will likely flair up again. And if he doesn't follow through, then his base will be pissed.