Thursday, September 29, 2016

Truckers of the future to become logistics managers, creating and utilizing transportation, technology and organizational structure

Technology! As you can see from this Volvo truck steering technology video, it's pretty impressive.

And Volvo is not alone in Europe. This spring we read that A fleet of trucks just drove themselves across Europe:
About a dozen trucks from major manufacturers like Volvo and Daimler just completed a week of largely autonomous driving across Europe, the first such major exercise on the continent.

The trucks set off from their bases in three European countries and completed their journeys in Rotterdam in the Netherlands today (Apr. 6). One set of trucks, made by the Volkswagen subsidiary Scania, traveled more than 2,000 km and crossed four borders to get there.

The trucks were taking part in the European Truck Platooning Challenge, organized by the Dutch government as one of the big events for its 2016 presidency of the European Union. While self-driving cars from Google or Ford get most of the credit for capturing the public imagination, commercial uses for autonomous or nearly autonomous vehicles, like tractors from John Deere, have been quietly putting the concept to work in a business setting.
Click on this picture if you feel up to watching a 1+ hour video of the Challenge which is impressive even though no one is doing any splits:

You may wonder what's the point? Well, as indicated in this London Financial Times story Lorries lead cars in the technology race:
The chief executive of Volvo Group Martin Lundstedt told the Financial Times that software companies were taking an interest in everything from long-haul freight and public transport to mining and waste disposal, as technology developed in these areas could be deployed later in passenger cars.

Volvo, the Swedish bus and lorry maker, has spent years trying to show that trucks can be at the centre of innovation. Its 2013 advertisement with Jean-Claude Van Damme performing the splits between two lorries in reverse, to demonstrate the effectiveness of the company’s steering system, has been viewed 85m times. Volvo is touting the world’s first driverless lorry to operate 1,320 metres underground in Boliden’s mine in Kristineberg, Sweden, which produces metallic ores that contain zinc and copper, among other things.

ZF, meanwhile, has a prototype self-driving lorry where the driver can step out and catch some rest while the truck moves around in confined areas to first be unloaded, and then loaded again. There is the potential with self-driving technology to also improve efficiency, by giving drivers new tasks to plan routes or process shipping documents. “The truckers of the future will go from being drivers to serving as logistics managers,” said Markus Heyn, a Bosch board member responsible for sales and marketing.
As the Journal of Commerce explains Automated trucks, warehouses seen transforming distribution. The lengthy story foresees a time + particularly after distribution facilities are relocated using designs that allow for automated maneuvering of self-driving truck convoys - that heavily automated warehouses using automated "fork lift replacements" will be serving self-driving trucks - long haul trucks and delivery trucks.

A lot of this seems off in the future, and indeed it is - a decade or maybe two. But last week we were told in Mercedes-Benz Reveals Electric, Autonomous Trucks and Commercial Vehicles:
It’s part of strategy to produce the types of commercial vehicles that can traverse congested cities – including some that are considering banning the use of transport with internal combustion engines – and meet increasingly stringent environmental regulations worldwide.

“We are presenting our vision of urban transport. Just like with long-distance haulage, our goal is to achieve more safety and efficiency than ever before – and also to be free of local emissions,” said Wolfgang Bernhard, who heads Daimler Trucks. “This will make our cities even more pleasant to live in, despite rising populations and an increased need for transportation.”

Daimler’s big reveal at the show was the electric Urban eTruck. It will be branded as a Mercedes-Benz and is designed to serve as a heavy-duty distribution transport with a range of about 125 miles. Targeted at the European market, it is scheduled for launch early in the next decade.

So, this is cool. But what's the point? As one blames trade pacts and other irrelevant things for folks losing their jobs, here are some statistics that could be considered right now and perhaps something could be done by ordinary people to prepare the country for the future, as opposed to spending the next decade watching cat videos on cell phones.

According to the American Trucking Association (ATA) there are 3.5 million truck drivers in the United
States. The total number of people employed in the industry, including those in positions that do not entail driving, exceeds 7.3 million. About 7% of workers in the United States are employed in the trucking business.

 It isn't any wonder that the San Francisco Chronicle this month reported:
Labor leader Andy Stern sees the biggest potential hit to America’s 3.5 million truck drivers. “Commercial truck driving is going to be the leading edge of a tsunami of labor displacement,” said Stern, former president of the Service Employees International Union. “It’s not something the next generation is going to have to deal with — it’s going to happen in the next decade.”

Truck drivers, he noted, support a vast web of workers whose own jobs may be imperiled.

“We’re talking millions of jobs: the drivers themselves, but also the people in insurance, repairs, restaurants, hotels,” Stern said. “I think it’s incredibly irresponsible that no one’s making plans for this.”
What else isn't addressed in the discussion is another set of statistics from the ATA:
There are 586,014 for-hire carriers and 747,791 private carriers in the United States; 97.3 percent of them have fewer than 20 trucks and 90.8 are operating six trucks or less.
In other words there are 1,333,805 "carriers"of which 36,000 have fleets of more than 20 trucks. It's an industry that will change, but it is also an industry full of people who won't adapt. And that is the time technology giants step in after experimenting. So in December 2015 we had Amazon in talks to lease Boeing jets to launch its own air-cargo business, Amazon Buys Thousands of Its Own Truck Trailers as Its Transportation Ambitions Grow, and in the financial press Amazon's next $400 billion opportunity.

In the financial press article listed we have this:
Analyst Colin Sebastian from Baird Equity Research writes that Amazon has "powerhouse potential" in the transportation and logistics market, and that it could be "Amazon's next 'AWS' opportunity."

Sebastian's idea here is that Amazon could turn its in-house logistics network into a business in the same way that it grew Amazon Web Services, its insanely fast-growing (and profitable) cloud computing offering.

Amazon built AWS out of the infrastructure it had created to support its own operations, and now runs a business expected to pull in $8 billion in revenue this year. In the same vein, it could build a logistics network to clear up its own delivery bottlenecks, and then, eventually, offer services to other companies.
It is likely something like this will be the public face of the organization required for self-driving, self-loading technology in 2020...

...not this face of an owner-operator recently recognized by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association...

Which brings us to labor leader Stern's concern - it’s incredibly irresponsible that no one’s making plans for a "tsunami of labor displacement."

