Northeastern Bias? Could that be?


"BRIAN STELTER, CNN: Certainly right underneath the surface, many writers and commentators are mortified by some of the things Trump says. You can call it liberal bias, or you can call it a sense of decency. A sense of how politics are supposed to be done. Or how the campaigns are supposed to be played.

ARI FLEISCHER: I would never call that decency. That's not what it is. What it really is, is a Northeastern look-down-your-nose at other people who are different. That's what is it, Brian.

I can't tell you how many people in journalism or other places around the Northeast, where I live now, who are absolutely aghast — can not understand how anybody could possibly be for Donald Trump. That is disdain for the voters.

I'll never be like that. There's a lot about Donald Trump that I don't like, and I'll call him out on it. But I'll never have disdain for the American people.

That view that you just articulated is disdain for the American people. "  CNN


I am surprised that Fleischer has it right but he does.  pl

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81 Responses to Northeastern Bias? Could that be?

  1. Nick Smith says:

    Among the writers and commentators Stelter is referring to, there is not just outrage that Trump is violating standards of decency or decorum- what you are really seeing is sheer panic on their behalf as they realize they cannot influence the public mood and elections as they have in the past. They have lost control and they don’t know how to respond.
    Their attempts are getting more and more ridiculous (Kagan making Trump out to be the next Il Duce or Fuhrer… please) and while I have despised him and his ugly developments my entire life as a Manhattan native, he has accomplished something wonderful by giving all these failing upwards types this kind of opportunity to make fools of themselves. Honest Don!

  2. oofda says:

    Of course, this is after Trump has paid his dues to AIPAC; if he reverts to his original position of giving an even position to the Israeli-Palestinian issue, let us see what Fleischer says. This sounds more like Israel-firster Fleischer supporting Trump after he has dropped his even-handed support of the Palestinians.

  3. Alexey says:

    Reminds me of “Russian liberals” who frequently say things like “95% people in this country are genetic slaves” or “we are different biological species”. And all that just because those people have different political views or values.
    I guess this phenomena is international.

  4. Ghost ship says:

    People from the North-east are just as American as people from the South-east, South, South-west, and North-west. So they are at most showing disdain for some American people. Whether it’s most who have the vote and who vote, we will see after the presidential election. Or are North-easterners self-hating Americans?
    And it’s not as if the disdain is one-sided. An awful lot of Republicans have show disdain for the Clintons and Obama, whether it’s justified is debatable just as it’s debatable that Trump should be treated with disdain. For example, getting the Mexicans to pay for the wall – perhaps if the United States guaranteed that it would stay completely out of Central and South American politics, the Central and South Americans might be persuaded to have a whip-round to pay for.
    With Trump, some of his policies should be treated with disdain, but he does have the advantage that he is not a professional politician which is a major point in his favour.
    As for Ari Fleischer, as a political shill, he is a member of the only group of people who should be treated with more disdain than the group, professional politicians that he works for.
    I recently saw an article that the United States should introduce it’s own version of the Eurovision Song Contest to relieve some of these regional tensions, because just like in Europe they do exist and mocking other countries popular songwriters and singers is preferable to killing each other.

  5. jsn says:

    Once in a while, even a blind squrrel gets an acorn.

  6. Degringolade says:

    My teenage sons refer to the good Colonel here and the Archdruid as “Dad’s Man Crushes”. But more serious discussion is instigated between them and I due to these two sources than any others.
    The Archdruid wrote a truly excellent article on this very subject back in January. It is still right on target.

  7. turcopolier says:

    thanks for introducing The Archdruid here. He lives no far away. pl

  8. turcopolier says:

    Ghost Ship
    IMO Fleischer’s remarks were about the NE MEDIA, not the population in general. pl

  9. RetiredPatriot says:

    Thanks for the point to that wonderful essay by Greer. There’s a lot of truth in what he writes there!

  10. Margaret Steinfels says:

    Whatever the prejudices of the NE media, it can’t get enough of Trump. CNN must be making millions. Why even the very proper Judy Woodruff can’t let an evening pass without marveling at Trump’s bravado. Sneer at the media if you will, but everyday it brings Trump’s words and gestures to Kansas, and parts West.

  11. Matthew says:

    Col: You are far too gracious. The East Coast types call it “civility” while they admonish Fly Over Country to refrain from complaining about prolonged wage stagnation.

