2016 US Presidential Election

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Tyndmyr
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Nov 25, 2016 4:35 pm UTC

elasto wrote:I disagree. There's a lot of anger and talk of betrayal on the alt-right.


There'll always be that crazy extreme wing, who basically always want everything to go further to a ludicrous degree. They're mostly irrelevant, though.

Felstaff wrote:Genuine question: do USAians give a shit about Nigel Farage? Do they even know who he is?


Mostly, no. I probably pay more attention to politics than most(as is likely true for all of us), but the only recognition that clicked for me was "British Politician". I couldn't say what party, though I suspect he's likely reasonably influential, because it's not as if I'd recognize many such names. Americans are remarkably apathetic to politics anywhere that's not here.

Sableagle wrote:Considering where he was on election day, a random walk was going to look good to a lot of us, but he's been pretty consistently walking in good directions. From "Global Warming is a Chinese hoax to make American businesses less competitive" he's jumped to "human activity is affecting the climate and action to address that may be necessary," he's dropped the "Jail Hillary on Day 1" thing, now he's turning against waterboarding, ...


It's convenient for him to do so. Continuing the status quo is the easy choice in most cases, so discarding things that'd take work...It makes sense. He's always been quite willing to change positions to one that is more advantageous. As Sardia says, the idea that he was going to stick firmly to his pre-election positions was doomed all along.

Thesh wrote:I wouldn't trust Republicans or the FBI to stop pursuing it. A blanket pardon ends the issue and everyone forgets about it in a few months.


Basically this. She's already assumed to be basically guilty, and if she's no longer a viable candidate, what do you lose by pardoning her? Sure, it's like plea-bargaining or something perception-wise, but the actual strategic loss is basically nothing. She's already assumed to be crooked, to be in bed with the establishment, etc. There's no actual loss for her getting pardoned.

I don't expect Trump to care, but other Republicans likely still will, if she's not.

Zamfir wrote:@Elasto, I get your point, but I am not fully convinced (how's that for waffling?). There's a reason you can still visit echochamber dot me . Debate on some points can hide strong, subtly enforced agreement on other points. Look at the low number of explicit pro-Trump posts in this gazillion-post thread.

Most of debate was "is Trump bad or double-plus bad", "is Trump's competently bad or incompetently bad ", "is Hillary also bad", " Since Trump is so bad, can you vote third party", "is every Trump supporter automatically bad", etc.


Sure. Highly conservative forums exist as well. I'd agree that some venues are better than others, but a lot of that is solely the medium. Facebook is a really bad medium for lengthy, detailed discussion. Twitter is also bad for this. They're simply not designed to cater to that form of discussion in the way that forums are.

sardia wrote:https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/11/democrats-rust-belt/508544/
Has anyone consisted mass relocation and paying them until they die quietly? It would work, but it wouldn't be very sexy.


This has occurred to me. It's a possible answer, I suppose, but it means a huge cultural shift. There's always gonna be those people who believe that this land was their fathers and grandfathers, and dammit, they're gonna die there.

To an extent, population migration already happens. Those who want to move, and can move, already do. Sure, you can maybe help out those who want to move, but can't....but even after doing that, you're likely to still have a significant portion of the problem remaining.

I'm also not sure that they'd all adapt terribly well to relocation to urban areas. Even if there are jobs there, does the beer swilling, gun toting redneck fit the local culture? Maybe not. Yeah, it's a stereotype, but it's not wholly inaccurate. Just paying them until they die, well...what of their children? It might just create a new flavor of under-class. You'd literally need to change everything about them for them to blend into the local workforce. That's difficult.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby CelticNot » Fri Nov 25, 2016 4:54 pm UTC

sardia wrote:https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/11/democrats-rust-belt/508544/
Has anyone consisted mass relocation and paying them until they die quietly? It would work, but it wouldn't be very sexy.


Tongue-in-cheek answer: You mean like the US Government did to Native Americans?

I think the core problem there is that it still dismisses the actual wants of the people in question. The note at the end of the article - offering relocation to those who want it, and welfare to those who don't - is maybe the best that can be done. And for those who won't accept either, and just want their jobs back... if they can't face reality, how far can one really make them go to FORCE them to face it?
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Fri Nov 25, 2016 4:58 pm UTC

Tongue-in-cheek answer: You mean like the US Government did to Native Americans?

I think the core problem there is that it still dismisses the actual wants of the people in question. The note at the end of the article - offering relocation to those who want it, and welfare to those who don't - is maybe the best that can be done. And for those who won't accept either, and just want their jobs back... if they can't face reality, how far can one really make them go to FORCE them to face it?
Tyndmyr wrote:
sardia wrote:Has anyone consisted mass relocation and paying them until they die quietly? It would work, but it wouldn't be very sexy.

This has occurred to me. It's a possible answer, I suppose, but it means a huge cultural shift. There's always gonna be those people who believe that this land was their fathers and grandfathers, and dammit, they're gonna die there.
To an extent, population migration already happens. Those who want to move, and can move, already do. Sure, you can maybe help out those who want to move, but can't....but even after doing that, you're likely to still have a significant portion of the problem remaining.
I'm also not sure that they'd all adapt terribly well to relocation to urban areas. Even if there are jobs there, does the beer swilling, gun toting redneck fit the local culture? Maybe not. Yeah, it's a stereotype, but it's not wholly inaccurate. Just paying them until they die, well...what of their children? It might just create a new flavor of under-class. You'd literally need to change everything about them for them to blend into the local workforce. That's difficult.

