What was largely overlooked, however, is that those who were most likely to vote for Barack Obama in 2012 were members of demographic groups most likely to have suffered the steepest income declines. Mr. Obama was re-elected with 51% of the vote. Five demographic groups were crucial to his victory: young voters, single women, those with only a high-school diploma or less, blacks and Hispanics. He cleaned up with 60% of the youth vote, 67% of single women, 93% of blacks, 71% of Hispanics, and 64% of those without a high-school diploma, according to exit polls.
According to the Sentier research, households headed by single women, with and without children present, saw their incomes fall by roughly 7%. Those under age 25 experienced an income decline of 9.6%. Black heads of households saw their income tumble by 10.9%, while Hispanic heads-of-households' income fell 4.5%, slightly more than the national average. The incomes of workers with a high-school diploma or less fell by about 8% (-6.9% for those with less than a high-school diploma and -9.3% for those with only a high-school diploma).
It would be wrong to give President Obama all the blame for these unfortunate trends — among other things that would allow former speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to escape their shares of the blame — but it would be equally wrong to absolve him of all responsibility.
The policies he proposed, and Pelosi and Reid passed through the Congress, failed, and failed badly for many poorer, less-advantaged Americans. Those Americans may have "Obamaphones", but far too many of them don't have full time jobs.
This should not have surprised us. President Obama has almost no experience with the
private economy — and seems to have learned little from his one year at
His time working with the Chicago machine would have taught him how to exploit
businesses for political purposes, but not how to encourage businesses to grow and prosper.
Pelosi and Reid do have some business experience — but their experience is almost all confined to what almost everyone would call "crony capitalism".
Nor are any of them prone to spending much time with ordinary working people, as Obama's choice of Martha's Vineyard for vacations shows us. So they mostly miss the chances to learn from those at, or near, the bottom of the economy.
Cross posted at Jim Miller on Politics.Posted by Jim Miller at September 04, 2013 09:55 AM | Email This