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10/13/20 12:49 PM #8287    


Kathleen Wintering (Nagy)

We have had such fun at our reunions! I am sure we will continue to do so. Janie puts in so much time for our class! I think everyone is old enough to keep politics out of this  friendly get - together!!  Stay well everyone!! God bless the Class of 1966!  Kathy Wintering Nagy  10-13- 20

10/13/20 01:30 PM #8288    


David Mitchell

Speaking to this very point......

Interesting timing for a remark from one Senator Romney in today's USA Today 

I quote in part;


WASHINGTON — Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said on Tuesday that he is "troubled" by the state of American politics today, calling on leaders from both sides of the aisle to "tone it down."

"I have stayed quiet with the approach of the election," Romney said in a statement posted to Twitter. "But I'm troubled by our politics, as it has moved away from spirited debate to a vile, vituperative, hate-filled morass that is unbecoming of any free nation – let alone the birthplace of modern democracy."


He goes on to call out both the Pres. and Nancy.

Wouldn't it be interesting to see how he might "poll" in today's political atmosphere?  His credibility has skyrocketed in my book.

10/13/20 02:56 PM #8289    


Frank Ganley

I for one am looking forward to our 55th year of graduating from high school  and as always look forward to reconnecting with old not aged friends as 70 is the new 50 but unfortunately 9pm is the new midnight. I look forward endless laughs , maybe some great golf somewhere and as spignoli said in fast times cool tunes and tasty buds! I paraphrase. Looking forward t  on comparing scars from procedures and rousing sports and what will the buckeyes have next year. As Mary claire said all those on the too little appreciated and thanked reunion committee always surpass the last party weekend. Cry over friends who have passed and talking grandchildren!    

10/13/20 04:00 PM #8290    


Mary Margaret Clark (Schultheis)

A friend shared this story with me today:

Linda Burnett, 23, a resident of Arkansas, was visiting her in-laws and while there went to a nearby super-market to pick up some groceries. Later, her husband noticed her sitting in her car in the driveway with the car running and the windows rolled up. Her eyes closed with both hands behind the back of her head. 
He became concerned and walked over to the car. He noticed that Linda's eyes were now open and she looked very strange. He asked her if she was okay; Linda replied that she had been shot in the back of the head and had been holding her brains in for over an hour (at least it seemed that way to her, it actually had been 15 minutes, she blamed the inability to tell time on her head injury). 
The husband called the paramedics, who broke into the car because the doors were locked and Linda refused to move her hands. 
When they finally got in, they found that Linda had a wad of bread dough on the back of her head. From the back seat a biscuit canister had exploded from the heat, making a loud noise that sounded like a gunshot, and the wad of dough hit her in the back of her head. 
When she reached back to find out what it was, she felt the dough and thought it was her brains. She initially passed out, but quickly recovered. 
Linda is blonde, a Democrat, and a Biden supporter; but that could all be a coincidence.
The defective biscuit canister was analyzed and it was determined to be Trump's fault.
~~ If you read all of this you have been cooped up in your house too long. You need to get some sunshine. 🙂

10/13/20 05:24 PM #8291    


David Mitchell


Sounds like a Yeast-German Communist plot to me.

10/13/20 06:11 PM #8292    


Michael McLeod

Sure, you laugh, but I think it makes perfect sense to blame Trump. He's the one with all the dough.

10/13/20 08:36 PM #8293    


Julie Carpenter

Thanks MM for a really good laugh! It made me laugh out loud--thankfully, no one was around to report me to the white coats!

10/14/20 06:36 AM #8294    


Michael Boulware

The last two books that I have read were authored by Mary Trump and Michael Cohen. I am currently reading RAGE by Bob Woodward. Good reading, well written, and I feel an accurate description of our current president. I have attempted to find something that portrays our president as a kind and unselfish man, perhaps even a patriot.i Iike to see both sides. Any suggestions from my Red friends?

I went back and checked about Trump's medicine coming from an aborted fetus. My account was accurate, however, you can find other accounts that reject what I did read. That has been pointed out to me and it is valid.

By the way, it seems that some Trump supporters don't believe in wearing masks during this pandemic; I hope they change their minds about that immediately. Stay Safe!!!

10/14/20 12:17 PM #8295    


Mary Margaret Clark (Schultheis)

Mike, thank you for asking for book recommendations. I believe it is more helpful to understand why many Americans will cast their ballot, not necessarily for Trump, but rather for his policies and his vision of the means to preserve the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. You might try reading the 5,000 Year Leap (W. Cleon Skausen), Liberty & Tyranny (Mark Levin), Please Stop Helping Us (Jason Riley), American Crusade (Pete Hegseth), The Case for Trump (Victor Davis Hanson).     

10/14/20 03:03 PM #8296    


Michael McLeod

This is one of those behind-the-curtain core issues that never get addressed because the players on both sides either like it just as it is or don't have the courage to address it.



When Americans recently learned how little President Trump has paid in taxes in the past 15 years and how he benefited from financial maneuvers, it reinforced the widespread belief that the rich don’t pay their fair share. Lost in the outrage is the fact that the tax provisions that allowed Mr. Trump to trim his tax bill were probably not illegal or the results of tax schemes concocted by anti-tax legislators.

Those provisions, and many others like them, delivered exactly what their drafters intended: They are engineered to benefit certain kinds of taxpayers — and most Americans are not among them.

There are many aspirational visions for the tax code. If yours is a wildly complex, 2,600-page code of rules and frustration, you win, because that’s what we have now. If you desire a federal tax code that’s an archaeological record of special-interest politics, chiseled out over time with giveaways under the cover of achieving social goals like subsidized child care, homeownership, health care, higher education and more, you win again.

But if your vision is for a more equitable system that can actually be enforced by the I.R.S., what we really need is a simpler and fairer tax code. Some of the current rules are good, but many are political giveaways to special interests. Telling those rules apart is actually harder than it seems, but there are some obvious places to start.


Continue reading the main story

The beneficiaries of the tax code’s complexity are the well-to-do and well-connected individuals and corporations who work hard to create and expand loopholes — and can afford accountants who can take advantage of the intricacies. Politicians, rewarded with campaign contributions, are clear beneficiaries, too. This results in hundreds of tax credits, deductions and special tax rates, including those used by Mr. Trump.

The losers are most Americans, who have no clue what’s in the tax code and collectively spend about eight billion hours a year complying with its filing requirements.

A good place to start simplifying is to get rid of tax privileges granted to politically favored special interests. Listing all of them would be an impossible task, but there are candidates for elimination that enjoy at least some degree of bipartisan support.

Since 1913, interest on municipal bonds issued by state and local governments has been exempt from federal income taxation. It is a favorite loophole for wealthy taxpayers, who invest in them. It is also a delight for Wall Street, which profits from all the municipal-bond issuing and trading.

Getting rid of even one of these deductions is hard. The state and local tax deduction (or SALT) deduction benefits mostly high-income taxpayers. Even many Democrats, who are quick to complain about the rich not paying their fair share, fervently support it.

Editors’ Picks

In a rare exception, the Republican tax reform act of 2017 capped the SALT deduction at $10,000 (previously, more than 88 percent of the benefit flowed to people with incomes in excess of $100,000).

But the fight isn’t over. Covid-19 relief bills adopted in the Democratic House include a temporary repeal of the $10,000 SALT cap; it was not the only recent attempt by Democrats to give a billion-dollar tax break to high-earning households — Senator Chuck Schumer of New York was part of a similar effort earlier this year. (Negotiations over a new relief bill that may or may not take up the SALT deduction continue.)

