The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age

    Jobs, Jobs, Jobs (per AA anonymous)

    All this jobs jobs jobs talk is starting to get to me when I am constantly reading about extremely low unemployment all around the country. including in red states like Wyoming. What happened is that someone learned to play a wicked poker with the Electoral College by targeting some pockets of long-time resentment about jobs lost 20 years ago or more, places that have not adjusted to reality and refuse to move anywhere but want obsolete jobs to come to them and want to stay in their hood and never change. Likewise we are told we need to cater to the needs of poor segregated minority communities, they don't want to move and mix, want to keep their culcha, but want jobs and services to come to them without paying a lot of taxes. Meanwhile immigrants are willing to come across the world to work and live here. Absurdity after absurdity.

    I know, don't need to say it, it's about well-paying jobs that restore the middle class. But that's not going to happen without education anymore. Not anywhere in the world. (If it ever really did. I grew up in a poor white hood in the late 50's and early 60's where uneducated dad's were always being "laid off" of "third shift" at the factory, so they could never afford to get out of slummy rentals, they kept having kids nonetheless.)

    It just that it hit me after seeing acres of screen taking over dagblog over fighting what to do about jobs for these white working class males as if older white working class males allover the country is all either party needs. When in the current situation of why Trump won, it's not: it's a few select precincts in the whole country that were played. Congress is a different story. But Obama won two elections and Hillary won the majority. While I totally understand the problem inherent in the national unemployment figures, I am seeing more than this story about more than a few localities dropping to like 3% like Maine, and where wages are rising.

    And what's more Trump is planning on taking credit for this low unemployment! When the kudos should go to the Obama administration!

    And it just strikes me that a lot of this talk about Dem Party and Sanders might just be foolishly fighting past wars, as they have before, and ignoring more potent future concerns.

    There's a whole new generation of voters coming up, and I don't think the loss of working class jobs 20 or 30 years ago are going to be their concerns at all. I don't think many of them will even think of working in a factory as viable job for a full life.

    Nor are racial issues going to be the same, as more and more of the new voters will be mixed race.

    Went to see a show this afternoon at the NYHistorical Society. Saw a group of public school high schoolers getting a history lecture in front of a diorama, guard says they are prepping for a state regents exam or something like that, at the end of semester.  Maybe sophomores/juniors. Not a one of them could one label "black" or "white" for sure. On closer look, the diorama was of mementos from 9/11/01. Most of them weren't born yet, they have to be taught about it in history class.

    This isn't just a coastal phenomenon. Look close at a story like the New Yorker story on the opoid epidemic in West VA. You will see that on the saintly volunteer team in West Va, there are 4 women: 3 are white and 1 is black. One of the couples in the story seems to be interracial.  And the story is less about looking for jobs, and more about hope of getting out of small dead-end towns where life is deadening, where there is no there there, nothing to live for. It might as well be about getting out of ghetto culture of Chicago into the Barack-and-Michelle version of Chicago.

    Forget Fox News, conservative talk, it's dying. I repeat: it's dying, with the boomers as they die if not sooner. (For chrissake, broadcast TV and radio are dying!) I think U.S. culture is changing quickly and radically and both parties have not kept up with it.  Fighting old fights that don't matter anymore. Trump voters a bunch of old people with old thoughts mixed with some others who went "what the heck, the classic parties ain't doing us no good." Even so, still not a majority, but a parlor card trick with the electoral college. And parties should change according to the old issues that were utiltized to do that?!

    [reposted/promoted by PP]


    As I already mentioned, I really like this reminder of the big-picture perspective as we fight it out in the weeds. A lot to digest. Let me just address your point about jobs. 

    I know, don't need to say it, it's about well-paying jobs that restore the middle class. But that's not going to happen without education anymore. Not anywhere in the world.

    Not true for Scandinavia and Switzerland for instance. Take a waiter or dishwasher in Switzerland: minimum wage is equivalent to 20 dollars an hour net after payroll tax. And to that you can add an average of 10% of the wage in tips. And no experienced waiter works for minimum wage (often 20-30% higher for non-supervisory roles). Add to that a minimum of six weeks vacation a year, an obligatory employer contribution to a private retirement account on top of the Swiss version of Social Security and also to the public unemployment insurance system. All of those requirements are negotiated every few years between unions and employer associations in the relevant sectors. That, along with the social safety net measures, mean that you can take care of your family in a dignified manner as a waiter without feeling stretched or financially threatened by sudden shocks (eg. medical expenses). 

