Sunday, November 07, 2004

"Two Americas" Flop

After a Sunday of reading post-election punditry, I have found nothing substantial on the John Edwards flop and the wisdom of his ticket's "Two Americas" gambit. While class warfare is fascinating to artists, intellectuals, left politicians and their wannabees, it does not seem to click any more with American voters. This is nothing but good news -- and at least as interesting as the conversation over how happy we are (or are not).

Economists even have a name for the idea that people evaluate their prospects, not their status: Prospects of Upward Social Mobility (POUM). The POUM literature is mainly theoretical and establishes the formal conditions. Empirical results are harder to find -- unless one considers post-WW II elections.

One-party dominance can be scary. I am even sympathetic to the Los Angeles Times' call for Bill Clinton to replace Terry McCauliffe.