This week in gaslighting…

Trump three days ago:

Trump this morning:

He’s just flat-out lying about what he said 72 hours ago — without even bothering to delete the tweet. There’s nothing remarkable about this sort of thing now. The president of the United States lies all the time. Ho hum.

In other news, the Senate Intelligence Committee just released thousands of pages of transcripts about the Trump-Russia investigation, mostly about the Trump Tower meeting, where Trump’s grotesque namesake spawn eagerly met with representatives of a hostile foreign power to gather dirt on Hillary Clinton. “If it’s what you say, I love it” should be inscribed on that shit-stain’s tombstone.

Another developing story out of North Carolina: schools are closed as teachers walk out to demand funding for education. Honestly, I’m finding these teacher strikes the most encouraging post-Trump political development since the Women’s March. The teachers are winning too, extracting concessions from skin-flint wingnut legislatures.

It’s almost as if people are realizing that slashing local government funding to lavish tax cuts on rich people hurts communities while failing to produce prosperity for all. Imagine that!

106 replies
  1. 1
    germy says:

    Maybe he doesn’t know how to delete tweets?

    ReplyReply
  2. 2
    waspuppet says:

    He’s been president for a year and a third and he still thinks having a trade deficit means we’re “losing money.” He really doesn’t know anything about anything.

    If only someone had pointed this out before the election. Well, you know, someone besides icky stupid liberals because you can’t expect anyone to listen to them, can you? Ew.

    ReplyReply
  3. 3
    Libraryguy says:

    Yesterday was my birthday. I got books. I’m a happy man!

    Last week my wife made our latest donation to animal rescue and sanctuaries, to Ruby Slipper Goat Rescue in Kansas. The money took our little store over $8,000 in total donations since we started this effort back in December of 2016.

    When Rhea started working at Woodstock Reveries in 2014, and took it over in 2015, she tried very hard to find artists and craftspeople whose work needed exposure. But she has always loved animals and wanted to do something for them as well, so when the store grew she decided to start making donations every month to a variety of groups. She’s never stopped, even when we had to close our physical store back in December of 2017.

    The BJ commentariat and all my fellow jackals have helped us a lot over the last six months, and I wanted you to know that your help has meant a lot to us, as well as helping to make a difference in the lives of innocent animals around the country.

    Thank you!

    ReplyReply
  4. 4
    Mary G says:

    I am so tired of this monster.

    ReplyReply
  5. 5
    germy says:

    Some good news:

    Carpenters union pushes to increase female membership

    ‘Sisters in the Brotherhood’ seeks to diversify ranks of large trade union

    The labor council representing nearly 40,000 carpenters in five Northeast states brought its drive for female membership to the Capital Region on Monday and Tuesday.

    The Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters offers an earning-while-learning path into the trade, with a six-week pre-apprenticeship course and a five-year apprenticeship. Both are free to participants.

    The pay rate for apprentices varies by region. In the Capital Region with Local 291, it starts at $15.47 an hour and increases annually until the apprentice becomes a journeyman earning $30 an hour. The pre-apprenticeship course covers essential topics such as math, safety, tools and skills. It is unpaid, but recipients are given a tool kit and work boots upon completion.

    Council representative Nicole Grodner said the point of the meetings Monday and Tuesday in Albany, Troy and Schenectady was to increase female membership in the locals that make up the council. The locals, she explained, should reflect the population in the areas they serve.

    American organized labor, meanwhile, is trying to regain some of the size and influence it wielded at its height in the mid-20th century.

    “We strongly feel that women and minorities are going to save the labor movement, almost,” Grodner said.

    ReplyReply
  6. 6
    Libraryguy says:

    @waspuppet: I angrily enjoy the people complaining that they voted for Trump, now he’s sticking it to THEM?

    It’s an expensive education for the rest of us.

    ReplyReply
  7. 7
    condorcet runner-up says:

    @germy: more than likely, he knows his supporters don’t know how to and won’t care to ever go back and check. And if some pointyheaded poindexter from the MSM shows them they can dismiss it as “Argle bargle FAKE argle NEWS bargle!”

    ReplyReply
  8. 8
    SenyorDave says:

    OT, but here;s a little nugget:

    Trump Nominates Elaine Chao and Mitch McConnell’s Brother-In-Law to Lead Pension Agency

    Gee, wonder why McConnel never crosses Trump.

    They don’t even bother trying anymore. It is one thing I admire about the Republicans. They would be revving up the outrage machine on a story like this, it would start out getting play on Fox and then CNN would feel obligated to cover it.

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  9. 9
    dmsilev says:

    @germy: He might not know how, but his staff does. “Inconvenient” tweets have disappeared before.

    ReplyReply
  10. 10
    MattF says:

    I guess Trump thinks that the Chinese will now shower him with gratitude. Or something.

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  11. 11
    Betty Cracker says:

    @dmsilev: Yeah, I wonder if the first tweet above will be memory-holed. The “Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!” bit isn’t really open to interpretation. Some of the heat from that must’ve filtered into the Fox News bubble to occasion today’s walk-back…

    ReplyReply
  12. 12

    @germy:

    “We strongly feel that women and minorities are going to save the labor movement, almost,”

    Wouldn’t surprise me. The reason it’s been dying is white men who would rather be slaves than let women and minorities be free.

    @SenyorDave:

    it would start out getting play on Fox and then CNN would feel obligated to cover it.

    CNN would cover it because they want to cover it, because they’re mostly Republicans and Democrats are weak, corrupt extremists and Republicans are strong daddies who know how to play the game.

    ReplyReply
  13. 13
    germy says:

    @dmsilev:

    He might not know how, but his staff does. “Inconvenient” tweets have disappeared before.

    I didn’t know that.

    And I wonder what percentage of tweets are his, vs. written by staff. I remember a recent tweet obviously written by a lawyer. Even a purposely misspelled word (“roll” for “role”) couldn’t hide the fact.

    Bernie Sanders has two twitter accounts. They clearly indicate his own vs. his staff tweets.

