The Only Issue for the Coming Week. Vote.

November 1, 2022

From the top of the ticket to the bottom, there is a distinct difference in tactics.

This candidate for Michigan House has his phone number tweeted out by his Republican opponent.

12 Responses to “The Only Issue for the Coming Week. Vote.”

  1. jimbills Says:

    I’ll vote, but I have 1 vote for some reason.

    The Democrats face strong headwinds:

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      I had a whole bunch of votes that I used on the first day of early voting. The state and ISD selections were easy (all ‘D’*), but the local races and ballot issues took some thinkering.

      *I don’t consider myself a “party” person but I have to vote for the only party that has a chance of stopping the dangerously anti-democratic and anti-women GOP.

  2. jimbills Says:

    Another good insight from NYT here:

    ‘“You cannot really understand the working-class rightward shift without discussing what the Democratic Party is doing,” Daron Acemoglu, an economist at M.I.T., wrote by email:

    Many of the trends that negatively impacted workers, especially non-college workers, including rapid automation and trade with China, were advocated and supported by Democratic politicians. Perhaps worse from a political point of view, when these politicians were advocating such policies, they were also viewed as adopting a tone of indifference to the plight of non-college workers.

    Poll data suggest that Democratic struggles with the white working class are worsening. In “Elections and Demography: Democrats Lose Ground, Need Strong Turnout,” an Oct. 22 American Enterprise institute report by Ruy Teixeira, Karlyn Bowman and Nate Moore write:

    The gap between non-college and college whites continues to grow. For the first time this cycle, the difference in margin between the two has surpassed an astounding 40 points, well above the 33-point gap in 2020’s presidential contest. Republicans trail with white college voters by 13.6 points but lead with non-college whites by more than 27 points. Democrats appear stuck in the low 30s with non-college whites — no poll this month has them above 34 percent — so a repeat of Biden’s 37 percent mark appears unlikely.’

    (My note here: One of Biden’s main policy’s in the past year has been the kickback in loans to students who have already been to college. This will almost surely increase non-college voters’ resentment towards Democrats.) ….

    ‘What sets the United States apart are U.S.-specific institutional changes and policy choices that failed to blunt, and in some cases magnified, the consequences of these pressures on the U.S. labor market. The United States has allowed traditional channels of worker voice to atrophy without fostering new institutions or buttressing existing ones. It has permitted the federal minimum wage to recede to near-irrelevance, lowering the floor under the labor market for low-paid workers. It has embraced a policy-driven expansion of free trade with the developing world, Mexico and China in particular, yet failed to direct the gains toward redressing the employment losses and retraining needs of workers.’ ….

    ‘Many of America’s competitors have successfully increased the share of manufacturing in G.D.P., including Taiwan and South Korea. But in none of these cases has the employment share of manufacturing bounced back up. In fact, to my knowledge, there has never been a case of sustained reversal in the downward trend of the manufacturing employment among advanced economies.

    There is, Rodrik observed,

    broad and compelling evidence, from Europe as well the United States, that globalization-fueled shocks in labor markets have played an important role in driving up support for right-wing populist movements. This literature shows that these economic shocks often work through culture and identity. That is, voters who experience economic insecurity are prone to feel greater aversion to outsider groups, deepening cultural and identity divisions in society and enabling right-wing candidates to inflame (and appeal to) nativist sentiment.

    In an April 2021 paper, “Why Does Globalization Fuel Populism? Economics, Culture, and the Rise of Right-Wing Populism,” Rodrik wrote that he studied

    the characteristics of “switchers” in the 2016 presidential election — voters who switched to Trump in 2016 after having voted for Obama in 2012. While Republican voters were in general better off and associated themselves with higher social status, the switchers were different: they were worried about their economic circumstances and did not identify themselves with the upper social classes. Switchers viewed their economic and social status very differently from, and as much more precarious than, run-of-the-mill Republican voters for Trump. In addition to expressing concern about economic insecurity, switchers were also hostile to all aspects of globalization — trade, immigration, finance.’ ….

    ‘The Democrats, he continued, “have come to be seen as the party of free trade, given President Clinton pushing through both NAFTA and China’s entry to the W.T.O. and President Obama championing the Trans-Pacific Partnership — they are seen as the engineers of manufacturing job loss.”’

    (My note here: Democrats took Carter’s loss to Reagan as reason to adopt the GOP’s hyper free market economic growth model, especially under Clinton. This, perhaps, put them in power for a decade or two, but it has seriously come back to bite the Democrats in the behind now.) ….

    ‘A.I. will likely eat into a lot of management and decision-making jobs that formerly required college-educated workers or even workers with graduate credentials, such as lawyers. Hence, A.I. is not “more of the same.” While the last four decades of computerization have been very good for professional, managerial workers, and not at all good for blue-collar production and white-collar office/clerical/admin workers, the A.I. era may erode the college premium that has been either high or rising since 1980.’ ….

    ‘In his May 2022 essay “The Turing Trap: The Promise & Peril of Human-Like Artificial Intelligence,” Erik Brynjolfsson, a professor at Stanford’s Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, warns that “an excessive focus on developing and deploying Human-Like Artificial Intelligence can lead us into a trap. As machines become better substitutes for human labor, workers lose economic and political bargaining power and become increasingly dependent on those who control the technology.”’ ….