  12. Edward Amame says:

    Trump is a rich native NYer. One of the very types who are regularly portrayed as looking down at regular folks who live in “flyover states.” Ari Fleischer is using a classic Karl Rove tactic here: transfer your weaknesses to your opponent.

  13. tim s says:

    That’s a great piece by Mr. Greer. Most of his stuff I’ve read in the past struck me more along the line of the one-looking-down-the-nose-at-others and I couldn’t stand it. Glad to see a piece like this from him.

  14. Javier G. says:

    My wife and I were at Trump International Hotel in Chicago this weekend. I pointed out to my wife how funny it was to see large numbers of wealthy Gulfie Muslims and Chinese businessmen staying there in light of the media portrayal of Trump as an Islamophobe and Sinophobe. On the DuSable Bridge over the Chicago River you would see foreign tourists taking selfies with Trump International Hotel in the background, where the TRUMP sign is prominently displayed over the river. I thought how funny it was that wealthy liberals in the expensive condos across the river have the illuminated TRUMP sign ever-present in their view (and maybe even shadows on their walls). They’re probably in therapy over it.
    Btw, when I say media portrayal of Trump, I mean things like Fareed Zakaria’s upcoming CNN Special, “Why They Hate Us”. In the preview for this special they feature Trump making a bombastic statement at a campaign speech.

  15. BraveNewWorld says:

    >”Of course, this is after Trump has paid his dues to AIPAC;”
    Well not quite yet. Like all American politicians he still has to go to Israel for vetting and re-education. But Sheldon Adelson is working on getting that done.
    >”Sheldon Adelson, RJC ‘laying the groundwork’ for a Trump trip to Israel”

  16. jld says:

    Yup! The Archdruid has some interesting writings but I suspect that he is even more smug than he appear. 🙂

  17. robt willmann says:

    There is no shyness in giving large sums of money for so-called “speeches”, in this case by Hillary Clinton from April 2013 through March 2015. She was given $21,667,000.00 over that two-year period. You can see the list of those who gave all this money at the end of the article–
    The payments for past favors and deposit bribes for future favors are becoming more and more brazen and in the open.

  18. Tyler says:

    Glad to see that north is still north and Kagan is still wrong as ever.

  19. Tyler says:

    Yet he’s going out on a limb for those people.
    You’re not as clever as you think.

  20. VietnamVet says:

    Only American cities have seen growth in the number of new businesses since 2008. In counties with a population less than 100,000, they have declined. In 20 counties it is Okay. In 3144 counties, not as great as it was.
    This correlates with the higher mortality rate in rural America. Both are symptoms of the malaise that has struck the heartland. This is the reason for the rise of Donald Trump. My explanation is that global oligarchs won and they outsourced the good paying jobs in middle America in order to make more money. The 20 counties in the new America basically build airplanes and weapons, design new gadgets and transfer wealth. This is our new modern Imperium run by and for corporations; not the people.

  21. Matthew says:

    Tyler: Being hated by the Neo-Cons is Trump’s greatest selling point.

  22. pob2 says:

    Is this NE bias? Or rather what seems to be going on just about everywhere in advanced economies – urban vs rural, often metro vs the ‘burbs? And non-govt services vs manufacturing? Old vs young? Grads vs the rest? Owners vs renters? And then there’s gender…

  23. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    Deringolade, SST;
    Joe Bageant wrote about these issues before it became fashionable:
    Peace be to his memory. He was a powerful writer.
    Ishmael Zechariah

  24. A second thought on this issue. How many Trump supporters (for whatever reason) never considered that NAFTA was the source for their economic conditions, ditto illegal immigrants, ditto tariffs, ditto Chinese workers. But now there’s a candidate who lines up multipe reasons for their difficult circumstances, some real, some not.
    My point: How much has Trump created the grievances to which NE media paid little attention. But neither did the newly aggrieved Trump supporters until the Trump campaign began and the media told them what to be aggrieved over.
    NB: I don’t defend the media: NE, SE, SW, NW or Chicago. The echo chamber that is the Trump campaign needs more analysis.

