You have to be crazy to think that there won't be a reaction from the native working class (at least the white working class) at some point.This is especially true when Democratic elites portray them as racist and xenophobic for objecting to what's happening to the country, and Republican elites look down their noses at them for the same reason, and wonder why these benighted blue-collar people won't embrace the glories of the free market. " at people so many times before it ceases to have a mesmerizing effect. I could throw a bunch of statistics back at you about how automation has actually changed the job place more than global trade or how globalized production helps working families by keeping the price of products like cars and jeans lower.
But I think what you are describing is a far more visceral response. So, if you’re like me, and think it is important that America not retreat from the global economy, how do you reach people who feel the way you describe?
You’ve hit on one of the defining political issues of the period into which we have now entered.
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.
Why do you think so many of them have pushed back against the forces of globalization?
Because they haven't benefited from it, at least not as much as they have lost.I grew up in a working-class home in the 1970s, and despite the economic travails of that era, my generation was raised with the confidence that we would be better off than our parents.That was the natural order of things, or so we thought.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.The economy cannot be easily separated from the rest of life.It matters a lot to the sense of self-worth of workers that their labor is meaningful.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.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.