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  #51  
Old 12-16-2019, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Procrustus View Post
hmmm. There certainly are people like that. I've just never heard them referred to as "middle America." More like "white working class." The OP mentioned "flyover country" and "heartland," both of which (I think) are geographic descriptors.
Sure, but I'm pretty convinced that when politicians talk about "middle America", they're not talking about merely the people who live in those geographical areas. I think it's a sort of shorthand for the group I mentioned, as they're pretty thick on the ground in those areas, and less so on the East and West coasts.
  #52  
Old 12-16-2019, 12:28 PM
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When is a democrat going to be honest with folks and say, "The reason the "Mexican" got the job is because he is cheaper than a robot for now, but you are already more expensive than the robot. The "Mexican" is going to lose that sweet poverty-dollar an hour job in a few years to the fucking robot as well."

I hate to break it to you guys, but thats whats coming for us all. I just opened up a food laboratory in the Midwest that five years ago would be working at least 5 - 7 people. Its only me here today and a bunch of machines that, due to recent advancements, replaced all of those people and outworks them 4 to 1 on any given day. The only reason I am around still at this laboratory is because I know how to program and repair these robot overlords.

Is there a plan from the Dems on this? I'm sorry but "job retraining" isn't going to cover it. I have the ability to service at least 15 - 20 of these food labs loaded with robots. Robots are way better than they were, they don't break down much anymore, and when they do, parts are way more likely to be on the shelf.

I know that the GOP doesn't really have a plan for this, but if the Dems don't get one and start hammering this hard, we are all screwed. From the front lines of the robot uprising, this seems to me way more important than healthcare or anything else.

(I am using "Mexican" incorrectly in the same fashion that people often do when talking about these things. I mean no offense to any people from Mexico or anywhere else in Latin America.)
And what are we going to do about all the secretarial jobs that vanished when word processing software and cheap computer file storage made them superfluous?

I keep hearing about the robot apocalypse which will happen when robots take old jobs away faster than new jobs get created, but there are just too many things that robots can't do well.

Dems don't need a plan for this. They just need a plan to keep us at or near full employment (Warren's got a plan for that ), and make sure that people with jobs can live on them (the Dems in general have plans for that).
  #53  
Old 12-16-2019, 12:40 PM
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When is a democrat going to be honest with folks and say, "The reason the "Mexican" got the job is because he is cheaper than a robot for now, but you are already more expensive than the robot. The "Mexican" is going to lose that sweet poverty-dollar an hour job in a few years to the fucking robot as well."

I hate to break it to you guys, but thats whats coming for us all. I just opened up a food laboratory in the Midwest that five years ago would be working at least 5 - 7 people. Its only me here today and a bunch of machines that, due to recent advancements, replaced all of those people and outworks them 4 to 1 on any given day. The only reason I am around still at this laboratory is because I know how to program and repair these robot overlords.

Is there a plan from the Dems on this? I'm sorry but "job retraining" isn't going to cover it. I have the ability to service at least 15 - 20 of these food labs loaded with robots. Robots are way better than they were, they don't break down much anymore, and when they do, parts are way more likely to be on the shelf.

I know that the GOP doesn't really have a plan for this, but if the Dems don't get one and start hammering this hard, we are all screwed. From the front lines of the robot uprising, this seems to me way more important than healthcare or anything else.
But why are the Democrats being told they need to take the weight for this? The guy that owns the company and made the decision to fire all the workers and buy robots to replace them isn't a Democrat. He's a wealthy corporate executive and the Republicans just gave him a tax break to pay for those robots. So why are all those workers who lost their job voting for the Republicans?
  #54  
Old 12-16-2019, 01:42 PM
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But why are the Democrats being told they need to take the weight for this? The guy that owns the company and made the decision to fire all the workers and buy robots to replace them isn't a Democrat. He's a wealthy corporate executive and the Republicans just gave him a tax break to pay for those robots. So why are all those workers who lost their job voting for the Republicans?
Its really simple. The republicans are giving people someone to blame, not something.

How do you know that the owner isn't a democrat? My company is run by democrats. If I had the money, I would hire back the people that "the robots" have replaced, but I don't. My competitors still have the robots as well. If I want my business to still be in business, I have to replace the costly people with not costly robots. It seems like sometimes people think that the "guys at the top firing everyone" are fat dudes scratching their bellies to fit more food in. That usually isn't the case.

