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Trump continues to get massive popular traction – why?

Written By: - Date published: 5:05 pm, October 11th, 2016 - 129 comments
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I spotted this article in Zero Hedge this morning. The guts of it is that seven out of ten Americans are an inch away from poverty, live hand to mouth, and do not even have one thousand dollars (USD) in their savings account. Even worse, a full third of Americans “don’t have a dime” in their bank accounts whatsoever.

Zero Hedge quotes USA Today:

Last year, GoBankingRates surveyed more than 5,000 Americans only to uncover that 62% of them had less than $1,000 in savings. Last month GoBankingRates again posed the question to Americans of how much they had in their savings account, only this time it asked 7,052 people. The result? Nearly seven in 10 Americans (69%) had less than $1,000 in their savings account. Breaking the survey data down a bit further, we find that 34% of Americans don’t have a dime in their savings account, while another 35% have less than $1,000. Of the remaining survey-takers, 11% have between $1,000 and $4,999, 4% have between $5,000 and $9,999, and 15% have more than $10,000.

So when Obama/Clinton/the US establishment keep talking about how the US economy is back on track after the 2008/2009 recession. And when Trump says that the economy is a disaster, that America is a divided nation, and that free trade politicians have exported their best jobs overseas, these particular Americans know exactly what he means – whether they support him politically or not.

And it shows in the massive crowds that Trump pulls, and is still pulling, compared to Hillary.

Today in Wilks-Barre Pa. Trump attracted massive crowds who seemed to be willing to forgive his trespasses.cuch40ivuaag17x

WILKES-BARRE — Donald Trump‘s supporters showered the Republican presidential candidate with admiration and forgiveness at a rally Monday night at a hockey arena here.

And then their hearts melted when he invited a father to bring his toddler — dressed as a mini-Donald — onto the stage at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre Township.

“It shows he has a personal side and he does love people,” said Cheryl Howatch, 56, of Forty Fort, Luzerne County…

“That’s guy talk, boy talk; girls do the same thing,” Howatch said. “I certainly don’t want to be held accountable for anything I said 10 to 12 years ago.”

Trump’s comments were wrong, but he made a mistake, said Cynthia Donlan, 50, of Hazleton. The debate showed he’s presidential material, she said.

“He made me proud to be a Trump supporter,” Donlan said.

The rally started at about 7:40 p.m. at the 8,050-seat arena, and the place was nearly packed to capacity. Prior to the start, an announcer urged supporters not to harm protesters — as Trump crowds have done at other venues.

The announcer also told the crowd that Trump supports the media’s right to cover the rally under the First Amendment, unlike previous rallies in which he has urged supporters to heckle reporters and photographers.

With the MSM and big corporate media pouring scorn on mudslinging “Don’n’Dirty “ Donald Trump and the Washington Post declaring “A new low, even for Donald Trump” one has to ask why all these thousands of people, and indeed thousands of women keep turning up at Donald Trump events and are willing to overlook his obnoxious, repulsive, fratboy behaviour.

My main theory is represented by Trump supporters’ views of the destructive direction that the venal Washington D.C. elite establishment and their cosy big corporate counterparts have taken their towns, their counties, and basically their every day lives, while pretending via very well dressed and polished MSM repeaters that things are as rosy as ever.

It’s a different facet of the same disgust with the establishment (and the establishment repeater MSM) which catapulted the UK to BREXIT and which told the UK Labour Party hierarchy and establishment caucus where to go. To make the message as simple as possible for the Ivy League educated Donna Karan/Armani wearing Washington Post reading beltway elite, the attitude of the deplorables and the irredeemables in the flyover states appears to be:




129 comments on “Trump continues to get massive popular traction – why? ”

  1. Peter 1

    Why all this fascination in NZ with Trump/Clinton and the American election?

    We can be damn sure they don’t follow our elections with similar fervor.

    We (most of us) don’t have a vote in this, and will be largely unaffected by the outcome.

    Please can me mandate that the NZ media must have at least one Trump/Clinton- free day each and every week?

    • Garibaldi 1.1

      Trouble is Peter, New Zealand, under both National and Labour ,has been hell bent on following the USA and we are rapidly catching up. The American Dream turned into a nightmare a long time ago.

    • Paul 1.2

      What happens in America affects the world.

    • Perhaps THIS explains the popularity of Trump , – as both men are very similar albeit one is a fictional character who encapsulates many of the blue collar values and attitudes….

      And this :

    • Guerilla Surgeon 1.4

      It’s partly because whoever wins the American election – it affects the whole world. I’ve often thought we should all have a vote in them, considering how much they affect us.

