The missing map from Silicon Valley to Main Street

Jos

TS Evangelist

Regardless of where you sit on the political spectrum, the maelstrom created by the last US presidential election uncovered a painful reality for the tech industry: a striking gap between it and much of mainstream America.

It’s not that Americans of all socioeconomic levels aren’t using the output of the tech industry. From smartphones to social media and PCs to online shopping, US citizens are, of course, voracious consumers of all things tech.

The problem is a serious lack of empathy and understanding from people who work within the tech industry to those outside their rarified milieu. To its credit, the tech industry has created enormous amounts of wealth and many high-paying jobs. Very few of those jobs, however, are relevant or available to a large swath of the US population. While I haven’t seen any official breakdowns, I’m not aware of many middle income jobs (according to US Census statistics, the average US family income in 2015 was $55,755) in the tech industry. Heck, interns at big tech companies often get paid more than that.

Not surprisingly, that kind of income disparity is bound to create some resentment. Yes, on the one hand, the significantly higher salaries often found in tech jobs do make the goal of working in tech an attractive one for many who aspire to break into the field. But not everyone can (nor wants to) work in tech.

A functioning society, of course, requires people to work across a range of jobs and at a range of income levels. But, it does seem rather disconcerting that an industry that is responsible for driving so much growth across the economy, and that houses the most well-known and well-respected brands in the world, does so little to employ people at mainstream income levels. For all of its focus on social justice and other progressive concerns, the tech industry displays a rather shocking lack of interest in economic inclusivity, which is arguably at the very heart of a just society.

For all of its focus on social justice and other progressive concerns, the tech industry displays a rather shocking lack of interest in economic inclusivity, which is arguably at the very heart of a just society.

Of course, fixing the problem isn’t easy. But it does seem like there are a few basic ideas that could help and a lot more “thinking different” that might be worth a try. For one thing, the fact that the tech industry notoriously outsources (or subcontracts) nearly every lower and middle-income job to another firm (all in the name of cost-cutting) needs to be re-examined. From bus drivers, to janitorial and security staff to, yes, manufacturing jobs, it’s high time to start making people who do work for a company, employees of that company, with all the rights and benefits that entails. Yes, it could negatively impact the bottom line (though, in the big scheme of things, not by very much), but it would be a tremendously positive step for many. All it takes is some fiscal stamina and a bit of guts.

In addition, the whole mindset of gig-based companies (such as Uber) needs to be reconsidered. Maybe the original intentions for generating a bit of extra income were good, but when millions of people start trying to build their lives around pay-for-hire work, it’s time to start making them the middle-income employees they’ve earned the right to be.

It’s also time to start thinking about packaging and selling technology-driven products in entirely new ways. There might be ways to start building entire new sub-economies around, for example, helping farmers grow their crops more efficiently through the use of sensors and other IoT-based technologies. In addition, building products or services that allow the creation of small businesses, such as a tech franchise, which could help other local small businesses with their tech devices and software. For example, someone who could help local bakers, restaurants, florists or shoe repair shops to run their businesses a bit more efficiently, but provides “door-to-door” service.

Part of the problem is that the tech industry has become so obsessed with only offering the latest, most feature-rich products and services through high-income jobs that they have lost sight of the fact that some people only need very simple “older” tech that could be delivered in a more modest manner through comparatively lower-paying jobs.

Rather than planning for a societal collapse, it’s time to start mapping out a more positive, productive future that links Silicon Valley to Main Street in a useful, meaningful way.

Bob O’Donnell is the founder and chief analyst of TECHnalysis Research, LLC a technology consulting and market research firm. You can follow him on Twitter . This article was originally published on Tech.pinions.

Permalink to story.

 

Badonk4

TS Member
Well americans are notorious for their low levels of care for other people who aren't a part of them or their family unit. And whenever appeals to more economic responsibility are made, it's called "socialism" and either condemned by those against it or deemed "too expensive" by those who support it.