    ‘“As the economic winners gained power,” Brynjolfsson writes, they left “many workers worse off than before,” fueling

    a populist backlash that led to import tariffs and other barriers to free trade. Some of the same dynamics are already underway with A.I. More and more Americans, and indeed workers around the world, believe that while the technology may be creating a new billionaire class, it is not working for them. The more technology is used to replace rather than augment labor, the worse the disparity may become, and the greater the resentments that feed destructive political instincts and actions.’

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      “Many of the trends that negatively impacted workers, especially non-college workers, including rapid automation and trade with China, were advocated and supported by Democratic politicians.”

      What the actual fuck?!

      Are we in Bizarro World now?

      Yeah, executives of major corporations and people calling the shots on investments and people working to shrink and remove safety nets vote for Democrats.

      Also note that “white working class resentment” comes from media sources that notoriously play the race or POC immigrant card.

      • jimbills Says:

        Well, you aren’t wrong that the GOP (and its large corporate donors) is worse about reducing the living standards for poorer Americans. Any clear-headed reading of the matter should show that. But, there’s ‘perception vs. reality’ and the perception for non-college voters is that the Democrats are guilty of making their lives more difficult. Republicans cash in on the facade of supporting poorer groups by screaming about immigration and by small things like Trump pretending he changed NAFTA for the better and fighting briefly with China over a few tariffs.

        And, the ‘reality’ that recent Democrats are guilty of harming the low- to middle-classes isn’t 100% wrong, either. Democrats of the past three decades HAVE supported free trade agreements and financial deregulation that have reduced living standards for poorer segments of the society. Below is a partial list:

        Bill Clinton:

        That’s just free trade. He also enacted large-scale financial deregulation.

        • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

          (1) These days, any criticism of Democrats* without including the far more pernicious and—frankly, downright evil—positions held and promoted by the GOP is disingenuous. It’s bothsidesism to an absurd degree, especially coming from the NYT which gave excessive headlines about “Hillary’s emails” during the 2016 campaigns.

          (2) Hillary Clinton, as you point out, had atrociously cozy relations with the finance sector, but Dems at least support safety nets for those unable to make the transition to the modern world while the GOP actively works to undo social security and any government-sponsored health care.

          (3) The “white working class” will suffer more from the damage of GOP-promoted catastrophic climate change than negotiated free trade agreements ever could.

          *And I’ve done my fair share of criticizing Dems over the decades, and still hold my nose when I vote for some of them.

          • jimbills Says:

            Please keep in mind that this not what ‘I’ think personally. It’s what many analysts are saying about the Rust Belt, rural, and non-college voters – including some minorities in the past few years.

            I’m trying to understand why the vote is breaking against the Democrats so widely with these voters. That NYT writer is attempting the same. He’s not saying he agrees with them, either.

            The bothsideism belongs to these voters, but that absurdity means little for their actual vote. They are hardening against the Democrats, and the trends are strongly showing it’s only getting worse each year. I don’t support it, but I want to know why it’s happening.

            It’s been over a decade now, but I remember a trip I took to the upper Midwest a few years ago. I had a stop in Columbus, OH (a college and tech town) and Gary, Indiana (purely blue collar). It was absolutely shocking how different the fates of those two cities were – Columbus was thriving and Gary was virtually apocalyptic. It said it all to me, and it’s hard to pin blame on voters from a depressed area for being completely ticked off at Washington in general and the Democratic party, in particular, that they fully supported up until recently. It’s not rational, their choices, but it is somewhat understandable. They are being hammered by a broad social and economic upheaval, and they ‘feel’ like many Democratic politicians don’t understand or even see them. It’s just the way it is.

          • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

            The GOP Resentment Machine has been engineered for decades, including cranking up racism and anti-immigration, and masking the fact that they are anti-safety net. NYT writers coyly dance around the fact that ever since Reagan the GOP/”conservatives” have been amping up the false “Welfare Queen” narrative to get “white working class” to vote against their own self-interest, in lockstep with Tea Party astroturf movements (KEEP YOUR GOVERNMENT HANDS OFF MY MEDICARE).

            My opinion of the NYT has plummeted in the last decade or so (I subscribed for a while for Krugman), as far as social and political reporting is concerned. The NYT might as well have produced an article complaining that the Dems didn’t do enough to protect abortion rights without whispering a hint that the GOP actively took them away. They choose which opinions get an airing, after all.

      • jimbills Says:

        Hillary Clinton:

        Repeatedly praised Wall Street and her top donors were a who’s who of corporate spending. Ignored the Rust Belt during her campaign – just assuming those votes were hers.


        Trans-Pacific Partnership:

        Bailed out banks and corporations during the recession. He gave lip service to “main street”, but in 8 years did little to improve conditions for the Rust Belt and non-college voters.

      • jimbills Says:


        This is not free trade, but it could partially explain why minorities are supporting Democrats less now than even two years ago:

        He has bailed out college students, but I’m certain non-college voters will only be ticked off by this.

    • jimbills Says:

      What the analysis from the NYT article indicates is that these things directly harmed large voting segments, and that little was done to alleviate that harm. It’s absolutely true that little was done BECAUSE the GOP blocked any Democratic attempts – but it doesn’t matter politically. Those voting segments feel deeply betrayed by the Democrats for one thing, and secondly, the airwaves are full of effective GOP propaganda about how the Democrats support immigration and are actively seeking to do more harm to those voting blocs.

      The Democrats, because they’ve been so supportive of free trade, financial deregulation and bailouts, and sliding up to their own corporate donors since Clinton, are caught with their pants down.

      It might not be completely fair to see the Democrats as the culprits (and actually, many of these voters ALSO hate establishment Republicans), but the Democrats have invited that perception by their actions for 30 years.

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