What about the secretaries that were going to be put out of work? There are way way way less secretaries than there were ten years ago, and there were less ten years ago. The "secretary" position was largely swallowed by someone else doing another job that now has to function in that role as well.

Case in point 1: When I was in education ten years ago, my managerial role had three full time secretaries that reported directly for me. Now the person that had my position has one student worker that answers the phone and transfers those calls to the directed official, and we had a departmental admin that also does auditing three times a month function as "the secretary."

Case in point 2? At my current business, we had a secretary before, now the sales admin sits at her desk for the occasional secretary task, but largely does her same job. She doesn't get paid anymore than the difference between letting the secretary go. Our secretary was very busy before, but a lot of her tasks got largely automated via software telephone answering, software sorting and software managed letter generation. It wasn't the word processor that put her out of business, it was the AI software stuff that can be programmed in 30 minutes to do her routine tasks for a week. I can work an extra 30 minutes a week to get done what we were paying 35 hours a week at 14.50 an hour to do. The software pays for itself.

And before anyone thinks that we are bad at our job, and have to rely on the robots to pick up the slack, that isn't the case either. My "widget manufacturing methods" are the best in the country at the lowest cost and fastest turn around in the nation. I have to be the best as a small company to compete with the corporate people that would just run at a loss with a huge overhead to squeeze me out of the market. I have to operate at a margin that the corporate guys can't touch.

To keep the rest of the employees that we do have from being swallowed by robots, my wife and I don't have insurance. At the point where we are going to have to jump that beast, we are going to lose two more employees.
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  #55  
Old 12-16-2019, 01:56 PM
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I wanted to jump in and add that a lot of these people that voted for Trump in the Midwest (you know, where it only seems to matter for the next election) voted for him because he started talking shit on China. In their minds, they see China as a land full of factories full of people working for a cup of rice, underbidding them and unfairly competing for their labor. To these people, they will never be able to compete on the same level and its "unfair".

Its only partly true. China is a land full of very optimized factories that feed directly to each other and are loaded with...robots.

We don't seem to be able to re-isolate China from the rest of the world, so we can't just shut them out of the worldwide market place. Since China's government has a unique ability to modify their markets, they will always set the "floor". Businesses, huge and corporate as can be or small like mine, have to operate with the same floor.

Joe Schmo has a hard time with this concept, so its easy to think that there is huge guys at the top trying to figure out how to fuck people out of a job. He is always going to vote for someone who essentially says "fuck those guys".

Democrats need to come in with something other than "job training". I can do the job of 390 people right now that used to work full time 5 years ago by working 60 hours a week salaried. Nobody had a choice in this, we are fighting staying afloat as it is. In five years, I can theoretically do the job of three times of that without leaving my desk at home. I know this because I am developing the technology to do it right now. Hopefully I get to start to control the "floor" so to speak so we can keep the people doing something else and employed, but I am one man and China is China, and they are all beating me to the same floor.

ETA: The Democrats REALLY REALLY need a plan for the next 15 year window to deal with the robots. I am single-handedly putting thousands out of work. Just me.
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Last edited by Translucent Daydream; 12-16-2019 at 01:58 PM.
  #56  
Old 12-16-2019, 02:15 PM
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But why are the Democrats being told they need to take the weight for this? The guy that owns the company and made the decision to fire all the workers and buy robots to replace them isn't a Democrat. He's a wealthy corporate executive and the Republicans just gave him a tax break to pay for those robots. So why are all those workers who lost their job voting for the Republicans?
Salt of the earth, common clay of the new west, you know ...
  #57  
Old 12-16-2019, 05:36 PM
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.... morons!
  #58  
Old 12-16-2019, 09:16 PM
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What about the secretaries that were going to be put out of work? There are way way way less secretaries than there were ten years ago, and there were less ten years ago.
Well yeah, and the resulting mass unemployment due to them having been displaced by technology...?

Quote:
The "secretary" position was largely swallowed by someone else doing another job that now has to function in that role as well.
Look, I do a shitload of writing in my job.

Forty years ago, that would have involved my either writing stuff out longhand and having a secretary type it, or dictating to a secretary who would take shorthand and then type it up. I'd write revisions by hand on her typed draft, sometimes with circles and arrows to show where a sentence or paragraph should be moved to, and she'd do another draft on her typewriter. And I'd look at that, and make more changes, and back and forth until finally I had something decent.