The face of displaced labor will not be the 69-year-old driver pictured above, but his under age 50 peers. At least those who are not already becoming adept at spreadsheets, math, and geographic databases will face an uncertain future because, as explained by Markus Heyn, the Bosch board member, using positive spin: "the truckers of the future will go from being drivers to serving as logistics managers."

But they may not be the truckers of today. The truckers of today could become the displaced unemployed or tomorrow unless we do better as a nation with our educational system.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The American Media Party Presidential candidate Donald J. Trump and the end of journalism

A "medium" (plural "media") is a person who claims the spirits of the dead are transmitting information through him or her to the living. The profit-making industries which create similarly reliable entertaining informational content for the masses are often also called "the media."

A "party" is a gathering of persons for the purpose of enjoying themselves thoroughly and without restraint.

The year 2016 will be remembered as the year "the media" became the American Media Party replacing the Republican Party.

I started my adult working life as a journalist practicing what I understood was the profession of "journalism." From the Wikipedia entry first paragraph as of September of 2016 (emphasis added):
Journalism is the work and distribution of reports on the interaction of events, facts, ideas, and people that are the "news of the day" and that informs society to at least some degree. The word applies to the occupation (professional or not), the methods of gathering information, and the organizing literary styles.
At the time I believed true journalists worked for "the press", meaning the newspaper business. The more recently created radio and TV news broadcast employees were not really "journalists" in our opinion precisely because, as Wikipedia still includes at the beginning of its entry, the product of the work must have an "organizing literary style."

If you type "literary" into the Wikipedia search it will take you to the "Literature" entry which begins with the sentence:
"Literature, in its broadest sense, is any single body of written works." defines "literary" as:
"...pertaining to or of the nature of books and writings, especially those classed as literature."
Our objective as journalists was to provide as complete a written "report" on "on the interaction of events, facts, ideas, and people" as we could.

We followed the AP Style Book rules, meaning we had to begin with a short paragraph that summarized that news story, a descriptive paragraph that could stand alone. Each additional paragraph should add details in order of importance offering the reader a more thorough understanding. You did this because you knew the hamfisted person doing the page makeup would shorten your story from the bottom up until it fit the space available.

Our hope was that the reader would read the story, think about it, read it again, and contemplate it further. We thought this was important stuff because, again from Wikipedia:
Access to freely available information gathered by independent and competing journalistic enterprises with transparent editorial standards can enable citizens to effectively participate in the political processes.
The key phrases in that paragraph are "independent and competing" and "transparent editorial standards."

The latter phrase does not mean "fair and balanced" nor does it require "equal time." These concepts came about with the advent of television which for decades was operated as a government licensed near monopoly. Because politicians (and murderers) could speak directly to the audience, during that monopoly period the government license tried to prevent "favoritism" in the political arena.

We journalists felt strongly that we must not provide politicians or murderers with a platform from which they could present a self-created image of themselves. If you did that you were not only not independent, you had no editorial standards at all.

Except that....

In 1960 we watched with interest the Kennedy-Nixon debates. Television was influencing the election. Here's an interesting fact about that debate:
The Quemoy-Matsu issue was first raised in the second debate on October 7, 1960.  Disagreement between the candidates was instant.  Unlike any other single issue, Quemoy and Matsu continued to be a bone of contention well into the third and fourth debates on October 13 and 21, 1960.
If you were alive back then, you might recognize the terms "Quemoy" and "Matsu" but probably not. Most certainly, if you were born after 1950 it is highly unlikely that you would recognize those terms. Even back then I wondered how "Quemoy" and "Matsu" got to be the central foreign policy issue of that debate - Cuba, guys. Why weren't we talking about Cuba?

The moderator of that debate was Bill Shadel of ABC News.  There was a panel of correspondents: Frank McGee, NBC News; Charles Van Fremd, CBS News; Douglass Cater, Reporter magazine; Roscoe Drummond, New York Herald Tribune; journalists all by background, but already corrupted by TV.

Exactly 192 days later the Bay of Pigs Invasion was launched. The funding and planning for the invasion began about six months before the debates. Nixon was Vice- President, Jack Kennedy was a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. In order to assure an informed American population, they debated about Quemoy and Matsu, two meaningless islands off the coast of China.

So much for televised debates informing the American public. From someone who was better informed than I was in 1960, here's another tidbit written before the debates. It addresses my confusion back then about whether television was going to improve or degrade the quality of American politics and government:

It's the 21st Century. And after carefully including the word "literary" in its defining paragraph, Wikipedia offers this final sentence:  "Journalistic media include: print, television, radio, Internet, and, in the past, newsreels." Oh really! What is the organizing literary style of a newsreel ... or a tweet?

And so immediately after pointing out the need for "transparent editorial standards" Wikipedia barfs out the following:
The role and status of journalism, along with that of the mass media, has undergone profound changes over the last two decades with the advent of digital technology and publication of news on the Internet. This has created a shift in the consumption of print media channels, as people increasingly consume news through e-readers, smartphones, and other electronic devices, challenging news organizations to fully monetize their digital wing, as well as improvise on the context in which they publish news in print. Notably, in the American media landscape, newsrooms have reduced their staff and coverage as traditional media channels, such as television, grapple with declining audiences. For instance, between 2007 and 2012, CNN edited its story packages into nearly half of their original time length.

This compactness in coverage has been linked to broad audience attrition, as a large majority of respondents in recent studies show changing preferences in news consumption. The digital era has also ushered in a new kind of journalism in which ordinary citizens play a greater role in the process of news making, with the rise of citizen journalism being possible through the Internet. Using video camera equipped smartphones, active citizens are now enabled to record footage of news events and upload them onto channels like YouTube, which is often discovered and used by mainstream news media outlets. Meanwhile, easy access to news from a variety of online sources, like blogs and other social media, has resulted in readers being able to pick from a wider choice of official and unofficial sources, instead of only from traditional media organizations.
I'm sorry, but folks there is a difference between journalism with its independence, literary style, and transparent editorial standards and the "mass media." Let's don't confuse the journalism profession with the "medium" as she or he offers up information and images created by ghosts. Because while the medium - the mass media - might choose to deliver journalistic content, the goal "to fully monetize" by providing "half" the information and use "a variety of online sources" prevents the use of journalists and journalistic content.

