Cheaper cars and jeans cannot compensate for the loss of work with dignity.
This problem is not quantifiable, which, in the minds of many economists and others, renders it unreal. I am doing better economically than most people my age, but now that my first child is getting ready for college, it occurred to me the other day that I do not believe that my children will be more secure economically than their mother and I are.
Your neighborhood might have gone from relatively stable to being dominated by immigrants who did not speak your language and did not share your way of life.
I remember around 2005 or so visiting an elementary school in a poor part of Dallas, a Christian school serving the children of immigrants, and listening to a sweet Latino boy deliver a history report about his hero, Santa Anna.
They see that their adult children, and their grandchildren, have less job security than they do.
They see the rich getting richer and everybody else stalling out or declining.
It doesn't make sense to talk about overall economic gains to the American economy when so many of those gains have aggregated towards the top.
You can also talk about how much cheaper globalization makes everyday consumer products, and how much that benefits the working class, but that does not compensate for the loss of meaningful employment, versus service-sector jobs that pay far less and have less dignity than what they replaced.
Finally, it is true that globalization has helped hundreds of millions around the world out of grinding poverty.
But they are an abstraction to working-class Americans who have been made to bear a far disproportionate amount of the burden from policies that benefited foreigners -- and well-to-do Americans.