The campaign we needed isn’t the campaign we got

3f62e1159f9f49f6632a4267418aa8cc

There’s a lot that we’ll regret about the 2016 presidential election and how it has been conducted, and I say that even before we start tallying up the votes. Among other things, we’ll regret the coarsening of our political rhetoric, the divisiveness along lines of race, gender and age, and the erosion of respect for our small-d democratic institutions and principles.

We should also regret it as a lost opportunity. Instead of taking an honest look at the modern world, we have wasted an entire election cycle rehashing the same social, economic and foreign policy battles that we’ve been fighting the past 30 or 40 years, in terms that Ronald Reagan and Walter Mondale would have recognized. This is not their world any longer.

In fact, it’s no wonder the millenials are appalled by what they’re seeing. The diversity issues that have become this election’s emotional focal point have little or no relevance to them, because they accept as a given what many of their elders still treat as a point of contention. Mass deportation of their friends and classmates is an impossibility. Having come of age in the post-9/11 world, they are unburdened by a Cold War mindset and in Iraq and Afghanistan have seen first-hand that military dominance isn’t the answer to every foreign policy problem. To them, climate change isn’t a question, it’s their inheritance.

Overall, their boomer parents and grandparents might as well be arguing over the merits of the Spanish-American War.

Take the issue of jobs, supposedly one of the major themes of this campaign. “We don’t make things anymore,” wails Donald Trump, an assessment echoed on the left by Bernie Sanders and that Hillary Clinton has also attempted to co-opt. To varying degrees, they all blame free trade agreements for the loss of manufacturing jobs and the hollowing out of the middle class.

Yet the entire premise of that argument is wrong. Despite what you’ve heard in this campaign, U.S. manufacturing is healthy and very competitive internationally. In fact, since 1975, the output of the American manufacturing sector has almost tripled, as the inflation-adjusted index below demonstrates:

manu

Source: Federal Reserve of St. Louis

 

However, while the value of U.S. manufacturing has soared, the number of employees needed to produce all those goods has collapsed, declining by 7 million since the peak in 1979:

manujobs

Source: Federal Reserve of St. Louis

The numbers above actually underplay the scale of the shift, because they do not account for population growth. Thirty years ago, two out of every 11 working Americans were employed in manufacturing. Today, one in 13 has a manufacturing-related job. It’s just a basic fact that we are making a lot more stuff and using a lot fewer people to do so. The decline of unions, the disappearance of pensions, the dimming prospects for those without a college education — all of that flows from an historic transformation that our politics has yet to even recognize.

Last year, researchers at Ball State University’s Center for Business and Economic Research took a look at manufacturing job losses from 2000 to 2010, which as they note was “the largest decline in manufacturing employment in U.S. history.” Their conclusion? “Almost 88 percent of job losses in manufacturing in recent years can be attributable to productivity growth, and the long-term changes to manufacturing employment are mostly linked to the productivity of American factories.”

Put another way, for every job lost overseas to free-trade agreements, we have lost seven jobs to increased productivity, a trend that shows every sign of continuing and that no change in government policy could nor should reverse. Cutting taxes for the wealthy isn’t going to address it; trying to renegotiate trade deals would probably make it worse.

The long-term economic trends are not merely redistributing the rewards of work but are redistributing work itself, and somehow we’re going to have to account for that or face even greater political disruption in the future. And as Donald Trump proved in the Republican primaries, there is no political mandate outside the conservative ivory tower for reducing the social safety net and making people even more exposed to the vagaries of an increasingly cruel market economy.

Paul Ryan and his friends may dream of their “Better Way,” but Social Security is not going to be reduced, the budgets for Medicare and Medicaid are not going to be slashed and absent an alternative capable of providing health insurance to tens of millions of otherwise uninsured, even ObamaCare isn’t going to be repealed. The world in which those may once have been realistic policy options, the world in which work and  income from work was spread broadly enough to provide economic security for the vast majority, simply no longer exists.

Reader Comments 0

1239 comments
JKonop
JKonop

I have been insulted numerous times for merely pointing out issues with Hillary and Trump. Some of you, as well as the media ( Jay Bookman), should read this article, before bashing, and look in the mirror!