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  14. 14
    the Conster says:

    Who is going to do anything about any of this? Where are the Dems lining up in front of cameras screaming about corruption and collusion? Where’s that loudmouthed fraud from Vermont who’s pretending he won something? We’ve known about obstruction of justice since the Lester Holt interview, and emoluments violation since day one, and we can’t even count on elections being legitimate because no one’s doing anything about anything, and even if they tried, that evil fuck McConnell would shut it down.

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  15. 15
    LAO says:

    @germy: And maybe he doesn’t understand what he actually tweeted?

    ReplyReply
  16. 16

    @the Conster:

    Where are the Dems lining up in front of cameras screaming about corruption and collusion?

    In the House Intelligence Committee, except the press turn off the cameras and go home, because who wants to hear Democrats eloquently defend their positions?

    ReplyReply
  17. 17
    cintibud says:

    @the Conster: If a Democrat screams about corruption and collusion and there are no cameras there does she make any sound?

    ReplyReply
  18. 18
    rikyrah says:

    UH HUH
    UH HUH

    BREAKING: Elena Gremina, writer of play One Hour Eighteen Minutes about the murder of Sergei Magnitsky, found dead in Moscow at the age of 61. This is 6 weeks after her husband Mikhail Ugarov director of same play died. ‘Heart attacks’ in both cases

    ReplyReply
  19. 19
    JPL says:

    Trump did not write the second group of tweets.

    ReplyReply
  20. 20
    rikyrah says:

    @Mary G:

    I am so tired of this monster.

    A simple statement, but to the point.

    Come sit by me.

    ReplyReply
  21. 21
    rikyrah says:

    @Libraryguy:

    Belated Happy Birthday :)

    ReplyReply
  22. 22
    Brendan in NC says:

    RE: North Carolina Teacher – The best part is that a Republican State rep called the protesters “Teachers Union Thugs”. That same day, the schools in his district voted to close today so they could participate in the protest…

    ReplyReply
  23. 23
    hedgehog the occasional commenter says:

    @rikyrah: @MaryG: /joins you on couch/

    ReplyReply
  24. 24
    Libraryguy says:

    @rikyrah: Thank you! I tried to focus on my family and not Trump for 24 hours. Last night, my wife said “Can you believe what Trump said?!”, then looked so abashed. :)

    ReplyReply
  25. 25
    Josie says:

    @hedgehog the occasional commenter: I hope you all have a big couch.

    ReplyReply
  26. 26
    Tata says:

    More than thirty years ago, I applied to two different IBEW posts for apprenticeships. The first one asked me why they should give me a job and take one away from a man supporting a family. I was a single mom at the time. The second post went through the motions of interviewing me, but it was clear nothing was going to happen. Those interviews were lawsuits waiting to happen. Perhaps they now have. I’m glad.

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  27. 27
    hitchhiker says:

    @waspuppet:

    he still thinks having a trade deficit means we’re “losing money.” He really doesn’t know anything about anything.

    This seems to be a ripe field for us, honestly. There are things that are dead simple to explain that we could be exploiting … without ever mentioning his name. I fear a queasiness from the mass of voters who can be persuaded that it’s just all to complicated and Trump just always gets trashed no matter what he does.

    Btw, I’m a geezer, so I remember the debate where Mondale squeaked ineffectually about the two deficits (trade and budget) while Reagan grinned down at him gently as if to say, “You poor sap.” No amount of data will persuade some Rs that it was Reagan who blew up the deficit.

    ReplyReply
  28. 28
    catclub says:

    @MattF:

    Or something.

    Chinese loan guarantee on Indonesian real estate project with Trumps name on it.

    ReplyReply
  29. 29
    🌷 Martin says:

    Keep in mind that ZTE is a state owned phone company, which is why they got on all of the US shitlists that they did. Trump is basically arguing to bail out the Chinese government. Idiotic doesn’t even begin to describe this.

    ReplyReply
  30. 30
    catclub says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    Idiotic doesn’t even begin to describe this.

    Kevin Drum suggests that Trump may be up against Chinese hardball: If ZTE doesn’t get saved, Apple will no longer make phones in China, or some similar threat by the Chinese applying to US companies. He called it thermonuclear trade war.

    I emphasize ‘may be up against’. I still think it just gets him a payoff.

    ReplyReply
  31. 31
    hedgehog the occasional commenter says:

    @Josie: Big enough to fit 63 million people on it :)

    ReplyReply
  32. 32
    rikyrah says:

    He’s just flat-out lying about what he said 72 hours ago — without even bothering to delete the tweet. There’s nothing remarkable about this sort of thing now. The president of the United States lies all the time. Ho hum.

    He could delete it, but it’s been archived.

    ReplyReply
  33. 33
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @rikyrah: falling out of a window is generally bad for your heart

    ReplyReply
  34. 34
    rikyrah says:

    @catclub:

    Kevin Drum suggests that Trump may be up against Chinese hardball: If ZTE doesn’t get saved, Apple will no longer make phones in China, or some similar threat by the Chinese applying to US companies. He called it thermonuclear trade war.

    Am I supposed to care if Apple can’t make phones in China?

    ReplyReply
  35. 35
    LAO says:

    I’m peeing, I’m laughing so hard at this piece of shit at one of my regular lunch places. (It’s not a coffee shop). Asshole threatens to call ICE.

    On a serious note, that this took place in NYC really ticks me off.

    ReplyReply
  36. 36
    CliosFanBoy ne Woodrowfan says:

    @Libraryguy: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! A book is a great b-day present! Only thing better as a present is multiple books!

    ReplyReply
  37. 37
    CliosFanBoy ne Woodrowfan says:

    @the Conster: Where are the Dems lining up in front of cameras screaming about corruption and collusion?

    where is the press when they do?? I’ve seen my local reps do that constantly but if I didn’t see it on their Facebook page or a state political blog I’d never know they did…

    ReplyReply
  38. 38
    maya says:

    ZTE could just rebrand itself, Ze TrumpElephone, and incorporate in Delaware as an LLC. That should fixer everything.

