Donald Trump

Economically Left-Behind Americans Vote Trump

Trump's margins of victory were considerably larger in distressed counties than in more prosperous counties.

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TrumpRubioCruz
breitbart

Who votes for Trump? Living in economically distressed communities is pretty good predictor of Trump support.

Using the new data from the Economic Innovation Group's Distressed Communities Index (DCI), I have selected two counties each from the ten Republican primary states with an eye to seeing how the votes played out on Super Tuesday. The counties were chosen before any votes were reported. The Economic Innovation Group report finds that for Americans living in distressed communities, "the years of overall U.S. economic recovery have looked much more like an ongoing downturn. Large swathes of the country are indeed being left behind by economic growth and change."

My hypothesis is that Republican primary voters in the high DCI counties (distressed communities) would tend to vote Trump whereas the folks in the low DCI (prosperous) counties would more likely vote Rubio or Cruz.

In the top 80 percent of distressed communities (scores range from 1 being least distressed to 100 as most distressed) the researchers find that "nearly one-quarter of adults have no high school degree and 55 percent of adults are not working. In addition, the median income of these neighborhoods stands, on average, at only 68 percent of the state's median income. Nearly one in seven homes stands vacant, and 27 percent of individuals live in poverty." These communities also "saw employment decline by 6.7 percent and the number of businesses shrink by 8.3 percent."

DistressedMap
EIG

In the communities that the researchers defined as prosperous they report only 6 percent of residents are without high school diplomas; the poverty rate is 6 percent; 35 percent of adults are not working; the housing vacancy rate stands at 5 percent; and the median income ratio is 146 percent. Also, the best-off one-fifth of U.S. zip codes enjoyed 17.4 percent job growth and saw the number of business establishments in their neighborhoods rise by 8.8 percent.

In each state I have selected one county with a low DCI score and one with a high DCI score; usually one is next to or just one county over from the other. Except in the interesting case of Massachusetts, my hypothesis was more or less confirmed.

With the exceptions of Texas and Oklahoma, Trump won in both distressed and prosperous counties. However, the real estate mogul's margins of victory were considerably larger in distressed counties than in more prosperous counties. Setting aside the states of Texas, Oklahoma, and Massachusetts, Trump tallied more than the combined votes of both Cruz and Rubio in all of the selected distressed counties except in the case of Arkansas. On the other hand, in the prosperous counties, the combined votes of Rubio and Cruz would have beaten Trump.

Cruz was the victor in Texas and Oklahoma, but again, Trump came closest to beating the Lone Star State senator among voters in distressed counties.

The oddest result in this analysis comes from Massachusetts. Trump got an absolute majority of votes in more prosperous Plymouth County whereas he got just a dominating plurality in relatively worse off Hampden County.  

Minnesota divvies up its delegates selected via caucuses by Congressional district. True to form, Trump came closest to victory in the relatively distressed District 8 whereas Rubio triumphed in the more prosperous District 3.

Below: The DCI score for each county is the first number in parenthesis and the rounded vote percentages follow.*

Alabama—Clay County (81.7) Trump 49%—Rubio 21%—Cruz 13%

                     Shelby County (6.8) Trump 36%—Rubio 27%—Cruz 21%

Arkansas – Montgomery (90) Trump 41%—Rubio 27%—Cruz 18%

                      Saline (7.7) Trump 32%—Rubio 30%—Cruz 29%

Georgia – Hancock (98.7) Trump 55%—Rubio 15%—Cruz 15%

                   Henry (8.9) Trump 41%—Cruz 28%—Rubio 21%

Massachusetts – Hampden (51.6) – Trump 48%—Rubio 16%—Cruz 13%

                                Plymouth (3.1) – Trump 54%—Rubio 16%—Cruz 9%

Oklahoma – Okfuskee (77.5) – Cruz 40%—Trump 31%—Rubio 18%

                        Cleveland (7) – Cruz 34%—Rubio 28%—Trump 26%

Tennessee – Hickman (91) – Trump 47%—Cruz 30%—Rubio 12%

                        Wilson (4.1) – Trump 41%—Cruz 27%—Rubio 18%

Texas – Falls (98.1) – Cruz 39%—Trump 35%—Rubio 10%

                Comal (4.6) – Cruz 42%—Trump 27%—Rubio 20%

Vermont – Orleans (53.1) – Trump 37%—Rubio 19%—Cruz 8%

                     Chittenden (3.5) – Trump 26%—Rubio 21%—Cruz 11% 

Virginia – Page (83.7) – Trump 51%—Rubio 20%—Cruz 16%

                   Fauquier (4.6) Trump 36%—Rubio 27%—Cruz 19%

Minnesota – District 8 (52.8) – Cruz 33%—Trump 28%—Rubio 25%

                        District 3 (3) – Rubio 47%—Cruz 23%—Trump 17%

*Note: I focused on the three Republican front runners and so left out Kasich who did fairly well in Vermont and Massachusetts.

Further note: My town—Charlottesville, Virginia—voted 48% Rubio; 19% Kasich; 17% Trump; and 11% Cruz. DCI score of 37.8.

NEXT: Tuesday's delegate estimates: Trump 234, Cruz 209, Rubio 90

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  1. But not economically distressed communities in urban centers, I assume. That would spell big trouble for Lady Clinton.

    1. FoE: Just looking at Republican primary voters in this case.

      1. Ah, that clarifies it. I was going to ask if this was just looking at Republican voters, or all likely voters. Thanks!

      2. Thanks for this, was wondering.

  2. Angry People Vote Angrily; Film at 11

  3. Good thing Trump’s going to impose a 35% tariff on Chinese imports and put those high-society Walmart types out of business. Real men buy their Donald Trump suits and ties at the Salvation Army thrift shop.

    1. I got a sweet-ass tuxedo at Salvation Army for $11, once. It was so classy, i got bored with how classy it was!

      1. I got a Hugo Boss sport coat for $2.

        1. You know who else wore Hugo Boss?

          1. The SSS?

            (Stylish SchutzStaffel)

            1. Stylish Swiss Servator, you mean.

              1. I am not sure I could pull off the Hugo Boss look.

                Now, an Ike jacket and officer’s cap….yeah!

        2. Do you know who else got a good deal on Hugo Boss jackets?

        3. I think you meant a Yuuuge-o Boss sport coat, Papaya.

    2. And everyone knows no one can do what China does and the economy would never adjust to such a thing. I mean Wall Mart would never buy their shit from the Vietnamese or something. And of course the Chinese would just let that happen. They wouldn’t try and prevent it by offering concessions. Even if they did, a guy who sells himself as a “deal maker” would never take such and make a deal. No, he would impose that 35% tariff because if there is one thing you can say about Trump, he is a true believer ideologue.

      1. Actually, a lot of the cheap crap at Walmart says “MADE IN THE USA” on it now. Murrica!

      2. Folks it’s not a piddly 35% tariff; Trumpster called for a much more manly 45% tariff.

        1. I disagree Ron. I don’t think there is a chance in hell such a thing would ever happen. First, he would have to get it through Congress. Beyond that, it would be in his interests to get some concessions from China and come back saying he made a deal and made things better. Why would he want to do that when he could avoid the issue and claim victory?

          I think the protectionism stuff is way overblown.