  2. mickysavage 2

    Where to start?

    1. Trump is no working class hero.
    2. Trump is no friend of liberals or the environment.
    3. Trump is a misogynist prick.
    4. Trump is one of the worst employers imaginable.
    5. Trump has severe personality defects and should never be be allowed near the levers of power.
    6. His supporters are almost invariably people with the same problems.
    7. Give me Hillary any day although give me Bernie any day over her.

  3. joe90 3

    Yeah, he’s popular.

    This guy, at the rally with his wife and three kids, in his "She's A Cunt, Vote For Trump" shirt. pic.twitter.com/NDQMz1uteG— Sally Kohn (@sallykohn) October 11, 2016

  4. Ad 4

    god it’s going to be a long 29 days.

  5. TheExtremist66 5

    Maybe it’s morbid curiosity?

  6. Stuart Munro 6

    This is what you get for destroying your media and education system – a public that chooses reality show hosts instead of presidents.

    • Garibaldi 6.1

      So what’s your excuse for Hillary SM? She’s well educated but it hasn’t made her a decent human being …. far from it.

      • Stuart Munro 6.1.1

        She’s not part of the equation – the vox pop (being proverbially vox dei) is supposed to weed both pretenders out.

  7. One Two 7

    The status quo remains and the actors are largely irrelevant in the bigger picture the controllers appear to be painting

    Clinton, Trump, Sanders, Stein , Cruz, Bush et al are imbedded into the same system. The system is the problem it’s as simple as that

    The only way Trump ‘wins’ (assuming he makes it to election day and beyond), is by a margin so large in number that the inevitable paper and digital vote fraud is sidelined as a factor

    The system is so grotesque that it’s finally decended as low as it can possibly go…

    Surely it could not get worse than than Clinton v Trump

    So why waste your life force defending or supporting either of them!

    • Colonial Viper 8.1


      Everyone in the MSM and the liberal left has been telling me that Hillary achieved a clear win over Trump.

      • Lanthanide 8.1.1

        Yip, there are always a few nutters detached from reality.

        • Colonial Viper

          You have to make sure that you know whether or not you are one living inside, or one living outside the asylum. It’s very easy to get confused which is which.

        • Not necessarily, there are some liberals saying that fwiw Trump won this debate, like The Young Turks. It depends what your criteria for winning are.

          I definitely understand that that among urban liberals Clinton very clearly won the debate. The question is really about the voting population in necessary states (which are a lot less urban) like Virginia and Colorado will have been convinced by her calm issues-based debating style, or whether Trump managed to score points with them by saying the economy is failing and that NAFTA was a disaster, and whether his defensive tactic of equating his comments with Bill Clinton’s actions managed to paint it as a wash for them.

          I’m honestly not sure, and am waiting for post-debate polling. Before the debate, it looked like Trump was clearly falling apart, so I don’t really expect him to reverse that so much as maybe arrest his decline.

  8. Macro 9

    He is popular with that 30 – 40 percent of red neck, gun loving, gun toting idiots who populate the USA – It has its more than fair percentage of them thru poor education and poor societal programmes. These are the ones who gleefully devour his inanities and vulgar and sexual language, but that is it. His popularity will now top out at 35 – 40 % and he has lost the votes of many women (who make up 55% of the voting population), educated republicans (who will choose not to vote), and latinos (who are now registering to vote as they have never voted before). He has lost this election thank god and some sanity will prevail.

  9. DS 10

    If you are grumpy about the political elite selling out to corporate monsters, electing a corporate monster does not seem a particularly useful solution. Basically, all you are doing is cutting out the middle man.

    • North 10.1

      CV’s a miffed child who’s painted himself into a corner more ridiculous than Trump. Our supremo leftie fuck off !

  10. Macro 11

    Poll: After Trump Tape Revelation, Clinton’s Lead Up to Double Digits
    “among all registered voters, Clinton’s lead is 13 points, her largest advantage over Trump since the poll began testing the pair last September.”

  11. Andre 12

    The graphic at the bottom nails it. “Because fuck you, that’s why”.

    When you’re angry it feels empowering to hear a “leader” say it too. It’s not just aimed at Washington and establishment, it’s aimed at everybody “other”. I imagine being at a massive rally that says “fuck you” to the rest of the world on that scale is incredibly energizing.

    And it feels great, right up until the moment you realise you’re on the wrong side of that “fuck you”.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      yes masses of people are angry at the political economic establishment, am glad that you picked that up.

