Hillary Clinton has now locked in the Democratic nomination for President, and it is time to look ahead to the general election. It remains to be seen whether Bernie Sanders and his supporters can force progressive economic policies to the forefront. But the early signs are disappointing. So far, the Trump-Clinton race seems likely to be light on policy substance and heavy on negative personal attacks.
The obvious loser in a no-issues campaign would be American democracy, with voters casting ballots based on gut feeling rather than informed opinion. But the less-obvious winners would be the rich. Without a serious effort to enact tax and transfer policies that can check economic inequality, America will continue down the path to a new Gilded Age of extreme inequality.