The Left: Robespierre did nothing wrong

Discussion in 'The Mainboard' started by bricktop, Jan 17, 2017.

  1. Hank Scorpio

    Hank Scorpio Globex Corporation, Philanthropist, Supervillain
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  2. Can I Spliff it

    Can I Spliff it Is Butterbean okay?
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    :ohgosh: only 30 years after he's dead, thanks joe!
     
    Beeds07, CaneKnight, shawnoc and 3 others like this.
  3. Can I Spliff it

    Can I Spliff it Is Butterbean okay?
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  4. Name P. Redacted

    Name P. Redacted I have no money and I'm also gay
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    Kansas State Wildcats

    why spend your million bucks on something that helps alleviate the day to day depression and just give the money to suze instead
     
  5. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    Im glad my life long question of why are mormons usually so rich has been answered.
     
    Prospector and ~ taylor ~ like this.
  6. Pile Driving Miss Daisy

    Pile Driving Miss Daisy It angries up the blood
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    Replies are amazing as you'd expect, this one is my favorite.



    sign_me_up.gif
     
  7. BellottiBold

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    btw if you aren't familiar with Orman's background, her story begins with her literally being gifted thousands and thousands of dollars by sympathetic (and meansy) patrons at her workplace. Because of course.
     
    CaneKnight and Can I Spliff it like this.
  8. Neolib Ned

    Neolib Ned Member

    The FIRE folks and their austerity porn articles are the worst kind of porn
     
  9. duc15

    duc15 Hey Nong Man
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    I have a student who loves Soviet Russian, yesterday as a gift he got me a big Soviet flag. Looks like I’m comrade now
     
    #13112 duc15, Jun 11, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
  10. Lyrtch

    Lyrtch My second favorite meat is hamburger
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    the kids are alright
     
  11. DEAD7

    DEAD7 Well-Known Member

    :pffft:
     
  12. Can I Spliff it

    Can I Spliff it Is Butterbean okay?
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  13. Prospector

    Prospector I am not a new member
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    from dk
    Botched PR and 'serious money issues': Infighting roils House GOP after 40-seat midterm loss


    [​IMG]
    NRCC chair Tom Emmer

    After losing 40 seats in the House in the midterms, the NRCC desperately needed to get back on track this year. Instead, it appears to be suffering some sort of meltdown. Last week, unnamed GOP operatives grumbled to Politico that "unease with the NRCC is bubbling among important Republicans in the Capitol" after the committee issued a whiny press release attacking Democrats for a bill that would raise congressional pay—even though top Republican leaders had come out in support of such an effort and were negotiating with Democrats over the measure. The NRCC's hapless communications director, Chris Pack, offered a bizarre defense of the maneuver, only to be forced to yank down the release by the weekend.
    This week, the furor over the NRCC's dysfunction spilled into the open on a second front: the committee's fundraising. Politico first reported on Tuesday evening that Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the third-ranking Republican in the House, got into a heated confrontation with NRCC chair Tom Emmer at a Monday meeting after Emmer hectored fellow GOP lawmakers about paying their committee dues. Emmer questioned Cheney's commitment to making good on her dues, at which point Cheney shot back that Emmer might be "artificially inflating the fundraising numbers he brings in," according to those present.

    Later Tuesday night, The Hill elaborated on both ends of this imbroglio. Speaking of the NRCC, one unnamed "senior Republican" admitted that "we do have serious money issues," which some members have accused Emmer of trying to paper over by "double counting." What that means is that when a top GOP official—like, say, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy—holds a fundraiser for the NRCC, Emmer is (supposedly) crediting both McCarthy and the NRCC for the funds raised. On the dues spreadsheets, everyone looks like they're pulling their weight, but as far as the bank—and reality—is concerned, that cash only came in once.

    Part of Emmer's money woes, though, stem from the fact that three leaders in his caucus are considering Senate bids and have allegedly been neglecting their obligations to the House. That includes Cheney, along with North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker and Alabama Rep. Gary Palmer. Emmer reportedly called the trio out by name, which prompted Cheney's accusations.

