Kotkin, a demographer, suggests a divide in the upcoming election between a ‘clerisy’ and a ‘yeomanry:’
‘Obama’s core middle-class support, and that of his party, comes from what might be best described as “the clerisy,” a 21st century version of France’s pre-revolution First Estate. This includes an ever-expanding class of minders — lawyers, teachers, university professors, the media and, most particularly, the relatively well paid legions of public sector workers — who inhabit Washington, academia, large non-profits and government centers across the country.’
Well, they’re rent-seekers, and there’s nothing necessarily wrong with rent-seeking, but if your paycheck comes from institutions (public and/or private) that depend on the public dime, or you believe in the “common” good as defined by redistributive ideals for our institutions as you toil away in one, shielded from other economic realities, then you’re more likely to vote your interests/ideals.
‘The nature of their work also differentiates the clerisy from the yeomanry. The clerisy labors largely in offices and has no contact with actual production. Many yeomen, particularly in business services, depend on industry for their livelihoods either directly or indirectly. The clerisy’s stultifying, and often job-toxic regulations and “green” agenda may be one reason why people engaged in farming, fishing, forestry, transportation, manufacturing and construction overwhelmingly disapprove of the president’s policies, according to Gallup.’
Either way, Kotkin is likely very familiar with the ‘clerisy’ as he lives and works in California. Is California a bellwether for the nation? Are we slowly drifting secular and leftward as a nation, with larger pools of public sentiment for green/redistributive/’clerisy’-type policies? The takers vs. the makers?
Related On This Site: Look out Omaha…people are coming your way?: …Joel Kotkin Via Youtube: ‘Illinois Is In A Competition’…From The WSJ: ‘Joel Kotkin: The Great California Exodus’…Joel Kotkin At Forbes: ‘Is Perestroika Coming In California?’
Are these the enemies of the future?: Virginia Postrel At Bloomberg: ‘How The Elites Built America’s Economic Wall’…
Repost-Kenneth Anderson At Volokh: ‘The Fragmenting of the New Class Elites, Or, Downward Mobility’
2 thoughts on “Joel Kotkin At New Geography: ‘The Unseen Class War That Could Decide The Presidential Election’”
Great piece…thanks Chris. I think that this election will be history making in that the divisions in the country (takers vs makers) are so clear, so well defined, so politicized – that there will be a clear delineation of what direction the country will take. My hopes are that the makers (including the unions who will tire of the hypocritical spewings of the on-the-dole leadership) will change the occupant in the White House and salvage what is left of the uniqueness of America!
Bernie, thanks for reading and commenting.
I suppose we’ll see.