On a recent Real Time with Bill Maher, guest Batya Ungar-Sargon commented how the Democrats have lost the working class. Democrat Tim Ryan retorted how much the Biden has done for the working class with his spending programs and how Biden was the most pro union president ever.

A few comments:

As Ungar-Sargon pointed out private sector union members are only 6% of the workforce.  Ryan refused to believe this, so I looked it up and she was correct.  Total workforce is 10% union but when you remove the government employees it is only 6%.  I also checked her stat that 65% of those who make over $500,000 a year vote Democrat.  Also, true.

Ryan and Maher defaulted to the refrain that the Democrats are not ‘messaging’ effectively, that it is a marketing problem not a policy problem.  This is reminiscent of What’s The Matter with Kansas, trying to explain why the Americans in flyover country vote against their own self-interest.  Besides the arrogance of the writer claiming to understand their self-interest better than the voters themselves, they miss another key point.

Married to a binary one-dimensional interest spectrum, the Democrats only consider the economic interests at stake and even then, only consider the immediate consequences.  Perhaps the working class is responding to more than their immediate economic interests, and are reacting to cultural differences, urban crime, and the illiberalness that has infected our institutions.  Throwing money at a problem that is not economic at its source will not persuade the working class.

The shit show of the Kavanaugh hearing, the George Floyd riots, the cancel culture of the media and higher education, even the anti-Semitism that erupted after October 7 has probably influenced the working class more than mere economic issues.

The working class hold greater resentment to the lower classes than they do to the upper classes.  The fourth quintile of incomes (second to the lowest) work twice the number of hours and achieve only marginally more consumption than the lowest quintile.

Failing to understand the views of the working class, the elites respond with contempt and that only drives them further away.