Yet calls to end all tax deductions, credits and exemptions can be problematic, too. In some cases, what look like “giveaways” to businesses — like a loss carryback, which allows them to smooth out their tax bills over multiple years — actually represent good policy. In Mr. Trump’s case, the public doesn’t know enough to judge whether he abused the exemption or is simply a terrible businessman.

But we wouldn’t want to tax a business that made a $1 million profit this year if it lost $1 million annually over the previous two years. Since it’s still losing money overall, it should be able to average its profits. And we wouldn’t want to tax entrepreneurs and start-ups at higher rates than we tax established businesses like Amazon and Walmart.

The same is true for those who assume it is easy to know which business expenses are acceptable or objectionable. For instance, if the C.E.O. of a company flies to Paris for a meeting with clients on Friday but decides to stay the weekend as a tourist, it seems wrong for this person to deduct the cost of extra hotel nights. But what if the cost of staying the weekend is actually less than the cost of staying for just one night? Which one does the C.E.O. deduct? Or how should we distinguish the cost of hair and makeup for a TV show from the cost of a hair stylist for everyday life?

No matter what the tax system is, as long as we tax businesses, figuring out what counts as a legitimate expense and what doesn’t will often create challenges. Yes, there will be some abuses, but alternatives to this model are also bound to be disastrous.

And the incentives to take advantage of preferences (and the incentives for lobbyists to create them) are higher when tax rates go up — something that Joe Biden and his team may want to keep in mind if they’re in charge next year.


My ideal tax code would eliminate the double taxation of income — taxing the same dollar of income twice (or more). A typical example: taxing corporate income first through the corporate income tax and second through the individual income tax on dividends and capital gains. My tax code would restore “horizontal equity,” meaning that taxpayers making the same income pay the same amount of taxes. It would also broaden the tax base and lower rates. Many of these goals can be achieved by eliminating tax preferences that tilt the playing field in favor of politically connected interest groups.

Finally, this tax code wouldn’t be used to incentivize certain behaviors, which is a poor way to achieve these goals. If we want to encourage certain objectives, do it transparently through subsidies.

The sad truth is that we’ll never have an honest conversation about taxes as long as we don’t recognize that the tax code is an imperfect product of politics and so must also be reformed through the political process.

Veronique de Rugy (@veroderugy) is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.


10/14/20 10:06 PM #8297    


David Mitchell


Your post follows right in line with some of my earier posts. There are so many "deductions", er, I mean "loopholes", uh, I meant "incentives", no, I meant "write-offs" - oh hell, the correct term depends on who is getting it or not getting it.

Part of the problem is the size and complexity of the tax code itself. It is often jokingly referrred to as "The Lawyers and Accountants Relief Act" becasue it is so difficut for the general public to decipher, that we are forced to go spend oodles of money on professional advice as to how to fill it out, and prior to that, how to plan for best outcomes. It would take a number of years to explain it all to the public, but nobody wants that to happen because then the general public would wake up and realize that Republican and Democrats have been let loose in a feeding frenzy of speicial conditions for special groups - even if it didn't sart out to be that.

I used to keep up on those tax matters which pertianed to Real Estate. In addition to a 4-yar BSBA degree with a Major in Reaal Estate Development, I had to attend classes annually to keep up certain designations. I actuallyh worked i Commerical Real Estate Appraial for a few yeasr during college, and that gave me an even better insight into some of teh economics resulting from these tax "incentives/write-offs". 

They oftern arise out of simple economic need, but then, once in place, are unable to be repealed, and fail to consider what the long term effect is. The special ruels for depreciation that have been in effect for building certain types of buildings is a good example. In teh 70's, we needed mor housing, so we  used specail "Sum-of-the-years-digits" and "Double Declining Balance" rules to "induce" investors to increase the building of apartments. It worked to a certain extent - it drew tons of cash into the aprtment building business and made millionaires out of guys like Columbus' own Jim Klingbeil - who (I think?) became the largest apartment builder in the country at one time. And his investores got huge "write-offs". But then the makget was saturated with apartments and the quality was chep and the market eventually drove up labor, lumber, and land costs well beyond intented levels. But why didn't evey wage earner get to take advantage of this "tax shelter"?

