January 9, 2016

Mark Steyn goes to a Trump rally.

A nice write-up. Funny... so I'll excerpt the part about Trump's comic talent:
He's way funnier than half the stand-up acts I've seen at the Juste pour rires comedy festival a couple of hours north in Montreal. And I can guarantee that he was funnier than any of the guys trying their hand at Trump Improv night at the Vermont Comedy Club a couple of blocks away. He has a natural comic timing.
Steyn compliments Obama for his comic timing, then:

Trump's is a different style: He's looser, and more freewheeling. He's not like Jeb - he doesn't need writers, and scripted lines; he has a natural instinct for where the comedy lies. He has a zest for the comedy of life.

To be sure, some of the gags can be a little - what's the word? - mean-spirited. The performance was interrupted by knots of protesters. "Throw 'em out!" barked Trump, after the first chants broke out. The second time it happened, he watched one of the security guys carefully picking up the heckler's coat. "Confiscate their coats," deadpanned Trump. "It's ten below zero outside." Third time it happened, he extended his coat riff: "We'll mail them back to them in a couple of weeks." On MSNBC, they apparently had a discussion on how Trump could be so outrageous as to demand the confiscation of private property. But in showbusiness this is what is known as a "joke". And in the theatre it lands: everyone's laughing and having a ball.

That's the point. I think it would help if every member of the pundit class had to attend a Trump rally before cranking out the usual shtick about how he's tapping into what Jeb called "angst and anger". Yes, Trump supporters are indignant (and right to be) about the bipartisan cartel's erasure of the southern border and their preference for unskilled Third World labor over their own citizenry, but "anger" is not the defining quality of a Trump night out. The candidate is clearly having the time of his life, and that's infectious, which is why his supporters are having a good time, too. Had Mitt campaigned like this, he'd be president. But he had no ability to connect with voters. Nor does Jeb ("I've been endorsed by another 27 has-beens") Bush.

93 comments:

Gahrie said...

Steyn is one of the smartest, and courageous, writers out there. He's the man Andrew Sullivan wanted to be.......

Sal said...

No way this can be correct. According to Bob Wright, Trump is a disgusting person.

Michael said...

I think the fun part includes the absence of PC. A premature celebration, perhaps, but Trump gives us hope that people can talk like grown ups again and not be constrained by the prospect of being labeled racist or islamaphobic for having an opinion held by most sentient people.

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

I saw a pundit comment on Twitter that "Steyn is getting Trump fever" with a link to this article, to which I replied, "It sounds to me like an entertaining and objective review of a Trump event and the Trump phenomenon." The pundits are so caught up in trying to manipulate public opinion that they think everyone else is doing the same. If another media type is not attacking Trump (or whomever) them they are in the tank for them. Regular people are sick of these bores. Thus Trump. The Trump supporters are not totally Republican either. Many Democrats plan to crossover. It's a rejection of the whole establishment D.C. and media, period. Sure, it's mostly GOP but the followers more closely resemble the Reagan followers. Remember him? He was the stupid B-movie actor that the Bushs had their noses up in the air about.

Steyn is consistently smart and funny. My daughter bought me his Feline Groovy CD for Christmas.

Chuck said...

None of those lines were as funny as this one: “Bernie is my No. 1 choice, and Trump is No. 2. They’re not that different.”

http://legalinsurrection.com/2016/01/vermonts-split-loyalties-trump-or-bernie/

garage mahal said...

How easy it to be a right-wing opinion-ator? Trump rallies are chock-full of racists and stupid people. He attracts stupid people and racists. That's what Trump is running on! To be fair, America is an unceasingly stupid and racist country.

MaxedOutMama said...

The Lowell speech is on Youtube. The Donald is superb at a magic trick - creating a suspension-of-belief boat in which he and his audience are all in a boat together.

He's very skilled at working an audience. And he's incredibly skilled at introducing an important issue and interleaving his comments on that issue with the issues that the audience cares about.

Regardless of whether you hate the man or not, everyone should watch a few of these on Youtube. This is consummate political operation. There is nothing casual about it.

buwaya puti said...

The impressive part is no staff.
No handlers, no speechwriters, no nothing. That's telling.
And this guy is a billionaire running multiple large businesses.
I can appreciate that. I have seen "staff" and process bloat year after year in the large businesses I have worked for. In every one of them the leadership gets farther and farther from the coalface. Year after year efficiency and effectiveness declines.
Not for this guy though, apparently.

CWJ said...

Mark Steyn is the other blog I read after Althouse. I've often wondered if she ever checks in on him.

Tank said...

Fun!


LOL.

Is that even allowed?

garage mahal said...

Steyn work:

"America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It"

"A Disgrace to the Profession"

"After America: Get Ready for Armageddon"

"Lights Out: Islam, Free Speech And The Twilight Of The West"

Aaaaand...

"Broadway Babies Say Goodnight: Musicals Then and Now"

Hell, things can't be that bad if you're tasked with reviewing American musical theater from Show Boat to Miss Saigon!

Big Mike said...

@Sal, that's "President by Acclamation Trump" to you.

The Bergall said...

I read it earlier, funny piece. The line about taking their coats was point on.....

dreams said...

Just imagine how Trump would have handled that unattractively stout and odious liberal Candy Crowley as compared to Romney's sorry performance vis-a-vis that mess of a mass. The overrated and silly Megyn Kelly has been reduced to the girlish adolescent behavior of claiming to have rejected Trump at some prior point in their lives.

John said...

I mentioned earlier that I am watching the Ken Burns doco on the Roosevelts. One of the things that FDR was always noted for was his sunny disposition and optimism. Watching video clips of him in the documentary, this really comes through. If you look at what he proposed, especially things like the NRA (ruled unconstitutional) he is more or less on a par with Mussolini, whom he admired.

But, since he did it with a big beaming smile on his face, everybody liked him as he was giving it to us good and hard.

