Unequal Democracy

The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age

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Author: Larry M. Bartels

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400883369

Category: Political Science

Page: 424

View: 4640

Bartels’s acclaimed examination of how the American political system favors the wealthy—now fully revised and expanded The first edition of Unequal Democracy was an instant classic, shattering illusions about American democracy and spurring scholarly and popular interest in the political causes and consequences of escalating economic inequality. This revised, updated, and expanded second edition includes two new chapters on the political economy of the Obama era. One presents the Great Recession as a "stress test" of the American political system by analyzing the 2008 election and the impact of Barack Obama's "New New Deal" on the economic fortunes of the rich, middle class, and poor. The other assesses the politics of inequality in the wake of the Occupy Wall Street movement, the 2012 election, and the partisan gridlock of Obama’s second term. Larry Bartels offers a sobering account of the barriers to change posed by partisan ideologies and the political power of the wealthy. He also provides new analyses of tax policy, partisan differences in economic performance, the struggle to raise the minimum wage, and inequalities in congressional representation. President Obama identified inequality as "the defining challenge of our time." Unequal Democracy is the definitive account of how and why our political system has failed to rise to that challenge. Now more than ever, this is a book every American needs to read.

Unequal Democracy

The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age

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Author: Larry M. Bartels

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400828357

Category: Political Science

Page: 344

View: 8365

Using a vast swath of data spanning the past six decades, Unequal Democracy debunks many myths about politics in contemporary America, using the widening gap between the rich and the poor to shed disturbing light on the workings of American democracy. Larry Bartels shows the gap between the rich and poor has increased greatly under Republican administrations and decreased slightly under Democrats, leaving America grossly unequal. This is not simply the result of economic forces, but the product of broad-reaching policy choices in a political system dominated by partisan ideologies and the interests of the wealthy. Bartels demonstrates that elected officials respond to the views of affluent constituents but ignore the views of poor people. He shows that Republican presidents in particular have consistently produced much less income growth for middle-class and working-poor families than for affluent families, greatly increasing inequality. He provides revealing case studies of key policy shifts contributing to inequality, including the massive Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 and the erosion of the minimum wage. Finally, he challenges conventional explanations for why many voters seem to vote against their own economic interests, contending that working-class voters have not been lured into the Republican camp by "values issues" like abortion and gay marriage, as commonly believed, but that Republican presidents have been remarkably successful in timing income growth to cater to short-sighted voters. Unequal Democracy is social science at its very best. It provides a deep and searching analysis of the political causes and consequences of America's growing income gap, and a sobering assessment of the capacity of the American political system to live up to its democratic ideals.

Summary: Unequal Democracy

Review and Analysis of Larry M. Bartels's Book

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Author: BusinessNews Publishing

Publisher: Primento

ISBN: 2511002779

Category: Political Science

Page: 44

View: 9148

The must-read summary of Larry M. Bartels’ book: “Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age”. This complete summary of "Unequal Democracy" by Larry M. Bartels, a prominent American political scientist, presents his account of the truth behind several myths about American politics. In his book, the author mainly exposes the fact that the gap between the rich and the poor has widened considerably under Republican administrations, leaving the country completely unequal. Bartels argues that this is due to the political choices made by governments that favor the wealthy. Added-value of this summary:• Save time • Understand the wealth gap in America • Expand your knowledge of American politics and economics To learn more, read “Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age” to investigate the consequences of America’s income gap and the ability to satisfy democratic ideals.