          1. J: I agree it’s an empty threat designed entirely to fool some hurting Americans to vote him.

            1. Pours Ron a congratulatory cocktail.

            2. YES! and please forgive my dinnertime-epiphany of last night, but I realized that ALL THREE sing the same song… tariffs, taxes, bring jobs back to America… and all that Leftie shit that’s been slung at us since FDR or before…

              Trump, Hillary, Bernie… THEY’RE ALL DEMOCRATS!!!!

              That’s just one more thing that’s made this election funnier than Any Others in my lifetime!

              Think about it. Bring Jobs Back to America? How? By re-empowering unions and blocking international competitors?! Coming from an Alleged Republican?!

              You gotta be shitting me! Wake UP!

          2. It’s called negotiation. You don’t come to the table with what you want. You academic folks don’t understand how to get things done in the real world.

            1. It’s very hard to get academics to listen to people who spend their whole lives selling and making deals. They’re just the wrong kind of people.

        2. Yeah, 35% tariffs are for pussies.

      3. They wouldn’t try and prevent it by offering concessions. Even if they did, a guy who sells himself as a “deal maker” would never take such and make a deal.

        Trump has clearly explained that he would take such a deal: one that involved Chinese currency being valued higher than it currently is, i.e., higher prices on consumer goods without a need for a tariff.

        He’s been very clear. Any way to get higher prices for consumer goods is good enough for him.

      4. If Vietnam, etc. took over from China, then that would defeat his stated purpose of bringing the manufacturing to the US. Where do you get that Trump is actually some kind of great deal maker? I know he says that over and over again, but there’s no evidence it’s true. He’s only rich because he inherited a lot of money and he has successfully convinced a lot of people that the Trump brand is some kind of status symbol so that he can sell naming rights. His attempts at deal-making and business-building are a steaming pile of failure.

        1. If Vietnam, etc. took over from China, then that would defeat his stated purpose of bringing the manufacturing to the US

          Not to mention that such a thing is impossible as Vietnam is, what,1/100th the size of China?

          1. I charitably assumed he was using Vietnam as an example, and that we could throw in other countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Thailand, various South American countries, etc. But yes, it would be a huge hole to fill.

            1. With the exception of perhaps Pakistan, none of those countries yet have the infrastructure to support the electronics manufacturing that China is capable of right now. Yes, with greater investment into their local economies, the infrastructure would catch up; however, I’m not sure 1 or 2 decades of consumer electronics costing double to triple their current price is worth that.

              1. Japan manufactures electronics in SE Asian plsnts

                1. Japan manufactures electronics in SE Asian plsnts

                  Yes, but do that manufacture all their electronics there? Because that’s what we’re talking about.

                  1. It’s more about the supply sources for the components than anything else. China has got the entire vertical integration going. Assembly can be done almost anywhere and I expect that India and Malaysia would be the main benefactors to a China loss.

                    Flextronics is the 10,000lb gorilla in that market and their plant locations give some indication of where capacity would move to.

            2. Wait, what about Malaysia? You’re forgetting Malaysia!

              I heard he secretly conspired with some fashion industry moguls to have all their clothing lines made in Malaysia for near slave wages.

              In addition to this, he was also the inventor of the piano keyboard necktie back in the 80s!

              1. SHUT UP! Enough already, Montoya! Who cares about the elections anyway? America has only one politician, for Christ’s sake! Sanders? Clinton? Trump? They’re the same asshat! Doesn’t anybody notice this? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!

          2. I can see a vietnamese middleman buying the chinese goods, relabelling them and shipping them to the US for an overhead less than the tariff…

            1. *quietly folds up secret business plan and drops into waste can*

        2. I don’t know that he is a great deal maker. I never said it would be a good deal. i said he would make a deal and claim it was great. My point is there is very little chance he would ever actually enact those tariffs. The whole point is to threaten them to get some kind of concession out of China. Whether that would be a good deal or not is beside the point.

          1. So the argument in favor of Trump is that he’s never going to be able to get his loony ideas implemented?

            1. It is not an argument in favor of Trump. It is an argument that the claim that Trump is going to pass all of these tariffs and destroy the economy is way overblown and very far fetched.

              1. I’m assuming for the sake of this argument that we are setting aside the following as it pertains to his qualifications for President:

                1. He’s economically illiterate; or

                2. He’s an inveterate liar who is cynically peddling this line to the rubes who are economically illiterate.

                1. 1. He’s economically illiterate; or

                  2. He’s an inveterate liar who is cynically peddling this line to the rubes who are economically illiterate.

                  And the other candidates don’t also fit that description? And I am pretty sure signing on to any agreement no matter how idiotic because it contains the magic words “free trade” is not any kind of economic literacy.

                  If you are not an economic illiterate, you understand international trade is more complex than buzz words and dogma.

                  I am a lifetime believer in free trade. But the free trade advocates on here make me embarrassed to admit that.

                  1. No doubt nearly all of them are liars. You won’t get any argument from me on that. But we aren’t talking about buzz words with Trump. We are talking about his stated preference for tariffs, ostensibly because he wants that manufacturing done here in the U.S. so there will magically appear across our otherwise fertile rust belts a bevy of high-paying blue-collar jobs, despite the well documented economic consequences.

                    1. People here don’t get how tariffs work.

                      1) If you want production to move, tariffs have to be high enough to make it viable. So, John’s idea that “concessions” will help may not be true at all. You might just get tax revenue without any real job growth. Or, more likely, some production moves to other countries but not back to the USA.

                      2) Now, let’s assume we get swingeing tarriffs. That must help the working man, right? Well, Argentina tried this before. It was called Import Substitution Industrialization. And it did not work. You end up with high priced, uncompetitive crappy products made by conglomerates who take the tariff as profit.

                      3) the backfire also happens: US exports that rely on cheap Chinese inputs now become way more expensive. European or Japanese MRI machines suddenly are 45% cheaper, because they can use cheap Chinese parts.

                      The time for tarriffs was probably 10-20 years ago when the currency was manipulated.

                      And the better deal would be to force China to truly open its markets.

                      Chinese car companies wanted to buy US catalytic converters until told otherwise.

                      Same with our planes. Trump could conceivably negotiate such a deal.

      5. They wouldn’t try and prevent it by offering concessions.

        What would they care? Tariffs on Chinese goods don’t hurt the Chinese. They only hurt Americans who now have to pay more money to buy the stuff.

        1. Tariffs on Chinese goods don’t hurt the Chinese

          Losing the ability to sell goods in the US market would hurt them. And even if they still sold goods, they would sell fewer of them because of the increase in price.

          Tariffs would definitely hurt the Chinese. How could they not?

          1. They’re not losing the ability to sell goods. They can still sell stuff. It will just cost more to the consumer.

            By the way, previously you argued that the increases in price as a result of the tariffs would be so modest that the average consumer wouldn’t even notice it.

            Now you appear to be arguing that it would be noticeable enough for consumers to change their buying habits.

            So… Which is it?

            1. If something close to a tariff that high was slapped on Chinese goods only (WTO, here we come!) it would raise prices here, which would equal fewer things sold which would equal fewer things bought from Chinese manufacturers – that hurts everyone.

            2. They can still sell stuff. It will just cost more to the consumer.

              Which would mean they would sell fewer things and make less money. Demand curves are curved.

              And my argument is simple. Trump would never enact these tariffs because the Chinese have every reason to give him some concessions to avoid them and he has every reason to accept the concessions and claim victory.

