Wednesday, March 16, 2005

 

ProfessorBainbridge: The Politics of the Ownership Society

ProfessorBainbridge.com: The Politics of the Ownership Society The professor points to a very interesting evaluation of voters in the last presidential election.

Interestingly, Zogby claims that the investor/non-investor dichotomy is far more explanatory of voting behavior than race, income, religion, or marital status. Indeed, eyeballing his data, the only thing I can think of that might come close as a predictor of voting behavior is regularity of church attendance

A very good point. Voters across many demographics - the investors - may be the key to another major re-alignment of voters. Zogby observes:

This stunning realignment is possible by virtue of a new class of American voters--the self-identified "investor class"--which is itself a coalition across a broad spectrum of demographic groups. In their compelling book, "The Emerging Democratic Majority," Ruy Texeira and John Judis outlined a short-term path for Democratic Party success. Their study revealed that key demographic groups that traditionally vote Democratic in national and state elections are indeed among the fastest growing demographics in American society: African Americans, Hispanics, women, singles, creatives, Muslims, and South Asians.
It seems as if social politics are coming in second to the desire of the individual to live - and thrive - independent of government programs. Many of these same citizens may truly feel that the government should be there for the down and out in society. However, it appears a growing sentiment is that most people feel they don't NEED the government and that they may actually do better without the government intervening in their own investment. Sounds very much like compassionate conservatism. My question is, how do the democrats, with their strategy to block personal retirement accounts at all costs and mantra that there is nothing wrong with social security, think they are going to tap into the new 'investor class'? The answer likely is, they can't and won't. Why? Because the democrats have once again (similar to their position on Iraq and terrorism) painted themselves into a corner on social security. With their obstructionist politics and 'oppose Bush at every turn' mentality - they are forced to argue against people 'owning' their social security retirement accounts and are forced to defend the notion that social security is just fine. Both postitions will have long term consequences for the dems. If social security reform does not pass, and get's tabled until the crisis reaches unfixable proportions, there will be plenty of us around to remind the government, the press and the voters, just who derailed the attempt to fix social security back in 2005.



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