Thank you for this Ms Reid! (Via Twitter, duh)
I think what Ms. Reid, a MSNBC host, misses is this; most people in Northern California, including Humboldt are struggling, especially working people who don’t own their own businesses and are dependent on their wages to make a living. In this reality, their private sector bosses, who’d like to be honored as Job Creators (or sometimes land owners – See Supervisor Bohn and Fennel’s version of the General Plan Update Guiding Principles) are a working person’s lifeline to a wage – living or not.
So will this thread help dissuade Jeffersoners or help them to understand that the politics of their bosses may be exactly what is helping to create their problems in the first place? Only if they could take a step back and see that people like Joy Reid or a Humboldt liberal who grows arugula are fighting against tendencies of the people they are told to honor to focus almost entirely on their own profits rather than externalities such as the worker’s lives, maybe then these workers would be able to hear or understand the contradictions in the stories they are being told.
But that won’t happen, and the reasons why are exactly those stories. The bad guy or gal in that story are the urban liberal elites and their benefactors who vote for them because of the governmental hand outs they are given. The good guy is the boss (preferred nomenclature is Job Creator) they know they have to honor by being a hard and dependable worker.
If we understand this relationship between employer and employee in rural America, including how dependent and desperate the employee can be, so much more makes sense about Republican politics. I think Ms. Reid’s argument misses this point and it will ultimately serve to heighten the divide rather than help fix it by grouping rural employers and employees into one group without making this distinction. Still it had to be said and I’m glad she too the time to react to the NYT article.
(Note: These opinions are informed by my experience working for a couple of private sector employers in Humboldt and by my understanding of what made the white Confederate soldier who wasn’t wealthy enough to own slaves, fight so fiercely for the Confederate cause.)
example of the Republican use of the dependency on employment:
Many Republican ads and much of their politics against the ACA centered on the loss of one’s doctor through their employer’s insurance. What they didn’t talk about was those workers who may be unemployed or wish to have the freedom to move from one employer to another, which became possible under a market-place plan from Covered CA.
Here is business owner Judy Hodgson’s experience with the ACA as she had to wean business off of the employer-based insurance which was a perk to her employees as she had once paid 100% of the premiums for her workers.
For many of our 26 years in business, we paid 100 percent of the premiums for our employees for a higher deductible, medium-grade silver plan. The ACA promised direct subsidies to small businesses (fewer than 25 employees) for four years in the form of tax credits — basically taxes we didn’t have to pay. The ACA delivered. Each year we received up to $8,000 to help pay premiums for the following year.
I remember being concerned about what would happen in four years when those subsidies went away. Originally there was talk about a direct “government option” if we couldn’t afford premiums but that never materialized.
In 2015, the year the subsidies went away, was also the year that our premium estimate went up a whopping 42 percent, which I reported to Congressman Jared Huffman’s office. It wasn’t a straight, across-the-board increase; some of it was due to employees getting older. It was an increase we could not afford and neither could our employees because the each of them paid for their families. One employee’s spouse was looking at an additional $500 a month because he was 62.
the nyt article in question:
From this article, this infographic: