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American Jobs and Trade Policy Under Trump

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United Steelworkers president Leo Gerard makes a good point about how Trump’s political rhetoric about “bringing American jobs home” completely contradicts actual Republican policy. Will it matter when Trump’s promises are proven lies?

That American-job-creating, buy-American thing is supported by 71 percent of the American public. But it is a smack in the face to GOP Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who just made it clear in the Water Resources Development Act that he’s fine with creating slave-wage iron- and steel-making jobs in China with U.S. tax dollars, so long as a few fat-cat iron-and-steel importers make a profit on the deal.

So clearly, there’s a battle brewing between the President-elect and the Speaker of the House. This is the President-elect who has repeatedly promised the working-class men and women who elected him that he’d support Buy American provisions in federal law to create jobs for them. And it’s a GOP Speaker who wants to ship taxpayer-financed work overseas and let the working class wait a couple more decades to just possibly feel a tiny pinch of trickle-down from the largesse of filthy rich iron and steel importers. This, also, is a clash between a New York real estate titan who won the presidency and a Wisconsin lawmaker who lost the vice presidency.

By advocating night after night for American Made, President-elect Trump essentially warned Ryan not to strip the Buy-American provisions out of the Water Resources Development Act. But Ryan did it anyway early in December when he got the act from the Senate.

The act contained strong, permanent Buy America language when the Senate sent it over. These provisions are significant because they use tax dollars to create 33 percent more U.S. factory jobs, something that is, again, important to voters, 68 percent of whom told the Mellman Group & North Star Opinion Research in November in a national survey conducted for the Alliance for American Manufacturing that they were worried that the country had lost too many manufacturing jobs.

In addition—and President-elect Trump knows this from the response he gets at his rallies—Buy American policies are very popular. Seventy-four percent of voters say large infrastructure projects financed by taxpayer money should be constructed with American-made materials and American workers. And those who voted for President-elect Trump agree more strongly – 79 percent of them say American-made should be given preference over the lowest bidder.

This is a very big deal to iron and steel producers and workers in the United States. Far too many mills are closed or partially shuttered because of unfairly traded imports, and more than 16,000 steelworkers across this country have been laid off over the past year.

My own guess is that electorally it won’t matter very much in 2018 or 2020 for two primary reasons. First, Democrats will struggle to articulate a meaningful response to globalization, automation, and the decline of industrial jobs, as they have done for 50 years. Second, Trump will put on a hard hat and make spurious claims about saving a few hundred jobs here and there and low-information voters will be cool with that.

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  • D.N. Nation

    Trump: I made this company keep a thousand jobs in the US.
    Media: Trump: “I made this company keep a thousand jobs in the US.”
    Expert: No he didn’t.
    Trump: Loser. Sad! Hey neo-Nazis, if y’all want to use this guy’s phone number and home address, I won’t mind.
    Media: It’s so bad, this partisanship from both sides.
    Further investigation: Nah, Trump didn’t make anyone keep jobs anywhere.
    Media: Booooooring. Some liberal said an untoward thing.

    Lather, rinse, repeat.

    • Nobdy

      Actual Tweetings by DT:

      The world was gloomy before I won – there was no hope. Now the market is up nearly 10% and Christmas spending is over a trillion dollars!

      The U.S. Consumer Confidence Index for December surged nearly four points to 113.7, THE HIGHEST LEVEL IN MORE THAN 15 YEARS! Thanks Donald!

    • tsam

      This is the best summation of all this bullshit I’ve ever seen.

    • thebewilderness

      That’s pretty much it. Claiming that the unemployment rate and the crime rate skyrocketed over the past eight years seemed to work extremely well for him, so why wouldn’t he just keep lying for the next four years about all the jahbs he has kept here and brought back through the benefit of reducing taxes on the profiteers? Who is there to say him nay?

      • FlipYrWhig

        I’m expecting the legends of Trump’s feats of job creation to rival those about Kim Jong Il’s golf game.

      • efgoldman

        Who is there to say him nay?

        Because without Citron Caeser, Christmas spending would have been only… a trillion dollars!

  • Nobdy

    Trump will put on a hard hat and make spurious claims about saving a few hundred jobs here and there

    This seems WILDLY inconsistent with how Trump actually acts. He doesn’t just tell small lies like this, he tells giant demonstrably false whoppers and when called out on them he doubles down.

    He claimed that the murder rate was the highest it has been in 45 years. This is obviously and provably false, but he continues saying it. Trump also claimed that he won in an electoral vote landslide even though his majority was quite moderate by historical standards. He keeps saying landslide over and over.

    You seem to have made the categorical error of somehow assuming that Trump will lie like a normal politician, which is to say he will spin based on a small grain of truth or specific examples to evade the larger point, which would weigh against him.

    That’s not how Trump operates.

    He will say “I have overseen the LARGEST growth of manufacturing jobs in American history.” Full stop. He will say that even though it will be obviously and demonstrably false.

    When a reporter from the Times says he is lying Liz Spayd will go on Hannity and call for that reporter to be publicly drawn and quartered for her crimes against ‘objectivity.’

    That’s what’s going to happen.

    There is simply no way that Trump will restrict himself to moderate spurious claims. He ALWAYS goes for the big lie, and he always uses superlatives.

    I will donate $100 to the charity of your (Loomis’s) choice* if Trump does not tell a big lie about manufacturing jobs, utilizing a superlative, during the next election cylce.

    *Is there a society for the preservation of historical records of opposition to ketchup in the Pacific Northwest?

    • DrDick

      Hell, Trump himself, and all of his spawn, outsource the production of all their merchandise.

    • efgoldman

      I will donate $100 to the charity of your (Loomis’s) choice* if Trump does not tell a big lie about manufacturing jobs

      Sucker’s bet.
      He is a narcissist. It’s what they do. He cannot help himself any more than I can help having brown eyes.

  • Murc

    So clearly, there’s a battle brewing between the President-elect and the Speaker of the House.

    The entire quoted piece is a willful delusions, and this is the heart of it.

    Trump doesn’t have policy positions. Trump was lying. That’s all he does: lie. That’s who he is. There will be no battle between Trump and Ryan. Trump’s actual priorities, as revealed in his actions rather than his words, are largely the same as Ryan’s.

    I don’t get why folks have such a hard time understanding this. Trump will sign anything Ryan puts on his desk and then lie about it. Repeatedly and constantly.

    • Leo Gerard knows all of this. There’s no self-delusion. It’s a rhetorical device to point out what is going to happen.

