Working class Americans have been unable to compete for jobs demanding specialized technical skills, while the places they live have been hollowed out by shifts in global supply chains and the death of low-skilled manufacturing. So long as these workers feel left out of the economic mainstream, they will remain a potent political force, including in the upcoming 2020 election.
About Anne Kim
Anne Kim is a contributing editor to Washington Monthly and the author of Abandoned: America’s Lost Youth and the Crisis of Disconnection, forthcoming in 2020 from the New Press. Her writings on economic opportunity, social policy, and higher education have appeared in numerous national outlets, including the Washington Monthly, the Washington Post, Governing and Atlantic.com, among others. She is a veteran of the think tanks the Progressive Policy Institute and Third Way as well as of Capitol Hill, where she worked for Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN). Anne has a law degree from Duke University and a bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Entries by Anne Kim
New public opinion research shows that the majority of Americans worry the tariffs will do more harm than good for the economy.
A community’s store of “social capital” can determine how well it rebounds from adversity.
Every year, between two to four percent of workers in industrial economies are “displaced” from their jobs. Those most likely to lose their jobs – the very young, the very old, and the less educated – are also the workers least equipped to manage economic upheaval successfully. Even in resilient and growing economies, these workers often need a hand to get back on their feet.
One result of the widespread acceptance of e-commerce and home delivery is a growing and urgent demand for drivers – at least for now.
Since its creation in 1990, the U.S. H-1B visa program has enabled American employers to hire highly-skilled foreign workers when native-born talent is in short supply. As many as 1 in 4 physicians in the United States are foreign-trained and they are much more likely than their American counterparts to serve in areas with higher poverty and lower educational levels.
Americans may be among the world’s most prodigious consumer of turkeys, but turkeys have become an increasingly popular holiday food in Mexico. Ninety percent of the turkeys at those Mexican fiestas will have come from American farms – in part thanks to NAFTA.
“Dual enrollment” programs – where students attend both high school and college – are gaining in popularity as college costs soar. It’s a trend that deserves to be embraced and expanded.
While the commercialization of Halloween might be a made-in-America phenomenon, its popularity wouldn’t be possible without the abundance of affordable consumer goods made available through trade.
At the end of his four-year apprenticeship, Allen Miller will hold a journeyman’s license in industrial maintenance, an associate’s degree from nearby Germanna Community College, and a certificate in “asphalt technology” issued by the Virginia Asphalt Association. He might be the model for the kind of worker the U.S. economy needs more of to succeed.