More evidence that America is becoming more liberal can be found in a new poll that revealed growing public support for labor unions.
A new Gallup poll found that the nation’s approval of labor unions has jumped five points over the past year to a six-year high.
According to Gallup:
Americans’ approval of labor unions has jumped five percentage points to 58% over the past year, and is now at its highest point since 2008, when 59% approved. In the interim, the image of organized labor had suffered, sinking to an all-time low of 48% in 2009.
Consistent with the recent increase in approval of unions, the percentage of Americans saying they would like labor unions to have more influence in the country has also been rising, and now stands at 37%, up from 25% in 2009. Meanwhile, the percentage wanting unions to have less influence has declined from 42% to 35%, although it remains higher than it was from 1999 through 2008. Instead, fewer today say they want unions’ influence to stay the same.
The fact that the most liberal presidential candidate is attracting the biggest crowds is a symptom of a larger ideological shift that is growing in the United States. The Republican caused Great Recession has made the nation more open to liberal ideas.
The bedrock of conservative economic ideology is a belief in the placing the individual ahead of the community. This belief is the driving force behind policies that have caused income inequality to skyrocket. The Great Recession has served as a reminder of the value of collective representation. As the rich are getting richer, the idea that workers can come together to increase their bargaining power is becoming more attractive.
President Obama’s presidency revived when he began discussing income inequality and getting the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share in moral terms. Bernie Sanders is building a political army of ordinary Americans who are on a mission to make government work for regular folks instead of millionaires and billionaires.
The rising support for unions reflects a larger change in the country. The Republican economic arguments for trickle-down economics are increasingly falling on deaf ears. The United States of 2015 is not the same country as it was during the Reagan 80s and the Clinton economic boom of the 90s.
The number of people who want labor unions to have more influence outnumbers those who don’t. Americans are reacting to the Great Recession with a wave of liberalism that is set to wash Republicans out to sea.