Is Robert Reich correct?
... The biggest challenge ahead isn’t just to get jobs back. They’re coming back. It’s to raise the wages of most Americans.
This isn’t a new challenge. The median wage has been flat for three decades, when you adjust for inflation. Since 2000 it’s been dropping.
What does all of this have to do with the upcoming election? Plenty. Some of the biggest wage losses over the last several decades have been among white men who haven’t attended college. And, not coincidentally, they’re the ones who have been abandoning the Democrats in droves.
Three decades ago, non-college white men were solidly Democratic. Many of them were unionized. They had jobs that delivered good middle-class incomes.
But over the last three decades they stopped believing the Democratic Party could deliver good jobs at decent wages.
Republicans have done no better for them on the wages — in fact many policies touted by the GOP, such as its attack on unions, have accelerated the downward wage trend.
But Republicans have offered white non-college males the scapegoats of racism and immigration — blaming, directly or indirectly, blacks and Latinos — and the solace of right-wing evangelical Christianity. Absent any bold leadership from Democrats, these have been enough.