      • Andre 12.1.1

        So if you get that, why is it hard to understand that Trump fills stadiums? Sure, Wilkes-Barre looks like it’s in the middle of nowhere (and gawd it feels like it when you’re there), but Luzerne and Lackawanna counties have half a million population between them. It’s close enough to Philadelphia that some people might even have come from there. So finding 8000 people for the stadium isn’t that impressive.

      • weka 12.1.2

        CV, many of us know that already. It’s not rocket science, and it’s weird to see you keep on saying this as if (a) we don’t know, and (b) that’s all there is to it. On its own it doesn’t explain ‘Fuck You‘. There are whole swathes of other dispossessed people who don’t have that response. Something else is going on here and it’s the absence of analysis of those other things that is disturbing. That absence now come across as promotion.

        • Olwyn

          The very fact that Clinton calls these people deplorables and irredeemables goes some way toward explaining things without the need for analysis. No one likes people who think and speak of them in that way, especially people who hold leadership positions in a party that claims to take their side. The fact is, neoliberalism can accommodate liberals that do not rock the boat, but cannot accommodate the working class – they have even torn up their own industrial bases so they don’t have to. Hillary, in calling these people such names, clearly does not see them as her constituency. If they want representation they have to go elsewhere, and Trump, whether honestly or not, is offering an elsewhere.

          • weka

            yes, as I said, the point about how the working class (and underclass) have done under neoliberalism is reasonably well understood and accepted here, so why make out that most people don’t get it?

            And yet there are still other groups of people who are dispossessed and who get described and acted upon by the ruling class in terrible ways and they still don’t respond in the way that some Trump supporters do. The dynamic you describe is real, and it’s not a sufficient explanation on its own IMO.

            Plenty of working class people who aren’t supporting Trump btw. It’s the intersection of class and ethnicity that gives us a better picture, but even there, the numbers of white working class people who support Trump isn’t overwhelming. This is why the framing that is being done here is a problem.

            • Olwyn

              I am sure there are a lot of working class people who are not supporting Trump. Someone, I think it might have been the Archdruid, said that part of the attraction is that he is taking on the hatred and contempt for which they are the usual target. A line I remember from the piece, if it triggers anyone’s memory, is that Trump can well afford a haircut that meets liberal approval, but prefers to revel in their disapproval.

          • Colonial Viper

            There is a certain type in the establishment who is quite keen on the concept of helping the poor, even though they personally can’t stand the stench of the poor.

            • Olwyn

              Help is not representation, and people from the US, broadly speaking, prize their autonomy. And why would you warm to anyone who can’t stand the stench of you?

              • Colonial Viper

                IMO it goes back to what RL has brought up previously: John Michael Greer’s model of victim vs rescuer vs persecutor that modern politics inevitably falls into.

                • Olwyn

                  I don’t know that model, but on the face of it, it looks to be a triangulation/divide-and-rule combination. It also looks to me as if the US capitalist democracy is showing itself to be inadequate to the role of organising principle. Without the constraints of established religion or competing economic models, it seems unable to prevent crazy, rogue elements from taking over the system, while society fractures into competing tribes, each defending their interests, or their survival if they have no interests to speak of. And the most vocal educated US liberals form one such tribe, more than happy to victim-blame when the victims neither share their interests nor subscribe to their creed.

  12. miravox 13

    For some, That’s Entertainment?

    I mean, I might even go to one of his rallies, if I was there, for the morbid curiosity value.

    A shame that the Republicans have no-one to speak intelligently and honestly about addressing the economic and social issues that these people have. Only a narcissistic conman.

  13. mosa 14

    I think that last nights presidential debate was appalling and i pity the American people that they have been allowed two candidates to dominate the contest who are shallow , dishonest and dont give a shit about the millions of Americans and their precarious financial existence.

    Whoever wins the result will be the same for the seven out of ten poverty stricken Americans, they will still be poor and and living on the edge, working for crap pay and trapped in a cycle of poverty and massive debt and their candidates for commander in chief who are being massively funded by corporate entities and others to keep the system that is enslaving them unchanged.

    What a difference it would have made to have had Jill Stein and Gary Johnson participate and give Americans an alternative to consider instead of the same old two party dictatorship.
    But they cant debate and are deliberately shut out from appearing in case they threaten the two party club and god forbid get traction and support.
    America the home of democracy and freedom !

    Trump is like John Key, not a politician (until they get power ) so somehow that generates support with the public that they are an outsider and the no matter how much deceit , bad practice and outlandish behavior they are involved in they get support and forgiveness because the “are one of us” and are the underdog and understand how we are doing it hard, how bad it all is and they are going to fix it so we are not poor and badly paid and in massive debt.
    The reality is they are a product of the neo liberal economy and support its lethal effects that harm the very people who are mistakenly voting for them to change the status quo they support and has made them rich.

