The must-read summary of Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson's book: "Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer - and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class".This complete summary of "Winner-Take-All Politics" by Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson, two renowned political scholars, presents their argument that American politics are to blame for the growing inequality between Americans. In their book, the authors expose several unexpected causes of this inequality and who is to blame. By reading their research, you can discover what is really happening in society and what needs to be done to find a solution.Added-value of this summary:• Save time• Understand income inequality in the US and its implications• Expand your knowledge of American politics and economicsTo learn more, read "Winner-Take-All Politics" and discover how inequality contributed to this economic crisis and what now needs to be done for a better future.
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The real culprit behind one of the great economic crimes of our time – the growing inequality between the vast majority of Americans and the richest of the rich – isn’t any of the usual suspects like foreign trade, globalization, technological changes in the workplace or outsourcing. The guilty party is American politics. The winner-take-all economy is primarily a result of winner-take-all politics.
In the 1970s, a major transformation of American politics occurred which has been carried on by successive administrations. Big business and conservatives have allied to undo the nation’s traditional regulations and progressive tax policies which had always helped ensure a fair distribution of economic rewards occurred. Deregulation sparked a thirty-year war which has led to the current winner-take-all economy where the rich get richer and the rewards are not evenly spread out at all.
To again recreate the level playing field which has always characterized the genius of the U.S. political and economic system, American politics will need to undergo a period of renewal similar to that which has happened periodically throughout the nation’s history. Ways and means will need to be found which will allow the voice and interests of middle-class Americans to be heard and acted upon in Washington.
Jacob S. Hacker is professor of political science at Yale University. He is a Fellow at the New America Foundation and is the author of several books including The Great Risk Shift and Off Center.
Paul Pierson is professor of political science at the University of California at Berkeley. He is also the author of several books including Politics in Time and Dismantling the Welfare State.
At the end of World War II, prosperity in America was broadly distributed up and down the entire income ladder. Since the 1970s, however, three undeniable facts have emerged:The share of income earned by the top 1 percent has gone from 8 percent in 1974 to 18 percent in 2007.The shift of income towards the top has been sustained and increasing steadily from 1980 onwards.Very few of these gains to the rich have trickled down to middle- and working-class Americans.
When all the economic data is crunched, it is clear the outsized gains of the rich have come at the expense of those lower on the economic ladder. Admittedly, the real household incomes of all groups have risen modestly but by and large these gains are the result of people working longer hours than before more than anything else. Even in the most recent economic downturn – which has been the worst in more than seventy years – the real pretax income of those in the top 1 percent has kept on steadily rising by 10 percent a year while unemployment has risen to the highest level ever recorded.
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