This is what the Bernie Sanders phenomenon was about on the left, by the way.Sanders didn’t have the answers either, but at least he was speaking to the deep sense of alarm that people have, and the erosion of authority in the normative institutions – especially the political parties – in contemporary America.Cheaper cars and jeans cannot compensate for the loss of work with dignity.
Your neighborhood might have gone from relatively stable to being dominated by immigrants who did not speak your language and did not share your way of life.
I remember around 2005 or so visiting an elementary school in a poor part of Dallas, a Christian school serving the children of immigrants, and listening to a sweet Latino boy deliver a history report about his hero, Santa Anna.
But if you were a working class native, you may have seen your kids' public schools fill up with children who couldn't speak the language.
It became much harder to use the public hospitals because waiting rooms were jammed with immigrants.
Economic gains from globalization are an abstraction to many in the working class, fueling a push back against the global economy.
The question is, how do you reach people who have lost confidence in that economy?The illegal immigration boom started around 1995, and didn't level off until a few years ago.If you were in Dallas during that time, for example, and you were a middle-class native, you probably saw some practical benefits -- better restaurants, cheaper labor, and so forth -- without too many down sides.It doesn't make sense to talk about overall economic gains to the American economy when so many of those gains have aggregated towards the top.You can also talk about how much cheaper globalization makes everyday consumer products, and how much that benefits the working class, but that does not compensate for the loss of meaningful employment, versus service-sector jobs that pay far less and have less dignity than what they replaced.It didn’t hit me till the other day that I don’t know anybody who believes that anymore.Most of us, in my experience, believe that our kids will have to fight hard simply to hold on to what we have.I don’t believe that Trump has the slightest idea how to get the economy back on track, but who could possibly have confidence that the neoliberal establishmentarians of the Democratic and Republican parties do?A lot of folks on both the left and the right sensed that those establishments were satisfied to manage the decline of the middle class.They see that their adult children, and their grandchildren, have less job security than they do.They see the rich getting richer and everybody else stalling out or declining.