      • Downpuppy

        Gerard never makes that entirely clear, but this bit of rhetoric at the end:

        The last time the President-elect stepped into the ring with a heavyweight, it was with the ring’s owner, World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Vince McMahon, a former professional wrestler. And McMahon left bald and defeated.

        is pretty clear to anyone old enough to understand the meaning of “scripted”.

        Since Trump is President elect on the votes of those who don’t, it could be a bit clearer.

        • los

          scripted

          Or near enough to being scripted. Trump isn’t literally scripting himself.
          The actual process seems to be:
          Trump’s commanders[1] value Trump’s specific traits.
          Bannon, russiatoday, Hannity, GOP, etc seed Trump, then Trump glibly[2] talks and tweets Crazy.
          Those resulting emissions satisfy Trump’s commanders, because Trump teflons himself by the chain[3] of crazy statements[4].

          _________
          1. Command apparently consists of tempestuous rivalry between Bannon/Putin and GOP
          2. fluidly, as perceived by the Trumpchumpery
          3. Efficient “chain links” size is smaller than the timespan of Trumpchumpery’s attention period.
          4. Doled desensitization of the Trumpchumpery is psychologically analogous to vaccination series by weakened pathogen.

  • NewishLawyer

    I think there are a lot of issues that could potentially hurt or will hurt the Democratic Party here.

    1. Almost no one has any answers to automation. This is probably going to be the biggest issue facing jobs and society in the next few decades. I imagine that the political class won’t come up with any talk until it starts hurting more and more middle-class constituents and even then automation is going to be seen as a boon rather than a bane by many people because it will lower costs down. The big fights in economics seem to be those think wealth is generated through high wages and high employment rates and those who think wealth is increased by a relentless slashing of costs including wages. Hence automated cars/transportation can be a bane to those who thinking driving/trucking is still a good source of employment or a boon to those who want costs slashed no matter what.

    2. The problem with globalization and the Democratic Party is that we still have a substantial faction that thinks that free trade and mobile capital is an unquestionable good (Vox Set) and enough people who think that there could be downsides but the downsides of tariffs and protectionism are much worse (higher prices, trade wars, bad foreign relations, etc.)

    3. I also think there is a cultural component. One thing we saw in 2016 is that it is not only jobs and pay that matter but it has to be the right kind of work. A lot of working-class men (maybe specifically white working-class men but maybe not) want work that validates their masculinity through needing strength and/or being some kind of skilled trade. There is a decent amount evidence that suggests a lot of working-class women want their men in manly roles as well. A lot of Democratic voters seem to think this is bullshit and they don’t have time for this. Sometimes it is a feminist-cultural issue (“What’s wrong with women’s work?”) Sometimes it is a neo-liberal pro-trade issue (“Those jobs are gone and not coming back. Take your home health aide job and like it. Cheaper TVs and Video Game Systems are your Balm in Gilead!!) Or it can be a combination.

    4. I don’t know if low-information voters will be happy with Trump prosturing. Depends on how things unfold. There is a difference between is game when he is a candidate and those antics when he is the President.

    • humanoid.panda

      Your no. 3 is I think the most crucial issue. Between globalization and automation, there really is a decreasing need for muscles in the economy, and pretty soon, it seems as though 3d printing is going to hit hard whatever skills craft job still remain. In my optimistic moments I say to myself we consider factory jobs “real” because workers made us do so, and that in the 19th century, they were treated with contempt, so we could do the same with service jobs. In my more pessimistic moments, I don’t think there is a solution here.

      • Matt_L

        unions. That is the way people came to see factory work as real work. Unions are about more than wages, they are about controlling working conditions.

        Newish Lawyer’s point about gender and labor is important, but I think that there are still plenty of skilled and semi skilled jobs that still rely on muscles and brawn. Think about the building trades, these are exactly those sorts of jobs. But wages are variable and work is seasonal. Again unions can even out things like wages and even help workers acquire and develop skills. But it has to be easier to organize unions and workers have to see the benefit of organizing themselves.

    • ProgressiveLiberal

      You’re wrong, some economists do have answers to “automation.” These are choices we make to have high unemployment and lower wages, and it has nothing to do with (historically low in fact) productivity gains (“automation.”)

      I mean, how dumb are liberals that they can’t admit that during times of high productivity increases in the past, we had high wage gains. Or are we all trumpkins now, destined to ignore any inconvenient fact?

      • humanoid.panda

        You’re wrong, some economists do have answers to “automation.” These are choices we make to have high unemployment and lower wages, and it has nothing to do with (historically low in fact) productivity gains (“automation.”)

        I mean, how dumb are liberals that they can’t admit that during times of high productivity increases in the past, we had high wage gains. Or are we all trumpkins now, destined to ignore any inconvenient fact?

        Yeah, the problem is that a lot of those answers involve transfers and higher wages in the remaining jobs, etc. As Newishlawyer says, the problem is that there is pretty good evidence the issue here is not just money, but social status.

        • ProgressiveLiberal

          No, again, thats not at all what im saying.

      • los

        historically low in fact) productivity gains (“automation.”)

        a dip in recent few decades, IIRC…
        Inequality countermotivates decisionmakers pursuit (or approval at least) of those productivity gains. (And ushering progress is decisionmakers’ most morally and practically legitimate social role/duty.)
        High inequality is one plague of “banana republics”.

    • Gareth

      A lot of working-class men (maybe specifically white working-class men but maybe not) want work that validates their masculinity through needing strength and/or being some kind of skilled trade.

      I’ve mentioned before the magazine article about the town in the South where the men are out of work because the factory closed. And where the men refuse to work in what they consider feminine jobs, like teaching. If that really is an accurate representation of their views, I feel very little sympathy for them.

      • Given that sympathy seems to be an emotion you lack entirely, this is hardly surprising.

        • Gareth

          Fair enough. Let’s say instead that my expectations for those troglodytes ever doing anything productive are low.

      • Matt_L

        I live up north, in a rural part of the Midwest. The family farms are all under the gun. Near my town, most of them are dairy farms and are not all that profitable. They are basically glorified hobby farms. The Husband looks after the cows, maintains the milking equipment, and sometimes even does some seasonal ag work for other larger farmers. The Wife goes into nursing and brings in a professional wage to basically subsidize the farm. Economically, this is irrational. The family would have a higher standard of living if they sold the dairy operation and the Husband went back to school to become a Physicians Assistant or a cardiac nurse.

        But it is a great example of how economics has nothing to do with rationality. The dairy farmer does not want to sell the operation because the farm was passed onto him by his father and his fathers father. Each generation had worked hard to make the farm a success and he feels like he should be able to pass it on to his kids some day. Selling the farm means giving up a whole lifestyle (in the classic sense of it being a mode of existence), their place in the rural community, and the family story. That is an awful choice and it is easier to struggle along in the hope that things get better than to make that break.

