One Nation Undecided

Clear Thinking about Five Hard Issues That Divide Us
Author: Peter H. Schuck
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400884721
Category: Political Science
Page: 440
View: 2620

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A unique primer on how to think intelligently about the thorniest public issues confronting us today Let's be honest, we've all expressed opinions about difficult hot-button issues without always thinking them through. With so much media spin, political polarization, and mistrust of institutions, it's hard to know how to think about these tough challenges, much less what to do about them. One Nation Undecided takes on some of today's thorniest issues and walks you through each one step-by-step, explaining what makes it so difficult to grapple with and enabling you to think smartly about it. In this unique what-to-do book, Peter Schuck tackles poverty, immigration, affirmative action, campaign finance, and religious objections to gay marriage and transgender rights. For each issue, he provides essential context; defines key concepts and values; presents the relevant empirical evidence; describes and assesses the programs that now seek to address it; and considers many plausible solutions. Schuck looks at all sides with scrupulous fairness while analyzing them rigorously and factually. Each chapter is self-contained so that readers may pick and choose among the issues that interest and concern them most. His objective is to educate rather than proselytize you—the very nature of these five issues is that they resist clear answers; reasonable people can differ about where they come out on them. No other book provides such a comprehensive, balanced, and accessible analysis of these urgent social controversies. One Nation Undecided gives you the facts and competing values, makes your thinking about them more sophisticated, and encourages you to draw your own conclusions.

One Nation Undecided

Clear Thinking about Five Hard Issues That Divide Us
Author: Peter H. Schuck
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 9780691167435
Category: Political Science
Page: 432
View: 3329

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Let's be honest, we've all expressed opinions about difficult hot-button issues without always thinking them through. With so much media spin, political polarization, and mistrust of institutions, it's hard to know how to think about these tough challenges, much less what to do about them. One Nation Undecided takes on some of today's thorniest issues and walks you through each one step-by-step, explaining what makes it so difficult to grapple with and enabling you to think smartly about it. In this unique what-to-do book, Peter Schuck tackles poverty, immigration, affirmative action, campaign finance, and religious objections to gay marriage and transgender rights. For each issue, he provides essential context; defines key concepts and values; presents the relevant empirical evidence; describes and assesses the programs that now seek to address it; and considers many plausible solutions. Schuck looks at all sides with scrupulous fairness while analyzing them rigorously and factually. Each chapter is self-contained so that readers may pick and choose among the issues that interest and concern them most. His objective is to educate rather than proselytize you--the very nature of these five issues is that they resist clear answers; reasonable people can differ about where they come out on them. No other book provides such a comprehensive, balanced, and accessible analysis of these urgent social controversies. One Nation Undecided gives you the facts and competing values, makes your thinking about them more sophisticated, and encourages you to draw your own conclusions.

Red and Blue Nation?

Characteristics and Causes of America's Polarized Politics
Author: Pietro S. Nivola,David W. Brady
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 0815760841
Category: Political Science
Page: 317
View: 1561

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Analysts and pundits increasingly perceive a widening gulf between "red states" and "blue states." Yet the research to support that perception is scattered and sometimes difficult to parse. America's polarized politics, it is said, poses fundamental dangers for democratic and accountable government. Heightened partisanship is thought to degrade deliberation in Congress and threaten the integrity of other institutions, from the courts to the media. But, how deep do the country's political divisions actually run? Are they truly wreaking havoc upon the social fabric? Has America become a house divided? This important new book, Red and Blue Nation?, gets to the bottom of this perplexing issue. The first of two volumes cosponsored by Brookings and the Hoover Institution carefully considers the extent to which polarized views among political leaders and activists are reflected in the population at large. It pays particular attention to factors such as the increased influence of religion and the changing nature of the media. The authors show that while the severity of the country's "culture wars" is often overstated, significant fissures have opened. In Red and Blue Nation? leading journalists and scholars combine their different insights to enrich our understanding of the issue, offering thoughtful analyses of the underlying problems. This comprehensive and accessible discussion of the polarization debate will be an essential resource for policymakers, scholars, and anyone interested in the health of American public discourse. Contributors include Alan I. Abramowitz (Emory University), David W. Brady (Hoover Institution), Peter Beinart (The New Republic), Sarah A. Binder (Brookings Institution), James Campbell (State University of New York at Buffalo), Carl Cannon (National Journal), E.J. Dionne, Jr. (Brookings Institution), Gregg Easterbrook (Brookings Institution), Thomas B. Edsall (Washington Post), Morris P. Fiorina (Hoover Institution), William A. Galston (Brookings Institution), Hahrie C. Han (Wellesley College), Gary C. Jacobson (University of California, San Diego), Andrew Kohut (Pew Research Center for The People & The Press), Matthew Levendusky (Stanford University), Thomas E. Mann (Brookings Institution), Diana C. Mutz (University of Pennsylvania), Pietro S. Nivola (Brookings Institution), Tom Rosenstiel (Project for Excellence in Journalism), and Alan Wolfe (Boston College).