The clickbait version is you send them off into reeducation camps and out comes college educated people. It would be a government funded version of what already happens. The smart ones go to college, and leave for the cities. Those who don't get swallowed by the safety net, never to be heard from again.The program would be similar to the refugee program but bigger in scope/scale/cost. There's a reason the it says "Democrats have no easy answer for the Rust Belt", and not "2018 Democrats Strikes Back".
And yes, the worst case scenarios is you get another Indian reservation, but for whites.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Nov 25, 2016 5:31 pm UTC

CelticNot wrote:
sardia wrote:https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/11/democrats-rust-belt/508544/
Has anyone consisted mass relocation and paying them until they die quietly? It would work, but it wouldn't be very sexy.


Tongue-in-cheek answer: You mean like the US Government did to Native Americans?

I think the core problem there is that it still dismisses the actual wants of the people in question. The note at the end of the article - offering relocation to those who want it, and welfare to those who don't - is maybe the best that can be done. And for those who won't accept either, and just want their jobs back... if they can't face reality, how far can one really make them go to FORCE them to face it?


Hah, yeah, that's not exactly a glowing comparison.

Something I noticed in that Rust Belt comparison is the German manufacturing thing. They're technologically advanced, and have double our manufacturing sector employment as a proportion of the economy. I mean, sure, Germany isn't exactly like the US in many ways, so it isn't an easy answer of "copy everything they do", but it indicates that we're not absolutely stuck at our current level of manufacturing jobs either. At least *some* restoration of manufacturing jobs should be theoretically possible. It certainly hasn't been happening in the US thus far, but there's got to be a way.

sardia wrote:The clickbait version is you send them off into reeducation camps and out comes college educated people. It would be a government funded version of what already happens. The smart ones go to college, and leave for the cities. Those who don't get swallowed by the safety net, never to be heard from again.The program would be similar to the refugee program but bigger in scope/scale/cost. There's a reason the it says "Democrats have no easy answer for the Rust Belt", and not "2018 Democrats Strikes Back".
And yes, the worst case scenarios is you get another Indian reservation, but for whites.


I mean, sure...that's what happens. But, all this is doing is adding government funding to what happens already. That's not a terribly big change, after all is said and done. I'm not sure that "never to be heard from again" is really the outcome here.

I mean, you already have disproportionately high safety net usage from these jacked up areas, as you would expect. That doesn't make them Democrat, nor does it make them content. Doing more of the thing that's not working seems unlikely to yield results. It seems like just more spending to have the status quo that's not really working for the Dems.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Fri Nov 25, 2016 5:40 pm UTC

We could subsidize pointless factories that build a machine, and them subsidize factories that take them apart.* Then you hope they die off, and their children recognize it's better to be in a different career.

*obviously there'd be some use for free manufacturing, but you get my point, this is a flat subsidy to them.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/25/world ... -wall.html
How Trump acts when he doesn't get what he wants.
In Scotland, Trump Built a Wall. Then He Sent Residents the Bill. President-elect Donald J. Trump has already built a wall — not on the border with Mexico, but on the border of his exclusive golf course in northeastern Scotland, blocking the sea view of local residents who refused to sell their homes.

And then he sent them the bill.

David and Moira Milne had already been threatened with legal action by Mr. Trump’s lawyers, who claimed a corner of their garage belonged to him, when they came home from work one day to find his staff building a fence around their garden. Two rows of grown trees went up next, blocking the view. Their water and electricity lines were temporarily cut. And then a bill for about $3,500 arrived in the mail, which, Mr. Milne said, went straight into the trash. As many Americans are trying to figure out what kind of president they have just elected, the people of Balmedie, a small village outside the once oil-rich city of Aberdeen, say they have a pretty good idea. In the 10 years since Mr. Trump first visited, vowing to build “the world’s greatest golf course” on an environmentally protected site featuring 4,000-year-old sand dunes, they have seen him lash out at anyone standing in his way. They say they watched him win public support for his golf course with grand promises, then watched him break them one by one.

A promised $1.25 billion investment has shrunk to what his opponents say is at most $50 million. Six thousand jobs have dwindled to 95. Two golf courses to one. An eight-story 450-room luxury hotel never materialized, nor did 950 time-share apartments. Instead, an existing manor house was converted into a 16-room boutique hotel. Trump International Golf Links, which opened in 2012, lost $1.36 million last year, according to public accounts.
Emphasis mine. I'm preaching to the choir, since all the pro-Trumpers left, but that's a good indication of how Trump operates. And yes, these are the same golf courses that Trump, as president, asked to block wind turbines from being installed.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Nov 25, 2016 5:54 pm UTC

sardia wrote:We could subsidize pointless factories that build a machine, and them subsidize factories that take them apart.* Then you hope they die off, and their children recognize it's better to be in a different career.

*obviously there'd be some use for free manufacturing, but you get my point, this is a flat subsidy to them.


Honestly, the infrastructure building idea sounds like the least wasteful version of this. Can't evaluate it in more details without actual specifics, which don't exist yet, but infrastructure seems like the most useful/not obviously going to be called out as pork way you'd frame this. Actually doing useless work is incredibly demoralizing, but there's actually a legitimate need for at least a fair amount of infrastructure work.

I do not have a ton of hope in "their children recognize it's better to be in a different career". Some will, sure. But, culture and familial influence is strong, and if no other careers exist in the area as an example, it's harder for people to even know what's out there. Like, if we're being honest, the lack of future in coal mining has been apparent for a while now. And likewise, Detroit has been a clusterfuck for a while. People haven't all left, though. Sure, good on the ones who did. I'm sure they'll fare much better than those who stayed. There's at least a good element of people wanting to stay there and do more or less the same thing, though. Maybe you could divert them from auto manufacturing to other manufacturing, but that still runs into the roadblock of attracting manufacturers to the business equivalent of a dumpster fire.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Nov 25, 2016 5:57 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
sardia wrote:We could subsidize pointless factories that build a machine, and them subsidize factories that take them apart.* Then you hope they die off, and their children recognize it's better to be in a different career.

*obviously there'd be some use for free manufacturing, but you get my point, this is a flat subsidy to them.