        So maybe the story about the factory in this Southern town is true. Maybe the workers should do something like teaching or nursing. Maybe there is a gendered component. Maybe the factory workers should “suck it up.” But telling people on hard times to “suck it up” seems a little churlish, like telling the dairy farmer to sell out. It is a little callous to tell someone else to completely reinvent their livelihood and to break with everything they knew before. Because work is more than just a wage, its a connection to a particular community, with a certain way of life.

        • Gareth

          Each generation had worked hard to make the farm a success and he feels like he should be able to pass it on to his kids some day.

          But what do the kids think about that? My uncle raised three sons on his farm and none of them have any interest in being farmers.

          • Matt_L

            It actually doesn’t matter what the kids think. At least one kid will pay lip service to the idea that he will take over the farm to make their dad happy. The Dairy Farmer will work until his kids put him in the old folks home or he dies with his boots on while running the milking parlor. The main point for the Dairy Farmer is that the farm does not go bust on his watch.

          • Matt_L

            His kids are my students. They don’t want the farm to go bust, but they don’t necessarily want to be dairy farmers either. And they feel guilty as hell about it. The Daughters study nursing, the sons try something ‘useful’ like business. They do this with their father’s approval. Its really shitty. Kind of like a reverse King Lear. Nobody wants the hot potato, but nobody wants to admit to not wanting the hot potato.

          • los

            My uncle raised three sons on his farm and none of them have any interest in being farmers.

            That’s how the “cycle of generational dependency” breaks. It is crude, but a reasonably popular mechanism.

        • DocAmazing

          Following your analogy more closely, we’d have the workers buying the damn factory and making it a cooperative, but the deck is pretty stacked against that. Would be nice, though.

          • Matt_L

            A co-op would be great. But Capital really doesn’t want to see that happen. It would get in the way of all their lovely creative destruction.

      • NewishLawyer

        Teaching seems like an odd choice because it requires a college degree. The growth areas of the economy seem to be service/retail or being a home health aide. The problem with these fields is that they are almost always low-paying and without benefits like health insurance or PTO. Overtime in service/retail is also very hard to get if anything they try and cut costs by cutting hours.

        • Gareth

          That’s true. If there’s no real prospect of them being teachers, their opinion of teaching as a job doesn’t matter that much. Still annoying though.

          • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

            For most of them, their opinion about teachers is that they’re overpaid for essentially part-time work which is so incredibly easy that anyone can do it.

            You’d think that if they really believed that they’d become teachers for the easy money, but what’s more important to them is that their drinking buddies wouldn’t respect them if they became teachers, because they all hate teachers.

          • los

            then become “vocational” teachers… teaching the occupation from which they’ve been massively laid off…

  • NewishLawyer

    Even with white-collar work crashing and disappearing, the response of the Boomers and/or the political class has been underwhelming and often immoral.

    You see blame-shifting. “It is your fault for being an English lit major.” You see pulling up from the boot strapism from people who never said such views before. “Hang your own shingle young lawyer! Move to the middle of nowhere! Etc.” You also see Boomers who can’t afford to retire and this is causing younger generations (say anyone born 1978 or later) to wait and wait to move up the ladder unless they are lucky.

    • Dilan Esper

      Really, “be careful about majors that won’t net you a job” and “if you insist on working in a city where 2,000 other people want the same job, you may not find one” are rational pieces of career advice and don’t really have anything to do with macroeconomic policy, which should focus on creating good jobs everywhere.

      • Except that almost no undergraduate major “nets you a job,” outside of specialized technical training majors like engineering and pharmacy. And even with the latter, automation is going to rip through that industry very soon.

        • ProgressiveLiberal

          I sure fucking hope so. No one should get paid 150k to hold a shovel or count pills.

          If our economy had full employment and higher wages, we wouldn’t have ridiculous things like car rental agencies employing only college grads to man the counters.

          • No one should get paid 150k to hold a shovel or count pills.

            Go away.

            • ProgressiveLiberal

              Why not 250k? Why not one million? Why not let every other american pay 5x as much for their medicine? Wouldn’t that be a better idea?

              Why shouldn’t CEO’s get 100x min wage workers? I mean, let’s just overpay whomever, amirite?

              It isn’t automation that’s the threat for pharmacists. It’s the government ending its protectionism. If the govt requires pharms to watch the robots, they’re still going to be overpaid. If the govt ends their protectionism tomorrow, it won’t be robots that destroy their wages, it will be the fact that anyone could do it, including a robot, which will multiply the labor pool (supply of pharms) which will kill their wages.

              This is just a fundamental misunderstanding of how our economy works, again.

              I’m worried about the guy with no job or the one making 12/hr in a factory that needs heart medication, and you’re worried about a pharmacist making 150k. I’m not sure you have your priorities straight.

              Do you also think our doctors should be paid twice as much as they are in other countries? Is it really a travesty if our pharmacists don’t get paid 2x what they get paid in other countries?

              • DocAmazing

                Until pharmacy school educations are subsidized as they are in other countries and until health insurance is rationalized (so pharmacists don’t have to spend several hours a day trying to track down which particular brand or variant of a medication is covered) as it is in other countries, then yes, US pharmacists should be paid more than those in other countries.

                • ProgressiveLiberal

                  And there you go. Now you know why our healthcare costs 2x as much as other countries. Because all our special snowflakes deserve it.

              • DocAmazing

                By the way, if you really believe that anyone could be a pharmacist, look up the interactions of the medications you take. It’s your pharmacist that alerts your doctors that they’ve inadvertently put together a lethal cocktail. If you really think that “anyone could do it”, get ready for a spike in deaths by medication error.

                • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

                  get ready for a spike in deaths by medication error.

                  Just unavoidable collateral damage that no one could foresee from the free market pursuing cost-cutting measures.

                • ProgressiveLiberal

                  Do you really think what is stopping a robot from doing this now is that we don’t know how to program them correctly?

              • los

                there’s more protectionism shielding the (legal) functions of management.
                protectionism is defined by the system of social and legal inequality.

          • los

            ProgressiveLiberal says:

            hold a shovel

            FYI, generic labor is nowhere near the majority of employees on jobsites.

        • Matt_L

          exactly. If you land a job or forge a career, then yes, having a BA or BS in something means you will probably be paid more and have more opportunities for advancement. But it has never guaranteed anyone a job.

      • NewishLawyer

        Except as I have discussed with you before, there is such a thing as emotional and social support networks through friends and family. Those are important.