Why Government Fails So Often

And How It Can Do Better
Author: Peter H. Schuck
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400850045
Category: Political Science
Page: 488
View: 2182

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From healthcare to workplace and campus conduct, the federal government is taking on ever more responsibility for managing our lives. At the same time, Americans have never been more disaffected with Washington, seeing it as an intrusive, incompetent, wasteful giant. Ineffective policies are caused by deep structural factors regardless of which party is in charge, bringing our government into ever-worsening disrepute. Understanding why government fails so often—and how it might become more effective—is a vital responsibility of citizenship. In this book, lawyer and political scientist Peter Schuck provides a wide range of examples and an enormous body of evidence to explain why so many domestic policies go awry—and how to right the foundering ship of state. An urgent call for reform, Why Government Fails So Often is essential reading for anyone curious about why government is in such a disgraceful state and how it can do better.

Understanding America

The Anatomy of an Exceptional Nation
Author: Peter H. Schuck,James Q. Wilson
Publisher: PublicAffairs
ISBN: 0786745487
Category: History
Page: 704
View: 9304

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The idea of an exceptional America remains controversial. In this dazzlingly comprehensive collection of essays, some of the nation's best scholars and thinkers take on the weighty task of sizing up Goliath in a way Americans and others can comprehend. These twenty studies in American exceptionalism provide a solidly researched and in-depth analysis on the current state of our institutions, our values, and our challenges for the future.

Moving toward Integration

The Past and Future of Fair Housing
Author: Richard H. Sander
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674919874
Category: History
Page: 580
View: 9775

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Reducing residential segregation is the best way to reduce racial inequality in the United States. African American employment rates, earnings, test scores, even longevity all improve sharply as residential integration increases. Yet far too many participants in our policy and political conversations have come to believe that the battle to integrate America’s cities cannot be won. Richard Sander, Yana Kucheva, and Jonathan Zasloff write that the pessimism surrounding desegregation in housing arises from an inadequate understanding of how segregation has evolved and how policy interventions have already set many metropolitan areas on the path to integration. Scholars have debated for decades whether America’s fair housing laws are effective. Moving toward Integration provides the most definitive account to date of how those laws were shaped and implemented and why they had a much larger impact in some parts of the country than others. It uses fresh evidence and better analytic tools to show when factors like exclusionary zoning and income differences between blacks and whites pose substantial obstacles to broad integration, and when they do not. Through its interdisciplinary approach and use of rich new data sources, Moving toward Integration offers the first comprehensive analysis of American housing segregation. It explains why racial segregation has been resilient even in an increasingly diverse and tolerant society, and it demonstrates how public policy can align with demographic trends to achieve broad housing integration within a generation.

Targeting in Social Programs

Avoiding Bad Bets, Removing Bad Apples
Author: Peter H. Schuck,Richard J. Zeckhauser
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 0815778791
Category: Political Science
Page: 175
View: 8297

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Should chronically disruptive students be allowed to remain in public schools? Should nonagenarians receive costly medical care at taxpayer expense? Who should be first in line for kidney transplants—the relatively healthy or the severely ill? In T argeting in Social Programs , Peter H. Schuck and Richard J. Zeckhauser provide a rigorous framework for analyzing these and other difficult choices. Many government policies seek to help unfortunate, often low-income individuals—in other words, "bad draws." These efforts are frequently undermined by poor targeting, however. In particular, when two groups of bad draws—"bad bets" and "bad apples"—are included in social welfare programs, bad policies are likely to result. Many politicians and policymakers prefer to sweep this problem under the rug. But the costs of this silence are high. Allocating resources to bad bets and bad apples does more than waste money—it also makes it harder to achieve substantive goals, such as the creation of safe and effective schools. And perhaps most important, it erodes support for public programs on which many good bets and good apples rely. By training a spotlight on these issues, Schuck and Zeckhauser take a first step toward much-needed reforms. They dissect the challenges involved in defining bad bets and bad apples and discuss the safeguards that any classification process must provide. They also examine three areas where bad apples and bad bets loom large—public schools, public housing, and medical care—and propose policy changes that could reduce the problems these two groups pose. This provocative book does not offer easy answers, but it raises questions that no one with an interest in policy effectiveness can afford to ignore. By turns incisive and probing, Bad Draws will generate vigorous debate.

