"People in places like Flint, Michigan and Gary, Indiana have been forgotten. The politicians have forgotten about these people and simply don't care about them!"
But the problem is, since so many people believe government intervention is the answer, they vote for higher taxes and higher welfare benefits. As a result, you end up with places like Oswego, New York, where property taxes are skyrocketing because so many people are on welfare. Pretty soon, people stop working and go on the dole, simply because it is easier.
But it is a funny thing, even the people who ostensibly "benefit" from social welfare programs know deep down that these programs are a dead-end. They are given a pittance but never given the chance to get ahead. They don't want handouts, they want honest government, lower taxes, and the chance to earn a living from their labor.
And that is what Trump tapped into, in places like Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Wisconsin. The Left may paint the red-hatted Trumpeters as closet (or not-so-closet) racists and xenophobes - and indeed, many are. But it was Trump's message about getting the rust-belt working again that resonated with those voters.
And in spite of Trump's best efforts to wreck the economy, folks are going back to work in many of these rust-belt towns - reinforcing the message that Trump's ideas are "working". The boom in RV sales (to be followed shortly by a bust - it is a cyclical business) is keeping the lights on, day and night, in Elkhart and other locales. To Trump supporters working there, the President's policies are clearly working (in their minds) and are a stark contrast to the crash and slow growth that occurred during Obama's tenure.
Again, appearances trump reality. No pun intended. You are right - Obama didn't cause the recession, it happened before his election. But tell that to a guy in a red MAGA hat. He simply will choose not to believe it. "Alternative facts" are all the rage right now. Again, pun not intended.
So here we are, months away from mid-term elections. A sea change has occurred in American electoral politics - the idea of big government giving out handouts simply isn't resonating with voters. And what are the Democrats selling? More of the same-old, same-old, which is well past it's "sell by" date - Look to the government for answers, wait in line for your handout.
One reason I was forced into early retirement was because of these policies. Obamacare has subsidized my health insurance to the tune of
If I went back to work, and made more than $69,000 or thereabouts, I would have to cough up twenty-four grand to pay for Obamacare. I did the math on this and realized that not only was it cheaper to just retire early (and avoid the risk and liability of working - oh, and also all that work) but that I really didn't have a choice. It was go on the dole, or pay through the nose. Unless I could work full-time at some big mega-firm and make $250,000 a year, it made no sense to work.
I'm no idiot. When the government starts handing out free money, I will get in line like everyone else, with a wheelbarrow. But I realize too, that such a system is not sustainable in the long-run, nor is it an optimal outcome for the individual or the State.
And that is the same conundrum, on a smaller scale, that affects the poor in many rust-belt States - or even in the Sun Belt. When companies were forced to raise the minimum wage, many employees asked for reductions in hours, so they would not lose their food stamp allotment (based on annual income, just like Obamacare subsidies) and other government handouts. If you are working part-time as a single parent, you might have a plethora of subsidies, from ADC, to SNAP, to Section-8 or other subsidized housing, to daycare subsidies, and the like. Start making more money and you lose that.
It is simple math, but anyone can do it. And it never ceases to amaze me how supposedly "uneducated" people figure this stuff out. Word gets around on how to game the system, or at least optimize your outcomes. And of course, the folks running these agencies are all-too-happy to let you know how you can collect - it's their job to hand out money.
But is also seems that many of the people who are nominal beneficiaries of these systems are realizing that handouts and bailouts are not necessarily the answer. Confronting hard truths is a better choice. Self-actualization beats victim behavior. Externalizing never solves your personal problems.
Someone please tell that to the Democrats, before they lose even more elections!