Cause they didn't have to cash to invest in the first place.  


When I ask the question, "why do we get to deduct the interst on our homes", I get shouted down by my real state buddies. We did that to ecourage more people to own homes - a great idea - at each monent in time when you consider the buying couple. But what does this do to the economic forces of supply and demand over a long term continuem? It pushes the demand side of the equation and continues to do so for as long as the statute exists - forever. (actually it's not the simple concept of pure "Demand", but the slighly varied term called "Effective Demand" - (not just simpy wanting it, but actually having the abiity to buy it).

(Heilbrunner or Samuelson. I forget which. I had to sit through two years of Econ. I and II - yikes!)

If the incentive had never occurred, it would have been much harder for anyone to buy a house but the rich. So it is a "good idea". But look what it does to the price of houses over yerars. Are we happy that our kids have to look at $400,000 for a little cottage - the ones we first bought at $40,000? 

This is (I beleive) the only place in the IRS code wher the deduction becomes greater the wealthier you are! If you've got the money honey - you get the deduction ("write-off").

Finally, a couple of years ago we finally capped the Mortgage Interest deduction at $500,000 per couple (I think - I don't keep up with this anymore like I used to).

One could go on and on through the IRS code about this stuff - and it gets weird - like why Major league professional athletes can get paid so much - (pure gift to the "Socialist" major league franchise owners) - based originally on threats against congress back in the '60,s by the whiney owners of the major leagues. The athletes are not "employees" on salary - they are "assets" which can be depreciated, and taken as a loss against these poor billionaires other business profits - anf thus sheltering millions of $$$.

This is so boring !       But it goes on forever in the IRS code.

10/14/20 10:44 PM #8298    


Michael McLeod

Dave: It's boring, but it matter. It's part of the reason things are not working.

I'm getting tired of ideology. Find myself turning more and more towards practical matters.  


10/15/20 11:11 AM #8299    


David Mitchell


Yes Mike,

It is incredibly boring and detailed stuff - part of the reason it doesn't get discussed openly - who the hell understands all of it? And I just scratched the surface. But I honestly think that the Tax code is at the root of a number of our socio-eonmomic issues.The deck is stacked aginst the working class indivicual who can't afford a team of tax lawyers. A few years back,

And it's full of stuff like that that is anything but "free-market" economics - including a good deal of Corporate Wellfare.

A few years back, General Electric showed 11 billion dollars in revenue, but instead of paying taxes, received a one billion dollar tax refund. They just happen to have an accounting department with 1,000 accountants. Going back to around 2015, the U.S. Oil industry made (going from memory here?) about 50 billion dollars, but received tax refunds on the order of about ten billion dollars. 

As I stated on an earlier post - back in the 1960's IRS total revenues were about 50/50 between corporations and individuals. But today it is more like 94% individuals and 6% Corporations. Go figure.


And as for the talk about "income inequality" - I don't see how my fellow Conservaives can ignore that when we have large NYC bank presidents who pay their branch managers barely enough to meet their basic living expenses, then lay of 16,000 employees, and are then given $300,000,000 year end bonuses! (yes I meant "three hundred million") That ain't right in my book.

But what do you expect from a party (Republican) that put a bill throught Congress about two years ago that forbids private citizens fron forming a class action suit against large Banks?



Or having "Uncle Mitch" stand up in the Senate and cut off the debate about giving more money to the DEA to fund more agents to combat the growth of the truck-stop "Oxycontin Supermarkets" in West Virginia and Kentucky. It was rumored that the phone calls from McKesson and other "Oxy" makers were getting too high pressured for him to allow the bill to pass.  

The Hollywood movie industry and some areas of the world of advertising expenses gets pretty out of wack too, but I'll stop here. It gets me in a bad mood.

