Voter anger explained – in one chart – March 15, 2016 Brookings Institution article

A March 15, 2016 Brookings Institution article is entitled: “Voter anger explained – in one chart.”

The conclusion of the article (some of the links are ones that I have added; the “China shock” link is included in the original article) reads:

“As to the labor-market, wage, and social impacts of these developments, they have been brutal – as is well-known. Notwithstanding the heralded consumer benefits of trade and deindustrialization, these trends have also created substantial adjustment costs and distributional consequences in the labor market, with much of the pain visited on blue-collar workers in manufacturing-oriented metro areas. Exacerbating all of this, meanwhile, was the onset of what the economists David Autor, David Dorn, and Gordon Hanson call the “China shock” – the period beginning in 1991 when local factories found their outputs competing directly with Chinese imports.

“Those wondering about the deepest sources of populist anger in 2016 will find no better guide than the same authors’ painstaking new analysis of the regional and worker impacts of the China shock. Autor, Dorn, and Hanson show that the arrival of cheap Chinese imports demolished manufacturing in scores of communities, produced widespread unemployment, disrupted workers’ careers, and depressed wages for years.

“Most poignantly, the scholars show that deindustrialization’s losers have experienced difficulty in exiting threatened jobs, a hard time finding and keeping new employment, an inability to relocate, and diminished lifetime earnings.

“No wonder they are frustrated. Only recently stabilized, the decline of U.S. manufacturing remains the primal scene of economic dissatisfaction, and the impacts are still being felt.”

[End of excerpt; for ease of online reading, I have broken a longer paragraph into shorter ones]

Previous posts about deindustrialization

In previous posts I have spoken about the history of deindustrialization in North America.

Click here for previous posts related to deindustrialization >

Posts in this category include, among others:

Deindustrialization has evoked diverse responses

Steven High (2003) highlights the Machine in the Garden aesthetic of postwar factory design

Mill history binder of Sturgeon Falls

A related previous post is entitled:

Significance of the late 1880s for New Toronto and the First Nations of western Canada


A March 15, 2016 Planetizen article, is entitled: “A Chronicle of Inequality – Starting with Memphis and Houston.”

A March 16, 2016 CBC The Current article is entitled: “It’s not bigotry but bad trade deals driving Trump voters, says author Thomas Frank.


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