The ugly facade of 21st Century American populism.
“When will Trump’s base get wise to his populist charade?”
Never, as Trump pulls emotional levers and does not participate in logical discourse–ever. Believers are going to believe, as it is their nature. The salient issue is how to mobilize the disenfranchised who simply sit out elections. Trump’s base is problematic, but not addressable using thought. Overcoming the apathy of the masses is the challenge. Let the Trumpsters alone–they are lost sheep.
I’d dearly love for you and me both to be proven wrong, but—_pace,_Mr. Lincoln—it’s now possible to fool enough of the people enough of the time. The majority of US citizens who have given up voting are the natural constituency of third parties; the problem, as you say, is how to mobilize them.
I think Trump’s economic message was mainly to make his can campaign respectable. Had his only message been about white supremacy he would not have been accepted as a candidate of the Republican Party. He did away with the dog whistles so he had to say something about economics, even if it was all a scam. Also, he had to make a bargain with the economic Republicans like Paul Ryan and in turn those Republicans agreed to support him even though he is a fascist and white supremacist. Who knows what Trump believes on economics and who cares. He used claim he was a Democrat. He gave a lot money to Hillary Clinton for her campaign in 2008. He has been all over the place on economics and his economic views don’t make any sense anyway. But he has always been a racist when it comes to his public record. He has never varied from that. That seems to be his core belief. Everything else just seems to be based on opportunism.
Excellent part on the funding of public schools. I knew more affluent areas had better funding, but now I know exactly why. Thanks
I thought this was a good perspective on our Prez. and his misrepresentation of himself as an economic populist–and also that it seemed to be going to leave out a lot, to explain our current economic and social stratification. It seemed like Mr. Menon was going to leave out taxation as a leveler, as it is in Nordic and Euro countries–but his argument didn’t leave that out, In the piece, it came after the “globalization is here to stay” thing and the “education and training are the Way” thing. (His version of Margaret Thatcher’s TINA “There is No Alternative.”). However, what he did leave out: The role labor can, has and does play in making gains for working people. Unions! The struggle to bring some bargaining power back to labor is a very notable omission, I think.;And also, Mr.Menon fails to mention the brutal and emiserating effects on poorer countries’ laborers in those sweat shops that make all the corporate owners and Wall Street investors so flush. These are important; not all jobs can be high tech, or skilled professionals in research and academia. Living wages are needed by all who labor.
What’s missing from any plan on education, from either Republicans or Democrats, is the issue of training for meaningful, gainful labor.
Most public schools can provide the basics, and the distinction is geared mostly toward liberal arts, though there is an advantage for students who have aptitude for sciences and may or may not be in line for AP courses.
But if you go to any job listing website and weed out anything that is a scam or would pay less than a living wage, the vast majority of trades require training that is job-specific, not available at a typical 4-year or community college, and which the employer is unwilling to provide to new recruits.
Where is DoL on fixing this gap? Why was Trump insisting he would bring back coal (which most of his supporters admitted they didn’t believe) instead of offering training programs to people to transition from coal to cleaner energy jobs?
The points you bring up are near and dear to my heart. Earlier this month in our little rust belt community here in Ohio we narrowly failed to pass a property tax levy to build a new high school. The existing HS was old and outdated when I graduated from it in ’71, so the need is real.
I don’t know if there was a preliminary design proposal to go and look at but if there was I’m betting it probably contained some elements that were frivolous, unnecessary, inefficient, and wasteful. In other words, merely a replacement of an old inefficient structure with a new inefficient structure. Much of the budget of local school districts goes to merely paying for the physical upkeep of their facilities, and while this is absolutely a necessary cost of providing education, there is a golden opportunity just sitting there unrecognized and unused.
I would propose this: siting and orienting a new facility to maximize solar efficiency; incorporate all the best practices of energy efficiency; integrally incorporate PV solar as well as passive solar; collect rainwater from all roof surfaces and paved parking areas to be used for lavatory use (possibly even incorporate a purification system to process water for drinking fountain and cafeteria use); use lavatory waste to feed methane digesters to provide fuel for cooking and heating and supplementary electricity generation; install wind generation plants in the vicinity of the playing and practice fields.
The final aspect of this fantasy/vision though would be to make all of the various aspects of this facility a living laboratory for the students attending there. In addition to the usual traditional curriculum, offer courses in the maintenance and improvement/study of all the various aspects of the facility itself. Have the students operate and maintain their school, while earning credit and preparing them for a more sustainable future.
Rather than the bullshit charter school campaign for privatized for-profit Christian madrasses, here is a proposal in a different direction that could revolutionize public school districts, and improve their solvency at the same time.
I’ve been thinking about this for many years and I know through some research that some schools and school districts around the country have accomplished at least some of what I’m proposing. I could go on for many paragraphs, but this is the gist of it. I’d like to know what some others here think of these ideas.
Yes, but most of his base either 1) don’t know he has betrayed them, let alone how often, and 2) Wouldn’t care if they did know. They are cult members, blindly following their Great Leader with almost slavish devotion, and if the Leader does it, then it must be Good and for a Good Reason. He can raise their taxes, take their health insurance/Medicare/Medicaid away, export their jobs to 3rd world countries, increase the deficit by trillions, gut environmental regulations that used to protect them and their children, sell off public parks and lands by the millions of acres for corporate profits, and enrich himself and his family by openly hawking Trump products and properties, using the Office of the Presidency for personal financial gain - - - and none of it matters to most of his “base.”
THAT is how far we have fallen.
So why not just move into these school districts if they have the best public schools? Of course the reason is they have the highest real estate values. One reason the real estate values are so high is because they have good schools, It seems to be sort of a cycle with the schools driving up real estate values and therefore more property taxes are available to further improve the schools. The economic crash of 2008 put a dent into this for awhile. Is there any solution? You could have the schools entirely funded by state taxes which would not go over big in the better school districts or you could have the state make up the difference by giving more money to the less affluent districts which would be extremely expensive and perhaps put the state at a disadvantage competing with other states because of sky high taxes. In any case, so far there has been no solution to make things more even when if comes to providing a quality education in public schools…
Sorry, but I can’t credit Menon for his perspective on education because he actually believes in today’s trendy self-driving car bullshit. Coincidentally, most college educated high-tech sector nerdlings likewise consider it inevitable without the least thought. An expensive education ought to at least teach kids and adults how to think. Self-driving car tech is a ruse, a fraud, a distraction from actual solutions, a scheme to entice unwary investors into believing they can corner the market on “Transportation as a service.” None of the promises made about its potential are true (safety, traffic management, reduced energy consumption, etc) and many lifesaving advantages of EVs are neglected.
YEah I agree. It’s almost like we set poorer kids up for failure. If anything, the poorer kids should have better schools to even out the odds. The Right complains but wants to further the inequality among schools, so we can’t look to Koch’s or other rich out-of-touch people like Bill Gates.
If automation will lead to joblessness, what about a Universal Basic Income?
Did populism give us Trump, or did Hillary and the DNC?
“Hillary, and the DNC” AND Obama gave us Trump.
It was Obama’s corporate agenda that resulted in the GOP taking control of Congress. Trump would be powerless without the GOP controlling Congress.
Absolutely correct! Their Hatred of __________(varies) blinds them to reality.
As it stands, there are interests who like it the way it is. The poorer schools have become a reliable pipeline to the military and the for-profit prison industry. Who profits? Who pays?
The best self-driving car is a driver operated bus.
Well said! Thank you.
AMEN! Spot on. Thank you!
Their blissful ignorance is our nation’s undoing at the hands of their chosen evil emperor and his henchmen.