Who represents the poor?


Who cares about the poor? Spoiler: apparently no one!

Dean Baker at CEPR has a short and pointed post arguing that the recent economic policy climate has fueled our extra-super-populist political moment (via Simon Radford).

And not dissimilar:

Thomas Frank’s new book Listen, Liberal (NYT review) argues that the Democrats in the U.S. morphed into the party of white-collar professionals. This is a little exaggerated for my tastes but I will accept that there has a been at least a drift in that direction. From that linked review:

Too busy attending TED talks and ­vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard, Frank argues, the Democratic elite has abandoned the party’s traditional commitments to the working class.


The last decade. Garbage economic policy sold wholesale to the downtrodden working poor and middle classes at their most vulnerable moment in the wake of a financial crisis.


What do you expect people to do? Of course people don’t have the time or the expertise to figure out how economic policy works. I barely get it and it says “economist” on my business cards (kidding, I do not have business cards).

So, hey, how about if someone who is doing the actual joined up thinking stumped for policies that didn’t suck for the people who need them?

Because when “experts” make policy that doesn’t help people, you don’t get to be surprised later when they’re seduced by snake oil salesmen. Now we all get to face that music.

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