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If Democrats have been getting clobbered by the working class voting Republican totally against their economic interest, we have been doing it wrong. How about a simple message that can appeal to almost everyone who works in America? It is: YOU need a raise! Lowell encouraged me to cross-post my blog article on this here; I hope that this stimulates some conversation.
A few days before the last election, the Wall Street Journal published an article entitled, “Democrats lose their grip on voters with keys to the House.” The article began:
AITKIN, Minn.—The plumbers, drillers and truck drivers who arrive at the Birchwood Cafe before sunrise pour their own coffee, tuck away eggs and air gripes that help explain why some longtime Democrats now lean Republican. They are skeptical of President Barack Obama and don’t care much for his party’s support of federal safety-net programs. ‘You take a look at all the giveaway programs the Democrats have. Nobody wants to work anymore,’ said Dale Lundquist, a 69-year-old excavation contractor.
The incomes of plumbers, drillers, truck drivers, and most other working class workers (not to mention most other Americans) have stagnated or declined over the last several decades. Workers’ productivity has continued to increase since the end of World War II, but their compensation became untethered from productivity in around 1979 and has not kept up since.