Saturday, November 12, 2016

Politicians barking up the wrong tree. Jobs going to the cities and to automation. Not as much to overseas.

We hear that too many jobs have gone overseas. This is true, but here's another thing that's happening. The jobs are going to the cities. Lots of Trump's support comes from rural areas that are suffering from economic stagnation. The jobs have gone to metropolitan areas. The economy is changing from market forces and so forth.

This past election showed a big divide between urban and rural voters where urban tended to vote more liberal while rural voted conservative. I'm sure there are many reasons for this divide, but the economic stagnation of rural America plays a role. It's being talked about in the media. People complaining about manufacturing jobs going overseas. Well, it may not be as big a problem as Trump and even Sanders supporters claim. I also read that manufacturing is strong in America. Manufacturing is strong, but it's just not creating the jobs that it used to create. Automation may be the biggest factor. Economists are talking about the effects of automation. Why isn't Trump discussing this? For that matter, why didn't any of the major candidates, in the 2016 election, talk about this?

Politicians are usually barking up the wrong tree.

Automation may be the biggest issue, but another issue is the jobs going to the cities. No wonder there's a political divide between urban and rural areas. Cities tend to be more prosperous in today's economy. Lots of service industry jobs, but still, there are jobs in the cities. Much of rural America has a more stagnate economy.

Conservatives might say that it's environmental regulations which have hampered rural economies. Lumber mills closed due to logging restrictions and so forth. There is some truth to this, but some environmental protection is there for good reason. Also there is more reason for rural stagnation than just blaming environmental regulation. In rural North Dakota, there has recently been an oil production boom. Something conservatives are quite proud of. They often talk about America's new "domestic oil boom." Well, now it's kind of a bust as oil prices have gone down. The success of fracking and oil production has lead to a glut on the oil market and lower oil prices.

Many rural economies are based on extraction of one resource. Oil, or maybe timber; like in the case of a timber town. Large urban areas tend to have more diversified economies. In some ways, urban areas are better suited for today's economy than rural areas. Better suited for the service/information economy. Rather than just lashing out and looking for scapegoats, we need to figure out what's happening and figure out how to make it work for our benefit.

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