Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung - New York Office

The D.C. Power Establishment Seems Totally Bewildered and Impotent in the Face of Trump's Agenda

Reactions to Donald Trump’s election as President of the United States oscillate between great trepidation and great mockery. Will Donald Trump do something outlandish—something with terrible consequences—or will what he does bring discredit on himself? Uncertainty dogs the next US president and his administration. The old establishment seems sidelined and the “deep state” appears bewildered.

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Barbara and John Ehrenreich: The Real Story Behind the Crash and Burn of America's Managerial Class

Every would-be populist in American politics purports to defend the “middle class,” although there is no agreement on what it is. Just in the last couple of years, the “middle class” has variously been defined as everybody, everybody minus the 15 percent living below the federal poverty level; or everybody minus the very richest Americans. Mitt Romney famously excluded “those in the low end” but included himself (2010 income $21.6 million) along with “80 to 90 percent” of Americans. The Department of Commerce has given up on income-based definitions, announcing in a 2010 report that “middle class families” are defined “by their aspirations more than their income […]. Middle class families aspire to home ownership, a car, college education for their children, health and retirement security and occasional family vacations”—which excludes almost no one.

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