It’s the Middle Class, Stupid!

This latest book by James Carville and Stan Greenberg was a little bit of a disappointment, mostly because of a messy style – but also because there was very little news or fresh analysis on politics or economics. But it is important stuff.

From the opening:


There’s no other way to put it. We failed. It is as simple as that. Both of us have spent our lives focused on what’s happening with working people and seeing them get a fair shake for a hard day’s work—seeing them get the chance to move up the ladder and be honored. We put the middle class at the center of the world, because you can’t have an America without a middle class.

Well, we failed, and we have got to do better, and that’s why we are writing this book.

And this chart sums up the basis for the book:

Income distribution – something changed in the late 1970’s.

More here.


2 thoughts on “It’s the Middle Class, Stupid!

  1. As a left leaning democrat I agree with their thoughts on health care, budget deficits and corrupt government though the last has changed little since Cain and Abel so it is not high on my list. Thirty-five years of teaching economics in college and being a college administrating leaves me with a different view on education. My study of the economics of education began in 1990 and is recorded at my page “The Economics of College Education.”
    The books statistics reminded me of many years ago when I first listened to sixty minutes. I new a lot about the topic and was disappointed because what they said was true and interesting, it did not communicate what I thought to be the truth. A year or so later another topic interest me and I again I listened and again felt saying truthful things does not necessarily lead to the truth. I tried a third time then never listen again. Thought leaders
    interested in the economics of education all listen to people who are prejudice for more academic education and draw the same conclusions. I believe Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theories as a basis for curriculum development would be much more successful. But the Educational Industrial Complex (academics and textbook publishers) control the money and as I learned many years ago when interested in what is
    happening, ” follow the money.”

    • Dear Walter,
      thank you for your comment. I will have to look at Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theories, as it sounds interesting.
      As for the influence of money into the fields of education, I too discovered many years ago the extent to which external funding determines the developments of different branches of research, and to which extent this is often largely politically or ideologically motivated.

      A general reflection spurred by your comment is perhaps an obvious one; that what would be needed to improve our societies (and especially the US) today is seldom any new discoveries of knowledge or political mechanisms, but plain “enlightenment” of timeless features of human nature and politics.
      More bluntly put – we need a fight and not more books.

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