Monday, August 29, 2016

Scapegoat: How Trump Misleads Angry American Workers on Immigration and Wage Stagnation

by Nomad

Economic experts for both sides of the political spectrum tell us that Donald Trump is dead wrong to blame wage stagnation on flawed immigration policies. That hasn't stopped him searching for scapegoats and misleading the angry American Workers.

During his lengthy acceptance speech at the Republican convention, the Republican nominee Donald Trump blamed lower wages for American workers on immigration.
He said:
Decades of record immigration have produced lower wages and higher unemployment for our citizens, especially for African-American and Latino workers. We are going to have an immigration system that works, but one that works for the American people.
The speech was filled with an eighteen-wheeler full of balderdash so a statement like that probably went unnoticed. However, stirring up middle-class resentment like that is exactly how Trump managed to rise to his precarious place in American politics. 

Wage Stagnation and the Plight of the American Worker  

It is true, wage stagnation is not something that Trump just made up to win votes. It is real and it is causing widespread hardship due to income inequality. Wages have simply not kept up with the cost of living. Add to that the general expansion of non-wage benefits, fall in the price of consumer goods and rise in the price of services, such as education and healthcare and you have a lot of home-grown misery out there.

Lawrence Mishel, one of the authors of a series of recent reports from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI)
"Since the late 1970s, wages for the bottom 70 percent of earners have been essentially stagnant, and between 2009 and 2013, real wages fell for the entire bottom 90 percent of the wage distribution."
The report also pointed out that the Great Recession of 2008 didn't create this problem. It only compounded and exacerbated an economic effect that stretched back some 30 or more years.

Most importantly, the report finds that wage stagnation is not an accidental thing. Policy makers have created (or at least, allowed) the problem of wage stagnation.  A very wealthy minority with undue influence in Washington were allowed to rake in enormous profits based on frozen wages and increased productivity. 

Trump casually blames immigrants for the problem and yet cannot supply any evidence for this idea. And in turn, his working class fans seem oblivious to the peculiar fact that they are listening to a billionaire acting like an authority on low wages. For some reason, they believe that this man can actually sympathize with the plight of the American worker. There's a lot of suspension of disbelief going on, it seems.

So perhaps it is not all that extraordinary that Trump can get away with blaming undocumented workers. That's something that President Obama attempted to make clear in his State of the Union
Immigrants aren’t the principal reason wages haven’t gone up enough; those decisions are made in the boardrooms that too often put quarterly earnings over long-term returns.
Experts argued that Obama was too forgiving when he used the phrase "the principle reason." That was wrong. There was no relationship at all between wages and immigrants, Obama's critics said.
If one wishes to find the real reasons for wage stagnation, there are plenty out there.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Donald's Middle-East Duplicity: The Shocking Truth about Trump's Anti-Islamic Smoke and Mirrors

by Nomad

As the Republican Party's fading hope, politician Donald Trump has capitalized upon and expanded anti-Muslim tensions and fears. However, as a businessman, Trump has no qualms about making lucrative deals with the very same people he has painted as America's biggest threat.

Total Shutdown

Back in December, the Trump campaign announced in a written statement Republican nominee to be would, as president, demand a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on.”
Even for a bombastic man like Trump, those were stunning words. Both sides of the political spectrum were speechless.  

In fact, it was one of a series of statements that ruffled some feathers. In November, a month before his announcement, he had said that as president he would "strongly consider" closing down mosques and proposed that mosques in the United States be monitored for terrorist activity.
(In fact, as Trump probably already knows, mosques have been the subject of FBI surveillance and infiltration since the time of Bush. And as a result of this, the federal courts have been wrestling with legal questions about possible rights violations to religious freedom, freedom of association and privacy.)

Scholars also questioned the constitutionality of a "religious test" for immigrants. 
Even technically, how would be possible to ensure the accuracy. It only takes one terrorist to tell a fib and Trump's plan is torpedoed. Terrorists, as a rule, tend to be hesitant about excessive self-disclosure.
A lot like Trump, actually. 

Nevertheless, Trump's supporters roared in delight and put their hands together. Finally, a candidate was taking the radical Islamic threat seriously, they claimed. 
President Obama, Trump has repeatedly pointed out,  refused even to use the phrase "radical Islam." Actually, Obama has made it clear why he thinks labeling terrorism according to religious beliefs is a mistake. It was, the president said, "a political talking point. It is not a strategy."
“If we fall into the trap of painting all Muslims as a broad brush, and imply that we are at war with the entire religion, then we are doing the terrorists’ work for them.”
After all, when is the last time you heard a Republican call the KKK- a big time supporter of Trump-  a radical Christian group?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Why Pointing Out and Righting an Injustice is Everybody's Business

by Nomad

It's disheartening to think that the color of a person's skin can still have such a effect on people's attitudes. It makes me depressed to think that, in this day and age, it is still necessary for a white person to step in for whatever reason.  
On the other hand, it's even worse to think that a person would look the other way and not step in when they see unfair treatment.