White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America

TIME: 13:00 – 14:00, 11th May 2017

VENUE: The Henry Jackson Society, 26th Floor, Millbank Tower 21-24 Millbank, London, SW1P 4QP

SPEAKER – Joan Williams


Kyle Orton: I am Kyle Orton I am a Research Fellow here at The Henry Jackson Society. Today we have Joan Williams who is a Professor of Law at California University who is going to talk about recent events in the United States with Trumps victory and how the political elite in the US have misread events and talk us through the ‘White Working Class’. Without further ado, over to you.

Joan Williams: Thank you. I am going to talk today basically about the white working class and the reason is we have this very weird system in the United States were as you probably know, Hilary Clinton actually won the election by over 3 million votes but she lost the presidency because of the electoral college which is a complicated system that gives disproportionate weight to certain states and to certain areas. In one of those areas are the sort of rust belts in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin and Michigan and it was basically the white working class vote in those states, about 80’000 votes that gave Trump the election. There has been a lot of attention very roughly paid to the white working class in a context were there has been very little attention paid to the white working class for about the past forty years.

In the 1930s and 40s the white working class was very much at the centre of liberals imaginations. If you go there are murals painted by social justice project administration artists throughout the United States and they often have flattering portraits of blue collar guys doing manual labour and providing a decent life for those guys, this was very gendered, was very much at the centre of the social justice project in the United States in those decades. Then in 1970 something changed. The attention shifted away from the white working class, it shifted onto the issues I spent my entire life on so I was part of this shift, on environmentalism on to various equality projects first by race, then by gender, most recently by LGBT to. Attention shifted away from the white working class and exactly the period after 1973 when the wages of men with high school educations took an absolute plummet. What you have is a situation where white working class men’s wages have fallen 47% since 1970 and this is similar to what is going on in many advanced industrial economies. There is a recent McKinsey report that found that over two-thirds household incomes are flat or lower compared with similar households in 2005. If you look at the ten years before 2005 the same number was about 2%.

If you think about the rise of economic populism, both in Europe and the United States because I have been living in the Netherlands now for a couple of months and I came over here assuming that I couldn’t make generalisations about Europe and by and large that is a sensible approach. Now that I have learned more about the situation in Europe I have realised there is a lot more of similarities than there are differences. At exactly the same period when the cultural elite experienced tension focussing away from the white working class, their economic prospects were plummeting and they find it truly irritating for understandable reasons.

Another thing what was happening again at exactly this period since the 1970s was a sharp loss in social honour for the white working class. Before they were at the centre of the social justice prospect for the cultural elites. Once attention shifted away from them what happened is what happens – elites stereotype them. So if you think about the shift in popular culture in the United States and therefore the world, all in the family was a very popular show in the 1970s that featured Archie Bunker now really a cultural icon in the United States. He was basically a charactercher of a stupid, ignorant, fat, racist, sexist, white working class man. Archie Bunker and that show were actually the brainchild of Norman Lear who went on to fund the American democratic way, absolutely core of the progressive elite inside the belt weight in Washington. Then came the Simpsons – Homer Simpson same stereotype. Borderline alcoholic, fat, lazy, stupid. These are the type of cultural stereotypes that we have stigmatised when we apply them by race but we haven’t stigmatised them when we apply them by class.

Most recently there is a show in the US called Orange is the New Black and the character in that show Pence Tuckey does for working class women what the two prior shows did for working class men. Pence Tuckey is mean spirited, she has bad teeth, she is coarse and as I have been living in the Netherlands now for a couple of months and looking at a lot of judge-genre paintings, these kind of stereotypes of ignorant, course, peasant have been around for a really long time. I was in the Mauritshuisin The Hague where there was a series of paintings which were basically painted for the elite, depicting exactly these kinds of stereotypes of peasants. You think about the kinds of language which is used without self-consciousness, in the United States we refer to plumbers butt, I think you folks have another word for it but again associating people who are lower in social status with undignified parts of the human body, this is a long elitist tradition.

