Globalization has benefited almost everybody, except for the middle- and working class in wealthy countries. They had previously received a subsidy of sorts: being born in the U.S. Globalization opened up the U.S. working class to competition from the global middle class. This has benefited the global middle class and hurt the U.S. working class.
How could that not have happened?
A low-skilled laborer in 1970’s America was doing for $10,000 what an unskilled laborer in India would have been happy to do for $500. (I just made up those numbers, but you get the point.)
As trade increased, it was inevitable that the American worker would compete with the Indian worker, driving the Indian’s standard of living up and the American’s down.
In other words, the world’s standard of living is getting better at the expense of the middle class in the developed world.
As I see it, that was completely predictable and inevitable. But should steps have been taken to lessen the harm?
I think so. I don’t know exactly how that should be done, but I think it’s appropriate that when the country benefits from trade, the people harmed by it should be made right.
Of course the same thing is going to happen when the robots take all our jobs.
P.S. — I’m sure somebody is going to object to my title to this post. “What do you mean? It’s not just white people who are being hurt!” Of course it’s not. But everybody says it’s only poor, angry white people who are voting for Trump, hence the title of this post.
Instapundit links to this article — Why are Modern Women Angry? — which cites the (I hope) well-known fact that women have been getting progressively less happy for the last few decades.
All that feminism hasn’t done much for them, apparently.
Or maybe there’s another explanation.
The article tells how modern women experience so much anger, resentment, bitterness, disappointment, and even rage. The article speaks of the “paradox of progress.
The more we make giant advances in science, communications, medicine and technology, the more people complain.
I think there’s a relatively simply explanation for this. All these things — unjust anger, resentment, bitterness — are what we used to call sins.
See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled
Past generations were taught the moral duty to be thankful, to count their blessings, to be cheerful in the face of adversity, to bear up under suffering, to think of others ahead of themselves, etc.
Where do people get that sort of instruction now?
Honestly, they don’t even get it in church that much. Modern preachers are only slightly north of useless, in my opinion.
It’s well known that modernity and progress tend to erode religion and church-going, and it seems to be a downward spiral. When church is less valued and fewer people go, the size and quality of the pool of ministerial candidates diminishes, which makes church even less appealing, etc.
Could it be that women are less happy today because nobody has the moral courage to tell them to shut up about themselves and quit bellyaching?
Men too, of course, but for whatever reason the problem seems to be more pronounced among women.
There’s this theory floating around that people who hate themselves for something — e.g., for their attraction to people of the same sex — often lash out at people who share that something. We’ve seen that sort of explanation for the Orlando shooting. People say he was a self-loathing homosexual.
If we follow the same logic, it seems that a lot of folk on the left are self-loathing bigots. William McGurn makes a persuasive case for this in Who’s the Xenophobe Now?
The idea [in much of the press] is that the British — in particular, the older, more rural and working-class voters — rejected an enlightened arrangement with Europe because they are either too stupid or too blinded by their own ignorance and prejudice to understand how good a deal this is for them.
A question: How does this view of the majority of the British people — as a form of alien life with disgusting beliefs unfit for polite society — differ in substance from the view a bigoted British bricklayer might have toward the immigrants living in his midst?
We can construct a difference between these examples, thus. The imagined bricklayer is allegedly against the immigrant simply because he’s an immigrant and not because of anything he’s done or said, while the “enlightened” who look down with contempt on the “common people” are judging them for precisely what they’re doing and saying.
But this is a bogus explanation.
First, the bricklayer is not against the immigrant simply because he’s an immigrant. That is an ugly and ignorant distortion of what he’s against. He’s against having so many immigrants that they threaten his livelihood. He may also be against immigrants who want to change British culture rather than assimilate into it.
This weekend I was watching a little of “Hell on Wheels,” which is a show about the railroad moving west. The left can easily understand that the Sioux didn’t want invaders to change their way of life. Why can’t they extend the same understanding to Brits?
Second, the “enlightened” aren’t really judging the pro-Brexit folk for what they’re doing and saying. They’re judging them for the caricature they’ve constructed in their own minds. They rush to their favorite words — intolerance, bigotry, fascism, etc. — as a substitute for taking the time to understand the pro Brexit arguments.
Putting forth the effort to understand the other side’s argument used to be a hallmark of education, intelligence, culture, breeding and whatnot. Nowadays, yelling “hater” is.
Could it be that this is a way to compensate for their hatred of their own intolerance, bigotry and fascism?
There’s been a lot of criticism of voters in the general freak out over Brexit. I’ve seen video interviews of people who voted one way or the other for completely idiotic reasons, and there’s the widely reported fact that Brits were searching “what is the EU” after the vote. It’s quite plain that the decision was put in the hands of a lot of people who weren’t in possession of all the facts.
A lot of people seem to be re-thinking democracy. As they should.
“One idiot, one vote” is clearly not the way to make decisions. At least not some of them. And that’s the point.
Democracy has its place. There are times for voting. There are other times when voting isn’t the best choice. For example, can you imagine a general vote on whether we should fund a particular weapons system? We might end up arming our soldiers with guns that fire rubber bullets.
