"Argues that America's strong and sizable middle class is actually embedded in the framework of the nation's government and its founding document and discusses the necessity of taking equality-establishing measures,"--NoveList.
In this original, provocative contribution to the debate over economic inequality, Ganesh Sitaraman argues that a strong and sizable middle class is a prerequisite for America’s constitutional system. A New York Times Notable Book of 2017 For most of Western history, Sitaraman argues, constitutional thinkers assumed economic inequality was inevitable and inescapable—and they designed governments to prevent class divisions from spilling over into class warfare. The American Constitution is different. Compared to Europe and the ancient world, America was a society of almost unprecedented economic equality, and the founding generation saw this equality as essential for the preservation of America’s republic. Over the next two centuries, generations of Americans fought to sustain the economic preconditions for our constitutional system. But today, with economic and political inequality on the rise, Sitaraman says Americans face a choice: Will we accept rising economic inequality and risk oligarchy or will we rebuild the middle class and reclaim our republic? The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution is a tour de force of history, philosophy, law, and politics. It makes a compelling case that inequality is more than just a moral or economic problem; it threatens the very core of our constitutional system.
Author: Ganesh Sitaraman
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2013
When the U.S. military began its "surge" in Iraq in 2006, counterinsurgency effectively became its dominant approach for fighting wars. Yet many of the major controversies and debates surrounding counterinsurgency operations have turned not on military questions but on legal ones: Who can the U.S. military attack with drones? Is the occupation of Iraq legitimate? What tradeoffs should the military make between self-protection and civilian casualties? What is the right framework for negotiating with the Taliban? How can we build the rule of law in Afghanistan? The Counterinsurgent's Constitution tackles this wide range of legal issues from the vantage point of counterinsurgency strategy. It explains why law matters in counterinsurgency, how law operates during counterinsurgency, and how law and counterinsurgency strategy can be better integrated. As Ganesh Sitaraman shows, far from being opposed, law and strategy are aligned and reinforcing. Following the laws of war is not just the right thing to do, it is strategically beneficial. Reconciliation with enemies can both end the conflict and preserve the possibility of justice for war crimes. Building the rule of law is not simply altruistic "nation-building," but an important strategy for success. The first book on law and counterinsurgency strategy, The Counterinsurgent's Constitution seamlessly integrates law and military strategy to illuminate some of the most pressing issues in warfare and the transition from war to peace.
Author: VAHAB AGHAI, Ph.D.
Publisher: Author House
Release Date: 2014-08-29
Genre: Political Science
What does a middle class nation do without a middle class? An abundance of evidence suggests that we here in the United States are about to find out. America's Shrinking Middle Class documents trends that have been building not just since the Great Recession, but for over four decades. In 1970, the share of U.S. income that went to the middle class was 62 percent. By 2010 that figure had fallen to 45 percent. In that same year, the median income for middle class Americans had gone from $72,956 to $69,487 a decline of nearly 5 percent in just one year. A shrinking middle class would mean a shrinking economy and an America dominated by a growing lower class. Life would be less comfortable, less prosperous, and less secure. With less money coming in to government and businesses alike, tax burdens would become onerous. One example: Obamacare. It could cost the average taxpayer nearly $6,000 in extra taxes and create a total of 20 new taxes or tax hikes. For a weakened and shrinking middle class, it could be a fatal blow.
Author: Robert Pitofsky
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2008-10-14
How the Chicago School Overshot the Mark is about the rise and recent fall of American antitrust. It is a collection of 15 essays, almost all expressing a deep concern that conservative economic analysis is leading judges and enforcement officials toward an approach that will ultimately harm consumer welfare. For the past 40 years or so, U.S. antitrust has been dominated intellectually by an unusually conservative style of economic analysis. Its advocates, often referred to as "The Chicago School," argue that the free market (better than any unelected band of regulators) can do a better job of achieving efficiency and encouraging innovation than intrusive regulation. The cutting edge of Chicago School doctrine originated in academia and was popularized in books by brilliant and innovative law professors like Robert Bork and Richard Posner. Oddly, a response to that kind of conservative doctrine may be put together through collections of scores of articles but until now cannot be found in any one book. This collection of essays is designed in part to remedy that situation. The chapters in this book were written by academics, former law enforcers, private sector defense lawyers, Republicans and Democrats, representatives of the left, right and center. Virtually all agree that antitrust enforcement today is better as a result of conservative analysis, but virtually all also agree that there have been examples of extreme interpretations and misinterpretations of conservative economic theory that have led American antitrust in the wrong direction. The problem is not with conservative economic analysis but with those portions of that analysis that have "overshot the mark" producing an enforcement approach that is exceptionally generous to the private sector. If the scores of practices that traditionally have been regarded as anticompetitive are ignored, or not subjected to vigorous enforcement, prices will be higher, quality of products lower, and innovation diminished. In the end consumers will pay.
