“When well-off people strongly supported a policy change, it had almost three times the chance of becoming law as when they strongly opposed it. When median-income people strongly supported a policy change, it had hardly any greater chance of becoming law than when they strongly opposed it” (p. 112). Winner-Take-All Politics,* Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson
I was born in the late 80s so I had thought this was always the case, but according to James Kwak from Baseline Scenario, I’m wrong. Sounds like Marx’s theory of wealth condensation – at least the part where the rich invest in government connections to remain influential – fits the American political economy. Coupled with slowing economic class movement (the rich get richer and the poor stay poor phenomenon of the modern American economy), it suggests a growing disenfranchisement where the poor are removed from influencing their elected officials. I’m going to buy the book and follow up.
A question I’ll be looking at is which policies the researchers used to find distinct differences in policy preferences between the rich and poor. It’s hard to do. Take tax cuts for example. A great majority of Americans should prefer Obama’s tax cuts, because they’ll get greater returns, but like many in the Tea Party, prefer George Bush’s tax cuts which give a greater amount of cuts to the rich. How did the researchers handle this?