The Unheavenly Chorus

Unequal Political Voice and the Broken Promise of American Democracy

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Author: Kay Lehman Schlozman,Sidney Verba,Henry E. Brady

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691154848

Category: Political Science

Page: 693

View: 8870

"The Unheavenly Chorus is classic Schlozman, Verba, and Brady: a timely, deeply researched examination of participatory inequalities in American civic life. Ranging broadly from interest groups to voting to protests and social movements, the authors use their combined decades of research and reflection to paint a powerful and revealing picture of the landscape of citizen involvement in politics--and the stark tilt of that landscape toward those at the top of the economic ladder. Essential reading."--Jacob S. Hacker, coauthor of Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer--and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class "The Unheavenly Chorus is the definitive study of participatory inequality in America. Marshaling prodigious evidence, the authors show how money not only buys influence directly but also affects associations that are supposed to be democratic antidotes to concentrated wealth. A monumental achievement of careful scholarship, this book offers real knowledge of how politics actually operates."--Robert Kuttner, coeditor, The American Prospect "Here, finally, is the analysis we've been waiting for. With extraordinary rigor and utmost care, three of the nation's most eminent political scientists show beyond a doubt how participation in American politics is inextricably linked to income and education. The most affluent and best-educated citizens are consistently overrepresented, which threatens the core democratic principle of equal responsiveness to all. This is a masterful work, certain to be a classic."--Robert Reich, University of California, Berkeley "This book is one of a kind. It represents a major statement about the current state of American democracy, political participation, social class, and social inequality. The Unheavenly Chorus gives overwhelming evidence that something is wrong with our political system and needs to be fixed. I believe this is one of the most important books of the decade."--Frank R. Baumgartner, coauthor of Agendas and Instability in American Politics "What the authors have done here is to write a book about both majoritarian and pluralist democracy--and the shortcomings of each. They forcefully convey that our democracy is ill and that the statistics they've assembled are not abstractions but represent inequality of opportunity in everyday life. In its own dignified and scholarly way, The Unheavenly Chorus voices outrage."--Jeffrey M. Berry, coeditor of The Oxford Handbook of American Political Parties and Interest Groups "The Unheavenly Chorus is a tour de force. It attacks a timely yet timeless set of issues that are critical to understanding the extent of--and possibilities for--democratic governance and political equality. Instead of a heavenly chorus, the authors find a cacophony of deep, enduring, and cumulative inequalities of political voice."--Dara Z. Strolovitch, author of Affirmative Advocacy: Race, Class, and Gender in Interest Group Politics

Tyranny of the Minority

The Subconstituency Politics Theory of Representation

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Author: Benjamin Bishin

Publisher: Temple University Press

ISBN: 1592136605

Category: Political Science

Page: 216

View: 7718

Why do special interests defeat the people's will in American politics?

Presidential Primaries and the Dynamics of Public Choice

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Author: Larry M. Bartels

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691022836

Category: Political Science

Page: 374

View: 8782

This innovative study blends sophisticated statistical analyses, campaign anecdotes, and penetrating political insight to produce a fascinating exploration of one of America's most controversial political institutions--the process by which our major parties nominate candidates for the presidency. Larry Bartels focuses on the nature and impact of "momentum" in the contemporary nominating system. He describes the complex interconnections among primary election results, expectations, and subsequent primary results that have made it possible for candidates like Jimmy Carter, George Bush, and Gary Hart to emerge from relative obscurity into political prominence in recent nominating campaigns. In the course of his analysis, he addresses questions central to any understanding--or evaluation--of the modern nominating process. How do fundamental political predispositions influence the behavior of primary voters? How quickly does the public learn about new candidates? Under what circumstances will primary success itself generate subsequent primary success? And what are the psychological processes underlying this dynamic tendency? Professor Bartels examines the likely consequences of some proposed alternatives to the current nominating process, including a regional primary system and a one-day national primary. Thus the work will be of interest to political activists, would-be reformers, and interested observers of the American political scene, as well as to students of public opinion, voting behavior, the news media, campaigns, and electoral institutions.

Mass Politics in Tough Times

Opinions, Votes and Protest in the Great Recession

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Author: Larry Bartels,Nancy Bermeo

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019935751X

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 375

View: 809

In Mass Politics in Tough Times, the eminent political scientists Larry Bartels and Nancy Bermeo have gathered a group of leading scholars to analyze the political responses to the Great Recession in the US, Western Europe, and East-Central Europe.

