Inequality in the USA

Henning Finseraas
Session Organizer:
Lucy Barnes
Jonathan Hopkin
Saturday, 4 July 2015: 10:15 AM-11:45 AM
TW1.3.02 (Tower One)
Inequality in the United States deserves-- and receives-- particular attention thanks to its high level, and lack of redistributive reaction, compared to peer nations. The papers in this panel seek to understand the causes and consequences of inequality in the `exceptional' context of the United States. 

Goodhart examines the lack of a political reaction to high and rising inequality in America, paying particular attention to the middle class. She argues that falling living standards lead to a decline in support for public programs even in the face of more unequal outcomes, blunting the political impetus for redistrbutive change. 

Focusing instead on political inequality-- that brought about by the differential ability to contribute to electoral campaigns-- Schuster argues that when appropriately measured, money does matter for American electoral outcomes, and that spending can induce voters to change their preferences.

Finally, money may matter in the control of information beyond election time. Kneafsey argues that ownership affects the tone taken by media outlets in their coverage of labour unions.

Where Is the Political Response to Inequality in the US?
Lucy Margaret Goodhart, Brandeis University
What We Talk about When We Talk about Campaign Spending
Steven Sprick Schuster, Colgate University