Brookings Big Ideas for America


Author: Michael E. O'Hanlon
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 0815731329
Category: Political Science
Page: 280
View: 6669

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An Agenda for the Nation What are the biggest issues facing the country as Donald Trump and the GOP-led 115th Congress take office? Any new administration faces a myriad of issues and problems it must take on as it ascends to power. In this volume, Brookings scholars and others offer their solutions, from Ben Bernanke and Richard Bush to Richard Reeves and Dayna Matthew, from Bob Reischauer and Alice Rivlin to Robert Kagan and Elaine Kamarck, to Belle Sawhill, Doug Elmendorf, David Wessel, Bill Galston, and Carol Graham, as well as many others. These powerful essays engage and inform readers on a variety of timely, crucial issues that affect the present and the future of the United States. Much of the focus is on the threatened middle-class dream in America. On the domestic front, Brookings scholars tackle topics ranging from health care and jobs to economic opportunity and trade policy, to criminal justice and infrastructure. The alliance system, relationships with China and Mexico, nuclear weapons, terrorism, and the ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq are among the foreign policies issues addressed.

The Transformation of Title IX

Regulating Gender Equality in Education
Author: R. Shep Melnick
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 0815732406
Category: Education
Page: 336
View: 5545

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One civil rights-era law has reshaped American society—and contributed to the country's ongoing culture wars Few laws have had such far-reaching impact as Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Intended to give girls and women greater access to sports programs and other courses of study in schools and colleges, the law has since been used by judges and agencies to expand a wide range of antidiscrimination policies—most recently the Obama administration’s 2016 mandates on sexual harassment and transgender rights. In this comprehensive review of how Title IX has been implemented, Boston College political science professor R. Shep Melnick analyzes how interpretations of "equal educational opportunity" have changed over the years. In terms accessible to non-lawyers, Melnick examines how Title IX has become a central part of legal and political campaigns to correct gender stereotypes, not only in academic settings but in society at large. Title IX thus has become a major factor in America's culture wars—and almost certainly will remain so for years to come.

It's Even Worse Than It Looks

How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism
Author: Thomas E. Mann,Norman J. Ornstein
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465096735
Category: Political Science
Page: 272
View: 2534

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Hyperpartisanship is as old as American democracy. But now, acrimony is not confined to a moment; it's a permanent state of affairs and has seeped into every part of the political process. Identifying the overriding problems that have led Congress—and the United States—to the brink of institutional collapse, It's Even Worse Than It Looks profoundly altered the debate about why America's government has become so dysfunctional. Through a new preface and afterword, Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein bring the story forward, examining the 2012 presidential campaign and exploring the prospects of a less dysfunctional government. As provocative and controversial as ever, It's Even Worse Than It Looks will continue to set the terms of our political debate in the years to come.

For the Next Generation

A Wake-Up Call to Solving Our Nation's Problems
Author: Debbie Wasserman Schultz,Julie M. Fenster
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 1250000998
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 308
View: 1816

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The Democratic National Committee chair and Florida Congresswoman calls for strategic changes in such areas as energy, healthcare and the economy to secure American livelihoods and stability for the next generation, citing political practices that are compromising national interests. (This book was previously featured in Forecast.) 75,000 first printing.

What Terrorists Want

Understanding the Enemy, Containing the Threat
Author: Louise Richardson
Publisher: Random House Incorporated
ISBN: 0812975448
Category: Political Science
Page: 312
View: 3567

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Explores the origins of terrorism, the goals of diverse terrorist groups throughout history, the impact of 9/11 and the changing face of terrorism, the future prospects of terrorist activities, and what can be done to restore global order.

The Big Sort

Why the Clustering of Like-Minded American is Tearing Us Apart
Author: Bill Bishop
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 0547525192
Category: Political Science
Page: 384
View: 7633

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In 2004, journalist Bill Bishop coined the term "the big sort." Armed with startling new demographic data, he made national news in a series of articles showing how Americans have been sorting themselves into alarmingly homogeneous communities -- not by region or by state, but by city and even neighborhood. Over the past three decades, we have been choosing the neighborhood (and church and news show) compatible with our lifestyle and beliefs. The result is a country that has become so polarized, so ideologically inbred that people don't know and can't understand those who live a few miles away. How this came to be, and its dire implications for our country, is the subject of this ground-breaking work. In The Big Sort, Bishop has taken his analysis to a new level. He begins with stories about how we live today and then draws on history, economics and our changing political landscape to create one of the most compelling big-picture accounts of America in recent memory.

