Class War

Author: Benjamin I. Page
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226644561
Release Date: 2009-08-01
Genre: Political Science

Recent battles in Washington over how to fix America’s fiscal failures strengthened the widespread impression that economic issues sharply divide average citizens. Indeed, many commentators split Americans into two opposing groups: uncompromising supporters of unfettered free markets and advocates for government solutions to economic problems. But such dichotomies, Benjamin Page and Lawrence Jacobs contend, ring false. In Class War? they present compelling evidence that most Americans favor free enterprise and practical government programs to distribute wealth more equitably. At every income level and in both major political parties, majorities embrace conservative egalitarianism—a philosophy that prizes individualism and self-reliance as well as public intervention to help Americans pursue these ideals on a level playing field. Drawing on hundreds of opinion studies spanning more than seventy years, including a new comprehensive survey, Page and Jacobs reveal that this worldview translates to broad support for policies aimed at narrowing the gap between rich and poor and creating genuine opportunity for all. They find, for example, that across economic, geographical, and ideological lines, most Americans support higher minimum wages, improved public education, wider access to universal health insurance coverage, and the use of tax dollars to fund these programs. In this surprising and heartening assessment, Page and Jacobs provide our new administration with a popular mandate to combat the economic inequity that plagues our nation.

The Crisis of the Middle Class Constitution

Author: Ganesh Sitaraman
Publisher: Knopf
ISBN: 9780451493910
Release Date: 2017
Genre: Business & Economics

"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.

Political Power and Economic Inequality

Author: Charles F. Andrain
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9781442229471
Release Date: 2014-02-14
Genre: Political Science

Political Power and Economic Inequality offers a balanced comparative analysis of worldwide income inequality. Charles F. Andrain explores the ways that government institutions, political parties, private corporations, labor unions, and protest movements influence public programs. How do these organizations mobilize resources so that their preferences become government decisions? What impact do these policies have on different geographic regions, occupations, ethnic-religious groups, and genders? Drawing on comprehensive worldwide data, the author highlights the similarities and differences among nations. By focusing on global trends, he explains the connections that link domestic conditions with foreign trade, overseas investment, labor migration, and communications media. Andrain argues that the globalization of income inequality explains contemporary political life in the United States as well as in other parts of the world. To fully understand global income distribution, we need to grasp how historical changes affect these trends, why social movements stage protests against the growing income gap, and how a comparative approach best explains income differences. Andrain’s tightly written interdisciplinary study stresses the impact of this problem on political life and social change in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. The comparative evidence probes the full dynamics of this controversial issue and its consequences for society as a whole.

Two Nations Indivisible A History of Inequality in America

Author: Jamie L. Bronstein
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 9781440838293
Release Date: 2016-10-17
Genre: Social Science

While examining the arguments made in favor of egalitarianism, this book debunks the notion that the United States is now or has ever been a nation offering equal opportunity to all. • Exposes the extent to which inequality exists—and has always existed—in the United States • Traces the deep roots of the American concern about inequality and the ways in which that concern has taken different forms over time, from the movement for free homesteads, to the Populist movement, to the Progressives, to the career of Huey Long, to Occupy Wall Street • Blends intellectual, social, and political history to explore arguments for and against equality of opportunity and equality of condition • Shows the impact of such arguments at various levels of politics

Debating Democracy A Reader in American Politics

Author: Bruce Miroff
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9780495913474
Release Date: 2011-01-01
Genre: Political Science

Designed to accompany any American Government text, this engaging reader features a debate-style format that includes two readings per chapter--each representing opposing viewpoints. The unique format and current content give this book a distinct advantage over other readers. The seventh edition incorporates up-to-date chapter introductions and new debates on issues such as corporate spending in elections, same-sex marriage, and negative campaigning for a fresh look at the hot-button issues in modern American government. Important Notice: Media content referenced within the product description or the product text may not be available in the ebook version.

