You Call This a Democracy? Who Benefits, Who Pays, Who Really Decides

ISBN-10: 1891843265

ISBN-13: 9781891843266

Edition: 2004

Authors: Paul Kivel

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You Call This a Democracy? is a penetrating and troubling look at how the U.S. ruling class and the power elite dominate wealth, power and decision-making in all aspects of our lives and institutions. Arguing that the United States has always had a ruling class, this book does not focus on the current administration or rogue corporations, but presents a deeper, longer-term analysis of how the ruling class has created and uses the Constitution, corporations and the courts, as well as a host of other mechanisms such as tax laws, wars, buffer zones, and distractions, to dominate our society and accumulate wealth.The book is carefully researched and referenced, and filled with numerous examples and illustrations. It is an indispensable resource for every person concerned about the undemocratic concentration of wealth and power in our society.This revised second printing adds a new workshop and classroom friendly study guide which makes this an easy to use book for activists and educators focused on issues of poverty, inequality, multiculturalism, diversity, politics, and economic, racial, and gender justice. The new Afterword includes practical suggestions for incorporating democratic practice in our everyday family, classroom and workplace processes.You Call This a Democracy? is being used in high school and college classes, in study groups, in religious based social justice projects, and by activists throughout the country because it provides a framework and common vocabulary to talk about issues of economic justice and to help guide people's everyday decisions and political involvement.
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Book details

List price: $24.00
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Incorporated
Publication date: 8/6/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 250
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.880

List of Illustrations
Where Are You in the Class System?
Class Chart
Brief Definitions
The Impact on the Rest of Us of Having a Ruling Class
The Impact of the U.S. Ruling Class on the Rest of the World
A Short History of the U.S. Ruling Class
What is a Ruling Class?
A Ruling Class Is Not…
What Does the Economic Structure of the U.S. Look Like?
Who Makes Up the Ruling Class?
The Managerial Class
The Bottom of the Wealth Pyramid
The Power Elite
The Financial Elite
The U.S. Power Elite Is a Primary Component of the International Power Elite
Why Does Wealth Matter?
Income or Wealth?
Who Owns the United States?
Where Does Wealth Come From?
Speculative Wealth
Other Kinds of Wealth
Wealth and People of Color
Women and Wealth
How Do They Rule? The Constitution, Corporations, and the Courts
The Constitution
The Courts
How Does the Power Elite Communicate?
Interlocking Directorships
Policy Formation Groups
Think Tanks
Elite Universities
Elite Publications
How Do They Stay in Power?
Experts and Professionals
Buying an Office
Giving at the (Corporate) Office
What Does This Money Buy?
Two-party System
How Do Members of the Ruling Class Increase Their Wealth?
Corporate Welfare
Military Incursions
International Debt
Arms and Armaments
Defense Spending
Drugs and Drug Wars
Oil, Drugs, and Arms
"Free" Trade and "Free" Markets
Domestic Debt
Federal Reserve Bank
Corporate Crime
Preserving Their Wealth
Capital Gains Taxes
Tax-exempt Bonds
The Federal Debt
Home Mortgage Interest Tax Deduction
Tax Shelters
Charitable Deductions
Social Security
Passing on Their Wealth
Estate Tax Reductions
Gift Tax Exclusion
Integrating New Members into the Ruling Class
Protecting Themselves and Their Families Financially
Offshore Financial Havens
Protecting Their Power
Dealing with Resistance in the U.S.
Dealing with Resistance in Other Countries
How Do Members of the Ruling Class Feel About Being Rich?
Are Members of the Ruling Class Good or Bad, Happy or Sad?
Why Don't We See Them?
Living Privately
Education of Children
Social Clubs
The Ruling Class and the Buffer Zone
Taking Care of People
Keeping Hope Alive
Controlling People
Managing the Buffer Zone
Why We Don't Focus Attention on the Ruling Class: The Role of the Mass Media
Media Ownership
Media Bias
Media Tactics
Spin Control
Wars Overseas
The Cycle of Interpersonal Violence
Racism, Sexism, and Homophobia
Anti-Jewish Fears
Lack of Time
Spectator Sports
Pornography and Prostitution
Scandal, Corruption, and Drama in the Courtroom
Alcohol and Other Drugs
TV and Movies
Video Games and Computers
New Technological Gadgets
Legalized Gambling
The Myth of Equal Opportunity
Starting At the Top
Who Decides? Who Benefits? Who Pays?: Public Policy Issues
"Big" Government, Deregulation, and Privatization
State's Rights
Which Side Are You on?
Tax Cuts
Estate Taxes
Health Care
The Environment
International Solidarity and War
Assessing Public Policy Issues and Political Candidates
Getting Information
Questions to Assess Public Policy Issues
Questions to Ask Political Candidates
Beyond Survival-Getting Together
Workshop/Study Guide
Organizations and Websites
From the Author
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