  25. turcopolier says:

    So, Trump created the illusion of loss of industrial jobs? pl

  26. turcopolier says:

    I see. It is a matter of all against all and so nothing that indicates bias on a group basis really means anything. You must be a grad student or professor. Hobbes’ name arises here often. That must seem familiar to you. pl

  27. ked says:

    Strikes me that the NE media is merely displaying their incapacity to understand what’s going on beyond their social / career field. I note similar weakness in all regions of the country. As to disdain for the American people, that’s kinda a hallmark of all our elites, isn’t it? To me, Donald’s whole shtick is centered upon disdain for the American people. It’s a shtick that will go down in history. Maybe, finally, our elites will accept him as one of their own.

  28. Degringolade says:

    Ismael: Joe Baegent was a true are real writer. For the folks here at the Colonel’s I can’t recommend him enough.
    I lived in the barracks for quite a bit, you get to know people in an open bay, and a lot of our military enlisted come from the redneck core of what was America. The folks that Joe talks about in his essays are my kin. His love of them, warts and all, are a lasting tribute: Warts and all they are my kin.

  29. MRW says:

    My point: How much has Trump created the grievances to which NE media paid little attention. But neither did the newly aggrieved Trump supporters until the Trump campaign began and the media told them what to be aggrieved over.
    I mean this with the greatest respect and humility, @Margaret Steinfels. I really do.
    Trump did NOT create “the grievances to which NE media paid little attention.”
    The media did NOT tell them “what to be aggrieved over.”
    No one has been listening to them for the last eight years. No one. Trump did. We still have families sleeping in their cars at Walmart’s parking lot. They want JOBS. They can’t afford the internet. But they hear Trump’s rallies on the car radio. They’re parked in the Mormon church parking lot so they can feed their kids from the donations.
    The 5% unemployment rate is bogus. That’s the U3 rate. Not the U6 rate. There are still 24 million underemployed or working three part-time jobs to pay essentials. The breadwinners are embarrassed or ashamed that they can’t support their families. 45 million are getting food stamps, even those with jobs.
    This has been a ‘recovery’ of shame and silence, and to his credit, Trump has tapped into this. He’s listened.

  30. MRW says:

    Fleischer is just pushing Adelson’s agenda. Adelson is now backing Trump. He’s putting his dough ($100 million) behind Trump because the Israeli PM’s office counseled and instructed Trump’s Orthodox son-in-law (Google it) who was revealed as the “writer” of Trump’s AIPAC speech. Trump adores his daughter.
    Adelson could care less about the USA and the US election. Both he and Fleischer are Israel-Firsters. That’s all they care about.

  31. MRW says:

    Kagan is an asshole.

  32. MRW says:

    Were it that reducible.

  33. MRW says:

    To me, Donald’s whole shtick is centered upon disdain for the American people.
    Wow. Are you off the reservation.

  34. steve says:

    Thanks for the link. My experience certainly bears it out.
    I moved to a northern Iowa town of 28,000 a few years ago. At the time, it still had a Norman Rockwell feel to it. But it’s changed considerably since the late 90s–used car lots, payday loans, pawn shops, smoke shops, etc., seem to be the growth industries. K-Mart, Sears, and JCPenney, have all closed down. Small manufacturing has left.
    Instead of Norman Rockwell, parts of town now more resemble a mix between Appalachia and Detroit, as folks leave for Minneapolis or Des Moines. A lot of pasty-looking tattooed skinheads hang out on the corners–reminds me of photos of the English Midlands in 1985.

  35. Matthew says:

    MRW: But then, how is “Trump’s whole shtick” any more disdainful of working Americans than the Neo-Liberals? Compare Hillary’s campaign to Bernie’s.

  36. C Webb says:

    Mr FLEISCHER: “I’ll never be like that. There’s a lot about Donald Trump that I don’t like, and I’ll call him out on it. ”
    Self praise is no praise.
    Here we have some talking head gossiping about some other talking heads.
    How about sticking with the arguments?
    Maybe he should apply his maxim (calling out what you don’t like) to the so called NE snobs( a broad brush generalisation).
    AFAIK Americans used to educated in spotting this kind of sophistry and in times past I doubt they would have tolerated this kind of manipulative and slanted punditry.