              1. John, that’s not what you said the other day. The other day you said that any price increases would be unnoticeable to consumers when I argued the irony of Trump’s supporters being hurt if these policies that they support are enacted. You vehemently insisted that consumers would feel no noticeable effect at all. Now you are saying that they would indeed be affected, so much that they would change their buying habits. You are using two contradictory arguments. I guess that makes sense. Use one for one purpose and another for another purpose. Principles shminciples.

                1. John, that’s not what you said the other day. The other day you said that any price increases would be unnoticeable to consumers

                  I have no recollection of saying that. Show me what you are talking about and I will explain what I meant. I would have to see the context. I don’t think I meant what you think I meant. A 25% increase in price would make a difference. My guess is that I said consumers would not notice because they would just buy products from countries that are not subject to the tariff, which doesn’t contradict what I am saying here.

                  All I can tell you is this stuff is very basic and my views on it haven’t changed much in about 20 years. If I am not explaining them well, my apologies.

              2. Even if the Chinese offered concessions, Trump’s history with deal-making shows that he’s perfectly willing to get himself involved in petty fights that blow up deals. See his stupid name-calling fight with Mayor Koch in the 1980s that resulted in his plans for the West Side Yards development collapsing. He lost tens of millions in the process, and blew up a deal that could have made him hundreds of millions. Trump is a complete buffoon prone to get into petty fights, and there’s absolutely no reason to think he would make a deal just because it made sense. It’s more likely that he’d starting some stupid fight with Xi that would result in China dumping Treasuries.

                1. Perhaps so Adam. Time will tell but I seriously doubt that he would refuse a deal when he could have one and claim victory for free.

                  1. You’d also have thought he would sell the West Side Yards site for the quite profitable $550M that was being offered instead of holding on for years until his bankers forced him to sell at a significant loss, but that’s what he did. Because he’s a moron.

          2. As I argued before, tariffs might actually help the Chinese. The Chinese government subsidizes exports (which is what Trump is bitching about) which means they’re actually paying us to take their stuff. How damn long do you think that can last and how damn stupid do you have to be to think paying people to take your stuff is a great business model and how damn stupid do you have to be to want China to stop paying us to take their stuff? China might be better off if the US slapped tariffs on the goods to make them stop paying us to take their stuff, but how the hell would we be better off?

      6. And everyone knows no one can do what China does and the economy would never adjust to such a thing.

        And now you can excuse every regulation proposed, whether by Trump, Rubio, Clinton, or Sanders.

        1. No. Why on earth would you think that? Are tariffs good? No. And neither are regulations. That of course is not my point. My point is the economy adjusts and is resilient to these sorts of things and the pants wetting over Trump passing the new Smoot Hawley is way overblown.

          Why is that not clear?

      7. Vote Trump! Because menial work at rock bottom wages is what American workers deserve! Let other nations engage in such fufu professions as banking, software, and movies, Americans should work dull manual jobs instead!

        1. Yes, I suspect we’d get a lot of assembly kit jobs…just enough labor here to say “Made in USA.”

    3. I got a Donald Trump tie as a xmas gift back about ten years ago. It’s actually a pretty nice tie. Nicely made, and still stylish 10 years on.

  4. It strikes me that the data you present doesn’t show quite the distinction you suggest. I’d agree that the distressed counties show bigger break aways for Trump. But, the Trump preference seems to show up in the affluent counties, as well. I don’t see any cases where the poor county went Trump and the rich county went for someone else. Still, some interesting results that I think do lend your hypothesis some credibility. The interesting part, to me, was VA. Two nearby counties see YUUUUGE differences.

    1. BD: I did report: With the exceptions of Texas and Oklahoma, Trump won in both distressed and prosperous counties.

      1. Point taken. The headline colored my read.

    2. Page County is just west of Loudan County and more of a bedroom community for Washington than you would think if you have never been there. Washington is so expensive, the suburbs have gotten to be massive.

      Faquer is further south and more of a legitimate rural Virginia county. The Page County result is interesting. It is not like winning Fairfax or Arlington but it is not the same as Faquer either.

      1. J: Yet it’s DCI score 83.7. The Virginina median household income is $65,000 and Page county’s is $43,000.

          1. Get somebody on the horn to add a damn Edit button!

        1. Its where people who work in Washington but make normal wages live. In most of the country $43,000 isn’t a bad wage.

          1. J: But driving on 66 daily to the Imperial City must annoy some of the folks living there; otherwise why a 51% vote for Trump.

            1. If I had to make the drive every day Ron, I would be voting to nuke the place.

              1. Vote Hillary! She is most likely to start WWIII

            2. if they live that far out, they aren’t driving all the way to DC. They might be driving into the suburbs to work at some suburban office, but not lal the way to DC.

              If you work in DC and are poor, you live in Maryland.

          2. Its where people who work in Washington but make normal wages live.

            No. Page County is way too far out to be a suburb, and it’s behind a mountain range.
            It’s more of a rural vacation area where people’s summer homes and get-away cabins are located.
            Winchester is more of a bedroom community.

    3. The most dangerous thing about Trump is that he wins across virtually all crosstabs—poor, affluent, educated, uneducated, moderate, conservative, evangelical…

  5. As I said yesterday, Trump’s a a ‘regular guy’s regular guy’. This isn’t surprising at all to me.

    Hey, tangent question for the group, if Trump doesn’t win the nomination, will the GOP hanger-on who DOES win the nom get hurt in the general after trying to out-Trump Trump during the primary?

    1. Can we stop calling “dicks” “regular guys”?

      1. The regular guy is kind of a dick though.

      2. Again, Nikki, I’m alluding to the crude, uncouth characters from the movie Easy Money… who were… dicks.

        1. I know, but fuck this narrative.

          1. It’s a narrative about how a super-wealthy celebrity strangely connects with groups of people you’d not normally expect. It’s also a narrative (that you won’t EVER see covered in detail) about how the Democrats are not really the party of the common working-class, a narrative that’s become notably less true since the 1980s.

            1. I am in agreeance with Paul on this one.

              1. Your support forces me to confront the grim realities of my inner thoughts.

            2. It’s a narrative about how a super-wealthy celebrity strangely connects with groups of people you’d not normally expect. It’s also a narrative (that you won’t EVER see covered in detail) about how the Democrats are not really the party of the common working-class, a narrative that’s become notably less true since the 1980s.

              First of all, I’ve read that narrative in the New York freaking Times, in pretty good detail.

              Second, you’re not really getting my point. I’m not saying you’re wrong about anything except buying into the positive-connotation term they use. Just call them “losers and bullies” instead. Or perhaps “the free-shit brigade.”

              1. First of all, I’ve read that narrative in the New York freaking Times, in pretty good detail.

                I’m mostly…mostly referring to the narrative that comes from the Democratic party itself and has been quietly nodded-to by the media right up until they wrote off all working class whites as racist.

                1. If only the white working class wasn’t breaking for a candidate who openly courts the white supremacist movement.

              2. I kind of have to agree with Nikki here. A lot of the people Trump appeals to is people who aren’t particularly successful because, well, they aren’t very nice people. Nice people tend to take responsibility for their success and failure, rather than blaming others. They tend to wish others well. They tend to think of people as individuals, deserving of credit or blame for their actions. And, quite often, those sorts of qualities are important for having a reasonably good life.

                Trump appeals to the opposite. You’re falling behind because of those bastards in Washington and those dirty Mexicans. China’s rise out of poverty means things are worse for us. We can’t let the Muslims come into the country.