10/15/20 12:22 PM #8300    


Michael McLeod

When that happens, Dave, just wave your red flag and take a sedative. 

10/15/20 01:07 PM #8301    


Frank Ganley

Bull, it's great that you are reading of the other side but Woodward is no fan of trump so if you say anything praising him, cut it out and bronze it. Read any on MM's list., make no bones about trump he is a ruthless business man who refuses to lose in anything. He will out work, out fight and out charm who ever he is with and knows which one to use. If you don't want to like him don't meet him. According to many who have met him he is the most engaging person and want to talk about you. Tour golfers love the guy. Those that say he doesn't love America or it's people are not listening to him because they don't like his style of speaking. He's not a Dr King nor would he confused with Cicero as an orator. H by he tells you exactly what he's going to do and does it. Promise made promise kept. Now the news is coming out that he wasn't lying about Russia or putin and that it was a plot to discredit trump, the witch hunt that followed the dems lies all because he's not a politician but rather a business man. He has no time for dilly dally antics. Want a better government  lay get term limits on the Congress. 

10/15/20 04:47 PM #8302    


David Mitchell

How about a change of subject?  ....... David Dunn, this is for you.

A few weeks back David Dunn came back on the Forum with that small-world connection about his uncle in WW2 serving in the same unit as my Dad in India and China. And had he lived, it would have then gone on to include the island of Tinian in the Marianas.

I mentioned that I had a bunch of wonderful flght navigation maps that the crews of those B-29's carrried on board. I finally found the bunch my dad left me years ago. They are some type of indelible ink, printed on silk, so they wil not fade or tear, wet or dry. They are acurate to the "nth" degree and in beautiful color (which delineates the terrain and altutude).

I consider them treasures. Here are a few samples.


The whole collection, folded up in an old envelope.


Several of the best ones showing the Phillipines, Peking, and Manchuria    (if these are anything like our "Vietnam aviation" maps, the circular "compasses indicate radio beacon points - I could be wrong?)



* * * This next one is of particular interest to me. My second wife, Shauna's father was my dad's Squadron commanding officer - albeit 13 year younger (the medical officers were all older guys). He was a Major at 21! (Yes, that's fast. It says two things - he was a damn good leader and pilot, and they were losing people fast). Dad said he was the finest guy he ever knew. Major Don Humphrey and his crew were shot down over the Maylay Penninsula (lower part of this map) after a bombing raid on (I think) Singapore or Bangkok.

He and three others got out and escaped before the members of the crew who were trapped inside the aircraft were captured by Japanese soldiers. The guys inside told them to run and not stay and risk getting captured. Thsoe four ran and hid in the Malay jungles for almosst 8 months - until the end of the War. They were hidden, and at times guided, with the help of Maylay tribesmen (who were themselves Communists and HATED the Japanese!) during those months. But one of the four who escaped with Major Humphrey died of Malaria. His nightime screaming with fever and delierum almost gave them a away to a nearby group of Japanese soldiers the night before he died. They had to hold him and cover his mouth. The rest who lived and were trapped on board, spent that time in a Japanese prison camp.

Some of their details are mind-boggling!  And those who lived were all united years later.


This next map shows three of the four Japanese "home islands", Kyushu, Shikoku, and Honshu (the main Island). Hokaido, to the north is not shown here. I am fascinated by the details of the prevailing winds shown in colors with arrows of direction. I suspect the difference in colors has to due with different altitudinal wind variations aloft.

Inner Mongolia below.


I am fascinated with the detail and the gorgeous color.  NOTE: the begining of each heading "AAF" which stands for Army Air Force - there was no separate "Air Force" at that time. It was all part of the Army until years later.

10/15/20 05:09 PM #8303    


David Mitchell

P.s. I believe those maps were also intended to be survival maps in case they were shot down - or forced to land for mechanical or weather reasons.

10/15/20 05:59 PM #8304    


Michael McLeod

I'm familiar with those maps. They are absolute historical treasures.