Let's again consider this observed in September 1960 by someone watching what television was doing to the political system:
If [television] drives politics toward theatrics, so that the number of politicians who imagine themselves entertainers swells to match the number of entertainers who imagine themselves politicians;...if, by all these lapses and deceits, a whole people lets itself become mentally trapped in a suffocating kind of isolation booth from which no sound can be heard but the voice of the huckster....
    - Emmet John Hughes, September 25, 1960, The New York Times Magazine
Today the so called "news" media now delivers Donald Trump's tweets and discusses them as if they are news. The so-called "news" media now send videographers so they can deliver video of Donald Trump's soundbites and discusses them as if they are news.

As one Deadline Hollywood writer noted 54 days before the 2016 Presidential Election:
A year ago, when Donald Trump began to confiscate the primaries, a network news chief made this admission to me: “We do not yet know how to cover a career sociopath but we will figure it out.” A year later, confronting the final seven weeks of the campaign, he admits he still hasn’t figured it out, nor have his competitors.

Trump continues to hijack the news cycle, taking shrewd advantage of the haphazard way Americans now get their news. Voters no longer watch television news or read newspapers (remember them?). The younger demo can’t even depend upon Jon Stewart anymore (Comedy Central was once their favored news source). The most important repository of news lies buried in Facebook’s algorithms and its “trending topics,” which John Oliver facetiously calls the “multiplatform content generation distribution network.”

One challenge: The old-fashioned concept of “equal time” has been demolished by the Clinton-Trump campaign. Now the argument has shifted to “false balance” — whether reporters are distorting facts in their futile effort to provide two sides to every story. Is there a way to provide “balance” in depicting Trump’s Mexican foray, for example? All this liberates Facebook to pick up Trumpian fantasies, landing the news cycle in click-bait heaven. At least it’s “trending.”

In past generations, newspapers were depended on to convey the nuances as well as the news, but their fate is reflected in the fact that the Newspaper Association of America is changing its name to the News Media Alliance. The American Society of Newspaper Editors is now the American Society of News, as reported in the New York Times (which still calls itself a newspaper). The Times itself is fiercely cutting its staff and placing ever greater emphasis on digital coverage and videos of occasionally marginal quality.
Donald Trump, the reality TV show star, discovered people were having a gossip party on the internet. "Gossip" means "idle talk or rumor" which is about as far away from journalism as one can get.

Further he was aware that "news division" air time was used by TV and radio to cater to that gossip party, that "talk shows" were pretending to be "news shows", and most particularly that first thing in the morning on ABC, NBC, and CBS filled the time with talk shows when he could take control of the day's "news" narrative.

And the networks redefined what "voting" means - "American Idol" began the process of devaluing the idea of the right to vote. You "see what you like" (all carefully managed to achieve appeal, not substance) and you vote.

And so Trump went all in - he joined the American Media Party. Why not? He certainly had no real affiliation with any real political party. But in doing this, he did "confiscate" the Republican Party.

Whether he wins the Presidency or not, he has demonstrated that the American Media Party is where "it's at" - as a fun political party it's where successfully competing requires unfiltered expressions of bigotry and where offering personal insults can be part of the entertainment required to hold the attention of the public, which is made up of the potential voters.

By turning the election into an appeal to bigotry and gossip, no Presidential candidate since Andrew Jackson has more successfully thwarted the desires of our founding fathers to avoid factions. Jackson was an advocate for slavery and genocide, both of which were at least as popular with American voters then as Trump's "wall" is with today's "Basket of Deplorables" white voters.

The craft of journalism justified calling the press America's "Fourth Estate." Without journalism there can be no "Fourth Estate" called "the media." As Emmet John Hughes feared in 1960, we are a people who have "become mentally trapped in a suffocating kind of isolation booth from which no sound can be heard but the voice of the huckster."

In 2016 we have become what our Founding Fathers rightly feared most - a democracy. Whether Trump wins the election, we have allowed the media to create a new political discourse built on tweets and sound bites. In doing so, do we risk losing the Republic?

Or have we simply created another "political party" called The American Media Party that permits egocentric media talkiing heads nominate candidates based on entertainment value, ending once and for all the effort to have policy discussion be as important as "personality" in the election process because it's just too boring?

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Red State, Blue State? Not really. America is mostly Red Counties

Is this the Red State, Blue State map you're familiar with:
Probably not. In my latest take on the status of the 2016 Presidential Election based on polling and other knowledge, I generated a map that looks more like what you regularly see in the all wise media:

Click on any image to see a larger version!
Now there is nothing inherent wrong with this map as it is designed to show the likelihood of a candidate getting Electoral College votes.

The problem is this mapping method leaves us thinking there are actually Red States and Blue States that are communities of Republicans or Democrats, Conservatives or Liberals.

One way to dispel that kind of thinking is to consider the 2000 Presidential Election actual results by county. Like states, counties do vary in size based on geography and population. Even so there is likely to be a truer sense of "community" at the county level. Watch the 2000 election map below, particularly the "Left  Coast" states plus Michigan, Illinois, New York and Pennsylvania. Notice how those deep blues, and reds but particularly the blues, tend to disappear:

Keep in mind that the 2000 Election occurred before the "dot-com bubble" burst. The timing of the economic 8+ months recession was at the beginning of President George W. Bush's term of office, after folks voted.

So the counties map does not reflect the human distress resulting from the economic collapse that occurred near the end of Bush's term.

But the point here is the colored map.

Let's examine the 2000 results in a few states to get a clearer picture of the truth starting with what we think of as Blue States:

From a geographic perspective, California and New York were "Red States" in the 2000 election.

Let's take a look at another state, Illinois. Al Gore won the state with 55% of the vote. But that darker blue area near the upper right is Cook County/Chicago which represented 39% of the vote. Outside the darker blue blob, George W. Bush received 52% of the vote.

Consider Pennsylvania. Al Gore won the state with 51% of the vote. That dark blue blob at the lower right is Philadelphia. Outside the blob, George W. bush received 50.1% of the vote.

In other words, those of us who live in large "Blue States" really derive our "color" from the largest of urban areas, the small blue blobs.

The question for we Blue State Democrats (and "traditional conservative" Republicans) is have we deliberately chosen to ignore what's happened to people in the "Red Counties" in our own states since 2000? Have we chosen to think of the "Red population" as "fly over states" when in fact they are our neighbors in the next county down the highway? If so, did we do that somewhat arrogantly because we disdain their world view?