  37. Jack says:

    Thanks for the link. The Archdruid speaks truth that what we have had and continue to have is a class war. The wage class have been shredded and what were middle class jobs have now become part time burger flippers. The bottom 90% continue to fall behind. Even the salary class are not doing as well although they haven’t lost the aspirational element yet. The wealth concentration and growth has been extremely narrow and among the 0.1%. What has yet to be recognized commonly is that the collusion of the political and financial elites to increase the size and scope of government ostensibly to regulate the corporare elites have actually turned out to be the opposite. Its been to protect the cartelization rackets and to foster the financialization of the economy leading to more and more financial leverage and speculation backstopped by the bottom 90% and their future generations. The corruption has now become endemic with an open revolving door and the lucrative lobbying and consulting deals for the political elites. The scale of the funds flows at the Clinton Foundation is staggering and exemplifies the brazeness. Trump is clearly trying to rally those left behind. The question is will he fight the Borg or be coopted by them if he gets elected? The pressure to conform is enormous. My biggest fear is that we slowly slide towards the Archdruid’s fear of Americans goose stepping with armbands.

  38. Tyler says:

    Link me to whichever HuffPaint writer you cribbed that from.
    I’ve seen some uninformed analysis before (GCP does post here) but that takes the cake.

  39. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think you are not going far enough into the past when you wrote: “the last eight years”.
    The symptoms of a significant disaffected population was already there during the candidacy and campaigns of one David Duke.
    There are working people who live in their cars – waitresses and short-order cooks and others like them who staff all these strip malls; especially in warmer places such as Florida.

  40. eakens says:

    The media has failed to realize from the beginning that the support for DT is really coming from people not wanting anybody else, more so than them necessarily wanting Trump. They are still oblivious to this, and the media will finally accept it in November.

  41. @MSW with great respect, back to you: a question
    When did Trump listen? Where did he listen? To whom? Donald Trump lives in the world of the well-cosseted, more so than any media type, except perhaps Roger Ailes and his like at NBC, etc.
    We might like to think he did some searching and researching for his issues; might have actually talked to families living in their cars. I doubt it. Various analysts of right, left, and the middle who have looked at his proposals don’t see how he can do what he says he will do, and some of them go on to point out that if he could they are not going to help many of the people who will vote for him.
    There is a better chance that Bernie Sanders knows whereof he speaks, but there’s a good chance his proposals won’t work for his voters either. And just to be fair, let me throw in some of Clinton’s proposals (doing away with student loans, for example) being far-fetched.
    The echo chamber that is Trump’s campaign is going to leave many voters disappointed and angrier than he has made them already. voters).

  42. Babak Makkinejad says:

    In my observation, very many European-Americans are wont to accept welfare and they amply demonstrate, in a consistent manner, very high work ethic.
    I think its origin lies in the culture of Northern Europe – including England.
    One does not have to be a redneck to possess those qualities; in my opinion.

  43. turcopolier says:

    Where did you observe this predilection for hard work and welfare? The rednecks that I know in rural Virginia are not like that unless they are soaked in meth. in that case they are no inclined toward hard work. pl

  44. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I met single mothers who refused to go on welfare, got jobs and went on to better things. Admittedly they were not rednecks but European-Americans nevertheless.
    I worked and have observed European-Americans at work; they demonstrate high work ethic in comparison with many other ethno-linguistics groups.
    Where did I see it? The American Mid-West where young people go to that back-breaking work of corn de-tasseling.

  45. Lefty_Blaker says:

    As a NYer most of my life, I have followed Trump through his various iterations over the years. In this current version, he have very astutely championed a sector of the “wage class” (from the Archdruid’s piece on Trump) which has propelled him to current status as the Republican candidate. He is doing this for political expediency and is doing it very well. The Republicans have been getting this same group of “wage class” voters since Nixon. Trump is the best so far at galvanizing these voters with what will come to be empty promises of what he can do for his “wage class” supporters.
    The billionaire Trump (a protege of the vastly corrupt, infamous Roy Cohen) made money in the time, when the “wage class” has been decimated, by working with the richest investment class who have funded all of his buildings, companies etc not to mention his ties to organized crime in the deals he made to supply him with the vast quantities of concrete, etc for his buildings. He is of the same group of economic elites who have supported the economic policies that have led us to where we are today. Economically, is he really be able to re-cast the trade deals and all the other arrangements that have been built by both parties over the last 40 years? I think not.
    Meanwhile he supports the same skewed tax policies that have enriched himself and his class. In many ways, other than his stated support for his supporters who desperately need a drastic reversal in their fortunes, he will deliver much of what he has benefited personally from throughout his career: An economy where the gains go to his class, his partners on his projects. In this way he is no different from what we know for sure Clinton will deliver as the Democrats have been delivering the economic benefits to their funders since Bill’s first presidency.

