Monday, February 29, 2016

AMERICA - Economic Anxiety

"Is economic anxiety fueling Trump and Sanders supporters?" PBS NewsHour 2/25/2016


SUMMARY:  Why have both Donald Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders taken the country by storm this year?  One cause might be fear for the future.  Many Americans today are living paycheck to paycheck, worrying that their children won’t be any better off.  Those anxieties are driving them into the arms of antiestablishment populists.  Economics correspondent Paul Solman reports.

AUDIENCE:  We love Trump!  We love Trump!

DONALD TRUMP (R), Republican Presidential Candidate:  Oh, we love you, we love you!


PAUL SOLMAN (NewsHour):  Not again, you may be thinking.

DONALD TRUMP:  We’re going to build a big, beautiful wall.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (VT-I), Democratic Presidential Candidate:  There is nothing we cannot accomplish.

PAUL SOLMAN:  Another story on Trump and Sanders as political outliers defining this year’s presidential campaign?

DONALD TRUMP:  We’re in first place everywhere.

PAUL SOLMAN:  But why have they taken America by storm?  We put that question to longtime liberal thinker Robert Reich, friend of Hillary Clinton since college, secretary of labor under her husband, Bill, but now a Bernie Sanders supporter.

Are you surprised by the turn America has taken politically in the last half-year?

ROBERT REICH, University of California, Berkeley:  I’m surprised at how fast it happened.  I predicted in my book “Saving Capitalism” that the biggest political contest in the future would be between, not Democrats and Republicans, but between the anti-establishment populists and the establishment, because I saw the increase in this degree of anxious class, I call it, anger and frustration that the economy and society are no longer working for them.

PAUL SOLMAN:  Covering economic developments in America since the 1970s, I too have been chronicling this growing anxiety my entire career.

I met security guard Bobby Hicks five years ago.

BOBBY HICKS, Security Guard:  I am the most insecure security officer you will meet, because I’m worried.  Right now, I live paycheck to paycheck.

PAUL SOLMAN:  Cookie Sheers is an administrative assistant at a Boston nonprofit.

COOKIE SHEERS, Administrative Assistant:  We all feel stuck, like you’re just at that edge of water where you can come up for air every few minutes, but never long enough to feel that you have accomplished something.  You always have to go back down.

No comments: