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New Populism Is Spurring Democrats on the Economy

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EV_Ares Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 05:44 AM
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New Populism Is Spurring Democrats on the Economy
By ROBIN TONER
Published: July 16, 2007

WASHINGTON, July 15 On Capitol Hill and on the presidential campaign trail, Democrats are increasingly moving toward a full-throated populist critique of the current economy.

Clearly influenced by some of their most successful candidates in last years Congressional elections, Democrats are talking more and more about the anemic growth in American wages and the negative effects of trade and a globalized economy on American jobs and communities. They deplore what they call a growing gap between the middle class, which is struggling to adjust to a changing job market, and the affluent elites who have prospered in the new economy. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Democrat of New York, calls it trickle-down economics without the trickle.

Populism is hardly new in the Democratic Party. Al Gore vowed to fight for the people versus the powerful in his presidential campaign seven years ago, and Republicans have long accused the Democrats of practicing class warfare.

But the latest populist resurgence is deeply rooted in a view that current economic conditions are difficult and deteriorating for many people, analysts say, and it is now framing debates over tax policy, education, trade, energy and health care. Last week, Senate Democrats held hearings on proposals to raise taxes on some of the highest fliers on Wall Street, the people at the top of private equity and hedge fund firms.

In the House, Representative Barney Frank, the Massachusetts Democrat who is chairman of the Financial Services Committee, convened party leaders and economists for a searching discussion of globalization, outsourcing and the American worker what should government do? Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, offered the participants some blunt marching orders: The American people want to know what were doing about their economic security.

Article continues @ link below:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/16/us/politics/16populis...
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