If the GOP really wants wages to go up for everyone, not in a handful of boutique industries or among workers of a certain skillset, but throughout the American workforce as a whole, then they need to commit themselves to something far more radical than an arbitrary reduction in individual and corporate tax rates. Our entire economy needs to be reshaped, by a dexterous and powerful hand, into something more recognizably human.
We need to get families out of what Elizabeth Warren has called the “two-income trap,” in which they are at the mercy of car payments and commuting costs and daycare fees; we need to eliminate, by loan forgiveness and strict federal price controls on tuition and student housing, the crippling levels of college debt that have turned at least two generations into indentured servants holding worthless pieces of paper. We must increase rather than eliminate regulations on financial institutions — indeed, we must undertake a thoroughgoing definancialization of the economy. We need the infrastructure spending and heavy manufacturing jobs promised by Trump, but we also need young people to learn carpentry and other traditional crafts. People need more money, but they also need a lot less ugliness in their lives.