                1. What Bill said.

                2. I kind of have to agree with Nikki here. A lot of the people Trump appeals to is people who aren’t particularly successful because, well, they aren’t very nice people. Nice people tend to take responsibility for their success and failure, rather than blaming others.

                  Where I live, digging into this would be called blaming the poor for their poverty.

                  Trump appeals to the opposite. You’re falling behind because of those bastards in Washington and those dirty Mexicans. China’s rise out of poverty means things are worse for us. We can’t let the Muslims come into the country.

                  I don’t disagree with any of this. Democracy can really suck sometimes.

                  1. Democracy can really suck sometimes.

                    It’s not so much democracy that sucks as the people in the democracy. People can really suck sometimes.

                    1. It’s not so much democracy that sucks as the people in the democracy. People can really suck sometimes.

                      Yes, and sadly, they vote.

                  2. “” Trump appeals to is people who aren’t particularly successful because, well, they aren’t very nice people… Trump appeals to the opposite. You’re falling behind because of those bastards in Washington and those dirty Mexicans. China’s rise out of poverty means things are worse for us. We can’t let the Muslims come into the country.

                    As i noted below, this data here doesn’t really validate that point in any way.

                    It could be true. It might not be.

                    “everyone who votes for trump is a low-class dirtbag” is probably something few would argue with, but the only problem with it that I’d see is the “low-class dirtbag” cohort probably includes lots of people that aren’t strictly limited to your definition of “unsuccessful”.

                    Even your projected psychographic profile of someone who “blames those bastards in D.C. and dirty mexicans, hates muslims”….

                    …the assumption that this view is exclusive to poor, unsuccessful people is wrong. I have no doubt you’d find that sentiment expressed as often on American golf-courses as in your local union hall.

                    You’re just projecting, really. The sort of lowbrow populism you describe isn’t as significantly correlated to ‘wealth’ and ‘economic success’ as you assume. It cuts across wide swaths of the public.

                    1. You’re just projecting, really. The sort of lowbrow populism you describe isn’t as significantly correlated to ‘wealth’ and ‘economic success’ as you assume. It cuts across wide swaths of the public.

                      this.

                    2. I don’t think I’m being as restrictive as you suggest. If you’re the kind of person who thinks the way I’m describing, it’s pretty likely you’re not going to be particularly satisfied with your life. You probably aren’t going to have a particularly happy marriage. You’re probably going to think you’ve been cheated out of your rightful place in the world in terms of your career. You’re probably probably not going to have many positive or uplifting friendships. And, yeah, there’s plenty of people on the golf course who that describes, as well. And I find it difficult to claim anyone like that is successful, regardless of their income.

                    3. And, yeah, there’s plenty of people on the golf course who that describes, as well. And I find it difficult to claim anyone like that is successful, regardless of their income.

                      But now we’re expanding beyond the scope of this post. We’re talking about economically depressed people, not just assholes in general.

                    4. “If you’re the kind of person who thinks the way I’m describing, it’s pretty likely you’re not going to be particularly satisfied with your life. You probably aren’t going to have a particularly happy marriage. You’re probably going to think you’ve been cheated out of your rightful place in the world in terms of your career. You’re probably probably not going to have many positive or uplifting friendships. “

                      You probably also meet the DSM criteria for being ‘depressed’

                      Which, as you probably know, includes the vast majority of the population. that’s not really a “kind of person”.

                3. Those bastards in Washington are a major reason many are falling behind, maybe just not for the reasons they believe.

                4. I kind of have to agree with Nikki here. A lot of the people Trump appeals to is people who aren’t particularly successful because, well, they aren’t very nice people. Nice people tend to take responsibility for their success and failure, rather than blaming others.

                  Wow. Just wow. I am sure you actually believe that Bill. And that has to be one of the saddest things I have ever read. Do you really have nothing else in life to feel good about besides your politics? And has it ever occurred to you that thinking your politics are a reflection of your morals sets you up to be utterly inflexible and dogmatic since admitting error will amount to admitting moral fault?

                  1. And has it ever occurred to you that thinking your politics are a reflection of your morals sets you up to be utterly inflexible and dogmatic since admitting error will amount to admitting moral fault?

                    On what planet is everyone’s politics not a reflection of their morals? You’ve made comments like this before and I have no fucking idea what you think you’re talking about. Do you think people just make random selections on the ballot?

                    1. Nikki, you’re forgetting one glaring fly in the ointment.

                      I’m a dick, and I don’t support Trump. So where does that leave your arguments about Dicks for Trump? Hmmm?

                    2. On what planet is everyone’s politics not a reflection of their morals?

                      The one I live on Nikki. The one where I know tons of people who are hard working wonderful people who have political views I find appalling. The planet where there is more to life than politics and normal people realize that.

                      If you judge people morally by their politics Nikki, you have allowed politics to make you an intolerant nasty person. I would encourage you to reconsider your thinking on this.

                    3. I judge people morally by their actions and words, and people with appalling politics, who take action to oppress their neighbors, are not good people. I have no idea why you think people can disclaim responsibility for the policies they help enact, support, and legitimize.

                    4. . I have no idea why you think people can disclaim responsibility for the policies they help enact, support, and legitimize.

                      I don’t think people who vote to crack down on Nail Salons are trying to disclaim responsibility for their actions. They come at the issue with a smug morality, knowing they’re right and consider anyone who opposes the idea and/or regulations as having appalling politics and are hence, not good people.

                5. I’m not disagreeing with this premise entirely but I’m wondering if it equally applies to the majority of the AA community and their lockstep voting D.

                  1. I think the Alcoholics Anonymous community is an unreliable voting bloc.

                    1. I think the Alcoholics Anonymous community is an unreliable voting bloc.

                      Plus, I don’t trust people that don’t drink.

                    2. Well played, the both of yutes.

                  2. Now you understand why Nikki and Irish are destined for each other.

                6. You’re falling behind because of those bastards in Washington and those dirty Mexicans. China’s rise out of poverty means things are worse for us. We can’t let the Muslims come into the country.

                  I’m not sure how the last one is failing to take blame for their own mistakes, unless you’re saying Muslims murdering people in the West due to either (as you prefer) (i) revenge against the imperialism of Western states or (ii) a far-right supremacist ideology is the fault of Joe Six-pack somehow.

                  Even if you go with (i), they would be failing to take the blame for the mistakes of the political establishment they despise, and which they no longer trust to place security over bizarro-right-wing ideology.

        2. YOU WILL WRITE WHAT HER WORSTNESS WANTS…OR…YOU WILL BE LOCKED IN A ROOM WITH TRUMP’S HAT AND STEVE SMITH!

          1. *thousand-yard stare*

          2. Seriously, I’m a fish and my bowels just got watery at that thought.

        3. Misandrist!

    2. “I’m just a regular Joe with a regular job
      I’m your average white suburbanite slob
      I like football and porno and books about war

      I’ve got an average house with a nice hardwood floor
      My wife and my job, my kids and my car
      My feet on my table and a Cuban cigar

      But sometimes that just ain’t enough
      To keep a man like me interested”

  6. Poor GOP. They thought they had left no child behind.

  7. The oddest result in this analysis comes from Massachusetts. Trump got an absolute majority of votes in more prosperous Plymouth County

    Not really if you understand Plymouth County. Basically, you have a ring of affluent communities surrounding the county seat, Brockton. Unlike the rest of the county, Brockton is almost split evenly between White and African American, with a per capita income that is 15,000 dollars less than the average for the county and the state. Of Brockton’s Black residents, a little over 40 percent were foreign-born with Cape Verde and Haiti being the two largest places-of-origin. [cont.]