Observer:
...........We have two unbelievably shitty candidates, neither of whom is fit to lead the country. Donald Trump is a reckless narcissist who, as his debate performances indicated, cannot string together more than two sentences, let alone articulate a coherent vision for the country’s future. His remarks about women, Latinos and African-Americans are reprehensible and, whether he believes his own statements or is merely trying to stir up anger for his electoral benefit, have emboldened people who hold retrograde and genuinely scary views.
Then there is Hillary Clinton, who has been in public life for decades and who grows more and more unpopular upon exposure —and for good reason. Whatever one thinks of the so-called “Servergate” scandal —and I personally find it troubling that she put classified information on a private server that was almost certainly obtained by foreign intelligence services — she stonewalled and lied to the FBI during its investigation, which has now been reopened. She and her family run a foundation that aggressively solicited donations from corporations, wealthy individuals and foreign governments that have interests before the government, and in some cases Clinton, as secretary of state, took actions that can only be seen as quid pro quo for big donors. These facts alone should disqualify her from political life and make her the legitimate target of criminal investigations.......http://observer.com/2016/11/this-election-has-disgraced-the-entire-profession-of-journalism/

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Black people, other minorities, and women in Georgia, turn out to vote for Hillary Clinton for President of the United States on Tuesday.  Georgia has the potential to choose the next U. S. President.  Don't let the backward vision of Donald Trump prevail.  Let us go forward together.  Keep the faith, in Hillary, in our nation and state, and in our common God.


Thank you.

Robert1959
Robert1959

Is anybody surprised that a 70 year old "playboy" is being accused of molesting women.  The question should be how many under age girls has Trump molested or touched inappropriately who were under age (13-16)?  Everybody knows Trump like younger women.  All his brides were under 35 when he married them.  Trump is a sexual predator who should not be left alone with young women (16-21) without adult supervision.    Would you trust Trump with your daughter?

Robert1959
Robert1959

Crickets.......Trump cowards would rather sell their children to the devil for the right price.  May God have mercy on their sinful Souls.

rimsky
rimsky

 Economy Added Fewer Jobs Than Expected, But Wages Rise

That means more money in the pocket of the people who create jobs.

gotalife
gotalife

@rimsky It would be much better if the gop started acted like Americans but that is not going to happen.

Infraredguy
Infraredguy

@gotalife  How about the Democrats started acting like Americans and stopped taking money from foreign donors who abuse women and gays ? Its hard for Hillary to talk out of both sides of her mouth at the same time 

Infraredguy
Infraredguy

@gotalife sorry, your out, Obama and the Clintons already have all the dope heads they need

rimsky
rimsky

 Big data crunched in a nondescript office more than 3,000 miles from the U.S. might just convince you to cast a ballot for Donald Trump.

In September alone, the Trump campaign paid British firm Cambridge Analytica $5 million to help target voters.

The company says it holds data on 230 million adults across the U.S. — and around 4,000 "data points" on each of them.

Yep Trump created jobs in the good old USA.  LOL

honested
honested

@rimsky 

The danged American data companies must pay their employees too much!

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

We have on clear demonstration below the warped Liberal mind and experience.

I post that poor people don't hire employees.

Multiple responses on how the money spent by the poor contributes to the economy.

That is true and no one stated differently, but that is not the point.

Poor people don't have employees and more jobs is what we need.

Cutting taxes for those with more bucks does not take one dollar from a poor person.

The Liberals still after all these years don't get the fish story.

Give a man a fish and eats once, teach him how to fish and he eats for a lifetime.

Why Libs can't take that simple and true story to the real world is beyond disbelief.  


honested
honested

@JohnnyReb 

"cutting taxes for those with more bucks does not take one dollar from a poor person"......

What genius.

I guess that magic funds Head Start, Pre-K, Food Stamps (and the farmers that Food Stamps supports), not to mention a myriad of other programs.

Yet 'trickle down' provides nothing for anyone except those at the top.

gadem
gadem

@ByteMe @JohnnyReb well if the rich hoard it all, they will be richer which helps the economy. Poor people will then be inspired to get boot straps and pull themselves up....but only poor people of color. Poor whites are allowed to be angry at the government, because the government is not helping them enough.

Infraredguy
Infraredguy

@JohnnyReb your wasting your time talking to Liberals about Economics, how do you think we got to 20,000,000,000,000, in debt and 80 trillion in unfunded obligations ? Liberal response is: tax the rich, well if we took everything the rich have its a drop in the bucket and besides, when do you think the Clintons would start taxing their 1% friends who give Hillary 70% of her campaign funds. LOL 

ByteMe
ByteMe

@JohnnyReb If there's no demand because poor have nothing to spend on your product, doesn't matter how many people you employ because you're going out of business.


