Gittins: Trump was symptom not cause of US divisions

Darling economic commentator of the left, Ross Gittins, has stuck his thumb directly into the eye of the radicalised anti-American versions of history being pumped out by the likes of the ABC:

For a harder-nosed expose of life on the margins of America’s mighty economy, I recommend the recent work of the Nobel prize-winning Scottish American economist, Sir Angus Deaton. With his wife Anne Case, another distinguished economics professor from Princeton University, Deaton has obliged Americans to acknowledge an epidemic that’s been blighting their society for two decades, the ever-rising “deaths of despair” among working-class white men.

…While overall death rates have fallen for those with full degrees, they’ve risen for less-educated Americans. Amazingly, life expectancy at birth for all Americans fell between 2014 and 2017 – the first three-year drop since the Spanish flu pandemic. It rose a fraction in 2018, as the authorities finally responded to the opioid crisis.

Deaton and Case have found that, after allowing for inflation, the wages of US men without college degrees have fallen for 50 years, while college graduates’ earnings premium over those without a degree has risen by an “astonishing” 80 per cent.

With the decline in employment in manufacturing caused by globalisation and, more particularly, automation, less-educated Americans have become increasingly less likely to have jobs. The share of prime-age men in the labour force has trended downwards for decades.

Despite losing the popular vote to Hillary Clinton in 2016, Donald Trump won more votes in the Electoral College partly because most Republicans held their nose and voted for him, but mainly because three or four smaller midwest “rust bucket” states – still suffering from the loss of less-skilled jobs in the Great Recession – switched from the Democrats to the man who promised to give the establishment a big kick up the bum. (Instead, he gave it big tax cuts and more deregulation.)

So Trump is more a symptom than a cause of America’s long-running economic and social decay.

Good job, Rossco. Nine’s metro dailies are doing a great job of maintaining a sensible centre in recent times.

Expect to be crossed off the radicalised ABC’s Christmas card list henceforth.

David Llewellyn-Smith

Comments

  1. So Trump is more a symptom than a cause of America’s long-running economic and social decay.

    I’ll take “what is a tautology” for $200, thanks, Alex.

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      Yeah I know but (and maybe I am living in lala land) so many punters seem to be assuming that next week Trump will be gone and everything will be back to ‘normal’ (whatever that is).

      Until the punterariats of the world twig to the idea that there is some stuff which has been going down a long time which is leading to a considerable ‘heads on sticks’ sentiment across the board then I reckon the real risk is not a ‘Return of El Trumpo’ moment but potentially something even nuttier.

      • Yeah I know but (and maybe I am living in lala land) so many punters seem to be assuming that next week Trump will be gone and everything will be back to ‘normal’ (whatever that is).

        Well it will be in the sense that another Establishment Centrist will be President. =) So “normal” for anyone under the age of… 30? 35 ?

        I don’t know if people seriously thinks everything will be fixed once Trump is gone. Certainly I don’t know anyone who does. Better ? Yes. “Good” ? Not even close.

        IMHO the damage wrought by Trump’s Presidency is significant and will take a long time to address, if it ever can be – not least of which the fallout of how it’s ending. And that’s before thinking about the “long-running” issues, which are unlikely to get a look in with another Establishment Centrist President.

        Until the punterariats of the world twig to the idea that there is some stuff which has been going down a long time which is leading to a considerable ‘heads on sticks’ sentiment across the board then I reckon the real risk is not a ‘Return of El Trumpo’ moment but potentially something even nuttier.

        Agreed. Though the real risk (and damage) from Trump was the people around him he enabled, the next one may come with a much more sinister agenda than personal enrichment. At an individual level, while Trump’s incessant polemic was unhelpful, it was mostly superficial – simply preventing any progress more than anything. The biggest damage directly attributable to him, I think, is normalising the obfuscation and completely shameless dishonesty about basically everything that the Government is doing. As we’ve seen here with Abbot and Scomo, once even a facade of accountability is removed, things start to snowball.

        It remains to be seen if he’s left America with syphilis or just the clap.

        • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

          Trump was Kaiser Wilhelm, inept, pompous and largely useless.

          Biden/Kamila is the Weimar republic, inflationary, smug and full of self righteousness.

          Meanwhile, some unknown who went along to the Capital Hill protests, and will probably spend the next 4 years in prison after being fired from the job and losing their livelihood, as well as basic rights like access to banking, ability to fly and even to speak publicly, will probably be elected president in 2028/32… not before they put out a kindle book and call it something lame like ‘My Struggle’.

          • Big ticket item considering the sorts in question is 2nd amendment rights … ain’t that a kick in the pants …

          • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

            Bok Bok Bok – ya bunch of chickens!

            There was nothing wrong with what I said – it was a straight up fair comparison and you know it !!!

          • The original title of the “My Struggle” book was…. Four and a Half Years of Struggle Against Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice.

        • “The biggest damage directly attributable to him, I think, is normalising the obfuscation and completely shameless dishonesty about basically everything that the Government is doing. “
          Indeed. I would also add the climate of fear that he has created is threatening important checks and balances in their democracy. The impeachment process is compromised when elected representatives are in fear of their lives.

    • I’ll take “what is a tautology” for $200, thanks, Alex.
      Thanks mate. It may have needed a bit of proofing but, I was still disappointed the post was removed.
      Edit: It appears to be back now. 🙂

  2. Beg to differ – Ninefax is a haven of TDS particulalry Peter Hartcher. Paul McGeough was the worst offender at that stable until he finally retired.

    The next 4 years will be a Biden tongue bath, put the house on that.

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      It’ll be Harris that runs in the next election as I don’t think we’ll see Biden Finnish his first term.
      Exactly 2 years after inauguration is when we’ll see him go I reckon save a Stroke or rapid worsening of his dementia before then.

  3. If senior/executive appointments as the status quo were more meritocratic I’d be more concerned over this issue. In practice this phenomenon is just substituting one favoured group for another. As most candidates will be equally capable or incapable and personally will never belong to either favoured grouping. Who cares… really.

    Apart from knowing they exist already, most organisations would be hard pressed to detail why most senior officers are genuinely needed in any detailed way these days. Most have so little to do with organisational outputs or outcomes. Royal courtiers to the King all over again.

    • Sorry for the clutter. This was a response to another comment that seems to have been disappeared and now makes no sense.

  4. I watched this video on YouTube recently which showed the results of all USA elections since the beginning. It really becomes obvious when you look at these how polarized the US has become in the last 20 years or so. When you look at that you then have to ask the question, why has it become so polarized? It isn’t because of Trump.

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    • 24 hour news networks. They require full time drama and a dedicated audience. You aren’t going to get that by reporting on just who, what, when, why, how. And the internet is the boutique version of those Walmarts.

    • migtronixMEMBER

      Yeah the Trump way “the defects in the rule blah blah blah do not copy from this site”

  5. Both the Democrats in the US and the Labor/Greens here give no stuffs about the working class or small business owners.