Meanwhile I see Frank is back. I fear we have awakened a sleeping giant.


10/16/20 11:55 AM #8305    

Timothy Lavelle

There is a movie on Amazon Prime called The Report. You won't like it. Like you, I love our country a lot and this movie eats the lunch of the CIA after 911. 

Coincidentally, a strong secondary character is the role of Dianne Feinstein, who is being castigated today for hugging Lyndsey Graham with no mask. A stupid thing to do, yes, but I personally revere her from the time she discovered both Harvey Milk and George Moscone assassinated in San Fran. She pulled heòrself together and lead from the front then and does so now. Aging, yes, but solid I believe. 

Why would I tell you about a movie that trashes the CIA? It is a good thing...if somewhat too common...for us to recognize what a great nation we are. But, for me, I get really tired of the flag waving and thank you for your service bullshit that people give less thought to than the "have a nice day" remarks you used to hear. Before we strain an elbow patting ourselves on the back, I believe we should always bend over and brush the crap off our shoes...get our country correct before we spend so much wasted time telling others in the world how to run their countries. Actually look at our own actions first, long and hard. 

Man, you don't like Nancy Pelosi, do you? Nasty, hard assed woman, huh? With Pelosi, the dems brought a gun to a gunfight, not a knife. Maybe even a short muzzled cannon like a carronade. The woman has more courage, day in n out, to face up to a bludgeoning force of lies and disinformation flowing from the executive palace. So she's hated. I wish I could thank her publically.

There was a remark made...something about us learning our best traits from our parents. Sure...eating, wearing shoes...but our parents were humans who made mistakes like any humans do. If they taught you that the Dem way or the Republican way were the only way, they were mistaken. If you want to vote like Mommy and Daddy did, that's your perogative. If you want to say to yourself, "what do I really feel...think?"...that's on the table too. 

Good morning. Party on. Dump Trump. Let me know if you have a really good shortwave radio you want to get rid of!




10/16/20 01:08 PM #8306    


David Mitchell

I'm still dizzy after last night.

(but I must confess, reading some of Bill Kristol's follow-up tweets was the most fun of all).

10/16/20 01:59 PM #8307    

Timothy Lavelle

Sorry for this second post but please join me in singing, if you can.




10/16/20 03:02 PM #8308    


Michael McLeod

In spite of how this editorial begins I'm guessing, or maybe just hoping, that the way it frames the current situation - and some of the reasons for how we wound up in it - will be of interest to either side of the great divide.


The Trump presidency has been such a five-alarm fire that many people are understandably consumed with trying to put out the flames or simply survive it. But there will come a day, hopefully in the not too distant future, when people have the breathing room to investigate how the fire got started.

It’s tempting to heap scorn and blame on President Trump’s millions of enthusiastic supporters. Without their adoration, he wouldn’t have been able to do the damage he has done. But there are good reasons to refrain. Calling large swaths of the American electorate deplorable turns out to be an ineffective way to gain their backing.

Another reason: The mess the nation faces is bigger than Donald Trump. If he is voted out in November, the people who cast ballots for him will remain, pining for the policies he promoted. About 40 percent of American voters want tariffs and a border wallMore than half say it’s important to deport more undocumented immigrants.


Continue reading the main story

Much ink has been spilled about whether Trump supporters voted for him out of economic anxiety or racial anxiety, with plenty of studies concluding the latter. But spend time at a dying factory and you might see how difficult it can be to disentangle the two.


Farah Stockman will discuss this editorial on Thursday, Oct. 22 at 1 p.m. Eastern on Twitter: @nytopinion.

For the past four years, I’ve followed a group of steelworkers in Indiana — men and women, Black and white — who had worked at a factory that moved to Mexico. I watched them agonize about whether to train their Mexican replacements, or stand with their union and refuse. I watched them grieve the plant like a parent. I followed them as they applied for new jobs, some of which paid half as much as they made before.

