Thursday, November 01, 2012

Why America's Poor Vote Republican---a counterpoint

Gary Younge's article "Working class voters: Why America’s poor are willing to vote Republican" was surprisingly unenlightened, something that's not usually the case with Younge. It basically said that race and gender were issues as well. My perspective is somewhat different. 

I think that the preference of some working class voters for the Republican Party comes about because of the situation that they find themselves in, as opposed to not being informed, or being racist. People who are working class many times find themselves having to struggle to advance themselves and to maintain themselves. They find the need and the necessity to enter into competition with others as a matter of course. The cause is lack of stability, lack of opportunity, lack of a guarantee of a good life. From that position, the ideas of the free market, competition, and not giving people undue privileges and preferences through government programs makes sense. However, what they don't see is that their immediate situation is just that---immediate, and not reflective of the possibilities of society as a whole.

The things that are lacking in the lives of many working class people are the things that make it easier for people who are more bourgeois to be generous with their policies and money, but this does not mean that these things are only believed in because the folks in question are somehow just latte drinking folks with privilege.  The fact is that the scarcity and competition that working class people experience are both artificial, both created in the end by capitalism and by capitalist society. 

The immediate necessities of day to day living favor a more Republican identified economic policy for success, but in the long run what's really needed to resolve things is a socialist program that involves sharing wealth across the board---including sharing the wealth of the bourgeois class across the board, which is the very anti-thesis of what works in the short run. 

The solution to the need for competition isn't to eliminate the idea of a middle class that doesn't have to compete so hard, but to socialize that situation so that everyone benefits from it.

1 comment:

Lorraine said...

The left-styled libertarians over at C4SS have been serializing the writings of Friedrich von Blowhard on the risk/reward paradigm. They seem to view risk as a tool, while I view it as a weapon.