Willy Loman knew, you can go a long way on a shoeshine and a smile. Don't really even need the shoeshine.

John Henry

narciso said...

I've dubbed Steyn, the Voltaire of the 21st century, he is able to find dark humor in the scams like global warming, the kafkaesque delusions of official ministry statements, re
Islamists, the north korean camarilla, et al,

Jim said...

'How easy it to be a right-wing opinion-ator? Trump rallies are chock-full of racists and stupid people. He attracts stupid people and racists. That's what Trump is running on! To be fair, America is an unceasingly stupid and racist country'
When all else fails, blame it on the country or the people or stupidity. And by all else i mean saying anything of substance.
Trump is making libs heads explode all over the world. And he knows it, and seems to just love doing it.
The debates between Trump and Hillary will be well worth watching. She's going to need much better medication to even stay in the room. My bet is she actually will cry, at least once.
Going to be the best show in town.

Sebastian said...

"A nice write-up. Funny" Well, that goes for most of his stuff. Is there any Prog hack who measures up?

With his combination of political wit and pop culture knowhow, Steyn is the perfect guy to capture the Trump phenomenon -- as he does here. (Again, do Progs have anyone like it?) If he wants to jump into the arena for real, and Trump doesn't want to ad-lib his acceptance speech, I see a speechwriter job in his future . . . No, I'm not jumping on the Trump bandwagon, but I confess the thought makes me smile.

Jim said...

And one other thing about the whole 'racism, and stupidity thing'. Its old, its tired and its a lie. Get over it, find a new book of sayings to demonize Republicans from your masters.
Trumps rally in SC had, according to one person who was there,more blacks, young people, and women than any GOP rally he has attended. The invocation was given by a Minister, who was black. who said'Lord, thank You for Donald Trump"
But I'm sure all the black men and women are not authentically black, and the young people and women there were not authentically young or female. or they were racist or stupid.
It must be so tedious being PC. or as Trump has said, it takes too long.

AReasonableMan said...

Mark Steny said ...
Trump's lack of pandering extends to America, too. ... In 1980, Jimmy Carter's "malaise" was an aberration - a half-decade blip in three decades of post-war US prosperity that had enabled Americans with high school educations to lead middle-class lives in a three-bedroom house on a nice-sized lot in an agreeable neighborhood. In 2015, for many Americans, "malaise" is not a blip, but a permanent feature of life that has squeezed them out of the middle class. They're not in the mood for bromides about second American centuries: They'd like what's left of their own lifespan to be less worse.


I am pretty sympathetic to this basic problem and agree that the country's elites have taken a remarkably cavalier attitude to the demolition of our manufacturing industry, which was our great strength. Germany has done a much better job at protecting its manufacturing base. This being said, I am amazed by the anti-intellectualism of a large swathe of white Americans. Whether it is a fear of standardized tests or the willingness to send their offspring to party universities or the belief that a division 1 football team is an essential part of the college experience, a fundamental lack of seriousness has become endemic and this has undermined their position and the prospects of their children. I live in a relatively well off area and I am constantly amazed at the behavior and attitudes of the parents. Their children start at a disadvantage and just fall further and further behind, relative to the rest of the world and to our immigrants. Simply blocking immigration doesn't solve this problem. The country as a whole would just start to fall behind. This is the unstated fear of the elites, that the human capital of the country is not up to international standards. I am starting to think that this fear has some validity, given the attitudes I witness on a regular basis.

Steven Davis said...

"To be fair, America is an unceasingly stupid and racist country."

Agree on the stupid, but not on the racist. Tell me again how we got BHO for 8 years.

John Cunningham said...

OK, garage mahal. You hate this country and its people. How about showing some sand and move to a commie paradise like North Korea or Cuba? Instead, since you are both gutless and d#ickless, you stick around and whine. Pretty weak, comrade.

David Begley said...

I saw Trump twice in Iowa.

Stern fairly well captured a Trump rally. Iowa was not as wild as the one Steyn attended.

Trump's speeches do have some form but they way he delivers them it seems disjointed. He does improvise.

Again. View Trump's campaign through a WWE filter and it makes sense.

I also saw Bernie in July.

People across the country should understand that people are very, very angry at the last 15 years (foreign and domestic) and rightly so in my view.

My reports are at Power Line blog.

Michael K said...

the followers more closely resemble the Reagan followers. Remember him? He was the stupid B-movie actor that the Bushs had their noses up in the air about.

Exactly. The GOPe of the time hated him. He took Bush as VP because he was trying to diffuse some of the anger. Jack Kemp was in his prime and would have been a far better successor.

Garage is the straight man for Trump. Hilarious.

Michael K said...

It is a shame that Romney did not have Trump's media skills.

chuck said...

> In every one of them the leadership gets farther and farther from the coalface.

Yeah, I've noticed that too. Even back in the early 70's, when I worked in a cheese factory for a while, I never saw upper management. And it wasn't that big a factory.

Birkel said...

Poor "garage mahal" is working so hard to convince himself that Republicans are racists. Bless his heart, nobody tell him Democrats are pro-slavery, pro-Jim Crowand pro-aborting black babies. The shock of learning might cause the poor guy's brain to explode. Not that anybody could tell...

Donald Trump is not my preferred candidate. But he is correct about many things. Reality intrudes.

Chuck said...

That speech of Trump's in Ottumwa, Iowa; Trump was complaining about Ted Cruz switching a position on ethanol. (Trump, having never had to think seriously about ethanol before, has always -- which is to say this year -- taken the Iowa-pandering, baseless, pro-ethanol position.)

Trump then went off about position-switching among candidates. He said, "You can't do that... You're not allowed to do that..." Uh, wow. Just, wow.

Does Trump ever do a single speech without talking about rape? That is, talking repeatedly and animatedly about rape. As president, would he be doing speeches about rape all the time?

M Jordan said...

Trump is gonna be the next president. It won't be close.