And in doing so, is this why we are surprised that Donald Trump might win the "Swing States"  and the Presidency?

When you look at the 2012 Presidential Election map by county the United States appears far more "Red" than we have allowed ourselves to understand, particularly all three "Left Coast" states - California, Oregon, and Washington - plus Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania. In other words we have large "Blue" urban cities and then there is rest of the United States in which, as the convincing fictional con man Harold Hill might today note, there are many folks in trouble, even here particularly here... in California:

Click on the 2012 map to see a really large version which may change your perspective on American politics. Because after this election we need to recognize some American issues we've chosen to ignore.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

How does one persuade potential voters who still have no strong opinion about Clinton and Trump at this point in time?

Click on image to see a larger version!

This map represents my opinion on the status of the 2016 Presidential Election today.1 Click on it to see a larger image.

Absent some major tragedy, in November Donald Trump will win 180 Electoral College votes from 22 states and Hillary Clinton will win 192 Electoral College votes from 15 states.

It takes 270 Electoral College votes to win the election, so they both will have to continue to campaign right up to November 8. At this point in time, undecided voters in Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Florida, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada will determine the outcome of the 2016 Presidential Election.

Hillary Clinton has a somewhat tenuous lead in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Donald Trump has a somewhat tenuous lead in Arizona, Ohio, and one Maine congressional district. As long as they continue to actively campaign, either could screw up and lose those states because enough voters are uncertain about their choice.

In other words, even though the choice is between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and even though their policy proposals, styles, and personalities are clearly and radically different, some voters are undecided. And some are uncertain.
How exactly does one persuade people who have no firm opinion at this point in time?

1This week's "not really news" headline story from all the major press that Ford is planning to move its small car production to Mexico, outside the U.S. along with all the other American car manufacturers, occurred while Trump was in Michigan. Whether this reminder of an announcement first made in 2015 will affect Clinton's hold on Michigan's 16 Electoral College votes will be seen in future polls. It's the kind of story that places Michigan in the category of "Clinton's to lose" states.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Our Irish and French Catholic great-grandparents: Reflections on multiculturalism and the Alt Right

Thanks to Donald Trump, many Americans are learning about the so-called "Alt-Right" or Alternative Right for the first time.

In summary it is a political philosophy that embraces American Ethnic Eurocentric Nationalism. It not quite as narrow minded in definition regarding which peoples are "acceptable" to real Americans as was the case in various periods between 1800 - 2000.

Nonetheless the 2016 Alt-Right advocates legal discrimination based on ethnicity and race. And their views have been almost fully incorporated into American law in a reprehensible way, though most Ethnic European-Americans don't know about the facts because they don't scroll across internet cat videos.

Before going any further I need to disclose that both my wife and I come from immigrant families. Both of my paternal great-grandfathers emigrated from Ireland and my wife's paternal great-grandfathers were French. They were all hated Catholic immigrants.

Or course, we both have family trees that contain pre-Revolutionary War protestant immigrants that came from Europe, descendants of which were undoubtedly among those who hated the Catholic immigrants as indicated in these images from years past:

In other words, we're typical white Americans - all members of immigrants' families according to our family trees.

It's just that now its ok to have any kind of European ethnic background. That's the level of progress we've made as of the beginning of the 21st Century.

Before going any further, we need to define certain words as I use them rather than confuse my meaning with those words as other folks are throwing around as if that they fully understand:
  • bigotry - the stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own.
  • prejudice - a preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.
  • discrimination - the treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit.
"Bigotry" is tough to get rid of. The word's origin is from the French  bigoterie meaning "sanctimoniousness."

Almost every religion has a core certainty that it is the only one true religion and all others are false. That core certainty means all believers are by definition bigots. Almost every ideology has a core certainty that it is the only benevolent ideology and all others are malevolent. That core certainty means all believer are by definition bigots.

You may think you're free of bigotry. But consider that even though "democracy" is a concept that literally means "government rule by the people", one's belief that democracy is the ideal form of government compared to all other forms of government would be considered a belief in an ideology.

"Prejudice" is something almost no human can avoid. If you think you don't ever "prejudge" based upon appearances you likely are delusional. You just can't consider eating insects - it's eewww. It's a preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.

"Discrimination", on the other hand, is a behavior and it can be avoided. But Americans not only doesn't avoid it, as a society we practice it with institutional vigor.

Let's return to the Alt Right or Ethnic Eurocentric Nationalism. The basics are described in What’s the alt-right? A primer. After you've read it, you likely will have a problem. Can you remember the definition of bigotry - the stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own?

In the linked article (which you should read), a number of Alt Right advocates are listed. Consider carefully this description:
Sam Francis

An influential conservative thinker cast out of the movement's mainstream — and fired from his Washington Times column — for speaking at the 1994 American Renaissance conference. Subsequently, he became a sort of martyr for nationalist writers and thinkers. Throughout his career, he argued that cultural liberalism was not as popular or inevitable as its promoters claimed.

"Whites need to form their racial consciousness in conformity not only with what we now know about the scientific reality of race but also with the moral and political traditions of Western Man-White Man," Francis wrote in 2005. "The purpose of white racial consciousness and identity is not simply to serve as a balance against the aggression and domination of other races but also to preserve, protect, and help revitalize the legacy of the civilization that our own ancestors created and handed down to us, for its own sake, because it is ours, and because, by the standard of the values and ideals we as a race and a civilization have articulated, it is better."
The article says that the Alternative Right "has been seeping into American politics for years as a far-right option for conservatives." But that is the view of young political wonks. In fact in one form or another Ethnic Eurocentric Nationalism has been seeping out of the American populous for over two centuries.

It can be different.

Despite the Statue of Liberty bronze plaque...

...the United States at no time has made it a human right to migrate into the country. Indeed, most countries have not.

But at the beginning of the 21st Century, the country of Argentina adopted a law that reads as follows:
The right to migrate is essential and inalienable to all persons and the Republic of Argentina shall guarantee it based on principles of equality and universality.
In fact, Argentina's Law 25.871 is broader in scope than the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, the principal international human rights migration treaty, of which Argentina is a signatory.

What you should know regarding the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families is that no migrant-receiving state in Western Europe has ratified the Convention. The United States is not even a signatory that has yet to ratify just as Americans would prefer.

