Wealthy Driving Our Ideology

We are the prey of our eagle.You are bought!

To cater to voters, “Republican presidents have been remarkably successful in timing income growth…”

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 – director of the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics at Princeton University – shows that increasing inequality 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.

…elected officials respond to the views of affluent constituents but ignore the views of poor people.

…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.

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.

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.

Bill Clinton says read these three bailout-related books:

Michael Heller’s Gridlock Economy (about hoarding resources), David M. Smick’s The World Is Curved (why things could get much worse), and Larry M. Bartel’s Unequal Democracy (on how partisanship has hurt the poor). Especially at this time every thoughtful American needs to learn as much as possible about the relationship of politics to economics.