Two months ago I hated him but now I jump for Trump. What changed? The political TV went from black and white to color ... and you know who supplied the color. Trump even makes Bill Clinton look boring and pathetic. He makes all of them look that way.

Black and white photos have a certain appeal but ... it's time to see things in living color.

walter said...

Brilliant Berners

Chuck said...

What is it about people, like Trump, who repeat the same line two and three or more times? There is the technique (a very good speaker who is good with a TelePromTer like Obama is such an example) of "echoing" your last line as applause builds and you repeat the line to allow that "build" to grow.

But Trump does it in a different way, when there is no applause at all. There is a bit of it in standup, where the comic needs some timing and some rhythm. And of course the interesting thing about Trump is that he is so unmoored from any serious political thought, it is far more standup than speech.

The thing with Trump's repetition is that it is like someone who likes the sound of what they are saying, and who are so personally insecure that they repeat themselves just to convince themselves that they really said it. Instead of stating a simple premise with confidence, it is a kind of running test of ideas. Throwing something out, repeating it in question form, repeating it again if it sounds okay. Then a variation on it if it worked the third time.

Haydn wrote symphonies that way; the major difference being that Haydn symphonies are actually a delight to listen to.

Sal said...

People like Garage -- calling everyone else a "racist" -- is why Trump is doing so well.

The Cracker Emcee said...

Not usually an ad hominem type of guy but the irony of garage ranting about "racist and stupid" is too great not to comment on. Racist and stupid is the very essence of the Mooreian populist schlub milieu that garage springs from. I know the type very well from my union organizing days.

The Godfather said...

Well, gee whiz, I have found that garage mahal and I agree on something. We both think that if Tromp were the Republican nominee he would lose in the general election. This leads garage to want Tromp to be the Republican nominee, and it leads me to hope that Tromp does not become the Republican nominee. But we can all learn from garage: You can't defeat Tromp by arguing that everyone who supports him are "racists and stupid people". Instead, you have to recognize that Tromp is supported by people who are mad as Hell and aren't going to take it anymore -- and they are right to be mad as Hell. If a Republican who actually has the abilities and skills to be president could harness that anger, he/she would devastate the Democrat candidate. Come back to the dime store Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean.

PB said...

All should check out Scott Adams blog for his on-going commentary on the field.

1. Trump landslide
2. Hillary will incur a "health issue"
3. Mark Cuban will be Trump's VP.

His analysis is funny and fascinating!

Jason said...

I've never been a Trump fan, but when read up on what the liberal media says he's said, or actually track down the actual statements in context that libtards have told me he has said, in each and every case it's turned out to be a lie.

Liberals routinely project their ignorance, hatred and bigotry onto normal people.

Jason said...

Trump rallies are chock-full of racists and stupid people. He attracts stupid people and racists. That's what Trump is running on! To be fair, America is an unceasingly stupid and racist country.

Know what drives me to the polls? Know what's going to drive me to the polls in 2016? It's knowing how much Democrats and liberals truly despise ordinary Americans. I'd belly crawl through a CAT 5 hurricane to pull the lever against either Hillary or Sanders, and all their libtard enablers downticket.

Why? To stick it to America haters like Garage.

Well done, butterboy.

buwaya puti said...

I have never seen racial hate so open, blatant and vicious as at a San Francisco School Board public meeting, where the white Democrat members made it clear how much they despised the Asian students and their parents.

Titus said...

Mark Steyn and Jonah pant load are so hilarious! We conservatives should have talk shows!

We are cool and hip too! Look at us!

Yes we are ugly and fat but that is cool baby!!!! Youngsters love cool and very out of shape conservatives!

We are fucking cool man....and really fat and white.

please u are boring.


Dr Weevil said...

GM seems to have ignored the most pertinent part of Steyn's column, even after AA quoted it. Here it is, with additional clarification so even he can understand the point:
"I think it would help if every member of the pundit class [and everyone who comments on political websites] had to attend a Trump rally before cranking out the usual shtick about how he's tapping into what Jeb called 'angst and anger' [or racism and stupidity]." GM has never been to a Trump rally, and never will go to one, because he knows in his heart that doing so would likely shatter his confidently-expressed illusions about Trump supporters. He prefers to stay ignorant of the facts.

traditionalguy said...

The nice Trump just needs to add a soft shoe step on stage and he will be a Bob Hope II in comic timing. The command tone Trump is already a George Patton II but needs to add an Armored Tank Division.

chillblaine said...

I don't think calling people racist is going to carry much sting, going forward. Especially Trump supporters, who are increasingly black and latino. After watching that muslim woman wearing the yellow Star of David get herself kicked out of a Trump rally, I realized that the ad hominem attacks have totally lost their impact. I now believe that not only will Trump win the nomination and the general, he will shift the electoral map.

Steven Davis said...

It's a tough call, but after the last few election cycles, I have to admit that I would vote for Trump over anyone else in the field from either side. I'm not happy about that. Nobody else seems to get it or even pretends to get it, and to reference Die Hard 2: He's an Asshole, but he's my kind of an Asshole.

Fen said...

It's funny once you remember how stupid and racist Garage is.

eddie willers said...

Two months ago I hated him but now I jump for Trump.

Me too.

And all due to the media's reaction to him. They say we hate Congress, but we despise journalists.

Hyphenated American said...

"This being said, I am amazed by the anti-intellectualism of a large swathe of white Americans. "

Speaking of anti-intelectualism...


Are blacks any better?

eric said...

I think M Jordan is right. Trump will win and it won't even be close.

There has been this weird change among many of my friends, co-workers and family. Months ago, they were all like Chuck.

Now, they are more like Althouse, or much closer to being Anti-Anti-Trump.

Ann, I sincerely hope that when Trump makes his way up to Wisconsin (And I bet he will) that you attend and write it up. I enjoyed reading your posts about protests. It would be interesting to get your perspective on a Trump rally.

Michael K said...

