Every time I have to go out of town, caring for Frankly Curious becomes a hectic mess. I really like having real people with real money wanting my attention, but I do miss being totally in charge of my time. So you will forgive me if I make this one really short. But I found the most amazing table over on a Jonathan Chait article, Donald Trump Is Going to Lose Because He Is Crazy. But don’t worry, this is not a post about Trump. In fact, I have to admit that I’m getting really tired of other bloggers of my persuasion and popularity focusing so much on him.
This table shows where the American people are on two issues: immigration and Social Security (SS). It shows what I’ve long maintained: Democratic and Republican voters are all pretty liberal when it comes to the economy. But let’s look at the table, which I have recreated because the one that Chait provides is almost unreadable.
|Increase SS||Maintain SS||Decrease SS|
|Large Immigration Decrease||13.0%||8.1%||1.4%|
|Small Immigration Decrease||11.0%||8.0%||1.0%|
|Small Immigration Increase||4.4%||4.7%||0.8%|
|Large Immigration Increase||2.1%||1.8%||0.6%|
So what the people want is for immigration to stay where it is or to be decreased — in many cases by a lot. This is the opposite of what the elites want. They want a lot more immigration. In general, that’s good for the economy. But it is also good (at least in the short term) for keeping wages down. And then on Social Security, we have a majority that wants to see it raised. Only 6.2% want to see Social Security cut, yet every Republican presidential candidate other than Trump wants to cut it (generally by raising the retirement age).
Here is Chait’s overview of what’s going on, which I think is exactly right:
My question is why the voters don’t wake up. I understand why Democrats don’t: what are they going to do? The Democrats offer the best deal. But if the Republican voters would abandon their party, we could have a real choice on the economic issues that everyone cares the most about. But instead, we have every major Republican contender (sans Trump, of course) — from Jeb Bush to Scott Walker to Ben Carson — calling for cuts in Social Security. They are all united against immigration, but decreasing it doesn’t even get a majority. Social Security is the big issue and the Republican establishment hates it.