        • Dilan Esper

          The problem is that you don’t just want A job. You want a certain sort of high status job in a place that’s a lot of fun to live. And you just aren’t entitled to that, and again, that has nothing to do with whether the government should create good jobs.

          To choose my own field, government should create more jobs on the Westside of Los Angeles, but they shouldn’t be high status jobs in the entertainment industry and LAW SCHOOL graduates need to be prepared to move around rather than expecting they will get to work as lawyers here.

          • Murc

            You want a certain sort of high status job in a place that’s a lot of fun to live. And you just aren’t entitled to that

            Yes. You are. Everyone is. Ensuring that everyone has a job that conveys status and respectability and that they live in vibrant communities should be one of the bedrocks of progressiveness.

            • Gareth

              Status is the one thing that is impossible for everyone to have.

              • Matt_L

                Any job that has to be done by a human being is a good job and should pay accordingly. This should be the basic platform of the Democratic Party.

          • los

            Dilan Esper says:

            shouldn’t be high status jobs in the entertainment industry and LAW SCHOOL graduates

            converting that to less specific grad, I don’t think grads are that picky about their first, second, third, or fourth subsidized internship.
            Unless their parents are debility-stricken, single 22 year olds are in peak geographical mobility age range.

    • los

      causing younger generations (say anyone born 1978 or later) to wait and wait to move up the ladder unless they are lucky

      It’s the tail of a birth-bulge that gets left out. There’s actually higher demand after the bulge disappears. (by either moving up or being jettisoned)
      Relative to their birth-bulge environs, the birth dip is an undersupply.

  • Yankee

    You guys. Sign whatever Ryan sends over so he can get to be the Big Cheese? I don’t think so. If T wants to be anointed King in 2020, the Steelworkers are people he can count on, if he plays his cards, and why shouldn’t he? His big need is to carve out some pieces he can award to his Dukes and Earls, read your Norbert Elias. So with luck we can expect ongoing federal deadlock as the theme of the next few years. Could be worse, we could actually have “unified government”.

    • Yankee

      ETA oops too late: who has T picked from Congress? Mulvaney for Budget Director is all, yes?

      • Tom Price

        • humanoid.panda

          Pompeo for CIA, Zinke (?) for Interior.

          • los

            Yep.Only an infinitesimally tiny measurable mist of “anti-establishment” remains. Other than the astrological phrenological voodoo doctor chemtrails ornamentation, Trump’s (Bannon and Putin’s) appointees are (still) unelectably extreme GOPe globalists.
            Trumpchumps can’t stop cucking themselves. It’s a habit they can’t break.

            Pompeo

            Twitter Trumpcucks pretended to love Assange (and though less often a 2016 topic) Snowden.

            I’ve seen some dissent from Joe Walsh (did a falling cinder block close the crack in Walsh’s skull?!) and George Will (Objection’s essence: real constitutional conservatives find Jeff Sessions unsuitable, due to Sessions verbal promotion of police state’s scantly justified property seizures).

  • FlipYrWhig

    First, Democrats will struggle to articulate a meaningful response to globalization, automation, and the decline of industrial jobs, as they have done for 50 years.

    Republicans haven’t articulated a meaningful response to any of those things either. Say, maybe the people who vote for Republicans and care about those things could pressure the Republicans they’re voting for to do something about them!

    • White supremacy is an effective response to rally a lot of the people affected by this at the very least.

    • ProgressiveLiberal

      They’ve been a hell of a lot more clear with their lies. Well, at least trump has.

      Maybe we should have had a better message besides “yeah your job is gone but here is a 10 point plan on how we’re going to have the government try to mitigate the damage blah blah blah…”

      • efgoldman

        Maybe we should have had a better message

        So we should go to Slogan Shop LLC and get better lies than they have? Sure, that would work.

        • ProgressiveLiberal

          Do you want to win? What do you think this is, a collegiate policy debate? The judges are morons. You need to win the votes of morons.

          • los

            ProgressiveLiberal says:

            You need to win the votes of morons

            An ideal. But how do you sanitize the morons from hearing of your realistic “messaging”[1] while winking at the realistic voters as you “message” to the morons?

            _________
            1. Clinton’s non-defensively phrased (here I paraphrase), “we’re going to put a lot of coal miners out of work” referred to the future US economy disemployeeing buggywhip workers — not to President Clinton banning coal miners.
            But the MSM adopted the blooperized phrase as cheap fodder to feed the altcucks.

      • los

        If any “10 point” plans have worked (or preferably are working), then the 10 point political promises[1] need stronger backing by such evidence.

        Simplicity is a major characteristic of “it’s the bleep, stupid” sales.
        (Simplicity wins over semi-complex veracity)

        _________
        1. The weeks-ago Indiana Carrier facilities extravaganza provides a cuck-pertinent example.

  • humanoid.panda

    My own guess is that electorally it won’t matter very much in 2018 or 2020 for two primary reasons. First, Democrats will struggle to articulate a meaningful response to globalization, automation, and the decline of industrial jobs, as they have done for 50 years. Second, Trump will put on a hard hat and make spurious claims about saving a few hundred jobs here and there and low-information voters will be cool with that.

    As much as Loomis dislikes economic terms, they can be really useful sometimes. The truth is that Trump won the election with exactly zero room for error, not by a giant landslide. If the loses just the smallest segment of his most marginal voters, and the Dem get a better turnout from their key groups and 3rd party voting falls like it fell in 2004, he will lose, and lost in something approaching a modern landslide. And sure, the hard hat think would work on a large segment of electorate, but that’s the segment of the electorate that’s already bought into Trump.

    [In the same vein: with all the dread about his genius use of PR with the Carrier and Sprint deals- and those were clever! – he is still by far the least popular PEOTUS ever, and is set to enter office with negative approval ratings. Not everything is lost]/

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      since I’ve been reading a biography of Ulysses Grant, this line of his comes to mind:

      “I’m sick of hearing about what Bobby Lee Trump is going to do. What are *we* going to do?”

      • humanoid.panda

        +1,000.

        Somehow, a lot of liberals signed up the notion he won by some historic landslide and has mystical connection to the heart of the American people.

        • Voter suppression and other anti-democratic measures will do a lot to ensure his reelection.

          • humanoid.panda

            Do you even listen to yourself? His administration started hasn’t started, and you already convinced his reelection is secured? Seriously man, you need a breather.

            • humanoid.panda

              Seriously, as someone who started following American politics in 2007, this is my first time to observe liberals after a defeat. And between the endless recrimination, the eeyoring and the elaborate explanation why all our leaders are traitors and morons, and the other side is unstoppable juggernaut that will smash us forever, that’s not a pretty picture.

