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2 Burnside American Studies- Politics

Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer--And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class

by

Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer--And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A groundbreaking work that identifies the real culprit behind one of the great economic crimes of our time— the growing inequality of incomes between the vast majority of Americans and the richest of the rich.

We all know that the very rich have gotten a lot richer these past few decades while most Americans haven’t. In fact, the exorbitantly paid have continued to thrive during the current economic crisis, even as the rest of Americans have continued to fall behind. Why do the “haveit- alls” have so much more? And how have they managed to restructure the economy to reap the lion’s share of the gains and shift the costs of their new economic playground downward, tearing new holes in the safety net and saddling all of us with increased debt and risk? Lots of so-called experts claim to have solved this great mystery, but no one has really gotten to the bottom of it—until now.

In their lively and provocative Winner-Take-All Politics, renowned political scientists Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson demonstrate convincingly that the usual suspects—foreign trade and financial globalization, technological changes in the workplace, increased education at the top—are largely innocent of the charges against them. Instead, they indict an unlikely suspect and take us on an entertaining tour of the mountain of evidence against the culprit. The guilty party is American politics. Runaway inequality and the present economic crisis reflect what government has done to aid the rich and what it has not done to safeguard the interests of the middle class. The winner-take-all economy is primarily a result of winner-take-all politics.

In an innovative historical departure, Hacker and Pierson trace the rise of the winner-take-all economy back to the late 1970s when, under a Democratic president and a Democratic Congress, a major transformation of American politics occurred. With big business and conservative ideologues organizing themselves to undo the regulations and progressive tax policies that had helped ensure a fair distribution of economic rewards, deregulation got under way, taxes were cut for the wealthiest, and business decisively defeated labor in Washington. And this transformation continued under Reagan and the Bushes as well as under Clinton, with both parties catering to the interests of those at the very top. Hacker and Pierson’s gripping narration of the epic battles waged during President Obama’s first two years in office reveals an unpleasant but catalyzing truth: winner-take-all politics, while under challenge, is still very much with us.

Winner-Take-All Politics—part revelatory history, part political analysis, part intellectual journey— shows how a political system that traditionally has been responsive to the interests of the middle class has been hijacked by the superrich. In doing so, it not only changes how we think about American politics, but also points the way to rebuilding a democracy that serves the interests of the many rather than just those of the wealthy few.

Synopsis:

Eight of the last twelve presidents were millionaires when they took office. Millionaires have a majority on the Supreme Court, and they also make up majorities in Congress, where a background in business or law is the norm and the average member has spent less than two percent of his or her adult life in a working-class job. Why is it that most politicians in America are so much better off than the people who elect themandmdash; and does the social class divide between citizens and their representatives matter?

With White-Collar Government, Nicholas Carnes answers this question with a resoundingandmdash;and disturbingandmdash;yes. Legislatorsandrsquo; socioeconomic backgrounds, he shows, have a profound impact on both how they view the issues and the choices they make in office. Scant representation from among the working class almost guarantees that the policymaking process will be skewed toward outcomes that favor the upper class. It matters that the wealthiest Americans set the tax rates for the wealthy, that white-collar professionals choose the minimum wage for blue-collar workers, and that people who have always had health insurance decide whether or not to help those without. And while there is no one cause for this crisis of representation, Carnes shows that the problem does not stem from a lack of qualified candidates from among the working class. The solution, he argues, must involve a variety of changes, from the equalization of campaign funding to a shift in the types of candidates the parties support.

If we want a government for the people, we have to start working toward a government that is truly by the people. White-Collar Government challenges long-held notions about the causes of political inequality in the United States and speaks to enduring questions about representation and political accountability.

