• Political Science

The One Percent of Solution

How Corporations Are Remaking America One State at a Time
Author: Gordon Lafer
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 1501708171
Category: Political Science
Page: 272
View: 4782
In the aftermath of the 2010 Citizens United decision, it's become commonplace to note the growing political dominance of a small segment of the economic elite. But what exactly are those members of the elite doing with their newfound influence? The One Percent Solution provides an answer to this question for the first time. Gordon Lafer's book is a comprehensive account of legislation promoted by the nation's biggest corporate lobbies across all fifty state legislatures and encompassing a wide range of labor and economic policies. In an era of growing economic insecurity, it turns out that one of the main reasons life is becoming harder for American workers is a relentless—and concerted—offensive by the country’s best-funded and most powerful political forces: corporate lobbies empowered by the Supreme Court to influence legislative outcomes with an endless supply of cash. These actors have successfully championed hundreds of new laws that lower wages, eliminate paid sick leave, undo the right to sue over job discrimination, and cut essential public services. Lafer shows how corporate strategies have been shaped by twenty-first-century conditions—including globalization, economic decline, and the populism reflected in both the Trump and Sanders campaigns of 2016. Perhaps most important, Lafer shows that the corporate legislative agenda has come to endanger the scope of democracy itself. For anyone who wants to know what to expect from corporate-backed Republican leadership in Washington, D.C., there is no better guide than this record of what the same set of actors has been doing in the state legislatures under its control.

    • Business & Economics

The One Percent Solution

How Corporations Are Remaking America One State at a Time
Author: Gordon Lafer
Publisher: ILR Press
ISBN: 9781501703065
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 272
View: 1613
Deunionizing the private sector -- Taking aim at the 88% : remaking the non-union economy -- The destruction of public schooling -- Silencing labor's voice : the campaign to remove unions from politics

    • Business & Economics

The Job Training Charade


Author: Gordon Lafer
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801489518
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 297
View: 8917
Job training has long been promoted as a central policy response to poverty and unemployment. Both Democrats and Republicans have trumpeted training as the answer to everything from welfare to NAFTA. The Job Training Charade provides a comprehensive critique showing that training has been a near-total failure. Even more dramatically, the book shows how politicians have ignored repeated reports of the program s failure, and have kept funding a policy they know cannot work. Gordon Lafer first examines the economic assumptions and track record of training policy. He goes on to provide a political analysis of why job training has remained so popular despite widespread evidence of its economic failure. The author concludes that job training functions less as an economic prescription aimed at solving poverty than as a political strategy aimed at managing the popular response to economic distress. The Job Training Charade is a landmark book showing how a bipartisan consensus may coalesce behind a phantom policy that serves political needs while ignoring economic realities."

    • History

Democracy in Chains

The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America
Author: Nancy MacLean
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101980966
Category: History
Page: 334
View: 3045
"Focusing on Nobel Prize-winning economist James McGill Buchanan (1919-2013), whom Charles Koch funded and championed, MacLean elaborates on [what he sees as] the Koch brothers' insidious, dangerous manipulation of American politics. Based on Buchanan's papers as well as published sources, MacLean creates a ... portrait of an arrogant, uncompromising, and unforgiving man, stolid in his mission to 'save capitalism from democracy'"--

    • Political Science

The Machine

A Field Guide to the Resurgent Right
Author: Lee Fang
Publisher: The New Press
ISBN: 1595586393
Category: Political Science
Page: 250
View: 764
A freelance journalist and former blogger for ThinkProgress explains the dynamics of what he sees as the conservative propaganda machine, reveals where the money comes from and how it is spent and looks at how the right wing plans to crush Obama and progressive reform, taking ordinary Americans hostage along the way.

