Billionaire Democracy

Author: George Tyler
Publisher: BenBella Books
ISBN: 9781944648930
Release Date: 2018-01-30
Genre: Political Science

This isn’t your America. No matter who the president is. We’re told that when we vote, when we elect representatives, we’re gaining a voice in government and the policies it implements. But if that’s true, why don’t American politics actually translate our preferences into higher-living standards for the majority of us? The answer is that, in America, the wealthy few have built a system that works in their favor, while maintaining the illusion of democracy. The reality is that the quality of democracy in the United States is lower than in any other rich democracy, on a par with nations such as Brazil or Turkey. In the US, voters have little influence on eventual policy outcomes engineered by lawmakers. Political scientists call it the income bias and attribute it to the power of wealthy donors who favor wage suppression and cuts to important government programs such as public education and consumer protection. It causes American lawmakers to compete to satisfy preferences of donors from the top one percent instead of the middle class. It’s also why our economy has been misfiring for most Americans for a generation, wages stagnating and opportunity dwindling. The election of Donald Trump shocked the world, but for many Americans, it came as a stark reflection of mounting frustrations with our current system and anger at the status quo. We need to find a way to fix the way our government serves us. The only realistic pathway to improve middle-class economics is for Congress and the Supreme Court to raise the quality of American democracy. In Billionaire Democracy: The Hijacking of the American Political System, economist George R. Tyler lays out the fundamental problems plaguing our democracy. He explains how the American democratic system is rigged and how it has eroded the middle class, providing an unflinching and honest comparison of the US government to peer democracies abroad. He also breaks down where we fall short and how other rich democracies avoid the income bias created by the overwhelming role of money in US politics. Finally, Tyler outlines practical campaign finance reforms we can adopt when we finally focus on improving the political responsiveness of our government. It’s time for the people of this nation to demand a government that properly serves us, the American people.

The Hijacking of the American Political System

Author: Kodzo Mawusi
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
ISBN: 9781453508138
Release Date: 2010-08-31
Genre: Political Science

Mr. Kodzo Mawusi is a charismatic Roman Catholic Evangelist and Theologian. He is an active member of St. John Bosco parish, a member of the Parish Council, Stewardship Committee and, leads their Prayer and Bible Study group. After graduating and working for years in engineering, decided to pursue theological studies. He received his Bachelor of Theology degree from Newman Theological College in 1998, and the Master of Theology degree from St. Andrew’s College, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon in 2003. He is an inspiring speaker on social and religious or spiritual issues and, have authored books on these subjects. He is an ordained minister of the Gospel and, an affiliate of the Hunter and Joan Hunter Ministries. His interest in social justice led him to take a closer look at the impact of politics on our social lives globally. The central theme of his message to all politicians is to transform their lives into real leaders capable of standing for morality and personal dignity in society. To refrain from their hypocritical behaviours, and show proper leadership qualities to make the world a better place for all.

Predator Nation

Author: Charles H. Ferguson
Publisher: Crown Business
ISBN: 9780307952561
Release Date: 2013-05-21
Genre: Business & Economics

A continuation of the documentary "No End in Sight" draws on new interviews to argue that the financial crisis occurred because of decades of deregulation that enabled the financial sector to commit industrial-scale fraud.

What Went Wrong

Author: George R. Tyler
Publisher: BenBella Books
ISBN: 9781937856717
Release Date: 2013
Genre: Business & Economics

A sobering assessment of the American economy argues that voter choices are behind most current problems while citing the more effective examples of other countries.

Winner Take All Politics

Author: Jacob S. Hacker
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781416588702
Release Date: 2010
Genre: Political Science

Analyzes the growing divide between the incomes of the wealthy class and those of middle-income Americans, exonerating popular suspects to argue that the nation's political system promotes greed and under-representation.

As Texas Goes How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda

Author: Gail Collins
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780871404756
Release Date: 2012-06-04
Genre: Political Science

“Gail Collins is the funniest serious political commentator in America. Reading As Texas Goes… is pure pleasure from page one.” —Rachel Maddow As Texas Goes . . . provides a trenchant yet often hilarious look into American politics and the disproportional influence of Texas, which has become the model for not just the Tea Party but also the Republican Party. Now with an expanded introduction and a new concluding chapter that will assess the influence of the Texas way of thinking on the 2012 election, Collins shows how the presidential race devolved into a clash between the so-called “empty places” and the crowded places that became a central theme in her book. The expanded edition will also feature more examples of the Texas style, such as Governor Rick Perry’s nearsighted refusal to accept federal Medicaid funding as well as the proposed ban on teaching “critical thinking” in the classroom. As Texas Goes . . . will prove to be even more relevant to American politics by the dawn of a new political era in January 2013.

Dark Money

Author: Jane Mayer
Publisher: Anchor Books
ISBN: 9780307947901
Release Date: 2017-01-24
Genre: Political Science

Why is America living in an age of profound economic inequality? Why, despite the desperate need to address climate change, have even modest environmental efforts been defeated again and again? Why have protections for employees been decimated? Why do hedge-fund billionaires pay a far lower tax rate than middle-class workers? --Publisher.

