Today's guest post comes from Joshua Wilkey's "This Appalachian Life" Blog and is Entitled Surprised by Trump's Popularity in Appalachia? Don't be. While I am a Trump fan, he wasn't my first choice to be President from the Republicans that ran for Election to hold the job. But he angers the establishment, both Democrats and Republicans. That's a good thing, because the Establishment Political Class has not been anything but a hinderance for American Citizens.
I say this because it's obvious that Wilkey doesn't like Trump. In reading this article, you can see that Wilkey doesn't trust Trump, doesn't care for his crudeness, isn't convinced that he didn't collude with the Russians (note that this post was written on October 18, 2019 - 7 days later, the Washington Post would uncover that the Hillary Clinton Campaign and The Democrat Nation Committe had paid to have the fictional stories of Russian Collusion and "Golden Showers" written and these were passed through the office of Republican - RINO - Senator John McCain), and tries to tie Trump together with Don Blankenship, a wealthy CEO of Massey Energy that was convicted of conspiracy to violate Federal Law by ignoring safety violations at the company's Upper Big Branch Coal Mine, killing 29 coal Miners in a collapse at that mine.
However, Wilkey hits the nail square stating that "Those who voted for Trump generally do not care what those outside the region think of their political leanings, and they aren’t reading USA Today." He also notes the disdain of Democrats towards the residents of Appalachia and the coal it produces by its miners. I believe that this was true for many in America, outside of Appalachia about Barack Obama and an accurate perception of Hillary Clinton.
Above all, Wilkey, who is from western North Carolina, understands the politics of the region and he tries to explain it to those who read his blog. So without further ado, I'll let him tell the tale.
Universal basic income ‘risks diverting cash to better off’
Providing all citizens with a universal basic income would risk harming the poorest in society, a Nobel Prize-winning economist and adviser to the SNP government has warned.
Joseph Stiglitz, a member of the Scottish government’s council of economic advisers, said he feared that if the policy were adopted cash would be diverted from the poorest to the better off.
Nicola Sturgeon has vowed to press ahead with plans to explore such a policy, which is commonly understood to mean that welfare payments are replaced with a guaranteed income for everybody, and has offered government funding for research schemes.
Professor Stiglitz, a former chief economist of the World Bank who holds a chair at Columbia University, said it would be better to focus on creating jobs while ensuring the most vulnerable were supported.
He said: “I do worry about two things. One, that there are fiscal constraints and should the scarce money be used to give everyone a basic amount or should it be targeted at those who have particularly strong needs? I think there needs to be some targeting.
“Secondly, over the long run our responsibility as a society is to make sure that everybody who wants a job can get one, and the underlying problems of lack of employment and lack of adequate pay — anybody who works full time ought to have a liveable income — those are the issues in the long run that we need to address.”
Last week Ms Sturgeon said she would press ahead with work to look into the feasibility of the policy, with the government funding research by councils. She has admitted that a basic income “might turn out not to be feasible”, though the policy is popular with left-wing SNP members. She has stressed that work is at an early stage.
Civil servants have warned Ms Sturgeon that she does not have the powers to replace existing benefits with a universal basic income because the UK government still controls most welfare payments. In a briefing, the first minister was also told that the policy would be unpopular with the public and prohibitively expensive, at an estimated £12.3 billion, roughly the same as is spent on the NHS or about a third of the Scottish government’s total budget.
Professor Stiglitz, a left-wing economist who also advises Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party, also backed the transfer of new immigration powers to Holyrood, saying there were “differences in values and in economic needs” between Scotland and the rest of the UK. He said: “It seems to me that it is certainly an appropriate issue to be on the table that Scotland should have the powers to go its own way in migration policy.”
Professor Stiglitz said that he remained sympathetic to Scottish independence, despite his links to Labour, which opposes another referendum, and that he believed Brexit had strengthened the case for leaving the UK. He said: “If the issue were on the table today I would still be sympathetic towards it. The question right now that’s absorbing all the political energies in the UK is Brexit. Typically, societies have the energy to solve only one big problem at a time.”