    • Political Science

On Political Equality


Author: Robert Alan Dahl
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300126877
Category: Political Science
Page: 142
View: 3276
Robert A. Dahl, one of the world’s most influential and respected political scientists, has spent a lifetime exploring the institutions and practices of democracy in such landmark books as Who Governs?, On Democracy, and How Democratic Is the American Constitution? Here, Dahl looks at the fundamental issue of equality and how and why governments have fallen short of their democratic ideals. At the center of the book is the question of whether the goal of political equality is so far beyond our human limits that it should be abandoned in favor of more attainable ends, or if there are ways to realistically address and reduce inequities. Though complete equality is unattainable, Dahl argues that strides toward that ideal are both desirable and feasible. He shows the remarkable shift in recent centuries toward democracy and political equality the world over. He explores the growth of democratic institutions, the expansion of citizenship, and the various obstacles that stand in the way of gains in political equality. Dahl also looks at the motives, particularly those of emotion and reason, that play such a crucial role in the struggle for equality. In conclusion, Dahl assesses the contemporary political landscape in the United States. He looks at the likelihood of political inequality increasing, and poses one scenario in which Americans grow more unequal in their influence over their government. The counter scenario foresees a cultural shift in which citizens, rejecting what Dahl calls "competitive consumerism,” invest time and energy in civic action and work to reduce the inequality that now exists among Americans.

    • Business & Economics

Where Bad Jobs Are Better

Retail Jobs Across Countries and Companies
Author: Francoise Carre,Chris Tilly
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
ISBN: 1610448707
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 322
View: 5718
Retail is now the largest employer in the United States. For the most part, retail jobs are “bad jobs” characterized by low wages, unpredictable work schedules, and few opportunities for advancement. However, labor experts Françoise Carré and Chris Tilly show that these conditions are not inevitable. In Where Bad Jobs Are Better, they investigate retail work across different industries and seven countries to demonstrate that better retail jobs are not just possible, but already exist. By carefully analyzing the factors that lead to more desirable retail jobs, Where Bad Jobs Are Better charts a path to improving job quality for all low-wage jobs. In surveying retail work across the United States, Carré and Tilly find that the majority of retail workers receive low pay and nearly half work part-time, which contributes to high turnover and low productivity. Jobs staffed predominantly by women, such as grocery store cashiers, pay even less than retail jobs in male-dominated fields, such as consumer electronics. Yet, when comparing these jobs to similar positions in Western Europe, Carré and Tilly find surprising differences. In France, though supermarket cashiers perform essentially the same work as cashiers in the United States, they receive higher pay, are mostly full-time, and experience lower turnover and higher productivity. And unlike the United States, where many retail employees are subject to unpredictable schedules, in Germany, retailers are required by law to provide their employees notice of work schedules six months in advance. The authors show that disparities in job quality are largely the result of differing social norms and national institutions. For instance, weak labor regulations and the decline of unions in the United States have enabled retailers to cut labor costs aggressively in ways that depress wages and discourage full-time work. On the other hand, higher minimum wages, greater government regulation of work schedules, and stronger collective bargaining through unions and works councils have improved the quality of retail jobs in Europe. As retail and service work continue to expand, American employers and policymakers will have to decide the extent to which these jobs will be good or bad. Where Bad Jobs Are Better shows how stronger rules and regulations can improve the lives of retail workers and boost the quality of low-wage jobs across the board.

    • Social Science

The Hero's Fight

African Americans in West Baltimore and the Shadow of the State
Author: Patricia Fernández-Kelly
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400883563
Category: Social Science
Page: 440
View: 1390
Baltimore was once a vibrant manufacturing town, but today, with factory closings and steady job loss since the 1970s, it is home to some of the most impoverished neighborhoods in America. The Hero's Fight provides an intimate look at the effects of deindustrialization on the lives of Baltimore’s urban poor, and sheds critical light on the unintended consequences of welfare policy on our most vulnerable communities. Drawing on her own uniquely immersive brand of fieldwork, conducted over the course of a decade in the neighborhoods of West Baltimore, Patricia Fernández-Kelly tells the stories of people like D. B. Wilson, Big Floyd, Towanda, and others whom the American welfare state treats with a mixture of contempt and pity—what Fernández-Kelly calls "ambivalent benevolence." She shows how growing up poor in the richest nation in the world involves daily interactions with agents of the state, an experience that differs significantly from that of more affluent populations. While ordinary Americans are treated as citizens and consumers, deprived and racially segregated populations are seen as objects of surveillance, containment, and punishment. Fernández-Kelly provides new insights into such topics as globalization and its effects on industrial decline and employment, the changing meanings of masculinity and femininity among the poor, social and cultural capital in poor neighborhoods, and the unique roles played by religion and entrepreneurship in destitute communities. Blending compelling portraits with in-depth scholarly analysis, The Hero’s Fight explores how the welfare state contributes to the perpetuation of urban poverty in America.