    And this is not socialism, middle class taxes rarely go over 25% for total local, state and federal taxes. It's a system that maintains an important role for unions, and has a healthy left wing political movement. Of course this is a system that for decades could lean on a solid income from private banking but it has been adapting to the loss of that sector in the last ten years pretty well. And other countries, like Denmark, manage to maintain living wages with similar collective bargaining institutions as well. 

    Forget Fox News, conservative talk, it's dying. I repeat: it's dying, with the boomers as they die if not sooner. (For chrissake, broadcast TV and radio are dying!) 

    Manipulation and exploitation of a low information low education population will never 'die'. The guy who went gun blazing into Comet Ping Pong Pizza was not a boomer. The Macedonian teens making tens of thousands of Euros with sites dedicated to right wing fake news were not Fox News.

    The GOP wants to fragment or degrade the public education system with vouchers to further advance ethnic/religious separation/divisiveness.  While pushing intolerance, and replacing critical thinking with ideological conformity.

    We have a militant incompetent autocrat in the White House, and total GOP control of national government. Now is not the time for complacency.

    Ok so cross out Fox News and insert Breitbart and Macedonian teens. Just make sure you look at what demographic they are serving when you get all het up about a media source. If it's over 60, it's not worth the time of day.

    First, I want to add this big cavaet: I did not post this as a blog, someone at Dag split it out from a comment on a news thread. Which is fine, it's their site and I am just a guest. I just want it to be known that I would NEVER post such a unthought out and unedited comment as a blog post. Because anything I have to say that I feel strongly enough about to defend is going to be written a lot more carefully. Not random thoughts like I was doing here.

    So don't expect me to defend this, OK? If there are comments that are challenging things I said to get me to debate where I don't think it's going to be fruitful, I'm just going to ignore them. In particular, I don't do blog posts because I don't have time to write thought-out ones and I don't enjoy debate. I was just brainstorming here. On to more brainstorming for those who like it, ideologues and those with axes to grind, shouldn't bother:

    Don't laugh. I suggest everyone read Zuckerberg's  recent commencement speech. He gets it, he knows where his generation is at, and all economic classes of them, not just the Harvard elite:

    The little cohort that Trump targeted in certain precincts, of working class white male Fox-news watching rust belt are goners, ok? Political parties should LET GO OF THEM. It's over now.  I mean really goners, they are not long for this world, stop wasting your time on them, they are of my generation. (Of particular interest to me: with all the stuff they bought and the McMansions they built, which their kids don't want to have anything to do with.)

    The incoming generation already accepts that that those jobs are gone, never to come back, and also accept that their old cranky uncle that used to work the line at an auto factory is going to die soon. Yes, even the ones without a college education. They are not expecting to work in factories. Some are not even expecting to own cars.

    Like it or not, they are going to create their own narratives, they are going to pick and chose what media and news they listen to and what narratives they subscribe to. So yes, you will have tribalism, but not by the old paradigms nor by racial factors, by beliefs coming from charismatic writers and speakers and leaders.

    They want what they call "opportunity," not "a job."

    Even if you think  that's because they've been spoiled by doting helicopter boomer parents to expect too much from life, that's the reality. if you want to make a political party that wins in the future, that's where you've got to go: "opportunity".

    What struck me the most is when I read this New Yorker article about the opioid crisis in West Viriginia:: lack of opportunity and hope, lack of purpose, lack of meaning, sense of emptiness, that's the same thing causing the opoid crisis. If they get out in time to college or job training or just a more vibrant geographical area, they don't succumb to what's happening to their parents and neighbors.

    Wonkishness is not going to cut it. They didn't come out in enough numbers to re-elect Obama because his wonk side was revealed in the first term, the inspirational bi-partisan post-racial phantom they saw went "poof".

    Manufacturing, not to mention retailing, except for luxury goods, is disappearing faster than the parties are talking about it. The robots are coming. Not far in the future, tomorrow. Health care jobs in caring for the aging boomers is coming fast, going to be crisis level.. Driverless cars are coming.  People who think all the world's information is online are what pols will be dealing with. In years, not decades. This is a time of radical change and.Trump shock just accelerated it. Look at the revolt against Trump's decision on the Paris accords: for where political parties should go for voters: a coalition that includes Michael Bloomberg and Jerry Brown, Apple and Elan Musk, 30 governors, the mayor of Pittsburgh cited in Trump's speech, not to mention Pope Francis and millenials of all persuasions. Literally formed overnight. While the DNC argues about some rust belt troglodyte votes in 3 states and the GOP tries to figure out how to payback a few voters who still want to "appeal Obamacare" without alienating the majority who now want something better than Obamacare.