Honestly, the infrastructure building idea sounds like the least wasteful version of this. Can't evaluate it in more details without actual specifics, which don't exist yet, but infrastructure seems like the most useful/not obviously going to be called out as pork way you'd frame this. Actually doing useless work is incredibly demoralizing, but there's actually a legitimate need for at least a fair amount of infrastructure work.

I do not have a ton of hope in "their children recognize it's better to be in a different career". Some will, sure. But, culture and familial influence is strong, and if no other careers exist in the area as an example, it's harder for people to even know what's out there. Like, if we're being honest, the lack of future in coal mining has been apparent for a while now. And likewise, Detroit has been a clusterfuck for a while. People haven't all left, though. Sure, good on the ones who did. I'm sure they'll fare much better than those who stayed. There's at least a good element of people wanting to stay there and do more or less the same thing, though. Maybe you could divert them from auto manufacturing to other manufacturing, but that still runs into the roadblock of attracting manufacturers to the business equivalent of a dumpster fire.


I dunno, building infrastructure in a soon-to-be ghost town sounds like an awful waste of time to me. Ideally, you build infrastructure where people are.

Ex: a major problem in a lot of rural areas is that the US Interstate Highway system costs too much money and gets too little traffic to be worthwhile. Building (and rebuilding) those roads will cost the local towns tons of money, and if they don't actually get a real economy... then the whole project just becomes a giant money sink.

I mean, yeah, the Federal Government can just sponsor those highways and I guess perpetual road crews can keep the roads in shape (that's a job for sure... and it'd scale across America). But we got like... Airplanes and stuff now. So its kinda more efficient just to fly cargo around today. (Sorta, but not really. IIRC, Air Traffic has maxxed out. So there's actually an opportunity to grow freight rail and trucking as our interconnected society continues to move goods around).
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Nov 25, 2016 6:11 pm UTC

Yes and no...building interstates, dams, etc...those don't have to be in population centers. Sure, paying road crews and keeping a few gas stations running isn't exactly a wave of industry, but it's something.

US interstates aren't funded by the local towns, are they? Should be federal money.

I mean, this doesn't help everywhere. If a town isn't on the way to anywhere else, and doesn't have any good local resources to harness, ehhh, infrastructure doesn't do much for it. So, there'll be a few that are screwed either way.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby elasto » Fri Nov 25, 2016 6:11 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Highly conservative forums exist as well.

Can you name one? I'd be very interested in reading the dispassionate, intellectually rigorous and rational case in favour of Trump's policies.

And, yes, it's common sense to me that the only answer to human obsolescence such as suffered in the rust belt is a high level of practical support: Generously taxpayer funded welfare, healthcare, adult education, housing and so on, along with large government investment in new infrastructure. I've been arguing for it for years.

Yes it's very expensive but the alternative is even worse. And it's only going to become more of a problem as the number of jobs that can be automated away grows. Today it's perfectly manageable in budgetary terms. In 20 years it could be 20% of the population whose skillset has been wiped out seemingly overnight by self-driving vehicles, AI customer service, robot warehouses and factories etc. Yes, new types of careers will arise, but the trend is towards increasing specialisation and higher levels of technical knowledge: New careers are becoming harder and more expensive to cross-train into at the same time as traditional careers are become obsolete at a faster and faster rate.

A few years ago it was Occupy. But noone listened to them. Now it is the rust belt, who Trump has pretended to listen to but really will do nothing for. Tomorrow it will be so many people it will not be possible to ignore our voices. Trump was the wrong answer, but at least people are beginning to ask the right question...

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Fri Nov 25, 2016 6:14 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:I dunno, building infrastructure in a soon-to-be ghost town sounds like an awful waste of time to me. Ideally, you build infrastructure where people are.

Ex: a major problem in a lot of rural areas is that the US Interstate Highway system costs too much money and gets too little traffic to be worthwhile. Building (and rebuilding) those roads will cost the local towns tons of money, and if they don't actually get a real economy... then the whole project just becomes a giant money sink.

I mean, yeah, the Federal Government can just sponsor those highways and I guess perpetual road crews can keep the roads in shape (that's a job for sure... and it'd scale across America). But we got like... Airplanes and stuff now. So its kinda more efficient just to fly cargo around today. (Sorta, but not really. IIRC, Air Traffic has maxxed out. So there's actually an opportunity to grow freight rail and trucking as our interconnected society continues to move goods around).

We had airplanes when the interstate system was built too. Air shipping has always been way more expensive than shipping by truck or rail and that's unlikely to ever change.

If the federal government is paying for these perpetual road crews, then that will actually bring money into these small towns as repairs are made in their vicinity. Since it looks like trucking is going to be automated in the very near future, the repair crews might be the only thing keeping these small towns alive.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Nov 25, 2016 6:20 pm UTC

Sheikh al-Majaneen wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:I dunno, building infrastructure in a soon-to-be ghost town sounds like an awful waste of time to me. Ideally, you build infrastructure where people are.

Ex: a major problem in a lot of rural areas is that the US Interstate Highway system costs too much money and gets too little traffic to be worthwhile. Building (and rebuilding) those roads will cost the local towns tons of money, and if they don't actually get a real economy... then the whole project just becomes a giant money sink.

I mean, yeah, the Federal Government can just sponsor those highways and I guess perpetual road crews can keep the roads in shape (that's a job for sure... and it'd scale across America). But we got like... Airplanes and stuff now. So its kinda more efficient just to fly cargo around today. (Sorta, but not really. IIRC, Air Traffic has maxxed out. So there's actually an opportunity to grow freight rail and trucking as our interconnected society continues to move goods around).

We had airplanes when the interstate system was built too. Air shipping has always been way more expensive than shipping by truck or rail and that's unlikely to ever change.

