Twilight of the Elites

America After Meritocracy

Author: Chris Hayes

Publisher: Crown

ISBN: 0307720470

Category: Political Science

Page: 320

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A powerful and original argument that traces the roots of our present crisis of authority to an unlikely source: the meritocracy. Over the past decade, Americans watched in bafflement and rage as one institution after another – from Wall Street to Congress, the Catholic Church to corporate America, even Major League Baseball – imploded under the weight of corruption and incompetence. In the wake of the Fail Decade, Americans have historically low levels of trust in their institutions; the social contract between ordinary citizens and elites lies in tatters. How did we get here? With Twilight of the Elites, Christopher Hayes offers a radically novel answer. Since the 1960s, as the meritocracy elevated a more diverse group of men and women into power, they learned to embrace the accelerating inequality that had placed them near the very top. Their ascension heightened social distance and spawned a new American elite--one more prone to failure and corruption than any that came before it. Mixing deft political analysis, timely social commentary, and deep historical understanding, Twilight of the Elites describes how the society we have come to inhabit – utterly forgiving at the top and relentlessly punitive at the bottom – produces leaders who are out of touch with the people they have been trusted to govern. Hayes argues that the public's failure to trust the federal government, corporate America, and the media has led to a crisis of authority that threatens to engulf not just our politics but our day-to-day lives. Upending well-worn ideological and partisan categories, Hayes entirely reorients our perspective on our times. Twilight of the Elites is the defining work of social criticism for the post-bailout age.
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The Wealth of a Nation

Author: Xavier L. Suarez

Publisher: AuthorHouse

ISBN: 1496929810

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 292

View: 6233

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The Great Depression of 1929 was similar to the Great Recession of 2008, but not identical, either in its cause or its cure. This book explores the reasons why that is and suggests that the US economy has changed radically in the last half-century—to the point that one must reanalyze the theories of the four great economists, with a view to synthesizing and applying their separate bits of wisdom into a compatible, modern diagnosis of recessions and prescription for curing and avoiding them. Buttressed on the brilliant reinterpretation of Keynes by Princeton’s Allan Meltzer, and on the writings of modern commentators and academics, the author weaves together a readable explanation of what nowadays passes for the “liberal” view and the “conservative” view. Numerous examples are given of specific industries and enterprises, of joint public-private projects, and of the interdependence between government and the free market. Vignettes and quotes are also offered of the great deeds, as well as the dismal failures of policies implemented by Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, Bush father and son, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. In the end, a tantalizing fusion is achieved of the best elements of Keynesianism, monetarism, and free-market economics. And all the time, the level of discussion is reachable by all and interesting to all who have even a minimal interest in the history and politics of economic theory.
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Corporations and Citizenship

Author: Greg Urban

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press

ISBN: 0812246020

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 392

View: 6849

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President Theodore Roosevelt once proclaimed, "Great corporations exist only because they are created and safeguarded by our institutions, and it is therefore our right and duty to see that they work in harmony with those institutions." But while corporations are ostensibly regulated by citizens through their governments, the firms in turn regulate many aspects of social and political life for individuals beyond their own employees and the communities that support them. Corporations are endowed with many of the same rights as citizens, such as freedom of speech, but are not themselves typically constituted around ideals of national belonging and democracy. In the wake of the global financial collapse of 2008, the question of what relationship corporations should have to governing institutions has only increased in urgency. As a democratically sanctioned social institution, should a corporation operate primarily toward profit accumulation or should its proper goal be to provision society with needed goods and services? Corporations and Citizenship addresses the role of modern for-profit corporations as a distinctive kind of social formation within democratic national states. Scholars of legal studies, business ethics, politics, history, and anthropology bring their perspectives to bear on particular case studies, such as Enron and Wall Street, as well as broader issues of belonging, social responsibility, for-profit higher education, and regulation. Together, these essays establish a complex and detailed understanding of the ways corporations contribute positively to human well-being as well as the dangers that they pose. Contributors: Joel Bakan, Jean Comaroff, John Comaroff, Cynthia Estlund, Louis Galambos, Rosalie Genova, Peter Gourevitch, Karen Ho, Nien-hê Hsieh, Walter Licht, Jonathan R. Macey, Hirokazu Miyazaki, Lynn Sharp Paine, Katharina Pistor, Amy J. Sepinwall, Jeffery Smith, Jeffrey L. Sturchio, Greg Urban.
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Paint the White House Black

