Friday, July 01, 2005
That, at least, is the conclusion of economist Stephen Rose, whose latest paper, "Talking about Social Class: Are the Economic Interests of the Majority of Americans with the Democratic Party?", is linked to in the title and discussed in a post from Donkey Rising. I'm posting this having given the paper only a cursory look, but I've long suspected that the widespread belief, voiced most recently by Thomas Frank in What's the Matter with Kansas?, that most Republican voters are voting against their economic interests, is missing something. Rose attempts to quantify the number of voters who benefit economically from policies generally supported by Democrats--social safety net programs, curbs on corporate power, and other governmental programs. Adding up these groups does not result in a majority who would benefit from Democratic policies. I am uneasy about his methodology (and I need to read the paper more carefully), but I think Rose is on to something important here.