Meanwhile, America has voted for decade after decade of tax-and-spend, borrow-and-spend, or some hybrid of the two. If the white working class is now discontented with the government’s failure to redress their grievances, this is in no small part due to the ingrained American expectation that government will do so, based on the observation that government typically hungers to increase government dependency (not that the white working class would use these terms).

Developed nations’ embrace of the welfare state generally contributes to lower fertility rates and increasing reliance on immigrants to support government programs. This has gone generally unobserved by America’s current crop of populists, but not by America’s elites. This pattern may or may not work better than it has in Europe. In either event, the current elites will have moved on to more lucrative work (or retirement or death) by the time we discover the answer. The populists and pensioners will also have received their benefits, passing the bill along to the younger generations whom they have educated to accept it (or so they hope).

In sum, while it is correct to note that elites are not doing their jobs well, it is more difficult to conclude that elites have not been responding to the political demands of the American public as much as they have driven them. Ironically, Rausch once understood the problem of demosclerosis, even if he did not understand it as the inevitable product of progressivism, rather than a mere side-effect thereof.