ARM
"This is the unstated fear of the elites, that the human capital of the country is not up to international standards. "

So they want millions of illiterate Mexicans and Muslim men of military age who also know nothing but have memorized the Quran ? Many of them don't speak or read Arabic but have memorized the text without understanding the words.

I'm OK with Chinese or Korean immigrants and I see a lot of them joining the US Army. An amazing number, really.

EDH said...

Trump should get an an invitation to appear on Seinfeld's "Getting Coffee with Comics in Cars"?

Steyn hits on why I TubeChopped that exact moment from Trump's rally and put it in as non sequitur in the Althouse thread about the penis signature. It was pure comedic interlude, showcasing Trump's style.

"Get him out. Take him out. Get him outta here,"

Trump's is a different style: He's looser, and more freewheeling. He's not like Jeb - he doesn't need writers, and scripted lines; he has a natural instinct for where the comedy lies. He has a zest for the comedy of life... but "anger" is not the defining quality of a Trump night out. The candidate is clearly having the time of his life, and that's infectious, which is why his supporters are having a good time, too. Had Mitt campaigned like this, he'd be president.

Rusty said...

The difference, ARM, is that here leftists such as yourself impose regulations on manufacturing which drive it overseas whereas in Germany regulations are imposed to insure that manufacturing stays at home. You don't like manufacturing to be here. So it leaves.

Leigh said...

Trump pooh-boohers truly don't understand that non-bigoted, "normal" people are furious, and anti-free speech laws send liberty-loving Americans completely over the edge. Steyn can recognize -- and appreciate -- good entertainment when he sees it, and he has seen the evils and oppression of "speech regulations" up close and personally. Trump would veto this steaming pile (were it a law) in a New York minute; his low tolerance for nonsense is a YUGE part of his appeal.

https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-resolution/569/text

Okay then, Trump-is-a-Hitleresque-fascist haters: keep your coats on and commence your knee-jerk pile-ons. Most of us -- including non-Trump supporters -- will fiercely defend your right to offend. And unlike Europeans and Canadians, you don't have to worry (yet) about going to jail for your "micro aggressions."

Birkel said...

"AReasonableMan" is somehow unaware that Americans in their 30s are measured at the top of the international heap. Also, he is unaware that the United States leads the world in manufacturing. "AReasonableMan" is unaware of much.

It must be harder to be reasonable when so many things "AReasonableMan" knows are not so.

Leigh said...

@Big Mike -- There's "President Trump by Acclimation" too! ; - )

@Michael K -- Trump's greatest sin may be that he is negating the power of money ... at least, it seems that way to me. George Soros penned an anti-Trump op-ed, after all, referencing Greek mythology. Entrenched elites across the globe seem to believe Trump will topple their self-preserving power structure, forever ending the status quo.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/dec/28/terrorists-demagogues-scared-charlie-hebdo

@Tank -- Yes, this is absolutely rip-roaring fun. Watching it all unfold is a total ball!

Drago said...

eric: "Now, they are more like Althouse, or much closer to being Anti-Anti-Trump."

This is where many of us who did not support Trump initially now find ourselves. I still have a couple of candidates I prefer over Trump but the more insane the attacks against Trump become, I'm forced into the role of a Trump defender.

What's even more interesting is how many dems I've known over the years who, at least rhetorically at times, provide some verbal support for Trump even though they claim they will still support the Dem.

The voicing of support for some of Trumps pronouncements and positions tells me that perhaps these dems aren't quite so "fixed" in how they will vote in November.

There will always be voice-actuated under-educated morons like garage who are incapable of deviation from the party line, but it wouldn't take too many of the thoughtful dems to swing to make a difference.

I have no idea whether or not that will actually happen, but I'm seeing quite a bit of surprising anecdotal evidence "on the ground".

Drago said...

ARM; "This is the unstated fear of the elites, that the human capital of the country is not up to international standards."

Hilarious.

Why isn't the US up to international standards at most primary grade levels?

The complete capture of the public education system by the leftists who substitute putting condoms on bananas, educating on how to properly engage in sodomy and creating collages for math assignments.

On top of that, the leftists (nd their conspicuous situational allies at the Chamber of Commerce, etc) have conspired to import tens of millions of functionally illiterate persons and then those very same leftists put in place frameworks which encourage non-assimilation.

Then, after all of that percolates for awhile, other leftists like ARM pop up to decry the inevitable results of these societal experiments in mass-societal-suicide and then call for even more power be given to the very elites/leftists who created the situation!

#LeftyLogic

cubanbob said...

I still don't know if Trump is a flash in the pan or is really in it to win but by God I am enjoying the show!

Chuck said...

Leigh - I read that bit of Congressional folly that you linked to. Why are you worried about that? It was sponsored by Democrats, only, as far as I could tell, and it will never become law.

No Republicans (or am I wrong) and no "Republican establishment" sponsored that resolution. Blame Democrats if you wish, for its entry into the Congressional Record. Don't give Trump any credit for defeating it.

You could just as well give Trump credit, not for advancing the serious immigration debate (in which Republicans have battled mightily, among themselves and with Democrats for longer than Trump has been a serious candidate), but rather for Trump's having turned the serious immigration debate into a nativist farce. The Democrat folly that you linked would never have arisen but for Trump's recklessness.

One last thing about free speech rights under the law. Of all of the Republican presidential candidates, the one and only candidate who has a really dubious record is... Donald Trump. Do you know where Trump stands on the First Amendment as it relates to campaign spending and speech? If you do, let me know. He decries Super PACs and many other post-Citizens United, post-SpeechNow free speech developments. I actually don't think that Trump understands enough about campaign finance to get himself into too much trouble. If he knew a little more, he'd be even more dangerous. So now, all he does is to repeat vague little talking points from the MSM about Super PACs and donations. He does not know what he is talking about. It sounds great to the Trumpkins. And it sounds ridiculous to serious scholars and conservatives who do know what they are talking about.

