Robert Reich. (photo: MoveOn.org)
20 February 16
he question I keep coming back to is why the Democratic and Republican establishments so wildly underestimated the rebellion. A year ago – which now seems like an eternity – they proclaimed Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush shoe-ins.
Those of us who foresaw the upsurge (see, for example, “Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few”) were discounted.
Since then, the rebellion has taken two forms: Some Americans are, unwisely, choosing an authoritarian bigot; others are joining a political revolution. Economists, in particular, have been shocked, shocked! The economy, they say, is improving. So there’s no reason for the rebellion. Do not put great stock in standard economics to explain what is occurring. The discipline of economics has little or nothing to say about the linkages between widening inequality, wealth and power, crony capitalism, declining real wages, soaring CEO pay, and a billionaire class intent on turning our democracy into an oligarchy.
On the eve of the Nevada Democratic caucuses (which Bernie actually has a chance of winning) and South Carolina primaries (where Trump has a wide lead), the establishment is having conniptions. But it still refuses to acknowledge the source of the rebellion -- or, sadder still, to commit to doing anything to reverse the trends fueling it.
What do you think?