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Stacked deck Presentation
Stacked deck Presentation
Stacked deck Presentation
Stacked deck Presentation
Stacked deck Presentation
Stacked deck Presentation
Stacked deck Presentation
Stacked deck Presentation
Stacked deck Presentation
Stacked deck Presentation
Stacked deck Presentation
Stacked deck Presentation
Stacked deck Presentation
Stacked deck Presentation
Stacked deck Presentation
Stacked deck Presentation
Stacked deck Presentation
Stacked deck Presentation
Stacked deck Presentation
Stacked deck Presentation
Stacked deck Presentation
Stacked deck Presentation
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Stacked deck Presentation

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  • 1. • The Affluent Have Different Priorities• The Affluent Don’t Prioritize Policies for Upward Mobility• The Priorities of Lower Income Americans Are Often Ignored orBlocked• The Affluent Participate More in Politics and Civic Life• The Affluent Have More Influence Over Policy Outcomes• The Affluent Have More Ways to Shape Politics• Political and Economic Inequality Are Mutually Enforcing www.demos.org
  • 2. THE AFFLUENT HAVE DIFFERENT PRIORITIES www.demos.org
  • 3. THE AFFLUENT HAVE DIFFERENT PRIORITIES www.demos.org
  • 4. THE AFFLUENT DON’T PRIORITIZE POLICIES FOR UPWARD MOBILITY Even when the affluent do support policies for upward mobility, they often do not prioritize these policies over other goals, such as lower taxes. Elected officials are sacrificing investments in the future workforce in order to cut taxes for corporations. Case Study: Some Governors have prioritized tax cuts for corporations over investments in higher education. NJ cut higher education funding by $1.6B, as state gave away $1.57 in corporate tax breaks. www.demos.org
  • 5. THE AFFLUENT HAVE MORE INFLUENCE OVER POLICY OUTCOMES “…under most circumstances the preferences of the vast majority of Americans appear to have essentially no impact on what policies the government does or doesn’t adopt.” - Martin Gilens Princeton Political Science Professor and author of Affluence & Influence “…the preferences of the people in the bottom third of the income distribution have no apparent impact on the behavior of their elected officials. ” - Larry Bartels Vanderbilt Political Science Professor and author of Unequal Democracy www.demos.org
  • 6. WHO IS THE BOTTOM THIRD www.demos.org
  • 7. AN ECONOMY SHAPED BY THE ALREADY-WEALTHY “…the starkest difference in responsiveness to the affluent and themiddle class occurs on economic policy, a consequence of high-income Americans’ stronger opposition to taxes and corporate regulation.” - Martin Gilens Princeton Political Science Professor and author of Affluence & Influence www.demos.org
  • 8. DEBT & UNEMPLOYMENT & VS.DEFICITS JOB CREATION www.demos.org
  • 9. MINIMUM WAGE VS. CAPITAL GAINS www.demos.org
  • 10. MINIMUM WAGE VS. CAPITAL GAINS www.demos.org
  • 11. THE AFFLUENT PARTICIPATE MORE IN POLITICS AND CIVIC LIFE www.demos.org
  • 12. CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS TO CANDIDATES www.demos.org
  • 13. OUTSIDE SPENDING www.demos.org
  • 14. www.demos.org
  • 15. www.demos.org
  • 16. RACIAL DIMENSIONS OF CAMPAIGN FINANCE More than 90% of itemized 2012 donations came from majority white neighborhoods. Less than 4% came fromLatino neighborhoods, even though Latinos make up 16% of the population. Less than 3% came from African American neighborhoods and less than 1% came from Asian neighborhoods. www.demos.org
  • 17. LOBBYINGWealthy and business interests exercise outsized influence over policymaking through lobbying. Corporations and business groups spendvastly more than organizations that represent large constituencies ofordinary Americans: • Chamber of Commerce spent $886M lobbying federal government between 1998 and 2012 • Labor Unions spent $518M • Healthcare groups spent three times as much as AARP www.demos.org
  • 18. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC INEQUALITY ARE MUTUALLY ENFORCING Changes in capital gains and dividends were the largest contributor to the increase in the overall income inequality between 1996 and 2006. Rolling back of regulations in ways favored by influential business interests has stripped away key protections for the middle class and made it harder for lower income groups to get ahead. Wealthy interests have used their resources to block reforms aimed at reducing political inequality: • Bankrolling efforts to suppress voting by low-income Americans • Lobbying to oppose campaign finance reform measures www.demos.org
  • 19. CONCLUSION – POLICY RECOMMENDATIONSAny comprehensive effort to create a more balanced society, onewhere the deck isn’t stacked in favor of the wealthy, must achieveprogress in four main areas:1. RESTRICT THE INFLUENCE OF MONEY IN POLITICS • Amend the U.S. Constitution to restore the ability of the people to enact restrictions on political contributions • Enact strict limits on the amount that individuals and interests can spend on U.S. politics. • Match small contributions with public resources • Encourage small contributions by providing vouchers or tax credits • Require greater transparency around political spending • Strengthen rules governing lobbying www.demos.org
  • 20. CONCLUSION – POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS2. PROTECT AND EXPAND THE FREEDOM TO VOTE • Remove Barriers to Registration and Voting • Same-Day Registration • Expand Agency Registration and Automate the Registration Process • Making Registration Permanent and Portable • Protect Against Intimidation and Wrongful Challenges3. MAKE CORPORATIONS MORE RESPONSIVE TO PUBLICINTEREST • Develop a more reasonable approach to corporate personhood • Corporations should be accountable to a wider array of stakeholders • Corporations could be defined in a manner that is morewww.demos.org
  • 21. CONCLUSION – POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS4. PROMOTE A STRONGER AND MORE DIVERSE MIDDLE CLASS • Invest in human capital and education • Increase employees’ power in the workplace • Use tax policy to strengthen and expand the middle class • Enable Americans to build assets www.demos.org

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