Meanwhile the banks and the corporations in this article, are eagerly bailed out and/or supported by the government when and if they fail or need better conditions - aka socialism for the rich, market discipline for the poor. You're so proud of your "capitalism". Well, a part of capitalism involves ruthless efficiency and that means people get cut, if they're too expensive to have as a part of an organisation. This is the same efficiency which would/will see us burn up fossil fuels and generally wreck the environment - irrespective of if you think climate change is true or not - in the name of efficiency. This is then exacerbated when you have the kind of crony capitalism that the us has, wherein money buys power and buys elections. Hence attempts by the likes of Bernie Sanders to tame the most rapacious aspects of capitalism with some socialism, as in other developed countries.

I disagree that it has anything to do with this last election. The us is one of THE MOST unequal societies on Earth. Where have you been? No, instead, I'd say it's simply a matter of this election being one where someone as controversial as Trump, got elected. Trump then paves the way for rampant critique of some of the most basic assumptions people make about us society; such as the assumption that if you have done nothing wrong, you're welcome in the us. Which was disproven/attacked, due to Trumps ban on immigration from certain countries. Yet the fact remains, that Obama was one of the most prolific deporters of people in us history and that black people continued to suffer harsh economic realities - but where was the critique then?

But these problems are systemic. When someone can win a vote with a 3 million vote deficit, it's no longer democracy. It's a farce. Likewise, when there's a huge gap between rich and poor, it's not one sector, tech or otherwise, which is to blame. It's the system itself. However as mentioned in the article, some people in tech are so separated from the realities of the many people who lie "under" them economically, that they might as wlel be a kind of modern-day cloistered nun, in the much the same way all the many mainstream journalists and editors were, when they issued their many opinion polls on the election and passed it off as "journalism" - only to see their predictions go horribly wrong, since you can't just sit in a room, completely separated from everyday reality and ask people their opinions.

Thus, with someone like Trump getting elected, it's not the main problem, but it's a symptom of the main problem.
 

Kibaruk

TechSpot Paladin
Although I agree with the end idea of the post, I disagree with the "easy" fix part:
Yes, it could negatively impact the bottom line (though, in the big scheme of things, not by very much), but it would be a tremendously positive step for many. All it takes is some fiscal stamina and a bit of guts.
This is where I think it's wrong, and no, it's not only a matter of fiscal stamina. Either by simply increasing wages or by increasing public costs, one way or the other it will lead to inflation, and this is simple economics. If it's by increasing of ages now a product costs more to produce, which means it will end up in the shelve being more expensive (This being through a smaller product, or straight up more expensive tag) so now the wage average is bigger, yet the cost of living start increasing which leads to inflation. If it's through increments in public expense and tax or whatever benefits, that money needs to come from somewhere, it won't simply appear in the government vault, the fact that they can print money doesn't mean they simply do, long story short in the end it leads to inflation. Look at inflation rates for last years, it went up from 0,73 in 2015 to 2,07 in 2016, it might be even worse now with Trump.

@Badonk4 lol that's one of the biggest shows of popular belief without any proof of anything happening that will sell you simply because it's a long text.
 

psycros

TS Evangelist
"Well americans are notorious for their low levels of care for other people who aren't a part of them or their family unit."

Americans are the biggest charitable givers on Earth. Also, the electoral system exists precisely so the little guy still has a voice. That's what democracy *is*. I won't even go into the fallacies of extreme socialism - the failure of that ideology speaks for itself.
 

Badonk4

TS Member
Although I agree with the end idea of the post, I disagree with the "easy" fix part:
Yes, it could negatively impact the bottom line (though, in the big scheme of things, not by very much), but it would be a tremendously positive step for many. All it takes is some fiscal stamina and a bit of guts.
This is where I think it's wrong, and no, it's not only a matter of fiscal stamina. Either by simply increasing wages or by increasing public costs, one way or the other it will lead to inflation, and this is simple economics. If it's by increasing of ages now a product costs more to produce, which means it will end up in the shelve being more expensive (This being through a smaller product, or straight up more expensive tag) so now the wage average is bigger, yet the cost of living start increasing which leads to inflation. If it's through increments in public expense and tax or whatever benefits, that money needs to come from somewhere, it won't simply appear in the government vault, the fact that they can print money doesn't mean they simply do, long story short in the end it leads to inflation. Look at inflation rates for last years, it went up from 0,73 in 2015 to 2,07 in 2016, it might be even worse now with Trump.

