Overall, whites with a four-year college degree or more education made up 30% of all validated voters. Among these voters, far more (55%) said they voted for Clinton than for Trump (38%). Among the much larger group of white voters who had not completed college (44% of all voters), Trump won by more than two-to-one (64% to 28%)..
Roughly 35% of Americans have a BA or higher. Prior to the pandemic, unemployment in the USA was under 4%, what economists view as virtually full employment, meaning that the majority of jobs in the USA do not require a college degree.
Democrats see that they got 57% of the college graduate vote in 2016. Is their hope that more college degrees will result in more votes for Democrats? Is it their hope that the sheepskin on the wall has more influence on voters than the balance in their bank accounts?
Other Democrats are pushing to forgive the college loans. Again, how does this get more votes? Sure, maybe that 57% number will go to 60%, but how does this win the votes of the majority of voters who did not go to college and do not have college loans? Democrats lost this demographic by a wide margin. How is giving them nothing an incentive to win their vote?
On Biden’s own campaign website, it reads: 12 years of education is no longer enough for American workers to remain competitive and earn a middle class income. Is the leader of the Democratic Party and our nominee for President of the USA really admitting that a majority of Americans do not deserve middle class wages and are not due the justice of a middle class lifestyle, even though they are working full time in many occupations that our recent pandemic have deemed “Essential”? Has the world passed them by and is their only hope the possibility of a college degree. Is the Democratic Party really willing to dismiss the majority of voters who either do not have a college degree or are employed at essential jobs that do not require a college degree and are deemed not worthy of a middle class life?
This is the very liberal elitism that drives so many away from the Democratic Party and into the arms of men like Trump.
As I am reading in The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good? by Michael J. Sandel, credentialism is the last acceptable prejudice. Call them people who “cling to God and Guns” or a “Basket of Deplorables”, will not win their votes. Offering them free college will not win their votes. Respecting their contribution to society, fighting for wage justice, and insuring that yes, a high school diploma and a solid work ethic is all one needs to live a middle class life in the USA is how to win their votes, and the White House, and the Senate, and all the rest.
As a footnote: If worker pay had kept pace with productivity gains since 1968, today’s minimum wage would be $24 an hour. In this world, a minimum wage worker in the USA would be making $48,000 a year. A young couple in Wisconsin or South Carolina would have a family income of $96,000 a year, more than enough to support themselves and put money aside if they chose to have a family and have one of them work part time while the children were not yet in school. This is not some fantasy. This is not socialism or communism….this was the USA of the 1960’s and early 1970’s.