Trump Is Terrible for Rural America

  
Via:  bob-nelson  •  2 weeks ago  •  24 comments

Trump Is Terrible for Rural America
Rural voters also feel disrespected by coastal elites, and Trump has managed to channel their anger. No doubt many rural voters, if they happened to read this column, would react with rage, not at Trump, but at me: “So you think we’re stupid!”

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


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Economists, reports Politico, are fleeing the Agriculture Department’s Economic Research Service. Six of them resigned on a single day last month. The reason? They are feeling persecuted for publishing reports that shed an unflattering light on Trump policies.

But these reports are just reflecting reality (which has a well-known anti-Trump bias). Rural America is a key part of Donald Trump’s base. In fact, rural areas are the only parts of the country in which Trump has a net positive approval rating. But they’re also the biggest losers under his policies.

What, after all, is Trumpism? In 2016 Trump pretended to be a different kind of Republican, but in practice almost all of his economic agenda has been G.O.P. standard: big tax cuts for corporations and the rich while hacking away at the social safety net. The one big break from orthodoxy has been his protectionism, his eagerness to start trade wars.

And all of these policies disproportionately hurt farm country.

The Trump tax cut largely passes farmers by, because they aren’t corporations and few of them are rich. One of the studies by Agriculture Department economists that raised Trumpian ire showed that to the extent that farmers saw tax reductions, most of the benefits went to the richest 10 percent, while poor farmers actually saw a slight tax increase.

At the same time, the assault on the safety net is especially harmful to rural America, which relies heavily on safety-net programs. Of the 100 counties with the highest percentage of their population receiving food stamps, 85 are rural, and most of the rest are in small metropolitan areas. The expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, which Trump keeps trying to kill, had its biggest positive impact on rural areas.

And these programs are crucial to rural Americans even if they don’t personally receive government aid. Safety-net programs bring purchasing power, which helps create rural jobs. Medicaid is also a key factor keeping rural hospitals alive; without it, access to health care would be severely curtailed for rural Americans in general.

What about protectionism? The U.S. farm sector is hugely dependent on access to world markets, much more so than the economy as a whole. American soybean growers export half of what they produce; wheat farmers export 46 percent of their crop. China, in particular, has become a key market for U.S. farm products. That’s why Trump’s recent rage-tweeting over trade, which raised the prospect of an expanded trade war, sent grain markets to a 42-year low.

It’s important to realize, by the way, that the threat to farmers isn’t just about possible foreign retaliation to Trump’s tariffs. One fundamental principle in international economics is that in the long run, taxes on imports end up being taxes on exports as well, usually because they lead to a higher dollar. If the world descends into trade war, U.S. imports and exports will both shrink — and farmers, among our most important exporters, will be the biggest losers.

Why, then, do rural areas support Trump? A lot of it has to do with cultural factors. In particular, rural voters are far more hostile to immigrants than urban voters — especially in communities where there are few immigrants to be found. Lack of familiarity apparently breeds contempt.

Rural voters also feel disrespected by coastal elites, and Trump has managed to channel their anger. No doubt many rural voters, if they happened to read this column, would react with rage, not at Trump, but at me: “So you think we’re stupid!”

But support for Trump might nonetheless start to crack if rural voters realized how much they are being hurt by his policies. What’s a Trumpist to do?

One answer is to repeat zombie lies. A few weeks ago Trump told a cheering rally that his cuts in the estate tax have helped farmers. This claim is, however, totally false; PolitiFact rated it “pants on fire.” The reality is that in 2017 only about 80 farms and closely held businesses — that’s right, 80 — paid any estate tax at all. Tales of family farms broken up to pay estate tax are pure fiction.

Another answer is to try to suppress the truth. Hence the persecution of Agriculture Department economists who were just trying to do their jobs.

The thing is, the assault on truth will have consequences that go beyond politics. Agriculture’s Economic Research Service isn’t supposed to be a cheering section for whoever is in power. As its mission statement says, its role is to conduct “high-quality, objective economic research to inform and enhance public and private decision making.” And that’s not an idle boast: Along with the Federal Reserve, the research service is a prime example of how good economics can serve clear practical purposes.

Now, however, the service’s ability to do its job is being rapidly degraded, because the Trump administration doesn’t believe in fact-based policy. Basically, it doesn’t believe in facts, period. Everything is political.

And who will pay the price for this degradation? Rural Americans. Trump’s biggest supporters are his biggest victims.

Initial image: Christopher Smith for The New York Times

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Bob Nelson
1  seeder  Bob Nelson    2 weeks ago
But support for Trump might nonetheless start to crack if rural voters realized how much they are being hurt by his policies. What’s a Trumpist to do?