    Walker sought to deflect with a different excuse. According to one of The Hill's sources, Walker had said he won't pay his dues because the NRCC allegedly reneged on a pledge to pay his legal bills related to the April indictment of North Carolina GOP chair Robin Hayes and a GOP donor named Greg Lindberg on charges of bribery. Walker was not named or charged in the indictment, but Politico used public FEC records to identify him as the person described as "Public Official A," whose political committee received a $150,000 donation from Lindberg right as Lindberg claimed Walker had sought to use his influence to pressure North Carolina's insurance commissioner on a business matter.

    It's strange that the NRCC would offer to cover the attorney's fees of a member in a safe district in the first place, but if such a deal ever did exist, it's understandable that Emmer would nix it after Walker publicly mooted a primary challenge to GOP Sen. Thom Tillis, a possibility he brought up again last week. (One tinfoil-hatted source for The Hill even accused Tillis of having a hand in ensuring Walker's oblique mention in the Hayes/Lindberg indictment.) On Thursday, Walker finally announced he wouldn’t run against Tillis—though he said the same thing in April before going back into consideration mode.

    Finally, there's Palmer, who's been weighing a bid against Democratic Sen. Doug Jones. Ironically, when he discussed a possible Senate campaign in a radio interview in March, Palmer went on at length about the importance of Republicans trying to reclaim the House in 2020, saying that "any other issues personally should be secondary to that." According to Emmer, at least, that was nothing but a gust of hot air.

    What’s also strange is that in that March interview, Palmer sounded quite reluctant to leave the House. We’d heard nothing new about his interest in a Senate run in the nearly three months since then, so it felt like he was comfortable staying put. However, Emmer very much seems to think otherwise, and Palmer isn’t using this blowup as an opportunity to close the door on a statewide bid.

    All three of these alleged deadbeats could get themselves off the hook with the NRCC if they'd actually declare for the Senate: Members seeking higher office are no longer expected to help out their House campaign committees. However, because of new internal party rules adopted late last year, Cheney, Walker, and Palmer would all have to step down from their leadership roles if they go ahead with Senate bids.

    As a result, they've chosen the worst possible option: delay their campaigns as long as possible so that they can hang on to their plum positions as long as possible in order to use those perches to raise money for themselves while simultaneously stiffing the NRCC. In other words, the GOP has set itself up to make it likely that things will get worse before they get better—if they ever do.
     
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  14. Prospector

    Prospector I am not a new member
    Arkansas Razorbacks

    This story is in the late Jerry Parr’s book “In the Secret Service”. Parr was the agent who saved Reagan’s life.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Fuzzy Zoeller

    Fuzzy Zoeller College football > NFL

    How long until Trump claims he did this?
     
  16. Bishop

    Bishop Future Member
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    He'd have the nurse put a MAGA hat on the burn victim and then have a press conference outside the window.
     
  17. Name P. Redacted

    Name P. Redacted I have no money and I'm also gay
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    Kansas State Wildcats

    What’s the point of that story
     
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  18. Can I Spliff it

    Can I Spliff it Is Butterbean okay?
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  19. Prospector

    Prospector I am not a new member
    Arkansas Razorbacks

  20. Prospector

    Prospector I am not a new member
    Arkansas Razorbacks

    The One Percent Have Gotten $21 Trillion Richer Since 1989. The Bottom 50% Have Gotten Poorer.
    By Eric Levitz
    @EricLevitz
    [​IMG]
    This is fine. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
    Some Democratic presidential candidates say that America’s economic system is badly broken and in need of sweeping, structural change. Others say that the existing order is fundamentally sound, even if it could use a few modest renovations. The former are widely portrayed as ideologues or extremists, the latter as moderates.
    And it’s certainly true that Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are ideologically “extreme,” if our baseline is the median member of Congress or the median policy agenda pursued by recent American presidents. But it’s not clear why these would be the appropriate metrics.

