The Great Escape into the middle class in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)

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Source: World Bank Economic slowdown puts the brakes on middle class growth in Latin America | The Data Blog

New Zealand physical and human capital (by a skill level), 1986 – 2001

New Zealand working class is wealthier than the entire capitalist class. Their human capital, shown in the chart below as the human capital of the unskilled and non-degree workers, far exceeds the value of the physical capital stock of New Zealand.

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Source: Lˆe Thi. Vˆan Tr`ınh, Estimating the monetary value of the stock of human capital for New Zealand, University of Canterbury PhD thesis (September 2006).

Only part of this physical capital stock is owned by the capitalist class given we live in the era of pension fund socialism. About a 3rd of that physical capital stock is owner occupied homes.

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Source: Lˆe Thi. Vˆan Tr`ınh, Estimating the monetary value of the stock of human capital for New Zealand, University of Canterbury PhD thesis (September 2006).

The only reason that the share of unskilled and non-degree workers is in any way declining is the withering away of the proletariat. More and more people are joining the middle-class and going on to higher education.

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@FairnessNZ shows how everything is getting better in NZ @FIRST_Union

The union movement posted two excellent charts during the last election showing how well things have gone since the 1980s economic reforms and their consolidation in the early 1990s.

The charts show that real wage growth returned in the early 1990s after the passage of the Employment Contracts Act and the consolidation of government finances. This was after two decades of wage stagnation in what the unions regards as the good old days.

Furthermore, as the union chart shows, the average incomes of the top 1% in New Zealand is a pretty stable for several decades. Whatever else is happening New Zealand, you cannot blame it on the top 1% because they are lazy. What increase there was in average top incomes in New Zealand was followed by the return of real wage growth in New Zealand and a long economic boom where the unemployment rate drop below 3.5%

The main bugbear is housing affordability which is a result of the Resource Management Act passed in 1993 as the union chart shows. The unions, the Labour Party and Greens all support the laws that result in this housing unaffordability.

Has the Democratic Party lost the white working class

More on the alienated proletariat

How is the immiseration of the proletariat going?

Unions have been on the way out just about everywhere since 1980

The withering away of union militancy in New Zealand

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Source: Number of workers involved in Labour Disputes | Clio Infra.

The working class is missing from US political discourse

One of the things I noticed in the 2008 US presidential campaign was everyone was appealing for the middle class vote. Presidential primary and general election debates were about how things were getting harder for the middle-class and the Republican or Democratic candidate who happen to be pitching for votes would stand up for the middle-class better than their competition in the presidential primary or general election at hand.

Another big feature in the 2008 presidential campaign was Joe the plumber. This was the small businessman who asked then candidate Obama at a rope line three days before the final presidential debate about his plans to put up taxes. Obama replied he wanted to spread the wealth around. Obama’s response was

It’s not that I want to punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they’ve got a chance at success, too… My attitude is that if the economy’s good for folks from the bottom up, it’s gonna be good for everybody.

If you’ve got a plumbing business, you’re gonna be better off… if you’ve got a whole bunch of customers who can afford to hire you, and right now everybody’s so pinched that business is bad for everybody and I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody

Andrew Cherlin did the service counting up references to the working class in State of the Union addresses since President Obama was elected.

In his State of the Union addresses, Obama has used the term middle class 28 times. But he has never said “working class” except in 2011, when he described Vice President Biden, who was seated behind him, as “a working-class kid from Scranton.

This dearth of references to the working class is no surprise in light of Director’s Law and the median voter theorem. Politicians who do not pitch to the American middle class will not win elections unless there is a lot of expressive voting by the educated middle class. In general social surveys of Americans, 44% identify as working class and 44%  identify as middle class.

Republicans consistently win voters making $50,000 or more – the U.S. median income. The margin doesn’t vary much: In 2012, Mitt Romney got 53% of this group’s vote; in 2010, Republican House candidates got 55%.

The margin by which the Republicans win income brackets above 50,000 doesn’t vary much if you just look at those earning above $100,000 or those earning between $50,000 and $75,000. These margins only matter in a close election, a very close election.

Democrats consistently win voters making less than the median but the margin varies.  Whether the Democrats win these voters earning less than $50,000 by a 10-point or a 20-point margin tells you who won every national election for the past decade.

The Democrats would also do well among the college educated vote. Obama won this over Romney and 2012 by 10 percentage points. This may explain why the Democrats are slightly conflicting: they must win the working class vote as well as the college educated vote to win.

Andrew Cherlin didn’t give many reasons for the disappearance of working class from modern American political discourse, but he showed some insight into expressive politics when he observed that:

Politicians may prefer to call working-class families by the class position they aspire to rather than the one they hold.

Reason for UKIP’s success?

https://twitter.com/david_mentiply/status/535718297766207488

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