    ReplyReply
  39. 39

    The senate democrats that will support Gina Haspel are bigger pieces of shit than even Donald Trump. Unlike Al Franken, they are depraved individuals who disgrace upon every democrat in the country.

    Beyond that, they are also working hat in hand to bolster the power and prospects of the republican party. By their votes, they have thrown a lifeline to all those who lied, plotted, and unleashed the War in Iraq by dismissing their crimes “business as usual”. No harm, no foul, no repercussions, all is forgiven. Haspel will become yet another in a long line of “good people who made honest mistakes in an honorable cause”. They tell us to look forward, and not back, but only if we use our collective blind eye doing it.

    They are American scum.

    ReplyReply
  40. 40
    🌷 Martin says:

    BTW, this is a really good read on income inequality. As a member of the 9.9% described within, I will confirm that it is dead-on point. Focusing on the 1% or 0.1% isn’t bad, mind you. After all, they’re the ones buying politicians outright from which at least some of this problem stems, but the rest of that top 10% tends to be an awful lot of well educated liberals – from university professors to Google engineers – who throw their support behind the formal policies to improve inequality while simultaneously making the cultural problem worse. The CA Bay Area NIMBYs are the perfect examples – voters who think that Nancy Pelosi isn’t liberal enough but will take a day off of work (because they can afford to) in order to protest a family-friendly apartment complex because it would block their view. Or in my case, sending my daughter to a private school because the sexual harassment from the teenage boys in her public school nearly drove her to suicide. Yay for me being able to afford doing that, but I’m not one less voice in the HS trying to fix the problem for all of the other students that can’t afford our solution.

    I know that not many Juicers likely fall into this camp, but at least a few of us do. We should note that Trump and Ryan aren’t the only contributors to the problem. I don’t feel bad about our decisions as parents, after all, they were made based on the lessons of what out parents couldn’t do. We understand the game and we’re playing it, but are we working hard enough to change the rules? Sure, I give to my local Dems, but that’s the easy answer.

    ReplyReply
  41. 41
    trollhattan says:

    @No Drought No More:

    The senate democrats that will support Gina Haspel are bigger pieces of shit than even Donald Trump.

    Unpossible

    ReplyReply
  42. 42
    Yarrow says:

    @LAO: Has the white guy been identified yet?

    ReplyReply
  43. 43
    germy says:

    Jared gaslighted us.

    Goldstone said Kushner, then a top campaign adviser, was one of just three people who spoke during the meeting, interrupting Veselnitskaya at one point to ask her to refocus her presentation. Goldstone said he recalled that Kushner stayed for the entire meeting — contradicting Veselnitskaya’s public assertion the president’s son-in-law left early and never came back.

    ReplyReply
  44. 44
    Mike E says:

    @Brendan in NC: The best part will be when those TEA m-f’ers are voted out of office…tick tock

    ReplyReply
  45. 45
    LAO says:

    @Yarrow: Not that I’m aware of, but I’ll certainly be on the look out.

    ReplyReply
  46. 46
    LAO says:

    O/T: has anyone come across any follow up on last night’s Daily Mail article re: Quatar, Bribery and Cohen?

    ReplyReply
  47. 47
    Waldo says:

    The scary part is this stuff doesn’t surprise or outrage most people anymore. I barely remember when contradictory statements from a politician caused a fuss. Was that ever a thing?

    ReplyReply
  48. 48
    germy says:

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida sheriff’s deputy who failed to confront a gunman during a Feb. 14 school massacre is receiving a monthly state pension of $8,702.35.

    The SunSentinel reports 55-year-old Scot Peterson, who resigned and retired after the shootings, began receiving payments in April.

    Surveillance video showed Peterson outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as the gunman killed 17 people inside with an AR-15 assault-style rifle. Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said Peterson should have gone inside. President Donald Trump called Peterson a coward.

    Peterson later said he thought the shots were coming from outside the building.

    Pension payments are based on the 32 years he worked and the average of his five highest-paid fiscal years.

    talking points memo

    ReplyReply
  49. 49
    bemused says:

    @LAO:

    In midtown Manhattan! He must see people of every ethnicity daily in NYC and he flips out over a clerk speaking Spanish to customers.

    ReplyReply
  50. 50
    🌷 Martin says:

    @rikyrah: Yes, because a LOT of US jobs will get lost.

    Understand, the iPhone isn’t really made in China. It’s assembled in China. It’s like saying Ikea furniture is made in your living room. The reason Ikea exists is that the assembly is one of the least valuable portions of the process of building something. It’s proof that many things don’t need expertise to assemble. An iPhone needs dexterity but not intelligence. It’s not like Apple is delegating any authority to the 1 million workers who assemble iPhones. All of those decisions are being made by engineers in California. The hardware is designed there, many of the components are as well, the software is designed there, the services originate from there, and so on. The retail stores are local and employ 60,000 people.

    ‘Made In’ is an anachronism from the 60s, before containerization and cheap shipping. My Honda was ‘made in’ Ohio. It sort of was. The engine, which contains half the parts of the vehicle was made in Japan and arrived in a crate and a bunch of Ohio boys bolted it into place. Which job do you think was the better job – the one in Japan making the engine or the one in Ohio attaching it? Probably the one in Japan, yet the car carries a ‘Made in Ohio’ badge on the back. More of the iPhone was made in California than the Honda was made in Ohio, in that 90% of the money that you pay to buy an iPhone goes to workers in the US, and only 10% to workers in China, but 90% of what I paid for my Honda didn’t stay in the US. Probably was 40%. But the ‘Made In’ badge doesn’t reflect that in any way. If anything it suggests the opposite of what it says.

    The reason you should care is that imagine Apple moving iPhone production to the US. Where would they find 1 million high-dexterity assembly workers? That’s 1/10 of the entire US manufacturing workforce and almost none of the manufacturing people that I know could assemble an iPhone. It’s done by hand because robots don’t yet have the dexterity to do it, but they’re getting closer. We’re just a scant few years away from most of those million jobs getting wiped out.