If the federal government is paying for these perpetual road crews, then that will actually bring money into these small towns as repairs are made in their vicinity. Since it looks like trucking is going to be automated in the very near future, the repair crews might be the only thing keeping these small towns alive.


There's one more problem: this plan only helps those rural towns that live along a highway. Ex: Ohio. Even then, the politics about whether or not to pay for the upkeep of those roads / infrastructure is still contentious.

Go to an area without any major truck routes (Ex: Mountainous West Virginia Coal Country), and I bet you that the plan simply won't work.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Nov 25, 2016 6:53 pm UTC

elasto wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Highly conservative forums exist as well.

Can you name one? I'd be very interested in reading the dispassionate, intellectually rigorous and rational case in favour of Trump's policies.


Hah. You may want to revise your expectations.

Yes it's very expensive but the alternative is even worse. And it's only going to become more of a problem as the number of jobs that can be automated away grows. Today it's perfectly manageable in budgetary terms. In 20 years it could be 20% of the population whose skillset has been wiped out seemingly overnight by self-driving vehicles, AI customer service, robot warehouses and factories etc. Yes, new types of careers will arise, but the trend is towards increasing specialisation and higher levels of technical knowledge: New careers are becoming harder and more expensive to cross-train into at the same time as traditional careers are become obsolete at a faster and faster rate.


A lot of it's simply geographic isolation, too. If you at least have a car to drive, and live in a city with lots of other careers, transitioning is easier. It might require new skills, but it likely doesn't require uprooting your entire life.

Being very distant from any opportunities makes it harder to seize them. Oddly enough, this often also explains many inner city difficulties. They end up being strangely cut off, and lacking in viable, reliable transport.

KnightExemplar wrote:There's one more problem: this plan only helps those rural towns that live along a highway. Ex: Ohio. Even then, the politics about whether or not to pay for the upkeep of those roads / infrastructure is still contentious.

Go to an area without any major truck routes (Ex: Mountainous West Virginia Coal Country), and I bet you that the plan simply won't work.


Yeah. That's what I was just thinkin' as well. We can boost highways, and that helps some stuff a bit, but it doesn't fix coal country. Geographically, they're mostly destination towns, not waystations, unless you count being a waystation to other similar towns people don't often need to go to. Gotta have some purpose they're serving for some other area.

Coal's a rough answer. Probably only going to get rougher. Logging, to some degree, I suppose. But there are limits there, and we can assume that such an obvious answer is already explored by the locals. Only so much wood, so much fish, so many other natural resources there, unless you find something new, nothing replaces the coal.

Manufacturing has to answer the question of why you build a new factory in Hicksville, rather than somewhere closer to consumers, transport hubs, etc. If it's low cost of workers, well...you begin to wonder why offshoring isn't a better answer to that.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Nov 25, 2016 7:10 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Manufacturing has to answer the question of why you build a new factory in Hicksville, rather than somewhere closer to consumers, transport hubs, etc. If it's low cost of workers, well...you begin to wonder why offshoring isn't a better answer to that.


Call centers.

Hicksville will speak better English and have more in common culturally than India / Chinese tech support groups. Philippines kinda gets close, but the accent is still obviously non-American.

Yeah, that's about it. I bet you that building call centers / tech centers closer to communication hubs (ex: Kansas City) still makes more sense. There's cheaper internet / telephone service if you follow the fiber-lines of America.

Image

Still got nothing for West Virginia... or really huge swaths of the country. Even from a technology / internet perspective, only a limited portion of the USA is actually wired up. (The above picture looks like it is Sprint-specific, but the general flow of the fiber-lines matches my understanding of fiber-lines in America. Some major hubs are missing: like the Las Vegas fiber hub)
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Fri Nov 25, 2016 7:20 pm UTC

There are already customer service and sales jobs that you can telecommute to in the US. Why build a call center in a low population rural area, when you can build it in a high population urban area where it is a lot easier to hire and fire people and thus keep wages down? If you are outsourcing, it's either because those two options are too expensive or you want 24hr/global coverage which is a lot easier to do if you have call centers in say, India and New Mexico.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby elasto » Fri Nov 25, 2016 7:22 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
elasto wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Highly conservative forums exist as well.

Can you name one? I'd be very interested in reading the dispassionate, intellectually rigorous and rational case in favour of Trump's policies.


Hah. You may want to revise your expectations.

Well, so then I was right? The reason there aren't well-argued 'this is why I voted for Trump' posts here is because they don't exist anywhere.

(It doesn't surprise me that emotive 'this is why I voted for Trump' posts exist elsewhere and not here, because, yes, we are an echo chamber in that sense: We are harsher on ill-informed right-wing arguments than ill-informed left-wing ones. In an ideal world that wouldn't be the case but nothing's perfect.)

A lot of it's simply geographic isolation, too. If you at least have a car to drive, and live in a city with lots of other careers, transitioning is easier. It might require new skills, but it likely doesn't require uprooting your entire life.

The only silver lining is that some of the new careers are online; And education and training are also increasingly going online - and the cost of said education should eventually crash through the floor - to a tenth or perhaps even a hundredth of what it does now. But that's some time off and people need help right now.

KnightExemplar wrote:Call centers.

That's not a long-term solution because operators are directed to follow a flowchart, with no latitude for innovation or improvisation, so AI will soon be able to do that better for cheaper. Pretty sure it's one of the near-term goals of IBM's Watson to be able to perform call center / helpdesk type roles. And if call volumes spike from ten calls/minute to a thousand? No problem for virtual workers unlike the meat-based variant.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby eran_rathan » Fri Nov 25, 2016 7:27 pm UTC

Maine has had several call centers over the past ten years or so - in each case they've gone elsewhere, as they did not pay living wages or swindled the towns for massive tax breaks, then as soon as they expired fired everyone and left the buildings to rot (MBNA in Rockland, AETNA in Belfast, something in Loring, etc.)
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Nov 25, 2016 7:31 pm UTC

Yeah, that was a thing they tried to bring in near where I grew up...I even worked in one a coupla years. They've all folded by now, though. Might be just the local environment, since we were a bit from the hub. I gotta imagine there's some curve on close to hub vs wages paid that makes it worthwhile, though.

