Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Still no Economic Populism in America

In Wisconsin, the unions failed to unseat union-busting governor Scott Walker. They chose this battle, and they lost it. Of all the numbers I have seen, I think the most interesting was that 37% of voters who live in union households voted for Walker. So did 12% of the people who plan to vote for Obama in the fall.

To me what this shows is that despite the Occupy movement and all the talk of the 99%, economic populism still has limited resonance with Americans. We just aren't very angry with the plutocrats. A majority of Americans still fears big government more than big business and the rich, and many on the left are more interested in ending foreign wars or protecting the environment than in union activism.

Why aren't we angry with the rich? Maybe because we really sort of are rich. I may be in the middle as contemporary Americans go, but compared to all the people who ever lived I am still in the richest 1%. That makes it hard to get really angry about economic unfairness. 

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