13 Mar '19
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Why is it so hard for democracy to deal with inequality? The Brahmins vs the Merchants

I want to pass on an article that I wish I had made the subject of a longer post when it first appeared.

Thomas Edsall, in “Why is it so hard for democracy to deal with inequality” points to a Power Point presentation by Thomas Piketty, “Brahmin Left vs Merchant Right,” that notes a straightforward answer:

Traditional parties of the left no longer represent the working and lower middle classes…the domination of the Democratic Party here (and of socialist parties in France) by voters without college or university degrees came to an end over the period from 1948 to 2017. Both parties are now led by highly educated voters whose interests are markedly different from those in the working class…The result, Piketty argues, is a political system that pits two top-down coalitions against each other…high-education elites vote for the left, while high-income/high-wealth elites for the right, i.e., intellectual elite (Brahmin Left) vs business elite (Merchant Right).

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