@Badonk4 lol that's one of the biggest shows of popular belief without any proof of anything happening that will sell you simply because it's a long text.
There's plenty proof the polls are wrong, that the us is super underdeveloped in most social affairs compared to other Western democracies and that corruption is rampant in the us.

@psycros
That's what I mean - americans are indoctrinated to fear socialism. Which is kind of funny, given how evil capitalism has been to them. I don't know why you mentioned extreme socialism either, as I didn't. The electoral system is junk, just like the FED, states having so many different rules and all the chaos, uncertainty and stupidity that follows with all those things. The democratic process is further ruined by how each state has different rules and ways of implementation. Some use computers. Some don't. Those that do, use a paper trail, while others don't and so forth. It's just ridiculous. And maybe something should be said for general stupidity too: look at the nominated person for education: Betsy Devos. The woman is a complete write off. Yet she got in. An apathetic populace, complicit media and a certain amount of corrupt but sometimes also stupid people have ruined the us.
 

p51d007

TS Evangelist
Oh, so the high salaries are creating have/have nots?
Where the "tech" industry lives, 50-80k per year isn't a lot...not when you
figure the cost of living.
I live in the midwest (by the way DO NOT MOVE HERE!!! we are nothing but a backward bunch
of hayseed hicks, gun & bible lovers...and we LIKE IT and don't want more of the left coast moving
here).
You can purchase a VERY nice house here for under $200,000. You can rent a good size apartment
for less than $600/month, gasoline in most places in less than $2.00/gallon, it takes 10-30 minutes to get to & from work.
My aunt/uncle use to live in the SanFran area, and sold everything and move to south central Oklahoma. They are conservative, and just couldn't handle SanFran any longer. Both are work
at home CPA's, and between what they got for their house, they purchase a really nice house,
for cash, put the rest in the bank, and their living expenses are WAY less than they were in SanFran.
I wouldn't live in "the tech" area of the country for anything, probably just as a lot of the "tech" people wouldn't live here.
 

CobraA1

TS Member
Well americans are notorious for their low levels of care for other people who aren't a part of them or their family unit. And whenever appeals to more economic responsibility are made, it's called "socialism" and either condemned by those against it or deemed "too expensive" by those who support it.

Meanwhile the banks and the corporations in this article, are eagerly bailed out and/or supported by the government when and if they fail or need better conditions - aka socialism for the rich, market discipline for the poor. You're so proud of your "capitalism". Well, a part of capitalism involves ruthless efficiency and that means people get cut, if they're too expensive to have as a part of an organisation. This is the same efficiency which would/will see us burn up fossil fuels and generally wreck the environment - irrespective of if you think climate change is true or not - in the name of efficiency. This is then exacerbated when you have the kind of crony capitalism that the us has, wherein money buys power and buys elections. Hence attempts by the likes of Bernie Sanders to tame the most rapacious aspects of capitalism with some socialism, as in other developed countries.

I disagree that it has anything to do with this last election. The us is one of THE MOST unequal societies on Earth. Where have you been? No, instead, I'd say it's simply a matter of this election being one where someone as controversial as Trump, got elected. Trump then paves the way for rampant critique of some of the most basic assumptions people make about us society; such as the assumption that if you have done nothing wrong, you're welcome in the us. Which was disproven/attacked, due to Trumps ban on immigration from certain countries. Yet the fact remains, that Obama was one of the most prolific deporters of people in us history and that black people continued to suffer harsh economic realities - but where was the critique then?

But these problems are systemic. When someone can win a vote with a 3 million vote deficit, it's no longer democracy. It's a farce. Likewise, when there's a huge gap between rich and poor, it's not one sector, tech or otherwise, which is to blame. It's the system itself. However as mentioned in the article, some people in tech are so separated from the realities of the many people who lie "under" them economically, that they might as wlel be a kind of modern-day cloistered nun, in the much the same way all the many mainstream journalists and editors were, when they issued their many opinion polls on the election and passed it off as "journalism" - only to see their predictions go horribly wrong, since you can't just sit in a room, completely separated from everyday reality and ask people their opinions.

