Elite Democrats could destroy the middle class if Biden wins in 2020

It’s been a long time since the Democrats were considered “the party of the people” and the GOP the party of the fat cats. This year Joe Biden and even more so his running mate, Kamala Harris, are raising record sums from the corporate elite, notably the tech giants and their Wall Street allies. These wealthy donors dominate the party, own much of the media, and can manipulate the social-media platforms where a growing proportion of Americans get their news.

Meanwhile, the Republicans find themselves largely castigated in the press and overwhelmed by a torrent of oligarchic wealth at the Senate and local levels. This wealthy oligarchy is not just liberal; many members also support a thorough remaking of our country. Some, like former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, are so committed to progressivism that, as he said recently, those who don’t get with the program should “face a firing squad.” Currently led by CEO Jack Dorsey, Twitter has gone so far as to block The New York Post’s account after it reported on the unsavory foreign business dealings of Biden’s son Hunter.

If these Democrats win both houses of Congress as well as the White House, things could get far worse for the already beleaguered middle class, which has been rocked by the pandemic, with an estimated 100,000 small firms going out of business. Particularly hard-hit by the recent urban unrest are inner city and minority businesses.

By contrast, the oligarchs have had a very good pandemic, with tech firms now accounting for nearly 40 percent of the value of the Standard and Poor index — a concentration that is unprecedented in modern history. From March to June 2020, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post, which has endorsed Biden and skewed coverage in his direction, saw his wealth rise by an estimated $48 billion to an estimated $183 billion, making him easily the world’s richest man.

The other big winners have been the professional managerial class, including top levels of the federal bureaucracy, academia, and the mainstream media. These are, for the most part, people who can work from home, or, in some cases, the safety of their country houses. Meanwhile, they have achieved power at a level never before exercised outside of wartime and are as likely to surrender this control as the oligarchs are to give up their money.

If the Democrats win on Election Day, the future for the middle class could be bleak. As a lifelong Democrat, this is not easy to write, but most of the party’s initiatives — such as the Green New Deal — are directly harmful to those in the middle and working classes, who’d be forced to face increased housing and energy prices and fewer upwardly mobile jobs in industries like manufacturing.

A Democratic landslide could prove particularly devastating to owners of small businesses, particularly those in the energy, agriculture and manufacturing sectors, who were all critical to electing Donald Trump and seem likely to follow him again this year, despite the recession caused by the pandemic.

Meanwhile, a Biden White House would enable the oligarchy to reap enormous rewards, starting with the disarming of President Trump’s antitrust assault on Google and other tech monopolies while restoring a “hands off” Obama-style policy that caters to tech companies’ needs.

In short, this election could hasten an America that is less democratic and increasingly feudal, with a middle class that is close to nonexistent. Such an approach concerns traditional Democrats, but seems to be of little interest to the woke, ultra-rich members of the Democratic oligarchy.

Fortunately, this isn’t our last shot to restore the middle class and curb the power of the oligarchs. If the Democrats overreach, particularly if they gain control of both Houses, a new middle-class rebellion — within the GOP, among renegade Democrats or even from a new party — could still emerge, this time led by a more unifying and credible figure than Donald Trump.

Joel Kotkin is the Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University and executive director of the Urban Reform Institute. His new book, “The Coming of Neo-Feudalism” (Encounter), is out now. Twitter: @joelkotkin

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