Wingnuts

Author: John P. Avlon
Publisher:
ISBN: 0984295119
Release Date: 2010
Genre: Political Science

Discusses the increase of political pundits or individuals with extreme liberal and conservative ideologies, creating a state of hyper-partisanship in American politics that detrimentally affects the poltical process.

Made In Texas

Author: Michael Lind
Publisher:
ISBN: 0786728299
Release Date: 2009-04-28
Genre: Political Science

Everyone knows that President George W. Bush is from Texas. But few of us know the role his home state plays in his presidency, and in our country. In this dual biography of man and state, Michael Lind confronts the chief crises of Bush's presidency--the economy, the Middle East, and religious fundamentalism--and traces their roots back to Texas, a state, Lind argues, that yields salient clues to the future course of our country.Widely praised as an iconoclastic and brilliant political observer, Lind, a fifth generation Texan, chronicles the ethnic clash that produced modern Texas, the well-known plundering of the state's natural resources at the hands of its elites, and finally the deep strain of "Old Testament religiosity" which, having originated in Texas, now reaches all over the globe in the form of Bush's foreign policy.In the tradition of Gary Wills's Reagan's America, Made in Texas provides a wholly original cultural history that should change the way we understand not just our president, but our country.

The Big Con

Author: Jonathan Chait
Publisher: HMH
ISBN: 0547348126
Release Date: 2008-09-03
Genre: Political Science

The scam of supply-side economics is clearly and convincingly explained in “a classic of political journalism” (Michael Lewis). Jonathan Chait has written for a range of publications, from the Wall Street Journal to the Washington Post, and considers himself a moderate. But he’s convinced that American politics has been hijacked. Over the past three decades, a fringe group of economic hucksters has corrupted and perverted our nation’s policies, Chait argues, revealing in The Big Con how these canny zealots first took over the Republican Party, and then gamed the political system and the media so that once-unthinkable policies—without a shred of academic, expert, or even popular support—now drive the political agenda, regardless of which party is in power. The principle is supposedly “small government”—but as he demonstrates, the government is no smaller than it was in the days of Ronald Reagan; it’s simply more debt-ridden and beholden to wealthy elites. Why have these ideas succeeded in Washington even as the majority of the country recognizes them for the nonsense they are? How did a clique of extremists gain control of American economic policy and sell short the country’s future? And why do their outlandish ideas still determine policy despite repeated electoral setbacks? Explaining just how things work in Washington, DC, and distinguishing between short-term volatility in the “political weather” and the long-term, radical shift in the “political climate,” Chait presents a riveting drama of greed and deceit that should be read by every concerned citizen. “Chait is both very serious and seriously funny as he traces the rise of conservatism over the past thirty years.” —Michael Kinsley

Dollarocracy

Author: John Nichols
Publisher: Nation Books
ISBN: 9781568587110
Release Date: 2013-06-11
Genre: Political Science

In the wake of the Citizen's United decision, elections will be controlled by moneyed interests as never before.

Big Money

Author: Kenneth Vogel
Publisher: PublicAffairs
ISBN: 9781610393386
Release Date: 2014-06-03
Genre: Political Science

Mark Hanna—the turn-of-the-century iron-and-coal-magnate-turned-operative who leveraged massive contributions from the robber barons—was famously quoted as saying: “There are two things that are important in politics. The first is money, and I can’t remember what the second one is.” To an extent that would have made Hanna blush, a series of developments capped by the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision effectively crowned a bunch of billionaires and their operatives the new kings of politics. Big Money is a rollicking tour of a new political world dramatically reordered by ever-larger flows of cash. Ken Vogel has breezed into secret gatherings of big-spending Republicans and Democrats alike—from California poolsides to DC hotel bars—to brilliantly expose the way the mega-money men (and rather fewer women) are dominating the new political landscape. Great wealth seems to attach itself to outsize characters. From the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson to the bubbling nouveau cowboy Foster Friess; from the Texas trial lawyer couple, Amber and Steve Mostyn, to the micromanaging Hollywood executive Jeffrey Katzenberg—the multimillionaires and billionaires are swaggering up to the tables for the hottest new game in politics. The prize is American democracy, and the players’ checks keep getting bigger.