Author: Joshua Kurlantzick
Publisher: Yale University Press
Release Date: 2013-03-19
Genre: Political Science
DIVSince the end of the Cold War, the assumption among most political theorists has been that as nations develop economically, they will also become more democratic—especially if a vibrant middle class takes root. This assumption underlies the expansion of the European Union and much of American foreign policy, bolstered by such examples as South Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan, and even to some extent Russia. Where democratization has failed or retreated, aberrant conditions take the blame: Islamism, authoritarian Chinese influence, or perhaps the rise of local autocrats./divDIV /divDIVBut what if the failures of democracy are not exceptions? In this thought-provoking study of democratization, Joshua Kurlantzick proposes that the spate of retreating democracies, one after another over the past two decades, is not just a series of exceptions. Instead, it reflects a new and disturbing trend: democracy in worldwide decline. The author investigates the state of democracy in a variety of countries, why the middle class has turned against democracy in some cases, and whether the decline in global democratization is reversible./div
Author: Jack Knight
Publisher: NYU Press
Release Date: 2017-06-02
An in-depth political, legal, and philosophical study into the implications of wealth inequality in modern societies. Wealth, and specifically its distribution, has been a topic of great debate in recent years. Calls for justice against corporations implicated in the 2008 financial crash; populist rallying against “the one percent”; distrust of the influence of wealthy donors on elections and policy—all of these issues have their roots in a larger discussion of how wealth operates in American economic and political life. In Wealth a distinguished interdisciplinary group of scholars in political science, law and philosophy address the complex set of questions that relate to economic wealth and its implications for social and political life in modern societies. The volume thus brings together a range of perspectives on wealth, inequality, capitalism, oligarchy, and democracy. The essays also cover a number of more specific topics including limitarianism, US Constitutional history, the wealth defense industry, slavery, and tax policy. Wealth offers analysis and prescription including original assessment of existing forms of economic wealth and creative policy responses for the negative implications of wealth inequality. Economic wealth and its distribution is a pressing issue and this latest installment in the NOMOS series offers new and thought provoking insights.
Author: Gareth Stedman Jones
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2008-02-01
Genre: Business & Economics
In the 1790s, for the first time, reformers proposed bringing poverty to an end. Inspired by scientific progress, the promise of an international economy, and the revolutions in France and the United States, political thinkers such as Thomas Paine and Antoine-Nicolas Condorcet argued that all citizens could be protected against the hazards of economic insecurity. In An End to Poverty? Gareth Stedman Jones revisits this founding moment in the history of social democracy and examines how it was derailed by conservative as well as leftist thinkers. By tracing the historical evolution of debates concerning poverty, Stedman Jones revives an important, but forgotten strain of progressive thought. He also demonstrates that current discussions about economic issues -- downsizing, globalization, and financial regulation -- were shaped by the ideological conflicts of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Paine and Condorcet believed that republicanism combined with universal pensions, grants to support education, and other social programs could alleviate poverty. In tracing the inspiration for their beliefs, Stedman Jones locates an unlikely source-Adam Smith. Paine and Condorcet believed that Smith's vision of a dynamic commercial society laid the groundwork for creating economic security and a more equal society. But these early visions of social democracy were deemed too threatening to a Europe still reeling from the traumatic aftermath of the French Revolution and increasingly anxious about a changing global economy. Paine and Condorcet were demonized by Christian and conservative thinkers such as Burke and Malthus, who used Smith's ideas to support a harsher vision of society based on individualism and laissez-faire economics. Meanwhile, as the nineteenth century wore on, thinkers on the left developed more firmly anticapitalist views and criticized Paine and Condorcet for being too "bourgeois" in their thinking. Stedman Jones however, argues that contemporary social democracy should take up the mantle of these earlier thinkers, and he suggests that the elimination of poverty need not be a utopian dream but may once again be profitably made the subject of practical, political, and social-policy debates.