    After all, we do not equate calls for sweeping change (whether from recent precedent or from current consensus) with extremism in all circumstances. When young people in an Islamist autocracy take to the streets demanding basic civil rights, we do not regard them as radicals, or the regime’s apologists as moderates. Our assessment of the dissenters’ ideological character does not hinge on how far their values depart from those of the status quo order — but rather on how far that status quo departs from our consensus values.

    Thus, whether it is truly extreme or moderate to demand sweeping changes to American capitalism depends on the degree to which the existing system aligns with common-sense views of what a just or rational economic system should look like.

    Happily, the Federal Reserve just released some data that makes the state of this alignment easier to gauge. In its new Distributive Financial Accounts data series, the central bank offers a granular picture of how American capitalism has been distributing the gains of economic growth over the past three decades. Matt Bruenig of the People’s Policy Project took the Fed’s data and calculated how much the respective net worth of America’s top one percent and its bottom 50 percent has changed since 1989.

    ADVERTISEMENT
    He found that America’s superrich have grown about $21 trillion richer since Taylor Swift was born, while those in the bottom half of the wealth distribution have grown $900 billion poorer.

    Get unlimited access to Intelligencer and everything else New York.
    Learn More »
    [​IMG]

    Notably, this measure of wealth includes liabilities, such as student debt. And it does not include consumer goods, such as computers or refrigerators, as economists do not conventionally view such products as wealth assets. But if one did include the Fed’s data on the distribution of consumer goods, the wealth gap between the top one percent and bottom 50 would actually be even larger.

    So, is an economic system that distributes its benefits in this manner consistent with Americans’ common-sense views of economic justice? If not, would incremental changes be sufficient to bring it into alignment with the median American’s values? Or would more sweeping measures be required?

    Put differently: Does the average American believe that, over the past three decades, our nation’s richest one percent have contributed roughly $22 trillion more to our collective well-being than the poorest 50 percent have? Does she think that the tens of millions of working-class people who spent the past 30 years cooking other Americans’ dinner, cleaning their toilets, caring for their children, harvesting their crops, ringing up their groceries — and performing the countless other poorly remunerated forms of labor that our society demands — collectively produced an infinitesimal fraction of the value that America’s corporate lawyers, hedge-fund managers, venture capitalists, specialist physicians, heirs and heiresses, and other high-paid professionals did?

    Survey data (and common sense) says otherwise. In 2011, Michael Norton of Harvard Business School and Dan Ariely of Duke University published a study on Americans’ views of how wealth was distributed in their society, and how they felt it should be distributed. They found that, in the average American’s ideal world, the richest 20 percent would own 32 percent of national wealth. In reality, the top quintile owned 84 percent as of 2011. And that share has grown in the intervening years. Today, the one percent alone commands roughly 40 percent of all America’s wealth.

    [​IMG]
    This image comes courtesy of Slate. Chart: Slate
    Given all this, any politician who insists that American capitalism is “already great” is clearly a far-right extremist whose indifference to inequality puts him or her wildly out of step with ordinary people. But is it the case that Warren and Sanders would take things too far in the other direction?

    Not remotely. I do not have the relevant data or skills to project precisely how the full implementation of either candidate’s agenda would influence America’s wealth distribution. But neither candidate is calling for a series of reforms that would place the United States far outside the Western European norm. In fact, both Warren and Sanders have cribbed their signature policies from European nations. As the 2018 World Inequality Report demonstrated, policy choices do matter — and income inequality is much lower in Western Europe than it is in the U.S.

