In the aftermath of the Great Recession, America’s dwindling middle class and widening wealth gap emerged as dominant political and economic issues. In this analysis, Gordon Lafer spells out what he considers a corporate takeover of Congress and state legislatures by business interests. Lafer, a professor at the University of Oregon, sees the battle against public unions and employer-provided pensions as a clear attack on American workers by the wealthy. He portrays the Koch brothers, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker and state chambers of commerce – among others – as villains, and pokes holes in the position that unionization and generous employee safety nets hurt overall economic growth. This is an in-depth and well-researched look at an important topic, but the arguments are predictably partisan. Indeed, Lafer’s book hews so closely to liberal ideology that he seems unlikely to change Republican minds. Lafer approaches the topic from a point of view that will almost certainly prove off-putting to conservatives and libertarians. So, getAbstract recommends it to Republicans interested in arguments they are unlikely to agree with and their Democrat counterparts who’d like to see their existing views confirmed.
About the Author
Political economist Gordon Lafer is an associate professor at the University of Oregon’s Labor Education and Research Center. He is also author of The Job Training Charade.