    1. Added to the fact that Brockton is not the safest place in Massachusetts, you can see how what Trump is selling would appeal to the residents in the ring of communities surrounding what they view as “everything wrong”.

      1. I would love to know how a black person living in the Boston suburbs surrounded by all of the smug coming out of Cambridge and the communities like Brookline going west on the Greenline could ever vote Democrat or think Progressives care about them even the least bit.

        1. Have you no firsthand experience with urban machine politics?

          1. She’s got support of the Ministers.

          2. I have. I just still can’t believe that it could work like that.

    2. Voting preferences in MA are typically analyzed on the town level. Counties in MA are too large and heterogeneous for this kind of analysis.

  8. Wait wait wait!!!

    You’re saying populist demagogue demagoguing over economic anxieties is…. winning over those who are anxious about the economy? No way!!!

  9. Good summary of Trump and why he’s winning:

    http://davidstockmanscontracor…..bad-of-it/

    1. In all, the GOP establishment has become an integral part of the Washington ruling class. It has no passion??only lip service??for the anti-Washington predicate on which the party was founded.
      …They live in the capital, fully embrace its projects and pretensions and visit the provinces as sparingly as possible. And that’s why The Donald has them so rattled, even petrified

      Interesting times.

    2. Like I said yesterday, Stockman is a litmus test for me. When Stockman got “taken to the woodshed” by Reagan for pointing out the budget numbers were a crock, there was only one correct way to react to that. Try telling a Reaganaut that Reagan’s tax cutting spiked the deficit and they’ll immediately defend Reagan by pointing out that revenues actually rose and it was the spending that spiked the deficit. Then point out to them that they’re defending Reagan by arguing that he increased government revenues and watch the way their face contorts like a pillowcase full of snakes as they try to rationalize that thought. Mr. “Government so small you can drown it in a bathtub” actually increased government revenue, and I’m supposed to think he’s a great hero for that?

      1. Good luck trying to break up the St. Reagan cult.

      2. Mr. “Government so small you can drown it in a bathtub” actually increased government revenue, and I’m supposed to think he’s a great hero for that?

        No, the fact that private wealth grew enough to more than make up for cuts in tax rates would be the point. I don’t know how any libertarian argues for higher tax rates. I’d like to see it made

  10. I had hoped the people getting a giant dump taken on them by the RULING CLASS would decide to throw in with more libertarianish types like Rand, Justin Amash, et al.

    Instead, the middle fingers up are Trump, his hat and his hair (as described by SugarFree).

    1. I had hoped the people getting a giant dump taken on them by the RULING CLASS would decide to throw in with more libertarianish types like Rand, Justin Amash, et al.

      When has that ever happened? It’s always been ‘Solidarity Forever!’ with those types.

      1. I didn’t say it was a realistic hope…. 🙁

    2. It is because people care more about economic issues than they do about civil liberties issues. Most people don’t give a shit about the NSA or the drug war. They just don’t.

      The lost opportunity for Libertarians is that if there had been a candidate willing to stand up on immigration and trade issues, that candidate could have been totally libertarian on issues like cops and the NSA and such and it likely would not have mattered.

      It doesn’t seem to bother anyone that Trump likes Planned Parenthood, I don’t see why they would care if he didn’t like the NSA.

      1. It doesn’t seem to bother anyone that Trump likes Planned Parenthood, I don’t see why they would care if he didn’t like the NSA.

        Trump’s PP love bothers a lot of Republicans. But my wager is that it doesn’t bother Trump supporters because they regularly use PP’s non-abortion services.

        1. There’s evidence that Trump has attracted a large number of independent voters who might even be using PP’s abortion services.

          1. Oh, I’m sure many of his GOP supporters also do that.

            But I think it’s significant that his line on PP is pretty much the line of someone who actually knows what people use PP for. People just read this as him being clueless and liberal, but I honestly think it’s about having a working-class focus and realizing that many, many women use PP for primary OB/GYN care.

        2. Yup.

          Trump is appealing to large numbers of right-leaning and centrist voters who may be personally uncomfortable with the Republican Party’s platform on multiple issues such as abortion, Planned Parenthood, military adventurism, government-backed health insurance, entitlement reform, etc., but otherwise voted Republican over the years because “lesser of two evils”.

        3. It bothers a lot of hacks but it doesn’t seem to have hurt him any with actual voters.

    3. Well that could happen except that libertarians are too busy despising those being dumped on and diverting their attention to irrelevant social issues supported by upper-middle-class whites.

        1. Like it or not, a labor union starts as a VOLUNTARY ASSOCIATION. And it usually targets the pie created by cronyist advantage/monopoly. Nothing anti-libertarian in that at all. And unlike self-proclaimed libertarians, it is more about taking action to solve the problem rather than masturbatory theorizing.

          But hey – keep despising the people being dumped on. I’m sure that’s gonna end up being a very effective approach someday.

          1. Except, forced membership isn’t libertarian, and neither is demanding something from someone else under threat of force and violence.

            But otherwise, cool story.

            1. I said STARTS. If libertarians weren’t so knee-jerk hostile to working folks and so busy eating plutocrat dingleberries, then it would be very possible for libertarians to find that working folks (no insider connections and no ‘property’ for government to protect via violence) are the natural allies in any fight against cronyism.

              And I would suggest you look at the start of unions in the 19th century and early 20th. It wasn’t the unions who started the violence. Once violence starts, shit just happens.

              1. I said STARTS

                Mmm nah. Unless you’re talking way back in ancient of history when the first guy said, “Hey, I know!”.

                There are plenty of modern Unions starting off using force.

              2. Yes, you said starts, but you conveniently ignored what happens next.

                And, a group of people mobbing together against another person or entity and demanding something that isn’t theirs IS force and violence. But I see that subtlety is lost on you and is proven by your statement that libertarians are hostile to working folks.

                But, otherwise, cool story.

                1. Subtlety? Please do tell me how a government-grant of monopoly advantage (eg railroad land grants or mining rights or steel purchasing govt contracts) – enforced via direct violence (calling out the police/militia/Army and firing into crowds) – creates the necessity that those not so favored by govt action passively submit to the non-aggression principle

                  Is that your vision of ‘libertarianism’? Because that looks to me a lot like hypocritical acceptance of cronyism and plutocrat dingleberrymunching. As stupid as the anarchists of the day were, at least they understood which side was the enemy and which side was the ally. Modern-day anarchos (and unfortunately thats where most libertarians seem to draw their ideas from) are just plain stupid tools.

                  1. Bastiat understood this –

                    “See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime. Then abolish this law without delay, for it is not only an evil itself, but also it is a fertile source for further evils because it invites reprisals. If such a law ? which may be an isolated case ? is not abolished immediately, it will spread, multiply, and develop into a system. The person who profits from this law will complain bitterly, defending his acquired rights. He will claim that the state is obligated to protect and encourage his particular industry; that this procedure enriches the state because the protected industry is thus able to spend more and to pay higher wages to the poor workingmen. Do not listen to this sophistry by vested interests. The acceptance of these arguments will build legal plunder into a whole system. In fact, this has already occurred. The present-day delusion is an attempt to enrich everyone at the expense of everyone else; to make plunder universal under the pretense of organizing it.”

