Winner Take All Politics

Winner Take All Politics

with Paul Pierson, Professor of Political Science, UC Berkeley; Moderated by Lance Knobel,  Founder of Berkeleyside

Paul Pierson LiveTalk

“Today, our economic engine is running on the last fumes of the nation’s post-WWII commitments to economic opportunity, innovation, and security. The tank is empty. Government has stopped working, business elites have stopped caring, and Americans have stopped trusting either of them. This book is about how and why this has happened and, equally important, what can be done to get American capitalism back on track,” write Paul Pierson and Jacob Hacker in the summary of their book,Winner Take All Politics.

In a recent op ed in the American Progressive, Paul Pierson writes, “We need to ask why the American middle class is losing politically. Why is the American political system so weakly responsive to the policy preferences of the majority of Americans?”   Dr. Pierson’s work has been central to untangling this thorny question.  His book with Jacob Hacker, Winner Take All Politics, focusses on seeking to understand the political dynamics that have undermined the middle class in the past three decades.  Their work have caused Bill Moyers to call them the  “Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson” of economics and he considers their book the best he’s seen detailing “how politicians rewrote the rules to create a winner-take-all economy that favors the 1% over everyone else, putting our once and future middle class in peril.”

How do Washington and Big Business work together, in ways that are generally opaque to the rest of us, to entrench the interests of the 1%?  Are any of these practices likely to change in an Obama second term?

Join us for an engaging conversation with leading political scientist Paul Pierson as we explore these issues in the wake of the Obama victory.


About Dr. Pierson:

Political scientist Paul Pierson is an expert in American politics and public policy, comparative political economy and social theory.  He is the John Gross Professor of Political Science at the University of California at Berkeley and 2007-2010 chair of the Berkeley political science department.  His 2010 book Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class, co-authored with Yale professor of political science Jacob Hacker, is an examination of economic inequality in the United States and was described as “the clearest explanation yet of the forces that converged over the past three decades or so to undermine the economic well-being of ordinary Americans” by Bob Herbert of the New York Times.His commentary has recently appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, and The New Republic. He lives in Berkeley, CA.

About Lance Knobel:

Lance Knobel is an international consultant and professional writer. In 1999-2000 he was Director of the Programme of the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos. He was also Editor-in-Chief and Managing Director of World Link, the magazine of the World Economic Forum. He was an Adviser in Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Strategy Unit  in London. His journalism credentials include being Editor-in-Chief of Management Today, the leading business magazine in Britain and founder and Editor of Designers’ Journal in Britain. He has published four books on architecture and design.

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Thursday, 10 January, 2013
07:30 PM
09:00 PM



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