    [​IMG]

    But even Scandinavia’s social democracies feature far more inequitable distributions of wealth than Americans think to be fair, according to Ariely and Norton’s survey. What’s more, it will take a lot of redistribution just to prevent America’s current wealth gap from growing even larger. The fundamental challenge in combating inequality is that wealth begets more wealth. Those who can afford to invest in bonds get to collect annual interest payments; those who invest in stocks or real estate typically see their capital assets annually appreciate. Thus, most years, our nation’s collective capital stock directs loads of passive income to America’s wealthiest citizens. As Vox’s Matt Yglesias observes, much of the explosion in wealth inequality that the Fed documents can be attributed to the fact that the one percent began 1989 owning a wildly disproportionate share of corporate equities and private businesses. The passive income generated by these assets would have allowed the one percent to pull away from everyone else, even in the absence of soaring wage inequality.

    [​IMG]

    Nothing short of progressively redistributing ownership of capital assets could bring our nation’s wealth distribution into alignment with its values. For the moment, neither Warren nor Sanders has released a detailed plan for doing that on a large scale. Their current platforms would be less likely to significantly reduce wealth inequality than to merely slow its growth.

    Perhaps “we should adopt redistributive policies and institutions that are common throughout Western Europe, so as to prevent the one percent’s share of national wealth from rising too far above 40 percent” sounds like an extreme proposition to you. But the alternative — or at least the alternative’s implications for wealth inequality — would strike the average American as far more radical.
     
    BellottiBold likes this.
  21. Prospector

    Prospector I am not a new member
    Arkansas Razorbacks

    Automation and robotics are bigger threats to American jobs than outsourcing

    [​IMG]
    from DK

    Boston Dynamics is a company that develops robotics for commercial and military applications. The company is probably best known by the general public for the videos it produces to show off its products.

    Recently, a parody of Boston Dynamics’ videos was released and, as of this writing, has over 6.4 million views on YouTube. It shows a robot being subjected to abuse by humans; the robot becomes aware; the robot gets sick of humanity’s shit; and the robot strikes back. Just like a thousand sci-fi stories published over the years.
    While this is just a parody, and hopefully is not a foreshadowing of our dystopian future with benevolent (or not so benevolent) robot leaders, it does provide a warning. While we will not be forced to work by gun-toting robots sick of our shit, we will see wholesale job losses, and world economies flipped upside down. This will not happen overnight, but it could very well happen in my lifetime.

    In the 2004 movie I, Robot, Will Smith’s character, Del Spooner, distrusts robots. He chases one down for purse-snatching, and learns that the robot was doing what was commanded by its owner. We learn that his distrust of robots goes back to his grandfather losing his job to an automaton. During the opening scenes of the movie we are treated to a look into the not-too-distant future, where bipedal machines will be making package deliveries and driving garbage trucks.

    In 2004 it seemed like the events depicted in the movie were a long way off. But today, we are stepping ever closer to that reality. The most recent example is the U.S. Postal Service’s testing of self-driving trucks for over-the-road transport.

    San Diego-based startup TuSimple said its self-driving trucks will begin hauling mail between USPS facilities in Phoenix and Dallas to see how the nascent technology might improve delivery times and costs.

    Turns out it is easier to teach AI how to drive on the interstate than on city streets.

    Price said self-driving trucks have advantages over passenger cars, including the relative ease of operating on interstates compared with city centers, which reduces mapping requirements and safety challenges involving pedestrians and bicyclists.

    Not far behind self-driving trucks are robotic delivery systems.


    The robot in question is called Digit, and it stands just over five feet tall. It has a pair of skeletal legs, two arms ending in shapeless nubs, and a sensor array where its head should be. It’s the creation of startup Agility Robotics, which has been developing bipedal robots since 2015 when the company was spun out of research from Oregon State University.

    In Ford’s imagining, Digit would be bundled into the back of a self-driving car. When the car reaches its destination, the trunk pops open, and Digit unfolds itself in a manner unnervingly similar to the droid army in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.

    The robot can then complete the last crucial step of the delivery: actually picking up the parcel and dropping it on your doorstep. No humans required.

    What the above video missed is that the guy putting the items in the box to ship would likely also be a robot.

