Michael Roberts: "It's the economy, stupid!"

Marv Gandall

More good sense from Marxist economist Michael Roberts who points to surveys showing that economic issues continue to matter most to American voters by a wide margin, compared to abortion, the threat to democratic rights, guns, and climate change, the issues favoured most by liberals. 

This isn’t surprising. Popular unrest - up to and including social revolution - has typically been sparked by prices sharply outpacing incomes, especially in relation to basic needs like food, shelter, and energy. In these circumstances, toleration of social inequality is replaced by growing resentment towards the rich and powerful. 

As Roberts notes, “even though the official unemployment rate is near all-time lows, the rise in income earned from these jobs nowhere near covers rocketing inflation in food, fuel and rents” while "inequality of income and wealth has never been so extreme in modern US history”.

Unfortunately, this time round it is the far right rather than the left which is mobilizing working class discontent, for which arguably much of the US (and European) left has itself to blame.

The GOP is capitalizing on the economic distress of US workers who are questioning why so tens of billions of dollars are being provided to Ukraine and diverted from US social needs while war-fueled inflation compounds their pain. 

The Biden administration owns this mess, and liberals and socialists in and around the Democratic party who should instead be building an antiwar movement and calling for an immediate end to the fighting, as they have done previously, have mostly been swept up or cowed by the new cold war propaganda emanating from government and the media in the US and other NATO countries.