Now, all that happens in my head and on the screen in front of me as I type. My first draft is like several drafts in the old days all folded together.

And remember "Take a Letter, Maria"? Yeah, like I need Maria to type my emails for me.

So that's typing. How about filing? Click on the "save as" icon, and done. Like you need a secretary for that.

The work that secretaries used to do is simply gone. That's all. And the gaping hole left by the disappearance of all those jobs that haven't been necessary in years? Where is it? It doesn't exist. New jobs have arisen to replace the old ones.
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Old 12-16-2019, 10:07 PM
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I hope you are right, but thatís not what Iím seeing here on the ground here in robots. My brother just single handedly built a new assembly line for a large yogurt company that services the whole nation.

Not too many folks are there to feed the robots and they work in the darkness all day and night.

They flew him in from 2000 miles away for a week. He wonít work again for another 6 months. The area where the automated factory is built is still jobless but they got a shit load of a tax rebate to be there
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  #60  
Old 12-16-2019, 11:27 PM
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... The work that secretaries used to do is simply gone. That's all. And the gaping hole left by the disappearance of all those jobs that haven't been necessary in years? Where is it? It doesn't exist. New jobs have arisen to replace the old ones.
Do you think those laid-off clerical workers moved into managerial positions? Some ended up working in the fast-food business which now employs 4.6 million. (Several millions more have low-paying jobs in slow-food restaurants.) The average age of fast-food workers is 29 years; over a quarter have children.

McDonalds restaurants alone employ almost a million ... and McDonalds is spending a billion dollars just this year to replace workers with ordering kiosks and other automation. McDonalds was shamed in 2013 when it published a helpful financial brochure for its employees, devising budgets that assumed the employee had a second job. Do well at McDonalds, get promoted to assistant manager, and earn a whopping ... $14 per hour!

In 1983, the 95th and 80th percentile household incomes were about 7 and 4 times the 20th percentile income respectively. Today those ratios are about 10 and 5. No, Americans are not sharing equally in the prosperity of the automation age.
  #61  
Old 12-18-2019, 11:18 AM
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Its really simple. The republicans are giving people someone to blame, not something.
Right. The only reason any of this has anything to do with geography is that the Republican Party is exploiting ethnic identity in order to stay alive (in power). It's a publicity campaign (propaganda) that can work only because they can make people think that the interests of the people are divided along these imaginary lines. I may live in Los Angeles. but fundamentally my interests are the same as someone in "Middle America." In fact, the areas are not as different as they would have us think, but it's a narrative they are exploiting. Trump is the logical conclusion of this false narrative.
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Old 12-18-2019, 11:36 AM
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And what are we going to do about all the secretarial jobs that vanished when word processing software and cheap computer file storage made them superfluous?
The question you should be asking is this: What are we going to do about all of the agricultural jobs, now that we can feed ourselves without 90% of us working on farms or ranches?

The huge job destruction was the urbanization and industrialization of the 20th Century. We don't talk about it in those terms because we magically created new kinds of jobs at the same time. People whose ancestors had been farmers going back thousands of years were now doing things their own grandparents could hardly have imagined.

But that can't possibly happen again. Or continue to happen. It must all come crashing down now, for absolutely no very good reason. I have spoken!
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Old 12-18-2019, 12:37 PM
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The question you should be asking is this: What are we going to do about all of the agricultural jobs, now that we can feed ourselves without 90% of us working on farms or ranches?

The huge job destruction was the urbanization and industrialization of the 20th Century. We don't talk about it in those terms because we magically created new kinds of jobs at the same time. People whose ancestors had been farmers going back thousands of years were now doing things their own grandparents could hardly have imagined.

But that can't possibly happen again. Or continue to happen. It must all come crashing down now, for absolutely no very good reason. I have spoken!
I work in agriculture. Food should cost way more than it does, but we have agricorp conglomerates mechanizing a lot of the generation of food (with people like me and my brother). So when you go back to the little ag town I grew up in, NOBODY is working. FUCKING nobody. The only people that have any money to go get food at the food store without food stamps are stealing fertilizer catalyst from the last remaining owner/farms and making crystal methamphetamine and speed balls with it.

