2015 June 14 Sunday
Suppose You Want To Be America's Champion

Do everyday Americans include people who are making less money because large quantities of low skilled labor have been allowed to come in and drive down wages? Hillary Clinton announcing her run for US President

“Everyday Americans need a champion,” she said then. “And I wanna be that champion.”

No one is going to reach the White House in the foreseeable future with the real goal of helping everyday Americans.

David Frum on Hillary's speech.

Hillary Clinton’s speech had to be long because the coalition she seeks to assemble is made up of so many different sub-units, each of which needed to be assured that its claim would be included in the total: unauthorized immigrants, indebted college students, working mothers … schoolteachers …Obamacare enrollees …: a coalition of interest groups who may not always recognize each other as allies and who cannot automatically be relied upon to show up on voting day.

Frum thinks Hillary is signaling her intention to carry on class warfare and to get stuff for people in her coalition at the expense of people not in her coalition. He points out that the retiring Baby Boomers need their entitlements to be paid by younger generations who have stagnant living standards. An increasing fraction of those younger generations aren't white and do not identify with the older retiring white folks. How's that going to work out over the next 30 years?

What's being fought over: if taxers go up on the upper classes who should get the money. Taxes need to go up just to pay for entitlements already enacted. So hard to hand out more stuff to other groups when there isn't enough money for the groups already entitled. How is this going to go down? I'd really like to know. Growing resentments possible over class, race, ethnicity, sex, religion - pretty much anything that puts people into two separate groups.

When living standards were rising quickly across the board the government could grow its share of the pie and still the various classes of working people would experience rising living standards from their growing take-home checks. So the shifting of money around between groups wasn't as obvious. But now politics has become a zero sum game. Hence the bitterness, resentment, and conflict. I expect this to get worse, not better.

My question for the 2016 election: will Democrat retirees vote for Hillary? If she gets elected will she try to cut retiree benefits to fund social programs for younger groups? She doesn't have to cut the size of Social Security checks. She could change Medicare rules in ways that reduce outlays.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2015 June 14 08:11 PM 

Mike Street Station said at June 18, 2015 6:51 AM:

I don't think Hillary is going after retiree benefits. Why should she? The day of reckoning for those would be outside of her term. Social Security couldn't be fixed the last time until it was within a year or two of being insolvent in the early 80's. The Democratic plan seems to be act like there is no problem with these programs except Republicans trying to cut them because they're mean, right up until the programs are about to go under, then come up with a tax raising plan to bail them out.

So I think Democrats can safely include Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries in their coalition. After all, they are the ones protecting those plans from Republican reform.

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