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How Middle America Became Trump Country: Wells



Michael Hicks lives in the Democratic hole of the Republican doughnut otherwise known as the state of Indiana, home state to Donald Trump’s vice-presidential running mate, Mike Pence.

I met Hicks four years ago, when Caterpillar was shutting its Electro-Motive Diesel operation in London, Ont., vacating hundreds of jobs from the region. New jobs were pledged instead to Muncie, Indiana, the kind of place that dominated during the reign of America as a manufacturing powerhouse. BorgWarner. Indiana Steel and Wire. Westinghouse. Chevrolet Muncie. Ball Brothers, the glass making family that graced the town with their stately mansions on the banks of the White River.

Muncie personified the American dream to such a degree that in the 1920s two researchers chose the small city as the ideal representation of an industrially charged America. Muncie’s rapid rate of growth, its “modern high-speed machine production,” the fact that it wasn’t dominated by a single industry, the fact that it was located “in that common-denominator of America, the Middle West” made it so representative of American life that the researchers dubbed it “Middletown.”

Unionized, well-paying jobs. A burgeoning middle class. “Nothing short of the sky seemed an adequate limit to the citizens of Middletown,” the husband and wife researchers wrote.

It all came a cropper, as BorgWarner closed (6,000 jobs at its peak) and the 60-metre smokestack at Chevy Muncie was razed (3,400 jobs) and so on. By the time I visited Muncie, retired workers were fighting for their benefits and an ex-Warner Gear employee lamented the obvious. “There is no middle class left in Muncie,” he told me. “People are well off, or they’re poor.”

As a distinguished professor of economics at Ball State University, Mike Hicks is seeing that divide play out through the U.S. election. What he has not witnessed is a significant uptick in Muncie’s fortunes despite the headlines that heralded new locomotive assembly jobs. “The hope was it would have resulted in a significant amount of new blood, middle and higher income households. That just didn’t pan out.”

Those with better paying jobs have chosen Noblesville, Yorktown, Fishers — suburbs with better ranked schools and better housing stock and superior amenities. “The economic consequence that many supposed would materialize locally is diffused across five counties,” he says. “So instead of having a whole new class of executives and accountants and higher paid production workers residing in Muncie, it’s mostly the lower paid jobs.”

In the primaries, Delaware County turned out strongly for Bernie Sanders (7,026 to Hillary Clinton’s 4,891) and powerfully for Donald Trump (7,986 to Ted Cruz’s 5,710). “This is a vote of anger and rebellion,” Hicks says of the then leading candidates.

Is nostalgia the driver? Hicks discounts Trump’s trade rhetoric. “I think most people in their hearts do not believe that there’s going to be a manufacturing employment resurgence,” he says. “I think it’s the frustration with the status quo that’s mostly driving the vote and that’s why the critique of the unlikelihood of their public policies has had very little effect on their supporters.” (He adds that the revelations around Trump’s tax filings “was as surprising as the sunrise.”)

Hicks describes Muncie as a city “densely populated with old school Democrats.” Combined with the university he says there’s little to no doubt that the county will go Democrat. “People call Ball State a conservative campus,” he says. “By that they mean probably only 85 per cent of the faculty support Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.”

What is different this time, Hicks says, are the disaffected Democrats quietly supporting Trump. “I think there are a lot of Trump supporters who are supporting him not because he has anything like a reasonable character . . . but rather because he’s the most likely to cause change. And I think that’s what the Sanders supporters felt like . . . I think what they said was, we want to blow things up. I talk to my neighbours, several of whom support Donald Trump, or I talk to my students, who are Sanders supporters, and they seem to be mostly angry and are supporting them based on the opposition to the status quo.”

For Hillary Clinton, drawing the Sanders support will be impeded by the fact that many if not most Ball State students are not resident in Delaware County and often retain their home county for voting purposes, which in turn has led to low university voter turnout in the past.

A Trump win in Delaware County is a long shot, Hicks admits. But the disaffection with income inequality runs so deep that he’s convinced the reality star is going to outperform anyone’s expectations.

