Candidates for an age of anxiety

One of the mysteries attending the eclipse of the political centre and the rise of left and right, both in the United States and in Europe, is why it has taken so many by surprise. When economies fundamentally alter their course, to the detriment of most, a radical shift in nations’ politics — for both better and worse — shouldn’t be so astounding, particularly when an economy’s dysfunctions have been clear for many years.

America’s economic dysfunctions have been apparent for decades: The decline of manufacturing, which provided middle-income jobs to millions, and the burgeoning of the low-wage service sector […]