Why Don’t Politicians Care about the Working Class?: If we want to ensure that our children and grandchildren have the brightest possible future, the national debt is not the most important problem to address. Reversing the polarization of the labor market… is much more important. But money driven politics and a political class that has all but forgotten about the working class… stand in the way of progress…. [A]round two-thirds of the jobs lost during the recession were in moderate-wage occupations… more than one-half of subsequent job gains have been in low-wage jobs….
To be successful, we must make jobs our top priority. Instead, our focus has been on the debt, but all of the hand wringing over the debt and the future of our children is a ruse by Republicans that diverts our attention from the plight of the working class. As I explained a few weeks ago, we can pay our bills. If we have problems, it will be because of the politics surrounding the debt, the political brinksmanship conservatives have used in pursuit of ideological gains, not the economics…. Republicans see the large debt, much of which was caused by the recession, as a golden opportunity to reduce the size of government…. I don’t blame Republicans for their efforts. I wish the working class was more important to Republicans, and I cannot understand the indifference to the struggles of so many people. But… [f]undamentally, it’s the party of the rich and this is a chance to lower government spending and reduce the pressure for tax increases on high-income households.
I do, however, blame Democrats for allowing them to be successful. Even though unemployment is extraordinarily high and job opportunities, when they exist at all, are mostly at reduced wages, and even though the future for the working class looks increasingly bleak, too many Democrats have aided and abetted Republicans in this diversion of attention from jobs to the national debt.
I suppose there are true believers…. [T]here are some Democrats who truly – and wrongly in my view – fear that interest rates will spike and cause big problems if we don’t do something about the debt immediately.
But more broadly the indifference of both parties to the problems of the unemployed – the failure to take any real action to help after it became clear the initial stimulus package was far, far from enough – speaks to the lack of political power of the majority of people in the U.S. today. Money talks loudly… there was a time when unions gave the working class a voice…. That voice has faded with the demise of unions…. Unless Democrats can remember who they are supposed to represent without the “memory aid” provided by powerful, well-funded unions, it’s hard to see how that will change.