So now I'll do what is needed with Trump supporters; boil it down to a talking point with less than ten syllables. Trump is no friend of free speech.

Ole Eichhorn said...

Scott Adams: the laugh tell (http://blog.dilbert.com/post/136958817396/the-laugh-tell-trump-master-persuader-series)

AReasonableMan said...

Rusty said...
You don't like manufacturing to be here.


This is stupid.

AReasonableMan said...

Birkel said...
"AReasonableMan" is somehow unaware that Americans in their 30s are measured at the top of the international heap.


Can you provide a reference?

Also, he is unaware that the United States leads the world in manufacturing. "

Depends what you mean by leads, but if you mean total output you are wrong.

Gahrie said...

Is Chuck the official Republican congressional fluffer? Or just a volunteer?

John said...

Blogger AReasonableMan said...


I am pretty sympathetic to this basic problem and agree that the country's elites have taken a remarkably cavalier attitude to the demolition of our manufacturing industry, which was our great strength.

I think this was you, ARM, but if you were quoting Steyn, my apologies for misattribution. My point will still be the same.

Virtually every politician, including Trump, every newspaper and most people I meet believe this untruth. I hear it so often that I wrote some numbers down on a card that I carry in my wallet for when people try to tell me this in person. The truth is that we have more manufacturing in the US than ever. With some slight ups and downs the trend has been clearly upward since the 60's.

Year Total output ($billions) Per capita($)
1970 $249 $1,225
1980 $584 $2,578
1990 $1,041 $4,186
2000 $1,516 $5,387
2010 $1,856 $6,011


I think what you, and most people mean when you say this is that we have lost manufacturing jobs. Yes, we have. Many of the manufacturing jobs, the un or minimally skilled kind that could be done by a HS graduate with 2 weeks OJT, were really pretty dreadful. My mother in law spent 35 years working for GE assembling circuit breakers. About 70,000 hours picking a metal piece out of a bin and placing it in a plastic shell. It was a union plant IAM and the line workers never made more than a buck or so above federal minimum wage.

She never complained. She and my father in law gave my wife and 5 brothers and sisters a good life and put them through college. But physically it was a horrible job. It is also something that was quite simple to automate.

You mention people being able to do jobs like this and own a 3 BR house. Sure. But is it because they earned such high wages or because the cost of housing was still reasonable, not driven sky high by zoning and regulation? What percentage of their income did the unskilled factory worker have to pay in taxes: State/country/federal Income, sales, property and other taxes?

When my wife went to state U in the 60's, tuition was $5/credit or less than $100 per semester. When I went to private university (72-79)tuition was $25 per credit undergrad, $60 grad school. Navy and VA helped me pay but the truth is that I could have easily paid my tuition out of pocket and I was not making diddly at the time.

Even in 2001-04 when I was doing another Masters (Southern New Hampshire University), my tuition at a private university was only something like $5-600 per semester or about $7-8000 total.

I could go on but am already way off topic. It is not that we have lost manufacturing. That is untrue. It is not even that we have lost manufacturing jobs. That is true but it was not high wages that allowed a good lifestyle, it was low costs.

Lower standard of living too, but that is another subject.

John Henry

John said...

While I am ranting, let me touch on another thing that Trump, and most everyone else, drives me nuts on. That's the so-called trade deficit. Supposedly, we buy more from (pick a country) than they buy from us and we have a trade deficit.

Stop and think about this for a moment and you will see how silly it is. Let us say that the other country is irrational and we truly do buy more from them than they buy from us. Seems like a good deal for us. We get free goods and services. Pretty sweet.

Think of it like a check. I give you money for your car and you don't cash the check. I have the car AND the money in the bank. Sweet again.

They are not irrational, though. When I buy a Hyundai from Korea I send $15,000 or so to Korea and they send me a car. Now I am riding around in my new hoopty and they have 15,000 US Dollars. Think about what they can do with those dollars:

1) They can use them to buy something from the US. This might be $15,000 worth of steel, for example. If we send the steel to Korea, I have effectively traded steel for a Hyundai and the transactions balance.

2) They can use it to buy something from the US but not send it to Korea. If Hyundai buys the same steel but uses it to build a plant in the US, we say there is a trade imbalance. As defined, yes but where is the problem? We not only have the car, we also have the steel, now in a new plant employing American workers.

3) They can buy oil from Russia and pay with the dollars. If Russia is irrational, we got the car for free. More likely, 1 or 2 above will apply.

4) They can buy an American company or American real estate. That gives the seller $15,000. Again, the trad balances

5) They can lend it to the US government.

There may be some imbalances, for example if I get the car but have 15 days to pay Korea. These work both ways and pretty much cancel to zero.

There is no trade deficit if it is defined in any logical or reasonable manner.

It does make great political fodder, though. Especially in an election year.

John Henry

John said...

Blogger Chuck said...

Do you know where Trump stands on the First Amendment as it relates to campaign spending and speech? If you do, let me know.

...
So now I'll do what is needed with Trump supporters; boil it down to a talking point with less than ten syllables. Trump is no friend of free speech.


So first you admit that you have no more idea than an oyster where he stands on free speech.

Then, in the same comment you tells us where he stands.

Which is it? Can you be more specific about his not being a friend of free speech? He doesn't like PACs. So what, lots of us don't like PACs. Has he ever said that he would try to ban them? There is lots of speech that I don't like, some of it right here in the comments.

I would not try to ban it even if I had the power.

Note that this is distinct from Ann's right to ban speech here in the comments that she doesn't like for whatever reason, including spaces. We are talking about govt bans of speech.

So where is the evidence that Trump would do anything against free speech?

Examples, please. Feel free to go back to the 70s if you like.

John Henry

Birkel said...

"AReasonableMan" thinks I must provide him with easily searched information to cure his misinformation (disguised as politically expedient bull shit talking points) but I am not obligated to fix stupid.

Chuck said...

Yeah, I am really happy to engage on this issue with Trump and campaign finance reform.