    Its the political system that is a large part of the problem and until someone undertakes the challenge to change it Americans will still be disadvantaged.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      I’m glad you picked up on those financial hardship stats after 8 years of Obama.

      Hardly any one else here did, instead preferring to demonise Trump, or his supporters, or both.

      • RedLogix 14.1.1

        Mate … you are one monstrous shit-stirrer.

        The question you ask is the right one. Why?

        In a sane world these ‘deplorables and red-neck irredeemables’ who live “hand to mouth” and are voting for Trump, should be supporting a Democrat candidate. A candidate with a policy platform to make their lives truly better, and a Party they trust to implement it.

        Blaming their minimal education, their tough backgrounds, their poverty as the reason why they support Trump, merely really adds up to nothing more than elitist snobbery. A refined form of victim-blaming.

        This is why Trump attacked Clinton on her record. Over and again … 30 years and what do you have to show for it? Whether is was strictly accurate or fair to pin all the blame on Clinton is neither here nor there. The one the poor in the USA know for certain is that the Democrats have promised the sky over and again, and it’s never been delivered.

        If it were not for this glaring. fatal weakness, Trump would not have gotten past the first primary.

        • Colonial Viper

          Mate … you are one monstrous shit-stirrer.

          Well, there ain’t much genius or kudos in asking the bloody obvious, but I thought someone ought to.

      • weka 14.1.2

        “Hardly any one else here did, instead preferring to demonise Trump, or his supporters, or both.”

        That’s probably as much to do with how you are framing things as anything.

        • Colonial Viper

          You mean how I started my post by talking about, and linking to, these financial insecurity statistics?

          • weka

            No, I don’t mean that.

          • miravox

            I find it hard to believe that you still believe Trump’s rallies are populated mostly by people who are the financially dispossessed in the U.S. And even if they are financially dispossessed, that they are there primarily for that reason.

            I also find it hard to believe that you believe other Standard commenters are unaware or lacking empathy over of the level of the U.S wealth disparities, homelessness, job insecurity etc, etc.

            If you believe that most of the people at these rallies are there because have nothing left to lose, economically, you’re taking a pretty one-dimensional approach, imo. There are a several reasons for why they turn up in droves. Upthread I said entertainment – Trump is nothing, if not an entertainer (just like the snake-oil salesmen in their covered wagons in times gone by) – there are also the calls to misogyny, racism, xenophobia…

            At a guess, those who believe he’s an economic messiah, and are wiling to be worse off than they are already are to “Make America Great Again” has shrunk quite a bit. Planet Trump has lost its appeal in this respect, I think.

            From: http://www.vox.com/2016/5/9/11635426/donald-trump-rise-racism
            – “Trump supporters are pretty rich. As best we can tell from the data available in exit polls, the median household income of a Trump supporter is about $72,000 a year.”
            – In the Primaries “Trump performed well in affluent regions… the unusual geographic pattern of Trumpism — stronger in the South and Northeast than in the Midwest or West — corresponds to the geography of white racial resentment in the United States.” (which came first in these regions – dog-whistling Republicans and Christian fundamentalists, or economc downturn, I wonder?)

            Also This written 5 months ago, so before the sexism fall-out, but I’m sure this commentary is useful for that as well.

            Rather than characterizing them as losers who are easily fooled, Trump’s supporters—who amount to at least a plurality of the Republican primary electorate—deserve to be looked at in their own terms. Trump’s essential appeal is based on racism. He launched his campaign talking about Mexican “rapists,” and subsequently stirred up xenophobia against many other groups, especially Muslims. His racist pitch succeeded because the Republican Party is overwhelmingly white and has relied heavily on dog-whistle appeals to racism since the early 1960s.

            Trump is appealing to the aggrieved privilege of well-to-do white Republicans who feel threatened by America’s changing demographics and challenges to the traditional racial hierarchy in the age of Obama.

            This is not to downplay the dire economic predicament of many Americans (not just non-college-educated, older white men), but really, if it were simply their economic circumstances they would have turned Democrat and voted Bernie in the Primaries. The situation is a whole lot more complex than you’ve presented here, imo.

            • Andre

              In some ways yes it is a lot more complex. But in other ways it’s also very simple.