  46. Lefty_Blaker says:

    “This is our new modern Imperium run by and for corporations; not the people.”
    This economic data correlates well to the way in which the economic recovery was funded (mostly) by the Federal Reserve transferring great quantities of cash (via Quantitative Easing and other direct loans to the biggest banks). This money went to increased value of assets like real estate and stock (via much companies’ buyback of their stocks) and the wealthiest urban areas were the ones to gain from such increased asset valuation. So in NY where all my contractor associates were busier than EVER by far from building super luxury apts and buildings for the financial elites who are awash in cash again, very little of this cash went into the rural areas. This money did boost the urban economies where the wealth was distributed, not to the rural areas where smaller banks are the prevalent entities that lend to such areas.
    The imperium (of which Trump is a major player) indeed dominates as usual and is thriving while the areas of Trump’s support continues its downward spiral…

  47. MRW says:

    Don’t you mean “less disdainful?”

  48. Degringolade says:

    Sort of off topic, but I came up with this today (I think, someone probably got to it before me)
    Do you want to hear my take on this years election?
    Donald Trump is for people who have already been thrown off the boat
    Bernie Sanders is for folks who have just figured out they are next
    Hillary Clinton is for folks who think that their tickets mean something

  49. Fred says:

    David Duke, really? He was rejected by those disaffected flyover country voters more than once.

  50. Fred says:

    QE was not initiated by Trump.

  51. Fred says:

    Single moms in the corn fields? RIght. I know a few too but none of them are out in the corn fields.

  52. Lefty_Blaker says:

    I don’t think I said it was. My point was how the skewed effects of the economic recovery were based largely on how it was implemented by giving the financial institutions cash which they used in ways that largely benefitted themselves and their class and not the economy as a whole, particularly rural areas. Hence the weak recovery in general where the vast proportion of the income has gone to the financial elites, like Trump.

  53. Margaret Steinfels says:

    No. People who have lost or whose children never had industrial jobs know what they have lost. Those jobs are lost. Trump has created the illusion that he knows all about that loss, always has, and has put his finger on all of the causes and that he understands the consequences.
    He promises to reverse that. He won’t and he can’t. That is the illusion.

  54. turcopolier says:

    Margaret Steinfels
    “He promises to reverse that. He won’t and he can’t” So, you think that the US is in an irreversible economic decline in which manufacturing can not be revived? Perhaps that is so. pl

  55. Linda Lau says:

    As one of those “East coast types” I resent the idea that we are all alike. We have plenty of wage stagnation here and the real estate market has still not recovered. As for Trump I can’t see how disdain for a man who has insulted everything this country is supposed to stand for is a bad thing.

  56. turcopolier says:

    Fleischer’s remarks were directed at the NE media establishment. Are you a media type now? Trump is really another escapee from “Shark Tank” but IMO the corporate media establishment has abandoned all objectivity with regard to Trump and are actively and almost universally campaigning against him. IMO that is inappropriate. pl

  57. Tyler says:

    Trump has made comments about trade going back decades. They’re there, but not talked about cause it wrecks the media’s “Trump has no positions!!!” narrative. Trump has never made a secret of being of the elite, but he doesn’t care. This “oh he’s pretending to be folksy” thought process is a projection created by you and the rest of the Left.
    Bernie Sanders, who got kicked out of a hippie commune for being lazy knows of what he speaks? You’re ridiculous.

  58. Tyler says:

    Trump plays the game, admits the game is f-cked, and doesn’t like playing the game, but is honest in that’s what you have to do to get ahead. That’s why people support him.
    You’re going to be very mad when that yuge wall gets built.

  59. Tyler says:

    How has he “insulted” all that this country stands for. I wanna see THIS thought process at work.

  60. Tyler says:

    He can. Margaret just doesn’t want to admit that a “bad thinker” like Trump is going to bring about the policies she claims to support.