First, let's set it up, okay?

One of the cornerstones of recent Republican AND conservative thinking has been the First Amendment challenges to McCain-Feingold. To my mind, if you are not on board with Citizens United, you are not a real Movement Conservative. If anyone can name for me a conservative who doesn't like Citizens United, let me know. Every smart conservative lawyer in Washington and the field of campaign finance law knows about Citizens United, SpeechNow, the work of Brad Smith at Capital University, and the fact that even the ACLU and the New York Times' lawyer Floyd Abrams (of Cahill) argued for the Citizens' United side of the case. So did Ted Olson. I think Paul Clement did too, but I am not sure which amicus party he might have represented.

So then we get Donald Trump. Who gets his information from "watching the shows." Trump doesn't really know shit about campaign finance reform, but he knows a good interview line, and one line he likes is talking about how he doesn't need to raise any money for a campaign because he's got plenty and he doesn't like the idea of any political action committees raising and spending money on campaign communications. The old liberal media shibboleths about "Super PACs."

Now you want to know what exactly The Donald really thinks about campaign finance reform. And I have already said that Trump is such a dunce, he probably doesn't even know what to think. But Trump is such a shameless and relentless panderer, it is a safe bet that he'd come down on the side of whatever the polling told him to do, about any legal opposition to Citizens United v FEC.

To back that up in a readable way, I am going to link you to the website of The Progressive. Normally, I wouldn't give two shits about what The Progressive says about anything. At least not any opinion column. But this is a very reasonable and well-constructed case for what The Progressive identifies as an ironically funny area of common ground, between the left-wing netroots, and Trump; namely, Trump's status as "campaign finance reformer." Here you go:

http://progressive.org/news/2015/08/188280/donald-trump-campaign-finance-reformer

To my mind, Donald Trump has, at every turn, made the worst possible decision. He's made some significant donations, but very few "principled" contributions. That is, his money seems to be spent on people who have parties he wants to attend, or in whose district he resides (New York and Florida). Trump himself has said he wanted access and attention from his contributions, and I suppose he thinks he got it and it was money well spent. In other words, Trump has one of the more blatantly corruption-aimed notions in all of political giving. But then, as a candidate, he says that he wont' be susceptible to corruption because he is wealthy enough to self-fund. Has anybody ever asked Trump if all candidates -- in order to be free of taint -- should be wealthy persons and able to self-fund campaigns? Or is it that The Donald is just The One?

AReasonableMan said...

Birkel said...
"AReasonableMan" thinks I must provide him with easily searched information to cure his misinformation (disguised as politically expedient bull shit talking points) but I am not obligated to fix stupid.


Why do you even bother posting here if you can't back up what you say. You just look like an idiot.

Rusty said...

AReasonableMan said...
Rusty said...
You don't like manufacturing to be here.

This is stupid.

No it's not. You fail to support you're case. So let me suport mine. manufacruring is more than making widgets. Manufacturing includes gathering and processing raw materials used in other manufacturing processes. Again. in order for you to enjoy your polyethelene kayak there must first be a petroleum manufacture to provide feedstocks to the injection molding business. There must be a steel and aluminum manufactury to provive those materials to manufacture the machines and molds in which the kayaks are made. most of the above industries are heavily regulated to the point that it makes it more profitable to be done overseas. The industries that stay are the ones that have not been heavily regulated or are subsidized.
Thank you.

John said...

In other words, Chuck, after all those words, you still seem to admit that you have no more idea than an oyster what Trump's views on free speech are.

You don't like Trump. I get that. I have no problem with that. It seems to me that since you don't like him you attribute views to him with no knowledge basis. You then use these imagined views to justify your dislike. That seems rather childish.

I do not know what Trump's specific views on free speech are either. After 30 years of hearing from and about him on a weekly or daily basis, I've seen nothing to make me worry about them, though.

Get back to me when you have something specific that he has said

John Henry

AReasonableMan said...

John said...
I think what you, and most people mean when you say this is that we have lost manufacturing jobs. Yes, we have. Many of the manufacturing jobs, the un or minimally skilled kind that could be done by a HS graduate with 2 weeks OJT, were really pretty dreadful. My mother in law spent 35 years working for GE assembling circuit breakers. About 70,000 hours picking a metal piece out of a bin and placing it in a plastic shell. It was a union plant IAM and the line workers never made more than a buck or so above federal minimum wage.


It is true that large increases in productivity have resulted in an increase in US manufacturing output, but this doesn't mean our position as the world's workshop hasn't been dramatically eroded. See this graph. Can you imagine the hysteria if this plotted the relative number of aircraft carriers. But, what it does plot is the ability to produce aircraft carriers and in a race to do that my money would be on China if they really put their mind to it. Strength in manufacturing and R&D is the essential basis of military strength. I view the elites who oversaw this disaster as quislings, who sold out our country for their 30 pieces of silver. Happy to include Bill Clinton on this list.

Yes it is true that old style manufacturing jobs were pretty bad. I worked in several factories during summer holidays when I was in high school and the first years at college to pay for the things that my parents viewed as luxuries, mainly drugs and alcohol, and I am very familiar with how tedious and often dangerous these jobs were. With automation, however, many manufacturing jobs are now high tech, installing and maintaining robots. These are good jobs and the Japanese, Germans and Chinese are all positioned better than us to create more of these jobs for their people.

walter said...

ARM: "Simply blocking immigration doesn't solve this problem. The country as a whole would just start to fall behind. This is the unstated fear of the elites, that the human capital of the country is not up to international standards."

You think the issues with the American educational institutions are simply a failure of narrow minded "anti intellectual white Americans"?
Look closer..the supposed intellectuals are running them.

AReasonableMan said...

walter said...
Look closer..the supposed intellectuals are running them.


Do you really imagine that the Chinese professor teaching computer science or the Indian teaching electrical engineering or the Italian teaching Neuroscience give a shit about your culture wars? They are too busy trying to make a name for themselves as academics and make money in and for industry. Academia, outside the arts, is pretty much a pure competition for recognition and money.