Author: Peter H. Schuck
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2014-03-23
Genre: Political Science
From healthcare to workplace and campus conduct, the federal government is taking on ever more responsibility for managing our lives. At the same time, Americans have never been more disaffected with Washington, seeing it as an intrusive, incompetent, wasteful giant. Ineffective policies are caused by deep structural factors regardless of which party is in charge, bringing our government into ever-worsening disrepute. Understanding why government fails so often—and how it might become more effective—is a vital responsibility of citizenship. In this book, lawyer and political scientist Peter Schuck provides a wide range of examples and an enormous body of evidence to explain why so many domestic policies go awry—and how to right the foundering ship of state. An urgent call for reform, Why Government Fails So Often is essential reading for anyone curious about why government is in such a disgraceful state and how it can do better.
Author: Peter H. Schuck
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2017-03-07
Genre: Political Science
A unique primer on how to think intelligently about the thorniest public issues confronting us today Let's be honest, we've all expressed opinions about difficult hot-button issues without always thinking them through. With so much media spin, political polarization, and mistrust of institutions, it's hard to know how to think about these tough challenges, much less what to do about them. One Nation Undecided takes on some of today's thorniest issues and walks you through each one step-by-step, explaining what makes it so difficult to grapple with and enabling you to think smartly about it. In this unique what-to-do book, Peter Schuck tackles poverty, immigration, affirmative action, campaign finance, and religious objections to gay marriage and transgender rights. For each issue, he provides essential context; defines key concepts and values; presents the relevant empirical evidence; describes and assesses the programs that now seek to address it; and considers many plausible solutions. Schuck looks at all sides with scrupulous fairness while analyzing them rigorously and factually. Each chapter is self-contained so that readers may pick and choose among the issues that interest and concern them most. His objective is to educate rather than proselytize you—the very nature of these five issues is that they resist clear answers; reasonable people can differ about where they come out on them. No other book provides such a comprehensive, balanced, and accessible analysis of these urgent social controversies. One Nation Undecided gives you the facts and competing values, makes your thinking about them more sophisticated, and encourages you to draw your own conclusions.
Author: Charles Peters
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2017-03-07
Charles Peters tells the story of “how Democrats lost their way—and how they can find it again” (The Washington Post) in a book “full of vivid, funny, often touching anecdotes” (The Atlantic). “We Do Our Part” was the slogan of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s National Recovery Administration—and it captured the can-do spirit that allowed America to survive the Great Depression and win World War II. Over the course of a sixty-year career as a Washington, D.C., journalist and historian, Peters, the founder of the Washington Monthly, has witnessed drastic changes firsthand. Ranging from the history of lobbying to the explosion of high-end fashion and travel reporting, this surprising book explains how we can consolidate the gains we have made while recapturing the generous spirit we have lost. We Do Our Part is entertaining, insightful, and engaging. Spanning decades of politics and culture, Peters compares the flood of talented, original thinkers who flowed into the nation’s capital to join FDR’s administration with the tide of self-serving government staffers who left to exploit their opportunities on Wall Street and as lobbyists from the 1970s to today. During the same period, the economic divide between rich and poor grew, as we shifted from a culture of generosity to one of personal aggrandizement. With the wisdom of a prophet and the wit of a great storyteller, Peters connects these two trends by showing how this money-fueled elitism has diminished our trust in one another and our nation—and changed Washington for the worse. If liberal Democrats—and Peters is one—want to win again, they need to be fair to everyone, including the working man who was once essential to the party of FDR. We Do Our Part shows us where we have been and where we are going, drawn from the invaluable perspective of a man who has seen America’s better days and still believes in the promise that lies ahead. Praise for We Do Our Part “[Peters] weaves a synthesis of mainstream and progressive, centrist and popular thought that would re-anchor the Democratic Party, both in its own traditions and in outreach to the restless, angry swath of the country that elected President Trump. . . . Peters is an American original.”—The Washington Post “A great book about modern American history.”—Chris Matthews, Hardball “Part joyful memoir, part shrewd political analysis, and part insightful cultural criticism . . . [Peters] offers a keen understanding of where the Democrats went wrong in scorning the kind of people in Appalachia that he grew up with”—Walter Shapiro, Roll Call “We Do Our Part is not directly about the Trump era or phenomenon, though Charlie gets to Trump at the end. But it is all about the resentful, unequal, uncaring parts of today’s American culture that Trump has inflamed and that have made Trump possible—and how to cope with them.”—James Fallows, The Atlantic “An important book . . . The truth [Charles] Peters aims to impart in this book is one that all Americans, and especially liberals, need to understand: An America in which the elite serves the interests of the majority isn’t a pipe dream.”—Washington Monthly “A thoughtful, well-reasoned argument for American citizens to pull back from political brinksmanship and embrace the values of the Roosevelt era.”—Kirkus Reviews “A wise and brilliant book by a wise and brilliant man . . . Everyone should read it.”—Nicholas Thompson, editor, newyorker.com