Thus, with someone like Trump getting elected, it's not the main problem, but it's a symptom of the main problem.
Economic responsibility?

A lot of what's being pushed as "solutions" do not seem to favor economic responsibility. I'm not really seeing that.

Your use of the word "capitalism" seems to indicate a very big tone deafness about the issue. People want jobs. People also want a free market. It's not socialism vs capitalism - to many people, it's big government vs a free market. By painting it as "socialism vs capitalism," you're taking on a wording that is essentially a straw man - an argument that you imagine your opponents are making, but in reality are likely not making. That's part of the tone deafness that pushed people to elect Trump.

You do make a valid point about efficiency at all possible costs. I can't disagree with that. But I'm not sure that dumping the entire concept of private industry has to be the only possible solution. We need to take a close look at how economics works and use a scalpel, not a cleaver, to get it fixed.

I would argue that a government-centric system would just act like a giant monopoly. The needs of the government would be placed over the needs of the people. That's the fear I see coming from conservatives.

But these problems are systemic. When someone can win a vote with a 3 million vote deficit, it's no longer democracy. It's a farce.
It's also an indication of how unequal things are getting - a lot of our population is in cities, and they are not making policies that pay attention to rural areas or suburban areas. A policy that benefits an apartment dweller probably won't benefit a farmer, and vice versa. This is actually why it is important to allow states, counties, and cities to set policy, so that it can be tailored to the needs of the population.

Interestingly enough - the electoral college is actually giving rural and suburban America a voice they'd never have otherwise. The high population density of cities very much skews popular elections in their favor, which would drown out the needs of less densely populated areas.

However as mentioned in the article, some people in tech are so separated from the realities of the many people who lie "under" them economically, that they might as wlel be a kind of modern-day cloistered nun, in the much the same way all the many mainstream journalists and editors were, when they issued their many opinion polls on the election and passed it off as "journalism" - only to see their predictions go horribly wrong, since you can't just sit in a room, completely separated from everyday reality and ask people their opinions.
I agree. My heart actually sinks a bit whenever somebody proudly announces some new way of gathering data, or managing data, or sifting through data, etc. Oh, look, pretty new AI algorithm to sort the data! As if somehow data is going to be our savior. The data is being used to maximize business goals - not societal goals, not individual goals. And I expect government to be the same - government first, society and individuals later.

Part of the problem is, as usual, a lack of communication. There's so much focus on data right now. But data is not communication, no matter how you slice the data. "Analytics" is not listening to your customers. "Big data" is not listening to your customers. "AI" is not listening to your customers. "A/B testing" is not listening to your customers. Having a Twitter feed that only spews out cool ways to use your product is not communication.

Real, honest communication is hard - I get it. Big corporations have millions of customers. You can't do one-on-one with everybody, and there will always be times when what people want contradicts each other. I don't really know what the solution is - but I don't think the solution is going to be a giant database.
 
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TreyDio

TS Rookie
Can someone identify the company logo in the picture above that's just below the A in Silicon Valley. It looks like a white "E" inside an orange box. Thanks.
 
Oh, so the high salaries are creating have/have nots?
Where the "tech" industry lives, 50-80k per year isn't a lot...not when you
figure the cost of living.
I live in the midwest (by the way DO NOT MOVE HERE!!! we are nothing but a backward bunch
of hayseed hicks, gun & bible lovers...and we LIKE IT and don't want more of the left coast moving
here).
You can purchase a VERY nice house here for under $200,000. You can rent a good size apartment
for less than $600/month, gasoline in most places in less than $2.00/gallon, it takes 10-30 minutes to get to & from work.
My aunt/uncle use to live in the SanFran area, and sold everything and move to south central Oklahoma. They are conservative, and just couldn't handle SanFran any longer. Both are work
at home CPA's, and between what they got for their house, they purchase a really nice house,
for cash, put the rest in the bank, and their living expenses are WAY less than they were in SanFran.
I wouldn't live in "the tech" area of the country for anything, probably just as a lot of the "tech" people wouldn't live here.
TROLL POST!