Chuck said...

John:

Trump says "I love the idea of campaign finance reform."

http://www.redstate.com/2015/08/15/trump-loves-campaign-finance-reform/

Is that simple enough for you?

John said...

Thanks for the graph, ARM. It shows graphically what I showed numerically, American manufacturing output, in constant dollars, has risen steadily since the 60s and continues to rise. BTW: Just to clarify, the numbers in my original comment were constant dollars adjusted for inflation.

China has increased more rapidly and has surpassed us and that is not a surprise. They have a population of 1.4bn to out 330mm or about 4 times our population. I suspect that their output per capita is way below ours and probably not growing as rapidly as their total output.

In any event, that is not what I was addressing and I do not see it as a big problem for the US. I was addressing the myth that the US is losing manufacturing and we both seem to agree that it is not.

I agree with you about the manufacturing jobs that remain being better ones, requiring more skills. One of the big problems we have in the US is that those skilled people are very thin on the ground and hard to find.

Even those jobs are disappearing. A few months ago I was at one of my clients, a large pharma manufacturing plant. We had to go looking for something and went to a room that reminded me of a cemetery. There were probably 40-50 large rollaround mechanic's tool cabinets stored there. Each of them represented a mechanic or other technician that no longer worked in the plant and an unfilled position.

They were still putting out more product than ever but need far fewer people to service and maintain the production machinery.

They probably have half the operators that they had 10 years ago though that is based on observation not on knowing actual head counts.

They also probably have double or triple the number of people in regulatory affairs, validation and quality that they had 10 years ago. Chemists, microbiologists, engineers and such. Good jobs, but think of them the next time you complain about pharmaceutical costs.

An excellent article on skilled vs unskilled in a plant in SC is by NPRs Adam Davison at http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/01/making-it-in-america/8844/

There is an hourlong interview with him at http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2012/Davidsonmanufacturing.mp3

He essentially looks at a CNC machinist, what he does and what skills he needs to have and an unskilled operator and what she does in a plant making fuel injectors. Both are excellent for anyone who would like to know a bit about manufacturing.

John Henry

Birkel said...

"AReasonableMan" thinks his lack of information makes my mocking him unworthy of posting. Granted, it is low of me to make fun of you for knowing so much that is not so. I should take the high road.

Fuck that, you ignorant shit.

walter said...

Might be of interest here: China risk: Housing not stocks

John said...

ARM said:

But, what it does plot is the ability to produce aircraft carriers and in a race to do that my money would be on China if they really put their mind to it.

I do not think the chart shows any ability to produce aircraft carriers. They may be able to but it is not apparent from that chart.

China, as well as other countries, have robust shipbuilding industries and could no doubt build aircraft carriers. I believe that China has already built or is building one. Shouldn't be much more technically challenging than building a cruise ship.

Except: They don't have the capability to build marine nuclear power plants. That means oil fired. So now they need the capacity to refuel underway. The US Navy makes it look easy, we are one of the few that routinely do it and it is not as easy as it looks. They need a fleet of oilers to do this.

Revictualling and resupplying underway is even harder. And they need the resupply ships.

Catapults are tricky and hard to do well.

Building a cadre of aviators, as opposed to pilots, who can take off from a carrier in the middle of the night, find their way across the ocean, carry out the mission then come back and land takes a while to develop.

Protective screening ships.

And so on.

Building the ship is probably the easiest part of being a carrier navy.

The US has had carriers since the early 20's. Probably a couple hundred total. Other than Japan in WWII, you can pretty much count on your fingers how many other aircraft carriers have been built. Not counting helicopter or VTOL carriers like the Brits and a few others have.

Ever wonder why?

Besides all which, carriers are pretty vulnerable. Sink one and you kill 5000 sailors. Put a couple holes in the flight deck and you have rendered it useless for days, weeks or even months.

John Henry

Birkel said...

Any of you remember when "AReasonableMan" was putting his money on the Soviets back in the 1980s? Or when he put his money on the Japanese in the 1970s and again in the early 90s? Or when he put his money on the Asian Tigers in the late 1990s?

I'm sure "AReasonableMan" putting his money on a thing, along with all the other Liberals who pantomime the words chosen for them, does not cause the downfall of the economies he says are better than that of the US. But this pattern is beginning to make me suspicious.

There is so much "AReasonableMan" knows that simply is not true.

Leigh said...

Chuck, have you failed to notice the major movement underway to strip "hate speech" of the protections afforded by the First Amendment? Goodness gracious.

As for your Trump rants, you sound like Jeb, unhinged, hurling gratuitous insults that never land. But politics aside, you are too boorish and rude to get any more syllables from me.

walter said...

Arm: "Do you really imagine that the Chinese professor teaching computer science or the Indian teaching electrical engineering or the Italian teaching Neuroscience give a shit about your culture wars?"

Wow...potent non-sequitur ya got there. The point was that our unis are in the hands of "intellectuals", not the white anti-intellectuals you want to war with.
Maybe if these intellectuals were true to that label, they'd be less focused on establishing an island of groupthink and intolerance...i.e. Two Americas

AReasonableMan said...

Blogger Birkel said...
Any of you remember when "AReasonableMan" was putting his money on the Soviets back in the 1980s? Or when he put his money on the Japanese in the 1970s and again in the early 90s? Or when he put his money on the Asian Tigers in the late 1990s?


Now you are a lying idiot. Point to where I said this.

AReasonableMan said...

John said...
In any event, that is not what I was addressing and I do not see it as a big problem for the US. I was addressing the myth that the US is losing manufacturing and we both seem to agree that it is not.


Are you sure you looked at that graph? That is, from the perspective of almost anybody, an ass-kicking of epic proportions. We went from being the greatest manufacturing nation on earth to #2. You don't see that as a problem and/or a threat to national security? If so, you are pretty much the only one. Even the neocons like Krauthammer, when they can get their minds off the middle east for a few seconds, recognize that the US facilitated and funded rise of China is a problem.

