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comment by low_ho_fosho
low_ho_fosho  ·  1570 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Farewell, America

I don't share the author's despair at all.

Trump isn't going to stop immigration. Even illegal immigration. He builds a wall, they'll dig tunnels; you've heard it before.

The white electorate is shrinking. Trump's coalition is unsustainable. When these people realize that coal jobs are NEVER going to come back (solar is getting too cheap and the benefits to consumers over coal is too obvious), they'll have second thoughts. Automation, fueled by AI, will become ubiquitous, and soon the only jobs left will be tech jobs, creative jobs, managerial jobs, etc. The manual labor jobs that white rural America reveres are dead. Their way of life is not just dying, it has been terminally ill since the start of the 21st century.

People can only sustain active hatred for so long, it will soon fade away into apathy and acceptance.

It is up to the Democrats to reorganize under Bernie Sanders' leadership. They need to bring these people, with all their warts, into the fold. If we can create new jobs with new technologies, we can stave off the worst of the coming automation revolution. But eventually we will need to shift the paradigm of how we think about jobs, labor, and what is necessary for a society to function.

WanderingEng  ·  1570 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Regarding coal, it's mostly getting crushed by natural gas, not solar or wind. The last ten years of data shows coal has declined about 600,000 GWh, roughly a third of its 2006 output. In the same time, non-hydro renewables have increased about 225,000 GWh (of which solar makes up about 100,000 GWh). Natural gas increased about 500,000 GWh. Total generation increased about 140,000 GWh.

Past performance is no indicator of the future, of course, but when people talk about the decline of the coal industry over the past decade, they're also talking about the rise of gas.

snoodog  ·  1570 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Coal isn't viable because cost per kWh sucks. Relaxing regulations won't change the equation significantly enough to matter

WanderingEng  ·  1570 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I agree. While the regulations cost money, undoing them won't budge the market much.

snoodog  ·  1570 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Not sure how good this data is but I may be wrong on cost per MW/h. But the data in the table bellow shows gas as being 30% cheaper so not sure. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cost_of_electricity_by_source#Energy_Information_Administration. From my college energy textbook I remember 30% cheaper being in the ballpark but i guess numbers vary based on how you calculate the total cost.

nothingleftinside  ·  1570 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    They need to bring these people, with all their warts, into the fold.

No. No warts. No racism, no homphobia, no xenophobia, no poor shaming, no science-denying, no anti-education stances. That is the most prescient divide here. Yes, it's partially economics, but it's these very very important things that are at stake here. If these attitudes can't be changed, these people can fuck off. Let them starve and not know why. So far, they have been fractious in the face of any reasonable discussion or compromise.

low_ho_fosho  ·  1570 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I share your outrage at the fact this racist, misogynist pig will now be POTUS. I canvassed for Clinton; I was totally, 100% behind her. But I also don't think we can just get rid of racism and nationalism by extension. That is a slow process that requires re-education over generations, and in the meantime I think there are common ideas both Trump voters and Sanders voters share: anti-establishment, anti-elite, pro-working-poor. We should harness the anger and vitriol of the Trump coalition for our own ends.

I don't think the targets of racism had any illusions that racism wasn't still alive and well in America before the election. I think the people who thought like that were people like me: white liberals.

nothingleftinside  ·  1566 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It doesn't seem to me that Trump voters have anti-elite or pro-poor attitudes based on who they voted for. I just feel like we're beyond the point of compromise. One side is amenable to reason and understand facts; the other is entrenched and "post-truth". I've been hoping for (and calling for) my entire adult life a presidential candidate who's primary issue is poverty. The last time we had that was Jimmy Carter (I think, I wasn't alive). I was very pro-John Edwards in 2008 because that was his signature issue. I dunno. With republican congresses, I have no idea how any positive legislation is going to get passed ever. I'm frustrated to the point of revolt.

snoodog  ·  1570 days ago  ·  link  ·  

This sort of liberal elitism is how/why Clinton lost and how we ended up with Trump. If we as liberals believe that we can rehabilitate the homeless and the drug addicted surely we can educate and rehabilitate those who are afraid of gays blacks and immigrants. That's gotta be easier than trying to rehabilitate someone addicted to heroin.

To give up on half the nation just because they are afraid of people they haven't met is weak and wrong imo.

nothingleftinside  ·  1570 days ago  ·  link  ·  

We've been trying for generations. They just elected a literal fascist who has literal white supremacists in his inner circle. They're going to completely destroy the EPA and actively accelerate climate change. The gloves need to come off.

nothingleftinside  ·  1570 days ago  ·  link  ·  
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