The new class warfare in America

The new class warfare in America, by Edward Luce.

Once redundant, the term “working class” is now part of everyday conversation. In an age of stifling political correctness, the only people who are fair game in polite society are blue-collar whites.

A recent article by an Republican establishment flagship publication, the National Review, was scathing abut them:

The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. . . the white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Donald Trump’s speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin.

Now the United States is eerily redolent of Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

There too, the gulf between the urban elites and the rest was an open cultural sore. …

The class divisions within the Democratic Party are just as stark. Mrs Clinton scoops up wealthier liberals and minorities. Mr Sanders takes the northern white working classes.

The working class, of those left out of economic growth, is growing:

In 2000, 33 per cent of Americans described themselves as “working class”, according to Gallup. By 2015 that number had risen to 48 per cent. Far from dying out, the working class now accounts for almost half of America by people’s self-perception. In some respects these measures are more revealing than statistics on median income, or income inequality. They express a feeling about being shut out from the benefits of growth. It is a very un-American state of mind.