                    But I guess Bastiat – like Smith and Hayek – are just too socialist for today’s libertarians

                  2. Tell you what, JFree, search through my posts and point out where I support cronyism, big government and monopoly power.

                    Go ahead, I’ll wait.

                    I could tell you that I loath those as equally as I do unions but I have a sneaking suspicion you won’t believe me – so go ahead and look.

                    In the meantime, I wonder – how do you feel about government employee unions?

                    1. No one overtly supports cronyism. Libertarians just don’t seem to care much about it unless it is irrelevant (Ex-Im Bank) or obvious (ethanol) or can be turned into some useless DC committee (audit the Fed).

                      When the NSA goes gaga over surveillance justifying it in the name of ‘terrorism’, libertarians can see right through that and are the main drivers of opposition.

                      When the government creates multilateral trade pacts – run by unaccountable supranational entities controlled by cronies – justifying it in the name of ‘free trade’, libertarians are —— totally silent and acquiescent and uninvolved. Trump isn’t. And Sanders isn’t silent on the TARP/FED bailouts. Speaking up matters because only those who speak out get a chance to have their solution in the discussion.

                      As for govt unions, I think they are appalling. Don’t confuse me for someone who supports unions. Like most intermediaries, they mostly support the self-interest and perpetuation of the intermediary. IMO any organization that exists beyond say 5-10 years has failed to solve the problem and eliminate the need that created it.

                    2. When the government creates multilateral trade pacts – run by unaccountable supranational entities controlled by cronies – justifying it in the name of ‘free trade’, libertarians are —— totally silent and acquiescent and uninvolved.

                      I think this sort of thing is really more an example of team politics. Some people are going to be biased against anything a Democratic administration does.

                      From my perspective any free trade agreement is an incremental move in the direction of more free markets, essentially by definition. A lack of free trade *necessarily* is already cronyist, because it favors domestic producers over consumers. The free trade agreement increases the number of goods and services that can be traded without tarriffs, so by definition it’s a step closer to free markets. The fact that there may be some interests who will benefit more than other, or who manipulate the rules to benefit themselves, doesn’t make it any more cronyist than it was before. It simply rearranging *which* interests are unfairly favored. But it’s a net reduction in trade barriers and thus a net increase in liberty.

                    3. You are making an essentially utilitarian technocrat argument. Problem is the same people are always the winners – and the same people are always the losers. The winners never compensate the losers for their losses – and they have now captured government as well so the losers no longer are even allowed to speak or have government represent them.

                      And Trump is now the first pol in a long time speaking to the losers – and golly there’s a lot more of them than ‘the experts’ realized.

                    4. Oh – and I don’t accept that a ‘free trade agreement’ is actually a free trade agreement by definition. That’s like saying that NSA surveillance is an action against terrorists by definition – simply because they say so.

          2. Wow, you’re truly the voice of the honest yeoman. If only we had more modern-day Minutemen like you. I’m sure you can regale us with harrowing tales of the direct action you’ve taken from all the way up there at the summit of Mount Moral Aggrandizement. I mean from that lofty perch you can truly see through the irrelevance of upper-middle-class white social issues and focus on what really matters: lower-middle-class white social issues. Thanks, JFree. All hype’s gotta come to an end. So many choices, but you stayed loyal to your roots. I appreciate you. Bless up.

      1. Don’t confuse the true libertarians in the flyover hamlets and far flung outer provinces with the court jesters of DuPoint Circle who spend every waking moment dancing for and sucking up to the kings and lords of K Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in search of their next cocktail.

        1. DD: Tell me more about the cocktail parties, please.

      2. How, in your estimation, can we start appeasing such people?

        Does it start with talk of tariffs, rounding up undocumented migrants, restricting immigration further, those kinds of proposals?

        1. Start by stopping thinking about ‘such people’ the way you are – as ‘them’. If freedom/liberty benefits everyone, then its up to those who support it to explain how it does benefit everyone. Starting with the group of folks who deliver a lot more potential votes for it – and who perceive that they are being harmed by the status quo.

          If it doesn’t benefit everyone, then your advocacy of it is nothing but utilitarian. And good luck convincing the sheep to vote with the wolves so that some other sheep gets eaten. Even though that is apparently Trump’s approach – we all gonna eat the Mexican and Chinese sheep.

  11. Cy Ogle would use the term “Economic Roadkill”.

  12. You know who else got votes from angry, disillusioned dupes in an economically depressed area?

    1. Bernie Sanders?

    2. Sylvester Stallone in an imdb poll?

    3. Homer Stokes?

  13. I’m not sure the correlation with general economic conditions necessarily says what people assumes it does.

    Does this mean poor, dumb people like Trump because they’re poor and dumb? That these voters actually considered all the various policy nuances of each candidate and found themselves most-attracted to the splutter of Trumpness?

    Or is it simply that people in ‘economically distressed’ areas generally just respond to the candidates that have the highest Brand Recognition?

    Meaning = isnt it just as likely that the “Higher margin of victory” for leading candidates is ALWAYS going to be the case in places where people are only able to name 1 or 2 candidates to begin with?

    1. My point is that these sorts of single-point correlation analyses aren’t sufficient to demonstrate any wider claims about Trump and his peculiar appeal w/ so-called “Left Behind” folks, unless you demonstrated that this election revealed a difference in how these same communities would have normally behaved.

      i.e. was the margin of victory for leading candidates no different in poor communities than rich ones in the recent past?

    2. Does this mean poor, dumb people like Trump because they’re poor and dumb?

      There’s a suggestion upthread that the poor and dumb people are poor and dumb because they’re not very nice people, and not very nice people are attracted to Trump.

      I’m not even 100% sure I disagree with that at some level, but it’s an awfully big generalization to make about people who are “economically distressed”.

      1. “There’s a suggestion upthread that the poor and dumb people are poor and dumb because they’re not very nice people, and not very nice people are attracted to Trump.”

        i saw that.

        i think its just a tautology dressed up as an argument, using the popular In-Group bias that “everyone else is an unthinking rube”

        The fact is that Trump wins with ‘more prosperous’ groups AND with ‘less prosperous groups’.

        The fact that he outperforms with the ‘poorer’ cohorts doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with “Trump” and his particular candidacy/policies/personal appeal with “poor folk” at all…. because poorer cohorts very often always skew-harder to the #1 candidates, whomever they are.

        This isn’t really that controversial a point – the same is true with people’s preferences in any consumer products. You find a far wider range of choice and lower relative-market-share of “leading brands” in richer places because people tend to experiment more, tend to be exposed to a wider range of brands/promotions, etc. They tend to have more information, and more time to reflect on that information.

        I’m just pointing out that jumping to conclusions about “po folk”-psychology is silly, when something as simple as “brand recognition” likely plays far higher a role in the voting process in poorer areas.

        1. Well I think we’ll find out more in the general election which people are attracted to Trump.
          So far, we are only dealing with primary voters, who are a self-selected minority, who may be atypical voters in a lot of ways.

    3. That these voters actually considered all the various policy nuances of each candidate

      Rational homo economicus is a myth, regardless of socio-economic status.

      1. Take your gay rights somewhere else…

      2. Exactly my point.

        The attribution of some specific economic-rationale to poorer people’s trump-votes is mostly projection.

    4. Well that’s not a very fun narrative. We have all this data in front of us; can’t we come to a more exciting and interesting conclusion?

