Video instructions and help with filling out and completing Form 8815 Institutions

Instructions and Help about Form 8815 Institutions

Music welcome to a conversation with history I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies our guest today is George Packer who is a staff writer for The New Yorker the author of many books most recently the unwinding which won the National Book Award for nonfiction he is on the Berkeley campus as the 2017 Jefferson lecturer George welcome back to our program good to be with you again Harry last time you were here we talked about the unwinding and when I asked you what you learned from doing that research and writing that book about where America was that book has been cited as a primer on trumps America Trump's victory I think I have to reject that a little I didn't imagine Donald Trump's presidency I believed the polls last year I thought he would win because the poll I mean I thought Hillary would win because the polls said she would but the book did survey a landscape that was preparing the way for Trump so trumpism the feelings the impulses that we call populism that fueled the support that drove him you know to victory in the Republican primary the victory in the general election was all there in the places I was reporting on five six seven years earlier so I wasn't I was I guess shocked but not surprised by his victory because that work had prepared me for something like that I just didn't think we were quite that far gone and what were the some of the things that you found I mean you were going to different parts of the country talking to different people of different social class and there were some common themes I mean as people responded to the 2008 crash yeah that was the context for my reporting was the financial crisis and the Great Recession the early Obama years I was in western north carolina rural tobacco and textile area I was in exurban Tampa Bay where the housing bust was most dramatic and there were all these new subdivisions that were practically deserted I was in Youngstown Ohio which is classic Rust Belt city and it it kind of didn't matter whether I was talking to a Democrat or a Republican to someone in a city or a small town to someone who was black or white there was a common sense of the game that they play being rigged in favor of people who had the connections who were in the right networks who had power and money of the middle class disappearing of their children's chances being poor and of this globalization kind of sweeping away the life that they knew whether it was the factory or the shops in this small town Main Street or or what so there was just a general feeling of anxiety and suspicion suspicion of each other - I kept running into people who thought something someone was scamming them or something what was a scam and also the the way they got information was no longer through one of three or four respected establishment news sources it was their own tailored information world that they could choose so it was either fox or MSNBC or their favorite websites twitter had not yet become quite the deafening echo chamber it is now but Facebook was beginning to become a major source of new so I would say if you want to look at three factors in the rise of Trump they were all there one was economic stagnation and a sense of falling behind and and growing inequality that's been true for decades the change in the color and culture of towns that had not had immigration before that were beginning to feel the effects of several decades of open you know immigration policies and three social media and new media that made it possible for people to get around the established voices and instead to hear more radical voices and to choose whether or not to believe them and often they did because the radical voices spoke more directly to them and there was a sense in your book of kind of the general collapse of institutions that might support people and when you're talking about the democratic institutions a real lack of trust yes certainly the federal government felt like a dysfunctional and parasitic and far off thing that had nothing to do with them in any sort of supportive way and even to some extent state government but also think about churches even though I was in very religious parts of the country the church didn't play the kind of cohesive role in the lives of people I was with and these are very anecdotal and idiosyncratic stories I wasn't looking for statistical representation there were really no unions to speak of the woman I wrote about in Youngstown had been in a union when she worked on an assembly line but her job had gone off to Mexico and the Union had had dissolved with the end of that factory and civic groups were not in their lives in corporations were just giant bodies that use their labor when they needed it and offered them no security in return and there was a family in Tampa whose husband was always working odd hours at the target the local target stockroom but they would call him when they needed him and sometimes he had too few hours in a week to support his family so seem to all be you know at the convenience of the of the corporation these are the institutions that in this the great post-war boom were the heart of the of the middle class the institutions that were like the foundation on which a middle-class life could be built they weren't there and then the media the last one had become kind of a weapon more than a source of stability a weapon in the