    When I was a child, my dad refused to use self-service gas pumps (they were still relatively new) because he feared it would put people out of work. Eventually, he gave in and started using them; now, for the most part, they are the only way of fueling a car. I have heard arguments against using self-service kiosks in grocery and department stores; they are the same arguments my dad made in the early ‘70s about self-service gas pumps. McDonald’s has started using self-service kiosks in its restaurants; it is only a matter of time before cooks are replaced by robotics.

    The Caliburger chain can’t keep burger flippers employed. They quit too often, it says.

    So the plan is to try something new: a robot that has been programmed to flip hamburgers all day long. Named Flippy, the $100,000 machine is capable of flipping as many as 2,000 burgers a day.

    The CEO of the company that makes Flippy says that his robot will not replace human workers, but progress stops for no one. Flippy never calls in sick, never has a hangover, and does not need health insurance. Flippy will replace workers.

    Today, our leaders are focused on trade polices with China and other developing nations. The current White House resident is focused on using 18th-century trade policy (tariffs) in the modern world. Those vying for the Democratic nomination are focused on job creation. What no one is talking about is the shockwaves automation and robotics will cause to the American economy. What happens when all of the low-skill, low-wage jobs are performed by robots? What happens when we start losing skilled jobs to robotics? We need to start looking for 21st-century solutions to our problems. Tariffs will not save us, nor will cutting taxes for the supposed job-creators.

    The world economy is changing in fundamental ways unseen since the Industrial Revolution, and we are not prepared for it.
     
    BellottiBold likes this.
  22. GoS

    GoS Saul Motherfucking Goodman

    Not sure why I am posting this but in my recent visit to France we made it a priority to visit many of the French Rev sites of importance and this thread & you fine gents were on my mind.

    Tour Guide: Here is where they beheaded M Antoinette
    Me: Man, the guys sure would like to see this shit
     
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  23. AlternativeFactsRule

    AlternativeFactsRule Mmm ... Coconuts
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    Did you ask for tips on building guillotines?
     
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  24. GoS

    GoS Saul Motherfucking Goodman

    At the conciergerie (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conciergerie ) we learned that prisoners had to have their head shaved so that hair did not impinge upon the proper operation of the guillotine. I commented to my wife, "see, if they had used the TMB Official Mass Hydraulic Press (tm)(r) head shaving would have never been a problem."
     
  25. Tug

    Tug Well-Known Member
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    No, but head shaving can be viewed as an added bonus
     
  26. NCHusker88

    NCHusker88 We named our yam Pam. It rhymed.
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  27. BellottiBold

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    lmao this is written by an AEI turd and he spends a third of it whining about "overregulation"

     
    JeremyLambsFace likes this.
  28. Can I Spliff it

    Can I Spliff it Is Butterbean okay?
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    charges were dropped for the person who fired the gun
     
  29. Taques

    Taques let's mosey
    Staff Donor TMB OG
    Texas Tech Red RaidersBoston CelticsManchester CityTorinoNew Mexico UnitedPCd'I

    "The man, the meme, the legend behind this trend is Karl Marx, who developed the theory of communism, which advocates for workers’ control over their labor (instead of their bosses)."

    probably the worst sentence i have ever read in my life
     
  30. Lyrtch

    Lyrtch My second favorite meat is hamburger
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    i like that you read the article
     
  31. Taques

    Taques let's mosey
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    i am a masochist

    evidence - i also read the first 3 paragraphs of their related article: "what capitalism is" before blacking out
     
  32. Name P. Redacted

    Name P. Redacted I have no money and I'm also gay
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    Kansas State Wildcats

    Will your dental practice be a co-op or offer employee ownership
     
  33. Taques

    Taques let's mosey
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    no
     
  34. Name P. Redacted

    Name P. Redacted I have no money and I'm also gay
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    Kansas State Wildcats

    We truly do live in a society
     
    Redav, Eamudo229, Lyrtch and 5 others like this.
  35. Taques

    Taques let's mosey
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    ??
     