The Myth of Digital Democracy

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Author: Matthew Hindman

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691138680

Category: Computers

Page: 181

View: 781

Is the Internet democratizing American politics? Do political Web sites and blogs mobilize inactive citizens and make the public sphere more inclusive? The Myth of Digital Democracy reveals that, contrary to popular belief, the Internet has done little to broaden political discourse but in fact empowers a small set of elites--some new, but most familiar. Matthew Hindman argues that, though hundreds of thousands of Americans blog about politics, blogs receive only a miniscule portion of Web traffic, and most blog readership goes to a handful of mainstream, highly educated professionals. He shows how, despite the wealth of independent Web sites, online news audiences are concentrated on the top twenty outlets, and online organizing and fund-raising are dominated by a few powerful interest groups. Hindman tracks nearly three million Web pages, analyzing how their links are structured, how citizens search for political content, and how leading search engines like Google and Yahoo! funnel traffic to popular outlets. He finds that while the Internet has increased some forms of political participation and transformed the way interest groups and candidates organize, mobilize, and raise funds, elites still strongly shape how political material on the Web is presented and accessed. The Myth of Digital Democracy. debunks popular notions about political discourse in the digital age, revealing how the Internet has neither diminished the audience share of corporate media nor given greater voice to ordinary citizens.

Building Red America

The New Conservative Coalition and the Drive for Permanent Power

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Author: Thomas B. Edsall

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465018165

Category: Political Science

Page: 320

View: 2451

This is a masterful-and disturbing-work of political journalism that challenges all of us to wake up and take heed

Giving Kids a Fair Chance

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Author: James J. Heckman

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262019132

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 137

View: 3482

In Giving Kids a Fair Chance, Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman argues that the accident of birth is the greatest source of inequality in America today. Children born into disadvantage are, by the time they start kindergarten, already at risk of dropping out of school, teen pregnancy, crime, and a lifetime of low-wage work. This is bad for all those born into disadvantage and bad for American society. Current social and education policies directed toward children focus on improving cognition, yet success in life requires more than smarts. Heckman calls for a refocus of social policy toward early childhood interventions designed to enhance both cognitive abilities and such non-cognitive skills as confidence and perseverance. This new focus on preschool intervention would emphasize improving the early environments of disadvantaged children and increasing the quality of parenting while respecting the primacy of the family and America's cultural diversity. Heckman shows that acting early has much greater positive economic and social impact than later interventions -- which range from reduced pupil-teacher ratios to adult literacy programs to expenditures on police -- that draw the most attention in the public policy debate. At a time when state and local budgets for early interventions are being cut, Heckman issues an urgent call for action and offers some practical steps for how to design and pay for new programs. The debate that follows delves deeply into some of the most fraught questions of our time: the sources of inequality, the role of schools in solving social problems, and how to invest public resources most effectively. Mike Rose, Geoffrey Canada, Charles Murray, Carol Dweck, Annette Lareau, and other prominent experts participate.

Winner-Take-All Politics

How Washington Made the Rich Richer--and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class

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Author: Jacob S. Hacker,Paul Pierson

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1416588701

Category: Political Science

Page: 357

View: 3780

Analyzes the growing divide between the incomes of the wealthy class and those of middle-income Americans, exonerating popular suspects to argue that the nation's political system promotes greed and under-representation.

