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Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Party Competition and the Logic of Money-Driven Political Systems (American Politics and Political Economy Series) 1st Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0226243177
ISBN-10: 0226243176
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

THOMAS FERGUSON is Dean of Bexley Hall, within the Bexley Hall Seabury Western Theological Federation. A scholar and practitioner, he holds a Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and has served congregations in Connecticut and Rhode Island. He has also served as The Episcopal Church s officer for ecumenical and interreligious relations. Tom and his wife, the Rev. Shannon Kelly, live in Columbus, Ohio, with their son. Follow his blog at crustyoldean.blogspot.com.
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Product Details

  • Series: American Politics and Political Economy Series
  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1 edition (June 15, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226243176
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226243177
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #736,243 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
The central foundational principle of the capitalist nation-state is that it is a reflection of its economic constituencies. Those who own and control the means of production shape the state in the form that they desire. This truism - that money runs politics - is the central argument of Thomas Ferguson's "Golden Rule." He begins by asking what are political parties? They are organizations composed of blocs of major investors who come together to advance favored candidates in order to control the state. They do this through direct cash contributions and by providing organizational support through the making available of sources of contacts, fundraisers and institutional legitimation. Candidates are invested in like stocks. For them electoral success is dependent on establishing the broadest base of elite support. Candidates whom have best *internalized* investor values see their "portfolios" grow exponentially at the expense of candidates who have not internalized these values. So what you have is a filtering system in which only the most indoctrinated and business friendly of the intellectual class advance to state power. The higher you go up the ladder the more you've appealed to elite interests. Representatives of the major investors are also often chosen to fill political appointments after a favored candidate has achieved office. This political-economic model helps explain why the state largely functions to serve elite business interests on the domestic and international stages.

Of course, corporate interests vary and evolve. Capital-intensive corporations tend to invest in Democratic politicians. Labor-intensive corporations tend to invest in Republicans. That's because capital-intensive corporations can afford to sit in a party which also represent organized labor.
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Format: Paperback
Thomas Ferguson argues the US two party system functions as a mediator between conflicting business interests. Through case studies (primarily the New Deal era) Ferguson persuasively backs his argument.

During the New Deal era, Ferguson contends the Democratic party was controlled by capital intensive "free trade" multinational businesses vs the Republican party which was dominated partly by labor intensive "protectionist" industry.

Who were the multinational interests? (siding with Democrats) Major oil companies/ Rockefeller dominated banking e.g.,standard oil,chase manhatten. General Electric was also a major player.

Who were the labor intensive/protectionist interests? (Siding with Republicans)Textiles,Steel,Domestic oil producers and rubber manufacturers. Capital intensive Chemical industries led by Dupont lobbied for protection due to competition from Germany....Also JP Morgan due to interlocks with certian holding companies which partly separated Morgan Interests from Rockefeller financial interests.

A fascinating study! The capital intensive industries favored labor mediation/social welfare while the labor intensive industries lobbied against. Ferguson follows the paper trail which shows GE interests strongly influencing the creation of the national labor relations board while the Social security act was the brainchild of Rockeller interests. From ferguson's point of view, business reacted to class conflict by creating top down business oriented reforms in reaction to labor unrest.

Much more to Ferguson's research. I highly recommend this book. Don't let the copywrite fool you...Ferguson's work is a timeless classic and will be used as source for years to come.
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Format: Paperback
If Noam Chomsky mentions it to support his lecture(s), it must be good, no?
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