    5. Exactly. This experiment says almost nothing. The most you could take away from it would be that further study into the effect of economic distress on voting patterns. At best it looks like this experiment suffers from omitted-variable bias and the interpreter confirmation bias. And while I don’t think Ron was setting this up to be a full study rather than just a look at the data, that is itself a problem when trying to draw conclusions from data.

      1. Insert is warranted as necessary.

      2. ms: You are right – it’s just meant to be a quick look at some interesting recent data – no hard conclusions are meant to be drawn.

  14. Holy cow. My zip code has a distress index of 95. Should I move out?

    1. Depends.

      Might be a buying opportunity.

      Generally speaking, you want to buy when everyone else is selling and sell when everyone else is buying, right?

      1. I’m buying what you’re selling.

  15. Aggrieved people vote for a demagogue promising them “winning” with a side of racial purging. Not the most original campaign, but you go with what works.

    1. “Hope”

      “Change”

      “We are the one we have been waiting for”?

    2. Hey, there’s plenty of aggrieved people voting for a demagogue promising them “revolution” with a side of class war. Demagoguery is so hot right now.

  16. My zip is what/i?!

    No High School Degree 5%
    Housing Vacancy Rate 4 %
    Adults Not Working 33%
    Poverty Rate 4%
    Median Income Ratio 182%
    Change in Employment 26.5%
    Change in Businesses 20.5%
    Distress Score 0.5
    Distress Rank 26158 of 26290

    That simply cannot be accurate – it is a nice zip code, but …. I dunno man….

      1. You must be in that first category.

    1. SS: Nice place you have there – it would be ashamed if anything happened to it.

  17. As I’ve been writing in other threads, these are the people we used to call Reagan Democrats that are supporting Trump. Blue collar workers who have been ignored and neglected by the Democratic Party while the Democratic Party focused on minorities, Black Lives Matter, feminists, illegal aliens, and gays.

    I don’t care what the polls say about how well Trump will do against Clinton. If Trump’s support among the economically disadvantaged Republicans is significant in closed primaries (where Democrats can’t participate), how much greater will his support be among blue collar, registered Democrats who are economically disadvantaged?

  18. I don’t know about the other states, but Georgia’s Hancock County is a terrible example of anything – it’s a small county, BFE, mostly rural poor black. Trump took 229 of 342 votes. By comparison, Hillary got 1100+ to Bernie’s 145. (Although it is near Millidgeville, the one-time state capital and home of the state insane asylum, and the jokes practically write themselves on that one.) Henry County is a pretty good mix of people, a good-sized county on the fringes of the Atlanta area (home to the Atlanta Motor Speedway) along I-75 (and Hwy 41 which was the interstate before there was an interstate) so it’s kept a pretty good business environment. Maybe not the best representative county for Georgia, but decent enough.

    Muskogee County might be a better representative distressed county with a distress score of 75, a bigger county with a better mix of people and voters, but Trump did worse there than the state average, Trump 34%, Cruz 27%, Rubio 22%, so what’s that mean? Gwinnett County, generally considered the home of rich white suburban soccer moms and maybe a good example of a prosperous county, didn’t have a much different voting pattern (32/30/26), but with Rubio coming second and Cruz third.

    1. Gwinnett County, generally considered the home of rich white suburban soccer moms

      Gwinnett was 53% white as of the 2010 census, probably even less now.

    2. J: I hear you – I just picked kind of randomly counties on the DCI maps without consulting their demographics – the only variable I was interested in was in for what candidates Republican primary voters in distressed versus prosperous counties might cast their ballots.

  19. In the top 80 percent of distressed communities … researchers find that … 55 percent of adults are not working.

    In the communities that the researchers defined as prosperous they report … 35 percent of adults are not working

    What. The. Fucking. Fuck.

    1. Have you not heard of stay-at-home parents?

      1. I’ve know of them but anecdotal evidence suggests that the percentage of households with one non-working parent is way, way less than 35%.

        For instance, my sister is a stay-at-home mom and she’s on SS disability. So technically she earns a paycheck.

        But as Ken notes below, we can’t forget retired seniors et. al. But I have no doubt that these numbers also directly correlate with the record number of workforce participant dropouts.

        1. I know this lady that recently had some restructuring and some layoffs. She was a valued line employee, and to keep her, they had to promote to some kind of management position. Her new job basically involved tracking other employees’s daily performance in Excel and producing some basic reports.

          She had never used Excel before her in life. Not once.

          I went over and tried to help her. She was missing really basic skills, like where and how to find files.

          The other day, they finally let her go.

          Circa 2000, you could still get a decent job–just because you knew how to use Excel. A lot of people didn’t!

          That seems like a long time ago, but over the course of people’s working lives, it’s really not that long. If you had a job that didn’t require any of those skills and you didn’t learn by just fooling around on the internet, what have you. I don’t know how you get that stuff.

          We have piled on a tremendous amount of income and payroll taxes, ObamaCare regulations, etc. that have made it impractical for businesses to hire labor.

          I prefer to have a receptionist to voice mail. She answers the phone. She’s polite. She’s efficient. She prioritizes. My clients don’t wonder if anyone is getting their messages.

          She’s also “poorly educated” and expensive as hell. There is no good reason why the government should artificially inflate the cost of hiring labor. It’s mean.

    2. Remember to include senior citizens on Medicare and Social Security in that 55% number for distressed communities.

      You also need to include wealthy housefraus soccer moms in the 35% number in prosperous communities.

      1. For the record, it appears that people over 65 (Social Security eligible) make up about 15% of U.S. population.

        They aren’t evenly distributed around the country. There tend to be more in warmer climates with lower costs of living, and I suspect that people over 65 tend to be wealthier than average Americans–certainly in terms of net worth if not in terms of income.

    3. It is a big fucking deal. And no one gives a fuck. And don’t tell me these people just want free shit. If that were true they would be voting for Bernie Sanders. They just want to go to work and are tired of the various assholes in both parties shitting on them.

      1. What’s your solution for structural unemployment, John?

        1. First, who says this is structural and not the result of Obama and the Fed totally fucking the economy? You assume it is structural because if it is, it means these people are worthless unemployable bums and thinking that makes you feel good. I don’t get such pleasure so don’t view this as a structural problem. Don’t tell me it is structural until we are at full employment and they are still unemployed. And we haven’t been there in about 10 years at least.

          Second, the solution is two fold; get the government’s foot off the throat of the economy by reducing the regulatory state and stop endlessly increasing the labor supply with open borders. Or in other words stop denying that the laws of supply and demand somehow magically don’t apply to the labor market.

          The GOP has lost these people because everyone knows the GOP is all about open borders and is lying their asses off when they claim they aren’t and because the GOP only talks about tax cuts and never talks about the regulatory state. Tax cuts only help you if you have a job.

          Trump isn’t talking about the regulatory state but he is talking about the border. And that is not perfect but better than anyone else.

        2. Ken do you have a single political belief that doesn’t contribute to your sense of superiority to everyone who disagrees?

          1. Jesus Christ, John, now I’m a smug liberal? We’re talking about people who have dropped out of the job force because the economy can’t use them at what it costs to hire them. Why wouldn’t I mention structural unemployment?

            Here’s what I wrote above:

            “We have piled on a tremendous amount of income and payroll taxes, ObamaCare regulations, etc. that have made it impractical for businesses to hire labor.

            I prefer to have a receptionist to voice mail. She answers the phone. She’s polite. She’s efficient. She prioritizes. My clients don’t wonder if anyone is getting their messages.