In addition to this plummet in their economic prospects, you have this lack of social honour. No wonder these people are very, very, very angry. One of the things that has happened as we define political correctness, so they were all very self-conscious about not making belittling comments about women or people of colour or gay people and it has been open season on the white working class. This has set up a really unhealthy dynamic where basically making a homophobic comment is seen as a way of sticking your thumb in the eye of the elite. This has been one of the main things that has driven right-wing talk radio in the United States which has had a very profound cultural effect. Now if we added social class to one of the categories of PC that would instantly disappear.

There are ways in which the social imagination of the cultural elite has really fuelled the kinds of racism, sexism and homophobia which I think many of us are so alarmed to see increasing, day by day.

One of the things I pointed out in the Harvard Business Review article from which this book stemmed which has received most attention is that the statement that the white working class admires the truly rich but resents professionals. This seems counter-intuitive in many ways, after all if you look at the economic impact of the 2008 recession, it was not the school teachers who had that impact on the economy.

The reason that the white working class and this is actually not true of the black working class, actually let me amend that, both the white and the black working class express a lot of admiration for the truly wealthy. In many ways that is the fantasy – they are order takers and the fantasy is to be an order giver – you’re fired – that is what Trump represents. The other thing and although I will talk about them, there are a lot of cultural differences between the white working class and professionals which means that a lot of white working class people don’t want to become professionals because that would require them to abandon a way of life that they really treasure. What they want is to keep their own social networks and their own customs just with more money that is the fantasy of being truly wealthy. After all they don’t interact with truly wealthy people except perhaps on television whereas their relationship with professionals is very, very different.

I quote a book which is a study of working class guys where there is one blue collar guy talking about some college kid who doesn’t know beans about my job but has no hesitation in telling me how to do it. He didn’t use the word bean by the way. You notice the class resentment there is focussed on the college kid who is actually ordering him around, not the owner of the company. If you look at the writings of class migrants, people who are born into blue collar families and ended up in white collar environments, the regularly report resentments, resentments against teachers who condescend to them and treat their kids as stupid. Resentment against lawyers, a famous write in the United States said my father never talked about a lawyer without calling him a shyster lawyer that was kind of the name for a lawyer in our house. Resentment against doctors who may speak in highly technical language and treat you as stupid if you don’t understand it. So that is why the white working class in the United States resents professionals but admires the rich. This didn’t do Hilary Clinton any good because she kind of represents the professional women and she was completely unselfconscious about triggering this resentment of professionals.

The other thing that grew attention in the article was that although the white working class often resents professionals, typically in the United States they also resent the poor which is very counterintuitive to a lot of people. This really stems back from means tested social programs which do the realm in the United States. It is basically so hard to pass any social program in the United States that typically we have just past them for the poor. Welfare is a good example, food stamps is a good example, Medicare is a good example. If you design programs so that you have benefits for the poor but no benefits at all who are just one notch above, that is just a recipe for class conflict and resentment between those two groups and that is exactly what we have produced.

Democrats have been very clueless about this, for example when Obama was talking about Obamacare he talked incessantly about the new healthcare coverage for the 20 million uninsured. He was centring the program for the poor. He talked very little about the universal benefits that were going to benefit everybody, including the working class, mainly the ability to keep your kids on your healthcare until they were 26 and the prohibition of using pre-existing conditions to hike up people’s health benefits. Now Obamacare may yet survive, if it does it will be because of the popularity of the universal benefits. So that is another way in which the design of public policy has just been class clueless in a way which has come back to haunt the Democratic party.