    My main point: both parties, if they keep going where they are going, are going to lose next time. Sanders does have a small clue. But he's too old and too focused on old memes, too. The thing he most has a clue about is not what voters to target but how neither political party gets it.

    To be clear, it's not my site either, and I posted your piece based on Obey's comment not to force you to "debate", but to capture some of your good unique ideas for longer than a newsblip lasts. Hope not irritated. And it seems to be working, "unthought out" or not. I spent yesterday on the train talking for hours over a wide turf, and it wasn't debate - it was trading observations, not trying to win something. We're all trying to get a grasp on the next step, and anyone who says they know is probably deluded anyway.

    everything hunky dory, not irritated smiley

    just read Zuckerberg's speech again, want to pick out this part where he is talking the elite-to-elite stuff. I think this is true, this is the way most educated millenials think, it's how they've been taught to think:

    Purpose doesn’t only come from work. The third way we can create a sense of purpose for everyone is by building community. And when our generation says “everyone”, we mean everyone in the world.

    Quick show of hands: how many of you are from another country? Now, how many of you are friends with one of these folks? Now we’re talking. We have grown up connected.

    In a survey asking millennials around the world what defines our identity, the most popular answer wasn’t nationality, religion or ethnicity, it was “citizen of the world”. That’s a big deal.

    So you are going to have conflict between this globalist attitude in the leaders of tomorrow, and not just with the America firsters of Trump, but also with my-local-community firsters, or my-people-in-my-hood firsters, my street gang, my coal mining country folk, whites v. blacks, Latinos v. blacks, black v. Asians. etc.. Yes, Zuckerberg using the term "community" here, it's a ridiculous misuse of the word "community", but there it is. Dare I say, Obama would be all for this, he lived it before he even got to the presidency? "Localists", they are not equipped to be the leaders of tomorrow, nor the winners of any game, unless it's about growing and buying produce.....

    For Zuck you must build community on Facebook, its all the world you need.

    DOH!   scuse my ignorance, so many competing totalitarian billionaires, in so little time! I'm back from the days when only Gates Microsoft was evil! blush

    It's not about jobs:

    The real reason working-class whites continue to support Trump

    Op-ed (with additional podcast) by Jonathan Capehart @, June 6

    [....] Unlike anyone I’ve read or talked to since the November election, Justin Gest has helped me to really understand why President Trump won white working-class voters and hasn’t thus far lost their support. In the latest episode of “Cape Up,” we discuss the George Mason University professor’s new book, “The New Minority: White Working Class Politics in an Age of Immigration and Inequality”
    “So much of Donald Trump’s politics is symbolic,” Gest explained. “They’re symbolic in the sense that this is what people want to hear and if it doesn’t get done, it’s almost beside the point because he’s elevating the prerogatives of his constituents to the national stage after having been relegated to the fringes of American politics for decades.”
    “When Donald Trump went up in Cleveland and said messianically,’I am your voice,’ that’s precisely what people heard,” Gest continued. “The sense of having a voice suddenly, after feeling voiceless for so long is powerful. It’s not in their cultural interests to vote against him, no matter how little he has delivered to actually help them in any kind of material way.”

    Working-class whites feel not only voiceless, but also silenced, especially in matters involving race. “The way they understood racism is different from the way we understand racism,” said Gest. “For them, racism has become an instrument of silence. It is a way of invalidating people. By saying someone is a racist, it means they cease to matter. Don’t listen to them.” Gest spent three months in Youngstown, Ohio, and three months in East London, England, conducting interviews and researching his book. “So, when people said to me, ‘Now, I’m not a racist but …,’ what they were actually saying to me was, ‘Listen to what I’m about to tell you, and don’t dismiss me.’ ” [....]

    Perhaps art, but there's another possibility. There's an old saying, Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue. When ever someone says, I'm not racist but, I'm pretty sure that what follows will be racist. So clearly racist that even the person saying knows that the listeners will perceive it so.

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