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Response to “American Democracy in an Age of Inequality”

  • Frances Fox Piven (a1)

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The APSA Task Force on Inequality and American Democracy's Report (2004), American Democracy in an Age of Inequality, concludes that progress toward realizing our ideals of democracy “may have stalled, and in some arenas reversed” as a result of growing inequality. Political participation, whether through voting, or campaign contributions, or organizational activities, reflects the distribution of economic resources, and as resources come to be more unequal, so is participation increasingly skewed toward the better-off. As a result, the Report goes on to argue, the issues and positions of the affluent are heard by politicians, and louder voices give the affluent greater influence. I agree with this conclusion, so far as it goes. Disparities in voting, money, and organization matter in the political process, and economic inequalities inevitably affect these disparities. None of this is new, of course. While inequalities have increased during the past three decades, they have increased during earlier periods in American history. This is normal politics in the United States, sometimes worse, sometimes better.

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APSA Task Force on Inequality, and American Democracy. 2004. “American Democracy in an Age of Rising Inequality: Report of the American Political Science Association Task Force on Inequality and American Democracy.Washington, D.C.: American Political Science Association. Available at www.apsanet.org/imgtest/taskforcereport.pdf.
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Response to “American Democracy in an Age of Inequality”

  • Frances Fox Piven (a1)

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