One thing I very often hear is why don’t these people just go to college, why don’t they just get their act together, that is what I did and that is why I have the job I have today. Well I want to remind you of a very common working class expression in the United States which is baseball has 4 bases so the expression is the one on third base thinks he hit a triple, thinks he hit a ball so hard that he could go all the way to third base. That is the way working class people often view professionals, born on third base, thinks he hit a triple. Going to college is a very different experience for working class kids than it is for middle class kids. First of all they don’t go to elite colleges, a least in the United States if you look at the middle three quartiles of Americans, only 3% of those people go to elite colleges.

Let’s look at elite colleges. If you look at elite colleges like Harvard, Yale or MIT were I went, they have about the same number of students from the top 1% as they do from the bottom 60%. In many ways what you have is a pipeline from the elite to these elite universities that provides a new rationale for why the elite should hold these positions. So we think as college as the great cap glass escalator but in many ways what college is doing in the United States and I wonder if it is the same in Britain, is just re-inscribing the old class system with a new rationale.

The other thing is working class kids of whatever race are much less likely to get into college and into good universities than middle class kids are. There is one experiment that showed that, this was two applications that were identical but one sent off with ques that the person was from a blue collar background, a working class background the other was sent off with ques it was from a professional background. The working class candidate was three times less likely to get into the University with the same credentials. It is harder to get into college and many working class kids don’t want to go to college. They don’t want to be pencil pushers, which is what they see as the likes of us. Then if they go they often face this lack of social honour. One thing I have learned about relatively recently is that there is a whole genre of party in college fraternities in the United States and they are called white trash bashes.  White trash is a common stereotype for white working class people. So you go to college and the memoirs of class migrants consistently report having to sit through insulting comments by their professors and insulting parties. So those are all the reasons why they don’t go to college.

The other thing I think it is time to recognise is that both in Britain and the United States we had a dream some decades ago of college for all – it failed in both countries, it was never going to stick. In the United States, two-thirds of Americans as we speak did not graduate from college and as a result of the focus on college for all, attention was shifted away and money from the kind of skills based training that is needed for middle skilled jobs and those vocational programs and the kind of certificate programs were you can go through a much shorter program which gives you immediately more marketable skills for an industry in your local area. That should be a major public policy initiative that is really the kind of thing that would matter very deeply not only to the white working class but to working class people of all races.

Another thing I here all the time is why do you want to cuddle the white working class, after all they are just racist. I will be the first to say they are racist, there is a long history in the United States a wonderful book called the wages of whiteness talks about how after the civil war the planter elite Southern states took considerable care to pit the white workers against the newly freed black slaves, sending the message that you may be white trash but at least you are not black. My fear though is that cultural elites are now doing exactly the same thing inadvertently as those white planters did very consciously and strategically. A common insult that you can’t credit anything, any concern about the white working class because they are just racist, I think really deserves further attention.

First of all there is something a little off about privileged whites refusing to listen to the economic pain of less privileged whites, on the grounds that those other whites are racist and have the white privilege, there is just something truly off there. There is something that has to do with using racism as an excuse for a denial of class privilege. The other thing is that racism in those two different social locations is just structured very differently. Among the elite we pride ourselves on merit and so if you look at the studies we see African Americans in the United States as lacking in merit. So a famous study for example gave people identical resumes, one had a Jamal and African-American name, one had a Greg and Jamal needed eight additional years of experience to get the same number of call backs as Greg. That is racism professional style. Racism in the white working class is very different. They pride themselves on morality and so they are racist stereotypes, they stereotype African-Americans as less moral than they are. Which is worse? Well I think neither one of them is very attractive, frankly. The point is writing off these people as racist I think is not a very satisfactory reaction.

As somebody who is most well known for being sexist, the other thing people have expressed astonishment at is that I am not writing these people off as being sexist. After all there is a lot of open sexism at times and certainly at looking at the responses to Hilary Clinton, there was a tremendous amount of sexism. Trump won white working class votes by a margin of 28%. If white working class voters had just gone 50/50 for Hilary Clinton she would be President today. So why did they do that? Susan Sheerer of the New York Times wrote a wonderful article in which she interviewed women who had voted for Trump and one of them said I was voting for my boyfriend’s job. I think one of the things that professional women often forget is that working class women’s jobs tend to be low paid, dead-end, pink collar. Their best hope for economic stability is that their husband or boyfriend get a good job and that is why it makes sense to vote for your boyfriend’s job. There is a nostalgia for the breadwinner/homemaker family in these families which is very open and quite different from what you find in the elites. That is because of what their lives look like today – often mum works one shift and dad works a different shift and they are rushing back and forth to afford childcare, they often have to buy it, it is very low quality. Their lives are pretty miserable – they are rushed, they are exhausted. They can’t do what professionals do which is to buy quality replacement care.

The other thing that Clinton did and I think I will open it up to questions is, Clintons central message was I am super qualified, Trump is totally unqualified and it is your awesome opportunity to make history by putting a women in the Whitehouse. That was absolutely a perfectly designed message to turn off the white working class. First of all the idea that I am super qualified, why was Clinton doing that, she was doing that because there are massive years of studies over forty years which shows that women have to be more qualified than men in order to be seen as equally competent. I actually coined the term ‘prove it again’ and that is why Clinton thought that made sense but there is a strong norm in the working class against boasting and self-display and they associate that with kind of distasteful and inauthentic professional behaviour. So that kind of boasting was perfectly designed to trigger class anger and distaste against Clinton.

Also the glass ceiling metaphor which is so compelling to so many white feminists of my age, what does it say? It says that I should get the kind of job that my husband also has. Why should working class people care about this agenda? They don’t. Clinton and her campaign so little understood the workings of gender that they didn’t understand any of this and they also squandered the opportunity to connect with pink collar women over the issue of sexual assault and sexual harassment, which after all Trump handed them on a silver platter through the Access Hollywood tapes where he boasted about sexual assault. The campaign didn’t focus on sexual harassment which is an experience that is shared by professional women and blue collar women and instead focused on the glass ceiling. I think if we look back on what we call in the United States, a ‘yellow dog democrat’ – if you put a yellow dog on the ballot I would vote for the yellow dog. My chief interest is in talking to the Democratic party and I think the bottom line is they have to understand a lot more about the political workings of gender but even more basically they have to understand a lot more about the political workings of social class.

Kyle Orton: Thank you very much. If I could slightly abuse my position to ask you the first question. So as you said the progressive elitists focused on matters like gay rights and feminism in the past few years, do you think it is possible to bring in the working class in to the PC class if you like and maintain these values?

Joan Williams: That’s the question, right. I think first of all I think it is important to recognise that the two things, the two most important things that we need to do to address this wave of economic populism is to give these people some social honour, after all social honour is not a zero sum game and also focus on jobs. I think that people of colour who are working class care as much about having a decent job as white working class people do. Gay people who are working class care as much about being able to support their children as straight people do. I think those two things which are the two most important things are things that we can do and not break the coalition.

Now until we do those things, we won’t know how much further we have to go but those two things to me are no brainers.

Kyle Orton: Thank you, over to questions. We will take them individually.

Question 1: Thank you for an excellent talk in Britain we have a debate about the definition of the so-called squeeze mill. In terms of British or American politics, firstly would it be possible to provide a working definition in terms of salary structure of what is white working class both in Britain and the United States and secondly, the welfare social security net is basically no longer viable in this country, I don’t think it ever will be in the United States, but in this country there is a big problem where people from the working class are slipping into a lower class, what would be your comment on those thoughts?

Joan Williams: I along with Helen Bouche at the Washington centre for equitable growth developed a rigorous definition of the working class. First of all let’s be clear this is the middle class – we call it the working class in the United States because if you ask almost every American they will tell you that they are middle class whether they earn $20,000 or $200,000 I kid you not, they are very confused. So what they talk about with working class is really the true middle – it is the middle 53% of Americans whose medium income is about $72,000 a year that is the true middle class that I often call the missing middle. Those are the people we are talking about as working class, so there is a very rigorous definition.