              • efgoldman

                between the endless recrimination, the eeyoring and the elaborate explanation why all our leaders are traitors and morons, and the other side is unstoppable juggernaut that will smash us forever

                Will Rodgers, like Mencken, is always right.

              • Matt_L

                Yeah, I’ve been following politics and voting since about 1988. The Dems do this after every defeat. 2004 was really bad. This time things are not nearly as bad. We all now hate the same enemy: the media.

            • Yeah, I didn’t say anything like that.

            • los

              humanoid.panda says:

              you already convinced his reelection is secured?

              IMO, not secured… and….
              I’m annoyed at the “left commentariat’s” inward firing squad. Every campaign makes mistakes. (Trump’s made many)

              The “elephant” in the crib is conservative nationwide election crime, perfected over about two decades, and perpetrated through national coordination of all branches of government plus the MSM and skanktanks.

              Also, the Podesta Phishing was less internal error than an external attack[1].
              ______________
              1. Podesta Phish is also not so different from Watergate. “Why wasn’t Democratic Party’s Watergate office more secure?” is “victim-shaming” — not an ethically reasonable question.

      • los

        Ulysses Grant

        ‘s …
        administation became infamous for corruption.

        I wonder how Grant’s pre-inauguration lineup compared/compares to Putin/Bannon/Trump’s lineup on the “pre corrupted” scale.

  • ProgressiveLiberal

    My own guess is that electorally it won’t matter very much in 2018 or 2020

    Yes.

  • ProgressiveLiberal

    I’m going to talk to myself for a minute.

    There are two ways to look at this: what are the right policies for americans, and what are the right policies to advocate to get a dem president elected, and these two things may not be the same.

    I know Loomis is the historian who hates economic history, so while he admits that we are richer than we were in 1800, he refuses to admit that the cotton mill is a good thing. As such, he keep blaming productivity increases for the results of the fed keeping rates too high (throwing workers out of work and keeping their wages low) and the dollar being too high (which is a subsidy to imports and the owners of companies like walmart, but horrible for people who manufacture shit here, and for demand in general.)

    So, the correct policies to fix this mess are A) overhaul the fed, so that instead of them raising the rates the other day (which people like Krugman and Baker pointed out was a mistake) we allow unemployment to drop to levels like, for example, the 2000 year round average of 4.0%, and allow workers to bargain for higher wages (i.e., “more inflation”), and B) get the dollar down. Instead we have a fed that is keeping millions from working, and everyone from bargaining for higher wages, all while we are subsidizing foreign manufacturers. And this has LITERALLY NOTHING TO DO WITH PRODUCTIVITY INCREASE.

    I mean, how does a historian reconcile wage increases in the late 90s with above average productivity increase in the late 90s? These are just facts. This is no disputing them if you claim to live in the reality based community. Did the 50’s and 60’s happen or is that a fucking story I read in fake history books? Did those decades not exist?

    Now, where do you see any politicians advocating any of these policies? Did anyone hear clinton talking about the fact that even if she had a plan to increase jobs by ONE BRAZILLION it would matter fuck all, cause Yellen and Co and going to stomp that shit?

    So there you go. People want fucking jobs, they (say) they don’t want government handouts. We had a circus clown lying to them telling them that they’re getting a job that pays great, and that was enough to win a 30/70 election by the slimmest of margins. We told them we were fighting for “adjustment assistance” after they got fired. Sounds great!

    Maybe we should elect a politician in the primaries that has a plan to ACTUALLY increase jobs? One that points out the fed is a mess and would appoint someone who would care more about american workers and allow us to have more total jobs, allow us to get wage gains when the unemployment rate drops farther and we have more bargaining power?

    We don’t need to flip every worker in the midwest. We just have to have a fucking plan that would actually increase jobs and virtually no fucking democratic politician has that plan. It’s not wonder we fucking lost. (And yes, Sanders was the fucking closest – he bitched at the fed incessantly.)

    Oh, and maybe the democratic party should have, I don’t fucking know, DONE SOMETHING about jobs and wages when we had full control of the government? People are fucking hurting out there, and yes, getting us out of the recession was a great thing, but we didn’t do anything about the long term situation that people have found themselves in. Now that they were able to catch their breath, they started looking around and said “is this fucking it?!”

    Automation is going to continue. But that has NOTHING TO DO WITH EMPLOYMENT IN THIS COUNTRY, PERIOD, FULL STOP. And it is laughably ignorant to pretend it does. So how about we stop whining about it and get to employing people in the millions of jobs that could and will exist in the future?

    Now, does this win elections? I don’t know, but it has a better shot than that shit the clintonistas have been feeding us. You articulate the actual problem and you have a solution (kinda like, the immigrants and foreigners are stealing your jobs and imma put a end to that shit.) I think our other shot is to choose someone who bridges all our factions and motivates them to show up (a michelle obama.) Either way, right now we’re doing it fucking wrong. And it seems like 90% of our party has literally no idea this is the case. Instead we’re talking about shit like what to do about people who we are admitting will lose their jobs. The fuck?

    • I know Loomis is the historian who hates economic history

      I write economic history so somehow I’m not sure this is accurate.

      • ProgressiveLiberal

        I cannot explain your disconnect from reality in any other way, but I’m all ears if you want to give it a try. You have been complaining about productivity increases from the day I found this blog and it makes less than no sense.

        Maybe you could tell me at what point in history we had the goldilocks level of productivity. I gather it was after the cotton gin but before automated trucks. Which year was the right year?

        Do you not realize how rich we’d be if we had a society that, for example, moved goods on railcars that had robots automatically move the box over to a flat bed or a semi, which had a robot that drove them to a distribution center that had robots further sort and distribute the goods to an end store, all with virtually no human contact with the goods? Productivity increases are the only reason we’re as rich as we are, and the ONLY WAY WE WILL BE RICHER IN THE FUTURE. The problem is that the gains from the productivity increases have not been shared with workers, but that is a conscious (and unrelated from productivity) decision that we’ve made the last four decades or so. If instead of a 2% inflation ceiling we let wages go higher and unemployment go lower, that workers would have seen gains like they did in the late 90s, or even better? That if we let wage inflation be 1% higher in the last 40 years, wages would be almost 50% higher today? So, instead of $26/hr avg, it would be $39/hr avg?

        tl;dr: Did the 50s, 60s and 90s exist? Or is that all just made up in the history books?

        • Did the 50s, 60s and 90s exist? Or is that all just made up in the history books?

          All made up. Along with the 1880s.