I’m not entirely sure whether a popular vote on Brexit was the right thing to do. The “leave” folk were complaining about unaccountable, unelected bureaucrats in the EU. If elected leaders won’t bring such troublemakers to heel, who will?
The larger issue is having a rational discussion about the uses and abuses of such popular votes. If the Brexit freakout causes people to question the utility of referenda to solve complicated political questions, that’s a good thing. If it causes people to want to hand over more and more decisions to “experts,” maybe not.
The hard question is where to draw the line between the two.
I don’t fault him for leaving the Republican Party. IMO he’s late to that decision. I left it a long time ago.
No, the reason I think he’s lost his mind is this.
“This is not my party,” he said in a speech on Friday, arguing that a President Hillary Clinton frustrated by a Republican Congress would be a preferable outcome to the 2016 election than a President Donald Trump given a free hand to rule as he pleases.
He’s creating a false dilemma. Who says Trump has to be given a “free hand to rule as he pleases”?
A pizza guy, who apparently has addiction issues, is called to deliver some pizzas to a church, and when he delivers one to the pastor, the congregation gives him a $700 tip.
That’s the basics of the story. Here’s how I figure it played out. (This is completely out of my head.)
The pastor was giving some lesson, possibly on the need to have mercy on the less fortunate (like people who deliver pizzas), or possibly he had some “word of knowledge” that this particular pizza delivery guy needed help.
Either one is plausible.
In any event, the congregation responded with love and compassion and emptied their wallets for this guy. It clearly affected him deeply, and I sincerely hope it helps him to get his life together.
Maybe the pastor was a goof who thought God was giving him secret messages. Maybe the congregation was foolish to lavish this kind of blessing on a guy who might blow those $700 on drugs.
But in my opinion love is worth the risk, and I don’t see this kind of love anywhere except in communities of faith.
Can you imagine this happening to a guy who delivers a pizza to a skeptics’ convention? Have you ever seen anything like it from a guy who delivers a pizza to an atheist’s lecture?
This kind of story is common in communities of faith. People’s lives are transformed. Extraordinary grace and mercy are extended to the most undeserving.
We’re probably going to see a lot of comparisons between Brexit and the Trump phenomenon, esp. from our betters who want to tell us all how to think and behave.
They will highlight class differences (e.g., it’s only the uneducated country bumpkins who like Brexit and Trump), but they’ll imply that it’s the educated and erudite who “get it” and the others who are just acting out of hatred or fear.
I see it a different way.
It’s pretty obvious that social pressure to adopt the “acceptable” view is getting stronger and more effective all the time. Just look at how quickly the country changed its mind on gay marriage, and how suddenly “everybody” wants confused men to go into women’s locker rooms.
Such ideas might have sent you to the funny farm 20 years ago. Now they’re mainstream.
The pressure to be cool isn’t just the desire to be on the good side of the mean girls any more. It’s relentlessly drummed into our heads 24×7 by the Internet.
I would like to see the Trump / anti-Trump and Brexit / stay statistics broken down by how much time a person spends on Facebook. I would be willing to bet my mortgage there’s a strong correlation.
The educated elite think of themselves as the independent, thoughtful ones. I think they’re just like Mannasseh, being dragged to Bablylon with a hook in their nose by the Assyrian generals.
Twenty years ago I might have agreed with C.S. Lewis about this and claimed that it was the common man — the man who read the sports page rather than the front page — who really knew what was going on, and it was the “intelligent” people who were being conditioned. But now everybody’s being brainwashed. The elite by one side, flyover country by another.
But I also mentioned Sanders. How does his tribe fit into this?
A: Skepticism and cynicism from the utter failure of “experts.”
Most of us are over “experts.” We’re sick of people lecturing and hectoring us, telling us what to eat and drink, where to put our trash, what to think about this, that, and everything else, and we’re especially sick of it because they’re so horribly incompetent at their jobs.
Did the experts foresee the financial crisis? Once it happened, did they fix it?
Instapundit has a recurring label for his posts about the rank incompetence of our leaders: “The country is in the best of hands.”
We have 8th century barbarians making monkeys out of us around the world, and our so-called experts can’t figure out how to solve the problem. G. Gordon Liddy could have taken care of it in about a month, but … OMG, you can’t possibly put somebody like that in charge.
When we beat the Japanese and the Germans, we didn’t immediately leave and ask them to vote in a new government. We imposed things on them, because that’s what conquerors do.
But we’re too polite for that now. We’re so conditioned to think in politically correct terms that we can’t even win a simple war against crazy peasants. We’re so mortified that some academic might accuse us of colonialism that we do radically stupid things.
Half the country doesn’t trust the experts while the other half thinks the world would be so great if we only trusted the experts to run more and more of our lives. And we can’t have a sensible conversation about any of this because people with blood on their faces will shout it down and yell “hater.”
We’re trying to force everybody into one, narrow view of the world, and it’s simply not going to work. The more they try to control, the worse it will become.
We need the government to loosen the reins, and we need people to retreat into their own tribes. People need to find meaning and purpose in a small group, and let other people do the same.