Listen to the Donald Trump voters: It has taken an ignorant demagogue to tell truth about GOP, humiliate party establishment
The right has sold the working class a bill of goods and massive lies for decades. They're not buying it anymore.
For the last several decades, the Republican party has been selling a simple economic message to its base: what is good for rich people is good for you too. And, until this election, the base was buying it. The astonishing rise of Donald Trump is an almost apocalyptic sign that they’re not buying it any more.
The GOP establishment has seen all of its candidates not merely beaten, but utterly humiliated.
The basic myth the right wing of The Money Party has sold to Republican voters over the past 40 years goes like this: the economy boomed in the decades immediately after World War II, and standards of living rose rapidly. But since then, too much government regulation, too many taxes, and an overly generous welfare system that has made Those People even lazier than they were before have combined to kill the American dream.
All this is a fantastic lie, as a glance at the actual economic history of America since 1945 illustrates. America is a vastly wealthier country today than it was forty years ago. Furthermore, on a per-person basis, the country’s wealth has increased far more over the past four decades than it did in the thirty years immediately after World War II.
Here are the numbers: between 1945 and 1974, per capita GDP in the U.S. grew from $17,490 to $27,837. That is an impressive improvement, but it pales in comparison to what has happened since: in 2014, per capita GDP was $55,185, i.e., almost exactly double what it was in 1974. In terms of economic output, the country is twice as rich per person now as it was then.
Where has all this money gone? The answer ought to shock anyone who cares about either economic opportunity or increasing inequality. The average household income of the bottom 50% of American households was $25,475 in 1974, and $26,520 in 2014. In other words, half the population has gotten essentially none of the extra $10 trillion dollars of national wealth that the American economy has generated over the past forty years.