This is how you win an argument by Jake Bronstein

BEFORE YOU POST ANOTHER COMMENT ABOUT THE ELECTION, CAN I SHOW YOU HOW TO WIN ARGUMENT? (please read, don't watch)

Last night, I decided to digitally meet-up with a Trumper I'd never met who'd trolled me all election.

Make no bones about it - this guy is the real deal - based in a small town in NC, he posted nightly "Killery" conspiracies to my wall, attempted to discredit Trump accusers with memes based on their looks, has strong feelings on "immigration" and more (some of his friends were the inspiration for the thing I wrote about jobs a few days ago).

The video itself is just two white guys who don't know how to shave (him and me) awkwardly trying to cut through the noise. Don't feel like you have to watch it. But the second I turned the camera came on, three things became clear to me...

1 - NOBODY WINS AN ARGUMENT WITH A COMMENT ON FACEBOOK. It's too easy to skim, skip, turn off or tune out. If you think it's important, and you want to be heard, you have to find a way to say it. With your voice.

2 - ASKING AN A-HOLE FOR A BEER IS A POWER-PLAY. But in a good way. Seriously. Camaraderie found, even among enemies, can sometimes win the war. George Washington said that. (He didn't. But he should have.)

3 - NO ONE WANTS TO HEAR YOUR POINT OF VIEW UNTIL YOU LISTEN TO THEIRS. True story.

By the end of our call, I hadn't made my point, but I'd listened to his.

30 seconds later - while my wife and I talked about how "immigrants" aren't an abstract idea, they're our friends and neighbors, about Mike Pence's not so hidden agenda for the LGBTQ community, and how scary it is that hate-crime feels like the new norm thanks to a president elect who tweets about who's unfair to him without defending the rest of us - the guy texted to say we should do it again next week.

When we do, I'll explain to him all of those things and more. 
And I'm guessing he'll hear what I'm saying.

Feel free to like / share if you agree.
Feel free to comment if you don't (odds are I'll ignore it - you should buy me a beer).

The Truth About Jobs by Jake Bronstein

BEFORE WE GET IN A FIGHT ABOUT IMMIGRATION LET ME TELL YOU WHERE THE JOBS WENT:

Last night I got in an argument on Facebook with a guy I don't know. He called me an idiot for not seeing the connection between immigration, $3 per hour jobs, and the troubles many people feel in today's economy.

Having spent four years of my life trying to create American manufacturing jobs, build factories, make better products and believing - as I still do - in the American worker, I think this guy is wrong. HE stole the jobs (so did I and probably you too).

Let me explain. Much of my thinking starts with Eastman Kodak. In the 80s, Kodak employed 100,000 people in the Rochester NY area alone. By 2010 the number was less than 5,000. Today it's likely less.

Where did the jobs go? Was it offshoring? China? Trade? Immigrants?

It was your cell phone actually. More pictures are taken now than at any other time in history, but none of it involves film, camera, developing or commercial printing. (Fun fact: Instagram had 13 employees and 30 million users when it sold to Facebook, now the largest photo company on earth and they don't make camera's or film). That same logic applies elsewhere.

Yes, Nafta lost us 70,000 jobs over 15 years after it was signed in the 90s, but the economy often adds more jobs than that per month.

So where did the jobs go? Why is it harder to make a living? Why aren’t businesses hiring like they used to?

It was your computer. Back in the 1980s personal computers were just starting to make their way into homes. They didn't do much though. They weren't connected to anything. A program took two floppy disks - one to run and one to save. Microsoft Windows, the first version, didn’t come out until 1983 and wasn’t standard until several years after. Back then, to look up a word even, you'd need to drive to a store and buy a dictionary program first.

So who is to blame for the job loss of the last 15-20 year or so? You are.

Every time you touch a computer - any kind, from a desktop or cell phone to a point of sale terminal or info kiosk - ask yourself how long it would take to accomplish that same task in 1980 before computers got good? How many hands, people and jobs would have been involved?

