Thursday, April 20, 2017

Deafening silence

All through the campaign the nasty guy talked a lot about bringing manufacturing jobs back from overseas. He also talked about bringing back coal mining jobs.

Since October 89,000 retail workers have been laid off. Their jobs are disappearing from physical stores due to competition from internet stores. This 89,000 is more people than employed in the coal industry. Why didn’t the nasty guy campaign to save their jobs?

Jamelle Bouie, chief political correspondent for Slate, offers insight through a question: Who does retail work and who does manufacturing work?

Well, yeah, says Bouie, coal jobs are concentrated in particular places, which also happen to include swing states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan (we have coal? I didn’t think so. There used to many coal mines in Saginaw County, but the last closed in the 1950s). Retail jobs are spread out, though mostly in cities and suburbs and affected by gerrymandering.

On to the answer to Bouie’s question. White men tend to hold the manufacturing jobs. Women and women of color tend to hold the retail jobs. We’ve tied the worth of a job to who tends to do it. In the nasty guy’s world white men matter. Women of color don’t.

Melissa McEwan of Shakesville adds a bit more. As the statistic above shows, retail jobs are being lost to automation. And those jobs are not coming back.

McEwan uses the example of the humans that used to answer the corporate phone, listen to your reason for calling, and connect you to the proper person. That person has been replaced by the phone tree, the recorded message that guides you through its maze of options. Customers hate them, but the cost savings has kept corporations from rehiring humans.

“Beautiful trade deals” won’t save jobs that are automated. And what is the nasty guy and his GOP cronies going to do about it?

The silence is deafening.

There is another deafening silence, this one coming from the Democratic Party. The silence is in response to this question: Why isn’t the party trumpeting the successes of President Obama, especially in comparison to the nasty guy’s disaster in that same office?

Related questions: Why is Bernie Sanders touring the country with DNC chair Tom Perez? Bernie was a Democrat in name only during last year’s primaries and has recently proclaimed that he isn’t won’t be a party member. Why is Sanders on that tour and Obama isn’t? And Hillary Clinton isn’t?

McEwan has a few thoughts. She says it is because Clinton, in spite of her solid win over the nasty guy in the popular vote, is seen as radioactive. And Obama is inconvenient. It is well known that Clinton was going to continue Obama’s policies. So if they praise Obama while pushing Clinton aside they show that the problem wasn’t Clinton’s policies.
They're effectively disowning the nation's first Black president in order to conceal their misogyny toward the party's first woman nominee.
Why do some of us keep poking sticks into the coals of the last election? Because if we don’t honestly face what went wrong we won’t fix it and we’ll lose again. And some of us see the Democratic Party as unwilling unwilling to face it honestly.

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