What working-class Americans really want, CNN2020-10-19T22:12:09+00:00
10.19.2020 // NEWS, Publications
What working-class Americans really want, CNN

In an opinion piece that was published on October 18, 2020 by CNN, James T. McDermott, the head of Ball Janik’s Commercial Litigation Department and past Chairman, discusses how capitalists should consider rebalancing the current system.


“American capitalism in the past 40 years has overvalued capital and devalued the dignity of work,” writes McDermott. “That needs to be corrected. America’s workers don’t want handouts, but they deserve a baseline social welfare infrastructure that allows them the opportunity to climb the economic ladder while offering a decent safety net if they stumble. This means higher wages for their work and reliable, accessible and affordable health care. Not all Americans can be entrepreneurs or innovators. But working Americans still want to work hard, contribute to a common enterprise and have a greater measure of financial success.”


McDermott explains that Covid-19 has magnified the holes in the U.S. social safety net and that too many working people are having to collect unemployment and wait for those benefits to arrive. He also says the pandemic has widened the gap between workers and the financial elite. McDermott writes “hopefully, policymakers finally will rectify this in 2021.”


“What both the 1% and the working class need to remember, though, is that they actually have a common bond: the need to feel that their lives have a meaningful upward trajectory,” writes McDermott. “I should know. I’ve inhabited both groups, starting with the factory and gas station jobs that set me on my way so many years ago. I’ve learned that rebalancing capitalism stands the best chance of healing America’s current divisions.”


To read the article in full, click here.



Ball Janik LLP was founded in 1982 with six lawyers and a four-person support staff in Portland, Oregon. Since our firm’s inception, we have expanded our capabilities, our professionals, and geographic footprint. What started as a firm focused in real property and land use (known then as Ball Janik & Novack), has grown to include the insights of a team of 30-plus attorneys, with a combined six centuries of experience, and capabilities including Real Estate and Land Use, Construction Defect, Commercial Litigation, Insurance Recovery, Construction and Design, Employment, Finance and Corporate, Public Agencies and Schools, and Community Associations. With offices in Florida and Oregon, our regional growth has earned us a national reputation for upholding the rights of our clients.

Ball Janik LLP has been recognized by Chambers USA, U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers®, The Best Lawyers in America©, and Corporate International. Ball Janik LLP’s success and integrity have repeatedly made it one of “Oregon’s Most Admired Professional Firms,” according to the Portland Business Journal’s survey results of CEOs throughout the region.

James T. McDermott
Portland, Oregon