Trump’s Promises Will Be Hard to Keep, but Coal Country Has Faith

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by R.Perez, Nov 28, 2016.

  1. R.Perez macrumors 6502

    R.Perez

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    Philadelphia, PA
    #1
    Full article: Trump’s Promises Will Be Hard to Keep, but Coal Country Has Faith

    Most of us know coal jobs aren't coming back. Realistically, what can any president do to provide economic renewal for these counties?

    I agree that these regions have been largely abandoned by the political and corporate elite, and like everyone, they deserve the opportunity to provide a solid livelihood for themselves and their families. I just don't know what that looks like.
     
  2. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #2
    Would that count as a government subsidy?
     
  3. Chew Toy McCoy macrumors regular

    Chew Toy McCoy

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    #3
    Make them renewable energy centers.

    I find it somewhat offensive that we think these people are only good for mining coal or that they may believe that themselves.
     
  4. LizKat macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    #4

    It's not just the coal country either... United Way is running the ALICE project now in about 15 states, tracking working families who are vulnerable to falling below poverty line and are already hard pressed to keep up an independent underwriting of basic living expenses.

    Meet ALICE, and the ALICE family, which lives from paycheck to paycheck.

    They are among more than 40 percent of the population statewide and in local communities who cannot afford five necessities of life, according to United Way officials seeking ways to improve economic stability for such households.

    The United Way created ALICE, which stands for “Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed,” to represent individuals and families who are employed but have difficulty paying for the basics of food, shelter, child care, transportation and health care. The ALICE Project started as a pilot in New Jersey in 2009 and has grown to involve 15 states nationally, with the New York organization releasing its report Sunday.

    The ALICE threshold was a “Household Survival Budget” of an average $62,472 income in 2014 for a family of two adults, one infant and a preschooler, officials said.

    The United Way of New York State study reported that 2.1 million households in the state have incomes above the poverty level but below the ALICE threshold budget for survival. Including the 1.1 million households below the poverty line, 44 percent of New York households cannot afford the five basics.

    In Otsego, Delaware, Chenango and Schoharie counties, between 40 percent and 46 percent of the populations were below the ALICE threshold based on 2014 figures, the report said. Typically, ALICE families have no savings account or are one emergency away from depleting that account, officials said.

    Source: http://www.thedailystar.com/news/lo...cle_0e6f7368-88d4-510c-bf5d-268e03ebabc5.html


    Overview and drill-down - http://www.unitedwayalice.org/

    More info resources - https://spaa.newark.rutgers.edu/united-way-ALICE

    Note that the five basics don't include... internet access, which most of us here probably take for granted or squawk about when it disappears for an hour... The budgets are realistic in that they are location-based by county, include taxes and a 10% contingency. Assorted assistance programs are identified that may help mitigate a family's inability to cover all the basics. Alternatives to coverage of a basic expense or budget shortfall are also identified along with problems that may ensue from using them (like informal childcare arrangements, payday loans etc).

    The stats are interesting and pretty much debunk the stereotypical notions that people who can't make the nut on their own are black, urban and unemployed. The ALICE families of a county run the gamut of and look like the county as a whole.

    Bottom line we may have recovered from the Great Recession as a country but 30-45% of us are barely living paycheck to paycheck spending only on basics, in a nation that's dependent on consumer spending but provides mostly an abundance of poorly paid service-based jobs to foot the bills. It's not pretty. It makes the country itself seem perilously close to one big ALICE family.

    I don't know what to expect of this President-elect we won for ourselves in our recent powerball adventure at the polls, but I know what I expect of the incoming Congress: quit screwing around, drink the coffee, look at the numbers, expand what "safety net" means to include getting some better jobs spread around here before something big falls through a place hasn't been mended for about 40 years and counting.
     
  5. Michael Goff macrumors G4

    Michael Goff

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    #5
    I had more than one person at work say he was voting Trump because Trump was going to open the mines, though. It isn't that we think it's all they can do, it might just be what they want to do.
     
  6. samcraig macrumors P6

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    #6
    Trump can't create more coal and technology isn't going to stop being used. Unless he plans on turning miners into westworld robots - it was largely an empty promise.
     
  7. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #7
    Even if coal was limitless, the market has priced it out of feasibility.
     
  8. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    #8
    What West Virginia needs is a heavy dose of what most sensible people would call Socialism: Massive government-led investment in infrastructure and public-works projects. It needs Government-subsidized healthcare and education. It needs income-support and grants for childcare. And it needs a freakin' huge public drug-treatment program.

    Do all those things, and in a generation or two enough private businesses will have sprung up to create a properly-diversified economy. One that doesn't rely on coal that ruins workers backs and lung while poisoning our air, water, and the natural beauty of half the country.