In fact the U.S. policy is defined by the fact it has the largest immigration detention system in the world according to the Global Detention Project which indicated that in 2013 the total number of immigration detainees was 440,557. You can download and read the Global Detention Project's 2016 report Immigration Detention in the United States.

Immigration detention in the United States began in 1890s at Ellis Island and after 1924 Ellis Island became primarily a detention and deportation processing station. Mandatory detention was officially authorized by the federal government in 1996 with the enactment of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA). From 1996 to 1998, the number of immigrants held in detention at any one time increased from 8,500 to 16,000. and by 2008 this number increased to more than 30,000.

And now, in 2016, the Land of the Free has not only the highest incarceration rate in the world for its own population imprisoning around 22 percent of the world's prisoners but it also has the highest "detention" rate in the world for immigrants.

In fact, if one examines the incarceration statistics for our own citizens... the context of also considering our detention of immigrants, one really might think that some of the Alt Right ideology of embracing Ethnic Eurocentric Nationalism has already been implemented by Democrats and Republicans alike.

If a visitor from space checked out Germany in 1942 and then returned to the U.S. 75 years later as part of a study of human progress, it might conclude that at least white humans have more or less reduced the systematic mass killing of races and ethnic groups we don't like, but we are still putting them in prisons in the highest possible numbers we can get away with. The space visitor would see videos like this but then it's from the BBC:

Unfortunately, that space visitor would be right with regard to culturally Eurocentric Americans, which includes most of us white folks not in prison. In fact one might almost think the Alt Right represents our dominant ideological view based upon our prisons-for-non-whites and immigration detention systems.

Golly, an objective look at the institutions of government across the United States by that space alien might easily lead to the conclusion that elected government officials in the United States have continued to work hard to contain multiculturalism in line with Sam Francis' articulated values:
The purpose of white racial consciousness and identity is not simply to serve as a balance against the aggression and domination of other races but also to preserve, protect, and help revitalize the legacy of the civilization that our own ancestors created and handed down to us, for its own sake, because it is ours, and because, by the standard of the values and ideals we as a race and a civilization have articulated, it is better.
So where is all this expansion of 'multiculturalism" that the Alt Right and Donald Trump want us to fear??? We've been electing people who have been doing just fine locking up in cages all those folks we don't like.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Yes! Racists, sexists, homophobics, xenophobics, Islamaphobics are in the American Basket of Deplorables

"I think we know what we're up against. We do, don't we? Donald Trump has pledged to appoint Supreme Court justices who will overturn marriage equality, and if you have read about the ones he says he's likely to support, he's not kidding. In fact, if you look at his running mate, his running mate signed a law that would have allowed businesses to discriminate against LGBT Americans. And there's so much more than I find deplorable in his campaign: the way that he cozies up to white supremacists, makes racist attacks, calls women pigs, mocks people with disabilities -- you can't make this up. He wants to round up and deport 16 million people, calls our military a disaster. And every day he says something else which I find so personally offensive, but also dangerous. You know, the idea of our country is so rooted in continuing progress that we make together. Our campaign slogan is not just words. We really do believe that we are stronger together. We really do believe that showing respect and appreciation for one another lifts us all up."

"I know there are only 60 days left to make our case -- and don't get complacent, don't see the latest outrageous, offensive, inappropriate comment and think, well, he's done this time. We are living in a volatile political environment. You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic -- you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people -- now 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive hateful mean-spirited rhetoric. Now, some of those folks -- they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America."

"But the other basket -- and I know this because I see friends from all over America here -- I see friends from Florida and Georgia and South Carolina and Texas -- as well as, you know, New York and California -- but that other basket of people are people who feel that the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures, and they're just desperate for change. It doesn't really even matter where it comes from. They don't buy everything he says, but he seems to hold out some hope that their lives will be different. They won't wake up and see their jobs disappear, lose a kid to heroin, feel like they're in a dead-end. Those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well."

- Hillary Clinton, September 9, 2016
From these three complex paragraphs taken from Hillary Clinton's speech,  the underlined phrase triggered the pro-Trump right wing talking heads to attack her. But many in the mainstream media have attacked Clinton for saying what she said. What is that all about?

The word "deplorable" has three meanings, though which is the first definition is not consistent across dictionaries: "causing or being a subject for censure, reproach, or disapproval" or "very bad in a way that causes shock, fear, or disgust" or "lamentable, causing or being a subject for grief or regret."

The anecdotal photographic evidence from the media is overwhelming, such as....

Are we now saying racism is not deplorable?

Are we now saying that sexist behavior is not deplorable?

Are we now saying that homophobia is not deplorable.

Are we now saying that xenophobic hatred is not deplorable?

Are we now saying that Islamaphobia is not deplorable?

Are not Americans who hold these views deplorable in that they are a proper subject for censure, reproach, or disapproval?

Is it not lamentable, meaning regrettable and unfortunate that there are still Americans who hold these hate-based views?

Factually it is more than fair to say that half of Trump supporters are in the "Basket of Deplorables", that Trump knows it and is playing to their hate and ignorance. We're talking about this guy:

Most certainly if the person he shot was black or a Muslim or a Feminist or a transgendered person or a Mexican immigrant, he would not lose voters who are in his "Basket of Deporables" and we, all of us including members of the press, know it.

Let's be clear about the numbers. Most polls indicate that Trump has support from 40%± of registered voters.

Recent data indicates there are 147,000,000± registered voters in the United States.

That means that Trump supporters total 58,800,000±.

It is fair to say that 29,400,000± are in that "Basket of Deplorables." That's 12%± of the 245,000,000± Americans age 18 and older.

Does any reasonably aware American not believe that far more than 12% of the American adult population is racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, and/or Islamaphobic?

Extensive studies1 indicate that over half of trump supporters hold racist views. Only a journalist who lives in a protected bubble would deny that half of Trump's supporters are racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, and/or Islamaphobic.

What from Clinton's speech the press ought to be repeating over and over again are these words about the Deplorables:
[Trump] has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people -- now 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive hateful mean-spirited rhetoric.
But instead they give Trump a pass probably because she has refused to cater to them. In not catering to them, Clinton has said silently that the hundreds of Matt Lauer's in the mainstream press are fundamentally incompetent and ignorant, and in their own way deplorable. She is saying that most of the mainstream media hire entertainers, not fact nerds.

