Hey, Democrats! The route to winning elections again is no mystery. Barry Lynn says it’s as simple as reclaiming our Bryan–Wilson–FDR–Truman heritage and reminding Trump voters that the cause of most of their real problems is monopoly:
These include the declining fortunes of rural America as farmers struggle against Big Ag. It includes the fading of heartland cities like Memphis and Minneapolis as corporate giants in coastal cities buy out local banks and businesses. It includes plunging rates of entrepreneurship and innovation as concentrated markets choke off independent businesses and new start-ups. It includes falling real wages, as decades of merger mania have reduced the need for employers to compete to attract and retain workers.
Monopoly is a main driver of inequality, as super-fat profits concentrate more wealth in the hands of the few. The effects of monopoly enrage voters in their day-to-day lives, as they face the sky-high prices set by drug company cartels and the abuses of cable providers, health insurers, and airlines. Monopoly provides much of the funds the wealthy use to distort American politics [Barry Lynn, “Democrats Must Become the Party of Freedom,” Washington Monthly, Jan/Feb 2017].
Donald Trump isn’t talking about today’s problem of concentration of power. He’s stuck reading yesterday’s script:
The vision that Donald Trump pedaled [sic] was strikingly anachronistic. The offshoring of jobs peaked a decade ago, and since the crash of 2008 America has registered zero net illegal immigration. Monopoly, by contrast, is today’s problem. Thanks to the rise of immense platform monopolists like Amazon and Google, the fight against monopolization will continue to drive politics for years to come. Indeed, a focus on anti-monopolism will provide Democrats with a constant flow of opportunities to educate and rally voters, and to attract new classes of funders, as new takeover deals are announced [Lynn, Jan/Feb 2017].
Lynn says post-1980 Dems got their heads stuck in the Wall Street grate, costing them this key distinction from the GOP. Time to get back to playing the monopoly card, Dems!