News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Powerful forces have reduced working class wages around the world, hence the long demise of white working class men in the US-Newsweek, Matthew Cooper, 'Why Working Class White Men Make Democrats Nervous,' Sept. 2014

"Franklin Roosevelt lauded the forgotten man.”" "Seventy percent of Americans "don't have a college degree," as of 4/8/2015...Half of recent college grads work in jobs that don't require a college degree, Jan. 2013 report.

1993 cover

Sept. 2014 article

9/25/2014, "Why Working-Class White Men Make Democrats Nervous," Newsweek, by  

"Working-class white men used to go with the Democratic Party like hot dogs and mustard. And now? Well, not so much. The complex political allegiances of noncollege voters—and particularly noncollege white men—get less attention than the rise of the Hispanic voter. The white working-class percentage of the electorate may be on the decline, but white working-class men remain a voting bloc neither party can afford to ignore.

Democrats have assembled a “Coalition of the Ascendant”—Hispanics, African-Americans, affluent white voters (especially women) and millennials—that has twice given Barack Obama the presidency. And his policies...have helped cement that coalition....

White noncollege voters aren’t all cultural conservatives, but they often lean that way—and Obama’s progressive politics have pushed them further away from the Democrats....

In the 1990s, despite Clinton’s success at reaching some of these lost Democratic voters, their drift rightward continued, with angry white men fueling the 1994 Newt Gingrich small government–low taxes revolution, a year after Newsweek ran a cover story onWhite Male Paranoia.” (1993)."...

[Excerpt: 3/28/1993: "Suddenly white American males are surrounded by feminists, multiculturalists, P.C. policepersons, affirmative-action employers, rap artists, Native Americans, Japanese tycoons, Islamic fundamentalists and Third World dictators, all of them saying the same thing: You've been a bad boy."...]

(continuing): "Democratic presidential candidates Al Gore, John Kerry and Obama each saw competitive or even Democratic states with lots of working-class whites—such as Arkansas and West Virginia—go into the Republican column. 

In 1994 and 2010, Republicans took back the House of Representatives in landslides in large part because white male working-class voters deserted the Democrats....Noncollege whites of both sexes constituted half of Clinton’s electoral strength in 1992, but made up only a quarter of Obama’s support in 2012....
 
Far from cultural issues being bait and switch, as Democrats charge, they are essential to working-class survival:

“Public disorder, family disintegration, cultural fragmentation and civic and religious disaffection...breed downward mobility and financial strain—which in turn breeds further social dislocation, in a vicious cycle that threatens to transform a working class into an underclass.”

Whichever approach is taken by the political parties to lure the white working class, it’s going to have to go up against powerful forces that have reduced working-class wages around the globe. An economy that values more education and higher skills needs to make a special effort to assist those left behind...

The story of what makes white working-class men vote and in which direction is a complex one. They’re not monolithic by region or religion. And it’s not easy to measure them by occupation either, so pollsters use the index that’s easiest to measure and less prone to error, even though it’s less than perfect: whether they went to college.

While this might conjure up the image of a construction or factory worker, these days most noncollege white males are more likely to be found in low-end office jobs or in retail sales as cashierstwo of the fastest growing job categories in America. But what a disproportionate number of noncollege white men seem to have in common, according to polls, is a profound sense of aggrievement—at the rich for rigging the system and the poor for getting benefits they don’t deserve....

“You look across the board and they’re outliers. That is really powerful, and once their income started declining, they became very receptive to Republican arguments that [the government was] taking your money and giving it to others,” says Ronald Brownstein of Atlantic Media, an expert in white working-class voting who mined the data and used the results of a Pew poll in June.

That sense of aggrievement also has a cultural element. Today it’s socially acceptable to poke fun at “white men” or “white guys.” For working-class white men who have seen their wages and wealth drop as the economy has come to value “brain” workers more than manual laborers, there’s no feeling of white privilege, even if their lot is far better than being a minority in poverty. Indeed, with women now more likely to enter and finish college than men, and enjoying better health and longer life expectancy, the frustration of poorly educated white men is understandable....

2011 cover

“No group has declined more in standing,” notes John Lapin of the Center for American Progress, who has studied the working-class vote. Indeed, the white poverty rate is accelerating much faster than the minority poverty rate, and the white working class is among the most pessimistic groups in the country—more even than poor blacks or poor Hispanics....

Working-class whites are not the same as they were even ten years ago (2004). With family breakup accelerating, they’re more likely to live in single-parent households."...





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I'm the daughter of an Eagle Scout (fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers and Mets) and a Beauty Queen.