America’s Burgeoning Class War Could Spell Opportunity For GOP

Joel Kotkin
Forbes
7/12/2011

…Many blue-collar and middle-class Americans are becoming increasingly pessimistic about the future and their children’s chances for achieving their level of well-being. Middle-age college graduates, who supported Obama previously, increasingly have shifted from the administration.  Even the young seem to have lost their once fervent enthusiasm. After all, they are seeing their prospects dim dramatically.

Overall disapproval of President Obama’s economic policies now stands at 57% and will likely grow due to the latest job numbers.  And while the middle and working classes have seen their prospects worsen, the very rich have enjoyed a huge boom.

Of course, no one in a capitalist country should begrudge the earned wealth of the rich.  But there must be some sense that the prospect of greater prosperity extends beyond the privileged. The policies of Fed chief Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner have done little for the small businesses on Main Street while enriching the owners and managers of financial companies by showering them with cheap money and implicit government guarantees for their survival. Top pay for CEOs of financial companies, including those bailed out by the taxpayers, has soared.  The rise in stock prices has benefited the wealthiest 1% of the population, which owns some 40% of equities and 60% of financial securities…

…Of course Democrats resort to stirring up class resentments, but their credibility is thin. After all it’s New York Sen. Charles Schumer, not some fat-cat Republican, who remains the financial industry’s designated hitter on the Hill [CAJ note: Read Senator Chuck Schumer: The Era of Small Government is Over.] Instead of chastising the big financial institutions, the administration has largely coddled them. Despite the obvious abuses behind the financial crisis, there have been virtually no prosecutions

…Neither right-wing ideology nor mindless support for corporate needs constitute a winning strategy in a nation plagued by a sense that the system works only for the rich and well-connected.  Only by focusing on working and middle class concerns can the GOP permanently separate the people from the party which pretends to represent them.

Read the complete article at Forbes.com

Also by Joel Kotkin, Why America’s Young And Restless Will Abandon Cities For Suburbs:

…“hip and cool” core cities like San Francisco, New York and Boston have also suffered double-digit percent losses among this generation. New York City, for example, saw its 25 to 34 population of 2000 drop by over 15% — a net loss of over 200,000 people — a decade later. San Francisco and Oakland, the core cities of the Bay Area, lost more than 20% of this cohort over the decade, and the city of Boston lost nearly 40%.

In contrast, the largest growth among this peer group took place in metropolitan areas largely suburban in form, with a strong domination by automobiles and single-family houses. The most popular cities among this group — with increases of over 10% — were Las Vegas; Raleigh, N.C.; Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif.; Charlotte, N.C.; Orlando, Fla.; San Antonio, Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth, in Texas; and Sacramento, Calif…

…Rather than place all their bets on attracting 20-somethings cities must focus on why early middle-age couples are leaving. Some good candidates include weak job creation, poor schools, high taxes and suffocating regulatory environments. Addressing these issues won’t keep all young adults in urban settings, but it might improve the chances of keeping a larger number…

H/T The Backyard Conservative

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