Thursday, July 16, 2015
Hillary's plan for the middle class
This column by Eduardo Porter is kind of bizarro. After rehearsing the depressing statistics about labor-market trends in the United States and elsewhere—stagnant wages for most, growing inequality—he notes that many of Clinton's ideas for boosting middle-class incomes and strengthening the social safety net are sensible and have been effective in the past. But they are also completely politically infeasible in the current climate. Porter's solution? "A future Clinton administration might help change the norms of corporate governance to foster the kind of labor relations that everyday workers have not experienced in decades." He doesn't suggest how, or why the very people who have been riding high on recent inequality trends would want to go back. This approach is just as unrealistic as Hillary's old-school liberalism, and from a policy perspective completely unproven in its effectiveness. The only real hope he offers is labor-market tightness: declining labor-force participation coupled with pro-growth monetary policy. We shall see whether Dr. Yellen continues to administer the necessary treatment.