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Convergence: Rebels without a Cause

Will the last lab rat leaving please hit the lights?

Following up on that Fareed Zakaria clip from yesterday where he tries to make a case for identifying with the hostage takers, here are some additional links that show that this is a really stupid idea. 

Recapping, Zakaria says we should understand and reach out to the aggrieved white working class Trump voter who feels threatened that his way of making a living and national identity is under siege. I think there have been numerous arguments against this on various lefty blogs but the basic idea is summarized in Lincoln’s speech to the Cooper Union where he said there is no way to appease aggressors who are intent on domination. (Scroll down to the last 8-9 paragraphs for his argument against appeasement) He was referring to slavery but we can see a similar dynamic played out in WWII. Give aggressive power hungry groups an inch and they’ll take a mile. They won’t be satisfied until capitulation to everything they believe is complete.  Zakaria focused his attention on the Trump supporter’s latent racist attitudes. But he overlooked that once they are satisfied with driving Mexicans back over the border and African Americans back to the poor sections of town, they’ll step up their attacks on women who insist on working to make a living. Women make up over half the population and frankly, we’re sick of always being the target of men with self-esteem issues. 

So start with the Cooper Union speech. Then see this post in the NYTimes from a few days ago about how rural counties in Northern California are feeling oppressed by the west coast elites. Those northern counties make up 1/5th of California’s square mikes but only 3% of the population. 

Some of the commenters are playing the world’s smallest violin for that oppressed 3%. Here’s a sample: 

piginspandexDC

I understand the struggle. It’s almost like living in a heavily populated liberal state and having your vote count as 1/6 of a vote in Wyoming and then having various policies forced on you like pro-carry laws, unwinnable wars, and a man baby president who is an international embarrassment. Huh. Sounds frustrating.

In other words, the majority of Americans didn’t vote for this Trump bullshit and we are running out of patience for the WATB’s who always think the world needs to pay attention to their impulses and inability to share with others. 

After you’re done with that, check out this interview from Fresh Air. Author Rick Wartzman wrote about the decline of the American workforce in his new book The End of Loyalty: The Rise and Fall of Good Jobs in America. He confirms what those of us in Pharmaceutical R&D have known for about a decade now. The emphasis on “shareholder value” as being more important than any other stakeholders’ interest has resulted in “stinting R&D”, eliminating training for workers, reduction in benefits and a severe contraction of union representation. The White Working Class is not the only group of workers with problems, and they aren’t caused by racial quotas and little Guatemalan cleaning ladies. 

The root causes of the problem were detailed in Karen Ho’s book, Liquidated that I reviewed in several installments a few years ago. (Be gentle, I hate to edit) 

Ho’s book is definitely worth a read. Wartzman reconfirms what Ho described and says that paying CEO’s in stock back in the 80’s lead to rapid capture of the executives of large corporations by the financiers. It’s a vicious cycle, for workers, that is. 

So, there you go. The White Working Class does have a problem. But it’s not worse than the problems that the urban educated workers face. It’s just that WE know who to blame and the Trump voters who are glued to right wing messaging devices like Fox News, are as clueless as ever and becoming mindless whip kissers. 

So there, Fareed. 

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Paris of Appalachia 

On my way to work, trying really hard not to sing the high lonesome harmony: