Having waited several months to get “unequal democracy” by Larry M. Bartels from the library, I was able to handle the differed gratification when the book finally arrived: it is a treasure. To most who read this blog, the basics are hardly news, but the supporting facts are deep.
o Income inequality has been increasing in the USA dramatically since the mid 70’s
o It is the product of polices of a system dominated by the interests of the wealthy.
o Elected officals often ignore the interest of the poor and working poor.
o The differences have been more dramatic under GOP presidents.
o Bush/GOP ‘tax cuts’ of 2001 and 2003, together with the erosion of the minimum wage, have widened the have/havenot gap.
o Few Americans are aware of how vast the disparity is.
Mr. Bartels, of Princeton University, also offers an explanation of why voters often appear to vote against their interests: deception and disingenuousness, not values: “Do abortions and gay marriages matter when the cupboard is bare and the sheriff is auctioning off the furniture in the front yard?”
Some of this situation has changed since the Great Uprising of November, 2008, because the majority were motivated, regeristered, and mobilized to vote, but the inequality is still there.
Published by Princeton University Press, 2007