So stimulate demand, not production.  Give money to the poor to spend, not the rich to hoard.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@JohnnyReb After all of these years you think that we have forgotten about the last liar in chief that Republicans gave us?  It's going to take a lot more than 8 years to forget about the bang up job that the last president you guys put in the white house did.  Bush is a baby monster compared to what you are trying to give us this time. I have to give it too you Johnny you are persistent with your buffoonery if nothing else.  Trump is nothing short of the apocalypse just waiting to open up the first seal.  LOL

Robert1959
Robert1959

Donald Trump does not understand that the GOP/tea party racist strategy of hatred, fear and bigotry is not working in the 21st century 2016. Rather than produce a plan that can be measured against the accomplishments of President Obama, Trump choose to "double down" on the GOP racist strategy. Imagine if Trump acknowledged the progress made over the past 8 years of President Obama's administration (2008-16). Imagine if Trump praised President Obama for enacting policies that saved the USA from the greatest recession/depression ever. Imagine if Trump praised Bernie Sanders for his passion (free community college, etc.). Imagine if Trump praised Hillary Clinton for her 35 years of public service. Imagine if Trump really loved America and wanted to improve on President Barack Obama's accomplishments.  For example all Americans have access to healthcare (ACA). What plan does Trump have to improve or replace the ACA? The economy steadily improving and the deficit is going down quicker than expected. How will Trump stimulate the economy? The unemployment rate is down to (5%) nationwide. What kinds of jobs will Trump create? The real estate market is coming back quickly and stocks are at a all time high (+17,000). What strategy will Trump implement to work with Wall St? Gasoline prices at/or below $2.50 per gallon nationwide. How will Trump control our energy cost? No new foreign wars (Syria, Iran etc.). How will Trump keep the USA out of foreign wars? Donald Trump has a big wall to climb (President Obama accomplishments) before he can built a new wall on the mexican border.

At the end of the day you are measured by what you produce and Donald Trump produced nothing measureable but more hatred, fear and bigotry against the American People. Donald Trump racist strategy of doubling down on hatred, fear and bigotry is not the answer. Donald Trump  is on the wrong side of American History and he ran the wrong race for POTUS.



Is Trump really racist?

http://www.rightwingwatch.org/


https://www.splcenter.org/news/2016/02/17/splcs-in...



Robert1959
Robert1959

@_GodlessHeathen_ You are a deplorable lunatic.  Soon to be Madame President Mrs. Hillary Clinton is the 1st American Woman to win a major political party nomination (D) for POTUS.  I hope you show more respect for the women in your family (grandmother, mother, aunts, sisters, daughters, wife, etc.).  Godless Heathen..

ByteMe
ByteMe

@Robert1959  He's not a lunatic, just a comic troll-wannabe.  Hard to become one without practice.

_GodlessHeathen_
_GodlessHeathen_

@Robert1959 @_GodlessHeathen_ 

I just asked.

You implied that a white power group supporting Trump made him a racist, so I asked if a hooker group supporting Hillary made her a hooker.

Seemed like a legit question to me.

ByteMe
ByteMe

Trumpery derives from the Middle English trompery and ultimately from the Middle French tromper, meaning "to deceive." (You can see the meaning of this root reflected in the French phrase trompe-l'oeil-literally, "deceives the eye"-which in English refers to a style of painting with photographically realistic detail.) Trumpery first appeared in English in the mid-15th century with the meanings "deceit or fraud" (a sense that is now obsolete) and "worthless nonsense." Less than 100 years later, it was being applied to material objects of little or no value. The verb phrase trump up means "to concoct with the intent to deceive," but there is most likely no etymological connection between this phrase and trumpery.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@monty1 

 Bill Clinton 26 flights aboard the "Lolita Express."

Really?

Well, that's a deal breaker for me!

I will never vote for Bill Clinton!

Take. Dat. To. Da. Bank!

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

The Dow will go down if Trump is elected because he is an unknown commodity.

When was the last time a Republican actually helped the economy? I honestly can't remember.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@Donnie_Pinko  Is warm weather alone a reliable indicator of climate change?  Nope.  but then again, no one said it was.

gotalife
gotalife

Another good jobs report to show a healthy economy.


Bad news for the right.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@Donnie_Pinko  It is a lagging indicator, but still an indicator.

Oh, and pissed off Republicans also seems like an indicator of a good economy. ;)

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

If only they weren't immune to facts.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@gotalife almost 95 million not in the workforce, GDP less than 2, too many working part time jobs, but you think the job report is good.

Well, it's better than it was, I'll give that to you.

After that, forgetaboutit.

There is no silver bullet for our economy, but growth is the only light at the end of the tunnel.

Obama has produced almost no growth while doubling the debt.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@gotalife In their world, a healthy economy is bad news for the country.  /smh

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

@JohnnyReb @gotalife

I'm one of those 'not in the workforce' 'cause I'm retired and running my own consulting business.


And I'm much happier - thank you very much - why are you trying to drag me back into the workforce?

Robert1959
Robert1959

@JohnnyReb forgetaboutit. You must have been watching reruns of the Soprano's trying to justify voting for the chump known as Trump.  Bada bing baby !!! NJ style

ByteMe
ByteMe

@JohnnyReb @gotalife Stop telling my 85-year-old mom and my two kids under age 12 that they have to go to work to make you feel better about yourself.