Sorry to burst your bubble, but they will move in. It is happening where I live, they ruin the area they live, and move to areas of the country that are still nice. Once enough of them move in, they take over, like blood sucking fleas, and start changing the local government. Then property tax goes through the roof, and all other expenses sky rocket, but you make too much for financial help even though you can barely feed your family. You have to provide food stamps for that other family that doesn't work so they can have steak. The farmer across the county road will have his fill, so he moves and a sub division gets put in. They decide its time for a homeowners association, and tell you the garden, and cars have to go. Oh, and you have to plant grass, you cant keep the native plants.

Maybe instead of moving within the USA, they should show Trump how ridiculous he is, and move to those countries he claims harbor terrorism to show Trump that those countries are safe.
 
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Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
"A functioning society, of course, requires people to work across a range of jobs and at a range of income levels. But, it does seem rather disconcerting that an industry that is responsible for driving so much growth across the economy, and that houses the most well-known and well-respected brands in the world, does so little to employ people at mainstream income levels. For all of its focus on social justice and other progressive concerns, the tech industry displays a rather shocking lack of interest in economic inclusivity, which is arguably at the very heart of a just society."

The problem with this article is that it assumes that just because these people are progressives or "inclusive" they can somehow make up middle income jobs. You can't honestly expect these people to tap their heels thrice and just make these jobs up. The reason so many of these high tech jobs pay so well is because of the technical skills required. Many of the middle class you are referring to simple do not have those skills.

"For one thing, the fact that the tech industry notoriously outsources (or subcontracts) nearly every lower and middle-income job to another firm (all in the name of cost-cutting) needs to be re-examined."

The tech industry is most certainly not the only one to do this by far. Companies will seek to increase profits. You can force them to pay decent wages in certain industries but in others it would be cheaper for many companies to simply automate.

"In addition, the whole mindset of gig-based companies (such as Uber) needs to be reconsidered. Maybe the original intentions for generating a bit of extra income were good, but when millions of people start trying to build their lives around pay-for-hire work, it’s time to start making them the middle-income employees they’ve earned the right to be."

This I agree with. Amazon does the same thing with MTurk. Essentially getting people to work for less without having to pay benefits, overtime, ect.

"Rather than planning for a societal collapse, it’s time to start mapping out a more positive, productive future that links Silicon Valley to Main Street in a useful, meaningful way."

Any chance of that happening are slim at best under Trump. Trump isn't one to listen and negotiate, he'll just do and to hell with the impact on the economy. The widening education gap isn't going to help "middle america" into any worthwhile job either.
 

mbrowne5061

TS Evangelist
Oh, so the high salaries are creating have/have nots?
Where the "tech" industry lives, 50-80k per year isn't a lot...not when you
figure the cost of living.
I live in the midwest (by the way DO NOT MOVE HERE!!! we are nothing but a backward bunch
of hayseed hicks, gun & bible lovers...and we LIKE IT and don't want more of the left coast moving
here).
You can purchase a VERY nice house here for under $200,000. You can rent a good size apartment
for less than $600/month, gasoline in most places in less than $2.00/gallon, it takes 10-30 minutes to get to & from work.
My aunt/uncle use to live in the SanFran area, and sold everything and move to south central Oklahoma. They are conservative, and just couldn't handle SanFran any longer. Both are work
at home CPA's, and between what they got for their house, they purchase a really nice house,
for cash, put the rest in the bank, and their living expenses are WAY less than they were in SanFran.
I wouldn't live in "the tech" area of the country for anything, probably just as a lot of the "tech" people wouldn't live here.
That's actually really well put; "to each, their own". Now if only we could get our politicians to practice this by coming up with policies that aren't tailor-fit to one small section of the country (be is Silicon Valley, either Bible or Rust belts, or any other social microcosim).

The old politics worked because the bills were short, and the bills were short because they weren't stuffed to the gills with 'terms and conditions' designed to exclude or favor different sub-groups.
 