          • ProgressiveLiberal

            That’s about the only way I can reconcile your disdain for productivity increases with reality. I for one thought increasing productivity and wages for the middle class was a good thing, but I don’t write economic history, so what do I know.

            So which was the goldilocks year for the one correct level of productivity?

            • Gareth

              1491. When Erik talks about employment-destroying technology, he includes the potato.

        • Murc

          You have been complaining about productivity increases from the day I found this blog and it makes less than no sense.

          No. He hasn’t. This is a lie, pure and simple.

          What Erik has been complaining about are the knock-on effects of productivity and efficiency increases that are transparently going to fuck over a ton of people and for which there is no actual plan in sight to un-fuck them. Complaining about those things makes a ton of sense.

          This has happened many, many, many times before in the history of this and every other nation. Countless times! Yes, productivity gains increase overall societal wealth, but that means precisely jack shit if those gains are not equitably distributed and is cold comfort to the people being fucked over.

          So if you see a massive productivity increase coming along that’s going to fuck over millions of people, with no plan in sight at all to un-fuck them, with all the gains of that productivity probably flowing to people who are already rich, complaining about that is 100% the right move.

          • ProgressiveLiberal

            Explain the increase in productivity and wages in the 90s after stagnant 80s and 70s. According to you, the opposite should have happened – productivity increases should have drove down wages or left more unemployed people in their wake, which is the OPPOSITE of what happened.

            Farm tools did a fuck ton more to the employment prospects of millions than automated trucks will, IF they ever come.

            Remember the threat of the Automated Teller Machine?

            What you also seem to be missing is that I am arguing that these people are going to be fucked over because we don’t have full employment and the fed is going to ensure that is true for a long time (which is the real reason that the rich are able to capture the majority of the gains of productivity today, instead of workers.) However, SOMEONE was going to get fucked over. If you have 5% unemployment, then it doesn’t matter if its mostly ex-truckers or people from a variety of jobs. 5% is 5%. Say we lost 5% of workers evenly distributed from every business in the country. So what? How is that any better/worse than losing 5% from one industry? All those people need to find new jobs, in either case.

            And the ONLY WAY we’re getting them new jobs and/or higher wages is to A) get the fed from running a high unemployment economy (so workers capture the gains of productivity increases) and B) cut the dollar down so that we aren’t spending money in china to make shit and spend it here instead (make domestic goods more competitive.) And virtually no politician is arguing either of these.

            We’re all on the same team, but our team is filled with so many that have no idea what they’re talking about when it comes to the economy, which is the reason WE HAVE NO COHERENT MESSAGE and lose to circus clowns.

            • (((Malaclypse)))

              Say we lost 5% of workers evenly distributed from every business in the country. So what? How is that any better/worse than losing 5% from one industry?

              That is some impressive innumeracy.

              • ProgressiveLiberal

                You’d make a great egg timer.

                • los

                  likely you intended this meaning:
                  than losing [that same nationwide] 5% from one industry?

                • ProgressiveLiberal

                  Yes, we all know exactly what I intended, but Mal likes to argue trivial inane semantics shit instead of admitting they know what I was saying.

            • Murc

              Explain the increase in productivity and wages in the 90s after stagnant 80s and 70s. According to you, the opposite should have happened – productivity increases should have drove down wages or left more unemployed people in their wake, which is the OPPOSITE of what happened.

              I have never claimed this. Not once. Nor has Erik. Productivity and efficiency gains do not always throw people out of work or drive down wages. They don’t always have negative knock-on effects. But they often do.

              • ProgressiveLiberal

                This is my last reply.

                Say you two are right. Say we are going to come up with a way to robotically, safely, truck shit all over the country, and its going to decimate trucking and truckers.

                What do you propose we do?

                A) Ban truck robots and we all pay full price to ship shit forever, and there is no savings in our pockets to spend on other shit. We give that money to shippers to give to truckers who we don’t really need, but they want to work, so fuck it.

                B) Pass a law forcing trucking companies to pay those truck drivers to come sit in an office and watch their trucks being driven by robots on a tracking map, and then send the truckers home when they see that their trucks have arrived. This way, they’re getting paid the same wages, and the cost of shipping is the same, and we have no savings in our pocket to pay for other shit.

                C) Let robots drive the shit around and let the price of shipping fall by some fraction, let’s say, half. Tax everyone in the US the exact amount of the wages of the workers that were fired (which is ~equivalent to the savings in the price reduction in shipping goods) and give it to the workers to go on vacation forever. So, now you’re paying half as much for shipping, but what should be your savings is now being taxed back to pay the workers not to work, cause fairness, so once again, you’re no better off, again.

                D) Let the robots drive the shit around and let the price of shipping fall by some fraction, let’s say, half. Find new employment for all the workers that were displaced, either by, I don’t know, planning work for them to do centrally, or if only we had a way that it was determined what areas of the economy needed additional workers due to the fact that we are all saving half on shipping and are spending that money at other businesses. What would that be, a way for it to be determined without the government centrally planning where all the workers should go…if only this method existed…hmmmmm…..we could call it, a “farket.” No, a “larket.” Narket? I like the sound of that. A narket.

                So fucking pick one. Cause this is what reality looks like.

                PS. This is why we need universal programs like free schooling, healthcare, retirement, unemployment, etc, so that we don’t look like a bunch of fucking morons trying to waste money needlessly and lose elections to vile circus clowns. Cause again, this is fucking reality.

                • Murc

                  This is my last reply.

                  Aww, you’re trying to drop the mic and walk offstage!

                  That’s adorable.

                • los

                  why we need universal programs like free schooling, healthcare, retirement, unemployment, etc

                  PS?
                  in a less provoking comment, this option would have been option number 1.

            • Murc

              Also too:

              Remember the threat of the Automated Teller Machine?

              Yes, I fucking do, because one of my friends in primary school’s parents lost their job as a bank teller explicitly because of those things. They had to go back to school and enter an entire other career. This blew a huge hole in their lifetime earnings and significantly affected the entire families ability to build generational wealth.

              • vic rattlehead

                But that does sort of go to the larger point, although PL trivializes the job loss and you are justified in answering the way you do. The correct answer to that should have been taxes from cost savings to pay for his/her retraining and help patch the hole in the lost wealth, not banning stuff like ATMs (which you didn’t say, I know). Which is what PL’s long post on the options re policy responses to self driving trucks was about. There is a middle ground between destroying people’s livelihoods and Luddism.

              • los

                blew a huge hole in their lifetime earnings and significantly affected the entire families ability to build generational wealth.

                thus why some of the (albeight time-distributed) savings from productivty increase should go to displacees… perhaps we need a new variant on unemployment insurance?

