I’m about to quit—give up and give in. No matter where I look or how far down the road I see, it’s still there. It’s in my workplace, my social media feeds (which I’m about to give up on), and all over the television, even though I don’t watch much anymore…simply not worth the time spent.
It’s even shoved into the academic journals I read, the economic journals I peruse, and just about everywhere else I turn. It’s being used as a cudgel, a battering ram, and I don’t see it stopping anytime soon.
To wit: Here’s an excerpt from an article created for Foreign Affairs magazine by Adam S. Posen on Globalization. In it, he’s arguing that the United States is withdrawing from globalized trade much to our detriment. He cites the outcry against Chinese trade and the supposed harm to American workers by stating, “It may have to do with the fact that the China-shocked workers are predominantly white and live in exurban areas or small towns, fitting a nostalgic image of men owing heave work on big stuff in the heartland.”
Spoken like a person who has never worked a manual labor job in his life; a condescending, rude, and plainly elitist point of view which is unfortunately shared by many of his ilk; those in the world of academics. Frankly, as a fellow academic, this reasoning is pathetic and completely off base.
Seeing as Mr. Posen graduated from Harvard, it is not inconceivable that he would hold such condescending views toward the average worker, be they “white” or any other skin tone. Further, while there is no questioning his academic qualifications, I would submit, as one who comes from a family of working class people, that statement is little more than a cheap shot at all working class people but it does score points with his academic cronies, many of whom buy into critical race theory and all of its accoutrements. Take out the word “white” and substitute the word “working class ideal” and you can see his disdain for those who work manual labor jobs for a living.
He goes on later in the article to double down on this trope. Again, to wit: “Washington has given the angry, mostly white and male swing overseas much of what they wanted on the international front, and they are still angry. Meanwhile, the lot of the United States’ lower-wage service workers-predominantly female and disproportionately none-white—has worsened.”
Let’s look at that for a moment.
According to SSA.Gov, the AWI (Average Wage Index) for workers has increased each year since 2010, both in overall money as well as percentage increase. Here are the numbers:
Year AWI Increase
2010 41,673.83 2.36%
2011 42,979.61 3.13%
2012 44,321.67 3.12%
2013 44,888.16 1.28%
2014 46,481.52 3.55%
2015 48.098.63 3.48%
2016 48,462.15 1.13%
2017 50,329.89 3.45%
2018 52,145.80 3.62%
2019 54,099.99 3.75
To further illustrate my point, wages in manufacturing, as recorded by Tradingeconomics.com indicate that wages have gone up over the last ten years from $18 in 2010 to nearly $24 today.
Mr. Posen’s bias is further on display with the following comment: “Moreover, the fetishization of manufacturing jobs is hardly a neutral policy. The image of men doing dangerous things to produce heavy stuff seems to resonate with nostalgic voters in a way that women providing human services does not. This is a fiercely gendered view: only 30 percent of manufacturing workers in the Unites states are women….”
While Mr. Posen’s postulation that manufacturing jobs “today it is around 10%” may be correct, what he’s not saying is that since 2010, the number of people in manufacturing jobs has increased as evidenced by the charts available on Statista…sharply increasing since the Trump administration. These jobs represent working Americans of all stripes, and indicate a solid economy and income for those involved.
Mr. Posen consistently recites the biased trope of “those in the Obama White House” as well as the idea that “Black and Latino workers are paid less, on average, than white workers for the same jobs.” This is a rather misleading stat as it doesn’t take into account experience, time on the job, and the fact that Asian and Pacific Islander workers make more than their “white” counterparts. Again, bias in a supposed academic piece rears its ugly head again.
Mr. Posen then goes on to say that not only has the United States been withdrawing from the global economy for the last 20 years, but that “U.S. economic dynamism has been falling, and inequality in the country has risen more than it was him economies that were opening up…Although many factors have contributed to this decline, it has likely been reinforced by the Unites State restraint from global economic exposure.” Speculation, at best, but a speculative guess based on his own liberal bias.
His solutions reek of big government involvement and an expansion of services, services rendered by a government that is already leveraged to the hilt. He mentions subsidies for faster transportation, help for families to move where the jobs are, helping people prepared for and match them with jobs along with an other safety net, government provided, of course.
He advocates universal benefits and, of course, an expansion of the Affordable Care Act, without mention of other alternatives and the fact that there already exists a rather generous healthcare benefit for those underprivileged and poor. No, his postulation is little more than classical liberal trope disguised as academic research when, in reality, it is little more than propaganda spray painted with academic paint to make it look good.
I was hoping for a more balanced approach from Foreign Affairs with regard to government and economics and instead, what I get is more liberal/leftist indoctrination disguised as academic research.