David Frum finally identifies the main problem facing our society:
We live in a world of global competition now, where even white-collar jobs can be outsourced to India. If the jobs can't be exported, then the workers are imported, via legal or illegal immigration. Outside the government sector, unions wield little clout -- where they exist at all. For those reasons and others, the wage share of the economy had already sunk to record lows as of 2007.
I'll rephrase that a little - the global economy leads to a very few, elite number of people of high skill to be incredibly successful - and the vast majority of average or above-average folks to experience declining wages. This is the future, folks. No good jobs for most of you - and 1 or 2 of your friends becoming members of the super rich. Not a recipe for a healthy society.
Frum goes on to outline the difference between Obama and Romney's approach to this issue. Neither is even remotely satisfactory. Obama thinks we can redistribute via government bulk - infrastructure and public jobs that pay well and insurance programs to make sure everyone's basic needs are met. This is obviously an undesirable solution as there are only so many public sector jobs and who wants a society where everyone is dependent on the government for survival?
Romney promises lower taxes, more innovation in the marketplace, and cheaper products through globalization, so while wages will continue to decline, the standard of living will rise. The main problem with this argument: housing, healthcare, and education are still costly and rising sharply with no signs of decline. And these are important to most people - and important to the long term health of our society - we need families to grow and they need houses to live in, we need to educate all the kids and this costs money, and obviously, we need to stay healthy and pay for medical stuff. We can't be having middle class people going bankrupt over hospital bills.
Obama's plan on this issue is better than Romney's, but just barely. I suppose we already made this choice to head down the road of cheaper goods at the expense of middle class jobs years ago during the Clinton era. I don't like the look of this future.