R

Raoul Duke

For those of us older folks I can easily remember a time when someone (my father for example) could be the only breadwinner, yet be able to buy a house, car, tv, vacations, support a 3 child family, plus he had full medical, dental, pension and the job was essentially 'for life'.
I found as the next generation that by about 1980 this was definitely changing ending up to where we are today. I'm no economist, but this is also when the ideology of the free market, unbridled capitalism, exporting jobs offshore etc all rapidly increased (globalism).
Governments, corporations have always been concerned with money/personal power, but this has run increasingly rampant until the government and big business seem increasingly short sighted and are running things for themselves, with no concern for anyone else. Politicians throw us a bone once and awhile so they can get re-elected and the global multinationals with their money (money talks, especially to politicians who are insulated from the common person) are almost countries/governments unto themselves
Over time you get a generation that knows nothing else, no conception that things could be and were different. Those days weren't ideal, but they certainly have some things of merit. One thing that boggles my mind is the proliferation of advertising. For example, once the ads were on TV because TV was free. Now people I know pay $100 to $200 for cable/movies that comes with about 17 minutes of ads per hour. A 3 hour show is almost an hour advertising...and they are paying for it!
 

MilwaukeeMike

TS Evangelist
Meanwhile the banks and the corporations in this article, are eagerly bailed out and/or supported by the government when and if they fail or need better conditions - aka socialism for the rich, market discipline for the poor.
Close - the banks weren't given any money for free - they were given an emergency loan (and only the ones who could pay it back, some did go under, like Lehman Bros). Those banks paid back all the money to the govt with interest, and it turned out exactly as planned - with the govt making a pile of money on the deal. We call it a 'bailout' but it wasn't a gift - it was a smart investment. It saved countless jobs and was a no-brainer. Ben Bernanke saved a depression.

Hence attempts by the likes of Bernie Sanders to tame the most rapacious aspects of capitalism with some socialism, as in other developed countries.
Those other developed countries are either going bankrupt (Spain - Greece - Italy) or their residents just generally get by with a lot less (Canada) or in some very rare cases they have enough natural resources to make it work OK (Norway and their oil). America is huge by comparison and far more diverse - to extrapolate systems from one country to another is foolish.
Plus - on the sliding scale of regulation with "ruthless, unregulated capitalism" on one side and 'full on socialism' on the other - we are far close to socialism than ever before. 7 of the 10 richest counties in America are in DC - no accident. We already have a TON of govt.

When someone can win a vote with a 3 million vote deficit, it's no longer democracy. It's a farce.
Don't say stuff like this - it hurts your credibility. You know North Dakota has the same number of votes in the Senate as California, who has like 50 times as many people. No one says that's not democracy - because that's how the system was setup. Maybe we should change the system to the number of counties in the nation who voted for a candidate - but then we'd never ever have another democratic president.

Likewise, when there's a huge gap between rich and poor, it's not one sector, tech or otherwise, which is to blame. It's the system itself.
The gap isn't the problem. The problem isn't how high the top is, it's how low the bottom is. If you have a nice house, nice car etc, does it really matter if some CEO has 3 yachts or 30 yachts? The left likes to say 'Income Inequality' because it makes two points they like to make. 1) that there is some unfairness they can promise to fix and 2) it implies that people are rich BECAUSE you're poor. Neither is true. They'll try to fix 'inequality' by taking money from the rich (perhaps you've heard the phrase 'make the rich pay their fair share' - see the word there... 'fair') but that does absolutely NOTHING to help out someone who is struggling. Sure, if you're dirt poor you can now stay on food stamps for an extra 3 months without having to look for a job, but if you're working for a small business that was just declared 'rich' by our tax rules and now they have to cut paid vacation time because their taxes went up - you sure wont' feel like some injustice was made right.


Thus, with someone like Trump getting elected, it's not the main problem, but it's a symptom of the main problem.
pffft - Trump only got elected because Hillary voters stayed home. If someone like Cory Booker (you'll see him in 2020) would have run, Trump would have been crushed.
 

TreyDio

TS Rookie
Meanwhile the banks and the corporations in this article, are eagerly bailed out and/or supported by the government when and if they fail or need better conditions - aka socialism for the rich, market discipline for the poor.
Close - the banks weren't given any money for free - they were given an emergency loan (and only the ones who could pay it back, some did go under, like Lehman Bros). Those banks paid back all the money to the govt with interest, and it turned out exactly as planned - with the govt making a pile of money on the deal. We call it a 'bailout' but it wasn't a gift - it was a smart investment. It saved countless jobs and was a no-brainer. Ben Bernanke saved a depression.