One of the big differences between the United States and Europe has to do with the viability of the welfare state because there is a little bit of a different dynamic. In the United States I have mentioned there is a lot of class anger surrounding means tested programs. In Europe of course, even in Britain which is far close to the US than the rest of Europe, even in Britain you have a much more robust welfare state than we ever had or ever will. My understanding is that starting with Thatcher that has been whittled away and whittled away so there is less housing through the state than there used to be when there was robust council housing and the National Health Service is strapped for money and a lot of these other social programs are strapped for money. Then comes this wave of immigrants and it is very easy to blame the fact that the National Health Service isn’t what it used to be on the wave of immigrants. So I think the message, although it is not an easy one, is that the starvation diet of the welfare state is triggering class conflict and fuelling economic populism in Europe.

Question 2: You mentioned social honour which I would argue is something very much underappreciated, so thank you. Any things which have been done which have been successful in possibly restoring that or any initiatives which frankly haven’t worked and I wonder if you would see any connection between the loss of social honour, the demoralisation and the opiates epidemic which the BBC have done some very good work in covering the intensity of it and its geographical spread in the US.

Joan Williams: I mean the first step in restoring social honour is to stigmatise open insults of white working class people. We did that for race, we did that for gay people – you just do it. A deeper level though, this is expressed in Europe in terms of a kind of pride amongst the cultural elites in their cosmopolitanism and scorn for the nationalist Brits for their pathetic parochial and in fact we have here with us today, David Goodhart, who has written a brilliant book about exactly this, which parallels the findings which I had in the United States.

I think as an American the project of the European Union is one of the great romances I have seen in my entire life. I mean what an amazing accomplishment but as everyone in this room knows, it is in jeopardy. It is in jeopardy because of class conflict and one of those fuels for that conflict is the idea that people who are cool, smart, sleek are cosmopolitan whereas people who are deeply rooted are just pathetic and parochial.

The reason that we are cosmopolitan is that we went to university and immediately had national and international networks, it has to do with the structure of social networks. People who are rooted are rooted because they didn’t go to university, they don’t have national networks, they don’t have national job networks, their jobs don’t give them honour. What gives them honour is remaining in a community where people see them as moral people. You have to understand that the folk ways of the elite, they are just folk ways. They make sense in our lives, we can’t expect elite values from people whom we don’t offer elite lives.

Question 3: Can you explain the universal benefits?

Joan Williams: Universal benefits are well funded, you know you can tell where I come from.

Question 4: Can I just mention the medium income for working class is $72,000 which seems huge to me so what is the percentage of people in terms of top population and lower population do you know?

Joan Williams: Of the American households, they are 53% but that is household income. So if you have a husband making $40,000 and a wife making $32,000 there is your $72,000. That is not a lot of money.

Question 5: Thank you for your interesting talk. You mentioned about the social council and the working trash parties, we have them here which are called chav parties. There was talk of banning them because they are offensive and there is big resistance to it and what do you think about people’s appetites for having another PC term which you said is a thing that these people despise and I think there is a lot of TV shows here what have done exactly what you have said in America you know Shameless, Benefit Street, The Royal Family which demonise working class people. Are these resentments so entrenched now that these people can’t talk to each other anymore?

Joan Williams: Well we are not in a good place are we? We have got to start, until we start we won’t know how much we have to change and how quickly we have to change it but one thing is clear what we are doing ain’t working – ain’t working for you, ain’t working for us. I think you are right that anger against PC now is very common among the white working class but that is because, how would you feel, we have all these favourite children and left them on the back porch. Of course they are angry. We have been trying to address every form of social disenfranchisement except theirs – that’s annoying.