  36. AlternativeFactsRule

    AlternativeFactsRule Mmm ... Coconuts
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    Michigan WolverinesSwansea

    Bors comic
     
  37. Can I Spliff it

    Can I Spliff it Is Butterbean okay?
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    Lmao 90s dems
     
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  38. Prospector

    Prospector I am not a new member
    Arkansas Razorbacks

    PLEASE Do Not Upset Trump Voters or Never Trumpers!

    It’s truly amazing what happens when a progressive or two starts to gain some national political traction. Besides Bernie Sanders being a boogeyman for conservatives and so called centrists, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris latest moves in the Democratic presidential contest are starting to make Never Trumpers hyperventilate (see David Brooks, Joe Scarborough, Bret Stephens and George Will, if you want to raise your blood pressure). And the Media is more than happy to go to these so called “moderates” or “reasonable conservatives” to get their input. Oh yeah, their input is for Democrats to nominate a moderate to beat Trump. Well, someone who Never Trumpers define as a moderate. Speaking of the Media, I recently saw a reporter on MSNBC state that she talked with Trump voters who claim to have voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012. And you know what these Trump voters told her? They prefer Hickenlooper to get the nomination because he criticizes Trump “the least.” According to this reporter, Obama to Trump switchers don’t want to be critized for their vote. All those Trump hating Democrats gives them the willies.

    Message to Progressives from Never Trumpers, Trump voters, and the Media: Shut the Fuck Up and Go Away.

    My Message to Never Trumpers and Trump Voters: I’m not shutting up, and if you don’t like that, tough fucking luck.

    Before any of the Daily Kossacks who a have soft spot for Trump voters jump down my throat, let me explain what I mean. First, let’s go to the tender feelings that Obama/Trump voters have about the choices they have made. No, I am not into publicly shaming them for their vote.

    I understand that many people in the progressive community have friends or relatives who voted for Trump. I have them in my family. And I am deeply aghast by their choice. And I have done my fair share in the past to change some of my family members minds when it comes to their political choices.

    It has done no good whatsoever.

    And I am betting I am not alone in this. It’s why some on Daily Kos try to post, write, or implore their loved ones, family, or friends to see reason. No one likes to have someone they know supporting that sociopath in the White House. It can be very hurtful.

    Plus, progressives are supposed to believe that the majority of people can be reasoned with. Yes, I accept that there are people who are greedy, selfish, bigoted, racist, sexist, and cruel. In other words, there are evil Americans. But we try to tell ourselves that they are in a minority. And we try to imagine that the minority is relatively small.

    It’s a blow to our progressive beliefs that 40% or more of Americans are so flawed if not down right immoral.

    Yes, I would love to see all those people to get their comeuppance. And if I thought berating them publicly for supporting Trump would do any damn good, I’d be all for it. But experience has shown me it is never going to happen. Therefore, I am not going to try and argue with Trump supporters. That’s my choice. And I don’t want to aggravate my high blood pressure.

    But now I am told by the Media, Never Trumpers, and supposed Obama/Trump voters that their feelings are hurt if I say that Trump sucks? If I and others kick up a fuss about the state of our nation, they might even vote for Trump. I’ll be damned if I am going to stifle my opinions in order not to upset them.

    Since when have Trump voters ever given a damn what a progressive feels or think?

    But we are supposed to continue to kiss around 80,000 voters collective asses in a few Rust Belt states because they may go back to Trump. Remember, only white male working class voters from the Midwest count when it comes to the next election. Progressives upset these folks. I read this all the time from the New York Times when one of their reporters goes on safari to Trump country. And Tweety Bird Chris Matthews always reminds me of this. Democrats need to win these voters back, so let us not do anything to upset them or make them choose Trump.

    Some scared shitless Democrats are internalizing this message. I’m thinking of the reasons given for not starting an impeachment inquiry into Trump. Doing that will only rile up the Trump base. And you can especially hear that argument from some Never Trumpers and Media pundits.

