I also fail to see how business leaders that neither have legislating power (besides influencing politicians, which I assume again counts against politicians) nor are interested in anybody not giving them money, could make the world a better place. E.g. Elon Musk, who is regarded by many as a visionary for a better world, is notoriously anti-union. He doesn't want a democratic entity in his businesses.
The gig economy (which both groups are apparently liking so much) is an absolute scam. Traditional businesses are getting "disrupted" by the deep pockets of SV VC money to push all (existing and working) competitors out of the market to establish a monopoly or duopoly. See Uber, Airbnb, various food delivery services, etc. which are continuously creating problems for their "workers" (that they insist they don't employ) or others around them (worsening the affordable housing problems like in Berlin and Amsterdam). People put themselves into these markets and lose everything their ancestors fought for, including 40h weeks, paid vacation, health insurance, paid sick leave etc. In the EU it's even worse where all those things and more are guaranteed to employees by the state to a much larger extend.
The strangeness is because your model doesn’t fit reality, not because reality is wrong.
In the USA, I suspect that negative campaigning is a big part of the problem — if a person hears about “pizzagste”, “russiagate”, “her emails”, “his sexual misconduct”, “half the world will go to war with you if she wins”, “he’ll cause a nuclear apocalypse if he wins”, and believes half of it, would you expect them to care which disaster gets in?
Myself, I’m not in the USA. I’m from the UK, which has very different political rules. But, even here I feel disenfranchised by the political system — to the extent that I will move out as soon as family obligations allow, because that’s more likely to get me a result I’m satisfied with than any plausible amount of political activity.
An election is basically a choice between two politicians that proved to be sufficiently politician to be voted for by other politicians.
So those are probably the most extreme on the politician spectrum, and it's no wonder why people with no trust in politicians wouldn't vote for any.
Who you vote for is secret. The fact that you voted is public. Any politician looking at voter records is going to notice that they’ll get a lot more traction going after old people. Young people stay home, then complain that they aren’t represented. It’s absurd.
If you don’t like your choices in the general election, you need to vote in the primaries too. And even if the choices suck, you still need to show up and either choose the lesser evil or at the very least vote for a third party or write in some nonsense or spoil your ballot, so you’re still on record as having voted.
Trump is an interesting case , but not an inspiring one for the Democratic process.
not to go down a rabbit hole, but only republicans consistently elect anyone "extreme".
The democrats try so hard to cater to moderates republicans that they have completely lost touch with their base and have let the country move further and further to the right. The DNC pretty consistently attacks any candidates left of where they want to be, which is a neo-liberal party.
One example is unions: they organized and protected workers in a period when companies were maturing.
The growth phase is over. Now that such protections have been augmented by retirement funds and pensions, businesses have little room to maneuver when an economic downturn hits. Unions prevent those businesses from being able to maintain competitive pricing in global markets due to labor costs, so those obligations eventually put the company out of business or force it to move operations - normally out of sheer survival since other companies in the space will be doing the same.
The end result is that, in a mature market, unions can strangle a business until both that business and the retirements of employees are lost.
Many other points exist that may seem counterintuitive without understanding the perspective of both the employer and employee as well as international capital flows and cycles.
Wages have stagnated for many years, especially in non-union industries
So I need to protect them now, obviously. Plus I can negotiate better by myself against a faceless company worth dozens of billions. Like I said, I'm very special.
sure they do. they just underpay their workers the whole time.
oh yeah, and most places don't offer pensions anymore.
Well this is false on a number of levels but is a common argument - "if you're the one doing all the work and creating all the wealth, don't organize with the other workers to keep more of the wealth you create, or the soi distant 'job
creator' heirs expropriating your surplus labor time might send you into poverty".
Of course no one ever tells the heirs who expropriate profits from these companies that they should shirk in fear in organizing together for their class interests.
You make a number of discordant points. If we are in an economic system, the fourth one in the past few millennia, where "the growth phase is over", then clearly it is also the beginning of the end of the fourth economic system, and the birth of the fifth system which was born in the Paris Commune is coming.
Pensions are dying as are other old age moneys - it is under attack, and organized workers are what keeps it alive.
Companies don't have a problem with competitive pricing. They have a problem with below-desired profits. The business press says this. See the recent (non-union) Facebook drop.
"Out of business or move"...GM was organized in 1936. Larry Page's grandfather helped do that. In fact Page has held up the weapon his grandfather carried during a strike. The grandfather then made enough to send his son to college. And the son's son formed Google. Maybe GM profits fell at some point, but the family had already moved on.
Compare to the completely unregulated textile mills in the Carolinas. No unions, yet the plants still closed down and left the country. Low paid grandchildren with no college education now see the big employer in town shutter up and they are out of luck.
Thanks, I would prefer the former case.
