News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

The only thing the middle class has left that gets anyone's attention is their vote, such as Brexit-Wall St. Journal, Josef Joffe (Biggest loser is Davos Man)

6/27/16, "The Backlash That Became Brexit," Josef Joffe, Wall St. Journal, "Mr. Joffe is the editor of Die Zeit in Hamburg and a fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, where he teaches international politics."

"Tired of being ignored in favor of liberal grievances, the middle clings to the one thing that keeps them relevant: their vote."...

"After Brexit, the cold eye sees only losers....

The biggest loser, though, is the New Class. Samuel Huntington called this new global elite the Davos Man. He has “little need for national loyalty, views national boundaries as obstacles that thankfully are vanishing, and sees national governments as residues from the past whose only useful function is to facilitate the elite’s global operations.”

On the left, Thomas Frank in his new book, “Listen, Liberal,” changes the label to Liberal Class. Unlike yesterday’s ruling class, this one isn’t defined by high birth or wealth but by education and expertise. These assets are their means of production, to borrow from Karl Marx. Their Ivy League and Oxbridge degrees are their ticket to entitlement. Economic security, social status and cultural hegemony are their rewards.

The grandees of the zeitgeist are professors and pundits, authors and anchormen, university administrators and deans of diversity, school principals and psychologists, Greens and feminists, the gurus of the creative class and the guardians of correct thinking. Add the very rich who have amassed billions not by making stuff, but in global finance, entertainment and digital wizardry. Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg have never met a high-minded cause they did not fund. 

The experts and knowledge workers set the agenda and deliver the truth. They are “life’s officer class,” Mr. Frank quips. “They give the orders and write the prescriptions” for whatever ails society: global warming, LBGT discrimination, MBA women held back by the patriarchy. They preach one world and multiculturalism. And like any ruling class, they mobilize the state to enforce correct language and demeanor.

Yet they do not speak for...the worker bees and the “soft middle” beset by globalization and, more brutally, by technology. Ages ago, America’s Democrats and Europe’s Social Democrats did. Now they talk workers’ rights in the Third World.

Their defection explains the rise of populism, which happens to be both of the left and right, as Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump show. In Europe, it is Marine Le Pen, Nigel Farage or Geert Wilders on the right. On the left, Die Linke in Germany, Syriza in Greece and Podemos in Spain are forging ahead....

Their common denominator is defensive nationalism. They want to keep jobs in and immigrants out, be they Poles or Muslims. The catechism of correct thinking is anathema to them.

The Great Unwashed have also noticed the contempt the New Class holds for them. They’re considered foes of goodness by the New Class: angry middle-aged white men without college degrees who won’t keep up. They are on the “wrong side of history,” to invoke an Obama shibboleth.

History’s avant-garde knows how to deal with the losers. “Every economic problem,” Mr. Frank writes, “is really an education problem.” To better themselves, the poor “must go to school.” Thus, “everybody could become a yuppie.” Going for Brexit, 17 million Brits have roared “no.”

How could they? Alas, these beer-swilling souls can vote. Defying the Great and Good, they have turned June 23 into Bastille Day II. “People have had enough of experts,” snarled Michael Gove, a Conservative member of parliament....

The rebellion of the voiceless screams: “Listen, liberal,” check your moral hauteur and accord us worth. Care as much about us as about LBGT. Pride in the nation is not xenophobia. Don’t bamboozle us by refusing to call terrorism “Islamic.” Keep our gates open, but insist on assimilation. Restore self-government, which has ebbed away to Brussels and Obama’s White House as it drowns out Congress with torrents of executive orders. Don’t censor speech.

The New Class deludes itself when it blames the revolt on economic inequality. If so, why has it erupted in egalitarian Scandinavia, in full-employment Germany, Britain and America? This class war isn’t about income, but culture. It’s about the civic faith

Liberals should listen for their own sake. The middle is not the mob."...

"Mr. Joffe is the editor of Die Zeit in Hamburg and a fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, where he teaches international politics."


Added: Newsweek, Sept. 2014, Matthew Cooper, "Why Working-Class White Men Make Democrats Nervous." "Powerful forces that have reduced working-class wages around the globe" are contemporaneous with the demise of white working class men in the US:

"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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