  61. Margaret Steinfels says:

    I think some industrial jobs can be revived. But given that India has now joined China in the manufacturing business with laborers willing to work for even less than the Chinese, I have a hard time figuring out how the steel industry is going to come back. There is a steel glut worldwide, an oil glut, and likely to be an auto glut. But there’s also a beer glut, thanks to American ingenuity in creating ten thousand different brews. Somewhere in Wisconsin and Vermont, there is an uptick in manufacturing cheeses. Okay this is not big-scale, but it’s “industrial.” It requires machinery (and machinists), specialized ingredients, etc. And it’s local (in some of the places where rural poverty is rife). There is even an absinthe brewery not far from our cabin (made from local wormwood).
    AND THEN, I think the unions have to come back and defend what’s left. Do you think Trump will support that? Doubtful. I am hoping that the Carrier Air Condition Company and its owner United Technologies get ripped to shreds over their decision to leave Indiana, and carefully rethink why ACs made in Mexico will be purchased by Trump voters?
    Consumers: Stop buying cheap stuff from China, etc. That means Trump voters too!

  62. Margaret Steinfels says:

    Tut! tut! Thinker? You exaggerate. His mouth is self-running and not connected to any thinking process.

  63. Example: Mouth and brain disconnect.
    ALBUQUERQUE — Despite his promise to unite the Republican Party, Donald Trump attacked New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez — the chairwoman of the Republican Governors Association — on Tuesday night and accused her of “not doing the job.”

  64. ked says:

    yes, I’m not into reservations in the least.

  65. ked says:

    pick your poison, more or less.

  66. ked says:

    as usual, thanks.

  67. ked says:

    “the media” (all of them things) is oblivious to many goings-on these days. if your assessment about people not necessarily wanting DT is correct, we shall be observing a heck of an awakening in the last stages of the election.

  68. turcopolier says:

    Margaret Steinfels
    If manufacturing is permanently disappearing from the US we should be glad that you and I will not live to see the gradual descent of working class Americans into poverty. The process is underway promoted by Freed Trade and the march toward a smaller and smaller work force as companies seek more and more automation in their operations. pl

  69. Tyler says:

    Adelson went to Trump Tower to kiss Trump’s ring.

  70. ked says:

    If I may, Col, allow me to point out that the drive for automation to supplant human labor is a long-standing & powerful trend that will not abate. It has the logic of rationalism in its momentum. The issue is how (if possible / if desirable) to manage it.
    The transition to a non-manufacturing-centric economy in the US could have been / would be possible IF there had been a a concomitant dedication to a serious ($$$) national policy to achieve technology & engineering skills training program built into our education system (the Germans have been recognized for doing so).
    Think of it as a WPA for our workforce in order to stay ahead of the curve. Of course it takes more than a press conference & photo op. Unfortunately, our political polarization would not (& will not) allow it, and our major manufacturing enterprises simply do not invest in this kind of long-term investment. A gov/industry program might work, but where’s the will & leadership (from anywhere)?
    Related, the decrepit condition of our nation’s physical infrastructure has cried for attention for decades. As a people, we blow that off as well. Those jobs would be of great & lasting value even as service-labor, esp in comparison to lawn care & the like (not that I’m against nice golf courses… relaxing when not infuriating). Would actually make America great again.
    Anyway… decent, wise & broadly dispersed leadership coulda / woulda addressed these challenges, but there’s been no will… in the past or present, not in our politics or among our people. Too often, things must get worse before they can get better. That may be the lesson of the Trump phenomenon.
    {further, there remains a good deal of modern versions of old-school manufacturing in the US, especially in the deep South (“America’s Own Third World – C’mon Down!”) where I live & enjoy long-standing family roots. change unfolds, it’s manageable as long as one is flexible and willing. those values can be taught, at home, school, church… even through media.}

  71. turcopolier says:

    The automation progression is accelerating steadily as companies realize that robots are cheaper then people in the long run. IMO you are wildly off the mark if you think that the masses of working people in the US can be “trained” to find new work in a new economy of technology. IMO the end result of free trade folly and robotization of the economy will be a mass of people living on the dole. pl

  72. ked says:

    If so, the mass of all people on Earth will be living on the dole. This is not a trend that’s restricted to the West, nor even mature economies. It is happening everywhere, right now.
    I am a bit surprised that you find that working people in the US can’t be trained / retrained. I believe that the US Army represents confirmation that a large number of our citizens are trainable to perform useful tasks, almost independently from their skills when they showed up at the door. I think the US military has proven to be one of the most successful educational institutions in history and that it demonstrates that skills-training is possible outside the martial arts in our technology-rich culture.
    Given the scale of the problem, and how we’ve ignored it for decades, I admit it would take time… lotsa time & concerted effort. One of the impacts of our modern times is that technology-driven “change that only occurs over multiple generations” to “changes that occur in numerous waves across the span of a single generation (or career)”. So, what do you do when you face problems that take time? Do not delay starting.
    I think many analysts are ready to surrender to the challenge of managing change, & blame overwhelming complexity of advanced technology. I have witnessed guys who didn’t graduate from HS handily operate $.25M HAAS CNC mills & lathes – one of many such cases.
    I believe the problem is the standards we set for ourselves as a nation, not the human capital. Capital is a number… it’s what you do with it that counts. Unfortunately our leadership in gov & the private sector (especially finance) don’t try very hard – maybe they aren’t up to the job.

