The profile of today’s angry working-class voter is someone who has found that tickets to middle-class life have run out because manufacturing jobs they once could live on have given way to low-paying service jobs.
Now, even many of these service jobs are disappearing. A recent report in The Times documented the decline of suburban malls as online shopping advances. The e-commerce share of total retail sales has doubled roughly every six years since 2004, reaching 8.3 percent at the end of 2016. One result is that employment at retail outlets has fallen. Department stores and other general merchandise stores, like supercenters and warehouse clubs, have been hit especially hard, shedding 89,000 jobs from November through March.
These developments are troubling because they indicate dislocation and even hardship for some workers, at least in the near term. But contrary to popular perception, they do not validate the pervasive — though overblown — …