As far as understanding international capital flows and cycles, Karl Marx spoke about that a century and as half ago and spoke about overproduction, recessions, falling profits, continuing income inequality etc. Not in a liberal social democrat way, but in a way that showed the system would eventually self-destruct as feudalism in Europe had, or how the Roman Empire and it's slave latifundias did, or as hunter-gatherer bands had on the face of the agricultural Sumerian slave empires.
The contradictions and self-destructiveness Marx pointed out are still happening - one example being the 1999 Glass-Steagall bank deregulation followed 9 years later by the "too big to fail" taxpayer TARP bailout.
It's not hypocrisy - it's contradiction. It's cognitive dissonance which will eventually rent things apart - which has been renting things apart.
As a worker creating wealth, I'll take my own council and organize together with my fellow workers as opposed to prostrating myself before the parasitical heirs expropriating my surplus labor time for scraps of food.
There is a time for unions and there is a time for leaving a broken system. The ocean is bigger than textile mills in the Carolinas and there are more factors involved. Expand your perspectives and it won't seem discordant.
Would you say a broken arm is a symptom of lung cancer?
There is always an area that is growing while another is declining, not in a zero-sum manner but in a progressive way that increases quality of life across the board.
There is a trend in motion toward the marginal cost of production approaching zero, making physical things effectively worthless compared to the creative effort involved.
Humanity is fallible, and those who study history are doomed to watch those who have not repeat it.
The study is about a specific group of Millenials and Gen-Z:
"The 2018 report is based on the views of 10,455
millennials questioned across 36 countries.
Millennials included in the study were born between
January 1983 and December 1994 and represent a
specific group of this generation—those who have
college or university degrees, are employed full time
and work predominantly in large, private-sector
organizations. 5 Millennials are increasingly taking on
senior positions in which they can influence how their
organizations address society’s challenges.
"This report also includes responses from 1,844 Gen Z respondents in Australia, Canada, China, India,
the United Kingdom and the United States. Gen
Z respondents were born between January 1995 and
December 1999. All are currently studying for or have
obtained a first/higher degree. More than a third are
working either full time (16 percent) or part time (21
(Emphasis mine. I could've used some more emphasis, FWIW.)
> Maybe if they collectively went out to vote instead of staying at home (2016 US presidential election only had a <50% turnout for these groups)
On top of the above, the study is about world-wide  Millenials; not US-only.
> People put themselves into these markets and lose everything their ancestors fought for, including 40h weeks, paid vacation, health insurance, paid sick leave etc. In the EU it's even worse where all those things and more are guaranteed to employees by the state to a much larger extend.
40h work week and paid sick leave is not guaranteed if you work for an employement agency. The gig economy is just the next step in the on-going hype of destroying the rights workers have fought for. Yeah, its worse than employment agencies, but we shouldn't have gone the path of employment agencies in the first place. In the EU, employers need a good reason to fire you if you have a contract; if you're pregnant and employed by an employment agency you just get sacked, poof like that. Ludicrous step backward in women rights.
 Inaccurate, since specific countries were polled.
Comments like this one naively assume the choice you make in the poll is an exercise of free will, but it’s obviously not. Distrust of politicians could be driven by this.
Even more basic electioneering, like engineering a nationwide two-party system to ensure no meaningful challenge to the status quo, might also cause political disenfranchisement, especially among demographics that believe they are systematically the target of that entrenched system (and are usually correct to believe so).
For many voters, they ought to admit their personal choice is manipulated by ad spending and a priori generally based in ignorance and their vote, especially if it’s for a non-mainstream candidate, has no effect.
Abstaining from the vote would be a reasonable choice for these people. And if they do vote, then a good strategy might be to find someone they believe is smarter than they are yet represents the values they want to communicate in the vote, and just copy that person’s vote.
But “more people at the polls” is not automatically going to change much from whatever was engineered in the first place (including engineering voter turnout itself).
However, the part I couldn’t understand is why anyone would think business leaders are trustworthy in any sense. Both politicians and business leaders generally ought to be assumed to be entirely untrustworthy unless there’s exceptional evidence in special cases.
If you think of voting as a selfish act, like “expressing yourself” regardless of whether your point of view is factually wrong, then I agree with you. Projecting your (possibly ignorant, possibly harmful) opinion would be unilaterally preferred.
But if you view voting as a civic responsibility, where you have an implicit duty to fellow citizens, then it’s different. For whichever subjective policy beliefs and values you have, there would be a social responsibility to use your vote as a signal of a highly confident prediction that the indicated candidate will bring about the policy reform you target.
If you are not knowledgeable about those policy topics, how they work, or how they relate to the candidate in question, then your uncertainty in your prediction about the candidate might be so high that you cannot reliably distinguish between candidates, and your vote signal drags down the overall chance for informed people to coordinate.