    ReplyReply
  51. 51
    MattF says:

    @bemused: Angry all the time, most likely.

    ReplyReply
  52. 52
    LAO says:

    @bemused: I really wish I spoke Spanish, cause you know I’m getting lunch there today and wish I could order in Spanish — but I’m the typical “ugly American.” Can only speak English, despite years and years of studying French.

    ReplyReply
  53. 53
    germy says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    Where would they find 1 million high-dexterity assembly workers?

    Train them?

    I’m so old I remember Help Wanted ads that said “No experience – we’ll train”

    ReplyReply
  54. 54
    Kay says:

    It’s kind of nice that there’s such a low bar for Trump because they make such a big deal about all his exaggerated successes that there’s always thud when it turns out to be bullshit.

    Which it always does. Because he’s a loudmouth braggart and compulsive liar. And that won’t change.

    ReplyReply
  55. 55
    geg6 says:

    What I found somewhat encouraging in our local primaries last night was that a lot of the usual GOP suspects hysterically screaming about cutting taxes seem to have lost. Granted, a lot of Trumpers won on the red ticket, but they were screaming about gunz!, sinister immigrants and lawnorder (black lives don’t matter one bit!), not cutting taxes. I guess that’s a sort of progress. The most encouraging thing I saw was how many more county Dems came out to vote than GOPers. Turnout wasn’t super high for either side, but Dems definitely outnumbered GOPers by quite a bit. Maybe we can finally turn this county blue again. Which it hasn’t really been since 2000. Part of that is that the county is old and the olds are just racist and sexist assholes. The largest part, however, is that the county Dems have been run by lazy, complacent assholes since then. A new Dem group has sprung up, helmed by mostly women and youngs, who are simply doing their own thing. They cooperate with the county Dems when it makes sense, but are also forging their own path when necessary. For instance, the county Dems didn’t put up a candidate for our open state rep seat. I simply don’t understand why (and my district’s rep seat was not the only one in the county that the county party simply didn’t put up a candidate). So the Beaver County Voice for Change people went out, recruited candidates to run as write-ins and then put everything they had behind them. They were instrumental in getting Conor Lamb to come for town hall after town hall while the county party generated candidates for the new House district ignored their invitations, thinking they could sail right into the November election based on their connections to the old boys county Dems. It was a pretty good night all around.

    ReplyReply
  56. 56
    🌷 Martin says:

    @catclub:

    Kevin Drum suggests that Trump may be up against Chinese hardball: If ZTE doesn’t get saved, Apple will no longer make phones in China, or some similar threat by the Chinese applying to US companies. He called it thermonuclear trade war.

    I emphasize ‘may be up against’. I still think it just gets him a payoff.

    I think it’s just a payoff as well. China likes having Apple there and it would really hurt them at this stage to lose Apple. Apple plus their downstream suppliers are responsible for around 3 million jobs, and in the manufacturing sector there they are better than usual paying jobs. If Apple left, they are now probably just large enough to take a lot of other businesses with them. The iPhone is the best selling durable good of all time – by a wide margin. Apple sells more phones in 2 years than GM has sold cars in it’s 100 year history, and Apple has enough money that they can’t be strong-armed, even by China.

    ReplyReply
  57. 57
    Brachiator says:

    In other news, the Senate Intelligence Committee just released thousands of pages of transcripts about the Trump-Russia investigation, mostly about the Trump Tower meeting, where Trump’s grotesque namesake spawn eagerly met with representatives of a hostile foreign power to gather dirt on Hillary Clinton. “If it’s what you say, I love it” should be inscribed on that shit-stain’s tombstone.

    What is crazy making about this is that it is abundantly clear that Trump and his evil spawn are exactly as stupid as the dopes who are Trump supporters.

    Trump: We have to get some dirt on Crooked Hillary about her emails. We can get Michael Cohen to pay for it. Call the Russians!
    Adviser: Uh, sir. We make stuff up about Hillary to energize our voters. There is no real dirt. Nothing.
    Trump: That’s not true. I saw it on Fox News. Get Sean Hannity on the phone.
    Adviser: Uh, sir. What you see on Fox News is make believe. Didn’t you read the morning briefing?
    Trump: I don’t need to read a morning briefing when I’ve got Morning Joe. And Putin. Do you know that he is the strongest man in the world. I love him.

    ReplyReply
  58. 58
    Platonailedit says:

    These are not the moron’s words. Someone subbed for him.

    ReplyReply
  59. 59
    germy says:

    @Yarrow:

    Has the white guy been identified yet?

    I don’t see a name with the video, but he’s too young to be a Boomer.

    I’m always told racism will disappear when all the old racists die out. Looks to me like there’s no shortage of racist white people.

    ReplyReply
  60. 60
    satby says:

    @Libraryguy: Thank you both!
    A suggestion, why don’t you link your nym here to the store website (like mine is)? It’s an easy way for people to get directly there when the urge to shop happens.

    ReplyReply
  61. 61
    Corner Stone says:

    @🌷 Martin: I am not sure that actually answers rikyrah’s question.

    ReplyReply
  62. 62
    MattF says:

    @Brachiator:

    And Putin. Do you know that he is the strongest man in the world. I love him.

    I’ll bet that line came right from the microphone in the Churchill bust.

    ReplyReply
  63. 63
    rikyrah says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    thanks for explaining it to me this way

    ReplyReply
  64. 64
    satby says:

    @Josie: wait for me guys!

    ReplyReply
  65. 65
    Brooklyn Dodger says:

    @Libraryguy: Thank you! It’s a lovely store and I’m proudly rocking the pink surfboard earrings which were for me a one of a kind find. Thank you and your wife for your caring toward the little beasties.

    ReplyReply
  66. 66
    Kay says:

    Sarah Sanders on North Korea: “The president is ready if the meeting takes place. And if it doesn’t, we will continue the maximum pressure campaign that’s been ongoing.”

