Democrats Are the Party of the Elites

From a Wall Street Journal commentary by Batya Ungar-Sargon headlined “Democrats Are the Party of the Overclass”:

President Biden’s student-loan forgiveness plan will mostly benefit the elites. The majority of those loans are held by college graduates, who on average make $1 million more in their lives than people who don’t have a degree. How did progressives—who claim to care about the poor and working class, about fairness and equity—end up pushing a bailout for the wealthy at working people’s expense?

Well, consider who progressives are—the whitest and most highly educated members of the Democratic coalition. They’re advancing their own economic interests, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But they’re doing it under a false pretense, casting it as a moral battle for the indigent.

It isn’t the only example. Consider the push for open borders. Progressives cast it in moral terms, as a way of helping needy and oppressed foreigners. In truth, open borders benefit consumers at the expense of Americans who work in industries undercut by importing new laborers. To add insult to injury, they label you racist if you object.

The green agenda fits the pattern too. Progressives zip around in Teslas, a symbol of both affluence and virtue, while union members in the energy sector lose their jobs. Progressives push to release mentally ill drug addicts into working-class communities where they prey on vulnerable people of color—while they themselves live in nice neighborhoods with astronomical rents, polishing their halos.

Covid lockdowns worked this way, too. Home values skyrocketed and privately educated children leapt ahead of their Zooming public-school counterparts. Affluent office employees worked at home while waiters and nurses braved the plague and then were forced to take the vaccine so the wealthy would feel comfortable being waited on.

Student-loan forgiveness isn’t an aberration. It’s the apotheosis of today’s progressivism, which is devoted to transferring wealth upward. When you point this out, Democrats typically ask: What about Republicans handouts to the rich? What about the Trump tax cuts? They have a point about the other side, but it’s not much of a defense.

Batya Ungar-Sargon is deputy opinion editor of Newsweek and author of “Bad News: How Woke Media Is Undermining Democracy.”

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