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We all know that the very rich have gotten a lot richer these past few decades while most Americans haven't. In fact, the exorbitantly paid have continued to thrive during the current economic crisis, even as the rest of Americans have fallen behind. Why do the "have-it-alls" have so much more? Lots of so-called experts claim to have solved this great mystery, but no one has really gotten to the bottom of it-until now.In their lively and provocative Winner-Take-All Politics, renowned political scientists Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson demonstrate that the usual suspects-foreign trade and financial globalization, technological changes in the workplace, increased education at the top-are largely innocent of the charges against them. Instead, they indict an unlikely suspect and take us on an entertaining tour of the mountain of evidence against the culprit. The guilty party is American politics. Runaway inequality and the present economic crisis reflect what government has done to aid the rich and what it has not done to safeguard the interests of the middle class. The winner-take-all economy is primarily a result of winner-take-all politics.Part revelatory history, part political analysis, part intellectual journey, Winner-Take-All Politics shows how a political system that traditionally has been responsive to the interests of the middle class has been hijacked by the super-rich. In doing so, it not only changes how we think about American politics, but also points the way to rebuilding a democracy that serves the interests of the many rather than just those of the wealthy few.
About the Author
Jacob S. Hacker is the Stanley B. Resor Professor of Political Science at Yale University. A Fellow at the New America Foundation in Washington, DC, he is the author of "The Great Risk Shift: The New Economic Insecurity and the Decline of the American Dream", "The Divided Welfare State, "and, with Paul Pierson, of "American Amnesia: The Forgotten Roots of Our Prosperity"; "Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer--and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class"; "Off Center: The Republican Revolution and the Erosion of American Democracy." He has appeared recently on "The NewsHour, MSNBC, All Things Considered, "and "Marketplace." He lives in New Haven, Connecticut.
Paul Pierson is Professor of Political Science and holder of the Avice Saint Chair of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He is the author of "Politics in Time, Dismantling the Welfare State?", and (with Jacob S. Hacker), "American Amnesia: The Forgotten Roots of Our Prosperity"; "Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer--and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class"; "Off Center: The Republican Revolution and the Erosion of American Democracy". His commentary has appeared in "The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, "and "The New Republic. "He lives in Berkeley, California.
John Allen Nelson's critically acclaimed roles on television's "24" and "Vanished" are among the highlights of his twenty-five-plus years as an actor, screenwriter, and film producer. As a narrator, he won an "AudioFile" Earphones Award for his reading of "Zoo Story" by Thomas French.
"Important.... The collapse of the American middle class and the huge transfer of wealth to the already wealthy is the biggest domestic story of our time." ---Jonathan Alter, The New York Times Book Review