    No one on God’s green earth will be fooled by this statement. Trump is in a weak position, and he put himself there.

    That’s what that statement says. The big, tough NYC real estate wheeler dealer is hoping for a phone call- not a damn thing he can do about it.

    ReplyReply
  67. 67
    Yarrow says:

    @germy: He certainly is too young to be a boomer. He’s not just a racist, he’s also a misogynist. At the end of the video he tells the woman, “Maybe you shouldn’t eat that sandwich” and “Take a break from the food.” He has no other arguments so he essentially starts calling the woman fat.

    ReplyReply
  68. 68
    🌷 Martin says:

    @germy: You’re missing the bigger point – any parent in a region that has a million workers is insisting their kid go to college, not take an assembly job. This isn’t a skilled manufacturing job – it’s basically fast food caliber work. It’s basically minimum wage. It’s not a viable career. And worker mobility in the US is so shitty that there’s no way you can attract a million workers that would be interested in moving across the country for such a job.

    Look, you want your kid working for Apple, but as a designer, an engineer, and so on. They’re great jobs, pay well, lots of benefits. Apple is the anti-Google in that they don’t care where you got your degree or even if you necessarily have one. They like workers with diverse backgrounds. They’re more disposed to hiring people with an unconventional work history than someone who came out of an Ivy (remember, their founder was a drop-out – it’s part of the culture there.)

    I keep hearing people demanding that iPhones be assembled in the US. Why? It’s a shitty job, and we don’t need shitty jobs. A good job is working on the OS, which is entirely in the US. And if we want jobs from China, how about the half a million engineering and skilled construction jobs that would be required to replicate their high-speed rail in the US? They built 15,000 miles of high speed rail line in 10 years – the same period of time that the iPhone has existed. Much better jobs, and jobs that would have positive benefits for other workers. California fought tooth and nail to get high-speed rail going, and is being battled against from every corner. Why? The rail would have a vastly greater benefit to the overall economy and workers than a big phone factory would. I don’t know why people keep aiming so low.

    ReplyReply
  69. 69
    bemused says:

    @MattF:

    My thought too. He’s young but probably already has high blood pressure if he’s always stewing about immigrants. I wonder if he’s as suspicious of white immigrant clerks who speak to their customers in the language of their country of origin.

    @LAO:

    I would also but never good at picking up languages. I only know a few words and phrases of Finnish from my ancestors. Never could roll some of r’s, etc.

    ReplyReply
  70. 70
    Corner Stone says:

    @Kay: They are weak and they are panicking. No one knows what to do because there was never a plan in the first place, much less a backup plan. And with this cast of cartoon characters there is no way any of them will get on the same page.
    I love that NK called Bolton “repugnant” by name.

    ReplyReply
  71. 71
    gvg says:

    @rikyrah: Is Apple supposed to care if it can’t make phones in China? I am sure moving will cost them some money and the jobs won’t come to America, but there are other cheap labor countries and I suspect Apple could move. They would probably like warning something like that was coming and Trump doesn’t paln anything which is bad for business but if we had competent people in charge, we could manage something like that if it was actually a good idea. China in my view is not currently worth it, but some countries, sometimes could be. and I don’t see that we need to cave at every economic threat.

    ReplyReply
  72. 72
    Brachiator says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    BTW, this is a really good read on income inequality.

    Thanks for reminding me about this. I actually bought a copy of the magazine to read the article, but I have not had time to really pay attention to it.

    I also admit that I am very skeptical about the subhead, the idea that the looming class divide might be unbridgeable.

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  73. 73
    Doug R says:

    @germy: First priority in a shooter situation is to guard the entrances to ensure shooter doesn’t escape to another building. The shooter in Parkland actually tried to do that. Even MOVIES with a “one man” zombie squad, the rest of the police force has the building surrounded.

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  74. 74
    Libraryguy says:

    @satby: Glad to!

    And I will see about linking my nym… I’ve never even imagined I could! Thanks!

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  75. 75
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Corner Stone: My point is that there are opportunity costs associated with jobs. We can go back to having everyone grow their own food and nobody has time to design iPhones, or we can declare that farming isn’t the kind of occupation that everyone needs to do and swap it out for something that is better. It’s not that the US has a massive shortcoming of jobs, but we do have a lot of pretty shitty jobs, and those workers would be much better off doing something better. But that means eliminating the shitty jobs in favor of the good ones.

    There’s 3 million fast food workers in the US. Our handy stand-in for a shitty job (I had that job for some time myself). I don’t see that their economic fate is vastly improved by packing them up, moving them to Arizona or wherever and then packing them into a factory making iPhones. Yes, conditions might be better, but they lose their geographic independence and if those iPhone jobs get automated, they aren’t really in any better situation than when they had started, plus they’re stranded in Arizona. We’d be better off creating 3 million more seats in colleges, sending them there, and having them build high speed rail, or repairing our roads and bridges, or providing universal healthcare. Even universal childcare would be a step up – a 2 year degree or certificate to do that work, easily accommodated in the nations community colleges and jobs that are easily distributed around the country.

    Understand that Shenzhen (where most iPhones are assembled) had a population of 30,000 people in 1980, and has something like 18 million people today. The US has never seen anything like that. Only centralized planning can close the feedback loop fast enough to build a city of that size that quickly, but it also means that every one of those jobs was a worker migrating from some other part of China. We used to do that in the US, but our vision of ‘everyone owns a home’ means that worker mobility has gone to shit. Could I move my family across the country? Sure. Do I want to take the $60K closing cost hit of selling my home and buying a new one for the same value? Nope. I have a lot of sunk costs driving me to try and find work locally.

    That’s not to say that one way is better or worse than the other, but we need to at least be realistic about the economic and worker constraints that we have. We aren’t China. There are things China can do that we can’t and vice-versa. We should be playing into our own strengths, which isn’t assembling 250 million iPhones a year. You know why ZTE folded so fast? Because the penalties imposed on ZTE means that they can’t use the Android operating system designed by Google in California. The primary value in their product came out of the US, and they couldn’t live without it and they couldn’t replicate it. That’s where are strengths are and we should be putting workers in that kind of stuff, not in some mindless assembly line.

