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

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

ISBN13: 9781416588696
ISBN10: 1416588698
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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.

Review:

"Perhaps you haven't heard: over the last 30 years the middle class has shriveled while the wealthy enjoy the skewed economics of the gilded age. The authors do their best to blow the dust off of their subject by taking a close look at this political '30 year war' and carefully parsing its roots. Corporate coalitions, lobbying, tax policies geared to the wealthy, and the extreme use of the 'rule of 60' filibuster have tipped the scales and ultimately heaped blame onto the majority party. While Government can affect the distribution of wealth, it doesn't catch up with economic realities in time, and a changing Washington blocks attempts at reform. Where moderates used to rule the swing vote, now radical conservatives have taken hold. Unions are powerless, public interest groups prevail, and Christian conservatives drag Republicans ever right. Meanwhile, voters remain poorly informed. Though they never shed the sheen of 'old news,' Hacker and Pierson end on a note of optimism: the middle class can take the majority again with a 'politics of renewal' shepherded in on a wave of 'mass engagement' and 'elite leadership.'
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved." Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)

Synopsis:

A ground-breaking book on one of the great economic crises of our time — why the richest of the rich are getting richer while we're not.

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.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

David C. Mace, January 2, 2011 (view all comments by David C. Mace)
An excellent,penetrating analysis of how the Democratic Party became the other business party, abandoned unions and the middle class, leaving only the limosine liberal social issues as the diffence.
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kbob7777, December 16, 2010 (view all comments by kbob7777)
I agree with what Hacker says about our economic situation, but he has to get his ideas to the public through the media(news).To do that he would have to own his own media company. Most people watch world news every night but the news is slanted. For instance, gasoline, when it was so high, was blamed on us for driving too much and wasting gas causing a shortage in gas. The real truth was that billionaires were buying up the futures and holding it till the price got right. When the economy started going bad the billionaires started turning loose of the oil they were holding. As prices fell OPEC began shutting down supplies and oil still fell. All the media could say was that people had cut back on their consumption of oil, when in reality consumption never changed, only supply, which was controlled by marketeers which were individuals with billions to spend. Bailing them out only hurts the middle class. And the political elected cave in to the big-money people. But,again, these truths have to get to the people through the media, not just a publication.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781416588696
Author:
Hacker, Jacob S.
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Author:
Pierson, Paul
Subject:
Public Policy - General
Subject:
Economic Conditions
Subject:
Political Process - General
Subject:
Public Policy - Economic Policy
Subject:
Government - U.S. Government
Subject:
Public Policy
Subject:
Politics - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20100931
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.125 in

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Related Subjects

Children's » Activities » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics

Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer--And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$27.00 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Simon & Schuster - English 9781416588696 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Perhaps you haven't heard: over the last 30 years the middle class has shriveled while the wealthy enjoy the skewed economics of the gilded age. The authors do their best to blow the dust off of their subject by taking a close look at this political '30 year war' and carefully parsing its roots. Corporate coalitions, lobbying, tax policies geared to the wealthy, and the extreme use of the 'rule of 60' filibuster have tipped the scales and ultimately heaped blame onto the majority party. While Government can affect the distribution of wealth, it doesn't catch up with economic realities in time, and a changing Washington blocks attempts at reform. Where moderates used to rule the swing vote, now radical conservatives have taken hold. Unions are powerless, public interest groups prevail, and Christian conservatives drag Republicans ever right. Meanwhile, voters remain poorly informed. Though they never shed the sheen of 'old news,' Hacker and Pierson end on a note of optimism: the middle class can take the majority again with a 'politics of renewal' shepherded in on a wave of 'mass engagement' and 'elite leadership.'
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved." Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Synopsis" by , A ground-breaking book on one of the great economic crises of our time — why the richest of the rich are getting richer while we're not.
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