One answer is to repeat zombie lies. A few weeks ago Trump told a cheering rally that his cuts in the estate tax have helped farmers. This claim is, however, totally false; PolitiFact rated it “pants on fire.” The reality is that in 2017 only about 80 farms and closely held businesses — that’s right, 80 — paid any estate tax at all. Tales of family farms broken up to pay estate tax are pure fiction.

Another answer is to try to suppress the truth. Hence the persecution of Agriculture Department economists who were just trying to do their jobs.
 
 
 
luther28
1.1  luther28  replied to  Bob Nelson @1    2 weeks ago

Trump Is Terrible for Rural America

I have to disagree Bob, Mr. Trump is terrible for America and quickly working his way to becoming a global scourge.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
1.1.1  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  luther28 @1.1    2 weeks ago

True... but the other categories you cite are not blind supporters of the President.

 
 
 
luther28
1.1.2  luther28  replied to  Bob Nelson @1.1.1    2 weeks ago

I believe the scales are beginning to drop from even their eyes.

 
 
 
Kavika
1.2  Kavika   replied to  Bob Nelson @1    2 weeks ago

And his trade war is really helping farmers.../s

 
 
 
freepress
2  freepress    2 weeks ago

It's almost hilarious, they voted for the biggest coastal elite in the entire country. Mr. Trump Tower, Mr. Mar-A-Lago, Mr. Hollywood reality show host, real man of the the people.

 
 
 
katrix
2.1  katrix  replied to  freepress @2    2 weeks ago

And they actually think he gives a crap about them.  Just like those poor fools who believed that he'd bring coal back ....

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
2.2  Trout Giggles  replied to  freepress @2    2 weeks ago

LOL! I thought the same thing when I read about the "coastal elites"! trmp looks down his nose at we people in the Heartland.

 
 
 
It Is ME
3  It Is ME    2 weeks ago

Opinion - By Paul Krugman
an Opinion Columnist
"Trump Is Terrible for Rural America"

jrSmiley_13_smiley_image.gifjrSmiley_24_smiley_image.gif

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2017/10/20/gutfeld_paul_krugman_deserves_another_nobel_prize_for_being_this_wrong_about_trump.html

GREG GUTFELD: In 2008 Paul Krugman won the Nobel Prize in economics. Isn't it time he gets another?

Remember what he said way back on Election Day? Quote, "It really does now look like President Donald J. Trump. And markets are plunging. When might we expect them to recover? A first-pass answer is never."

That's pretty awesome for a garden gnome.

But he's no garden gnome. He's a Nobel Prize-winning economist. A garden gnome could run circles around this bearded butthead. And every time he gets it wrong, he gets a raise. So he must be loaded now, as the stock market broke 23,000 and filings for unemployment benefits plunged to the lowest level since 1973.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
3.1  Greg Jones  replied to  It Is ME @3    2 weeks ago

I see Krugman has never met or known a farmer, and has no idea what happens in that world. I know a lot of them are not happy with the pathetic antics of the Democrats.

 
 
 
It Is ME
3.1.1  It Is ME  replied to  Greg Jones @3.1    2 weeks ago
I see Krugman has never met or known a farmer, and has no idea what happens in that world.

He has an "Opinion" on it though. jrSmiley_38_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
3.1.2  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  Greg Jones @3.1    2 weeks ago

One of the few true things Trump has ever said was back during the campaign: "I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot someone, and I wouldn't lose a single supporter."

I know you're right that there are lots of farmers who continue to adore Trump. That's the topic of the seed.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
3.2  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  It Is ME @3    2 weeks ago
Remember what he said way back on Election Day?

Jeez, man! He was pissed and depressed, knowing what a disaster Trump was going to be. Still... he knows that a President in fact has little immediate effect on the economy, so he retracted three days later.

The tax-cut / mega-gift-to-the-already-rich, the China trade war, the Iran (or Venezuela or whatever) hot war... may yet screw us all as they are already screwing the Midwest, but no one knows when.

So... either your man Gutfeld is unaware that Krugman retracted almost immediately (in which case Gutfeld is a lousy journalist)... or he does know it (and he's a demagogic hypocrite).

 
 
 
It Is ME
3.2.1  It Is ME  replied to  Bob Nelson @3.2    2 weeks ago
He was pissed and depressed, knowing what a disaster Trump was going to be

I'm still waiting for this so-called disaster ! jrSmiley_97_smiley_image.gif

Are you in some "Minority" group that isn't doing well ? jrSmiley_87_smiley_image.gif

"Krugman retracted almost immediately"

Typical Trump hater !

Spouts shit for headlines, retracts, but knows the word got out anyway.,  As long as it got out there, they know the Lemmings ain't smart enough to forget the "Shit" that the statements actually were.

