Let them Eat Tweets
How the Right Rules in an Age of Extreme Inequality
by Jacob S. Hacker, Paul Pierson
Pub Date 19 May 2020
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A groundbreaking account of how the dangerous alliance of right-wing plutocrats and populists threatens the very pillars of American democracy.
We often assume that the Republican Party is divided between a tax-cutting old guard and a white-nationalist vanguard—and that with Donald Trump’s ascendance, the upstarts are winning. Yet as New York Times best-selling authors Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson demonstrate, plutocrats and populists are now effectively allies in an intensifying fight to lock in America’s skyrocketing inequality.
Conservative parties can always be expected to side with economic elites, but when faced with popular resistance, they usually allow for policies that benefit the working and middle classes. Yet today’s Republicans are an anomaly. Not only are they doubling down on a truly radical, elite-benefitting economic agenda, but even once-respectable conservatives have turned to nativist appeals and racist dog whistles—and, increasingly, to assaults on democracy itself.
Drawing on decades of research, Hacker and Pierson offer a new framework for understanding this vicious circle of deregulation and fear-mongering—and show how we can fight it.
About the Authors: Jacob S. Hacker is a political scientist at Yale University, and the coauthor of three books, including the New York Times bestseller Winner-Take-All Politics. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut. Paul Pierson is a political scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, and the coauthor of three books, including the New York Times bestseller Winner-Take-All Politics. He lives in Berkeley, California.
“This book makes intelligible how the nightmare of our current politics has happened. With their usual acuity and verve, Hacker and Pierson confront us with an uncomfortable reality: extreme economic inequality has left America vulnerable to a right-wing extremism that has destroyed other countries' democracies in the past. Hacker and Pierson's message is not that democracy in America is doomed. But to save it, we need to come to grips with the underlying economic forces pulling it apart today.” - Daniel Ziblatt, Professor of Government at Harvard University and coauthor of the New York Times bestseller How Democracies Die