Walter Russell Mead | Michigan Stuns Labor as Blue Model Continues to Unravel

Besides the realities of declining union membership, this development more broadly suggests deep splits and ambivalence in American politics: At the national level, Democrats are running strong, but in many states something different is happening.

Michigan was long seen as a great example of the blue social model. The high wage, unionized automobile industry supported the state economy and promoted the development of a mass blue collar middle class. It was a great social achievement, and Americans were not wrong to love it, but it has been in gradual yet inexorable decline for more than a generation.

Today’s blue model liberals face a challenge. Can they find a path that actually restores states like Michigan and cities like Detroit to the kind of health they knew back when the blue model actually worked?


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