Title

Economic Inequality and Political Power in America

About the Speaker

Professor of Politics, Princeton University

Dr. Martin Gilens received his Ph.D. in Sociology from UC Berkeley. He is the author of many articles and two books, most recently Affluence & Influence: Economic Inequality in America (Princeton University Press, 2012). He is also the author of an enduringly important analysis of American society Why Americans Hate Welfare: Race, Media, and the Politics of Anti-Poverty Policy (University of Chicago, 1999).

Streaming Media

Location

Fort Howard Theater, Bemis International Center, St. Norbert College

Start Date

10-27-2016 7:00 PM

Description

Professor Gilens argues that in a well-functioning democracy, the preferences and needs of ordinary citizens help shape government policy and that by this measure, American democracy is failing. Gilens' research, based on analyses of federal policymaking from the 1960's to the 2000's, shows that economic elites and interest groups have considerable sway over policy outcomes, but ordinary citizens have little or none. We live now in a "Second Gilded Age" of massive economic inequality. Many fear that America is falling into a vicious circle in which the economically advantaged use the political system to cement and expand their advantages. But egalitarian political reforms were achieved in the past and Gilens believes they are achievable again. The presidential election of 2016 may reflect the failures of our political system- but it also points the way toward reforms that can help give greater voice and political influence to ordinary citizens.

Martin Gilens Ph.D.

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Oct 27th, 7:00 PM

Economic Inequality and Political Power in America

Fort Howard Theater, Bemis International Center, St. Norbert College

Professor Gilens argues that in a well-functioning democracy, the preferences and needs of ordinary citizens help shape government policy and that by this measure, American democracy is failing. Gilens' research, based on analyses of federal policymaking from the 1960's to the 2000's, shows that economic elites and interest groups have considerable sway over policy outcomes, but ordinary citizens have little or none. We live now in a "Second Gilded Age" of massive economic inequality. Many fear that America is falling into a vicious circle in which the economically advantaged use the political system to cement and expand their advantages. But egalitarian political reforms were achieved in the past and Gilens believes they are achievable again. The presidential election of 2016 may reflect the failures of our political system- but it also points the way toward reforms that can help give greater voice and political influence to ordinary citizens.