Maybe it's hard to keep in mind that NBC made Donald Trump a viable candidate with a profitable TV show based upon Trump discrediting and humiliating participants. Why would any kind, caring person trust the television networks?

Yes! Racists, sexists, homophobics, xenophobics, and Islamaphobics are in the American Basket of Deplorables that make up at least half of Donald Trump's supporters.

1Slate magazine offered this research "When pollsters and researchers want to measure racial bias, they don’t ask if respondents are “racist”; the stigma of being a racist is strong enough that most people won’t answer honestly, to say nothing of the fact that racial prejudice exists on a continuum. A binary answer doesn’t capture the complexity of bias and bigotry. Instead, they ask proxy questions that try to capture attitudes associated with racism. One such question—asked in multiple surveys by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic polling firm—is whether respondents believe President Obama was born in the United States and whether they believe he’s a Muslim. These questions begin to scratch the surface of racial bias. And what are the results? In one survey, two-thirds of Republicans with a favorable opinion of Donald Trump said that Obama is a Muslim, and 59 percent said he wasn’t born in the United States.

"There’s other data too. In June, Reuters measured the racial attitudes of Clinton, Trump, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich supporters. A significant number of supporters for each candidate voiced negative attitudes about black Americans. But Trump backers stood out in their animus. Nearly 50 percent said blacks were “more violent” than whites; almost as many said that blacks were “more criminal than whites.” More than 40 percent said that blacks were “more rude” than whites, and more than 30 percent said that blacks were “lazier” than whites.

"Perhaps the best data on questions of race and Trump comes from political scientist Jason McDaniel of San Francisco State University and Sean McElwee, a research associate at Demos, a left-leaning think tank. Using the 2016 pilot of the American National Election Study, conducted in January, they drill down on racial attitudes among Trump supporters. Given what we already know, their results shouldn’t come as a shock. More than 40 percent of all Republicans and more than 60 percent of Trump supporters say that Barack Obama is a Muslim. Compared with those who backed other candidates in the GOP primary, Trump supporters have cooler feelings toward blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, and LGBTQ Americans, and warmer feelings toward whites. By sizable margins, according to McElwee’s analysis of ANES, Trump supporters are more likely than non-Trump supporters to believe that blacks, Hispanics, and Muslims are lazier and more violent than whites. More than 60 percent of Trump supporters believe black people are more violent than whites; nearly 50 percent of non-Trump Republicans say this. More than 70 percent of Trump supporters believe Muslim people are more violent than whites; roughly 60 percent of non-Trump Republicans say this. These are deplorable views, and they represent the consensus opinion not just of Trump supporters but of all Republicans in the survey. If the study is at all reflective of the population at large on this score, we’re going to need a bigger basket."

Salon offered statistical resources for its article Anatomy of a Trump voter: How racism propelled Trump to the Republican nomination

In an earlier Salon article, during the primaries, from detailed data we are told: "On just about every measure, support for Trump increased along with the measured racial animus. As the chart below shows, increased levels of racial stereotyping among white respondents — as measured by belief that black people, Muslims and Hispanics are “lazy” or “violent” — strongly increases support for Trump, even after controlling for other factors. The opposite is true, however, when it comes to support for Marco Rubio. Among white respondents, support for Rubio decreases with belief in racial stereotypes."

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Fear of an "ageism" charge caused the lost sense of community in political parties in the internet age

The 21st Century internet could permit potential "no party" candidates to use social media and "crowdfunding" to create a community of Millennials to succeed in a "top 2" primary system.

This post must start with a set of definitions:
  • Millennials: born 1981-2000, this year ages 16-35
  • Generation X: born 1965-1980, this year ages 36-51
  • Baby Boomers: born 1946-1964, this year ages 62-70
  • Silent Generation: born 1928-1945, this year ages 71-88
The edges of the birth years can be a bit blurry, but most have settled on these definitions. 

The Pew Research Center provided the survey data shown in the table above in A Different Look at Generations and Partisanship.

What the data in the left column of chart shows is that about half of Millennials simply cannot identify with political parties.

Unfortunately, the discussion of the numbers in the article tends to focus on the right column of charts, probably because it is an Presidential election year.

But the fact is the discussion ignores the fact that the Millennials are faced with a Presidential election in which both candidates are of their grandparents generation and, let's face it, it is a rare person who identifies themselves with their grandparents. Pointing out the obvious cannot be done in a politically correct environment with fear of being accused of ageism.

So I expect to get crap from people for being ageist.

But let's get one fact out of the way, here. When I was 16 and older, beginning with the election of Jack Kennedy,no one who was born in my grandparents' generation ever ran for the Presidency. Here's the chart.

Here are the facts about the ten Presidents who served since I was a teen.

Five were "my parents age", the rest were younger. Three were younger than me.

Here are the facts regarding Presidents since my oldest granddaughter was a teen.

Obama was born six months before her father was born.

The second President in her experience will either be Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump who are old enough to be her grandparents, something that was never true for me.

Yes, Bernie Sanders is older and excited many in the Millennial generation.

But the focus here is the potential demise of the two political parties. Guess what - Bernie Sanders doesn't belong to either party - effectively he is an independent who, to use the Pew Study phrase, "leans Democratic" like the Millennials. So Millennials could relate to him and they don't relate to the political parties.

Does the lack of feeling a part of the political party communities matter? You bet it does. Let's look at the leading edge of what it likely will mean for the future.

I'm a Californian. California is the first state to eliminate the partisan primary.

Also here in California, Governor Jerry Brown is 78, Senator Diane Feinstein is 83, Senator Barbara Boxer is 75, and our most famous member of Congress Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is 76.  The Chairman of the California Democratic Party former Congressman John Burton is 83.

In California back in 2012, Millennials were 29% of the population, Gen-X'ers wer 21.8% of the population, Baby Boomers were 23.4% of the population, and the Silent Generation was 9.4% of the population. All people who hold power in the Democratic Party are of the Silent Generation.

That is embarrassing - we have a non-representative government - literally a gerontocracy meaning per Wikipedia "a form of oligarchical rule in which an entity is ruled by leaders who are significantly older than most of the adult population."

"Coincidentally" recently in California we have done away with party primaries except for the President. That is because the strongest political movement in the state is the Independent Voter Project (IVP). Folks in other states should get to know this logo: .