    I have a newsflash for Never Trumpers and the Media: Trump supporters are in a PERPETUAL AGITATED STATE AND ARE ALREADY RILED UP!

    Don’t believe me? Just watch a Trump rally. Where the fuck have some of the “don’t piss off the Trump voters” crowd been the last three years? Does anyone seriously think if people like me shut up that Trump voters will suddenly calm down and forget to vote for Trump again?

    Yes, I am practical enough to know that any Democratic running for president must never criticize the voters for their past votes. It is counter productive. You tell the dummies that they were conned by Trump instead. The onus is on Trump. I get that. But you know what? I’m not running for president, so I don’t have to be careful what I say.

    And as for Never Trumpers and the Media, how many years have they been lecturing and sneering at progressives? I have watched Never Trumpers and the Media trash talk progressives since 1980. But now that a progressive might win the Democratic nomination, they scream, “You can’t do that! the risk to our democracy is too great! We cannot reelect Trump!”

    Who helped get Trump to the White House? Oh yeah. The Media with it’s two billion dollars worth of free TV and air time and Republicans. We should all really listen to their advice and shut up. Besides, it’s impolite to remind the Never Trumpers and Media of their manifest sins.

    And progressive are the ones who are overly sensitive? PLEASE!
     
    BellottiBold likes this.
  39. Prospector

    Prospector I am not a new member
    Arkansas Razorbacks

    'It's really troubling': Parts of America are trapped in a ‘catch-22’ economic situation

    Yahoo FinanceJuly 1, 2019


    And their path to progress poses a “catch-22” situation, according to a researcher from the Economic Innovation Group (EIG).

    “Young people are kind of trapped in debt in distressed communities,” EIG Research Director Kenan Fikri told Yahoo Finance. “And they don't really have a pathway to get out of their situation and be able to afford moving to a prosperous metropolitan area to try to turn the situation around. So it's really in a catch-22 that individuals who are trying to advance themselves from these communities end up landing.”


    Yet when residents from these distressed communities tried to bridge that gap by attending college, they ended up burdened by student debt, creating a worse situation financially.

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    View photos
    (Data: EIG, Graphic: David Foster)
    Distress was defined through seven metrics: educational attainment, housing vacancy, unemployment levels, poverty rate, median income, the change in number of jobs, and in business establishments.
    “It's really troubling, we did a casual overlay of the [Distressed Communities Index] map with that of where student debt is most burdensome and found that delinquency rates are higher in places where economic opportunity is worse,” Fikri said

    [​IMG]
    View photos
    (Source: WalletHub, Graphic: David Foster)
    Keith Orejel, an assistant professor at Wilmington College who studies rural communities, told Yahoo Finance that the “plight of rural America as much more structural. When one gets down to brass tacks, at the end of the day, rural areas never recovered from the Great Recession.”

    Orejel added: “If you actually look at the data, it is quite shocking. Urban and metropolitan employment today is well above what it was prior to the Great Recession, whereas total employment in nonmetropolitan areas is still below what it was prior to the Great Recession. And there is clearly just an absence of job opportunities in the countryside that is making these sort of economically unappealing places to live.”

    Parts of rural America are ‘projected to never fully recover’

    These rural areas “are increasingly in distress, and we find that rural economic well-being is more volatile generally,” said Fikri. “As the recovery progressed, metropolitan areas really benefited disproportionately. The Great Recession didn't impact rural zip codes that severely as a group, but the recovery didn't really reach them either.”

    The most distressed zip codes are concentrated “in the southeast, rural west, and urban centers in the northeast and midwest that have the country's most persistent pockets of really entrenched poverty,” Fikri explained. “And we see that poverty coincides with all sorts of other socioeconomic problems: low levels of education, low levels of employment, low levels of job growth, and low levels of new business openings.”

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    A Donald Trump sign hangs in the window in the town of Waynesburg near the West Virginia border on March 1, 2018 in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania. Waynesburg. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
    The South in particular saw a big decline in overall rankings.