Hence attempts by the likes of Bernie Sanders to tame the most rapacious aspects of capitalism with some socialism, as in other developed countries.
Those other developed countries are either going bankrupt (Spain - Greece - Italy) or their residents just generally get by with a lot less (Canada) or in some very rare cases they have enough natural resources to make it work OK (Norway and their oil). America is huge by comparison and far more diverse - to extrapolate systems from one country to another is foolish.
Plus - on the sliding scale of regulation with "ruthless, unregulated capitalism" on one side and 'full on socialism' on the other - we are far close to socialism than ever before. 7 of the 10 richest counties in America are in DC - no accident. We already have a TON of govt.

When someone can win a vote with a 3 million vote deficit, it's no longer democracy. It's a farce.
Don't say stuff like this - it hurts your credibility. You know North Dakota has the same number of votes in the Senate as California, who has like 50 times as many people. No one says that's not democracy - because that's how the system was setup. Maybe we should change the system to the number of counties in the nation who voted for a candidate - but then we'd never ever have another democratic president.

Likewise, when there's a huge gap between rich and poor, it's not one sector, tech or otherwise, which is to blame. It's the system itself.
The gap isn't the problem. The problem isn't how high the top is, it's how low the bottom is. If you have a nice house, nice car etc, does it really matter if some CEO has 3 yachts or 30 yachts? The left likes to say 'Income Inequality' because it makes two points they like to make. 1) that there is some unfairness they can promise to fix and 2) it implies that people are rich BECAUSE you're poor. Neither is true. They'll try to fix 'inequality' by taking money from the rich (perhaps you've heard the phrase 'make the rich pay their fair share' - see the word there... 'fair') but that does absolutely NOTHING to help out someone who is struggling. Sure, if you're dirt poor you can now stay on food stamps for an extra 3 months without having to look for a job, but if you're working for a small business that was just declared 'rich' by our tax rules and now they have to cut paid vacation time because their taxes went up - you sure wont' feel like some injustice was made right.


Thus, with someone like Trump getting elected, it's not the main problem, but it's a symptom of the main problem.
pffft - Trump only got elected because Hillary voters stayed home. If someone like Cory Booker (you'll see him in 2020) would have run, Trump would have been crushed.
They didn't all stay home. They voted for Jill Stein!
 
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,,,,Well americans are notorious for their low levels of care for other people who aren't a part of them or their family unit. And whenever appeals to more economic responsibility are made, it's called "socialism" and either condemned by those against it or deemed "too expensive" by those who support it.

,,,Thus, with someone like Trump getting elected, it's not the main problem, but it's a symptom of the main problem.
If you're going to blatantly lie, choose your audience. You can't make anti-Trump rhetoric work well with people that think and work for a living. Better to set up false premises and attack those than state something that 30 seconds of fact checking invalidates. Bear in mind, this went on when everyone was feeling good during the bubble and throughout the, Obama led, worst recession in US history.

http://www.forbes.com/2008/12/24/america-philanthropy-income-oped-cx_ee_1226eaves.html
Who Gives The Most? - Forbes
Americans give more to charity, per capita and as a percentage of gross domestic roduct, than the citizens of other nations.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/othercomments/2014/10/15/u-s-gives-financial-aid-to-96-of-all-countries/
U.S. Gives Financial Aid to 96% of All Countries - Forbes
According to the federal government, for fiscal year 2012, "The United States remained the world's .

http://www.cnbc.com/2014/11/18/index-says-us-most-generous-to-charities.html
The United States scored top marks in the Charities Aid Foundation's World Giving Index, released Tuesday. Not only did the U.S. share an overall first-place rank with Myanmar (yes, Myanmar), it was also the only country of the 135 assessed to rank among the top 10 in all three giving categories: helping a stranger (1st), donating money (9th) and volunteering time (a tie for 5th). The overall U.S. score was 64 percent, up from 61 percent last year.

What we Americans really dislike, is people like you, telling us where to give and how much after we've given all we can afford.