From the IVP website:
IVP conducted large scale, in-election studies during the 2006 and 2008 California elections, in which a broad spectrum of common political communication strategies were tested against alternative approaches in an effort to learn how to increase voter participation amongst independent and “non base” partisan voters. In doing so, IVP identified 3 million “non-base” voters in California as “high-value” communication targets.

But, perhaps the most important lesson learned through this process was that political consultants were severely hampered by a tendency to look at non-base voters through their own partisan lens. In one experiment, IVP took identical information and transcripts from two focus groups and asked a Republican pollster and a Democratic pollster to analyze the data and write a summary. The pollsters reached opposite conclusions from the exact same information, conclusions that matched their respective political preferences.

At the conclusion of the 2008 election, IVP initiated a plan to place a Nonpartisan Open Primary proposal on the 2010 primary ballot....
I'm sure none of this had to do with the generation gap between age 65+ candidates and the largest generation, the Millennials. But whatever the underlying cause, the result was Proposition 14, the California Top Two Primaries Act.

Per Wikipedia the Act "consolidated all primary elections for a particular office into an election with one ballot that would be identical to all voters, regardless of their party preferences. The two candidates with the most votes in the primary election would then be the only candidates who would run in the general election, regardless of their party affiliation."

(To get a feel for the reasons for voter support for the Act, consider A QUIET REVOLUTION: The Early Successes of California’s Top Two Nonpartisan Primary.)

Slowly that half of the Millennials who do not consider themselves part of either community known as the Democratic Party and the Republican Party will take control of who gets to be on the General Election ballots in California - the largest state in population with the largest number of electors in the Presidential Electoral College. At some time in the future the top two candidates for a statewide office will both not identify with a party.

Which leads to the point of this post. The 21st Century internet could permit potential "no party" candidates to use social media and "crowdfunding" to create a community of Millennials and Gen-X'ers to succeed in a "top 2" primary system.

If, in the end, this results in the failure of political parties, they will really have no one to blame but themselves. Despite his being of the grandparent generation, reality show star and millionaire Donald Trump has already demonstrated that social media can be used effectively to bypass traditional party mechanisms and the news media.

The legal structure forced him to operate within the party system. His approach has been primitive and he used his own money, but he beat a lineup of traditional professional politicians for the Republican nomination partly because the Republican party foolishly created a far less "party oriented" community to participate in the nomination process in response to 21st Century Tea Party/religious right pressures.

Pressures from Millennial-supported socialist Bernie Sanders are forcing the same opening of the process in the Democratic Party. But that is already too late in California.

The California Democratic Party is only nominally in control of the election to replace the retiring U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer because both General Election candidates are Democrats. But their party affiliation predates the California Top Two Primaries Act.

This is the first statewide election under the "top 2" system and the party system is starting to crack. The California Republican Party has essentially collapsed.

The "top 2" system has forced a division within the Democratic Party that erupted publicly when Democratic President Barack Obama endorsed Democrat Attorney General Kamala Harris, a black woman. Her opponent Latino Democrat Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez' response should be a warning to the Democratic Party that the biggest controversy in the future will be the Party itself:
“I believe that California voters are deeply concerned about the entrenched political establishment which has failed to work for them. Yet, it has been clear for some time that the same political establishment would rather have a coronation instead of an election for California's next U.S. Senator,” Sanchez said in a statement released by her campaign Tuesday evening.

Sanchez has said for months that the party has favored Harris since she jumped into the race in early 2015, when Sen. Barbara Boxer announced she was retiring. Gov. Jerry Brown and the California Democratic Party already have endorsed Harris.

"California's Senate seat does not belong to the political establishment — it belongs to the People of California, and I believe California voters will make their own independent choice for U.S. Senate in November,” Sanchez's statement said.
Baby Boomers Harris and Sanchez are in the age group 45-64 as represented on the chart below:

While they should be somewhat more internet sophisticated than Trump, they are not from the 40% "no party" Gen'Xer's nor 49% the Millennials. And the latter group are well over 50% of the social network users.

Community is a matter of identity and perception. And make no mistake about it, political parties are communities starting at the local level.

The evolving problem is unprecedented in the past century as can be seen by this chart:

In 1940 only 20% of Americans thought of themselves as not being a party member. Today that number is double and even the generation that most  identifies with parties is 29% "no party" and that generation is dying off.

The IVN is proposing a California state constitutional amendment that would create a single nonpartisan presidential ballot so that all California voters have an opportunity to cast a ballot for the candidate of their choice, regardless of their political affiliation, in taxpayer-funded presidential primaries.

By the 2036 election Millennials will be the age of today's Baby Boomers. This political cartoon reflects the possibilities:

There is no particular reason given 21st Century technology that legislative bodies need to gather in capitol buildings to perform the job of considering legislation based upon the merit of the content.

If the cost of running for elections can be reduced substantially by the use of the internet because, as Donald Trump so aptly demonstrated, costly advertising efforts will cease to be needed.

Instead, having abandoned their traditional role, most of the news media now make candidate social media posts a story, even to the point of discussing what's "trending" as a separate  news story.

Social media "communities" can rise out of the ether to support someone who wants to run for office. Parties are not needed. And if the disappearance of parties would be a problem, it's too bad Democrats in this generation...
...located in the home of Silicon Valley and maybe across the nation were too self-centered and weren't savvy enough to get out of the way so younger generations of Democrats could be groomed and then elected to office through the Party.

In my lifetime the average age of Presidents in their first year of office was 55. The only 70-year-old among them developed Alzheimer's disease while in office. This year, whichever candidate wins will hit 70 in 2017.

I know, I know. I'm being ageist. The problem is the older generation, my generation, is in denial. There are real factual reasons why at some point old people need to get out of the way.

If you are over 60 years of age, think about it. When you were 30, what exactly would you think about the fact that every important political position in your state was filled by someone over 70? Would you really think they could represent your needs and your future? Would you feel a sense of community with a party chaired by someone in their 80's who's over there chatting with your 75-year-old Governor?

I was a Young Democrat representative attending the California Democratic Council Convention at age 20. What are they today? Before the "top 2" system an age 49 youngster was hoping for a chance someone will die so they could run for office without being blocked.

