Which economic policies help the lower class?

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on May 9, 2015

A former colleague of mine shared this Washington Post Wonkblog article on Facebook. Most of the article is unobjectionable. However, the part that is objectionable is very objectionable.

The head and subhead:

How growing up poor changes politicians

Democrats from humble backgrounds more often vote for economic policies that help the lower class. For Republicans, upbringing doesn't matter.

The key sentence:

Democrats with humble upbringings tend to favor policies that help lift people out of poverty, like access to health care, welfare benefits, higher minimum wages and more funding for education.

Really? Those are the policies that help lift people out of poverty?

Does the closure of this Seattle pizza shop due to that city's new $11/hour minimum wage lift the 12 employees who are going to lose their jobs out of poverty?

How about San Francisco's Borderlands Books? Have those former employees been lifted out of poverty by the city's minimum wage laws?

One can argue that welfare benefits are necessary so that people don't go hungry or without shelter, but has anyone ever really argued that welfare benefits "lift people out of poverty" in the sense that they are a tool to becoming part of the middle class?

Funding for education? Rich and poor alike get publicly funded education (if they attend a public school). But the idea that more funding for education, especially post-secondary education, necessarily improves the lot of the poor is likely a bunch of hokum that we'll soon be paying heavily for.

A better subhead: Democrats from poor backgrounds more often have a poor grasp of economics.




Why, one must ask, was the suit against Biden's student debt wipe “inevitable”?

Was it because the Biden admin is in flagrant violation of the law, and because *everyone* in America knows it?

Not in Waldman’s view, apparently. | @charlescwcooke


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