For decades, the United States has enjoyed by far the world’s highest standard of living, and have happily lived in the illusion that that could last forever. Reality is being forced upon us now in the form of what “globalization” really means, and we don’t like it. We are living in denial with promises to “bring those jobs back,” but reality is going to win. It always does.
It has always been assumed that when world’s standard of living equalized that it would be because the rest of the world brought their circumstances up to match ours, but since we have been 5% of the world’s population consuming 25% of the world’s resources, that was never possible. Doomsayers who pointed out that that any such equalization would require that our standard of living must decline were reviled and/or ignored.
And so one party promises to “bring those jobs back,” which it cannot do, and the other raises the minimum wage because it has nothing to offer other than an economy based on minimum wage jobs, many of which require a college degree with concomitant educational-incurred debt.
“Going down fighting” is not always an admirable trait. We could make this transition gracefully, but we won’t, because we will never admit that it needs to be made.