    • Social Science

The American Civilizing Process


Author: Stephen Mennell
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745655386
Category: Social Science
Page: 400
View: 6562
Since 9/11, the American government has presumed to speak and act in the name of ‘civilization’. But isthat how the rest of the world sees it? And if not, why not? Stephen Mennell leads up to such contemporary questions through a careful study of the whole span of American development, from the first settlers to the American Empire. He takes a novel approach, analysing the USA’s experience in the light of Norbert Elias’s theory of civilizing (and decivilizing) processes. Drawing comparisons between the USA and other countries of the world, the topics discussed include: American manners and lifestyles Violence in American society The impact of markets on American social character American expansion, from the frontier to empire The ‘curse of the American Dream’ and increasing inequality The religiosity of American life Mennell shows how the long-term experience of Americans has been of growing more and more powerful in relation to their neighbours. This has had all-pervasive effects on the way they see themselves, their perception of the rest of the world, and how the rest of the world sees them. Mennell’s compelling and provocative account will appeal to anyone concerned about America's role in the world today, including students and scholars of American politics and society.

    • Social Science

Against Meritocracy

Culture, power and myths of mobility
Author: Jo Littler
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317496035
Category: Social Science
Page: 236
View: 6020
Meritocracy today involves the idea that whatever your social position at birth, society ought to offer enough opportunity and mobility for ‘talent’ to combine with ‘effort’ in order to ‘rise to the top’. This idea is one of the most prevalent social and cultural tropes of our time, as palpable in the speeches of politicians as in popular culture. In this book Jo Littler argues that meritocracy is the key cultural means of legitimation for contemporary neoliberal culture – and that whilst it promises opportunity, it in fact creates new forms of social division. Against Meritocracy is split into two parts. Part I explores the genealogies of meritocracy within social theory, political discourse and working cultures. It traces the dramatic U-turn in meritocracy’s meaning, from socialist slur to a contemporary ideal of how a society should be organised. Part II uses a series of case studies to analyse the cultural pull of popular ‘parables of progress’, from reality TV to the super-rich and celebrity CEOs, from social media controversies to the rise of the ‘mumpreneur’. Paying special attention to the role of gender, ‘race’ and class, this book provides new conceptualisations of the meaning of meritocracy in contemporary culture and society.

    • Political Science

Guys and Guns Amok

Domestic Terrorism and School Shootings from the Oklahoma City Bombing to the Virginia Tech Massacre
Author: Douglas Kellner
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317258487
Category: Political Science
Page: 232
View: 1143
From the recent shootings at Virginia Tech University to the tragedies at Columbine and Oklahoma City, certain common traits can be traced through all of these events. In Guys and Guns Amok, media and cultural critic Douglas Kellner provides a fascinating diagnostic reading of these acts of domestic terrorism. Skillfully connecting each case with the current environment for male socialization and the search for identity in an American culture obsessed with guns and militarism, Kellner's work is a sobering reflection on these tragedies and the pervasive power of media and popular culture as well as a wake-up call for the future.

    • Business & Economics

The Vanishing Middle Class

Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy
Author: Peter Temin
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262348764
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 288
View: 5980
The United States is becoming a nation of rich and poor, with few families in the middle. In this book, MIT economist Peter Temin offers an illuminating way to look at the vanishing middle class. Temin argues that American history and politics, particularly slavery and its aftermath, play an important part in the widening gap between rich and poor. Temin employs a well-known, simple model of a dual economy to examine the dynamics of the rich/poor divide in America, and outlines ways to work toward greater equality so that America will no longer have one economy for the rich and one for the poor. Many poorer Americans live in conditions resembling those of a developing country -- substandard education, dilapidated housing, and few stable employment opportunities. And although almost half of black Americans are poor, most poor people are not black. Conservative white politicians still appeal to the racism of poor white voters to get support for policies that harm low-income people as a whole, casting recipients of social programs as the Other -- black, Latino, not like "us." Politicians also use mass incarceration as a tool to keep black and Latino Americans from participating fully in society. Money goes to a vast entrenched prison system rather than to education. In the dual justice system, the rich pay fines and the poor go to jail.

