Affluence & Influence. Economic Inequality and Political Power in America. Martin Gilens. Department of Politics. Princeton University. Book review: Martin Gilens Affluence and Influence: Economic Inequality and Political Power in America and Kay Lehman Schlozman, Sidney Verba and Henry. In Affluence and Influence, Martin Gilens explores the question of who gets represented in American democracy. The central thesis of the book.
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The book reads very much like a dry text book, so be prepared for a bit of a slog. Sign in via your Institution Sign in. Martin Gilens’s book Affluence and Influence: This was especially true of the Lyndon Johnson Administration. The chief predictions of pure theories of majoritarian electoral democracy can be decisively rejected. But, there is much more to it in the book.
Affluence and Influence: Economic Inequality and Political Power in America by Martin Gilens
In particular, impending elections–especially presidential elections–and an even partisan division in Congress mitigate representational inequality and boost responsiveness to the preferences of the broader public. Yet Gilens also shows that under specific circumstances the preferences of the middle class and, to a lesser extent, the poor, do seem to matter.
At a time when economic and political inequality in the United States only continues to rise, Affluence and Influence raises important questions about whether American democracy is truly responding to the needs hilens all its citizens. In most circumstances, affluent Americans exert substantial influence over the policies adopted by the federal government, and less well off Americans exert virtually none. The data shows that over the last few decades the affluent’s influence on policy has been increasing.
When I finished the book, I thought that affluencs author has gklens the gist of his arguments in the title itself, namely ‘Economic Inequality and Political Power in America’. The author concedes that increases in minimum wage does correlate with Democrats being in power and reduction in Estate taxes with the Republicans.
Even though it’s no fun, I’m glad the book was written and think it will be a good resource. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
For instance, he addresses the claim that below-average income people may lack the knowledge or competence to make policy choices. Economic Inequality and Political Power in America.
Economic Inequality and Political Power in America. Meanwhile, the overall impact of median voters has dropped to almost zero when considered as an independent public policy factor. Pages with related products. Affluence and Influence definitively explores how political inequality in the United States has evolved over the last several decades and how this growing disparity has been shaped by interest groups, parties, and elections.
Gilens’s years of careful empirical research and his impressively fair and clear presentation of evidence mark a major step forward in the scientific study of political inequality in America. Shayan rated it really liked it Mar 24, Start reading Affluence and Influence on your Kindle in under a minute.
EconPapers: Affluence and Influence: Economic Inequality and Political Power in America
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The general conclusion is that the most affluent are strongly more influential. Customers who viewed this item also viewed.
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In an ideal democracy, all citizens should have equal influence on government policy–but as this book demonstrates, America’s policymakers respond almost exclusively to the preferences of the economically advantaged. It is an exhaustive study and is based on as many as public policy cases — stemming from national surveys collected between and He recognizes that if influence on government were more representative it would be more democratic.
Yet Gilens also shows that under specific circumstances the preferences of the middle class and, to a lesser extent, the poor, do seem to matter.
Jake rated it really liked it Aug 05, Don’t get me wrong, this is an excellent book, but if you’ve read Gilens’s Public Opinion Quarterly article and his more recent “oligarchy” article with Ben Page, there’s not much new here.
Receive exclusive offers and updates from Oxford Academic. What this means is that America really hasn’t changed political character in years. Add both to Cart Add both to List.
Amazon Second Chance Pass it on, trade it in, give it a second life. Andrew Small rated it liked it Sep 07, The book shows how better-off Americans sway elections and get the laws they want. In an ideal democracy, all citizens should have equal influence on government policy–but as this book demonstrates, America’s policymakers respond almost exclusively to the preferences of the economically advantaged Amazon Inspire Digital Educational Resources.
If other citizens feel unrepresented, Gilens’s analysis could be a first step toward redress. When elections are near and when control of the government is divided or uncertain, parties broaden their appeal, and influence becomes more equal.
The central thesis of the book is that American democracy is not equally responsive to the rich and the poor. See and discover other items: Will Chang rated it really liked it Mar 07, Mar 07, Mills College Library added it. Modern state of U.
His opening chapter on citizen competence and democratic decision making should be required reading for those who doubt the feasibility and value of a truly representative government.
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