              It’s about emotion, and Trump is very good at arousing strong emotion, while putting out a lot of vague and contradictory statements of intent that people can cherry-pick and project something appealing to their views (while ignoring everything contradictory). For instance, we have local commenters seizing on Trump’s favourable comments about Putin and about wasting money in the Middle East to say he would not be a war-monger, while simultaneously ignoring Trump’s comments about massively expanding the military, “take their oil”, “bomb the shit out of them” etc etc

              Personally on most topics, my initial emotional reaction aligns with a “right wing” view. It takes a conscious effort to go looking for the evidence, and that’s when I often swing around to a different view. But a lot of people don’t take those steps, because it takes time and work.

              We’re all fortunate that Trump is such a turd tornado that enough people have finally been splattered by his flying faeces to realise what a disaster he would actually be. But those hits have struck more on an emotional level rather than a rational analytical level.

              • miravox

                Thanks Andre – I realise you’re a lot more informed on this topic than I am and appreciate your comments.

                I agree the emotion is a big part of it with Trump – I was attempting to allude to that with the entertainer-sales analogy. I can’t get over the way he uses it to set people against others. I just hope your great penultimate sentence holds true.

            • swordfish

              “I find it hard to believe that you still believe Trump’s rallies are populated mostly by people who are the financially dispossessed in the U.S. … “Trump supporters are pretty rich. As best we can tell from the data available in exit polls, the median household income of a Trump supporter is about $72,000 a year.”

              That was among voters participating in the GOP Primaries. They may well continue to comprise the lion’s share of Trump rally attendees (difficult to know), but his “supporters” are, of course, a much larger demographic.

              If you take a look at people who hold a Favourable view of Trump in recent Polls for instance (with a focus on income) – you get quite mixed results. Some Pollsters like YouGov suggest a majority (albeit a smallish one) of those positive about Trump hail from the poorest 50% of the Electorate. Others like Fox News suggest he’s more popular with the most affluent 50%.

              Personally, I tend to favour the YouGov Polls – seem to be more robust.

              Unfortunately, no one provides more detailed breakdowns so it’s difficult to say anything about, say, the poorest 20% of all voters* (or the poorest 30% of white voters) for instance.

              * Obviously, ethnic minority voters tend to be both poorer and Clinton supporters.

              • miravox

                “no one provides more detailed breakdowns so it’s difficult to say anything about, say, the poorest 20% of all voters”

                Yeah,I noticed that… I went articles for the most recent primaries for that reason. 50% is pretty broad.

                The yougov does suggest though, a lot of Trump support is not from the most poverty stricken. That is not saying that he doesn’t have a majority in this group (if they’re not Black, Hispanic or women). Just that it’s likely that his crowds have people who are not from the poorest. He seems to have similar favourablity ratings in the lowest and highest income bands.

      • mosa 14.1.3

        Yeah CV those stats were horrifying and it makes a mockery of what Obama promised and his campaign of Hope has failed miserably for the Democratic parties constituency.

        You wouldnt think so if you believe the picture the corporate media are painting about the economy and its recovery from the GFC and how wonderful it all is.

        I would like to see a similar survey conducted here and see how the” rock star economy” has delivered in real terms for hard working and impoverished kiwis.

  14. it shows in the massive crowds that Trump pulls, and is still pulling, compared to Hillary.

    On the same night Trump pulled 15,000 in Ohio. So, um … not really?

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      As I noted above, Clinton pulled her crowd on the campus of Ohio State University which is home to 60,000 to 70,000 students, staff and faculty.

      • Psycho Milt 15.1.1

        And? That’s a quarter of the population – any candidate who got that proportion of a city to attend their rally would consider it a great success. No politician has ever had that proportion of my university turn out to hear them speak.

      • Keep on shifting those goalposts to suit your narrative, mate.

        • dukeofurl

          Think back 4 years !

          Katie Packer, a strategist for Mitt Romney in 2012, posted a photograph on Twitter of 30,000 people at an Ohio rally four years ago a week before Mr. Romney’s defeat. ”
          She says Romneys crowds were bigger in those last weeks .

          • McFlock


            Google is wonderful when people paste quotes (my italics):

            As he spoke, Katie Packer, a strategist for Mitt Romney in 2012, posted a photograph on Twitter of 30,000 people at an Ohio rally four years ago a week before Mr. Romney’s defeat. “None of the Trump crowds so far in the general election surpass what we regularly had in ’12,” Ms. Packer wrote. “They are so naïve.”

            Thats from a NYT article on Trump’s imploding campaign.

            • Colonial Viper

              What Packer neglected to reflect on was the state of Hillary’s crowds this year vis a vis the ones Obama got in 2012.