It look, in general, like a somewhat similar layout as highways. Generally, being on the way between two big cities is good enough to give at least some options. The rust belt in general still seems to be particularly weak on coverage, though. That big swathe in the center is kinda vacant.

Edited in for reply:
eran_rathan wrote:Maine has had several call centers over the past ten years or so - in each case they've gone elsewhere, as they did not pay living wages or swindled the towns for massive tax breaks, then as soon as they expired fired everyone and left the buildings to rot (MBNA in Rockland, AETNA in Belfast, something in Loring, etc.)


The latter was universal in my experience. They'd get a great tax deal with a sunset, and once it ended, moved on to the next place. It appears taxes are a bigger cost than buildings and infrastructure, so there's little way to hold onto them once heavier taxes kick in.

elasto wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:
elasto wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Highly conservative forums exist as well.

Can you name one? I'd be very interested in reading the dispassionate, intellectually rigorous and rational case in favour of Trump's policies.


Hah. You may want to revise your expectations.

Well, so then I was right? The reason there aren't well-argued 'this is why I voted for Trump' posts here is because they don't exist anywhere.

(It doesn't surprise me that emotive 'this is why I voted for Trump' posts exist elsewhere and not here, because, yes, we are an echo chamber in that sense: We are harsher on ill-informed right-wing arguments than ill-informed left-wing ones. In an ideal world that wouldn't be the case but nothing's perfect.)


There are arguments. They just often fall well short of the criteria listed above. This is honestly true of most online discussion fora. Sure, here and there, you might find a well written piece on why someone voted for Trump, but it's probably the exception. You'd have to put some effort into hunting for it.

Honestly, the same is likely also true for Clinton. There's a lot of rage out there, particularly now, and while it's my perception that the right may have somewhat fewer of these online, it's quite difficult in general to find places to actually discuss politics somewhat reasonably. Yeah, this place is kind of an echo chamber to some degree, but far less so than many places. Not all echo chambers are equal.

A lot of it's simply geographic isolation, too. If you at least have a car to drive, and live in a city with lots of other careers, transitioning is easier. It might require new skills, but it likely doesn't require uprooting your entire life.

The only silver lining is that some of the new careers are online; And education and training are also increasingly going online - and the cost of said education should eventually crash through the floor - to a tenth or perhaps even a hundredth of what it does now. But that's some time off and people need help right now.


Entirely teleworking is still pretty rare, though. Yeah, we can do more education, but that doesn't mitigate the "no job post-training" problem.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Fri Nov 25, 2016 7:35 pm UTC

elasto wrote:And if call volumes spike from ten calls/minute to a thousand? No problem for virtual workers unlike the meat-based variant.


I mean, even today with the telecommuting, that's not really a problem for the companies because everyone is an independent contractor, usually paid by the minute - if there is low volume, the contractors make less, high volume they make more (sucks for the workers). Generally speaking the problem is not that there aren't jobs, it's that the jobs available bring in too little income to keep the communities functioning - they have to bring in enough cash flow to pay for goods from outside the local region, while still keeping all the jobs going in that local region. This is a problem for everyone in America, not just rural, it's just that due to the low population density a relatively small business can make up the bulk of their economy.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Nov 25, 2016 7:54 pm UTC

elasto wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:Call centers.

That's not a long-term solution because operators are directed to follow a flowchart, with no latitude for innovation or improvisation, so AI will soon be able to do that better for cheaper. Pretty sure it's one of the near-term goals of IBM's Watson to be able to perform call center / helpdesk type roles. And if call volumes spike from ten calls/minute to a thousand? No problem for virtual workers unlike the meat-based variant.


Wrong direction actually.

For 99% of the time, you only need an online form to order batteries from Amazon, another online form to authorize your bank to send your mortgage payment out, and then another form to order a movie from a service.

However, you need tech support for the situations when the "AI" (aka: the internet web form) screwed up for some reason. And yes, it always screws up for somebody: Amazon may send the wrong shipment. Your bank account may have been hacked and you need to officially dispute a transaction with a voice-recorded message.

That's what tech support is for. The AI's job is on the web front-end. You know, that AI that automatically checks to see if you have a valid shipping address, a valid phone number, and valid credit-card before Amazon ships something to you (look ma! No humans!). But Tech-support will always be the human job (as every now and then, you need to talk to the people in charge of the operation).

All the computer / AI stuff will happen with... you know... the computer stuff. Where its already an AI that is automatically recommending you "similar items to purchase", or even an AI that changes the prices to try and catch certain buyers or detect when certain goods are overpriced / underpriced.

--------

When will tech support not be needed? When programmers stop making mistakes. Which I can safely say... will never happen. Programmers always make mistakes. Its only human.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Nov 25, 2016 7:58 pm UTC

Yeah, but...in practice, a *lot* of that is effectively automated, only with a human mouthpiece, because people hate call trees. Still a lot of call trees, though.

Every place is forever trying to automate the common cases, and use those to prune the queue before the workload gets passed off to a human. Yeah, it isn't perfect yet, but the eventual trend does lead one to believe that there'll be fewer and fewer humans eventually.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:02 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:
However, you need tech support for the situations when the "AI" (aka: the internet web form) screwed up for some reason. And yes, it always screws up for somebody: Amazon may send the wrong shipment. Your bank account may have been hacked and you need to officially dispute a transaction with a voice-recorded message.