Earning the Rockies

Author: Robert D. Kaplan
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
ISBN: 9780399588228
Release Date: 2017-11-07
Genre: History

An incisive portrait of the American landscape that shows how geography continues to determine America's role in the world-from the bestselling author of The Revenge of Geographyaand Balkan Ghosts As a boy, Robert D. Kaplan listened to his truck-driver father tell evocative stories about traveling across America in his youth, travels in which he learned to understand the country literally from the ground up. There was a specific phrase from Kaplan's childhood that captured this perspective- A westward traveler must oearn the Rockieso by driving-not flying-across the flat Midwest and Great Plains. In Earning the Rockies,Kaplan undertakes his own cross-country journey to recapture an appreciation of American geography often lost in the jet age. Traveling west, in the same direction as the pioneers, Kaplan traverses a rich and varied landscape that remains the primary source of American power. Along the way, he witnesses both prosperity and decline-increasingly cosmopolitan cities that thrive on globalization, impoverished towns denuded by the loss of manufacturing-and paints a bracingly clear picture of America today. The history of westward expansion is examined here in a new light-as a story not just of genocide and individualism, but also of communalism and a respect for the limits of a water-starved terrain, a frontier experience that bent our national character toward pragmatism. Kaplan shows how the great midcentury works of geography and geopolitics by Bernard DeVoto, Walter Prescott Webb, and Wallace Stegner are more relevant today than ever before. Concluding his journey at Naval Base San Diego, Kaplan looks out across the Pacific Ocean to the next frontier- China, India, and the emerging nations of Asia. And in the final chapter, he provides a gripping description of an anarchic world and explains why America's foreign policy response ought to be rooted in its own geographical situation. In this short, intense meditation on the American landscape, Robert D. Kaplan reminds us of an overlooked source of American strength- the fact that we are a nation, empire, and continent all at once. Earning the Rockies is an urgent reminder of how a nation's geography still foreshadows its future, and how we must reexamine our own landscape in order to confront the challenges that lie before us. Praise for Earning the Rockies oA text both evocative and provocative for readers who like toathinka. . .aIn his final sections, Kaplan discusses in scholarly but accessible detail the significant role that America has played and must play in this shuddering world.o-Kirkus Reviews oEarning the Rockiesais a brilliant reminder of the impact of America's geography on its strategy. An essential complement to his previous work on the subject of geostrategy, Kaplan's latest contribution should be required reading.o-Henry A. Kissi

The Hacking of the American Mind

Author: Robert H. Lustig
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101982594
Release Date: 2017-09-12
Genre: Science

"Explores how industry has manipulated our most deep-seated survival instincts."—David Perlmutter, MD, Author, #1 New York Times bestseller, Grain Brain and Brain Maker The New York Times–bestselling author of Fat Chance reveals the corporate scheme to sell pleasure, driving the international epidemic of addiction, depression, and chronic disease. While researching the toxic and addictive properties of sugar for his New York Times bestseller Fat Chance, Robert Lustig made an alarming discovery—our pursuit of happiness is being subverted by a culture of addiction and depression from which we may never recover. Dopamine is the “reward” neurotransmitter that tells our brains we want more; yet every substance or behavior that releases dopamine in the extreme leads to addiction. Serotonin is the “contentment” neurotransmitter that tells our brains we don’t need any more; yet its deficiency leads to depression. Ideally, both are in optimal supply. Yet dopamine evolved to overwhelm serotonin—because our ancestors were more likely to survive if they were constantly motivated—with the result that constant desire can chemically destroy our ability to feel happiness, while sending us down the slippery slope to addiction. In the last forty years, government legislation and subsidies have promoted ever-available temptation (sugar, drugs, social media, porn) combined with constant stress (work, home, money, Internet), with the end result of an unprecedented epidemic of addiction, anxiety, depression, and chronic disease. And with the advent of neuromarketing, corporate America has successfully imprisoned us in an endless loop of desire and consumption from which there is no obvious escape. With his customary wit and incisiveness, Lustig not only reveals the science that drives these states of mind, he points his finger directly at the corporations that helped create this mess, and the government actors who facilitated it, and he offers solutions we can all use in the pursuit of happiness, even in the face of overwhelming opposition. Always fearless and provocative, Lustig marshals a call to action, with seminal implications for our health, our well-being, and our culture.

The Party s Over

Author: Charlie Crist
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9780698148666
Release Date: 2014-02-04
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Charlie Crist, the former Republican governor of Florida, spent years in the party’s inner circle. In this no-holds-barred memoir, he shows why he switched sides and became a Democrat. After serving as a Republican governor—one who was on the short list for the vice presidency in 2008—Charlie Crist made headlines when he decided to run for the U.S. Senate as an Independent. He was on the front page again when he endorsed President Obama in 2012 and spoke at the Democratic National Convention—and yet again when he officially joined the Democratic Party later that year. In The Party’s Over, he’ll make even more news when he reveals: The inside story of his 2010 Senate primary campaign against Marco Rubio, where he learned exactly how vicious the Republican leadership can be. His journey from inner circle to persona non grata, thanks to his literal embrace of President Obama. His very frank opinions on Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, and other top-tier Republicans. Why he believes that Democrats have the right vision for Florida and the nation. • What he’s learned as a member of both parties and why he remains convinced that the two-party system can still work—with the right leadership. Rather than just rehashing his career, in this book Crist offers a focused indictment of the failings of the Republican Party, naming names and identifying where things went wrong. The Party’s Over is as far from “politics as usual” as you can get.