Affluence and Influence

Economic Inequality and Political Power in America

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Author: Martin Gilens

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691153973

Category: Political Science

Page: 329

View: 3056

Can a country be a democracy if its government only responds to the preferences of the rich? In an ideal democracy, all citizens should have equal influence on government policy--but as this book demonstrates, America's policymakers respond almost exclusively to the preferences of the economically advantaged. Affluence and Influence definitively explores how political inequality in the United States has evolved over the last several decades and how this growing disparity has been shaped by interest groups, parties, and elections. With sharp analysis and an impressive range of data, Martin Gilens looks at thousands of proposed policy changes, and the degree of support for each among poor, middle-class, and affluent Americans. His findings are staggering: when preferences of low- or middle-income Americans diverge from those of the affluent, there is virtually no relationship between policy outcomes and the desires of less advantaged groups. In contrast, affluent Americans' preferences exhibit a substantial relationship with policy outcomes whether their preferences are shared by lower-income groups or not. Gilens shows that representational inequality is spread widely across different policy domains and time periods. Yet Gilens also shows that under specific circumstances the preferences of the middle class and, to a lesser extent, the poor, do seem to matter. In particular, impending elections--especially presidential elections--and an even partisan division in Congress mitigate representational inequality and boost responsiveness to the preferences of the broader public. At a time when economic and political inequality in the United States only continues to rise, Affluence and Influence raises important questions about whether American democracy is truly responding to the needs of all its citizens.

The Great Divergence

America's Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do about It

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Author: Timothy Noah

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1608196348

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 272

View: 7313

For the past three decades, America has steadily become a nation of haves and have-nots. Our incomes are increasingly unequal. This steady growing apart is often mentioned as a troubling indicator by scholars and policy analysts, though seldom addressed by politicians. What economics Nobelist Paul Krugman terms "the Great Divergence" has till now been treated as little more than a talking point, a rhetorical club to be wielded in ideological battles. But this Great Divergence may be the most important change in this country during our lifetimes-a drastic, elemental change in the character of American society, and not at all for the better. The inequality gap is much more than a left-right hot potato-its causes and consequences call for a patient, non-partisan exploration. Timothy Noah's The Great Divergence, based on his award-winning series of articles for Slate, surveys the roots of the wealth gap, drawing on the best thinking of contemporary economists and political scientists. Noah also explores potential solutions to the problem, and explores why the growing rich-poor divide has sparked remarkably little public anger, in contrast to social unrest that prevailed before the New Deal. The Great Divergence is poised to be one of the most talked-about books of 2012, a jump-start to the national conversation about the shape of American society in the 21st century, and a work that will help frame the debate in a Presidential election year.

On Political Equality

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Author: Robert Alan Dahl

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 9780300126877

Category: Political Science

Page: 142

View: 4490

Robert A. Dahl, one of the world’s most influential and respected political scientists, has spent a lifetime exploring the institutions and practices of democracy in such landmark books as Who Governs?, On Democracy, and How Democratic Is the American Constitution? Here, Dahl looks at the fundamental issue of equality and how and why governments have fallen short of their democratic ideals. At the center of the book is the question of whether the goal of political equality is so far beyond our human limits that it should be abandoned in favor of more attainable ends, or if there are ways to realistically address and reduce inequities. Though complete equality is unattainable, Dahl argues that strides toward that ideal are both desirable and feasible. He shows the remarkable shift in recent centuries toward democracy and political equality the world over. He explores the growth of democratic institutions, the expansion of citizenship, and the various obstacles that stand in the way of gains in political equality. Dahl also looks at the motives, particularly those of emotion and reason, that play such a crucial role in the struggle for equality. In conclusion, Dahl assesses the contemporary political landscape in the United States. He looks at the likelihood of political inequality increasing, and poses one scenario in which Americans grow more unequal in their influence over their government. The counter scenario foresees a cultural shift in which citizens, rejecting what Dahl calls "competitive consumerism,” invest time and energy in civic action and work to reduce the inequality that now exists among Americans.

Myth of the Social Volcano

Perceptions of Inequality and Distributive Injustice in Contemporary China

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Author: Martin Whyte

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 0804769419

Category: Social Science

Page: 250

View: 8634

This book reports the results of the first systematic nationwide survey in China of the attitudes that ordinary Chinese citizens have toward increased inequalities generated by the market reform program launched in 1978.

Wealth and Democracy

A Political History of the American Rich

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Author: Kevin P. Phillips

Publisher: Broadway

ISBN: 0767905342

Category: History

Page: 473

View: 7161

Explores the history of the American rich, from the founding of the nation to the present day, exposing a detrimental political pattern that has hindered the democratic process and profoundly impacted the nation's economy.