Author: K. Sabeel Rahman
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2016-11-03
In 2008, the collapse of the US financial system plunged the economy into the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. In its aftermath, the financial crisis pushed to the forefront fundamental moral and institutional questions about how we govern the modern economy. What are the values that economic policy ought to prioritize? What institutions do we trust to govern complex economic dynamics? Much of popular and academic debate revolves around two competing approaches to these fundamental questions: laissez-faire defenses of self-correcting and welfare-enhancing markets on the one hand, and managerialist turns to the role of insulated, expert regulation in mitigating risks and promoting growth on the other. In Democracy Against Domination, K. Sabeel Rahman offers an alternative vision for how we should govern the modern economy in a democratic society. Drawing on a rich tradition of economic reform rooted in the thought and reform politics of early twentieth century progressives like John Dewey and Louis Brandeis, Rahman argues that the fundamental moral challenge of economic governance today is two-fold: first, to counteract the threats of economic domination whether in the form of corporate power or inequitable markets; and second, to do so by expanding the capacity of citizens themselves to exercise real political power in economic policymaking. This normative framework in turn suggests a very different way of understanding and addressing major economic governance issues of the post-crisis era, from the challenge of too-big-to-fail financial firms, to the dangers of regulatory capture and regulatory reform. Synthesizing a range of insights from history to political theory to public policy, Democracy Against Domination offers an exciting reinterpretation of progressive economic thought; a fresh normative approach to democratic theory; and an urgent hope for realizing a more equitable and democratically accountable economy through practical reforms in our policies and regulatory institutions.
Author: Michael Klarman
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2012
This volume brings together twelve leading American criminal justice scholars whose own writings have been profoundly influenced by William Stuntz and his work. Both as a tribute to Stuntz's work and as a source of profound new insights, this book examines his role in the renaissance of criminal procedure as a cutting-edge discipline, and as inseparably linked to substantive criminal law.
Author: Geoffrey R. Stone
Publisher: Liveright Publishing
Release Date: 2017-03-21
There has never been a book like Sex and the Constitution, a one-volume history that chapter after chapter overturns popular shibboleths, while dramatically narrating the epic story of how sex came to be legislated in America. Beginning his volume in the ancient and medieval worlds, Geoffrey R. Stone demonstrates how the Founding Fathers, deeply influenced by their philosophical forebears, saw traditional Christianity as an impediment to the pursuit of happiness and to the quest for human progress. Acutely aware of the need to separate politics from the divisive forces of religion, the Founding Fathers crafted a constitution that expressed the fundamental values of the Enlightenment. Although the Second Great Awakening later came to define America through the lens of evangelical Christianity, nineteenth-century Americans continued to view sex as a matter of private concern, so much so that sexual expression and information about contraception circulated freely, abortions before “quickening” remained legal, and prosecutions for sodomy were almost nonexistent. The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries reversed such tolerance, however, as charismatic spiritual leaders and barnstorming politicians rejected the values of our nation’s founders. Spurred on by Anthony Comstock, America’s most feared enforcer of morality, new laws were enacted banning pornography, contraception, and abortion, with Comstock proposing that the word “unclean” be branded on the foreheads of homosexuals. Women increasingly lost control of their bodies, and birth control advocates, like Margaret Sanger, were imprisoned for advocating their beliefs. In this new world, abortions were for the first time relegated to dank and dangerous back rooms. The twentieth century gradually saw the emergence of bitter divisions over issues of sexual “morality” and sexual freedom. Fiercely determined organizations and individuals on both the right and the left wrestled in the domains of politics, religion, public opinion, and the courts to win over the soul of the nation. With its stirring portrayals of Supreme Court justices, Sex and the Constitution reads like a dramatic gazette of the critical cases they decided, ranging from Griswold v. Connecticut (contraception), to Roe v. Wade (abortion), to Obergefell v. Hodges (gay marriage), with Stone providing vivid historical context to the decisions that have come to define who we are as a nation. Now, though, after the 2016 presidential election, we seem to have taken a huge step backward, with the progress of the last half century suddenly imperiled. No one can predict the extent to which constitutional decisions safeguarding our personal freedoms might soon be eroded, but Sex and the Constitution is more vital now than ever before.