At the Polls, Choose Your Capitalism – NYTimes.com
Voters due at the polls next week are feeling enormous anxiety about the economy. We mistrust government more than ever. Walloped by joblessness, disheartened by a decade of no income gains for the middle class, many of us have come to doubt our national self-image as a society that offers a shot at prosperity to all.
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Americans who lose their jobs fare less well than workers in some other developed countries.
Faced with sharply contrasting approaches to our troubles, voters must grapple with two critical questions: What is the nature of our problem, and how did we get here? Above all, we must confront the way our choices, as a society, have shaped our predicament.
The sense of economic vulnerability weighing over the middle class has been building for decades, beginning well before the financial crisis and recession that scarred the last four years. We explain it to ourselves as a product of forces beyond our control: technology, which automated many formerly good jobs, or globalization, which put American workers in direct competition with cheaper labor in poor countries around the world. These relentless dynamics have sent unheard-of profits toward the prosperous few while threatening the jobs and eroding the wages of the rest.