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White-Collar Government: The Hidden Role of Class in Economic Policy Making (Chicago Studies in American Politics) Paperback – November 5, 2013
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(Jacob S. Hacker, Yale University, coauthor of Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer-And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class)
(Martin S. Gilens, Princeton University, author of Affluence and Influence: Economic Inequality and Political Power in America)
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About two percent of members of the U.S. Congress came from a working-class occupation. About three percent of the average state legislature and about nine percent of the average city council also come from a working-class background. But more than half (54 percent) of U.S. citizens are in working-class jobs. Something is off. And this distortion has real effects on policy.
White-Collar Government documents what you might have already guessed: that working-class representatives tend to be more concerned about working-class issues. They have more progressive voting records, and they introduce more progressive economic legislation.
But Carnes’ key contribution is showing how that translates into outcomes. State legislatures, those laboratories of democracy, vary in both the share of representatives who come from blue-collar jobs, and the share of state funding allocated to social programs. It turns out the two are correlated. In Maine, for example, one in seven representatives come from blue-collar jobs (making it the most working-class state legislature). It devotes 30 percent of its budget to social programs – one of the highest rates of any state. By contrast, states with higher percentages of business owners tend to have less generous support for unemployment, and lower corporate tax rates.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Didn't make a strong case at all. So what? What's the big deal? Seems strange to choose to write a book like this, right?Published on March 19, 2014 by Emily
I was expecting commentary on white collar government - NOT a compendium of statistical analysis! Not a good read, in my opinion!Published on January 27, 2014 by F. Andrews