Anglachel discusses the Catfood Commission’s “disingenuous calls for sacrifice.”
The general criticism of the class bias in how the commission weighted the sacrifices (most for the little people, few for the monied elite) has been done by other commenters, so I’d like to focus on the last, rather amazing sentence in the above quote. The work of the New Deal is delivering value and providing economic security almost a century after it was done. It is an investment that continues to pay out.
Consider that at least 30 of those 80 years have occurred while a political party explicitly opposed to the New Deal has been in power, and that it has been under fire from that same faction since the early 1960s, more than half its life. We’re talking some institutional resilience. When a program provides material benefits to large portions of the population with little overhead and minimal intrusiveness, it’s going to be a winner. This is deep strength of Social Security and Medicare – they deliver. [There’s also the incredible infrastructure investments of the WPA that continue to deliver, but those are less easy to identify as a personal benefit.]
This is why the attacks on them have failed thus far. Main Street can see the benefit these programs deliver. Main Street in this case is not just families, but also small business. Cost efficiencies for business is also a reason why these programs persist. How many small business owners can provide a retiree pension or medical insurance system with the cost efficiency as SS and Medicare, for example? People also see that these New Deal programs are about the only thing still delivering to them in the face of 35 years of continual and deliberate economic degradation
If you want to win over those “low-information” bitter clingy racist types that keep “voting against their interests,” try offering them concrete benefits, like universal health care. That means talking the talk AND walking the walk.
“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other”. – Matthew 6:24
The Democrats cannot simultaneously represent Joe Moneybags and Joe Bagodonuts. Those “low-information” bitter clingy racist types may not be as smart as the geniuses in the Creative Class, but they know shit from Shinola.
Good policy is good politics. So what have the Democrats done for us them lately?