Trump is certainly going to take Indiana, with its 11 electoral college votes. Indiana has a history as the nation’s “reddest” state. What’s changing, Hicks believes, is the Democrat doughnut hole.

“I am afraid that it’s so difficult to admit you support Donald Trump without being thought to be as vacuous and idiotic as he sounds in debate that I believe his support is a lot deeper than people think.” The thought does not sit well. “It makes my heart ache. I don’t sleep well at night. If I think about it I have to turn off the TV.”

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Beauty Week is back at Hudson’s Bay in Toronto and it’s time to get glam



Beauty enthusiasts rejoice! Beauty Week at Hudson’s Bay is back in Toronto for another year. It’s time to stock up on all of your fall essentials and, maybe discover some new ones. 

From Friday, August 18 to Sunday, August 27, you can expect a truly elevated beauty experience in-store with incredible special offers, limited-time gifts, and exciting activations. 

If you’re a diehard beauty lover, you’ll already know that Hudson’s Bay is the place to shop thanks to its extensive range of over 195 skin and makeup brands from both luxury labels and masstige brands — including Tata Harper, Estée Lauder, YSL, Nars Cosmetics, Bobbi Brown, and so much more.

Throughout The Bay’s Beauty Week, visitors can take in some at-counter activations and interactive expert-led tutorials, where there will be chances to get makeup touch-ups from top-tier brands, try a spritz of the most alluring fragrances, and sample tons of new products.

This year’s Beauty Week highlight is the ‘Best in Beauty’ tote, a meticulously-curated selection of 30 deluxe samples from an array of top-tier brands like Dr. Barbara Sturm and Shiseido spanning skincare, fragrance, and makeup — all in a super sleek bag.

The tote, which is valued at over $300, is retailing for just $39 and is a fantastic way to explore new products (without breaking the bank). However, there is a limited quantity, so if you want to get your hands on one, you’ll need to be fast.

Wondering exactly what Beauty Week’s free gifts with purchases entail? If you spend over $95 at Lancôme, you will receive a six-piece set valued at $130. Or, you can get an Estée Lauder gift valued at $170 with purchases over $80. (And that’s just to name a few.)

If you’re a Hudson’s Bay Rewards member, you’ll also get $20 in Hudson’s Bay rewards when you spend over $100 on beauty.

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The Canadian Armed Forces are hiring for several non-combat military jobs



The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have several non-combat jobs, some of which do not require a college degree or past work experience.

Life in the forces has several benefits, such as paid education plans (college, university and graduate-level programs), 20 paid vacation days, health and dental coverage for you and your family, maternity and paternal leave, and pension plans. You can learn more about the benefits in detail here.

And to make it easier to gauge if you qualify, the listings also include related civilian jobs to see if it’s your ideal role.

Financial services administrator

Related civilian jobs: Financial records entry clerk, financial manager, accounting technician, bookkeeper, budget officer, cashier clerk, business planner technician, and verification manager.

Description: You’ll help budget resources for all military activities besides providing financial assistance.

Education: You need to have completed Grade 10.

Duties: As a financial services administrator, you’ll be responsible for bookkeeping and managing budgets. You’ll also provide support in accounts payable and accounts receivable.

Work environment: Those in this role work at CAF bases, on ships or overseas. You might also be expected to help special operation units, recruiting offices, schools, and medical organizations.

Postal clerk

Related civilian jobs: Mail clerk, mail sorter.

Description: You’ll provide postal services to members and their families at bases and establishments.

Education: Grade 10. No previous work experience or related career skills are required.

Duties: As the postal clerk, you’ll handle mail duties.

Work environment: Besides a postal office, you may work on a ship or a mobile postal van. You might be expected to serve with Royal Canadian Navy, the Army, and the Royal Canadian Air Force in Canada and abroad.

Dental technician

Related civilian jobs: Dental assistant, dental hygienist.