              That’s a pretty easy comparison though, so obvious its not even worth talking about.

              • McFlock

                Completely true.

                But as you keep pointing out, Clinton seems to be do smaller events and buying loads of advertising, whereas your argument for his support is the size of his rallies.

                Think of it this way – Clinton, as a marathon runner, isn’t as showy as a hurdler, and can’t jump for shit. Trump is a hurdler, and his fans point out that he seems to jump higher than Clinton, but what they miss is that as hurdlers go, he’s a pretty average hurdler.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Think of it this way – Clinton, as a marathon runner

                  Actually, this is something that I would quite like to see before election day. Actually doing a half marathon would be more than adequate

              • dukeofurl

                So is that the point of your post now that the Trumps ‘huge rallies’ has been debunked?
                Clinton cant whip them up into a frenzy ?

              • Macro

                Many voters will not vote at all this time round because of a “plague on both your houses” or because they are died in the wool Republicans but could never vote for Trump because of what he represents and can’t hold their noses long enough to vote for Clinton. However there are may more others who will vote because of the slanderous things Trump has said about them and they won’t be voting for him.
                As for the turn out at rallies –
                Having visited Ohio State University – which like Massey U in NZ has campuses across the State. The Stadium is the biggest place in the Capital Columbus. The Ohio State Buckeyes football team is one of the best in the league (for which they are very proud) and the Stadium is huge with a capacity of around 104,000 people.
                So if you want to run a rally for the people of Ohio (not just the University) you hold it at the football ground.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Having visited Ohio State University – which like Massey U in NZ has campuses across the State.

                  Indeed. The 60,000 to 70,000 person figure I used (students, staff, faculty) is for its main campus site only.

  15. infused 16

    You are one of the only ones that get it on thestandard CV (out of all the people I see posting about Trump).

    A lot of American’s see through the bullshit that Clinton is spewing. Her bullshit is all over RT.com and wikileaks. People want change. Big change. You are not going to get that under Clinton.

    It’s basically a vote of “Fuck it, why can’t do any worse”.

    Favours are being called in everywhere: https://www.rt.com/usa/362298-media-endorsing-hillary-clinton/

    I think the public see this now.

    • Lanthanide 16.1

      Of course they want change, but Trump wouldn’t actually change their lives for the better, if he were actually allowed and capable of implementing the few policies he talks about.

      • Colonial Viper 16.1.1

        Obama once talked a lot about “change we can believe in.” Eight years later and with 7 out of 10 Americans not even able to find $1000 in their bank account, perhaps Obama meant “small change we can believe in.”

        • Lanthanide

          I wrote a post earlier that seemed to get lost.

          That $1000 figure is a bit misleading for Americans. They have a culture of conspicuous consumption. It’s a way of life for them. It’s not uncommon to get a well paying job, and then live right up to or beyond your means. So yes, many of those people won’t have savings because they don’t have good incomes, but many of them won’t have savings simply because they choose to spend all their money.

          Credit is easy to get, and many Americans juggle multiple credit cards. You can get 30 year fixed mortgages with 3% interest rates. So just saying a lot of Americans don’t have savings and trying to draw conclusions from that is fraught. Be interesting to know the median income of the people in the survey, just for a bit of extra context.

          • Colonial Viper

            Yes the wider context would be interesting, but I think it would further make the point.

            AFAIK the average US household carries $16,000 USD of credit card debt. That of course might be spread between two or three adults in the household.

            This wider context may make it even clearer why so many households feel they are worse off now, after NAFTA, which Trump always mentions at his rallies.

            • Lanthanide

              Yes, in other words they’re blaming politicians and mexicans for their own cultural failings.

              • Colonial Viper

                You could say that, but in a sense that would be blaming the victims of an engineered social change.

                You would have to ignore that traditional American values in the first part of the 20th century included thrift, self reliance and a strong sense of socialism.

                Indeed, pre WW1, socialist mayors were common and support for marxist/socialist movements strong.

                These longstanding cultural values were deliberately eradicated and replaced by corporate and consumer values in the second half of the 20th century by a vastly powerful Madison Avenue/Wall St/Washington D.C. consensus.

                • Lanthanide

                  No one individual is to blame. Similarly, no one individual can fix the problem. And certainly not Trump (again, Sander’s policies are much closer to the mark).

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Of course no single individual is to blame – although some are to blame more than others.

                    The main thing to understand is that there was a deliberate social engineering effort in the USA to destroy socialist/communitarian values and to replace them with corporate/consumerism values.

                    The period of McCarthyism was only one episode of a much broader long lasting programme.

