Trump’s not populist enough

It’s easy to see a Trump counter, in rough outline. One focus should be work. Oren Cass of the Manhattan Institute has written a new book, “The Once and Future Worker,” that is a guide to new conservative thinking on how to support a healthy labor market. The Trump team should crib from it freely. A central idea in the book is a wage subsidy for low-wage work.

Another broad category should be the cost of living, especially health care and college. Although you wouldn’t know it from the midterm campaign, conservatives do have proposals to deal with pre-existing conditions, even if few Republican candidates seemed aware of them. The thrust of the GOP health care agenda is to reduce costs to consumers, a theme Trump should emphasize. Hospitals are a key driver of health care spending and deserve much more critical scrutiny.

It should be natural to take on the costs of higher education, driven in part by the unintended consequences of federal programs, and promote alternative means of training and accreditation besides four-year college. The higher-education establishment is obviously politically uncongenial to Republicans, and Trump, of all politicians, should want to promote the interests of young people entering the workforce without a four-year degree.

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