Yeah, but when one AI can do the job of your entire level 1 tech support team, then a few level two reps and a manager are all you need. Plus, people are more likely to hang up and try and figure it out for themselves if they aren't talking to a person, which makes them less likely to actually make it to level 2. There definitely won't be enough people to require large call centers all over the country - most companies can hire a couple of people in-house for escalation and get better results.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Fri Nov 25, 2016 9:45 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Yeah, but...in practice, a *lot* of that is effectively automated, only with a human mouthpiece, because people hate call trees. Still a lot of call trees, though.

Every place is forever trying to automate the common cases, and use those to prune the queue before the workload gets passed off to a human. Yeah, it isn't perfect yet, but the eventual trend does lead one to believe that there'll be fewer and fewer humans eventually.

Let's Trump it up a bit. Let's do all these half ass solutions, with a bunch of tax breaks sweeten the deal for congress. It doesn't solve anything, but it's a plan, and you can hype up the awesome sauce gold plated winning jobs.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Nov 25, 2016 9:54 pm UTC

Depends on what you mean by "swing voters".

If nothing is solved, I expect significantly less enthusiasm from said disadvantaged places next go-round. I mean, partisanship is strong, so sorta mediocre progress can totally be passed off as way more impressive than it is, but you need something to point at, or you're just another person who promised 'em stuff and betrayed them. 2020 is the real goal here. 2018's fucked regardless, but 2020 has a real window of opportunity.

On the flip side, if it sounds vaguely reasonable, and you can at least help out a goodly proportion of these various little towns with no industry, you can parlay those soundbites into a pretty compelling narrative.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Fri Nov 25, 2016 10:14 pm UTC

At this point, the right-wing websites are going to reverse course and start talking about how great things are rather than how our country has been completely destroyed. Barring a massive, undeniable recession, it really doesn't matter whether it helps them or not, and if there is a massive recession they can probably spin it so they will blame the other side. The right is so far down the rabbit hole at this point, I think there are few situations that can pull them back beyond an active campaign to educate their readers, which is going to be very difficult when they have been conditioned to believe only their sources. No, I think we are fucked for a good long while.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Nov 25, 2016 10:17 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:
However, you need tech support for the situations when the "AI" (aka: the internet web form) screwed up for some reason. And yes, it always screws up for somebody: Amazon may send the wrong shipment. Your bank account may have been hacked and you need to officially dispute a transaction with a voice-recorded message.


Yeah, but when one AI can do the job of your entire level 1 tech support team, then a few level two reps and a manager are all you need. Plus, people are more likely to hang up and try and figure it out for themselves if they aren't talking to a person, which makes them less likely to actually make it to level 2. There definitely won't be enough people to require large call centers all over the country - most companies can hire a couple of people in-house for escalation and get better results.


Just saying: if your customers are hanging up in frustration over your AI-based voice teams, then the AI-based voice team is not doing its job.

I mean, everyone gets pissed off at Level 1 Tech support. But people seem to get more pissed off at the AI-crap right now. Honestly, I think the best solution for AI-based tech support is to redirect the users to a website (where an AI can really interact with them), and then have the AI give a phone number for the L2 Tech support directly.

That's all I'm saying. I can agree with you that AI will replace the functionality of Level 1 tech support, but not because of the dumb voice-recognition thingies... but because computer-based assistance is so effective. (Aka: just google the problem, and have your Web designers push Search-engine optimization so that your website has the most effective solutions on the top of Google, Bing, and Duck Duck Go)

For example, I bet you that Linode doesn't get very much Tech Support calls because they have an awesome webpage for troubleshooting: https://www.linode.com/docs/troubleshoo ... leshooting
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Fri Nov 25, 2016 10:22 pm UTC

I can imagine other jobs solutions along these lines too.

While in that specific example, it's agricultural work by the sea, it serves multiple purposes:
[*]It provides jobs
[*]It feeds people
[*]It reverses some negative effects of climate change

Climate change and agricultural runoff have led to issues with absorbed carbon dioxide and nitrogen affecting the pH and other properties, harming ocean life. Industrial society has had similar effects on the land--aquifers in the US are draining faster than they can refill, and/or being poisoned by fracking consequences, and many other problems along those lines.

I suspect there are answers to these problems which will require intensive amounts of work that can't necessarily be automated, which could also work towards reducing atmospheric CO2 levels by sequestering large amounts in the soil. At least, that would be far more likely to work than geoengineering projects, like spraying sulfate aerosols, which have largely unknown and almost certainly catastrophic consequences, or the absurd theoretical ones that involve constructing objects in space far larger than anything yet undertaken.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Nov 25, 2016 10:27 pm UTC

Those'd generally require some fairly substantial subsidies, since existing farming/fishing doesn't have to deal with a ton of that hassle, and thus, is way more productive.

Things like increased conversion to carbonic acid are not going to matter to the guy who can't get a job. They genuinely won't care about a problem that seems abstract and distant compared to the lack of gainful employment for them.

As for sequestering carbon in the soil, why, we could perhaps compress biomass into some sort of petroleum-like substance and bury it. I am extremely doubtful that this is a realistic prospect in the US, given our devotion to doing the exact opposite.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Fri Nov 25, 2016 10:33 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Just saying: if your customers are hanging up in frustration over your AI-based voice teams, then the AI-based voice team is not doing its job.


People hang up just because it's not important enough to them, or they solved their problem already - some customers just like to chat, or maybe they might have a "while I got you on the phone" question that they would normally look up themselves. Even if customers are frustrated, who cares? Consumers don't have much of a choice for many of the services they have to call support about actual issues with, so the cost of support becomes much more important than quality of support. Besides, it doesn't have to replace all reps to make it non-viable in a rural community: as soon as voice recognition gets good enough then call center jobs will mostly be sysadmins, programmers, etc; jobs that are a lot easier to staff in an educated, densely populated area than a dying coal town (not that they don't all have people in those positions already).

