I’m somewhat hesitant to write this… In fact, I’ve been really nervous about posting anything positive on facebook because people seem to think that the end of the world has come, and that all Trump fans are racist, sexist Nazis. Why did he win? Remember the old political adage “it’s the economy, stupid.”
Working class America has been ignored for over 20 years. Ever since Bill Clinton pushed through NAFTA, financial deregulation, and the removal of Glass-Stiegel, both parties have been effectively serving the same wealthy class. We’ve seen massive bubbles, wage stagnation, a lousy job market, and huge increases in wealth inequality ever since.
In the “recovery” since 2008, more people have come into the workforce than the number of jobs being added:
This is why the employment to population is the lowest its been in decades. The headline unemployment number cuts out a lot of people from the bottom line who are perfectly willing and able to have jobs, includes people working part-time for low pay even if they used to have decent full-time jobs in the past, and generally makes things seem much better than they are. The CPI, similarly, has been modified a number of times and doesn’t even include what the middle class spends it’s money on such as rent, food, and nowadays health insurance. In addition, the artificial inflation of asset prices by the fed gives more false signals – such as absurdly high stock market levels and housing prices.
The Repulican and Demicratic elites alike pretend that these numbers reflect reality – heck, they benefit tremendously from the policies of artificial asset-inflation so it’s easy for them to think everyone’s winning.
Bernie Sanders very effectively communicated some of the big problems facing the modern working class, bringing up issues like extreme wealth inequality:
Unfortunately, the Democratic Party rules make it really tough for outsiders. The Republican primaries are more open, allowing Trump to jump ahead by at least mentioning some of the issues important to the working class.
I’m not saying that Trump will save America – only time will tell – but the previously ignored working class is now recognized as an important voting force. As such, the shielded wealthy elites will start to read the writing on the wall and pay more attention to working class issues.
The first step to solving a problem is to recognize that one exists. By beating the endorsements of both political parties and the vast majority of the campaign money, the American working class has just sent a message – ignore us at your peril.