One problem though is that the least informed people are also often the most likely to coordinate into a singular voting bloc, and the most likely to be manipulated by ad spending or populism.
People who are smart enough to know that they are ignorant about a given election might therefore abstain, leaving a small population of voting experts vs. a large population of idiots who refuse to acknowledge that their opinion is ignorant.
There is a failure mode where someone uses others’ willingness to trust their vote advice as a manipulation tactic, but in my original comment I suggested the idea of vote copying as a positive strategy in the case when you feel ignorant but don’t want to abstain.
> “If the majority of the population is to dumb to make good choices, the problem isn't that the voters are bad voters, the problem is that the state is a failed state.”
I agree, but that does not imply the ignorant people, who were failed by the state, should project that ignorance into voting rather than abstaining.
Where do you get that idea? I certainly don’t think that and I can’t see anything in my comment that would even remotely hint at it.
You very clearly are saying that “having your voice heard” matters more than using your vote to correctly predict a candidate who will cause your desired change.
Since you say it’s never reasonable to abstain from voting (i.e. not even if someone is ignorant of the facts), this directly means your comment explicitly endorses “having your voice heard” above “voting accurately.”
It’s all right there in your comment. There’s no question of interpretation. It was just the single, direct statement you made.
In a democracy, elected officials respond to the voting public. If you stay home, there’s no chance they’ll do what you want them to do, unless by coincidence. If you show up to vote, they will account for that and your desires will influence policy.
I said nothing at all about who to vote for or how to choose that. You can’t infer the relative importance of that from what I said. I may have an opinion on that, but you can’t possibly know what it is from what I’ve said here.
I really can’t make sense out of your last comment. You don’t influence specific policy decisions by getting out and voting. You only influence them by predicting which candidate, after being elected, will then actually perform the policy actions you want.
If you value an accurate mapping between votes and correctly predicting outcomes, then when your personal knowledge of candidates is weak, abstaining is a way to allow more expert voters to improve the signal-to-noise ratio relative to ignorant voters.
But you specifically said,
> “Abstaining from voting is never a reasonable choice unless you want elected officials who don’t give a damn about you”
and this can only make sense if instead of valuing votes as accurate predictions (wherein you might best obtain a politician who cares about you by abstaining from injecting your noisy vote into the election) you choose to value votes as a means of unqualified personal expression.
I’m not talking about a single race. I’m talking about the whole system. Over time, politicians’ views are shaped by the voters. If you show up to vote, you’ll be part of that process. If you don’t, you won’t, and you shouldn’t then be surprised when none of the people running for office share your views.
This just simply is not true. If you are ignorant about facts pertaining to issues, then to the extent that your vote influences future policy shifts, it would do so in the wrong direction, or at least add noise to the process that knowledgeable people have to overcome.
An ignorant voter could for example directly and unwittingly vote against their own views if they aren’t informed about the relationship between their preferred outcomes, policies that could potentially achieve those outcomes, and politicians’ likelihood of adopting particular positions, being lobbied by corporate interests, etc. For most politicians and most issues, most everyday people absolutely have zero knowledge about these situations that would imply their preferences deserve to be factored into the decision (from a statistical optimization point of view).
> “If you show up to vote, you’ll be part of that process.”
Yes, but you could be playing a harmful part of that process. Showing up to vote is not unequivocally always helpful. If you vote based on ignorance, even totally separate from meta debates about how to choose the right morals or norms subjectively, you could cause harm. “Being part of the process” could mean you are effectively noise-jamming democracy because your uninformed opinion about the best course of action shouldn’t be listened to.
> “If you don’t, you won’t,”
This is just wrong. You can “play a part” by abstaining from voting. In fact it can be a critical part if you know you are personally uninformed about the technical specifics of an issue or don’t know a candidate’s history of being a corporate shill, or you base your vote on a single issue that turns out not to be very urgent for society, etc.
Not voting when you don’t have special knowledge of the best policy or best candidate can be an incredibly important way to meaningfully participate in government, and may often be much more socially responsible than voting from a position of ignorance.
Despite all this, I still concede that if a person doesn’t care about “using their vote to do good” and chooses instead to care about “having their voice heard” and arguing (however ignorantly) in favor of their preferences, then they could justifiably reach the conclusions you give in your comments.
Just not if their goal is to optimize the chance of the best policy outcome according to their views weighted by their expertise in the topic. In that case, abstaining from the vote can often be the optimal choice, even in terms of trying to get policy reformed in the direction you prefer.
Do you have examples of different types of elections that you think your advice applies to? In US political elections at the state and federal level, I can’t think of any.
