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The new economic populism : how states respond to economic inequality

Franko, William W., author.
The new economic populism : how states respond to economic inequality / William W. Franko and Christopher Witko.
New York, NY : Oxford University Press, [2018]
xiv, 230 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Other contributors
Witko, Christopher, author.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 209-226) and index.
  • Introduction
  • Economic inequality, federalism and the new economic populism
  • Growing inequality and public awareness of inequality in the States
  • Awareness of inequality and government liberalism
  • Taxing the rich : the initiative, attitudes toward inequality, and Washington's proposition 1098
  • State responses to federal inaction and growing inequality : the case of the minimum wage
  • Building on success : the case of the earned income tax credit
  • The new economic populism and the future of inequality in the U.S
  • Appendix A: Measurement and methodology
  • Appendix B: Data and results
  • Notes
  • References
  • Index.
The authors of this book argue that it is misguided to look to the federal government, as citizens have tended to do since the New Deal, to lead on economic policy to 'fix' inequality. In fact, they argue that throughout American history, during periods of rapid economic change the federal government has been stymied by the federal institutional design created by the Constitution. The winners of economic change have taken advantage of veto points to prevent change that would address the problems experienced by the losers of major economic change. Even the New Deal, in many ways the model of federal policy activism, was largely borrowed from policies created in the state "laboratories of democracy" in the preceding years and decades. The authors argue that in the current crisis of growing inequality we are seeing a similar dynamic and demonstrate that many states are actively addressing economic inequality. William Franko and Christopher Witko argue that the states that will address inequality are not necessarily those with the greatest objective inequality, but those where citizens are aware of growing inequality, where left-leaning politicians hold power, where unions are strong, and where the presence of direct democracy allow for more majoritarian public policy outcomes. In the empirical chapters Franko and Witko examine how these factors have shaped policies that boosted incomes at the bottom (the minimum wage and the Earned Income Tax Credit) and reduce incomes at the top (with top marginal tax rates) between 1987 and 2010. The authors argue that, if history is a guide, increasingly egalitarian policies at the state level will spread to other states and, eventually, to the federal level, setting the stage for a more equitable future.
Subject headings
Income distribution--United States.
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Blmgtn - Herman B Wells Library
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HC110.I5 F73 2018
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Columbus - University Library of Columbus
Call Number
HC110.I5 F73 2018
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