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  76. 76
    Libraryguy says:

    @Brooklyn Dodger: We’re glad to do it, and I’m happy to hear about the earrings!

    It makes small retail feel alot more fun when it can help the community too.

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  77. 77
    geg6 says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I love that NK called Bolton “repugnant” by name.

    The dogs looked at me like I’d lost my mind this morning when I LOL’d over this when I heard it this morning. It really was a nice touch, though. LOL!

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  78. 78
    Doug R says:

    @germy:

    Where would they find 1 million high-dexterity assembly workers?

    Train them?

    I’m so old I remember Help Wanted ads that said “No experience – we’ll train”

    Yes, but at $1.00 an hour?
    I was able to find a $100 unlocked handset at Staples. If increased labor costs double the price, I’d be ok. But all those $600 Iphones might be too expensive…..

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  79. 79
    Libraryguy says:

    @satby: Link done.

    Yeah, so much easier when you pay attention. Thanks!!

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  80. 80
    Peale says:

    @catclub: LOL.

    Trump Negotiators: You need to reduce the trade deficit by $200 billion
    China: Maybe you should stop your own companies from manufacturing here and buying our products, since that’s the biggest source of the trade deficit. Its a free market don’t you know.
    Trump Negotiators: We will put tariffs on you and you can not retaliate, or else.
    China: Fine. We’ll just stop the production of iPhones. Half the reduction you want will be obtained right there. But we’ll buy your soybeans.

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  81. 81
    Corner Stone says:

    @🌷 Martin: While I disagree with points of your expanded explanation I will simply say that, IMO, none of it answers rikyrah’s question. She asked, “why should she care if Apple can make iPhones in China”. You went on to explain a few different ways that those bad jobs can’t come back to America. Nowhere in there did I see a reason why iPhones aren’t still going to be assembled *somewhere*. I don’t see any correlation to losing jobs in the US from all that you have written. Is your underlying thesis that it would be bad for Apple if they had to move locations, and therefore damage the US economy or US jobs? Because I don’t think Apple is going to fold like ZTE if this turns even nastier. Until someone can explain to me why a phone is $1200 I will continue to believe Apple is going to do ok, no matter where their supply chain ends up.

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  82. 82
    Peale says:

    @Doug R: Yep. I think Apple is left with Indonesia, Brazil and India for manufacturing. Or redesign the iPhone so that it is much larger so robots can deal with it. Your $600 3-pound iPhone 12.

    And then in a year, we can rail against the Brazilians for their “trade deficit” that’s robbing us blind.

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  83. 83
    LAO says:

    And the racist midtown Manhattan douche appears to have been identified.

    Dear Midtown Manhattan Attorney Aaron M Schlossberg,7 of your college classmates from @JohnsHopkins & @GWtweets contacted me and said this is you & they aren't surprised.I am asking the New York Bar Association (@nysba) to also look into your bigoted hate here & across NYC. https://t.co/8pF1nzQtDu— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) May 16, 2018

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  84. 84
    laura says:

    @germy: If your point is that he somehow doesnt deserve the pension he earned over three decades of public service, im not buying it.
    Yes, he failed to act, yes, it reinforces my opinion against police in our public schools, and yes he is and always will be a known coward.

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  85. 85
    Brachiator says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    I keep hearing people demanding that iPhones be assembled in the US. Why? It’s a shitty job, and we don’t need shitty jobs.

    We need jobs, period. The idea that some jobs are shitty and others are not is more a function of snobbery than economic reality.

    A good job is working on the OS, which is entirely in the US.

    These jobs are finite, can be just as shitty as any other job, and probably be eliminated one day.

    California fought tooth and nail to get high-speed rail going, and is being battled against from every corner. Why?

    Because it is a waste of money. Because it will never be financially viable. Because it is not even going to be high speed. Because it will be forced to stop in cities that no one wants to go to or cares about.

    Hell, we couldn’t even get a high speed train from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, and this would have a more reliable passenger load.

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  86. 86
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Doug R: Well, the iPhone jobs actually pay closer to $8/hr in China. They are highly sought jobs. Granted, if I believe that minimum wage in the US is too low, I shouldn’t be so quick to praise Apple for paying that in China, but my point here is that moving those jobs from China to the US won’t necessarily result in significant change to labor costs to Apple. The labor costs isn’t why those jobs are there – the scale of the operation is why they are there. One factory has 1 million workers. Consider that.

    The benefits are on the supply chain side. It’s the speed of ramping up operations, making adjustments, sorting out component supply problems. Much easier in a single factory than a dozen spread around the country. You can see examples of this in the US – SpaceX can iterate on each rocket because there’s one factory where nearly all the work is done. For traditional government contractors, those would have to be spread across all 50 states. The space shuttle somewhat proudly was able to claim that it created jobs in 47 states or something like that. Okay, but having to ship the fucking thing all over the US and deal with problems in dozens of factories didn’t make the product better, and meant that there was a huge amount of impedance in the process. We’re just repeating that whole set of mistakes with SLS. This focus on moving the jobs to where the people are is the exact opposite of how China works – moving the people to the jobs. And it’s hard – as the petroleum workers who packed up for North Dakota only to live an an RV for two years learned.

    And I’m not advocating for how China does it, but we need to acknowledge what the cost of the Chinese way of operating is, and what replicating things like Shenzhen would entail. Apple hires 10,000 industrial engineers a year. The US only graduates 4500 a year. We would need to build out dozens of industrial engineering programs. I think that’s a good thing, but it means dropping capital into universities to build these out, something the taxpayers have steadfastly refused to do. I would like to see that changed, but not so that an additional 5500 students can get decent jobs and a million other workers get minimum wage or thereabouts. I think we need to accept that we are not a worker mobility nation and need to seek economic growth that respects that. Building a factory that can employ the entire workforce of Iowa isn’t realistic here.