Since nobody is working, the town has gone to shit. Nobody working = nobody paying taxes. Main street isn't even paved anymore, they gave up and dumped gravel on it. There were three little businesses left by the time I had to leave, and now a Dollar General has replaced them, employing 10 percent of the workforce that the other businesses did, and pays less. The whole town seems to be on food stamps (or the Lone Star Card for those in Texas.) Some of the people I know that still live there have started to commute 70+ miles one way to get to a "decent job." By decent I mean almost 15 bucks an hour. Since nobody is working in the home town, people have started to sell their properties off to the Large Friendly Agricorp, which has caused a run on the cost of land there. Since the only people buying are rich folks or businesses looking to park their money in some sort of "investment" so they don't have to roll their profits to the tax man, the tax valuations on people's homesteads have shot up. My best friend's mom back home is probably going to lose her house next year due to property tax increases she can't keep up with. Her house has been for sale for over two years in a break even price for her, but its not selling because its not something that the Large Friendly Agricorp wants.

I wish you were right, RTFirefly, but those jobs aren't getting replaced where the jobs are getting displaced. That's the key. Who gives a damn in rural East Texas if Portland gets 10 new jobs in IT? Those IT jobs pay good if they were in East Texas, but those IT employees can only scrape by in Portland. I know, I went to Portland and worked one of those new IT jobs from East Texas. Those 10 jobs lost in East Texas feel like a hell of a lot bigger kick in the nuts than 10 jobs lost in Dallas, for example. Since the community is so small, that 10 job loss was something like 30 percent of the money that rolled around town.

I was able to keep my credit good so when the floor got swept out from under us, I was able to bang out a bunch of credit cards and move across the country, over five years ago that we are still paying off. I was able to do this because my parents were healthy, I had no children, and lost everything at a slightly earlier time than everyone else did in town. The poor souls left are stuck. Thats why they want to "burn it down" and vote Trump. Nothing's changed at home.
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  #64  
Old 12-18-2019, 01:33 PM
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Thats why they want to "burn it down" and vote Trump. Nothing's changed at home.
The problem is that they fell for Trump's dog-and-pony show. He wasn't going to "burn it down," and had no intention of doing that. He hasn't burned anything down--it's all just rhetoric, the same as any politician. He played them good. That was all just an act. A performance, like on The Apprentice.

In fact, he made the swamp even swampier, and has been tilting the profits into his family's pockets.

Are they willing to recognize that? Maybe think about it a little more before they vote next time?
  #65  
Old 12-18-2019, 02:36 PM
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The problem is that they fell for Trump's dog-and-pony show. He wasn't going to "burn it down," and had no intention of doing that. He hasn't burned anything down--it's all just rhetoric, the same as any politician. He played them good. That was all just an act. A performance, like on The Apprentice.

In fact, he made the swamp even swampier, and has been tilting the profits into his family's pockets.

Are they willing to recognize that? Maybe think about it a little more before they vote next time?
While election crimes are the most serious crimes Trump has committed, I think people may have made a mistake by focusing on those. I feel there might have been a bigger impact if they had investigating Trump's corruption.

Trump has been using his presidency to make money for himself. I feel that some of his supporters who back Trump on his election crimes (he's just sticking it to the liberals after all) would have their faith shaken if they saw the bribery that's going on. That's just Trump taking care of himself with no feigned concern for the people who voted for him.
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Old 12-18-2019, 03:49 PM
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The problem is that they fell for Trump's dog-and-pony show. He wasn't going to "burn it down," and had no intention of doing that. He hasn't burned anything down--it's all just rhetoric, the same as any politician. He played them good. That was all just an act. A performance, like on The Apprentice.

In fact, he made the swamp even swampier, and has been tilting the profits into his family's pockets.

Are they willing to recognize that? Maybe think about it a little more before they vote next time?
Right you are, except you don't have to convince me. They are the ones that need to change their mind, and telling them that they are stupid so far hasn't worked. I think the important thing to remember is that things in Shit Town are always going to get worse. They don't trust Democrats because it got worse for them when he was in office, to their perception. The robots and Friendly Agricorp were in full swing during Obama time.

At least now they have someone repeating the same bitching they are doing vs. trying to placate them with something they don't understand. You go with the guy that bitches the same way. They are all spending their free time trying to keep the tweakers at bay, they aren't watching the 'real' news and certainly aren't reading anything.
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