Conservative Ways to Help the Middle Class

Rasselas

Former Staff
Feb 2010
71,090
48,002
USA
#1
@Macduff the other day scoffed at the idea that David Brooks is a conservative--a guy who spent the first two decades of his career at National Review, The Weekly Standard, and the Wall Street Journal.

Brooks thinks--rightly--that our biggest long-term economic issue is inequality, and he says--again, rightly--that both Democrat and Republican administrations have spent their time on other, peripheral issues like health care and the War on Terror.

In this column, he summarizes a bunch of ideas from conservatives for helping American workers in substantive ways--conservatives like the American Enterprise Institute (hard to get better conservative cred than AEI).

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/18/...-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region&_r=0

Here are some of those ideas:
expand the earned-income tax credit for childless adults, cut payroll taxes, create fleets of buses so that struggling workers can commute to booming commercial centers, reduce the length of unemployment spells by giving jobless workers a modest cash bonus when they get a new job, streamline licensing requirements.
Reduce the need for worker licensure or at least reduce the requirements:
Currently about a third of all American jobs require a license, and these requirements to get them make no sense. The average emergency medical technician trains for 33 days, but the average cosmetologist has to spend 372 days in training for a license. This separates people from work.
More: End employer searches for credit scores for job applicants, encourage men to train and apply for jobs traditionally done by women but that are growing (elementary school teachers and nurses), end criminal background checks until the final stages of the selection process for jobs, mobility vouchers that encourage poorer people to move to find work, encourage career training other than college, re-invent unions.

These are just a few ideas developed by right-of-center thinkers. Are they all just liberals now?
 
Last edited:
Mar 2012
58,084
39,666
New Hampshire
#2
I think its just a re aligning/split of the party. The older Bush/Romney types have lost favor (country club republicans) while a more pro working class blue collar effort is being seen. More blue collared workers appear to be aligning with republicans while white collar college graduates are aligning with democrats. I think your scenario reflects this shift.
 
Jul 2013
57,028
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Nashville, TN
#4
I think its just a re aligning/split of the party. The older Bush/Romney types have lost favor (country club republicans) while a more pro working class blue collar effort is being seen. More blue collared workers appear to be aligning with republicans while white collar college graduates are aligning with democrats. I think your scenario reflects this shift.
I have not observed this on PH board...I have seen zero pro-worker posts from right wingers on PH.
 
Likes: 3 people

Rasselas

Former Staff
Feb 2010
71,090
48,002
USA
#5
I think its just a re aligning/split of the party. The older Bush/Romney types have lost favor (country club republicans) while a more pro working class blue collar effort is being seen. More blue collared workers appear to be aligning with republicans while white collar college graduates are aligning with democrats. I think your scenario reflects this shift.
I agree, except that you're making a distinction based on economic needs, while the current GOP isn't actually addressing those needs with its policies. Brooks says Dems aren't doing that either. These are right-wing ideas to actually help blue collar Americans. Why doesn't the GOP champion them? Why fixate only on those at the top and get those working class votes via social issues?
 
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Mar 2012
58,084
39,666
New Hampshire
#6
I have not observed this on PH board...I have seen zero pro-worker posts from right wingers on PH.
Yet if I had to guess, if you asked each of them what they did for a living, I bet at least 80% of them are blue collar or union workers. I see it at work all the time with the trades unions we work with.
 
Mar 2012
58,084
39,666
New Hampshire
#7
I agree, except that you're making a distinction based on economic needs, while the current GOP isn't actually addressing those needs with its policies. Brooks says Dems aren't doing that either. These are right-wing ideas to actually help blue collar Americans. Why doesn't the GOP champion them? Why fixate only on those at the top and get those working class votes via social issues?
For the same reason Hillary Clinton and many dems have changed, there is too much money in politics. Its all about the donations. If either a dem or republican stood up and denounced Wall St and corporations, they would find a hard time winning. Sure there are pockets that can work in, but generally it doesnt. Remember the Sanders voters screaming that Hillary was a corporate schill? Its why the GOP doesnt champion them either. Money. Both parties know they need that corporate money to pour in to win. The GOP instead focuses on those critical social issues instead like guns, faith, made in America, immigration etc. Its how they reach those areas. PBS did a special on northern, MN (metal and iron workers) and how it used to be a bastion of democrats. Now its trending red. When interviewed many of the workers said they feared their "culture" was going away and they wanted to retain their values. So I guess in short, the GOP figures it doesnt necessarily matter what policies they advocate for as long as they keep their social issues known for these types of areas.
 
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Blues63

Moderator
Dec 2014
14,264
11,990
Tatooine
#8
Yet if I had to guess, if you asked each of them what they did for a living, I bet at least 80% of them are blue collar or union workers. I see it at work all the time with the trades unions we work with.
I agree with your assessment. We have been seeing a shift toward the right in the working class as the left appears to have abandoned its worker base. The worker fears job losses through globalist policies and levels of immigration and it is the right that claim to address these problems. The left now appear to concentrate on minorities and the mainstream feels sidelined.

This appears to be a global trend and not just in the US.
 
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Rasselas

Former Staff
Feb 2010
71,090
48,002
USA
#9
I agree with your assessment. We have been seeing a shift toward the right in the working class as the left appears to have abandoned its worker base. The worker fears job losses through globalist policies and levels of immigration and it is the right that claim to address these problems. The left now appear to concentrate on minorities and the mainstream feels sidelined.

This appears to be a global trend and not just in the US.
So we're going to see societies fracture along class lines all because our politicians aren't honest enough to tell people that their economic problems are systemic to the world economy in the post-tech world. They'll withdraw into their gated communities with their private police forces while guns proliferate everywhere.
 
Likes: 1 person

Rasselas

Former Staff
Feb 2010
71,090
48,002
USA
#10
I should think it would be good for some right-winger to weigh in on those policy suggestions in the OP. Any chance of that?

How about a left-wing perspective?