Search This Blog

Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Middle-Class Revulsion

Joel Kotkin writes at RCP:
Middle-class revulsion with the political mainstream has been driven by slow economic growth, stagnant wages, a dysfunctional education system, and, for smaller businesses, a tightening regulatory regime. Homeownership is now at a nearly half-century low. New business start-ups, for the first time in three decades, are not keeping up with the number of deaths. Both stats reveal a real decline in aspiration. Most Americans, in a stunning reversal of past trends, see a worse future for their offspring than themselves. Who can blame them? Middle-class breadwinners and working-class wage-earners now suffer from deteriorating health and shorter lifespans.

In other words, middle-class Americans could certainly use a champion. But those who chose Trump went off the rails.
He isn't cheering Clinton, either:
By elevating this disingenuous demagogue, Trump voters have assisted in the further ascendency of the oligarch class. The forces coalescing around Hillary Clinton -- mainstream Wall Street, particularly hedge funds, beltway lobbyists, the big media, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and green capitalists -- do not share the priorities of Middle America. Bernie Sanders made an issue of Clinton’s Wall Street support, but the Vermont socialist was always too marginal, cranky and, ultimately, too doctrinaire to win even in today’s Democratic Party.
With Sanders conveniently dispatched, the crony-capitalist class is assured its worldview prevails. They can check all the boxes that Rob Atkinson has labeled as“the Davos application” of open immigration, greater globalization, free trade, and higher carbon prices.