Monday, November 28, 2016

William K. Black — Howard Dean Wants to Continue Austerity’s Assault on the Working Class


The Democrats are never ever going to figure this out because they are fixated on the Clinton surplus.

And even if they do figure it out, in order to be effective politically, persuasion has to be based on a moral argument rather than reasoning in terms of economic theory and providing facts and figures.

The fundamental problem is that a majority of Americans of all classes view indebtedness as immoral and irresponsible, especially growing indebtedness . 

This is going to be a tough nut to crack. 

While reasoning may be part of the argument, it is unlikely to carry the day with enough people to reverse course in the polls that politicians look at.

The framing must be based on morality rather than reason to work politically, and the argument must be based chiefly on rhetoric (persuasion) rather than logic (reasoning from evidence).

Conservatives figured this out long ago. Liberals are still clueless about it for the most part and when they attempt to use it they are clumsy with it because it doesn't fit their thinking style.

This does not imply countering the indebtedness is immoral view with arguments against that view, which will only reinforce it in the minds of those holding it. Cognitive scientist George Lakoff observes that most people  "moderates" comprising the political "center." They are biconceptual and hold aspects of the conservative and liberal world views characterized by the strict father world view and nurturing partner world view respectively. Even those whose view is dominated by the strict father are susceptible to appeal to the nurturing parent view. Moreover, dominance can shift through persuasion. The "Reagan Democrats" are a good example.

Rather than argue against the strict father-conservative point of view, liberals should instead appeal to the nurturing parent world view that they hold. Polling shows that most Americans are more inclined to the nutting parent world view and can be persuaded by arguments based on the morality of this point of view.

New Economic Perspectives
Howard Dean Wants to Continue Austerity’s Assault on the Working Class
William K. Black | Associate Professor of Economics and Law, UMKC

1 comment:

Bob said...

I have a sneaking suspicion that The Democrats do not care about the working class.