As our country faced the greatest economic crisis in generations during the financial collapse of 2008, a rare bipartisan majority passed a $700 billion bailout for failing banks known as TARP, the Troubled Asset Relief Program. During the financial meltdown, Americans lost more than $10 trillion of their own hard-earned savings when housing values plunged and retirement accounts were hollowed out. Why did Congress move so quickly and on such a historic scale to save the financial sector, but not do anything remotely similar to provide direct relief to the working- and middle-class voters who were suffering an even greater loss—and who, incidentally, had the power to vote them out of office?
In White-Collar Government, Nicholas Carnes, an assistant professor of public policy at Duke University, suggests that one underexamined factor shaping economic policy in the United States is the social class of the legislators who vote on it.
Read more here.
This article was originally published in Democracy.
To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:
Print: Liz Bartolomeo (poverty, health care)
202.481.8151 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or email@example.com
Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education)
202.478.6331 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Print: Tanya Arditi (immigration, Progress 2050, race issues, demographics, criminal justice, Legal Progress)
202.741.6258 or email@example.com
Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues, TalkPoverty.org, faith)
202.478.5328 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Print: Benton Strong (Center for American Progress Action Fund)
202.481.8142 or email@example.com
Spanish-language and ethnic media: Jennifer Molina
202.796.9706 or firstname.lastname@example.org
TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or email@example.com
Radio: Sally Tucker
202.482.8103 or firstname.lastname@example.org