Polarized America

I’ve been awaiting this book for months; and I finally got a copy. Polarized America: The Dance of Ideology and Unequal Riches by Nolan McCarty, Keith T. Poole, and Howard Rosenthal. I paid full price, which is both totally out of character and an indication of how very important I think this book is, but you don’t have to.

This book’s big picture is that very key statistics have all move near lock step very rapidly over the last 25 years in: income distribution, political polarization, percentage foriegn born, declining local government services, and others. These are connected in a complex dance.

Here’s something I didn’t realize. While the Republican party has been moving rapidly right; the Democratic party has on the one hand abandoned their advocacy of general welfare platforms and shifted toward a what they notably refer to as issues of ascription. These are direct decendents of the civil rights movement. These are issues about ascriptive characteristics (race, gender, sexual preference) of individuals. We should reclaim the general welfare issues!

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