    “Louisiana, New Mexico, and West Virginia saw even more of their zip codes fall into the distressed category between the two periods and the distressed share of their populations rise accordingly,” the report stated. “They joined Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi to bring the number of states with approximately one-third or more of residents living in distressed communities to six.”

    The problem with many of the distressed areas within these states was that a large number of jobs were overwhelmingly blue-collar work which was “physically demanding” and low-paying, according to the report: “3 out of 10 employed adults in these communities worked in such classically blue-collar jobs as production, construction, transportation, and maintenance occupations.”

    But the big boom that followed the Great Recession period has disproportionately affected areas with white-collar workers, with the number of jobs surging in “prosperous” areas, as seen in the chart below:

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    (Source: EIG)
    And the post-recession recovery didn’t just miss distressed zip codes entirely, the report added. They’re also “projected to never fully recover from the Great Recession on current trendlines.”

    Education as the ‘fault-line’" data-reactid="117">Education as the ‘fault-line’
    EIG found that the great divide between distressed communities and thriving, stable ones ultimately came down to one big fault-line: education.

    Most of the major metro areas listed as distressed share the lowest ranks on college attainment nationally.

    “The population differential between prosperous and distressed communities was almost entirely accounted for by the clustering of college-educated Americans in well-off zip codes,” the report stated. “Prosperous zip codes contained… 27.7 million adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher, almost six times the 4.8 million that lived in distressed zip codes.”

    In Bakersfield, California for example, where nearly 50% of the population live in distressed zip codes, the area’s residents “had the lowest college attainment rate of its peers, with only 15.7% of the population holding a bachelor’s degree or higher — half the national rate,” the report stated.

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    A worker prunes almond trees in an orchard near Bakersfield in the Central Valley, California, United States January 17, 2015. (Photo: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)
    And while educational attainment is seen as a crucial step for those trying to come out of struggling communities, that same college degree pushes many others into debt.

    Having taken on relatively high levels of student debt because they’re unable to afford the high tuition costs, borrowers struggle to repay loans upon graduation.

    In Bakersfield, the median debt held by a graduate was $15,150, while the median income was $60,862 according to an analysis by WalletHub. That means that upon graduation, student debt represented nearly a quarter of the college graduate’s income.

    ‘Young people fleeing the countryside’
    And since education was a big driver of economic well-being, many rural communities have struggled because of trailing rates of educational attainment.


    National Center for Education Statistics." data-reactid="148">And while some do choose to go to college, it hasn’t been an economically rewarding experience, USDA stats also reveal. In 2015, while nearly 48% of young adults aged 18 to 24 living in a city enrolled in college, only 29% of their rural counterparts did the same according to the National Center for Education Statistics.


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    In 2017, rural workers' incomes lagged behind urban workers as they pursued further education. (Source: USDA)
    created jobs that retained young people — served as a “staple of middle class jobs in the countryside have just been utterly devastated.”" data-reactid="170">Orejel, the professor who studies rural communities, brought up another problem facing rural communities: The decline of the manufacturing industry. Manufacturing jobs that were available in rural areas — and created jobs that retained young people — served as a “staple of middle class jobs in the countryside have just been utterly devastated.”


    But the transition to a more modern economy hasn’t been easy. Most of the big industries like finance and real estate don’t find these places attractive, “because rural areas don't have the infrastructure to support a lot of these more sophisticated enterprises,” Orejel explained. “And the population lacks the educational attainment to staff such positions.”

    Hence the gap widens further, Orejel said: “In the bifurcated economy that has developed since 2008, where you have a lot of high tech, professional, high-education, jobs, that are fueling economic growth, those are more and more gravitating towards metropolitan areas.”

    He concluded that “what's left for the rural economy is the low wage, lower end of the service sector — which are notoriously low paying with little to no benefits. And then almost complete lack of job security.”



    Aarthi is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @aarthiswami.
     
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