Tuesday, August 14, 2018

It's what's for breakfast

Sweatshirt via Beloved Wear LLC.

There could be a purpose to all those journalists reporting on breakfast in Trumpland if they'd only report on the economic realities in which the breakfasts take place, as in the case of this big AP story from last week, which explains that
a striking number of Trump counties are losing jobs. The AP found that 35.4 percent of Trump counties have shed jobs in the past year, compared with just 19.2 percent of Clinton counties.
The jobs data shows an economy that is as fractured as the political landscape ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. As more money pools in such corporate hubs as Houston, San Francisco or Seattle, prosperity spills over less and less to smaller towns and cities in America’s interior. That would seem to undercut what Trump sees as a central accomplishment of his administration — job creation for middle class and blue-collar workers in towns far removed from bustling urban centers.
Thus all of the job growth in Texas has been in Democratic-run cities, while in the Republican rural counties things keep getting worse.

And in Beaver County, PA, northwest of Pittsburgh, which has lost 191 jobs in the past 18 months even as the workforce shrank by 1000 from things like outmigration,

Chip Kohser, the county Republican chairman and the bristle-bearded founder of a farm share company, said his party members are rallying around their staunch opposition to gun control.
“Our No. 1 motivating factor,” he said, “is Second Amendment issues.”...
The tax cuts haven’t stopped the outflow of people. Chatting over eggs, bacon and home fries, Kohser estimated that the tax cuts have added perhaps $1,200 to his annual household income and roughly the same to many others in the area — not likely enough on its own to rejuvenate the local economy.
But sure, let's focus on fighting the threat of gun control. I love that "many others". (In addition to owning Fellowship Foods, which grosses $240,000 a year selling "veggies, fruits, beef, pork, lamb, chicken, eggs, butter, bread, coffee, cheese, and more" on a weekly or monthly subscription basis from 75 regional farms, Kohser's been sales director for 20 years of the pet food company founded by his grandfather, so I'm guessing his income is a little above average.)

Gun control and out-of-control immigration!
Sitting outside a cafe before the [Beaver County Chamber of Commerce] meeting, [Republican Representative Keith] Rothfus said there was a clear path for generating job growth: Immigrants.
“You look at areas of the country that are really thriving — there’s a significant immigrant population,” he said. “We need to do a better job of attracting immigrants here. This place was built on immigrants.”
But Rothfus has also been outspoken on the importance of tighter border security. A few weeks after the chamber meeting, he voted for a bill that, had it passed, would have imposed tougher border measures and likely curbed legal immigration.
The county is one of those places where Obama won with around 57% of the vote in 2008 and Trump with 54% in 2016; following the state supreme court's finding that the congressional district it lies in was hopelessly gerrymandered, it's been redrawn into a new 17th District where Rothfus will be up against the new Democratic star Conor Lamb in November, which makes the whole thing kind of iconically interesting, doesn't it?

If the New York Times would cover with this kind of contextualization I wouldn't be so annoyed with them.

Cross-posted at No More Mister Nice Blog

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