          • Nic the NZer

            The paradox of thrift completely debunks what you are saying. Americans propensity for saving (or diss-saving) does not determine the aggregate American savings rate at all. This is actually determined by their history of govt deficits and current account surpluses.

            On the other hand your statement is completely wrong anyway. Due to massive income inequality US citizens who have the income largely do save it.

            When dealing with a whole economy these economic notions which apply on an individual basis no longer make any sense and the aggregate effect is no longer a function of adding the individual effects together.

        • dukeofurl

          The actual numbers were
          “Breaking the survey data down a bit further, we find that 34% of Americans don’t have a dime in their savings account, while another 35% have less than $1,000. Of the remaining survey-takers, 11% have between $1,000 and $4,999, 4% have between $5,000 and $9,999, and 15% have more than $10,000.”

          But it wasnt just the low payed
          ” Some 29% of adults earning more than $150,000 a year, and 44% making between $100,000 and $149,999, had less than $1,000 in savings. ” Obviously thats a small number

          Where did the data come from:
          GoBankingRates again posed the question to Americans of how much they had in their savings account,…it asked 7,052 ( previous year it was over 5000)

          This rings a few bells for me, as it doesnt seem to be a random survey you could apply to the country at large.
          essentially GoBankingRates is a web site for those looking for credit ?

          Other sources say the amound saved for retirement is much higher, but too could cherry picked.

          This is a more reliable source

          ” Nearly half of Americans would not be able to come up with $400 in savings in an emergency, according to a Federal Reserve study ”

          One thing was curious
          “One possible explanation is that people spend more to signal that they’re not poor, Megan McArdle suggested.
          This is one preception I have about some people who spend up big on jap used cars , big Tvs, fast food etc.

          • Nic the NZer

            Its not curious at all. Its caused by the paradox of thrift. The propensity for saving simply does not determine the aggregate savings rate of your population.
            Thats only confusing if you don’t understand this simple fact.

          • Colonial Viper

            ” Nearly half of Americans would not be able to come up with $400 in savings in an emergency, according to a Federal Reserve study ”

            This overlaps well with the statistic that 7 out of 10 do not have even $1000 in their bank accounts.

    • Colonial Viper 16.2

      It’s basically a vote of “Fuck it, why can’t do any worse”.

      Exactly. I’m amazed that Lefties are trying to make this more complicated. In the words of Trump’s pitch to poverty stricken African Americans in the inner cities after all these years of Democratic rule: “what do you have to lose?”

      • Don't worry. Be happy 16.2.1

        Answer to Trump’s question “What do you have to lose?” (By supporting his brand of insanity)

        Mother Earth.

        • dukeofurl

          You mean Trump has nothing to lose by trying this line.

          hes just an old time prosperity preacher, jesus wants you to be rich – like me.

          Im surprised you are falling for the Manhattan billionaire telling poor people the GOP will make you great again.- well the the few left who still support Trump.

    • Colonial Viper 16.3

      I’ll put my conspiracy analyst hat on now. In that RT photo of Hillary which I believe was taken after the second debate – her eye colour is blue.

      But that’s not the eye colour present in photos of her in the 1980s, or in the 1990s as First Lady.

      Blue contact lenses, to match the therapeutic blue zeiss lenses in the glasses she sometimes wears.

  16. Repiv Lianoloc 17

    Colonial Viper – you should know that I really appreciate your posts. I visit this website multiple times a day, but I don’t usually post any comments because of the closed-mindedness of most of the regulars here with regards to the bigger picture.
    Most people wouldn’t dare to actively go against the stance of a majority, but you have the guts, and patience, to do it on here.
    You are much appreciated and the behind-the-scenes support you have on here is a lot more extensive than what you may realize.
    I’m always looking-out for your input. Thanks for persisting with truth, justice and freedom. You are a champion in dignity, despite the rough edges.

    I wish you all the best in every aspect of everything.

  17. Guerilla Surgeon 18

    I have repeatedly posted a list of things that are wrong with Trump and asked his supporters to engage with them and then explain why they are voting for him. I must’ve done this a dozen times now at least. Not one reply, except for someone who said it doesn’t matter, because he’s going to change things. So yes, it’s a fuck you vote.

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      I don’t think that it’s the entire explanation, but it’s definitely a big component. Not exactly the same as, but somewhat similar to, the BREXIT vote.

    • joe90 18.2

      Best explanation so far.

      We join our Imaginary Debate, already in progress:

      Trump: I never said “sex tape”. Never said that. Never.

