3 Great Articles to Understand Root Causes Behind the Election (+ 1 Idea for Your Thoughts)

Trying to Understand, Then Act; Not Just Assume

(Photo via Harvard Business Review.)
If you’re politically engaged, I welcome your comments here.

So, the more I dig to find the root cause of this election, the more I realize it’s about the economic difficulties facing the rural working/middle class. This has been the emerging consensus of the media and pundits everywhere, and they’ve been wrong before, but if nothing else, it’s always a worthy endeavor to try to understand more people outside your own echo chamber.

I’ve included 3 particularly eye-opening pieces as links below if you’re interested. Also, for context, “middle class” was defined as an annual household income of around $64K, per these sources.

Anyways, layered on TOP of that economic hardship is all the social stuff I see most of us discussing. But the social issues are the symptom. The illness is the economic situations facing tens of millions of rural citizens. It creates the conditions that allow for the terrible, condemnable social values people either overtly supported or ignored when they voted for Trump. (This is a tough nuance to grasp. I had a hard time unpacking it. I also had a hard time decoupling my anger and confusion and desire to eradicate social injustice from the more logical, analytical thinking necessary to grok the root cause. However, I think getting to the first principle of things allows you to build back up some really powerful solutions, so I think this is where the reading might make sense for you. It describes the convergence of several macro and local trends that causes all this, and it’s far more helpful to read the articles than any cliffnotes I could write here.)

Anyways, a few thoughts and an idea. I’d love your take.

1) If we assume factories are simply not returning to re-invigorate rural areas, we need another solution to their economic growth.

2) If we also assume the economy is the root cause, as the reading below suggests, then Democrats can only win back enough of those 60M+ Americans by appealing to the economic issues first and foremost, not social issues, at least to start. (It’s not hard to keep the two ideas in your head at once: They need to loudly and consistently denounce and fight against social injustice while giving citizens in rural areas a voice and some solutions when it comes to jobs.)

3) At the intersection of “upward-trending jobs in the face of manufacturing job decline” and “people who support Democrats” is tech entrepreneurship. (Painting with broad strokes here. Obviously, many in tech are Republican, independent, etc., but just looking at which regions went Blue, it was the same places tech reigns supreme: cities. Not to mention, most in tech have progressive social views regardless of party affiliation, as well as leadership positions in sectors that are currently seeing plenty of job growth.)

4) So, given those three trends and zeroing in on the overlap: Could the tech community work with the government to provide a solution to the economic crises facing the rural middle class ?

Could a major boost to those regions (and the replacement for factories and similar entities that previously anchored those towns) be some combination of remote job opportunities offered by tech companies and/or the gig economy (e.g. driving Uber, selling on Etsy, freelance writing, etc.) and/or internet entrepreneurship (e.g. selling courses, creating content, or offering productized services, not necessarily developing technical products that require venture money).

Thoughts?

PS: The reading as promised:

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