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Arrogant Capital: Washington, Wall Street, and the Frustration of American Politics

de Kevin Phillips

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"Everyone knows that Washington is completely out of touch with the rest of the country. Now Kevin Phillips, whose bestselling books have prophesied the major watersheds of American party politics, tells us why." "Washington - mired in bureaucracy, captured by the money power of Wall Street, and dominated by 90,000 lobbyists, 60,000 lawyers, and the largest concentration of special interests the world has ever seen - has become the albatross that Thomas Jefferson and our other Founding Fathers feared: a swollen capital city feeding off the country it should be governing. Throughout most of our history, the genius of American politics was that ballot revolutions every generation swept out failed establishments and created new ones. Now that can no longer happen. Feared and even hated by a majority of the citizenry, "Permanent Washington" has dug in. Using history as a chilling warning, Kevin Phillips parallels the present atrophy to that of formerly mighty and arrogant capitals like Rome, Madrid, and Amsterdam. Unchecked, Washington will - like other great powers before it - lead the country to its inevitable decline and fall." "To work again, Washington must be purged and revitalized. In his unique blueprint for a political upheaval, Kevin Phillips puts Washington on notice by sounding a cry for immediate action, offering us a wide variety of remedies - some quasi-revolutionary, others more moderate, but all sure to be controversial."--BOOK JACKET.… (mais)
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Kevin Phillips, an astute, conservative, politica1 commentator, worries that a deep economic shift has occurred in the United States portending ominous changes in the future. Much of corporate downsizing and "leaning out" benefits speculators, lobbyists, investment bankers, and stock brokers, but does not create jobs or increase the employment base of the country.

"Firms once committed to long term thinking now faced money managers and speculators little concerned about existence beyond the life of a futures contract .... Corporations purged employees, especially older ones close to retirement, cut employee benefits, slashed real wages, and shut down plants in Terre Haute or Muncie .... For the first time in modem US history, stock prices decoupled from the real economy, enabling the Dow-Jones industrial average to keep setting records even as employees' real wages kept declining. Financialization has only a vague definition, but all of these burdens the erosion of wages, the agonies of families and communities - go into it."

Phillips points out that an explosion in wealth occurred in the eighties among the top half of one percent of incomes. Those in the bottom half of that top one percent - the $200,00000 $300,000 bracket-did not improve at all. "Virtually the entire gain went to the top one-half of one percent, the families with $4 million to $5-million net worth on up. Their investment capacity exploded." The economy has improved dramatically, but the median income has fallen when adjusted for inflation. The Perot constituency, in particular, has lost more ground economically than the average voter. Hence the anti-Bush, anti-Clinton, and (he suspects) 1996, anti-Republican vote, unless the polarization ceases or reverses. ( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
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"Everyone knows that Washington is completely out of touch with the rest of the country. Now Kevin Phillips, whose bestselling books have prophesied the major watersheds of American party politics, tells us why." "Washington - mired in bureaucracy, captured by the money power of Wall Street, and dominated by 90,000 lobbyists, 60,000 lawyers, and the largest concentration of special interests the world has ever seen - has become the albatross that Thomas Jefferson and our other Founding Fathers feared: a swollen capital city feeding off the country it should be governing. Throughout most of our history, the genius of American politics was that ballot revolutions every generation swept out failed establishments and created new ones. Now that can no longer happen. Feared and even hated by a majority of the citizenry, "Permanent Washington" has dug in. Using history as a chilling warning, Kevin Phillips parallels the present atrophy to that of formerly mighty and arrogant capitals like Rome, Madrid, and Amsterdam. Unchecked, Washington will - like other great powers before it - lead the country to its inevitable decline and fall." "To work again, Washington must be purged and revitalized. In his unique blueprint for a political upheaval, Kevin Phillips puts Washington on notice by sounding a cry for immediate action, offering us a wide variety of remedies - some quasi-revolutionary, others more moderate, but all sure to be controversial."--BOOK JACKET.

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