      Moderator: I’m reading your tweet. That is literally what you wrote less than a week ago.

      Trump: Doesn’t matter. Also “Mosul!”

      Moderator: What do you mean it “doesn’t matter”? You’ve told 20 lies in 20 minutes and called for your opponent to be jailed.

      Trump: Hillary lies worse. She lies all the time. She’s lying right now.

      Moderator: No. She’s not. Why do you say crazy shit like this?

      Trump (laughs): Because my supporters are morons. Come on, we all know it. I piss in their face and they ask for seconds. They’re chumps, born and bred. so buried under their own shame and humiliation and ignorance they don’t dare admit how thoroughly fucked up they really are. They’re cattle and happy to be that way, so why blame me for leading them to slaughter?

      Moderator: Fair point.

      Trump: Sure, every once in a while a lie blows up in my face so bad I can’t dent it away. So what? I just say “both sides” and their tiny brains go blank and they wander off into the tall grass looking for a Liberal to blame. The media — your whole profession — does it too. “Both sides” is a fucking magic. With it I can cloud men’s minds. With it, I’m Mandrake the Magician.

      Moderator: Holy crap, why are you admitting this?

      Trump: Because the villain always has to kick back and gloat and explain his evil genius scheme to someone. It’s how the plot goes.


  18. McFlock 19

    Prizefights and folks who talk to the dead get large audiences, too.

    That doesn’t equate to majority support.

    The economic thing is always a factor, when you promise poor folks that they’ll finally be “winning” some will fall for it. But in the US there’s also the Republican/Democrat divide.

    Trump has been doing his not-quite-dog-frequency whistling to the Republican undercurrent, but if he’s gone over the top so much that the Republican leadership is abandoning him, I suspect that reflects the overall Republican support. Say what you want about the establishment of any party, but they want to keep members and donations flowing in.

    So he puts on a good show, and maybe everyone who turns up will vote for him. But what he needs are the people who don’t turn up to all the rallies. Not “floating voters” as such, but Republicans who might just decide that they can’t be bothered this year because the entire thing leaves a bad taste in their mouths.

    • Stunned Mullet 19.1

      The largest meeting in recent NZ political history I can recall was the ‘moment of truth’……….. can’t recall that working out particularly well for those involved.

      Good theatre though …

    • Colonial Viper 19.2

      Prizefights and folks who talk to the dead get large audiences, too.

      Wrestlemania 23

  19. Henry Filth 20

    Personally, I am grateful that Mister Trump has saved us the horrors of four years of Bush/Rubio/Cruz/Ryan/Christie/whoever.

  20. Henry Filth 21

    Personally, I am grateful that Mister Trump has saved us the horrors of four years of Bush/Rubio/Cruz/Ryan/Christie/whoever.

  21. Phil 22

    This entire thread is pretty rife with ignorance, bordering on concern trolling… but I guess that’s all a pro-Trump supporter has to fall back on, huh?

    The US financial asset landscape is wildly different to New Zealand for a lot of different reasons, but the key differences for this discussion are:
    1) interest rates on savings deposits in the US are, and pretty much always have been, so low that they are incredibly unattractive as a place to put money.
    2) the benefits of massive scale mean the costs of placing savings into pension funds, or directly into the stock market, are relatively low.
    3) access to credit in the US (i.e. credit cards or short term loans) is so readily available that, in a time of emergency, it’s easier to draw down on available lines than pay the opportunity cost of having a deposits parked in a savings account doing nothing.

    You can see how this different landscape plays out here:

    The bottom line is; yes, a lot of US citizens don’t have large deposits to draw on. But the reason is not that they are a country of poor peope in an absolute sense, only that the composition of their savings is different to how we save in New Zealand.

    • Puddleglum 22.1

      Elizabeth Warren’s analysis of household savings, income and expenditure over the thirty or so years up to 2008 (see this video) suggest that your underlying assumptions and conclusions are wrong.

      Median households in the early 1970s had about 11% savings on income. In one graph she shows, that declines steadily from the 1980s to go negative in the early 2000s. This is despite the median household going from a single income to a two income household (women joining the workforce).

      Further, her analysis shows that this was not a result of hyper-consumerism. The greater indebtedness leading to widespread bankruptcies came from two primary sources: massive increases in health and housing costs.

      Specifically, she found that on discretionary items (dining out, clothes, etc.) spending actually reduced, on average, over that period. That is, people were tightening their belts where they could.

      Some of the comments in this post to the effect that it is something about American ‘culture’ that leads to low savings just doesn’t seem to be borne out by Warren’s data or analysis.

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