Trump was elected for one reason and one reason only — The Apprentice was one of the greatest works of reality television to date. Period.
Kidding. I’ve never watched the show. An orange-skinned caricature of a businessman screaming at B-list celebrities is not my idea of good TV.
But in all seriousness, there is no single reason you could point to as to how we’ve ended up with a regular on WWE as the president of the free world, but I’d like to touch on one of the many.
A key demographic of Americans that have been feeling alienated, and I think Trump spoke to them in a way that Hillary failed to. While I would argue that Trump has effectively conned these down-on-their luck Americans into believing that he is the only man put on Earth who can solve their problems, he gave these people a voice in a political climate where one is made to feel guilty for the color of their skin and the letters of their chromosomes.
So today, I’m going to be discussing the plight of the white man.
American manufacturing jobs are being lost at record rates. Since 2000, over 5 million manufacturing jobs have been lost.
As manufacturing factories close-down and lay off their staff, towns and cities, that relied upon the spending from these workers, quickly find the same fate as the factories that once supported them. Cities that housed 100,000 plummet to 30,000. Disability rates skyrocket as the factory, service-industry and retail workers fail to find new work.
With unemployment comes depression. A 2010 study suggested that loss of long-term employment is more damaging over time for life satisfaction than the death of a spouse.
Without a job and any realistic opportunities to find new work, is it any surprise that 95 million Americans used prescription pain pills in 2016?
Roughly 59,000 Americans died of drug overdose in 2016, with heroin and fentanyl contributing to a significant portion of those overdoses.
Can you guess which demographic is using heroin? I can promise you it’s not affluent Asian girls.
Roughly 90 percent of American heroin users are white.
So, here’s the punchline:
All the while, talking heads in the media and political Twitter on the far-left have been screaming from the mountain tops that America’s problems begin and end with the white man.
As a thought experiment, try putting yourself in the shoes of the average middle-aged white man in Youngstown, Ohio.
You were born and raised in this city, and you’ve watched it collapse from 82,000 in 2000 to about 64,000 today. You were laid off from your job at the steel mill four years ago, and while your disability checks are letting you just scrape by, you feel that you lack meaning without regular work. There are not many jobs to be had in Youngstown now, but even if you did want to apply for something, you’d lose your disability benefits.
Now imagine being told by far-left liberals that you are the problem. Imagine being called a deplorable for supporting a presidential candidate who, if he represents anything, represents an agent of change.
Imagine believing that border control, immigration and terrorism are real areas of concern, and imagine being told that treating them as such is synonymous with racism according to Hillary and a vocal portion of her supporters.
Just imagine being unemployed, in a town or city that is rampant with poverty, drug abuse and crime, and imagine being presented with two options:
And that, I believe, is how we find ourselves in our current predicament, where a supposed self-made “billionaire” and reality TV star who brags about how he grabs random women by the pussy is the president of the United States of America.
When there’s a problem, someone must be to blame, right? And with any problem must come a solution.
This is what Trump did effectively — he identified the problem, made a claim for who’s to blame, and decreed himself as the only solution.
The problem is, Mexican, Chinese and Muslim people aren’t to blame for the issues facing millions of Americans, and even if they were, my plumber would be better equipped to address these problems than the pumpkin of a man at the helm.
So, if foreigners aren’t the problem, and building a wall and making the Mexicans pay for it isn’t the solution, what is?
I’ll tell you what the real problem is.
It’s the goddamn globalist libtards who are putting chemicals in the water to turn friggen the frogs gay.
Job-stealing Mexicans and gay frogs aside, I’d like to make the case that Trump did speak to some real problems facing Americans. What Trump failed to do, however, was drive at the true cause of issues like the millions of manufacturing jobs that have been lost in America. And why would he? It’s not his job to solve problems. It’s his job to con people into believing that he is the only solution to them.
The reality is, manufacturing jobs (among other sectors) have been in large part lost due to automation.
Of the 5 million manufacturing jobs lost since 2000, it’s estimated that 80 percent of them were eliminated due to automation.
So, why is Trump blaming China and Mexicans? Well, robots aren’t sexy. Decreeing other people as the enemy, especially those that look different than we do, are far more salient and a culturally and biologically ingrained fear than new technological advances.
You can’t cure someone without addressing the root cause. My hope is that Trump supporters will come to realize that their president is placing blame where it is not due and boasting solutions that just haven’t materialized.
If only we had an intelligent candidate with common sense that recognizes the problems facing millions of Americans that are being, for the most part, ignored by liberals.