  73. turcopolier says:

    Australian right? “I am a bit surprised that you find that working people in the US can’t be trained / retrained” It s a standard polemical device here in the capital of the new Rome, to misquote someone and then to comment on the misquote. I said that the enormous masses of Americans cannot be retrained. There are TOO MANY! They will simply be peasants of one sort or another mostly living on the dole in a world in which their vote means nothing. . Yes! Yes! People who have known a better life will be reduced to poverty. Only the capitalist vultures that the pope complains of and those who live in industrial concentration camp factories in places like China will benefit. pl

  74. ked says:

    The Aussies are among my favorite customers, & I thoroughly enjoyed my short time there in the early ’90s, but alas I am not one of them. I’m a born in the USA of Irish Catholic Yankee mom & primitive Baptist Okey dad, a military brat, well educated, serial entrepreneur & as cranky old white guy as anyone. My point was not meant as polemic, but I apologize for misinterpreting your point.
    I believe we are not in a static mess but a dynamic one. There will be change that may serve to correct the status quo we suffer. Your & my generation may suffer less (or at least, for a shorter duration) than the ones younger, who may suffer for a longer period of their “useful life” than ourselves. I have been fortunate to be exposed to even younger generations through work, sport and family (3 kids in mid 20s to early 30s). I am impressed with the prospects for positive change through interaction with these “kids”. By that I mean they don’t give a damn about elders’ pov… We have little to no credibility. I am more than ready to let them take the reins – the could hardly do worse. All I ask / hope-for of them is to make new & different errors.
    Given they will be taking over regardless, will establish a path of their own – perhaps less constrained by our generations mode of thought & action – I am a bit optimistic about the longer term. I may suffer from idealist derangement syndrome but that’s the way I was brought up. On occasion I even note evidence of possible ways ahead through the mess. Other times I find your prediction hard to counter.

  75. turcopolier says:

    I wish I could share your optimism. pl

  76. different clue says:

    Margaret Steinfels,
    Some of our industrial losses preceded the Free Trade Agreements. But a lot more of them sped up after the Free Trade Agreements were signed and then ratified. It took the Free Trade Matrix years of steady mass industricide to move much of our remaining industries to other countries. It would take just as many years to re-establish these industries back in America again if we could abrogate all the Free Trade Agreements and withdraw from all the Free Trade Organizations. But such abrogation and withdrawal would be the necessary first step start.
    ” A Specter is haunting Free Trade, the Specter of Protectionism.” That’s the first sentence in the book The Protectionist Manifesto. ( Actually there is no such book. But now there is a first sentence and a title in case someone thinks they are worth picking up and using to write the rest of the book for).

  77. Lefty_Blaker says:

    Trump loves playing the game as it exists and is frankly very good at it especially using bankruptcy laws to benefit himself. He is a real player. He has guys like fooled you in thinking that we will actually do anything other than adopting tried and true Republican economic and tax policies, that benefit themselves and the other elites… like of those of Paul Ryan soon a Trump endorser it seems.
    The wall… a joke. If he really means what he says then he will go after all his associates who make tons of money from employing illegals. By god he would have sanction himself!

  78. shepherd says:

    This is probably too late to add to this thread, but I posted a comment a while back on the number of trans people in the US. I was asked for a source and before I could answer, I got pulled away to other things.
    The original studies do not seem to be currently available, however here is a description of them and an analysis of why it’s so hard to count trans people.
    Essentially, it all boils down to the problem of very small numbers. One study found .1% and another .5%, and they were statistically normalized to yield .3%,. This may seem reasonable, but the difference between the two studies is a factor of 5. It’s easy to get to statistical significance if you’re asking Trump v. Hillary. If you try to count the number of people planning on writing in some obscure candidate, it gets tough to know with any certainty.

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