Archive for the ‘nation’ Category

You Didn’t See That Trump Voter Coming.

November 15, 2016

This place has changed for good
Your economic theory said it would
It’s hard for us to understand
We can’t give up our jobs the way we should

“We Work the Black Seam” – Sting

__________

You didn’t see him. He blindsided you. You didn’t catch a glimpse of him out of the corner of your eye. You couldn’t feel his presence every time you traveled past the shadowlands of the Rust Belt, or through those rural counties you had to tolerate while you drove to some place where the sun still shines. You couldn’t hear his heavy breathing, seething at the realities that were descending upon his disintegrating existence.

You didn’t notice that Trump voter, that 50-year-old former tool-and-die maker with 25 years of experience.

That 50-something tool-and-die maker knows how to cut metal to a thousandth of an inch, knows how to set up a job blindfolded. His job was taken over by some kid who is the victim of a dysfunctional education system, willing to take half the salary; little matter his inexperience cut productivity of the position in half.

Or more likely, that tool-and-die maker saw his job shipped overseas, all in the name of free trade and globalization. The tool-and-die makers in Southeast Asia work for a fifth of what that American tool-and-die maker earned. Why should that American keep his job, unless he’s willing to accept a fifth of what he made last year?

You were hoping that tool-and-die maker would simply drop into a deep crevice somewhere, and he was supposed to accept life in that crevice, because that was the way of “free trade,” of “globalization.”

In fact, “free trade” has little to do with the trade of goods, and more to do with American corporations finding overseas sources of the lowest-cost labor. But the tool-and-die maker hears the phrase “free trade,” and his hatred of this misnomer grows, exponentially.

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The Focus is on Cheap Labor, Not Immigration

May 1, 2013

Today is May Day, a universal recognition of labor everywhere save the U.S.: We have  “Labor Day” in September, which serves as a proxy for the end of summer. Thus, Labor Day is a bit of a downer, even if the weather doesn’t start to change towards fall for another month.

May Day, however, has always been tinged with workers’ movements, socialism, communism, etc., etc., so its always been viewed as a little unseemly, hence the U.S. had to create its own day for labor recognition.

Nevertheless, labor is a hot-button issue these days in the U.S., so May Day seems to be a good day to post on labor issues.

Wait. What labor issues? Who’s talking about labor issues?

Well, if truth be told, the entire immigration reform battle, er, discussion, revolves around the labor issue, not the immigration issue. More specifically, cheap labor, and more specifically than that, cheap skilled labor. (more…)

The Quiet Constitutional Crisis Behind the 2nd Amendment

April 9, 2013

The following post discusses the original intent behind the Second Amendment. Readers should hold their assumptions, read carefully, and check their conclusion jumping until the end.

Introduction

The rhetoric over gun control legislation is heating up, yet from no corner of the political spectrum do we hear discussed the underlying constitutional crisis that precipitated this ongoing debate, one that America has lived with for over a century. Unfortunately, the accusations and aspersions thrown from either side towards the other generates more heat than light, and it is nigh time to investigate the original intent of the Second Amendment. Although many alleged constitutional authorities have waxed obliquely on the reasons behind the insertion of this amendment, James Madison left little doubt as to why the arming of citizens was a critical civil liberty. His reasoning can be found in The Federalist No. 46.

I find, however, that far too many Americans do not understand the intent of the Bill of Rights, much less the intent of the Second Amendment, and so it is here I must begin. I suspect this reality arises more from the degraded state of our high-school education in civics than from anything else. For those who are comfortable with their understanding of the Bill of Rights, you can safely skip to the next section. (more…)

The Critical Thinking Ship is Listing Port Side

October 11, 2012

A Bloomberg story this morning reports on the rising number of business degrees being issued during this economic slump:

The number of American college graduates holding business degrees jumped 6.2 percent from the end of the recession in 2009 to last year.

More than 12 million Americans, or one in five college graduates, have a business degree, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Four times as many adults hold business degrees as liberal arts and history majors among the nation’s almost 59 million people who have undergraduate degrees.

“Business is a safe harbor,” Kevin Burns, director of career services at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business, said in a telephone interview. “So a lot of people were getting on the biggest boat they could in turbulent times.”

And the payoff for holding a business degree was highlighted:

The Census Bureau also said yesterday the average American with an undergraduate business degree will earn $2.6 million over a lifetime, about $200,000 more than the average for all people with a bachelor’s degree.

Yet, wouldn’t the very fact that with universities generating large numbers of business-degree holders suggest this lifetime advantage will eventually drop? Considering that the Census Bureau’s numbers are based on averages, there is probably a skew already built in to that $200,000 number: A few extremely high wage earners at the top are pulling up the averages. Take out the top 5% of those high-income earners and the advantage may disappear. (more…)


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