'Hope and Change': Great for the 1%
It wasn't supposed to be this way, especially for the candidate running preaching "social justice."
According to this Wall Street Journal editorial, the Obama presidency has been just "dandy" for the top 1%.
In the latest grim tiding of the public mood, merely 42% think the American dream that "if you work hard, you'll get ahead" remains true, down from 53% in 2012 and 50% in 2010.
According to the Public Religion Research Institute poll last week, the steepest declines in belief in the last two years were among people under age 30 (down 16 percentage points), women (14 points) and Democrats (17).
In other words, the most disillusioned belong to the coalition that elected President Obama.
But before giving up on upward mobility, they ought to blame the policies he has enacted.
Mr. Obama has been the best President for slow growth and inequality in modern history, as new economic surveys show.
And there is more:
This month the Federal Reserve also published its triennial Survey of Consumer Finances examining the 2010-2013 period. Overall average real family income rose 4%, but median income fell 5%, "consistent with increasing income concentration."
There were essentially no changes for people between the 40th and 90th income percentiles after steep losses from 2007-2010, while median income rose 2% among the top 10% and fell 5.5% among the bottom 40%. All of this is especially notable because it follows the most sustained policy focus on reducing inequality in decades.
These numbers tell me two things:
1) Democrat policies have been a disaster for minorities, especially African-Americans under our first African American president; and more importantly,
2) the GOP must have "a growth message" like the Jack Kemp approach of reviving inner-city areas. We can't just run against Obama or Democrats. We need a message that goes to areas, currently under African-American or Hispanic Democrats, and asks for their votes.
Obama's economy has a created a great opportunity for the GOP to present a positive, forward-looking message.
And let's not forget school choice, the key for giving young minorities real "hope and change"!