Saturday, September 01, 2012

Book Review: It's The Middle Class, Stupid!

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Blue Rider Press (July 10, 2012)

Political pollster Stan Greenberg and Democratic strategist James Carville teamed up to bring us just one of many books to be released during this election season.  This one is different.

Carville and Greenberg make the argument on what needs to be done to rescue and restore he Middle Class to prosperity.  It's the working people that help make the American economy what it is but workers are out of jobs due to the failed policies of the Bush administration.

In writing this book, they found that the Middle Class is working 200 more hours a year than they did in 1979.  While working more hours, they have not really seen an increase in pay.  The top 5% of wage earners worked 93 less hours in comparison.

Both political parties will tell you that the country is in decline.  It's true and at that, they found that 66% of this country believes the country is in decline.  The question is:  Who will listen to the solutions that they put forward?

They remind the elite that the Middle Class is "smarter than you think."  It does not take an idiot to point out what is happening.

They also point out that the rich have won the "class warfare" argument but also manage to cut through the political fog.  No matter what the GOP may argue, taxing the wealthiest 1% of Americans remains popular with the Middle Class.  It's not about blaming the Tea Party.  It's about this:
That Democrats must forget about the past and the financial crisis and recognize:  The story is not the recovery, but a set of powerful ongoing realities: a middle class smashed and struggling, American jobs being lost, the country and people in debt, and the nexus of big money and power that leaves the common people excluded.  The story is the middle class.
It's backed up by responses of Americans interviewed in focus groups, whether they are college graduates or non-college educated.

If the candidates choose to focus on the Middle Class rather than the economy itself, the country might be able to "break out of its dysfunctional politics."  Greenberg's polls have revealed that voters prefer the Democratic approach to rebuilding the middle-class as opposed to the GOP's priority to reduce  the deficit and size of the government.  It's a 14 point margin at that!

They offer ideas for getting money out of politics in addition to the offering proposals for a balanced budget, restoring fiscal health, and restoring the middle class.  It's this book that should be setting the agenda for November and the next Congress.

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