    Are the people of West Virginia willing to say "Yes" to the sort of Government intervention necessary to turn their region into a place of opportunity, rather than despair? Not if you call it Socialism.

    They are buying something called "Trumpism" for now. But I think its going to end up being very different from what they think they voted for.
     
  9. R.Perez thread starter macrumors 6502

    R.Perez

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    #9
    Agree 100%. But then again, I'm a bit of a socialist.
     
  10. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #10
    I increasingly think capitalism has run its course.
     
  11. LizKat macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    #11
    Well so far the new administration's crew sure looks like they mean to prove it beyond shadow of doubt. I have to hope there are some cross-aisle talking between people like Paul Ryan and Patty Murray to say ok look... the numbers for the bottom 90% are not good...

    We need to make a giant list of all the oxen we all fear will be gored, state by state, CD by CD, county by county.

    Heh, and then gore them. On paper. Just to see what would happen. Before it happens anyway due to unforeseen consequences.

    I mean no one ever thought we wouldn't need coal miners. Maybe we don't get it yet that we might not need to build Navy ships in Alabama either. What's that joke the Marines tell about loving the Navy because every time they need a ride to where the fighting's at.... the Air Force shows up.

    Uh-oh, I just gored someone's ox.
     
  12. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    the faraway towns
    #12
    People like bandying about the phrase "Economics 101" but here, the coal miners of West Virginia might want to consider how the supply of natural gas from fracking fields in North Dakota has beat out coal and depressed prices. And, that the Trump administration is only going to encourage this shift further.

    As the New York Times noted:

    Coal mining in West Virginia is doomed. Either we work on a new version of the WPA, and establish a new economic powerhouse in the state, or we let the hollers go quiet as people leave towns like Williamson.

    Since I don't see Trump's administration going for the former, I'd bet against Williamson. And, the decline will likely be accelerated by Trump's administration as his administration slices away the few lifelines that keep some of these towns afloat.
     
  13. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

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    #13
    any isolated area built on a single economic generator that has since stopped generating wont be saved by investment. the most the population can hope for is what, a call center? another prison? $8/hr jobs that crush the soul. alternately, you end up with a jobs program that is the government setting up an office that hires some locals to help the locals that it can't hire, be poor and trapped. whatever that job is, the government will pay for it to move there and likely pay for it to stay there. best to shut it down.

    yet despite the lack of prospects and long term viability, these areas persist. top among the reasons is home/land ownership. many of these people own their houses, either because they were relatively cheap to begin with (as they will be with a declining population with limited economic prospects) or they were inherited from previous generations. so you have a bunch of desperately poor folk but that have a nearly free place to live. staying put looks attractive especially as leaving is beyond their means. and many may have little comprehension of the world outside their own. the result, towns and counties of unemployed and underemployed people persist, even as the prospects grow continually worse.

    so a federal program that buys people's houses from them at an above market rate (to compensate for the higher cost of housing in an area that has jobs). and a generous moving expense (up to $15K) tied to training and job search assistance. the bought up houses are demolished and the property planted over with trees. as people leave, the remaining retail and other services start shutting down, hastening the exodus. until one day, the last bus comes through and the town disapears.

    the downside, the loss of community and history (and meth cookhouses). the upside, one less town in which the primary means of transfer of value is foodstamps. and yes, chances are many will do poorly with the transition (lets face, all the best and brightest already left) but their children and future generations will now get a chance to see what opportunity and potential look like. and many of them will adapt and flourish, or at least, stand on their own.

    another upside, especially if you think that plan is expensive, is the elimination of providing services to areas of declining population and economic means. that is, the government stuff: police, fire, hospitals, ambulance, schools libraries, roads, utilities... these things are paid for through taxes. if no one works, no one pays taxes so then the burden gets pushed up the line. sure, close some hospitals, but now 5 minutes in an ambulance is a helicopter ride. do you know what a helicopter costs? a lot. we are all paying for that. a school built for 300 that only has 60 student. administrative and maintenance costs don't go down proportionally. So we can all pay to leave these people in a situation they will never break free of or we can get them out and give them a chance to flourish by their own efforts. adding to rather than leaching off of, the larger economy.
     
  14. Herdfan macrumors 6502

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  15. samcraig macrumors P6

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    #15
    Unless they remain in Trump's RDF, I have a feeling that many middle Americans who voted for Trump could wind up extremely disappointed.
     
  16. Herdfan macrumors 6502

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    #16
    What is an RDF?
     
  17. samcraig macrumors P6

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    #17
    reality distortion field.
     
  18. Herdfan macrumors 6502

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    #18
    Thanks. Never would have gotten that one.
     

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