    • History

The Great Society Subway

A History of the Washington Metro
Author: Zachary M. Schrag
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1421415771
Category: History
Page: 376
View: 3768
Whether trying to avoid the crawl along the Belt, the horrendous parking situation, or the stress induced by the ludicrous and inadequate street marking, Marylanders, Virginians, and folks from the nation's capital eschew the car and hop the Metro. Here Zachary M. Schrag tells the story of the Great Society Subway, from its foundings through to modern day, from Arlington to College Park, from Eisenhower to Marion Barry.

Democracy Against Domination


Author: K. Sabeel Rahman
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019046853X
Category:
Page: 256
View: 6137
In 2008, the collapse of the US financial system plunged the economy into the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. In its aftermath, the financial crisis pushed to the forefront fundamental moral and institutional questions about how we govern the modern economy. What are the values that economic policy ought to prioritize? What institutions do we trust to govern complex economic dynamics? Much of popular and academic debate revolves around two competing approaches to these fundamental questions: laissez-faire defenses of self-correcting and welfare-enhancing markets on the one hand, and managerialist turns to the role of insulated, expert regulation in mitigating risks and promoting growth on the other. In Democracy Against Domination, K. Sabeel Rahman offers an alternative vision for how we should govern the modern economy in a democratic society. Drawing on a rich tradition of economic reform rooted in the thought and reform politics of early twentieth century progressives like John Dewey and Louis Brandeis, Rahman argues that the fundamental moral challenge of economic governance today is two-fold: first, to counteract the threats of economic domination whether in the form of corporate power or inequitable markets; and second, to do so by expanding the capacity of citizens themselves to exercise real political power in economic policymaking. This normative framework in turn suggests a very different way of understanding and addressing major economic governance issues of the post-crisis era, from the challenge of too-big-to-fail financial firms, to the dangers of regulatory capture and regulatory reform. Synthesizing a range of insights from history to political theory to public policy, Democracy Against Domination offers an exciting reinterpretation of progressive economic thought; a fresh normative approach to democratic theory; and an urgent hope for realizing a more equitable and democratically accountable economy through practical reforms in our policies and regulatory institutions.

    • Law

Marriage Markets

How Inequality is Remaking the American Family
Author: June Carbone,Naomi Cahn
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199916594
Category: Law
Page: 288
View: 9973
There was a time when the phrase "American family" conjured up a single, specific image: a breadwinner dad, a homemaker mom, and their 2.5 kids living comfortable lives in a middle-class suburb. Today, that image has been shattered, due in part to skyrocketing divorce rates, single parenthood, and increased out-of-wedlock births. But whether it is conservatives bewailing the wages of moral decline and women's liberation, or progressives celebrating the result of women's greater freedom and changing sexual mores, most Americans fail to identify the root factor driving the changes: economic inequality that is remaking the American family along class lines. In Marriage Markets, June Carbone and Naomi Cahn examine how macroeconomic forces are transforming our most intimate and important spheres, and how working class and lower income families have paid the highest price. Just like health, education, and seemingly every other advantage in life, a stable two-parent home has become a luxury that only the well-off can afford. The best educated and most prosperous have the most stable families, while working class families have seen the greatest increase in relationship instability. Why is this so? The book provides the answer: greater economic inequality has profoundly changed marriage markets, the way men and women match up when they search for a life partner. It has produced a larger group of high-income men than women; written off the men at the bottom because of chronic unemployment, incarceration, and substance abuse; and left a larger group of women with a smaller group of comparable men in the middle. The failure to see marriage as a market affected by supply and demand has obscured any meaningful analysis of the way that societal changes influence culture. Only policies that redress the balance between men and women through greater access to education, stable employment, and opportunities for social mobility can produce a culture that encourages commitment and investment in family life. A rigorous and enlightening account of why American families have changed so much in recent decades, Marriage Markets cuts through the ideological and moralistic rhetoric that drives our current debate. It offers critically needed solutions for a problem that will haunt America for generations to come.

