As her standing falls among Democrats, Hillary Clinton this week delivered her major speech to lay out how she plans to bring back the Middle Class. It's been disappearing since Ronald Reagan and Clinton's husband, Bill, established Neoliberalism as our economic model and began evaporating when the current recession took hold -- a recession that continues for most Americans despite a return to the good times for owners of stocks, the vast majority of which are owned by the 1 percent.
Wall Street, Don't Worry, was the subtext of Clinton's speech, which revealed that Clinton has no plans to reverse or even slow down what has become massive inequality of wealth in the US.
Another speech subtext: Big Donors, Don't Worry. Clinton over her olitical career has received huge sums in campaign donations and speaking fees from all the big Wall Street banks, whose boards of directors and CEOs have been let off scott free for their roles in crashing the economy at the beginning of the recession and in then costing American taxpayers billions in bailouts and trillions in the easy fed money that has kept markets afloat, on which we and our children will be paying interest for decades.
Clinton's speech contained vague references to policy solutions fiscally conservative mainstream Democrats have pushed for years, like raising the minimum wage and expanded day care, that will do nothing to undo years of the massive upward wealth redistribution that's occurred under Neoliberalism.
Clinton said nothing about returning to the progressive income tax system, which she has no interest in doing, the abandonment of which has leaves governments and schools perennially cash strapped, has put a college degree out of reach for most young people and left the country with a crumbling infrastructure. Working American pay almost the entire cost of government now, out of wages that have remained flat since the late 1970s, robbing them of the buying power needed to grow an economy.
Pseudo Liberal pundits like the New York Times David Brooks stepped in after the speech to warn that Clinton's policy proposals would rely too much on government and not enough on the "private sector." This kind of attitude by the mainstream media is designed to warn people not to expect anything more than they'd get with a Hillary Clinton.
But Clinton has opened the door wide for an economic populist candidate like Bernie Sanders, who like Elizabeth Warren voices the concerns of the majority of Americans about whom Democrats like Clinton could care less. Sanders has been drawing big, enthusiastic crowds, and campaign stops this weekend in both Houston and Phoenix have been moved to larger, stadium venues.
Mainstream conventional wisdom is still that he has no chance of winning the Democratic nomination let alone the presidency, because his position aren't "mainstream" enough. This is always the convention wisdom about economic populists, despite polls showing that most Americans agree, issue by issue, with Sanders' economic positions. Sadly the conventional wisdom is correct because the American political system, of which the media is a part, has been configured so that populist candidates are never permitted to attain positions of power.
Below are some recent poll findings gathered by Populist Majority with links to the mainstream media outlets in which they appeared. Such poll findings are easy to find in the same media outlets where you read that these positions, which are held by the majority of Americans, are out of the mainstream. It's instructive to compare these results with how mainstream pundits like, again, Brooks, portray Bernie Sanders and those who support his positions, which are well are within what the majority of Americans believe, as a kind of lunatic fringe.