The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution

Why Economic Inequality Threatens Our Republic

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Author: Ganesh Sitaraman

Publisher: Knopf

ISBN: 0451493915

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 423

View: 9517

"Argues that America's strong and sizable middle class is actually embedded in the framework of the nation's government and its founding document and discusses the necessity of taking equality-establishing measures,"--NoveList.

America Beyond Capitalism

Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty, and Our Democracy

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Author: Gar Alperovitz,James Gustave Speth

Publisher: Democracy Collaborative Pres

ISBN: 0984785701

Category: Political Science

Page: 321

View: 9467

2011 edition, with a new introduction by the author and a new foreword by James Gustave Speth As discontent with the economic and political status quo mounts in the wake of the "great recession," America Beyond Capitalism is a book whose time has come. Gar Alperovitz's expert diagnosis of the long-term structural crisis of the American economic and political system is accompanied by detailed, practical answers to the problems we face as a society. Unlike many books that reserve a few pages of a concluding chapter to offer generalized, tentative solutions, Alperovitz marshals years of research into emerging "new economy" strategies to present a comprehensive picture of practical bottom-up efforts currently underway in thousands of communities across the United States. All democratize wealth and empower communities, not corporations: worker-ownership, cooperatives, community land trusts, social enterprises, along with many supporting municipal, state and longer term federal strategies as well. America Beyond Capitalism is a call to arms, an eminently practical roadmap for laying foundations to change a faltering system that increasingly fails to sustain the great American values of equality, liberty and meaningful democracy. Gar Alperovitz is the Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland and co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative. He is the author of numerous books, including Unjust Deserts (with Lew Daly), Making a Place For Community (with Thad Williamson and David Imbroscio), Rebuilding America (with Jeff Faux) and, in connection with foreign policy, Atomic Diplomacy and The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb.

Democracy for Realists

Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government

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Author: Christopher H. Achen,Larry M. Bartels

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400888743

Category: Political Science

Page: 408

View: 6065

Democracy for Realists assails the romantic folk-theory at the heart of contemporary thinking about democratic politics and government, and offers a provocative alternative view grounded in the actual human nature of democratic citizens. Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels deploy a wealth of social-scientific evidence, including ingenious original analyses of topics ranging from abortion politics and budget deficits to the Great Depression and shark attacks, to show that the familiar ideal of thoughtful citizens steering the ship of state from the voting booth is fundamentally misguided. They demonstrate that voters—even those who are well informed and politically engaged—mostly choose parties and candidates on the basis of social identities and partisan loyalties, not political issues. They also show that voters adjust their policy views and even their perceptions of basic matters of fact to match those loyalties. When parties are roughly evenly matched, elections often turn on irrelevant or misleading considerations such as economic spurts or downturns beyond the incumbents' control; the outcomes are essentially random. Thus, voters do not control the course of public policy, even indirectly. Achen and Bartels argue that democratic theory needs to be founded on identity groups and political parties, not on the preferences of individual voters. Now with new analysis of the 2016 elections, Democracy for Realists provides a powerful challenge to conventional thinking, pointing the way toward a fundamentally different understanding of the realities and potential of democratic government.

The Givers

Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age

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Author: David Callahan

Publisher: Knopf

ISBN: 1101947055

Category: POLITICAL SCIENCE

Page: 343

View: 4508

An inside look at the secretive world of elite philanthropists--and how they're quietly wielding ever more power to shape American life in ways both good and bad. While media attention focuses on famous philanthropists such as Bill Gates and Charles Koch, thousands of donors are at work below the radar promoting a wide range of causes. David Callahan charts the rise of these new power players and the ways they are converting the fortunes of a second Gilded Age into influence. He shows how this elite works behind the scenes on education, the environment, science, LGBT rights, and many other issues--with deep impact on government policy. Above all, he shows that the influence of the Givers is only just beginning, as new waves of billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg turn to philanthropy. Based on extensive research and interviews with countless donors and policy experts, this is not a brief for or against the Givers, but a fascinating investigation of a power shift in American society that has implications for us all.