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  87. 87
    ruemara says:

    @Libraryguy: Happy damned birthday! And many more to come. Thanks for all the generousity to the animals.

    @gvg: We kinda are becoming cheap labor and it would depend on sales. As gas prices become expensive, insourcing manufacturing is going to be a smarter option.

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  88. 88
    catclub says:

    @No Drought No More: I thought this at first. Then someone pointed out that as bad as Haspel, is, Trump’s next choice is likely to be Tom Cotton. On the one hand, the first person Trump runs across is unlikely to be the best one for the job, but the first person is also not likely to be the the very worst person for the job, and Trump is likely to meet that person next.

    Jeff Sessions is terrible, but Rudy Giuliani is probably worse fro AG, as an example.

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  89. 89
    Yarrow says:

    @LAO: Ha. Didn’t figure it would take too long. Also not surprised his classmates aren’t surprised. Anyone who does something like that in public probably has a history of it.

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  90. 90
    AM in NC says:

    Another great thing about the teacher protests today in NC is that it isn’t solely, or even primarily, about teacher pay. That’s part of it, of course, but their top goal is more funding for their schools and their students. They are emphasizing crumbling buildings and trailers for classrooms; outdated textbooks; last of basic supplies. They are focusing on the fact that every k-3 classroom used to have a teacher and a teaching assistant, but thanks to the GOP-dominated General Assembly, that is no longer true. Teachers used to get a pay bump for spending their time and money earning advanced degrees, but the Republicans stripped that incentive away as well. The local media coverage I’ve seen has gotten these points across – the narrative is NOT ‘greedy teachers looking for more taxpayer dough’.

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  91. 91
    TenguPhule says:

    @Waldo:

    I barely remember when contradictory statements from a politician caused a fuss. Was that ever a thing?

    Worked like a charm against Kerry and deployed against President Obama both times. Also there was a woman who got shafted by it.

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  92. 92
    burnspbesq says:

    @catclub:

    The Apple business is critical to Foxconn, and they have the resources to replicate those facilities elsewhere (didn’t they recently extort a huge package of incentives from Wisconsin?). China has less leverage than one might think.

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  93. 93
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Is your underlying thesis that it would be bad for Apple if they had to move locations, and therefore damage the US economy or US jobs? Because I don’t think Apple is going to fold like ZTE if this turns even nastier. Until someone can explain to me why a phone is $1200 I will continue to believe Apple is going to do ok, no matter where their supply chain ends up.

    My underlying thesis is that the iPhone is only possible because of Shenzhen. Nowhere else on this planet have we been able to build 250 million durable goods per year. Now, don’t read more into this than I intend. The iPhone is also only possible because of Silicon Valley – which is in many ways the economic counterpart to Shenzhen. There is a concentration of talent in this place, along with other factors which makes it work in ways that other places can’t. Some of it is CA laws, some of it is the presence of Stanford, and so on. Those things could all be replicated or migrated to Kansas, and Brownback believed that low taxes would cause that, but there are dozens of factors that make Silicon Valley what it is, and you’d need to replicate all of them – and that’s hard and takes time and that’s why Brownback’s plan failed. Silicon Valley doesn’t mind the taxes because they know that pays for the educated workforce they need. 9 of the top 10 engineering schools west of the Mississippi are in California. 7 of them are public. Brownbacks lack of taxes made it less likely they could fill that education gap, not more likely, which is why Silicon Valley wasn’t interested in moving.

    Shenzhen is similarly such a place. It’s the concept of River Rouge but 100x larger in scale. It’s not cheap labor that makes it run, it’s the fact that a complex supply chain exists in a geographically compact place and that there are enough bits and pieces that allow it to go from product concept to consumer far faster than any other place on earth. In technology, time to market is critical, and Shenzhen is a city custom-made to maximize time to market for electronic goods. Silicon Valley is the same thing, but for software, as Detroit was for cars. These places are outliers – products of geography, politics, culture, and a host of other things. They can be replicated, but it requires political will to do it, and we don’t have it now. I’m not sure China does any more, FWIW. I don’t think they could do Shenzhen over again either.

    This constant focus on iPhone assembly or whatever means that rather than understanding where the USs economic strengths are, we see this ‘1 million worker’ number and get distracted by the bigness of it and wonder why we don’t have that bigness. Instead we should be looking at what the US does well, what we are well positioned to expand upon, and seek to expand those areas – or to identify future growth markets and try and be a strong player there. We talk about losing jobs to automation – automation has been great for Japan and Germany where most of those robots are designed and made. Why are we forgoing a growth market to see the low-skill jobs that will be wiped out by that market? Why aren’t we investing in that – make a Shenzhen for robotics. Put it in Detroit. Tip up a world class educational program and let students migrate there in force. That would be more likely to succeed and be better for workers and the economy overall.

    Yes, iPhones could move to Brazil or India, and are to some degree, but it’s unclear if moving out of China would make it harder for Apple to have the top 4 phones in terms of sales world wide. Can they still build at that scale? Can they get from design to production fast enough to be competitive with Chinese assembled models? I don’t know. Apple is now large and rich enough to probably pull it off. But if they can’t, then US workers will suffer.

    As for why a phone is worth $1000, it’s because that’s what consumers will pay for it. And unlike an ambulance ride, consumers are very free to opt out of the market altogether, so that cost is no burden on anyone who doesn’t volunteer to pay it. But, I would note that $1000 sounds like a lot, but it’s $1/day for something that a lot of people consider instrumental. For me, it’s half the cost of my daily coffee, which is much less instrumental. $1/day meant that 4 times I was able to get to the hospital for my daughter faster. $1/day also means that my device won’t be hacked and my information stolen, that I can take it to the local store to be fixed/replaced, that it will always get timely software updates, and so on. Viewed that way, it doesn’t seem terribly expensive to me.

