A Progressive Replacement Plan

The right wing likes to throw around a couple of terms lately to make themselves feel smart. To use President Biden’s word, in reality they are malarkey. One of them is The Replacement Theory.

According to The Replacement Theory Democrats are recruiting all sorts of “others” to replace white voters. I’m certain that leading Washington Democrats like Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin all hate white people… funny thing, they are all white. Or is it their big money donors like George Soros and Michael Bloomberg…oops, they are white too.

Perhaps the Democrats are coming up with a Progressive Replacement Plan (or at least a recent op-ed by Paul Krugman -also white and a thought leader on the left) got me thinking of one.

I grew up in a lunch bucket, blue collar suburb of Buffalo. The dads with the “good jobs” worked at the steel mills or auto plants. My high school was on the de facto main street of town – Union Road. I understand and respect manual labor jobs. As the economy has evolved and continues to evolve many of yesterday’s good jobs cease to exist. That presents a huge problem which our government has done a terrible job of addressing. Too often workers find themselves out of a job through no fault of their own. Those jobs have to be replaced with jobs offering similar compensation packages. In most cases workers have to be retrained and the new jobs have to be in the same location. A worker in West Virginia who is out of a job and has seen their house’s value sink like a rock in the ocean isn’t in a position to relocate.

As part of the infrastructure package currently being finalized the Biden administration is looking to address much of that. In many cases the old jobs leave sites behind that need to be cleaned up and properly closed. The silver lining in that cloud is that often the former workers already have many of the skills necessary for that project and the sites are in their backyards. Often an old facility can be repurposed and employ the idle workers enabling the town to live a new life.

We need to realize that retraining is an investment in the people and like any other investment we have a right to expect a return on it. It makes no sense to retrain a 60-year-old worker only to have then retire shortly after “graduation”. (The same goes for disability in my mind.) The economically efficient alternative is to early retire them with full Social Security and Medicare benefits. We also have to realize that we are dealing with people, not interchangeable parts. Not every factory worker can become an accountant (and vice versa for that matter).

We need a Progressive Replacement Plan that replaces the means of making a decent living for displaced workers in their backyards, not hundreds of miles away. Quickly, practically and with a sufficient economic “bridge” in the interim.

While I’m at it I’d like to tackle the term Cancel Culture that the right likes so much. As it applies to people the only one cancelling anybody is the Republicans. They are making moves to make our elections a joke by rigging the system with their phony election integrity laws. If they are successful, they will simply eliminate (one way or another) the blue collar people who have defected to them because they will no longer need their votes. Truth be told they never really liked them in the first place. What did Trump actually do for the average working (or trying to work) stiff?

The biggest resistance to the COVID-19 vaccines is coming from their base of bases – white Republican males. The ugly reality is that if this trend continues a disproportionate amount of them will die prematurely. Death is the ultimate cancellation.

Trump received the vaccine while still in office; he just didn’t publicize the fact. A real leader would have done it on live TV. He didn’t seem to have a problem getting the networks to cover a lot of his insanity. Do you really think any major network would have refused to cover him getting vaccinated?

One last term before I go: The Big Lie. That is not a right wing term; it is one of their scams. In it Trump really won the 2020 election and in a landslide. That was the motivation for 1/6. Many of the frontline terrorist leaders will end up in prison as a result of their service to Trump and his wing of the GOP. The reality is that they have outlived their usefulness to the Trump crew and the ground troops sans leaders will not be a possible treat to them in the future. You might even say they are in the process of being cancelled.

Biden and the Democrats’ challenge is to communicate this message to the masses and again be perceived as the party of the average working guy and gal.

Dr. Krugman’s recent New York Times op-ed entitled, Getting Real About Coal and Climate, was the catalyst for this article.

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