Noah Smith On Failing Conservative White America

Noah Smith always delivers interesting analysis. His thoughts on the failure of Conservative White America are interesting.

I’m not convinced that there really is a failure of anything. Noah is reasonably progressive and that shines through in how he expresses concern for struggling working class whites but fails to acknowledge that more immigration actually harms them.

Immigration is fine for people who have medium to high skills, but you would have to be completely ignorant of supply and demand to say that the number of households harmed by low skill immigration is trivial.

Partly driven by lower levels of union bargaining power and partly driven by the rising value of cognitive ability, working class whites all around the world have struggled to adapt to the “new normal”. Sadly, working class minorities have struggled even more to adapt to the “new normal”.

Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson’s recent JEP paper “Economics versus Politics: Pitfalls of Policy Advice” provides some good insight into some of the drivers of these problems.

I fail to see how Liberal White America could possibly be held up as a standard of success. High-low alliances never work out well in the end. Telling stories about this stuff is problematic, but there is a whole lot of veiled snobbery I’m detecting.