EDIT: Regarding agriculture, polyculture farming does all of that too - "It provides more jobs" is one of the benefits touted, which can be reworded "it is less labor efficient, and thus more expensive." So there is a market for it, but it's already there.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Nov 25, 2016 10:39 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:Just saying: if your customers are hanging up in frustration over your AI-based voice teams, then the AI-based voice team is not doing its job.


People hang up just because it's not important enough to them, or they solved their problem already - some customers just like to chat, or maybe they might have a "while I got you on the phone" question that they would normally look up themselves. Even if customers are frustrated, who cares? Consumers don't have much of a choice for many of the services they have to call support about actual issues with, so the cost of support becomes much more important than quality of support. Besides, it doesn't have to replace all reps to make it non-viable in a rural community: as soon as voice recognition gets good enough then call center jobs will mostly be sysadmins, programmers, etc; jobs that are a lot easier to staff in an educated, densely populated area than a dying coal town (not that they don't all have people in those positions already).


It's a mix. People legitimately do hang up out of frustration. That happens with techs too, though. Lots of techs aren't geniuses or anything, they're just following a script*, asking you to do something that makes no technical sense in your situation, because statistically, it turns up a lot for similar cases, and they don't know the difference, they're just reading the screen.

And as for the automation, well, sure, it's a little garbage now, but it's not so very far away. And it's getting better. It probably won't hit perfect, and you'll always need some second tier support, but steady progress is adequate to, over time, chip away at most of these jobs. I wouldn't bet against steady progress happening.

*In my call center, which was DSL support, people such as myself with coding experience, etc were definitely outliers. Staffing turned over entirely about every six months, and included a number of folk on work release from prison...it was definitely an unskilled job, and it adopted a lot of automation during the coupla years I was there. Folks like me popped up to the next tier rapidly. That was about a dozen people, with about a capacity of 200 for the call center overall, so losing that first tier has a HUGE impact.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby commodorejohn » Fri Nov 25, 2016 10:43 pm UTC

No, automated call centers are pure shit. It's like playing twenty questions with a person who is both infuriatingly dense and obvious conspiring to keep you from reaching your goal (talking to a live human being,) and on top of that they always use the most condescending robo-voice possible.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Fri Nov 25, 2016 10:51 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:*In my call center, which was DSL support, people such as myself with coding experience, etc were definitely outliers. Staffing turned over entirely about every six months, and included a number of folk on work release from prison...it was definitely an unskilled job, and it adopted a lot of automation during the coupla years I was there. Folks like me popped up to the next tier rapidly. That was about a dozen people, with about a capacity of 200 for the call center overall, so losing that first tier has a HUGE impact.


I was in a SaaS company that made ecommerce software. I started out when they were a small company, about 5 reps total to provide 24 hour support (or so we told them, but people calling at 2am on Sunday should expect an hour wait). The owner was the person who wrote the software, and wanted people with programming and web design experience, and there was no script or even a FAQ, so all reps had to learn the software themselves. Lots of positive feedback, except for the Indian guy, we got a lot of negative feedback about us outsourcing from people he helped. Everyone who stayed was promoted out of tech support as they got cross training (I went from support to programmer). By the time I left and the company had grown and gotten outside investors, we had over a hundred tech support reps, and all that shit about learning and understanding went out the window - they started hiring tech support reps from a temp agency at one point because they learned that it is flashy features, not good fundamentals and support that got them customers, and because no one wants to move a website to another company as long as business is good (huge risk with search engines, which small sites rely on) they have a lot of leeway in retaining customers (and while they are getting their site running, the sales reps provide all their "support" so they can cross sell them design services).
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Nov 25, 2016 10:58 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:No, automated call centers are pure shit. It's like playing twenty questions with a person who is both infuriatingly dense and obvious conspiring to keep you from reaching your goal (talking to a live human being,) and on top of that they always use the most condescending robo-voice possible.


I'm going to make a fortune by creating a call center voiced by Morgan Freeman. Goes well with my line of GPS's...

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Fri Nov 25, 2016 10:59 pm UTC

I tried that with my Ben Stein call center; did not make a fortune.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Sat Nov 26, 2016 2:48 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Depends on what you mean by "swing voters".

If nothing is solved, I expect significantly less enthusiasm from said disadvantaged places next go-round. I mean, partisanship is strong, so sorta mediocre progress can totally be passed off as way more impressive than it is, but you need something to point at, or you're just another person who promised 'em stuff and betrayed them. 2020 is the real goal here. 2018's fucked regardless, but 2020 has a real window of opportunity.

On the flip side, if it sounds vaguely reasonable, and you can at least help out a goodly proportion of these various little towns with no industry, you can parlay those soundbites into a pretty compelling narrative.

Midwest white swing voters that went GOP this year.
Let's take a look at two extremes, since we don't know what Congress + Trump will end up with.
Say we do everything policy experts say we should do in an infrastructure spending bill. Is that enough to make them vote GOP again?
Say we do the worst, and do nothing but tax breaks and incentives for stuff we already building. Is that enough to make them vote GOP again?
In either case, we can point to significant projects, and with proper media coverage, it can look really good. Aka, can Midwest swing voters see through propaganda?

There's a greater goal here for Democrats, gain power to save the world*, and enact favored policies. But there's also the smaller goal of actually helping those in economic need.

*at least until Republicans regain their sanity about the environment

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby ucim » Sat Nov 26, 2016 3:59 am UTC

sardia wrote:Aka, can Midwest swing voters see through propaganda?
Who won the presidency again?

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby morriswalters » Sat Nov 26, 2016 4:05 am UTC

Make your greater goal helping people. It won't win but you can feel good. But wait you can't do anything, Democrats didn't win. Sorry.
ucim wrote:Who won the presidency again?
An empty suit.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:33 am UTC

ucim wrote:
sardia wrote:Aka, can Midwest swing voters see through propaganda?
Who won the presidency again?