            • manual

              Explain the 90s. The federal reserve and an asset bubble. But continue blathering along.

    • D.N. Nation

      Maybe we should elect a politician in the primaries

      Maybe a certain politician shouldn’t write off the South wholesale next time. People live there! Crazy, I know.

      • ProgressiveLiberal

        Where is this shit coming from?

        Even if you take all of her delegates from mississippi, alabama, south carolina, georgia, louisiana, arkansas and tennessee and give them to bernie, he still loses.

        Got that? And that was giving ALL of them to him. It wasn’t the south. It’s the fact that the gross majority of our party, everywhere, isn’t really fucking any good at this. Look around. What exactly do we control? How effective has our message been? Yet we keep voting for the same shit, and ignore our own advice to “move the party to the left.”

        Maybe we could run Chelsea in 2020.

        • D.N. Nation

          Fucking dumb voters. Fuck them. Fuckity fuck fuck.

          • ProgressiveLiberal

            Do you disagree that the majority of voters in this country aren’t very smart? I didn’t think this was controversial. We literally have ~50% who voted for a clown, and >25% who voted for the second most unpopular candidate ever (this was a benefit we were told, btw – “baked in”), who allowed the clown to eek out a victory.

            So…uh…yeah. Morans. Lots of them.

            I think its funny when we insult voters on the right for being dumb and falling for shit messages but when voters on the left do it…

            • Murc

              who allowed the clown to eek out a victory.

              Repeating this lie over and over will not make it true.

              • ProgressiveLiberal

                He didn’t win???

                • Murc

                  Hillary Clinton did not allow him to win. That absolutely did not happen.

            • (((Malaclypse)))

              We literally have ~50% who voted for a clown, and >25% who voted for the second most unpopular candidate ever (this was a benefit we were told, btw – “baked in”), who allowed the clown to eek out a victory.

              Those are not even close to the actual results. I’d ask if you are normally this wrong, but, well…

              • It’s the lack of meat in his diet that allows him to understand politics and economics so perceptively.

                • ProgressiveLiberal

                  I took plenty of shit before each election pointing out that it probably wasn’t a good idea and that clinton wasn’t really that popular but what did I know…the clinton dead enders sure showed me.

                  It’s not so much she lost, its that it was a 70/30 election against a vile circus clown to begin with. That’s fucking embarrassing.

                  And now? President fucking trump.

                  I’m still waiting for that brilliant economic message from the rest of you. Our party has done such a bang up job, I can’t wait to get my talking points for the next election.

                  “Baked in.” You gotta be fucking kidding me.

              • ProgressiveLiberal

                46% for trump (rounded to 50%, which is why ~50%)

                55% of our primary voters for clinton. yes, i assumed 55% would hold through the whole 65 mil that voted for her, which is where I got > 25% (half of half, shorthand). So, yes, you can legitimately nitpick. It’s probably closer to 60% of all general voters that either voted for him in the general or her in the primary, but this is impossible to figure out exactly.

                What’s your point?

                • (((Malaclypse)))

                  You said 25% of the voters voted for Clinton. I block-quoted it, so that you couldn’t edit it away. Now, later, you looked up actual numbers.

                  That was my point, cupcake.

                • ProgressiveLiberal

                  I was speaking of the primary, when the decision of democrats mattered, not the general, when we all had to vote for her. I’m not blaming anyone for voting for her in the general against him. You see, this is how elections work. You vote least worst in every election.

                  So I’m blaming the roughly half (of the general voting population) that voted for the least popular candidate in history in the general, and the roughly half of half (democratic primary voters) that voted for the second least popular presidential candidate history in the primary, again, when it mattered.

                  Again, do you have a point? Mine is, fully every republican is stupid, and half our democrats are too.

            • los

              “eke”

              “morons”

    • Murc

      Automation is going to continue. But that has NOTHING TO DO WITH EMPLOYMENT IN THIS COUNTRY, PERIOD, FULL STOP.

      … yes, it does. It has a lot to do with it. Self-driving trucks are going to throw a few million truckers out of work. That has an awful fuckin’ lot to do with employment in this country.

      • ProgressiveLiberal

        No it doesn’t.

        Productivity/automation has thrown 98% of farmers out of work. Farmers used to be 90% of all workers. Do we have 88% total unemployment? Yes or no.

        Let me explain it to you.

        Say it takes 50 guys to frame a house. Now comes a nailgun, and each guy is twice as fast. It now takes 25 guys to frame a house. So, the cost of labor on your house was just cut in half. You were going to spend 50k on labor on your house, and now you can buy that labor for 25k, and you have 25k to spend at the local bar, restaurant, car dealer, grocery store, etc – all who now employ more workers because they now have more customers (you, with your 25k you saved.) Meanwhile, 25 workers have been freed up to take these other jobs, and society is so much richer because not only do we get one house built in X amount of time, we actually get one house PLUS all the work the 25 freed up workers have been able to do in that amount of time because they’re no longer wasting time on one house. See, we could have TWO HOUSES (for example) and be twice as rich. All because of a productivity increase: a nailgun.

        The problem is you and your ilk keep pretending that you’re just going to burn that extra 25k you saved instead of spending it, but NONE OF YOU would argue that if the government gave you 25k in stimulus you’d just burn it. Or you pretend that you’re still going to have to pay 25 workers 50k total still (i.e. the price won’t decrease) which is just as silly. You can’t come up with a consistent story for the economy where productivity increase are A) bad or B) increase unemployment.

        So, AGAIN, productivity has NOTHING to do with total employment. Only DEMAND does.

        • (((Malaclypse)))

          Let me explain it to you.

          Please do. Work in Say’s Law, and some Bastiat, and maybe Hazlitt, and be sure to deal only with theory and not with actual stagnating standards of living.

          • N__B

            C’mon, Mal, credit where credit is due. That was the most impressive reduction of technological determinism into gibberish I’ve ever seen.

            • (((Malaclypse)))

              Clearly, you have never read Economics in One Lesson.

              • N__B

                That reeks of effort.

        • Connecticut Yankee

          The best part of this is that two years ago everyone here would have agreed that demand is what matters, but having to pretend Donald Trump of all people has a legitimate economic point is making them forget

          • (((Malaclypse)))

            Oh, demand matters, but PL is still writing gibberish.

          • ProgressiveLiberal

            Fucking bingo.

        • Murc

          Productivity/automation has thrown 98% of farmers out of work. Farmers used to be 90% of all workers. Do we have 88% total unemployment? Yes or no.

          If those changes had slammed in overnight? Yes, we would do.

          Your cute little story is only true sometimes. It is not true all the time.

