The "Consumption Compromise" Collapses

Reihan notes the real reason for working class anger right now. Although wages have stagnated for a long time, lower prices of Wal-Mart type goods, soaring housing values, cheap food, senior Medicare expansion, and easy access to consumer credit eased the pain for the working poor. Now all that has gone into reverse with much more expensive gas, credit crunch, a collapse in house values, plummeting retirement savings, and costlier food. So the factors appeasing working class anger have collapsed. Add two unending wars and the anger is hard to tamp down. No wonder the generic Democratic identity is through the roof. Advantage: Obama. But he will have a hell of a job in front of him if he wins.