Question 6: Thank you for a fascinating talk. You were talking about people being clueless. Isn’t the Democratic Party guilty big time on this? I saw some psychologist explain why Trump won, it was fascinating and he said he is a man with a powerful personality, what he says he gives 100% conviction and then he tries to identify scapegoats and says your problems have been caused by the Mexicans, free trade etc. When I become President I will solve your problems for you and this is something that no other President has ever said. A lot of people have said this is reminiscent of the kind of language that Adolf Hitler used in 1933 before he became Chancellor..

Joan Williams: I said the same thing in the Financial Times.

Question 6: And he said your problems have been caused by the Jews, once I remove the Jews your problems will be over. Of course this was the biggest lie of all time. But that is what they think and the Democratic Party doesn’t have a clue, like the Labour Party in this country doesn’t have a clue, it thinks if it goes to the far left, people will flock to vote Labour, this is fantasy. I am just wondering if Bernie Sanders would have been the Democratic candidate would anything of been very different do you think?

Joan Williams: Oh everything would have been very different but I have no idea what or how. The idea of scapegoats, there is definitely that going on, that is for sure. There was an interesting national public radio program about immigration and one of the key moments when immigration became a huge pivotal national issue and what is pointed out was originally the immigration debate was about jobs. If you look at studies of the white working class in the late 1990s, they weren’t anti-immigrant, immigrations wasn’t a big issue. It was only after the 2008 depression when you basically got job erasion in many parts of the country that people began to get so angry and upset about immigrants.

The other thing which I think is important to recognise is that anger is not necessarily a sensible emotion. If you let economic anger fester, without acknowledging it, it takes ugly directions and racism is one of those directions. Now if we addressed it how much of the racism would be left – some of it but I think less of it.

The other thing is I think that we as the elites were wrong about trade treaties. You know liberalism is partly what got us into this situation we are in now. We were right that trade treaties were really good for the GNP but people don’t live the GNP, people live their lives. For people in certain areas of your country and mine those trade treaties and what they stand for which is the globalisation of low wage and middle income jobs immiserated their lives. So it turns out that these trade treaties are far more expensive than we have been treating them because the only way to have those trade treaties without this massive and poisonous class conflict is to combine them with serious re-training programs. The Silicon Valley titans now are all enamoured with a guaranteed annual income – I mean hello their Americans, they seem to have forgotten that, what a fantasy. Why don’t they actually use their disruptive sprit to work to invent a new generation of blue collar jobs where you are upskilling those jobs through the use of technology so you can pay people who do them a decent wage or low wage jobs or pink collar jobs.

There is a really interesting pilot in US in New York where they gave home healthcare aids, very low paid people, tablets that had 15 medical conditions already pre-loaded and connected to doctors so the home healthcare aids could do a very sophisticated healthcare screening and immediately get that information to the patient’s doctor.  Healthcare costs went down, healthcare outcomes went up and so did wages. That is the model.

Question 7: I just wanted to pick you up on what you said about boasting not being a big thing across the white middle class culture in regards to Hilary Clinton and her qualifications for the job but Donald Trump is a prime example of someone who is boastful and I could be wrong but I have always understood that the difference between American culture and British culture is that inaudible.. and you also mentioned earlier that middle class inaudible…. Wondering if you saw it as a slight contradiction?

Joan Williams: I think it is and thank you for pointing it out, I will think about it. So let me try and explain it and I will think more about it and try to figure it out what makes sense. There is a famous venture capitalist named Peter Teal though Trump supporters take him seriously but not literally and Trumps opponents take him literally but not seriously. So I think there is a big discount just because well Trump is a TV personality and that may partly explain it but I think a lot of it also goes back to gender. I have done a series of studies on a subtle gender bias and racial bias plays out in today’s professional work places and one of the things that you find is that there is one group that says that promotion works for me here in the United States and that is the majority men. Women they say oh promotion does not work with me here and people of colour actually say the same thing. So I think there is something which is far more stigmatised – actually I don’t think there is lots of evidence – to show that self-promotion is far more stigmatised when it comes from women than when it comes from men.

