David Frum says that anybody who wants to know why middle America no longer trusts the stewardship of US and global elites should read this Financial Times story about the decline of Boeing. In 1998, after a merger with McDonnell Douglas, the company that used to treat its employees like family turned into a typical American corporate shark focused on delivering shareholder benefits by any means necessary. The piece is based on a recently published book based on two decades of studying Boeing. The authors are academics Leon Grunberg and Sarah Moore. They contend that the Boeing story is representative of the hollowing-out of the US middle class and the rise in distrust of the elites. Excerpt:
His study, however, goes far beyond Boeing. It provides a view over two decades of the unwinding of the postwar social contract — where workers felt they could rely on decent pay and benefits in exchange for hard work. As an indication of the impact of these corporate changes, Mr Grunberg points to Pew Center analysis last month, which showed the US middle class had shrunk to just half the population for the first time in at least four decades. He notes that workers feel “more exposed, more vulnerable and anxious, and increasingly abandoned by the establishment” and that these factors may explain, for example, “the popularity of [Donald] Trump and populist rhetoric”.
The reality behind “right-wingin’, bitter-clingin’.” The Trump boom may be less a vote for Trump than a massive vote of NO CONFIDENCE in the American establishment.