            She’s also “poorly educated” and expensive as hell. There is no good reason why the government should artificially inflate the cost of hiring labor. It’s mean.”

            There are plenty of excellent uses of manual labor–many that are highly valued in terms of what they can do and how well they can do it. I’m not the one denigrating their value.

            The statists are the ones artificially inflating the cost of hiring them and paying them a good take home salary. I don’t see why I should blame the Federal Reserve for that.

            1. I don’t think you are a smug liberal. I think you and a lot of other people on here are smug and think anyone who gets screwed and has a problem with it must just be some inferior bum.

              She’s also “poorly educated” and expensive as hell. There is no good reason why the government should artificially inflate the cost of hiring labor. It’s mean.

              And apparently also does the job and whatever she costs, it is less than the value she produces or you wouldn’t have hired her. You are certainly correct about the regulations driving up the cost of doing business, you are mistaken if you think that getting rid of those regulations would automatically reduce the cost of hiring her. The cost of hiring her is a product of the labor market. If we had a decent economy, you likely would still pay a premium for her services as the demand for labor increased the price of it.

              There are plenty of excellent uses of manual labor–many that are highly valued in terms of what they can do and how well they can do it. I’m not the one denigrating their value.

              Yeah you kind of are. Why do you feel it worth noting that she is “poorly educated” other than the fact you are a smug prick who feels that makes this woman less valuable. And your listing her as an example of what we are talking about shows that you automatically assume everyone out of a job is a low skilled manual laborer looking for a handout. That makes you feel good to think that but it is sadly not true.

              1. Why do you feel it worth noting that she is “poorly educated” other than the fact you are a smug prick who feels that makes this woman less valuable.

                It doesn’t make her less valuable, it makes her work less valuable. Being literate and numerate is a skill set but it’s not as valuable as being a chemical engineer or a computer programmer or a trained plumber.

              2. “I think you and a lot of other people on here are smug and think anyone who gets screwed and has a problem with it must just be some inferior bum.”

                I came up the hard way, John.

                This is in your head.

                “Why do you feel it worth noting that she is “poorly educated” other than the fact you are a smug prick.”

                “Poorly educated” was a reference to what Donald Trump called them–and the structurally unemployed that we’re talking about. These are the blue-collar, middle class people I keep referring to as Reagan Democrats.

                I was just talking about an excellent line employee who was promoted to a job she couldn’t handle because she didn’t know how to use Excel–or have computer use basics, really.

                It is their lack of education that makes them structurally unemployed. Because they lack qualifications, they can only compete on price–and the cost of hiring them has been inflated beyond their productivity function. That is what structural unemployment is.

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Structural_unemployment

                1. Believe me, all those people who have dropped out of the economy–aren’t the ones with engineering degrees. They haven’t become structurally unemployed because of the Federal Reserve. They’ve become structurally unemployed because they lack the skills necessary to raise their productivity above the cost of hiring them and paying them. They’re also structurally unemployed because the government has raised the cost of hiring them and paying above their productivity level. That latter part is unnecessary, mean, and stupid.

                  1. Ken Shultz is right. The problem is not that immigrants are driving down the price of labor. Where there is excess labor, someone will find a use for it, if they are allowed to do so.

                    The problem is that the government has made it too expensive to actually hire that labor to do anything that is worth more than what it would cost to pay them.

                    Think about it. Unemployed people are, with few exceptions, literally like dollar bills lying around on the ground. They have skills and time, and those things are going to waste every second they are unemployed. Even if you flooded the market with cheap labor, there is nothing stopping anyone from hiring ALL of it. Nothing, that is, except the federal government.

                    What the government does is pass a law saying “if you pick up those dollar bills, you’ll have to pay $1.20 for each dollar you pick up.” THAT’S why people are leaving dollar bills lying around on the ground. Not because they’ve found a special stash of pesos and aren’t interested in money anymore.

                2. “Poorly educated” was a reference to what Donald Trump called them

                  Except that he didn’t. He was riffing on the smug assholery in the media whose polls noted them as ‘poorly educated’.

        3. 1. Stop punishing companies for bringing capital into the US. Cut corporate tax rates and stop whining about inversions.

          2. We have a labor glut, the economy doesn’t require more unskilled labor (or even many types of skilled labor, cough, lawyers) at the moment and certainly doesn’t require more crime or welfare. Capital, on the other hand, is welcome. So, shut down immigration for the poor, open it up for the rich.

          3. Shift the burden of student loans to employers, and let them make them conditional on pursuing certain fields. Give them tax breaks for it. Cut state support for higher education tuition. Focus education on what is actually considered useful knowledge; if you want entertainment or indoctrination or to broaden your horizons, do it own your own fucking dime.

          4. As the labor glut eases, don’t loosen immigration yet; fire government workers first, so they can do something useful.

          5. Eliminate the minimum wage for anyone being claimed as a dependent for tax purposes.

          6. Social security falls apart with an aging population, causing society to sacrifice its future to coddle its past. Punish those who contribute to the problem by shifting to a system where a person’s own children provide a large percentage of their payments.

          1. “We have a labor glut, the economy doesn’t require more unskilled labor”

            I disagree.

            We have plenty of use for unskilled labor. If unskilled labor is bad for an economy, then China’s economy must have been the worst performing economy in the world over the last 15 years. We do so much trade with China–because of their large pool of unskilled labor. Why couldn’t we use that labor for services here?

            If you spend time in countries where labor is inexpensive, you’ll find that services are much more plentiful than they are here in the U.S. Living in Mexico, as I’ve mentioned before, I could get anything delivered. McDonalds and Burger King delivered. The hardware store delivered screws.

            Is having labor as cheap as they do in Mexico and China the solution to structural employment here in the U.S.? Not exactly, but there is an inverse relationship between the cost of something and the amount of it that employers want to buy.

            Regulation and taxes can be half the cost of keeping someone on payroll, and in many ways it’s worse for lower paid employees on the margins of the productivity function. If the cost of administering your healthcare program is the same per employee regardless of their pay level, then it makes up a greater portion of the cost of keeping lower paid employees on the payroll.

            And it is a greater deterrent to hiring the unemployed and unskilled.

            1. “Regulation and taxes can be half the cost of keeping someone on payroll”

              Maybe I should have made this more explicit.

              Why is the government sometimes doubling the cost of paying unskilled labor their take home pay?

              It’s sadistic. It’s stupid.

            2. We have plenty of use for unskilled labor.

              Not at the current minimum wage, but I think you understand this by your comment.

              The thing is, like the welfare state, the minimum wage is law, and it accounts for a fair bit of unemployment. So long as you have both a minimum wage, a welfare state, and lax immigration law, you’ll have a situation where there a lot of angry unemployable working-class voters, and the reasonable belief that businesses break the law, profit from black-market labor, and socialize the cost of the people who were not employed because of their illegal actions.

              If you try to stop it by addressing only the minimum wage or the welfare state, or both, then you encounter reasonable pushback because of all your solutions entail sacrifices on the same working class that is already suffering under the status quo, not the business class that is perceived as exploiting it. Cutting back on regulations or corporate taxes, necessary as those steps are, are also to the immediate benefit of the business class. Politically, immigration cuts have to be offered for the working-class to see the business class as making sacrifices; if it induces them to accept the other changes, then the black-market labor won’t be missed so much anyway.

    4. L: Adults is everyone over age 16 – so includes folks on social security.

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