Why, in a country as wealthy as America, do the "have-it-alls" have so much, while the middle and working class continue to have less and less? Is it meritocracy, as some have suggested -- or is it an engineered inequality?
In this lively presentation of their groundbreaking book of the same name: Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson demonstrate convincingly that the increased gap in wealth in America is not due to oversees manufacturing, lack of higher education or new advances in technology. Instead, they say, the guilty party is American politics. Runaway inequality and the present economic crisis reflect what government has done to aid the rich and what it has not done to safeguard the interests of the middle class. The winner-take-all economy is primarily a result of Winner-Take-All Politics.
In an innovative historical departure, Hacker and Pierson trace the rise of the winner-take-all economy back to the late 1970s when, under a Democratic president and a Democratic Congress, a major transformation of American politics occurred. With big business and conservative ideologues organizing themselves to undo the regulations and progressive tax policies that had helped ensure a fair distribution of economic rewards, deregulation got under way, taxes were cut for the wealthiest, and business decisively defeated labor in Washington.
This groundbreaking talk identifies the real culprit behind one of the great economic crimes of our times.