          Those 25 guys thrown out of work? You just sort of blithely hand-wave that they’re gonna get new jobs that are exactly as good as their old jobs. That happens sometimes. It also often doesn’t.

          Also, if I ended up with an extra 25k a year, I super would not spend most of it. That would go right into my 401k and not be touched for another third of a century.

          • ProgressiveLiberal

            See above about truckers.

            PS. Love how you now deny how stimulus works. Amazing. So we’re against stimulus and other increases in demand now. How fucking consistent of us.

            • humanoid.panda

              Productivity/automation has thrown 98% of farmers out of work. Farmers used to be 90% of all workers. Do we have 88% total unemployment? Yes or no.

              And as we all know, the transition from rural to urban society was totally smooth and did not cause any social disruptions.

            • Murc

              Love how you now deny how stimulus works.

              I did no such thing. Once again, you have lied.

    • Matt_L

      Dude. This has nothing to do with the Fed. There have been productivity increases across the board, the problem is not and has never been technology or automation. The question is how the share of that wealth generated by increased productivity is distributed and who pays the costs of those technologies and their consequences. Since the 1970s all the rewards from increased productivity have gone to Capital and Labor has gotten saddled with the costs. That is a matter of government policy. Tax policy, trade policy and labor policy have all contributed to this. Yeah, it would be nice if the Fed took their obligation to sustain full employment seriously, but if people were able to organize unions and taxes were sufficiently high enough on corporations to return some profits as increased wages we would all be better off.

      • ProgressiveLiberal

        Dude, you’re wrong.

        Tell me exactly what factors determine how “wealth generated by increased productivity is distributed.”

        Yes, “all the rewards from increased productivity have gone to capital” – that’s my fucking point.

        When we have high unemployment, then workers can’t bargain for wages, because there is someone else standing at the door ready to take the job at their wage. When the fed prevents (wage) inflation from even getting to 2%, that means the average worker ain’t getting a 2% raise. (Remember, we pay the lumberjack, not the tree. Prices increases are – or at least should be – wage increases, generally, absent something like a supply shock.)

        Yes, if people could organize unions like they do in Denmark, they could coordinate and bargain for wages. Instead, we have workers standing at the door ready to take your job at your wage, cause we have a high unemployment policy and no coordination.

        Riddle me this: why is it we don’t drive unemployment down to 0%? Why does the fed increase interest rates? Do you not believe that increasing interest rates has any effect on the economy, that they’re just doing it for shits and giggles?

        And as I pointed out, the other problem is that the dollar is too high. We’re mailing our money to china instead to a factory down the street (i.e., the trade deficit) and employing foreign workers to make our shit instead of domestic workers (who would spend their wages domestically too.)

        So I agree there is more than one way to skin this cat, but it seems to me the most likely way is for a liberal president to fix the fed so they aren’t jacking up rates when inflation has been sub 2% for a decade, while telling us that the “average” rate of inflation they’re targeting is 2%. You see, I want to get the money before its in the corporations pocket and have it distributed to workers first, as opposed to taxing it later and redistributing it. Call it “predistribution” if you’d like. I call it “wage gains.”

        But my overall point is, democrats are morons when it comes to this shit, and we’re losing to a lying vile circus clown cause we don’t have a simple, coherent story about how we’re going to increase jobs and increase wages for the morons in the midwest.

        • los

          simple, coherent story about how we’re going to increase jobs and increase wages for the morons in the midwest

          That’s a difficult challenge, recognizing that conservatives are waging a hot war on the economy…

    • los

      the immigrants and foreigners are stealing your jobs and imma put a end to that shit.

      in the long term, it is difficult to campaign on promises damaging policies.
      Opposing increases in able-bodied employees “participation” is similar to opposing increased productivity.
      Both are economic benefits.

      • los

        (promises of damaging policies…

        … promising to pursue policies guaranteed to damage the economy)

  • DrDick

    To be honest, we will be lucky to even have a functioning economy after four years of Trump and the Congressional Republicans running the show.

    • ProgressiveLiberal

      Eh, it will sputter along. Tax breaks for the rich (the only thing congress, who writes the legislation, cares about) won’t do shit either way. They’re not going to send trump some bill to tank the economy wholesale just for shits and giggles. And it takes a while to get to a 2007 like situation – they couldn’t write legislation fast enough.

      They ain’t bringing the jobs back and they ain’t getting to 4% growth. They might be slightly contractionary or slightly expansionary depending on the mix of shit. Mainly, they’re going to waste money on rich people and war machines. But that ain’t technically bad for “the economy” – just the country overall.

      Hopefully enough people in the midwest are pissed off enough at no progress in 4 years to push the reset button, again.

      • efgoldman

        They’re not going to send trump some bill to tank the economy wholesale just for shits and giggles.

        Dumping the ACA would be a real good start in that direction. Putting Granny Starver’s magick on medicare and social security would move it right along.

        • BigHank53

          “The salient fact of American politics is that there are fifty to seventy million voters each of whom will volunteer to live, with his family, in a cardboard box under an overpass, and cook sparrows on an old curtain rod, if someone would only guarantee that the black, gay, Hispanic, liberal, whatever, in the next box over doesn’t even have a curtain rod, or a sparrow to put on it.”

          A great many Trump voters won’t care how bad things get.

        • ProgressiveLiberal

          They keep saying they’re going to kill those 2 to 5 years in the future. I’ve yet to see a plan to kill them today. It’s always “replace the ACA in 2 years” or “end medicare for future beneficiaries” or “cut SS for future beneficiaries.” Sure, they might gut food stamps right now, but even that is usually “block grant and refuse future increases.” Where are the policies to ACTUALLY end shit now? I just see tax cuts for rich people, which is the shittiest kind of stimulus, but still expansionary.

          • los

            I just see tax cuts for rich people, which is the shittiest kind of stimulus, but still expansionary

            Least expansionary if used as pure “stimulus”, because among wealth percentiles, the wealthy consume least efficiently.
            OTOH, assume some of the subsidy gets churned back into ‘savings’. Then the value of the “stimulus” subsidy is estimated by the value of activity into which “stimulus” is invested.

      • los

        reset… (Before 2020, 2021 census process.)

        voters need to “reset” at state level.
        but democracy has already been partially stolen from voters in redstates.

      • los

        reset… (Before 2020, 2021 census process.)
        voters need to “reset” at state level.
        but democracy has already been partially stolen from voters in redstates.

        “rigged” redstates is why the usa is “polarized”

  • los

    Trump will put on a hard hat

    saboteurs in the promo dept should have Herr Trump sit inside a tank ‘hatch’ or wear a flight suit.

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