Tracking the fortunes of the white working-class
IN 1922 Donald Trump’s father, Fred, left high school at 16 to work for a carpenter. He was a “very smart guy” who could “add five columns of numbers in his head”. Construction came naturally to him, too. By 1971 he had amassed a multi-million-dollar fortune. Working-class success stories like Fred’s are rare in America, and becoming rarer. The president wants to see more of them.
At his inauguration he declared that America’s “forgotten men and women” will “be forgotten no longer”. And he has vowed to bring back jobs to states that have been “hurt so badly” by globalisation. By America’s forgotten people, he means above all white working-class men: three-quarters of white men who left school at 18 and voted in November did so for Mr Trump, the highest share of any demographic group.
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