Chapter

Economic Inequality and Political Representation

Larry M. Bartels

in The Unsustainable American State

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780195392135
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199852543 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195392135.003.0007
Economic Inequality and Political Representation

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This chapter reveals how increasing economic inequality among Americans engenders political inequality as well. Though every citizen should equally count in the area of politics and government in a democratic state, this chapter argues that affluent constituents are given more importance by public officials. Taken into account representation by US senators in the late 1980s and early 1990s, senators during this period were more responsive to the views of the elite while those with lower incomes were not considered in the policy making process. Though various reasons are presented on the reason for this disparity, the chapter reflects on the idea that affluent constituent's propensity to contribute to political campaigns are greater than less affluent ones.

Keywords: economic inequality; democratic state; affluent constituents; policy making process; campaigns

Chapter.  11638 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: US Politics

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