Entrepreneur and philanthropist, Andrew Yang, ran and sold a successful education company before founding Venture for America, a non-profit organization that helps entrepreneurs create jobs in cities like Baltimore, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland.
After helping entrepreneurs create over 2,500 jobs across the country, Yang came to realize that his efforts did not have the scale to address the rapidly growing problem of job loss. Automation moves too fast. People are being replaced by robots and software at a pace that cannot be matched by job creation efforts like that of Yang’s Venture for America.
In Yang’s words,
“We need to think bigger about the problems facing our country, and that is why I’m running for president in 2020.”
Robots and software have already eliminated millions of jobs in America, and according to Yang, the worst is yet to come.
Close to half of working Americans work in office and admin support, sales and retail, food prep and serving, transportation, and production. All these jobs are being actively automated away.
We like to think that we’re God’s undeniable gift to this great green Earth, but when compared to robots and software, people are needy.
Here’s a short list of why humans are, nicely put, imperfect employees:
The list goes on.
Robots, on the other hand, do exactly what they’re told, 24/7, 365, and they won’t give you any lip about it. They just work.
While there may be some jobs that will always be reserved for the inefficient brains of a human (robots aren’t replacing voluptuous Insta models anytime soon), Yang makes the case that our work is more susceptible to automation than you would think.
In his book The War on Normal People he states,
“We are entering an age of super-intelligent computers that can take any complex data set — every legal precedent, radiology film, asset price, financial transaction, actuarial table, Facebook like, customer review, résumé bullet, facial expression, and so on — synthesize it, and then perform tasks and make decisions in ways that are as good as or better than the smartest human in the vast majority of cases.”
If legal and radiology jobs aren’t safe, truck driving jobs are sure to fall.
There are an estimated 3.5 million truck drivers in America. Automation of freight delivery savings is estimated to be roughly $168 billion per year. Driverless semi trucks are already on the road, and they will soon be the standard for highway freight delivery.
What are these millions of truck drivers to do? Most of them are middle-aged and without college education. Many have significant health issues caused by the sedentary lifestyle required of a truck driver. Are we to expect these (mostly) men to gracefully resign their work to their robot superiors and take up computer programming?
Media pundits will often wave their hands at this predicament by saying something along the lines of, “Oh, this is just a new industrial revolution. New jobs will come. We can just teach Americans to code.”
New college graduates are having a hard time getting jobs in our current market, let alone unskilled middle-aged men. As someone who is struggling to learn the skill for himself, coding is really fucking hard, and retraining efforts in what were once manufacturing towns have been relatively unsuccessful.
Jobs for unskilled laborers are not coming. Low skill, repetitive work is what automation and robots are best suited for. With waves of unemployment on the horizon, how will these millions of Americans survive?
Andrew Yang is proposing a bold solution,
“[The] Freedom dividend would provide an annual income of $12,000 for each American aged 18–64. This would bring these Americans just over the poverty line of $11,770.”
Every month, qualified Americans will receive a $1000 check right to their mailbox. They will be free to use it for rent, groceries, or whatever they need it for. It is not enough to disincentivize work, but just enough to keep food on the table and provide some semblance of peace of mind.
This alone won’t solve the lack of meaning that is often found without a place to clock-in, but frankly, most work being automated away is terribly unfulfilling anyways. The monotony of retail work in my teenage years is not something I yearn to return to.
Yang’s hope is that the $12,000 per year Freedom Dividend will free Americans up to volunteer, start their own businesses, and seek out creative work that is more meaningful to them while letting the robots take care of the shit we don’t really want to do anyways.
Universal basic income has never been rolled out on such a wide scale, but automation will result in unprecedented job loss that will require bold measures. One thing that I can guarantee, is that building a giant concrete wall and getting in a trade war with China is a non-solution to a misunderstood problem.
Something tells me that the orange clown we call our president is not the person we want to be calling the shots as more jobs are lost in America at the hands of automation. In 2020, I’m voting for the Asian man that loves math, and I hope you’ll consider doing the same.
I’ve only scraped the surface of The Freedom Dividend Plan. If you’re interested in learning more about Andrew Yang you can read about him and his numerous policies at www.yang2020.com.
If you’re already part of the Yang Gang, please donate! We’re trying to raise $3.5M by the end of June so we can get some momentum heading into the upcoming Democratic debates.
All the quotes and references were taken from Andrew Yang’s wonderful book, The War on Normal People.