The Liberal way. Spew Crap....and watch it grow !

2 years of RUSSIA,RUSSIA,RUSSIA.....comes to mind.

Oh

And Stocks were gonna tank so much, we were gonna be in a worse depression than the GREAT Depression.

Oh

And we'd be at "WAR" too.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
3.2.2  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  It Is ME @3.2.1    2 weeks ago
I'm still waiting for this so-called disaster !

Of course you are. Trump could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot someone, and your adoration of him would be unshaken.

So of course you're still waiting. You won't ever see any disaster because for you, Trump can do no wrong.

 
 
 
It Is ME
3.2.3  It Is ME  replied to  Bob Nelson @3.2.2    2 weeks ago
Of course you are.

I said that already !

What is this so-called disaster hurting the majority of "Americans" again ?

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
3.2.4  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  It Is ME @3.2.3    2 weeks ago
What is this so-called disaster...

There's no point in listing them, since we know beforehand that you won't recognize them. That's the point. A Trump True Believer with never see ill in anything he does. On the contrary, his deeds are all brilliant.

 
 
 
It Is ME
3.2.5  It Is ME  replied to  Bob Nelson @3.2.4    2 weeks ago
There's no point in listing them

Yet you want Trump supporters to understand anyway. 

Got it ! jrSmiley_99_smiley_image.jpg

"Blowing Smoke" …… signals, ain't gonna cut it !

 
 
 
Nerm_L
5  Nerm_L    2 weeks ago

So, what's the alternative?  More food stamp programs for rural America?  Who is offering a better solution?

Dr. Paul Krugman's pursuit of a globalized nirvana is why rural America depends on food stamp programs in the first place.  Krugman trying to point fingers and shift blame won't change the fact that Krugman's politics is responsible for the problems in rural America.  Trump has been in office almost three years; Krugman has been involved in creating public policy his entire career.  Globalization has failed to deliver a solution for rural America and that failure belongs to Dr. Paul Krugman.

Retreating back to what caused the problem is not a solution.  More food stamps isn't a solution, that's a symptom.  Krugman's CYA finger pointing isn't going to provide a solution, either.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
5.1  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  Nerm_L @5    2 weeks ago
Dr. Paul Krugman's pursuit of a globalized nirvana...

You probably should read at least a bit of Krugman. You could avoid saying nonsense. I read a lot of his stuff, and I know of no "nirvana" project.

 
 
 
Tessylo
5.1.1  Tessylo  replied to  Bob Nelson @5.1    2 weeks ago
'You could avoid saying nonsense.'
That's all he seems to have.  

 
 
 
Nerm_L
5.1.2  Nerm_L  replied to  Bob Nelson @5.1    2 weeks ago
You probably should read at least a bit of Krugman. You could avoid saying nonsense. I read a lot of his stuff, and I know of no "nirvana" project.

Dr. Paul Krugman has been a stalwart proponent of global interdependence based upon trade.  That is an outgrowth of the idealist notion that trading partners dependent upon each other will not engage in warfare.  However, the reality is that international trade becomes warfare.  The reality is that exporting countries win economic wars.

Why does China need access to the United States market to sell goods?  China's population is almost four times larger than the United States; China has a much larger domestic market than does the United States.  China's industrial base selling goods domestically should result in an economy that is much larger than the United States economy.  In fact, the size of the Chinese domestic market has been attracting investors from the United States.   

Why does China need the United States to become dependent upon Chinese exports?  It isn't to grow the Chinese economy, that could be accomplished within its own domestic market.

 
 
 
bbl-1
6  bbl-1    2 weeks ago

Trump is great for rural America and the rest of America too.  The courts may overturn Roe v Wade and a few states are legislating prison terms for pregnancy termination.

Am confident the next move by the GOP will be food assistance cuts, housing cuts, medical care cuts and more tax incentives for business. 

Promises made--Promises kept.  During the campaign, Trump said women should be punished for Choice and during the follow up he declared that men should not be punished for their 'part in the pregnancy'.

Trump rural America---There it is.  There you have it.  Its in the bible somewhere, right?

As far as the Trump's 'trade war'.  Every fiber of his being has always demonized, attacked and ridiculed something/someone.  Trump rural America.  There it is.  There you have it.

It is not true that the Trump is terrible for any segment of the country.  On the contrary, this is exactly what the 'lock her up' folk demanded.  Let them eat cake.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
6.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  bbl-1 @6    2 weeks ago
The courts may overturn Roe v Wade and a few states are legislating prison terms for pregnancy termination.

bout time! We need to keep the youn'uns down on the farm! That field ain't gonna plow itself ya know

 
 
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