Even ballot initiatives require the voter to genuinely be informed about the possible outcomes and how the existing legislature would behave or respond in response. It would never be as simple as “I believe in policy X so therefore I should vote for it.” Do you know if policy X can hurt people if you end up being wrong about it? If the relevant legislative body can just draft a loophole to get around the ballot initiative anyway, etc?
If not, your best bet often might be to abstain and allow more expert voters to decide if policy X actually is effective or not, not just whether someone happens to like it despite being generally uninformed about it.
People try to map a complex bundle of issues, policies, morals, economics, etc., onto a discrete choice between specific candidates (either to elect them, or to predict their actions post-election).
If we developed national policy through prediction markets or even change.org polls, then sure, you could add your highly specific opinion into the aggregate by participating in that poll.
But that’s totally irrelevant to the whole tree of comments here.
The trouble is that you started out by making a very extreme claim, which is that abstaining from a vote can never be an effective way to participate in an election.
Now you’re trying to flip the scope of the comments or something, but still not offering any reasons why your original extreme claim about abstaining should be believed.
It’s still important to show up because the fact that you voted (or not) is public record. This is true for every single election.
You are still talking about who to vote for, which as I just said isn’t even relevant to my comment. Before you reply again, please take a moment to re-read that. If you start taking about which way to vote then you’ve already lost the plot here. If you want to address my point then go for it, but don’t waste both of our time by writing yet another comment about how one should choose who or what to vote for.
You keep saying your comment isn’t about elections, but that actually doesn’t seem relevant to anything you’ve said, particularly not the original comment claiming that abstaining is never reasonable for people wishing to have their point of view reflected in the outcome of whatever vote.
No, I keep saying it isn’t about who to vote for. It is absolutely about elections.
It may be best to abstain from voting in some cases, but you should still show up and cast a ballot.
Now you factor in hackers, politicians getting bought, and it seems very pointless if you live in major city.
They don't trust politicians.
Business leaders on the other hand can often affect positive change in a more direct manner without the need to squeeze corrupt politicians into doing a half-assed job for them.
For example I have more long-term faith in SpaceX and Blue Origin furthering space exploration than I do NASA (yes, I know SpaceX wouldn't exist without the NASA ISS contract several years ago, that's a broken clock right twice a day though)
Given the option of being Bill Gates or being the President of the US, I'd pick Bill Gates every time.
A union is “democratic?” You haven’t spent much time around unions then. Unions are essentially a conspiracy to create labor monopolies and they deny individuals the ability to negotiate their own wages and benefits based on their perception of their own value. I don’t want to make the same wage as everyone else with the same years of experience because my skills might be better or worse than the guy with the same job title and same seniority yet somehow unions consider everyone equal in terms of value? Not every is equal. A teacher with ten years experience isn’t inherently more valuable than a teacher with two years experience. Yet if unions call the shots, the ten year teacher gets paid more just in the basis of that seniority — regardless of actual performance. I am perfectly capable of negotiating my own salary, I don’t need some collective to do it for me.
Unions benefit he mediocre and harm the high performers. There is nothing democratic about forcing me to accept a contract I had no say in negotiating or being forced to join a union (or pay for it) as a condition of employment. I should have the right to not have to contribute to, or join a union. Unions are bastions of cronyism. Try to get a job as an electrician in Chicago without being in the union.. it won’t happen — I wouldn’t have the freedom to work unless I join a union. There is nothing democratic about that.
I’m also tired of all of this inexact labeling of “generations” rather than explicitly identifying these groups by age. I think creating a split between “millenials” and “Gen X” and “Boomers” fosters an us vs them mentality that does more harm than good. My parents are “boomers” and I’ve started hearing them talking about how Millenials are X Y and Z (mostly bad things). I doubt they would be as willing to say the same of “young people” or “young adults”. Most age-related issues aren’t due to intrinsic cultural differences but the combination of economics and demographics
It's not that simple, I doubt the boomers working at Google now are the one creating problems and preventing the company from moving forward.
When you see how much stuff they did for ahead of their time ( Big Table , Piper etc...) and now the same tech is being ported to the cloud.
My point here is to say that it's a mentality issue rather than an age issue. If the companies you are working did not invest to transform you and to make you adequate toward current society , you are going to slow down your company otherwise you'll be just fine.
>I’m also tired of all of this inexact labeling of “generations”
The age group are identified page 3.
I personally consider this labelling accurate , but as you mentioned it "boomers" are okay to label others but not to be labelled themselves.
That’s not what I meant regarding the age. I mean that the same labels are often applied to different age groups; there are multiple definitions. And also, the labels convey a kind of cultural significance that I think distracts from the more important differences. It’s easy to say that “Millenials deserve everything they get because they’re lazy and entitled”, not so easy to say “Young people deserve everything they get because they’re lazy and entitled.”