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The Rise of the Robots: How Trump and the Republicans betrayed their base voters

December 15, 2018 in Blogs

By Dartagnan, Daily Kos

the Trump tax cut did more than just encourage automated replacement of workers in Trump country—it encouraged industries to move out of the country altogether:

Trump’s formula for his unfortunate electoral victory in 2016 relied almost exclusively on persuading rural American voters in the so-called “heartland” that their economic decline was due not to any fault of corporate, late-stage capitalism but to fact that their jobs were being “stolen” by people with darker skin than themselves. By scapegoating Latinos and Hispanics in particular, and by employing familiar Republican stereotypes against African-Americans, Trump succeeded in eking out the election against a polarizing female Democratic candidate by mobilizing rural “working class’” Americans, mostly white and male, to vote for him out of a sense of race-based grievance.

In an articlefor the New York Times,  Thomas Edsall shows how Trump and the Republicans almost immediately betrayed that rural voting base with their massive tax giveaway to corporations in 2016, creating a tax incentive bonanza that encouraged and accelerated the pace of automation and the implementation of robots, now displacing thousands of relatively low-skilled workers in largely Trump-voting areas of the country.  Another articleby Eduardo Porter (also written this week for the Times) highlights the root causes behind the seemingly intractable problem of rural poverty in this country, and offers some clues on how we as Democrats might reclaim many of those rural voters without compromising Democratic values on issues of racial inclusion and equality.  

If for nothing else, last month’s elections were remarkable for the fact that virtually no Republicans highlighted their singular achievement, a massive tax giveaway to corporate America. One obvious reason for that is that few Americans making less than mid-six figure incomes saw any benefit to themselves from this tax cut. But the other reason was even more damning, if less noticeable: buried in this gargantuan payoff to reward the CEO donors in boardrooms who supported their campaigns, Republicans deliberately provided a huge incentive for corporations to eliminate the very jobs that their rural voters needed to survive.

Donald Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax …read more


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