Barack Obama and the Meaning of Race in America

Author: Michael P. Jeffries

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 0804785570

Category: Social Science

Page: 224

View: 6191

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Barack Obama's election as the first black president in American history forced a reconsideration of racial reality and possibility. It also incited an outpouring of discussion and analysis of Obama's personal and political exploits. Paint the White House Black fills a significant void in Obama-themed debate, shifting the emphasis from the details of Obama's political career to an understanding of how race works in America. In this groundbreaking book, race, rather than Obama, is the central focus. Michael P. Jeffries approaches Obama's election and administration as common cultural ground for thinking about race. He uncovers contemporary stereotypes and anxieties by examining historically rooted conceptions of race and nationhood, discourses of "biracialism" and Obama's mixed heritage, the purported emergence of a "post-racial society," and popular symbols of Michelle Obama as a modern black woman. In so doing, Jeffries casts new light on how we think about race and enables us to see how race, in turn, operates within our daily lives. Race is a difficult concept to grasp, with outbursts and silences that disguise its relationships with a host of other phenomena. Using Barack Obama as its point of departure, Paint the White House Black boldly aims to understand race by tracing the web of interactions that bind it to other social and historical forces.
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American Government and Popular Discontent

Stability Without Success

Author: Steven E. Schier,Todd E. Eberly

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 113665058X

Category: Political Science

Page: 208

View: 1329

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Popular distrust and the entrenchment of government by professionals lie at the root of America’s most pressing political problems. How did U.S. politics get to this point? Contemporary American politics got much of its shape from the transformations brought about from the 1950s to the 1980s. Presidential and congressional behavior, voting behavior, public opinion, public policy and federalism were all reconfigured during that time and many of those changes persist to this day and structure the political environment in the early twenty-first century. Throughout American history, parties have been a reliable instrument for translating majority preferences into public policy. From the 1950s to the 1980s, a gradual antiparty realignment, alongside the growth of professional government, produced a new American political system of remarkable durability – and remarkable dysfunction. It is a system that is paradoxically stable despite witnessing frequent shifts in party control of the institutions of government at the state and national level. Schier and Eberly's system-level view of American politics demonstrates the disconnect between an increasingly polarized and partisan elite and an increasingly disaffected mass public.
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Media and Social Inequality

Innovations in Community Structure Research

Author: John C. Pollock

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317981022

Category: Social Science

Page: 194

View: 516

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This book is among the first to systematically explore the impact of community inequality on reporting political and social change. Although most journalism scholars are still fascinated by the impact of media on society, Media and Social Inequality explores the reverse perspective: the impact of society on media. Using a 'community structure' approach, and rejecting the perspective that studies of media and audiences can be reduced to the individual level of psychological phenomena, all contributions examine connections between community-level 'macro' characteristics and variations in the coverage of critical issues. This innovative book differs from previous community structure volumes in two ways. First, contributions explore a far wider range of community characteristics by employing creative methodologies, modern archives, and databases that facilitate larger, more diverse samples; multilevel and longitudinal analyses; composite measures of both 'content' and editorial judgment; new technologies; and social network analysis. Second, a traditional emphasis on media as instruments of political and social 'control' is replaced by media as potential mirrors of social 'change,' exploring 'bottom-up' measures of 'vulnerability', 'concentrated disadvantage', and 'ethnic diversity/pluralism'. The volume contains two original chapters: one on nationwide US coverage of the "Occupy" movement in the expanded introduction, and another on nationwide US coverage of universal health care. This book was originally published as a special issue of Mass Communication and Society.
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Europe and the Spectre of Post-growth Society

Debates at the Council of Europe Schools of Political Studies 2012-2013

Author: Piotr Świtalski

Publisher: Council of Europe

ISBN: N.A

Category: Political Science

Page: 90

View: 3743

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Europe has been going through its most serious crisis of values since the fall of communism. In public discourse, economic and social pressures have overshadowed the other dimensions of the crisis, including societal values. However, the crisis of values would appear to be more than simply an effect of the recession. Europeans have lost trust in democratic institutions at all levels: European, national and local. Rising xenophobia and discrimination against minorities undermine the vitality of the European model of tolerance. Europe is plagued by endemic corruption which costs it more than 100 billion euro annually, triggering political instability. Some believe that once Europe is back on the path of growth the crisis of values will disappear, and that there will be a resurgence of faith in European integration. But in the long term, growth in Western societies may be impaired by serious 'headwinds' resulting from demographic trends and rising inequalities, and Europe may become the first post-growth society. European societies are already changing their traditional characteristics as a result of exposure to the effects of two global mega-trends: the empowerment of the individual and cosmopolitisation. Can the European project be of relevance when addressing these challenges? What role in this process can be played by the Council of Europe, which is the embodiment of the idea that Europe is bigger than the European Union and the European agenda is richer than the economy and politics?
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