The Two-Party Curse
Republicans care only for the rich, while Democrats champion the poor. Right? Well, that's a well-used and effective slogan for Dems, but as this Salon writer confesses, it's a pretty empty slogan. In truth, Democrats have a lot to answer for:
In a much-reported study, the Russell Sage Foundation discovered that median household wealth in this country fell by 36 percent in the 10-year period ending last year. Wealth for people at the top, as other news stories remind us, has continued to soar. These things are a consequence of the Great Recession, of course, but they are also a reminder of the grand narrative of our time: The lot of average Americans constantly seems to be growing worse. ... But sooner or later you will also have to acknowledge that there are two parties in this country, not just one; that the Democrats held significant power during the period in question, including (for much of it) the presidency itself; and that even when they are not in the White House, these Democrats nevertheless retain the capacity to persuade and to organize. For a party of the left, dreadful news like this should be rocket fuel. For the Dems, however, it hasn’t been. Why is that? Well, for one thing, because a good number of those Democrats have not really objected to the economic policies that have worked these awful changes over the years.Off-shoring and floodtide immigration have done more to depress middle-class income than any other government policy. With jobs vanishing overseas, and with competition for remaining jobs at home increasing from low-wage immigrants, the middle and lower-middle class working folk have been pummeled. Remember, it was Bill Clinton who pushed through NAFTA, which turned out to be disastrous for workers. And Obama rammed through the free trade agreement with South Korea. The Democrats' idea of helping workers is to toss them an anvil when they're drowning.