A machinist named Tim carried his steelworker union card in his wallet for years after the factory closed, just to remind himself who he was. Tim grew up in a union household. His dad had been an autoworker; his grandfather, a coal miner.

“We always voted Democrat because they looked after the little man,” Tim told me. “My father went to his grave and I can guarantee you he never voted for a Republican.”

Tim had such faith in Democrats that he didn’t worry when President Bill Clinton pushed the North American Free Trade Agreement over the finish line in 1993. Nor did he worry when Mr. Clinton normalized trade with China in 2000. But then the factory where Tim worked moved to Shanghai. And the next one moved to Mexico.


Continue reading the main story

By the time I met Tim, he loathed the Clintons and the Democratic Party. Democrats had gotten in bed with the corporations, while no one was looking. Tim felt betrayed, and politically abandoned — until Mr. Trump came along.

College-educated people scoffed at Mr. Trump’s promises to bring back the factories. The factories are never coming back, they insisted. But even false hope is a form of hope, perhaps the most ubiquitous kind.

There is little doubt that Mr. Trump is president today because of blue-collar people like Tim who were once a reliable pillar of the Democratic Party. About 55 percent of voters who expected to support Mr. Trump during the 2016 primaries identified as working class, according to a 2015 study by the Public Religion Research Institute. Fewer than a third who backed other Republican candidates identified as such.

In Mahoning County, Ohio, more than a quarter of people who voted in the Republican primary were ex-Democrats, according to The Washington Post. Eighteen members of the county’s Democratic central committee crossed over to cast ballots for Mr. Trump, the county’s Democratic chairman told The Post.

Those defections stemmed in part from anger over more than five million factory jobs that went to China in the 2000s. Workers who made instrument panels for G.M. trucks in Michigan, stitched shirts in Pennsylvania and sanded wooden dressers in North Carolina saw alarming increases in child poverty, single motherhood, deaths from alcohol and drugs and reliance on public assistance.

Exposure to trade with China led to “sizable increases in the likelihood of G.O.P. victory in majority-white non-Hispanic congressional districts from 2002-2010,” said a study co-written by David Autor, an economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Hillary Clinton would have won Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin — and thus the presidency — in 2016 had the economic blow of imports from China been half as big, the report concluded.

It is worth noting that many of those same counties that hemorrhaged factory jobs also saw large increases in undocumented immigrants competing for the unskilled jobs that remained — cleaning hotel rooms, slaughtering chickens and mowing lawns. Their arrival fueled still more resentment of the world beyond America’s borders.


Continue reading the main story

Anger about globalization is not confined to the right. It fueled the rise of Bernie Sanders, who won the endorsement of the steelworkers I followed. The same week I met Tim, I interviewed an anarchist facing criminal charges for his role in the disruption of Mr. Trump’s inauguration when windows were smashed and a limousine was set on fire. Why had he became an anarchist? NAFTA and the tyranny of global capitalism, he said.

To many, that anger can seem silly or misplaced. Free trade and globalization have undoubtedly made the country richer. But those riches have flowed disproportionately to the few with capital and education, while globalization’s downsides have piled on the shoulders of the most vulnerable Americans.

NAFTA has come to symbolize a world order crafted by elites, for elites. The deal traded away blue-collar factory jobs in exchange for white-collar opportunities to invest in Mexico’s banking and insurance sectors. Today, even its biggest supporters admit that it resulted in a net loss of American jobs.

In hindsight, it seems inevitable that globalization would cause a backlash. During the height of euphoria about free trade in the 1990s, the philosopher Richard Rorty predicted that workers “will sooner or later realize that their government is not even trying to prevent wages from sinking or to prevent jobs from being exported.” At that point, he wrote, parts of the electorate “will decide that the system has failed and start looking around for a strongman to vote for — someone willing to assure them that, once he is elected, the smug bureaucrats, tricky lawyers, overpaid bond salesmen and postmodernist professors will no longer be calling the shots.”

