This has been going on for some time. Silicon Valley, Seattle, Boston and New York, the places where money is made, generally vote for Democrats. They do this because Democrats deliver what technology wants. Tech runs on brains. It’s always in the market for more of them. Brains need training, they need to be empowered, they want to be recruited, they like to be comfortable.
This is the big economic change of our time, a move from resources to brains as the gating factor to growth. Resources need force to secure them. Manufacturing needs hands to run machines. Tech needs brains.
The news hasn’t gotten to everyone. Wall Street sharpies think they know more than the market. There are tech executives who want to corner the market on brains and think other brains are a threat.
These views are wrong for the economy.
Still. It’s hard for money to switch sides. The Republican Party is the natural home of money. That’s been true since the 1860s. For generations, however, money sided with progress. Progress is the root of the word progressive. Both Roosevelts ran as progressives. They wanted progress. So did most businesspeople.
It was the resource industries that moved Republicans to switch sides, from progressive to conservative. Texas oil fueled the move, first by creating enormous value, then by leading the move to protect it through the military industrial complex.
The political crisis of our time is fueled by this economic change. Money is draining out of resources, going into tech. The resource industries got behind Trump because he could secure power, as Nixon did, as Reagan did, as the Bushes did, harnessing the fear and hatred of the “other” that leads men and women to fight wars for oil. Trump’s strategy was to stand with the oil powers, with Saudi Arabia and with Russia. The oil industry first resisted, then took the bargain. Democracy would be shelved in the name of power.
Trump has taken tens of millions of Americans over the cliff with him through his calls for white male supremacy, even in the face of its decline. No, because of its decline. Many call this a demographic change, but it’s an economic one. Immigrants get the job done in ways many native-born Americans find impossible. Start with nothing and you’ll do anything. Start with everything and you may do nothing.
Over the last three months many businesspeople, especially in tech, have awoken to the threat. They’re appalled by Trump, by his conspiracies, and by his coup. Slowly, very slowly, even those who call themselves conservative are walking away. Some continue to believe the Republican Party can be salvaged, in their name, and run for their purposes. A growing minority have given up.
This move is decisive. It will be long lasting. The Biden Administration will beat COVID-19. It will get the economy back. It will begin the fight to save the planet from the climate damage caused by oil. It will do this by supporting policies on behalf of brains – education, immigration, infrastructure. It will regulate the Cloud Czars without killing the golden goose.
It will, slowly, make business progressive again.