AReasonableMan said...

walter said...
Wow...potent non-sequitur ya got there. The point was that our unis are in the hands of "intellectuals", not the white anti-intellectuals you want to war with.


And the point that eluded you was that surprisingly few of the younger faculty in the hard sciences in universities are either white or US born. That is not the fault of the universities.

Todd Roberson said...

John Henry @ 1:09 PM:

The problem with your trade rant is that importer of the car from South Korea doesn't send $15,000 to South Korea. The invoice is payable in South Korean Won, which must be obtained by the importer. Acknowledging that fact, none of the rest of your post makes any sense.

Hyphenated American said...

" That is, from the perspective of almost anybody, an ass-kicking of epic proportions. We went from being the greatest manufacturing nation on earth to #2. "

Who is the worst enemy of manufacturing in USA? Liberals are - with labor laws, environmental laws, taxation and the like. UAW does more to damage US reputation as a place to move your factories to than 10 Koch brothers put together. How about Obama's promise that energy prices will "skyrocket" under his administration? Does that help US industry? How about minimum wages? Do they help?

Liberals destroy our industries, and then demand more power to push more of the same policies.

walter said...

"And the point that eluded you was that surprisingly few of the younger faculty in the hard sciences in universities are either white or US born. That is not the fault of the universities."

Ah...well those folks ARE less inclined towards "safe zones" and indoctrination than the "social sciences"..though some are part of the CAGW de-industrial complex.
And the teachers and admnistratiors in primary schools leading students towards increased remedial learning at unis? Is that where these white anti-intellectuals are messing up?

Birkel said...

"AReasonableMan" cannot understand mockery. Sad, pathetic idiot Liberals are also humorless scolds.

Meanwhile, I will leave it to readers to laugh at the dupe.

Birkel said...

CAVEAT:
"AReasonableMan" did not post his view of Japanese manufacturing strength vis-a-vis the United States on the internet in the 1970s.

He merely believed those things, like every other Liberal of that day.

See the mockery?

Rusty said...

It is true that large increases in productivity have resulted in an increase in US manufacturing output, but this doesn't mean our position as the world's workshop hasn't been dramatically eroded. See this graph. Can you imagine the hysteria if this plotted the relative number of aircraft carriers. But, what it does plot is the ability to produce aircraft carriers and in a race to do that my money would be on China if they really put their mind to it. Strength in manufacturing and R&D is the essential basis of military strength. I view the elites who oversaw this disaster as quislings, who sold out our country for their 30 pieces of silver. Happy to include Bill Clinton on this list.

On this we agree. Although with the recent market meltdown in China they might be looking for a new economic paradigm.

Yes it is true that old style manufacturing jobs were pretty bad. I worked in several factories during summer holidays when I was in high school and the first years at college to pay for the things that my parents viewed as luxuries, mainly drugs and alcohol, and I am very familiar with how tedious and often dangerous these jobs were. With automation, however, many manufacturing jobs are now high tech, installing and maintaining robots. These are good jobs and the Japanese, Germans and Chinese are all positioned better than us to create more of these jobs for their people.

The last part is debatable. A lot of automated manufacturing for the Germans and Japanese is done here. I have visited factories whos only customers are Honda and BMW. Their products are not only assembled here , but a lot of the parts as well. China is an interesting case. Some industries are automated, but a lot of their basic manufacturing is still pretty 19th century.

AReasonableMan said...

Birkel said...
See the mockery?


That is not mockery, you moron. It is just mindless repetition of tired cliches.

Birkel said...

Leftists have predicted US decline repeatedly.
You lot were wrong then and are wrong now.

That truth is a cliche to your mind is sad.
I mock you because you are sad.

And you have a sad, pathetic loser's view of the world.

John said...


Blogger Todd Roberson said...

The problem with your trade rant is that importer of the car from South Korea doesn't send $15,000 to South Korea. The invoice is payable in South Korean Won, which must be obtained by the importer.

Perhaps, perhaps not. Perhaps Hyundai needs to buy a bunch of aluminum billet from the US and needs dollars to pay for it. I don't know the practices in automotive but have imported a fair amount of European machinery over the past 40 years and it can go either way.

In any event, if the importer does need to pay in won, they go to a Korean or other bank and buy it. Then the problem of spending the dollars is the banks, rather than Hyundai's.

In any event, the trade situation, and the lack of a trade deficit remains the same as I described, just in different hands.

Trade is just that "trade". One person or company or even country trades or exchanges something to another. Korean cars for US aluminum, for example. Those have value.

The dollars or won or any other currency used to facilitate the exchange ae just markers with no intrinsic value of their own. Their only value is what they can be exchanged for and the only place you can exchange dollars for goods, ultimately, is the US.

There is no trade deficit. There can be no trade deficit. The only way a trade deficit can exist is if one country decides to gift us good asking nothing in return.

I stand by everything I said originally.

John Henry


Acknowledging that fact, none of the rest of your post makes any sense.

Chuck said...

Leigh: Yes, I have noticed the trend to institutionalize "hate speech" in some circles, and I don't like it. I tend to like principled absolutists on issues of speech. The First Amendment exists in part to protect odious speech, because that is how all speech is protected.

Of all of the candidates, non-lawyer Donald Trump is the one whom I suspect has given the least thought to free speech, hence his butchery (from a conservative standpoint) of Citizens United and campaign finance reform.

Naturally, Hillary Clinton is a world class menace, for suggesting that perhaps we need a constitutional amendment, to trim the First Amendment rights set forth in Citizens Unites. Hillary's a dangerous lefty in that regard. Worse than Trump. But apparently only in degree.

I don't really need to convince opponents of Citizens United that I am right and they are wrong. All that I propose to do is to speak to conservatives about what an un-conservative dumbbell Donald Trump is.