That still doesn’t come to your blue collar point but it kind of gets walky so I will just say one more thing about it. When men feel threatened, particularly in one of their core roles like the breadwinner roles, there is something which is called identity threat. When you have men who are in a condition of identity threat, to have a powerful women is kind of a volatile situation. To have Hilary Clinton it kind of dramatizes that now even elite women have more power over me, I may be resigned to having elite men have more power over me but this is just rubbing my lack of power in my face.

Question 8: So the problem really was not that Hilary Clinton boasted it was because she was a women?

Joan Williams: Ye and I would think once, twice and three times before me, a white feminist women of a certain age supporting a white women for President in 2020, it is just too risky. Sexism is alive and well, without sexism Hilary Clinton would be President, no doubt about it.

Question 9: I have two questions, the first very straight forwardly would you depict professional and educated elites like many of us in this room as in what in Britain we term as intellectual snobs there I am thinking about putting brain above body, putting rationality above emotion. My next question concerns the work of a political scientist, Eric Koffman whose argued both in response to Brexit and Trump that this is not a story of uneducated vs educated elites but it is of personal values how open minded vs close minded we are and he certainly seems to suggest that personal values drive the type of educational opportunities we reach out for. So I wondered how you think about the relationship between education and personal values?

Joan Williams: I think he has the causation backwards. This is what I call the class culture gap. In the elite we get social honour through being open to novelty. We see change as opportunity, we’re inter-artisanal whether it is coffee or spirituality’s or sexualities. That is part of giving a class act that is enacted in our societies, your society and mine. All of those things make sense in terms of our lives, we have the social capital to say things. You have to go to college to have artisanal spirituality, I am not religious I am spiritual, that is like a social honour thing among my crowd. You can’t do that unless you have access to a certain amount of leisure and college education and all the rest of it. So to say that we are open-minded and they are parochial, we are elite and you’re not.

I have already explained why traditional gender values may be more highly valued in the working class context than in our context. Although by the way, if you look at people who run the world they are grown men married to homemakers, get over it. We have this part of giving a class act in our crowd is expressing verbal admiration or gender equality but not acting on it. I am sorry who is open-minded now?

The other thing to realise is that if you are in a contest were you haven’t gone to college and you’re social network is people, in David’s book there is this amazing statistic that 60% of Britain’s live within 20 miles of where they did when they were 40. Just amazing, I am sure it is the same in the United States. That is the structure of life for a high school educated person and they’re not able to event a new spirituality and they have less interest in doing so. They stick with religion because religion is a set of metaphors that really works very well for many people. People who are religious have better impulse control, they have happier marriages, they are more likely to keep on the straight and narrow. Religious is a set of metaphors folks and it is tried and it’s true and it works.

I really resist this weird open-minded and their parochial. I think that is just a different way of saying there elite and there not.

Question 10: My question is about the Presidential elections, as you mentioned inaudible,.. education, technology and also social order. The new French President Emmanuel Macron said in his victory speech he expected the people who are inaudible… so I think he will implement vocational training and education inaudible.. do you think that will be enough to solve all the problems?

Joan Williams: No, but at least he is saying the right things, we are not there as Democrats in the United States. Democrats in the United States were just saying these ignorant, racist people we are not going to give in to them. So hats off to Macron and that begins to address the social honour problem and that is a good thing. We also need to deliver decent jobs for people who are not university graduates and that is a very hard thing. Again, if you give social honour you acknowledge people’s justifiable anger although it is often directed at the wrong people. That is kind of the nature of anger isn’t it. You begin to work on the dog’s thing, I think we are going to buy ourselves quite a different political climate.

Kyle Orton: I am afraid that has to be the last question we have run out of time, books are going to be on sale outside, thank you very much for coming and thank you to our audience.


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