Plutocracy in America

Author: Ronald P. Formisano
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9781421417417
Release Date: 2015-08-20
Genre: History

The growing gap between the most affluent Americans and the rest of society is changing the country into one defined—more than almost any other developed nation—by exceptional inequality of income, wealth, and opportunity. This book reveals that an infrastructure of inequality, both open and hidden, obstructs the great majority in pursuing happiness, living healthy lives, and exercising basic rights. A government dominated by finance, corporate interests, and the wealthy has undermined democracy, stunted social mobility, and changed the character of the nation. In this tough-minded dissection of the gulf between the super-rich and the working and middle classes, Ronald P. Formisano explores how the dramatic rise of income inequality over the past four decades has transformed America from a land of democratic promise into one of diminished opportunity. Since the 1970s, government policies have contributed to the flow of wealth to the top income strata. The United States now is more a plutocracy than a democracy. Formisano surveys the widening circle of inequality’s effects, the exploitation of the poor and the middle class, and the new ways that predators take money out of Americans’ pockets while passive federal and state governments stand by. This data-driven book offers insight into the fallacy of widespread opportunity, the fate of the middle class, and the mechanisms that perpetuate income disparity.

The American Dream Vs the Gospel of Wealth

Author: Norton Garfinkle
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300126115
Release Date: 2007-11-12
Genre: Political Science

Norton Garfinkle paints a disquieting picture of America today: a nation increasingly divided between economic winners and losers, a nation in which the middle-class American Dream seems more and more elusive. Recent government policies reflect a commitment to a new supply-side winner-take-all Gospel of Wealth. Garfinkle warns that this supply-side economic vision favors the privileged few over the majority of American citizens striving to better their economic condition. Garfinkle employs historical insight and data-based economic analysis to demonstrate compellingly the sharp departure of the supply-side Gospel of Wealth from an American ideal that dates back to Abraham Lincoln--the vision of America as a society in which ordinary, hard-working individuals can get ahead and attain a middle-class living, and in which government plays an active role in expanding opportunities and ensuring against economic exploitation. Supply-side economic policies increase economic disparities and, Garfinkle insists, they fail on technical, factual, moral, and political grounds. He outlines a fresh economic vision, consonant with the great American tradition of ensuring strong economic growth, while preserving the middle-class American Dream.

America s Founding and the Struggle Over Economic Inequality

Author: Associate Professor of Politics and International Relations Clement Fatovic
Publisher:
ISBN: 0700621733
Release Date: 2015-12-04
Genre: History

If, as many allege, attacking the gap between rich and poor is a form of class warfare, then the struggle against income inequality is the longest running war in American history. To defenders of the status quo, who argue that the accumulation of wealth free of government intervention is an essential feature of the American way, this book offers a forceful answer. While many of those who oppose addressing economic inequality through public policy today do so in the name of freedom, Clement Fatovic demonstrates that concerns about freedom informed the Founding Fathers' arguments for public policy that tackled economic disparities. Where contemporary arguments against such government efforts conceptualize freedom in economic terms, however, those supporting public policies conducive to greater economic equality invoked a more participatory, republican, conception of freedom. As many of the Founders understood it, economic independence, which requires a wide if imperfect distribution of property, is a precondition of the political independence they so profoundly valued. Fatovic reveals a deep concern among the Founders—including Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and Noah Webster—about the impact of economic inequality on political freedom. America's Founding and the Struggle over Economic Inequality traces this concern through many important political debates in Congress and the broader polity that shaped the early Republic—debates over tax policies, public works, public welfare, and the debt from the Revolution. We see how Alexander Hamilton, so often characterized as a cold-hearted apologist for plutocrats, actually favored a more progressive system of taxation, along with various policies aimed at easing the economic hardship of specific groups. In Thomas Paine, frequently portrayed as an advocate of laissez-faire government, we find a champion of a comprehensive welfare state that would provide old-age pensions, public housing, and a host of other benefits as a matter of "right, not charity." Contrary to the picture drawn by so many of today's pundits and politicians, this book shows us how, for the first American statesmen, preventing or minimizing economic disparities was essential to the preservation of the new nation's freedom and practice of self-government.

Affluence and Influence

Author: Martin Gilens
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400844821
Release Date: 2012-07-22
Genre: Political Science

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.

Equal Is Unfair

Author: Don Watkins
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 9781250084453
Release Date: 2016-03-29
Genre: Business & Economics

We’ve all heard that the American Dream is vanishing, and that the cause is rising income inequality. The rich are getting richer by rigging the system in their favor, leaving the rest of us to struggle just to keep our heads above water. To save the American Dream, we’re told that we need to fight inequality through tax hikes, wealth redistribution schemes, and a far higher minimum wage. But what if that narrative is wrong? What if the real threat to the American Dream isn’t rising income inequality—but an all-out war on success? In Equal is Unfair, a timely and thought-provoking work, Don Watkins and Yaron Brook reveal that almost everything we’ve been taught about inequality is wrong. You’ll discover: • why successful CEOs make so much money—and deserve to • how the minimum wage hurts the very people it claims to help • why middle-class stagnation is a myth • how the little-known history of Sweden reveals the dangers of forced equality • the disturbing philosophy behind Obama’s economic agenda. The critics of inequality are right about one thing: the American Dream is under attack. But instead of fighting to make America a place where anyone can achieve success, they are fighting to tear down those who already have. The real key to making America a freer, fairer, more prosperous nation is to protect and celebrate the pursuit of success—not pull down the high fliers in the name of equality.

