Who We Need More Of
The Congressional Research Service profiled the current Congress, documenting – among other things – the pre-politics occupations of the members. It’s a diverse bunch, if by ‘diverse” you mean made-up primarily of lawyers, business executives, and career politicians.
Keeping in mind that most members listed more than one pre-Congress occupation, here’s the basic breakdown of the 541 Representatives and Senators listed: 331 had spent their careers in politics and government, 273 had experience in business, and 202 were lawyers.
You have to go down into the footnotes to find people who have first-hand experience with wage stagnation and disappearing jobs. Down there you’ll find a single carpenter, one auto worker, one flight attendant, and one letter carrier. American factory workers (1) are as well represented in Congress as astronauts (1), rodeo announcers (1), and comedians (Hello, Senator Franken!). People who worked hourly construction jobs (2) are outnumbered by former radio talk-show hosts (6) and management consultants (14).
There are many reasons why working- and middle-class Americans are getting screwed by today’s politics. A big part of it is the simple fact that their voices aren’t part of our political discussion. We have the power to change that.