Jose

Back up your nonanswer with real data. If you think propaganda works, does it need to have any basis in reality? How should Democrats deploy propaganda or respond?

Quick nonapplicable example:
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/24/world ... media.html
Are they using social media to deliver their message? Kill them.
Now this wouldn't apply everywhere, but it's not like social media is super special. If Russian hackers are spamming the US with fake news, there are definitely actions you could take to stem the tide.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby ucim » Sat Nov 26, 2016 2:25 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
ucim wrote:
sardia wrote:Aka, can Midwest swing voters see through propaganda?
Who won the presidency again?

Back up your nonanswer with real data. If you think propaganda works, does it need to have any basis in reality? How should Democrats deploy propaganda or respond?
Yes, propaganda works. Data is all over the advertising industry. No, it need not have any basis in reality. The data is in the presidential election. We elected a president whose platform has {almost, which is good enough} no basis in reality.

Or, maybe I'm deluded, and Obama really is a secret Muslim, global warming is a Chinese hoax, Hillary is guilty of treason, and Trump does know more about military strategy than all the generals...

Granted, I can't prove that this propaganda helped elect him, but the widespread support of such sentiments does seem to waggle its fingers in that direction. And {Warning! Anecdote!} I know people who believe each of these statements. I doubt I'm unique in this respect.

So, while I can't prove that propaganda works, I think it's pretty evident that the US populace is quite susceptible to it. Otherwise fake news wouldn't even have a toehold, and Monster Cable wouldn't have ever existed. People want simple answers, and propaganda gives it to them.

I don't know what Democrats can do about it, and it's not like Democrats don't do it too. I'd rather look at it from the pov of "what should all of us do about our susceptibility to accept simple self-serving answers to hard questions? Because the problem isn't that Republicans won, it's that no matter who won, people didn't seem to be paying attention to actual truth, and don't know how to realize that they are being manipulated. I'll even add myself to the list - my political knowledge is nowhere near as good as it probably needs to be in order to decide whether certain policy decisions are good or not. They "sound good" (or not), but the reason I hire politicians in the first place is so that I don't have to personally wade through thousands of pages of TPP or NAFTA or COBRA and figure out whether enough of the subtleties I didn't even know about were properly addressed. If I did that, I wouldn't have a life.

So, in the end, the opinions of others whom I respect ends up carrying a significant weight. It's about who to trust, because you can't figure it all out yourself.

How does Germany do it? They make propaganda detection part of their educational system.

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EMTP
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby EMTP » Sat Nov 26, 2016 8:46 pm UTC

Something I noticed in that Rust Belt comparison is the German manufacturing thing. They're technologically advanced, and have double our manufacturing sector employment as a proportion of the economy. I mean, sure, Germany isn't exactly like the US in many ways, so it isn't an easy answer of "copy everything they do", but it indicates that we're not absolutely stuck at our current level of manufacturing jobs either. At least *some* restoration of manufacturing jobs should be theoretically possible. It certainly hasn't been happening in the US thus far, but there's got to be a way.


There are any number of ways, some good, some bad, but they all, for the most part, require the government to take a more active role in managing the economy than the current political consensus allows. For example, you could build nuclear power stations on federal land until the burning of fossils fuels for electricity with no longer a thing here. You could ban gasoline-burning vehicles with select exceptions (i.e. rural ambulances, tanks, etc) and offer heavy subsidies for electric replacements, but only if they are American-made. Our electrical grid needs a HVDC backbone. Train routes should all be electrified and busy routes equipped with double tracks. Our internet infrastructure is out of date. And so on.

I doubt any of this will much help the racist misogynistic college dropouts who made Trump president. You can create manufacturing jobs but they will still go first and foremost to educated people who know how to show up on time, use a computer, and not smear shit swastikas on the nearest wall. You can fix (or at least temporarily expand) American manufacturing but as the saying goes, you can't fix stupid.
How does Germany do it? They make propaganda detection part of their educational system.


While nobody looks quite as dumb (and evil) as we do right now, there is unfortunately nothing to suggest Germans or Europeans in general are immune to Trump-style fascism. Merkel's position of basic compassion for refugees has already inspired a far-right backlash. (The anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party is polling at about 15%.) Fascist parties have made significant inroads in Greece (Golden Dawn) and Hungry (Jobbik). Le Pen and the National Front, the original post-war far-right racists, are a significant threat to win the presidency in France. Democracy is a fond memory in Turkey and barely a memory (brief as it was) in Egypt. And of course there's Russia.

This is a human problem, not just an American problem. Freedom requires a large number of spinning plates, from Democracy to Racial Tolerance to the Rule of Law to Optimism About the Future to A Modicum of Trust in Elite Institutions. It's just fundamentally frail, basically. Like life itself, democracy is a temporary, energy-intensive middle finger to chaos and entropy. Like life, democracy doesn't last forever.
Last edited by EMTP on Sat Nov 26, 2016 9:03 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
"Reasonable – that is, human – men will always be capable of compromise, but men who have dehumanized themselves by becoming the blind worshipers of an idea or an ideal are fanatics whose devotion to abstractions makes them the enemies of life."
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Mambrino » Sat Nov 26, 2016 8:50 pm UTC

ucim wrote:How does Germany do it? They make propaganda detection part of their educational system.


...you have slightly rose-tinted glasses on. The next German parliamentary elections are scheduled next year, and AfD looks like it's improving on polls.

I think the main reason why Germany is still OK-ish is that Germany is still doing economically quite well, and there's enough trust in traditional politicians. Or maybe the difference is just that the political leaders have been just enough decent people, and the catastrophe has only been avoided because they have been thus far lucky and no one capable has just tried yet, but it would take just one highly cynical and corrupt berlusconi-black-swan willing to wreck a lot of havoc...


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