In countries from Britain to Brazil, voters have elected leaders who promised to reverse decades of international economic integration. Most of those populist movements are right wing. The rebellion against free trade and globalization has largely taken the left by surprise. Dani Rodrik, an economics professor at Harvard who is perhaps the country’s most prominent skeptic of unfettered globalization, lamented in an article a few months before Mr. Trump’s election that left-wing parties around the world had failed to present viable alternatives to protectionism and walls.

Since then, the landscape has changed. Joe Biden, who once whole-heartedly embraced free trade, acknowledges the harm it’s inflicted on the working class. Mr. Biden’s economic plan includes a 10 percent tax on businesses that offshore manufacturing and a 10 percent tax credit for companies that bolster job growth inside the United States. He has also put forth a plan to spend $2 trillion over four years on green energy infrastructure.

“Biden, the nominally centrist candidate, has a platform that is far more progressive than Hillary Clinton’s on economics,” Mr. Rodrik told me in an email. “But the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and we will see whether Biden will deliver real change if elected.”


Continue reading the main story

Many Americans who longed for a strongman will vote for Mr. Trump again. They revere him for tearing up NAFTA (even if the new version looks an awful lot like the old one) and slapping tariffs on Chinese imports and Korean washing machines (even if his unpredictable trade war forced the deepest contraction in the manufacturing sector in a decade).

Yet, working-class voters who look a little deeper will notice something strange about their perceived champion: He is against unions. His first Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch, helped erode the ability of unions to collect dues and fees in a landmark case. Another strange thing: The Trump administration’s interim trade deal with China focuses far more on opening up the Chinese banking and insurance sectors than on creating blue-collar jobs.

Also, Mr. Trump’s 2017 tax cut favored corporations and shareholders — including those who aren’t American citizens. Money that would have flowed into the U.S. Treasury went instead into their pockets and deep bank accounts. The companies used much of it to buy back their own stock, making their owners richer, instead of hiring and training new workers or increasing pay. The buybacks were so shameless that even Mr. Trump couldn’t defend them.

“We thought they would have known better,” he told reporters.

President Trump is the one who should have known better. He’s either incompetent or he’s a Trojan horse who used blue-collar workers to get into the White House, only to hand over the keys to the one percent. Now that the Trump administration is trying to kill the Affordable Care Act, which millions of people depend on in the middle of a pandemic, it could not be more clear whose side he is on.

Health care is one of the things that sent Shannon, a steelworker I followed in Indiana, back to the Democrats, even though most people in her family still support Mr. Trump.

“He’s bragging that he’s saving all these jobs,” she told me. “But he’s not.”

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10/16/20 04:05 PM #8309    


Mark Schweickart

Hey team,

I need help in remembering something. I got an email today from the Watterson Alumni Eagle Extra (or something like that) and it mentioned this was the 55th anniversary of  Watterson winning the Baseball State Championship in 1965. I am embarrassed to say that I have no recollection of this. In fact, I always felt that we (the school in general) never took baseball very seriously – certainly not way we did football and basketball. Winning the State Championship when we were Juniors, I would think would have been a huge deal for us, and I am shocked that I have no memory of this. Was baseball something we were actually that good at? Were there games that we attended as fans? Where were they played? We didn't have home games did we? I don't recall any bleachers to speak of.

Can someone fill me in on this?

10/16/20 05:08 PM #8310    


Michael McLeod

Mark: Being a professional journalist I made use of an investigative tool we in the trade refer to as "The Google," which took me in turn to a place we call "Wikipedia," and there after extensive research which you as a layman would not understand I found records of Watterson winning several state championship in baseball - but none in that year.



10/16/20 07:31 PM #8311    


John Jackson

As a former editor of the Eagle View I can't tell you how chagrined I am that Eagle View Extra is trafficking in fake news.  I worry this (dis)information is actually coming from Russian bots.

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