Policy change public attitudes and social citizenship

Author: Humpage, Louise
Publisher: Policy Press
ISBN: 9781447323518
Release Date: 2014-11-05
Genre: Political Science

Neoliberal reforms have seen a radical shift in government thinking about social citizenship rights around the world. But have they had a similarly significant impact on public support for these rights? This unique book traces public views on social citizenship across three decades through attitudinal data from New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Australia. It argues that support for some aspects of social citizenship diminished more significantly under some political regimes than others, and that limited public resistance following the financial crisis of 2008-2009 further suggests the public ‘rolled over’ and accepted these neoliberal values. Yet attitudinal variances across different policy areas challenge the idea of an omnipotent neoliberalism, providing food for thought for academics, students and advocates wishing to galvanise support for social citizenship in the 21st century.

Obama at the Crossroads

Author: Lawrence R. Jacobs
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199942787
Release Date: 2012-05-02
Genre: Political Science

The 2010 election serves as a bookend to one of the remarkable political periods in recent U.S. history. Amidst a profound economic crisis, Americans elected an African American to the presidency and massive Democratic majorities to Congress. Beginning in 2009, the President and Congress put forward a sweeping agenda to both address the economic crisis and enact progressive policies that liberals had been advocating for decades. Within a year and a half, they would pass health care reform and financial reform alongside a stimulus package of nearly a trillion dollars. Democrats also rescued the auto industry via a partial government takeover and expanded the Bush administration's incipient program for saving the banking sector by pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into it. Finally, the Obama administration dramatically increased our commitment in Afghanistan while simultaneously winding down our presence in Iraq. In Obama at the Crossroads, eminent political scientists Desmond King and Larry Jacobs have gathered some of the best scholars in American politics to take stock of this extraordinary period. Covering the financial crisis, health care reform, racial politics, foreign policy, the nature of Obama's leadership, and the relationship between the administration's agenda and broader progressive goals, this will serve as a comprehensive overview of the key issues facing the Obama administration as it entered office.

Property Owning Democracy

Author: Martin O'Neill
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9781444355178
Release Date: 2012-01-17
Genre: Philosophy

Property-Owning Democracy: Rawls and Beyond features a collection of original essays that represent the first extended treatment of political philosopher John Rawls' idea of a property-owning democracy. Offers new and essential insights into Rawls's idea of "property-owning democracy" Addresses the proposed political and economic institutions and policies which Rawls's theory would require Considers radical alternatives to existing forms of capitalism Provides a major contribution to debates among progressive policymakers and activists about the programmatic direction progressive politics should take in the near future

Our Kids

Author: Robert D. Putnam
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781476769912
Release Date: 2015-03-10
Genre: History

A New York Times bestseller and “a passionate, urgent” (The New Yorker) examination of the growing inequality gap from the bestselling author of Bowling Alone: why fewer Americans today have the opportunity for upward mobility. Central to the very idea of America is the principle that we are a nation of opportunity. But over the last quarter century we have seen a disturbing “opportunity gap” emerge. We Americans have always believed that those who have talent and try hard will succeed, but this central tenet of the American Dream seems no longer true or at the least, much less true than it was. In Our Kids, Robert Putnam offers a personal and authoritative look at this new American crisis, beginning with the example of his high school class of 1959 in Port Clinton, Ohio. The vast majority of those students went on to lives better than those of their parents. But their children and grandchildren have faced diminishing prospects. Putnam tells the tale of lessening opportunity through poignant life stories of rich, middle class, and poor kids from cities and suburbs across the country, brilliantly blended with the latest social-science research. “A truly masterful volume” (Financial Times), Our Kids provides a disturbing account of the American dream that is “thoughtful and persuasive” (The Economist). Our Kids offers a rare combination of individual testimony and rigorous evidence: “No one can finish this book and feel complacent about equal opportunity” (The New York Times Book Review).