- Working-Class Perspectives offers weekly commentaries on current issues related to working-class people and communities. Contributors discuss a variety of issues, from what class means to how it intersects with race and gender to how class is shaping American politics. We welcome relevant comments of 500 words or less.
For questions or comments about this blog, e-mail Sherry Linkon. For assistance with news stories about working-class politics and culture, call or e-mail John Russo, 330-207-8085.
The State of the Working ClassListen to Working-Class Perspective editor Sherry Linkon's recent interview about Working-Class Studies on KERA's Think with Krys Boyd.
Author Archives: steeltownusa
Since his death last month, Staughton Lynd has been lionized in the national media as an icon of radicalism. Labor historians, leftist scholars, and long-time comrades have recalled his anti-war efforts, his writing about worker activism and radical history, and … Continue reading
Posted in Contributors, Issues, John Russo, Labor and Community Activism Tagged labor activism, Staughton Lynd, worker justice 1 Comment
The Pandemic as an Employment Shell Game
I have always been skeptical of the use of labor statistics. In 2009, I began to write in Working-Class Perspectives about the de facto unemployment rate, because official reports on the unemployment rate in Youngstown left out much of the … Continue reading
The Myth of the Conservative Working Class
Rush Limbaugh, who passed away last month at age 70, was conservative talk radio’s most flamboyant and influential provocateur. Boasting an audience of 15 million, Limbaugh is often credited with persuading working-class voters to embrace a Republican Party whose pro-business, … Continue reading
Why Trump Will Lose Ohio
It is always dangerous to publicly predict the outcome of a presidential election, especially in a purple state like Ohio. But I’ve done it twice, in 2011 and 2016, months in advance, when both of my predicted winners, Barack Obama … Continue reading
Posted in Contributors, Issues, John Russo, Working-Class Politics Tagged 2020 election, economics and politics, Ohio, Youngstown 3 Comments
Beyond Policy: Why Democrats Need to Show White Working-Class Voters Some Respect
When I heard Hillary Clinton refer to half of Trump supporters as “deplorables” during her 2016 presidential campaign, I knew she would lose. Her comment exemplified the arrogant, elitist, dismissive attitudes that make many white working-class voters suspicious of the … Continue reading
Blaming Workers Again
Working-class people often get blamed for their troubles. They should have planned better, been less demanding, or just been smarter. Those are just some of the judgments that surfaced again in the weeks after General Motors’ announcement late in November … Continue reading
Is the Fever Breaking? Ground Zero Youngstown
Two years ago, I described the Youngstown area as “crossover ground zero” for Donald Trump and the politics of resentment in working-class and rust belt communities. In local rallies during the 2016 campaign and since he took office, Trump has … Continue reading
Have Ohio Democrats Learned Anything About the Working Class?
In presidential elections, Ohio has long been a swing state. Its voters supported Obama in 2008 and 2012, then swung right in 2016 to support Donald Trump. On the state level, however, Republicans have dominated for the past two decades. … Continue reading
Posted in Contributors, Issues, John Russo, Working-Class Politics Tagged Ohio Democrats, Sherrod Brown, working-class voters 46 Comments
Universal Basic Income: A “Social Vaccine” for Technological Displacement?
John Kenneth Galbraith once said that the beginnings of wisdom were to never trust an economist. Those of us that spent most of our adult lives in deindustrialized communities understood his point. As the mills and factories closed in working-class … Continue reading
Is the Worst Yet to Come for Unions?
With the decline of good paying jobs in the private sector, public employment has been particularly important for working-class people. These state and local workers also provide important public services ranging from street cleaning, to home health to emergency services. … Continue reading