My next door neighbor and her daughter have jobs working in a cafeteria. I can count 11 times in the past 8 years they've taken in their family from New York as her brother, her two sisters, and their children have lost their jobs and moved out and back when they tried to find work elsewhere in the country. Currently, they're supporting a sister and her children again because the sister's husband left 'to look for work' elsewhere.

I'm guessing they didn't make 'best charitable givers's list because, as you said, 'family unit'.

I so want to call you snotty, despicable, lost-in-the-cloud, koolaid drinking, pseudo-socialist elite with no conceivable idea about working for a living or family, but that would violate the TOS here, so I'll stick to my original statement about organizing your premises before making statements that are so easily and quickly disproved.
 
pffft - Trump only got elected because Hillary voters stayed home. If someone like Cory Booker (you'll see him in 2020) would have run, Trump would have been crushed.
You were on a roll until that last statement. I've never heard of Cory Booker and had to look him up. Noticed after reading accomplishments, he's a Democrat. Interesting from the review of the Dem agenda the past 12 years, Wikipedia: "...Booker's priorities were reducing crime and encouraging economic development projects...." but the hunger strike, et al. pretty much soured me. His sole claim to fame is the use of social media, tweeting, to get the message out.

Tweeting is an old weapon now since Trump made it a national pastime. I'm not seeing him as a real vote getter choice since he won't be financing his own campaign from petty cash and thus would be beholden to the 'establishment' evil lizard-lead corporations. If he wants a shot there, he should be cooperating with Trump and getting jobs out of the coast tech firms centralias and into the heartland. That way he can run on "bi-partisan", "business centric", "wage earner" and "for the people" memes simultaneously.

If Trump manages to get the economic motor jumpstarted by dissipating the Obama death coil, he'd be better off looking at 2024 providing the Dem central elite hasn't selected another underbridge Troll to stand blinking in the national spotlight, this time without a Full Press umbrella.

Tech giveth and Tech taketh way.
 
That's actually really well put; "to each, their own". Now if only we could get our politicians to practice this by coming up with policies that aren't tailor-fit to one small section of the country (be is Silicon Valley, either Bible or Rust belts, or any other social microcosim).

The old politics worked because the bills were short, and the bills were short because they weren't stuffed to the gills with 'terms and conditions' designed to exclude or favor different sub-groups.
While I agree with your sentiments I ask that you bear in mind, the old bills also gave us the Cuyahoga River on fire, the inability to trust groundwater well purity in large sections of the country, river water that contributes to breast cancer...in men, loss and destruction of so much wetland habitat that migrating birds started to declince in number, beef that is a suitable substitute for visiting your doctor in the event of an infection, ...well the list goes on for a while, a very long while.

The country is a collection of sub-groups (hence the Electoral College arguments elsewhere on TS). The problem is trying to help people so much.

For instance: Milk is subsidized so prices can be kept low for availability to lower income growing children. This leads to a glutted marketplace and the need for the government to buy the milk so the dairy people don't suffer from market forces and decline in number and the price go up. This leads to requirements for more massive production as the price/profit (weather permitting) is essentially fixed so the only way to get ahead is to force choose higher production cows and process their milking in higher technology (read lower labor requirement) environs and get more milk out of the same amount of land. (The technology is as gentle as possible but no matter how gentle, infections always eventually occur and removing the cow from production would hurt the bottom line so antibiotics are needed for minor cuts and scrapes and those get into the production process: in the milk and in the stool.) Additionally, the low profit per gallon leads to higher cow density per acre and higher cow pattie production and, since cow udders are cleaned everytime they're milked, more "clean" water use and that water goes into holding ponds and local runoff to the pastures so the grass will grow. The antibiotics in the stool also go there to create really really resistant bacteria and let them wash into the watershed every time it rains (you don't raise milk cattle in the Mojave)and....this chain of events goes on for a lot longer but I'm cutting it short here (and definitely leaving out the soft drink/milk controversy in school cafeterias).

The original short 'bill' was designed to help poor kids afford milk. Everything else occurred when it was passed to vast bipartisan acclamation.

Please keep that in mind when you talk about sub-groups. Kids are a sub-group. There are others considered just as worthy. It's not the sub-group thats the problem in the law. It's the help given. Prices and supply stabilize over time. Whether a growing child without milk is acceptable during that time....
 

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