    • Social Science

Exceptional America

What Divides Americans from the World and from Each Other
Author: Mugambi Jouet
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520966465
Category: Social Science
Page: 358
View: 8620
Why did Donald Trump follow Barack Obama into the White House? Why is America so polarized? And how does American exceptionalism explain these social changes? In this provocative book, Mugambi Jouet describes why Americans are far more divided than other Westerners over basic issues, including wealth inequality, health care, climate change, evolution, gender roles, abortion, gay rights, sex, gun control, mass incarceration, the death penalty, torture, human rights, and war. Raised in Paris by a French mother and Kenyan father, Jouet then lived in the Bible Belt, Manhattan, and beyond. Drawing inspiration from Alexis de Tocqueville, he wields his multicultural sensibility to parse how the intense polarization of U.S. conservatives and liberals has become a key dimension of American exceptionalism—an idea widely misunderstood as American superiority. While exceptionalism once was a source of strength, it may now spell decline, as unique features of U.S. history, politics, law, culture, religion, and race relations foster grave conflicts. They also shed light on the intriguing ideological evolution of American conservatism, which long predated Trumpism. Anti-intellectualism, conspiracy-mongering, a visceral suspicion of government, and Christian fundamentalism are far more common in America than the rest of the Western world—Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Exceptional America dissects the American soul, in all of its peculiar, clashing, and striking manifestations.

    • Political Science

Dark Money

The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right
Author: Jane Mayer
Publisher: Anchor Books
ISBN: 0307947904
Category: Political Science
Page: 576
View: 5662
Why is America living in an age of profound economic inequality? Why, despite the desperate need to address climate change, have even modest environmental efforts been defeated again and again? Why have protections for employees been decimated? Why do hedge-fund billionaires pay a far lower tax rate than middle-class workers? --Publisher.

    • Philosophy

The Case against Perfection


Author: Michael J Sandel
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674043065
Category: Philosophy
Page: 176
View: 8126

    • Political Science

No Is Not Enough

Resisting Trump's Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need
Author: Naomi Klein
Publisher: Haymarket Books
ISBN: 1608468917
Category: Political Science
Page: 273
View: 1944
A road map to resistance in the Trump era from internationally acclaimed activist and bestselling author Naomi Klein. "This book is a toolkit to help understand how we arrived at this surreal political moment, how to keep it from getting a lot worse, and how, if we keep our heads, we can flip the script and seize the opportunity to make things a whole lot better in a time of urgent need. A toolkit for shock-resistance." --Naomi Klein, from the Preface The election of Donald Trump is a dangerous escalation in a world of cascading crises. Trump's vision--a radical deregulation of the U.S. economy in the interest of corporations, an all-out war on "radical Islamic terrorism," and a sweeping aside of climate science to unleash a domestic fossil fuel frenzy--will generate wave after wave of crises and shocks, to the economy, to national security, to the environment. In No Is Not Enough, Naomi Klein explains that Trump, extreme as he is, is not an aberration but a logical extension of the worst and most dangerous trends of the past half-century. In exposing the malignant forces behind Trump's rise, she puts forward a bold vision for a mass movement to counter rising militarism, nationalism, and corporatism in the U.S. and around the world. Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and author of the international bestsellers No Logo, The Shock Doctrine, and most recently This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate. In 2017 she joined The Intercept as Senior Correspondent.

    • Biography & Autobiography

Fair Shot

Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn
Author: Chris Hughes
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 1250196590
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 224
View: 6873
Introduction -- How it happens -- The dismantling of the American dream -- Africa & back -- The precariat -- A guaranteed income for working people -- Worthwhile work -- Untethered idealism -- Everybody likes a tax credit -- What we owe one another -- Afterword