Barack Obama notwithstanding, the only Y2K problems that needed fixing in 1999 were the political parties. Now the parties may have be on the road to being irreparably irrelevant to the largest generation of voters.

Grandpa Donald Trump constantly misuses social media. Grandma Hillary Clinton is constantly attacked over her use of email. When they were 40, the internet did not exist.

Millennials (and many Gen-X'er's) have lived with these tools since before they were adults. If the successes of Donald Trump and the Independent Voter Project are any indication, it is likely that by 2030 the Millennials and Gen-X'ers will have found a way to eliminate the need for political parties.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

IMF: Far-reaching in your life but not on your list of chat acronyms

If you are a Trump or Sanders supporter, you thoughtfully formulated your opposition to the TPP based upon the assumption that the IMF adding the Renminbi to the XDR effective October 1, 2016 does not need to be countered to maintain the American competitive position in international trade, particularly in Asia and Latin America.

More likely if you are an American you have no idea what that caption says.

If you vaguely know what the IMF is, you are more aware than probably 99% of Americans.  If in your American school you were taught anything you can remember about the Bretton Woods Conference that created the IMF, you are more informed about economic issues than probably 99.9% of Americans.

From the IMF website:
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 189 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.
The goals sound pretty important, don't they?

Here's another term - "Nixon shock."

President Richard Nixon is "remembered" by most in the American news media (and therefore by the American public) for Watergate which at the time seemed very important but today seems almost irrelevant.

A few remember that Nixon opened China by recognizing the Chinese People's Republic, perhaps the most immediately important decision of the Nixon Administration.

But almost no one remembers what was the Nixon Administration's most important decision for the long term.  From Wikipedia:
The Nixon shock was a series of economic measures undertaken by United States President Richard Nixon in 1971, the most significant of which was the unilateral cancellation of the direct international convertibility of the United States dollar to gold.
Unless you are among the 0.001% of Americans who hang out in a university economics department or are at least somewhat of a monetary policy wonk, you will find this Wikipedia "Nixon shock" entry discussion mystifying:
In 1996, economist Paul Krugman (Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, 2008) summarized the post-Nixon Shock era as follows:
The current world monetary system assigns no special role to gold; indeed, the Federal Reserve is not obliged to tie the dollar to anything. It can print as much or as little money as it deems appropriate. There are powerful advantages to such an unconstrained system. Above all, the Fed is free to respond to actual or threatened recessions by pumping in money. To take only one example, that flexibility is the reason the stock market crash of 1987—which started out every bit as frightening as that of 1929—did not cause a slump in the real economy.

While a freely floating national money has advantages, however, it also has risks. For one thing, it can create uncertainties for international traders and investors. Over the past five years, the dollar has been worth as much as 120 yen and as little as 80. The costs of this volatility are hard to measure (partly because sophisticated financial markets allow businesses to hedge much of that risk), but they must be significant. Furthermore, a system that leaves monetary managers free to do good also leaves them free to be irresponsible—and, in some countries, they have been quick to take the opportunity.
Debate over the Nixon Shock has persisted to the present day, with economists and politicians across the political spectrum trying to make sense of the Nixon Shock and its impact on monetary policy in the light of the financial crisis of 2007–08.
The 2007-08 financial crisis could become known as the warning that was ignored by the world's democracies. It resulted in a significant "employment depression" in the United States that did not readily respond to the monetary machinations set in place by Nixon.

The causes for this will be debated ad nauseam, but the U.S. dependency on "Third World" imports - 50 percent of all fresh fruits, 20 percent of all fresh vegetables, 80 percent of all seafood, 64% of all wood household furniture, 97% of all clothes, and 98% of all shoes sold in the United States are imported mostly from "Third World" countries - makes the addition of the Renminbi to the XDR worth noting.

Unfortunately, democracies are nations where in 2016 most voters know something about Pokémon Go and nothing about the "currency basket" known as the International Monetary Fund special drawing rights (XDR).

What this chart shows is that the IMF's XDR basket started out made up of U.S. Dollars, West German Marks, French Francs, Japanese Yens, and British Pounds.

In 1999 the Marks and Francs were replaced by Euros.

For the past five years, the basket was 41.9% Dollars, 37.4% Euros, 11.3% Pounds, and 9.4% Yens.

Next month, October 1, 2016, the Chinese Renminbi1 will be added to the basket making the mix 41.73% Dollars, 30.93% Euros, 8.09% Pounds, 10.92% Renminbi and 9.4% Yens.

In terms of how the IMF basket is divided up, since the Euro and the Pound made space for the Renminbi prior to anyone talking about a Brexit vote, shifts in the World's economy that include "Third World" countries deciding what currency will benefit them the best over next six years now that the Renminbi is a viable option could be ... interesting?

The growing strength of China in the World economy, particularly in Third World economies, as represented by the necessary change in the basket composition, was to be somewhat countered by the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement (TPP) among twelve Pacific Rim countries - Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam - finalized February 4, 2016, after seven years of negotiations.

Notice that China was not a participant in the TPP. That's because it was intended to counter China's growing influence in the international economy, particularly in Asia and Africa.

Apparently Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders favor increasing the strength of China as they oppose the TPP.  (They could be cynically lying to gain the votes of the uninformed American voter.)

They were so successful in convincing the left and right that the TPP must be defeated that Hillary Clinton, the only 2016 Presidential candidate likely to understand the nuances and complexities of the TPP that would counter China, was forced to embrace opposition to the TPP.

And thus the American voters on the left and the right have come together in huge numbers to further the long term ascension of China within the World economy as desired by Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

Or, more likely, most think IMF, XDR, and TPP are just some unfamiliar texting and chat acronyms and don't realize just how important all this is in their lives - how it affects the cheap food, clothing, furniture, and electronics they buy from Third World countries as facilitated by the 1976 Jamaica Accords restructuring the IMF system - and how far-reaching the impact of the failure of the TPP could be for them in less than a decade.

1The renminbi is the official currency of the People’s Republic of China, and translates to “people’s money.” Its international symbol is CNY (or CNH in Hong Kong; but abbreviated RMB, with the symbol ¥). The yuan is the name of the unit in which renminbi transactions are denominated, but also refers to the currency generally. This has been likened to the pound sterling, which is the name of the British currency, though no one in Britain would ask you for three pound sterlings for a pint of beer,  but rather for three pounds.