What happens to the working class when millionaires and billionaires are in charge

President-elect Donald Trump was propelled into office largely due to a campaign message that promised to lift up working-class people and restore America to its former greatness. Yet, since the election, he has begun assembling the wealthiest Cabinet in modern American history, featuring corporate chief executives, millionaires and billionaires, and heirs and heiresses. …

The differences in political opinion by social class are not as big as differences between Republicans and Democrats, says Nicholas Carnes, a researcher at Duke University who studies the topic. However, policy preferences do vary substantially by economic class, likely because they stem from people’s life experiences.

The most influential research on the topic comes from Martin Gilens of Princeton University and Benjamin Page of Northwestern University, who compare the policy preferences of the affluent — defined as the top 10 percent — with those who are roughly in the middle of the income distribution.

The opinions of the two groups are broadly similar in some areas — with regard to much of foreign policy, for example. But in other policy areas, the preferences of the wealthy tend to diverge sharply from those in the middle. That’s especially true when it comes to bread-and-butter economic issues like taxes, the minimum wage and social safety nets. CONT.

Ana Swanson, Washington Post