Do you really want to bring all the jobs back? 
Insist your phone calls aren't connected until you talk to an operator.
Demand your mechanic throw away their diagnostic tool when your engine light comes on and that instead he tinkers all day trying to find the rattle.
Stop streaming videos. Want entertainment? Go to the movie theater, pay a human for a ticket and if you need a ride home after, get in a taxi (where the driver makes a living wage) not a cheaper uber (where the driver’s hourly rate, less gas and insurance, is pushed so low state regulators can't figure out if it's legal).

You really want the jobs back? 
Stop buying shit online. Go to the store, a mom and pop, and buy the thing.

Before you blame China for the shit you buy, how about you stop buying shit at all. Before China was cranking out cheap trinkets, people didn't buy as many trinkets.

Your grandparents didn't view everything as disposable. 
When their tv broke, they took it to a skilled TV repair guy and paid him a fair wage fix it.

If you really want the jobs to come back, before you buy anything ask yourself, “How could a company make money making this thing, give the store selling it their share, and still pay the guy who put it together enough to buy food and put his kids through school?"

If the math doesn't add up, don't blame the math, pay more for something from a company who makes it in the way you'd want it made.

Now for scariest bit: You’re not doing all of that are you? It wouldn't make sense. 
And even if you were doing it; bring back all the manufacturing you want, it’ll still take half the hands it used to to get each of the items made.

So the jobs aren’t coming back. Not those jobs anyway.

Politicians know that, but your refusal to believe it forces them to point the finger at someone or something, tell you it’s their fault, and that they can fix it.

They can’t. It’s time to think of real fixes.

- jakehimself

Looking to like, comment or share? Please do! The link below was made for clicking. 

Poor Design Alert by Jake Bronstein

3 holes.
"Bottles/Cans" -  This refers to the end form of the objects going in there (glass? plastic? aluminum? tin? unclear). 
"Paper" - This is a material. Ideally separated for recycling. 
"Trash" - A judgment. 

I'm sure I'm overthinking it, but I can think of a million objects that don't neatly fit into any of the wholes on this multiple choice puzzle. Kills me every time. (See also doors that require instructions.)

Lifehack 101 by Jake Bronstein

WRITE IT OUT. All of it. Seriously. You take our a pen to figure out the tip at the end of the meal. Shouldn't you give at least that much care to life's biggest decisions?

You'll never guess what happened when I stopped handing out cards and started mailing them instead by Jake Bronstein

Years ago I used to obsess over my business cards, buy 'em by the box, put a few in my wallet and hand them out sporadically. Care to guess what happened next? Er, just about nothing.  Instead of all that, when I meet someone I'd really like to keep up with, I ask for their mailing address so I can send them something fun. Then I send a hand-written note on card-stock. The response rate is damn-near 100%. I guess less really is more. Next stop, my own letterhead. Who's with me? PS: Tip of the hat to Erik Marinovich, the hand-letter above, who inspired me to try my hand at it myself. 

Years ago I used to obsess over my business cards, buy 'em by the box, put a few in my wallet and hand them out sporadically. Care to guess what happened next? Er, just about nothing. 

Instead of all that, when I meet someone I'd really like to keep up with, I ask for their mailing address so I can send them something fun. Then I send a hand-written note on card-stock. The response rate is damn-near 100%.

I guess less really is more. Next stop, my own letterhead. Who's with me?

PS: Tip of the hat to Erik Marinovich, the hand-letter above, who inspired me to try my hand at it myself. 

10 Reasons I Decided To Bring a Polaroid Camera on Vacation by Jake Bronstein

Jamaica 

Jamaica 

  1. With limited film, every shot is precious. Think twice before snapping.
  2. Because it's a rangefinder, you never all the way know how it's going to turn out.
  3. There's something fun about having a physical product on the spot.
  4. It doesn't get email
  5. It doesn't get email
  6. It doesn't get email
  7. It doesn't get email
  8. It doesn't get email.
  9. It doesn't get email
  10. It doesn't get email.