David Shribman, editor of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, is worried about the GOP economic message. In an article called “What Isn’t Being Said About 2016,” Shribman speaks with great compassion of “the anguish Republican candidates are having in trying to figure out how to address economic issues.” Shribman describes the problem as “conservatives struggling to address the wealth gap.”
Ah, Republicans don’t be fooled, for this, of course, puts the argument in liberal Democratic terms. The income or wealth “gap” is not the problem voters care about. Their problem (and ours) is the stagnation of American workers who are running harder and harder to stay in place. The only measure that matters is whether by working harder people are creating a better life for themselves and their families. You could reduce the wealth gap by cutting in half the assets of the wealthy, but that would do nothing to serve the concerns of working Americans.
Shribman’s piece is important, however, in that it points out the problem conservatives rarely acknowledge: their current economic policy mix does not directly connect with the goal of creating an opportunity society for working Americans.
Frank Cannon is president of American Principles in Action.