Description: You’ll be helping dental officers provide dental services to CAF members, their families, and dependents.

Education: Level II dental assisting diploma from an accredited college or a National Dental Assisting Examining Board (NDAEB) certificate.

Duties: Those in this role will be responsible for various responsibilities, including disinfection and sterilization of dental equipment, applying rubber dams, placing cavity liners, and controlling bleeding. In addition, you’ll assist in laboratory procedures like creating casts, custom trays, and mouthguards.

Work environment: This role will require you to work in a military dental clinic, a Mobile Dental Clinic, an Air Transportable Dental System, or onboard a ship. You might be expected to work on a base in Canada or other operations in other parts of the world.

Human resources administrator

Related civilian jobs: Records administrator, data entry supervisor, receptionist, office manager, executive assistant, payroll clerk, and information management technician.

Description: Provide administrative and general human resources support.

Education: Grade 10. No previous work experience or related career skills are required.

Duties: In addition to human resources administration and services, you’ll be handling pay and allowances, managing automated pay systems, and maintaining personnel records.

Work environment: HR administrators work at all CAF bases in Canada. They also work on ships and overseas to support the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy, or Royal Canadian Air Force operations.

Medical assistant

Related civilian jobs: Emergency medical responder, ambulance and first aid attendant, registered nursing assistant, licensed practical nurse, and hospital orderly.

Description: Successful candidates will help treat the sick and injured in CAF units. You’ll be assisting and supporting nursing and medical officers.

Education: Minimum of Grade 11 biology, Grade 10 physics or chemistry, and Grade 10 math.

Duties: You’ll provide initial care and essential life support treatments in trauma cases. You’ll help with health assessments (hearing and vision tests, perform basic lab procedures, etc.) and initiate and manage medical records and reports. You’ll also be expected to provide support and first aid during training exercises.

Work environment: Medical assistants may serve with the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Canadian Air Force or the Canadian Army as part of the Canadian Forces Health Services Group. Those in this role are exposed to the same risks as the forces they support.

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Porter’s new loyalty program promises to match Air Canada’s Aeroplan status



Porter Airlines is once again stirring the pot among Canadian airline rivals, now going after Air Canada’s Aeroplan members by offering to match their loyalty status to an equivalent of their own.

The beloved airline, which recently ranked as having the best cabin service in North America, challenged the competition for the second time this year, after previously deploying a similar tactic against WestJet in the spring. 

Earlier in April, Porter presented customers with a limited-time offer to match the loyalty status of WestJet’s patrons with VIPorter levels.

Now, they’re offering Aeroplan members to seamlessly transition to an equivalent VIPorter Avid Traveller status based on their existing membership tier.

Members can then take advantage of an array of travel perks that come with flying Porter, including seat selection, baggage, and flight changes.

For those currently holding an Aeroplan membership, there are two ways to acquire the Avid Traveller status for the rest of 2023:

Status-Based Match:
  • Aeroplan 25K members = VIPorter Venture
  • Aeroplan 35K members = VIPorter Ascent
  • Aeroplan 50K, 75K, and Super Elite = VIPorter First
Flight Segments-Based Match:
  • 5 flight segments = VIPorter Passport
  • 8 segments = VIPorter Venture
  • 17 segments = VIPorter Ascent
  • 28 or more segments = VIPorter First

Members will have to first submit their applications on Porter’s website. Registration will remain open until September 6, 2023.

In order to maintain their membership level through 2024, customers will have until the end of 2023 to reach the following reduced qualifying spend (QS) targets:

  • Passport = $500 in QS
  • Venture = $750 in QS
  • Ascent = $1500 in QS
  • First = $2500 in QS

Over the past year, Porter has launched an aggressive expansion strategy, including everything from introducing longer flights on newly-purchased jet planes flying out of Toronto Pearson, free WiFi, and a new all-inclusive economy experience.

With Canadians losing both Swoop and Sunwing as WestJet incorporates both into their mainline business, Porter’s direct competition is welcome to keep prices competitive.

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