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  94. 94
    🌷 Martin says:

    @burnspbesq: Right, but Apple needs to take enough of the supply chain with them to make it work. 3 things are making that easier for Apple:

    1) They have $300B to put to the effort.
    2) They are so big that many of their suppliers would go under without Apple, so Apple has a lot of leverage.
    3) Apple has been insourcing a lot of that supply chain so they have much more control over things. Apple is designing almost all of their own silicon now, for example.

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  95. 95
    The Moar You Know says:

    If your point is that he somehow doesnt deserve the pension he earned over three decades of public service, im not buying it.

    @laura: Thank you, been trying to figure out a way to respond to that. The idea that a guy should lose everything he worked for because he didn’t have the courage to take on a vastly better-armed shooter in what would have been an act of virtually guaranteed suicide is offensive beyond belief, and the kind of victim blaming bullshit I see most of the time from Republicans – but am increasingly starting to see from our side as well. It’s mean, it’s deplorable, and it needs to stop.

    If you want to be outraged at someone about what happened at Parkland, start with the GOP and the NRA. Don’t beat on the poor son of a bitch who was there doing his job as he was trained to do it.

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  96. 96
    TenguPhule says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Don’t beat on the poor son of a bitch who was there doing his job as he was trained to do it.

    Point of order, he went against his training. Active Shooter situations currently require rapid response, going in as fast as possible, despite the risks.

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  97. 97
    germy says:

    @The Moar You Know: My point wasn’t that he should lose everything. My point wasn’t that he was “a coward” (that was drumpf’s opinion) because I agree, he did what he was trained to do.

    I was thinking of the municipalities that underpay teachers (and the excuses that are invented for the low compensation). I wanted to add more to the comment, to mention underpaid teachers, but was distracted by work responsibilities here.

    My point was that some public employees are compensated VERY well, and some aren’t. And I’m glad the ones who aren’t (underpaid teachers) are marching and protesting.

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  98. 98
    Corner Stone says:

    @🌷 Martin: Man, there is a lot of conflation in this one. I read it all but there’s not much point in continuing this.

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  99. 99
    Jager says:

    @Yarrow: He doesn’t know it yet, but he just became an “incel”

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  100. 100
    Corner Stone says:

    @Yarrow: Surprisingly, the misogynist bigot also is a Trump supporter.

    ETA, link to forward.com which appears to be a Jewish news centered site?

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  101. 101
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @hitchhiker: I remember when Joe Biden had to explain to Congress in words of one syllable that when you go to a higher tax bracket, the bigger rate doesn’t apply to all your income. Made no impression.

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  102. 102
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Brachiator:

    The idea that some jobs are shitty and others are not is more a function of snobbery than economic reality.

    Uh, no. We’ve always had jobs. For most of our history as a species we were self-employed, digging whatever food out of the ground that we could. We still have that job. Alaska is still there, where you can build your own shack and fish for your next meal. Nobody is denying that economic option to anyone.

    But the vast majority of Americans reject that job, just as we reject lots of other jobs – sex worker, 12 year old coal miner, and so on. We reject (sometimes wrongly) them because we believe that citizens should have more agency, and that it’s moral for a community to encourage work that is rewarding and brings prosperity not just to the worker but to the community. That’s why communal structures exist.

    Now, that not to say that we should deny someone a job as an iPhone assembler if that’s what they choose to do, and in fact, they can do that. China is happy to let you immigrate. But we’re talking about institutional decisions – choices in terms of where government should provide support. Should we invest in iPhone factories or in something else? I’m arguing that it would be irresponsible to invest in the iPhone factory – in two respects:

    1) If it’s down to a limited amount of investment opportunity, there are better industries to invest in, that will bring more fulfillment and prosperity to workers and the community.
    2) If it’s not, and we invest in both, then we should expect to see the iPhone jobs be difficult to fill, thereby requiring immigration to fill. While I’m a proponent of immigration, I don’t think we should have a national policy of forcing immigration by shifting jobs out of the communities where they might naturally settle and into communities just to check a trade deficit box or a ‘hey we made a million jobs’ box.

    Obama used to say that the sign of a powerful country is its ability to be generous. He argued that the US, by virtue of all that is great about America, is strong enough to give Iran the opportunity to prove itself. We can afford that risk. By that thinking, we don’t need to be greedy about low-skill assembly jobs. There are people all around the world that would be desperate for such a job. Let them have it. We can do better. We should be aspiring for jobs that we are better able to fill. We can educate far more people than we currently do. It’s not that expensive. We should be pushing into new industries, but right now China is investing in those. Increasingly we’re seeing them making more and more scientific and technical advances. Good for them, but while China is building high speed rail and innovating in new industries, we’re arguing about trying to get low-skill assembly jobs? If the US has those jobs – great, but why should we advocate to shift them here over other kinds of jobs?

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  103. 103
    rikyrah says:

    @LAO:
    The Twitter warriors found him 😠
    He is a lawyer 😕😕😕

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  105. 105
    Brachiator says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    Uh, no. We’ve always had jobs. For most of our history as a species we were self-employed, digging whatever food out of the ground that we could. We still have that job. Alaska is still there, where you can build your own shack and fish for your next meal. Nobody is denying that economic option to anyone.

    This is an odd, and incorrect, oversimplification. We hunted, fished, did variations of farming even as pre-humans. Increasing social complexity, civilization and the ability to create surplus allowed us to create work or employment, and to offer goods and services to others. And from the beginning, whether a job was shitty or fulfilling was arbitrary (unless you were monarch or head priest or high priestess).

    There is no need to get into a long discussion. I also reject your suggestion the US is somehow being generous in allowing China or Iran to have certain jobs. And the idea that Iran, which was one of the founders of human civilization, has to prove itself to anyone is patronizing and ludicrous.

    And of course, the elephant in the room is that we may be fast approaching the time when, because of automation and AI, all work disappears, and the organizing principles of human society will have to change radically.

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  106. 106
    The Other Chuck says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    Why aren’t we investing in that

    Because the Kochs and the Mercers don’t want us to, and they make the rules.

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