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    • How many of those products from your tech-heavy area provide jobs for middle Americans who have worked manufacturing jobs for generations? Can you point out a large I-Phone factory in, say Indiana? For the most part, high-tech companies everywhere in the US provide good paying engineering jobs but ships the bulk of the jobs to low cost labor countries.

      I agree that it would be in the USA's best interest, and in the long-term best interests of West Virginia coal miners and midwestern manufacturing line workers if we encouraged, for example, solar energy and other environmentally friendly technologies. But I also understand the point of view of the West Virginia coal miner that needs to put a meal on his family's table TONIGHT. Workers in this country aren't stupid - they know that they aren't going to get the jobs created by East or West coast software and engineering campuses. It would go against his own best interests for a WV coal miner to vote for a Senator who promised to shut down the mines and subsidize solar energy - nobody is going to build a solar panel plant in the US, let alone southern West Virginia.

      Look at another booming industry - automated driving. There's a lot of hardware to be assembled such as radars and cameras. . None of that hardware is assembled in the USA, let alone in West Virginia. I know because I design the machines to make them.

    • Incredible, informative posts. Thanks! I'm off reading the links. Related and also interesting: why Elon Musk spreads his political donations like he does.

    • I can understand how life must be horribly difficult in coal communities and I can understand why they voted as they did: a charismatic man promised to bring back coal and steel jobs.

      I can't imagine being a dairy farmer and watch how plant milks and huge factory farms eat into your livelihood when it's the only thing you know and you work so hard. No wonder farmer suicides are tragically high.

      What's hard for me to understand is why, when a Harley plant goes offshore or a nail factory has to layoff after steel tariffs, voters in those areas remain so resolute about having made a good choice. It doesn't feel to me that tax cuts for the rich, eviscerating the Affordable Care Act, or Canada slapping import tariffs on dairy are in their interest so I would have expected to see some erosion in support there.

    • Yeah, that sounds about right.

      Statehood for Washington DC would upset the applecart. In a good way, from my perspective. Which is why the GOP would do everything in its power to stop it.

      Puerto Rico is another candidate, but as I understand it the people there are, at best, ambivalent. They'd prefer an effective goverment atop an independent country, I think.

    • Most oligarchs tend to hedge their bets. They're buying access to policy makers. When a specific policy is at stake, the contributions will be more targeted.