About the Author

Jacob S. Hacker is the Stanley B. Resor Professor of Political Science at Yale University. A Fellow at the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C., he is the author of The Great Risk Shift: The New Economic Insecurity and the Decline of the American Dream (a New York Times 'editors' choice), The Divided Welfare State, and, with Paul Pierson, of Off Center: The Republican Revolution and the Erosion of American Democracy. He has appeared recently on The NewsHour, MSNBC, All Things Considered, and Marketplace. He lives in New Haven, CT.Paul Pierson is Professor of Political Science and holder of the Avice Saint Chair of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He is the author of Politics in Time, Dismantling the Welfare State?, and (with Jacob S. Hacker) Off Center. His commentary has recently appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, and The New Republic. He lives in Berkeley, CA.

Table of Contents

1and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; White-Collar Government

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; What Is Class?
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; The Unequal Social Class Makeup of American Political Institutions
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; The Elephant in the Room
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Why Does Class Matter?
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; The Evidence
and#160;
2and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Voting with Class
and#160;
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Legislative Voting as a Window into the Importance of Class
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Measuring the Divisions
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Class and Legislative Voting Today
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Class and Legislative Voting during the Postwar Period
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; The Enduring Imprint of Class
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Representational Inequality in andldquo;Ayesandrdquo; and andldquo;Naysandrdquo;
and#160;
3and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Before the Votes are Cast
and#160;
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Legislative Entrepreneurs
The Role of Class
Measuring Legislative Entrepreneurship
The Policies Legislators Propose
The Policies Legislators Pass
Leaving the Working Class Off the Agenda
and#160;
4and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Class, Opinions, and Choices
and#160;
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Out of Touch, or Out of Step?
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Inside the Mind of a Member of Congress
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; The Importance of Opinions
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Whoandrsquo;s Out of Touch Now?
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Out-of-Step Government
and#160;
5and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Economic Policy Making in Class-Imbalanced Legislatures
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;
Representation and Policy Making
What Would a Class-Balanced Congress Have Done?
When the Working Class Holds Office
Blue-Collar Government
The Economic Consequences of White-Collar Government
and#160;
6and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Fixing the Broken Mirror
and#160;
Whatandrsquo;s Keeping the Working Class Out of Office?
Thinking Bigger about Inequalityand#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;
Up Front There Oughtandrsquo;a Be a Man in Black
and#160;
and#160;
Notes
References
and#160;
Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9781416588702
Author:
Hacker, Jacob
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Author:
Pierson, Paul
Author:
Hacker, Jacob S.
Author:
Carnes, Nicholas
Subject:
Public Policy
Subject:
Politics - General
Subject:
Congress
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Series:
Chicago Studies in American Politics
Publication Date:
20110331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
61 line drawings, 8 tables
Pages:
200
Dimensions:
8.44 x 5.5 in

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Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer--And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class Used Trade Paper
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Product details 200 pages Simon & Schuster - English 9781416588702 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Eight of the last twelve presidents were millionaires when they took office. Millionaires have a majority on the Supreme Court, and they also make up majorities in Congress, where a background in business or law is the norm and the average member has spent less than two percent of his or her adult life in a working-class job. Why is it that most politicians in America are so much better off than the people who elect themandmdash; and does the social class divide between citizens and their representatives matter?

With White-Collar Government, Nicholas Carnes answers this question with a resoundingandmdash;and disturbingandmdash;yes. Legislatorsandrsquo; socioeconomic backgrounds, he shows, have a profound impact on both how they view the issues and the choices they make in office. Scant representation from among the working class almost guarantees that the policymaking process will be skewed toward outcomes that favor the upper class. It matters that the wealthiest Americans set the tax rates for the wealthy, that white-collar professionals choose the minimum wage for blue-collar workers, and that people who have always had health insurance decide whether or not to help those without. And while there is no one cause for this crisis of representation, Carnes shows that the problem does not stem from a lack of qualified candidates from among the working class. The solution, he argues, must involve a variety of changes, from the equalization of campaign funding to a shift in the types of candidates the parties support.

If we want a government for the people, we have to start working toward a government that is truly by the people. White-Collar Government challenges long-held notions about the causes of political inequality in the United States and speaks to enduring questions about representation and political accountability.

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