Today, Democratic Party leaders are blaming everyone from Vladimir Putin to James Comey to the Electoral College for their defeat in November. But they should look in the mirror. After years of neoliberal economic policies that favored Wall Street over their traditional working class base, populist anger finally erupted against them in what had been solid Democratic states. The result is a rightwing government led by the bizarre Trump threatens the very institutions of democracy. The question now becomes: Can the Democrats – and the country – find a way forward?
Jeff Faux founded the Economic Policy Institute, the premier research center on economic issues effecting working USians. He has been warning of the political consequences of the growing inequality between labor and capital since the 1980s, and has been a critic of U.S. trade policies beginning with Bill Clinton’s NAFTA. Faux wrote a major book about this, Global Class War. His 2012 book The Servant Economy: Where America’s Elite is Sending the Middle Class turns out to have been prophetic.