The New Working Class

February 22, 2018 | | The New Republic |

One continuing political problem for the working class is that it remains difficult to measure it properly. Most estimates rely on flawed data. As Tamara Draut noted in her book Sleeping Giant, political surveys rarely capture occupational data, and many researchers still use education as a defining characteristic of class and a proxy for increased income. That no longer makes sense in a country in which average earnings for adjunct professors, who often have Ph.D.s, run around $20,000 per year, the same as for a home health care worker. But pollsters have yet to adjust—and politicians still listen to them.