Appearance of Impropriety

How the Ethics Wars Have Undermined American Government, Business, and Society
Author: Peter W. Morgan,Glenn H. Reynolds
Publisher: Free Press
ISBN: 9780743242660
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 288
View: 8729

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Illiberal Reformers

Race, Eugenics, and American Economics in the Progressive Era
Author: Thomas C. Leonard
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400874076
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 264
View: 5186

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In Illiberal Reformers, Thomas Leonard reexamines the economic progressives whose ideas and reform agenda underwrote the Progressive Era dismantling of laissez-faire and the creation of the regulatory welfare state, which, they believed, would humanize and rationalize industrial capitalism. But not for all. Academic social scientists such as Richard T. Ely, John R. Commons, and Edward A. Ross, together with their reform allies in social work, charity, journalism, and law, played a pivotal role in establishing minimum-wage and maximum-hours laws, workmen's compensation, antitrust regulation, and other hallmarks of the regulatory welfare state. But even as they offered uplift to some, economic progressives advocated exclusion for others, and did both in the name of progress. Leonard meticulously reconstructs the influence of Darwinism, racial science, and eugenics on scholars and activists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, revealing a reform community deeply ambivalent about America's poor. Illiberal Reformers shows that the intellectual champions of the regulatory welfare state proposed using it not to help those they portrayed as hereditary inferiors but to exclude them.

Richistan

A Journey Through the American Wealth Boom and the Lives of the New Rich
Author: Robert Frank
Publisher: Crown Business
ISBN: 0307409260
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 288
View: 3003

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The rich have always been different from you and me, but this revealing and funny journey through “Richistan” entertainingly shows that they are more different than ever. Richistanis have 400-foot-yachts, 30,000-square-foot homes, house staffs of more than 100, and their own “arborists.” They’re also different from Old Money, and have torn down blue-blood institutions to build their own shining empire. Richistan is like the best travel writing, full of colorful and interesting stories providing insights into exotic locales. Robert Frank has been loitering on the docks of yacht marinas, pestering his way into charity balls, and schmoozing with real estate agents selling mega-houses to capture the story of the twenty-first century’s nouveau riche: House-training the rich. People with new wealth have to be taught how to act like, well, proper rich people. Just in the nick of time, there’s been a boom in the number of newly trained butlers—“household managers”—who will serve just the right cabernet when a Richistani’s new buddies from Palm Beach stop by. “My boat is bigger than your boat.” Only in Richistan would a 100-foot-boat be considered a dinghy. Personal pleasure craft have started to rival navy destroyers in size and speed. Richistan is also a place where friends make fun of those misers who buy the new girlfriend a mere Mercedes SLK. “You want my money? Prove that you’re helping the needy!” Richistanis are not only consuming like crazy, they’re also shaking up the establishment’s bureaucratic, slow-moving charity network, making lean, results-oriented philanthropy an important new driving force. Move over, Christian Coalition. Richistanis are more Democratic than Republican, “fed up and not going to take it anymore,” and willing to spend millions to get progressive-oriented politicians elected. “My name is Mike and I’m rich.” Think that money is the answer? Think again as Robert Frank explores the emotional complexities of wealth. And, as Robert Frank reveals, there is not one Richistan but three: Lower, Middle, and Upper, each of which has its own levels and distinctions of wealth —the haves and the have-mores. The influence of Richistan and the Richistanis extends well beyond the almost ten million households that make up its population, as the nonstop quest for status and an insatiable demand for luxury goods reshapes the entire American economy. From the Hardcover edition.

Our Damaged Democracy

We the People Must Act
Author: Joseph A. Califano
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1501144618
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 336
View: 1231

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This authoritative and passionate scrutiny of the three branches of government reveals the changes—political, cultural, constitutional, technological, institutional—that render our government completely dysfunctional, and the urgent need to fix our democracy before it’s too late. If you’ve been watching the news and worrying that our democracy no longer works, this book will help you understand why you’re right. There is colossal concentration of power in the Presidency. Congress is crippled by partisanship and dependence on special interest money. The Supreme Court and many lower federal courts are riven by politics. Add politically fractured and fragile media, feckless campaign finance laws, rampant income and education inequality, and multicultural divisions, and it’s no wonder our leaders can’t agree on anything or muster a solid majority of Americans behind them. With decades as a leader in government, law, and business, Joseph A. Califano, Jr. has the maturity to be party-neutral in his evaluation and the perspective to see the big picture of our democracy. Using anecdotes and examples featuring every modern president and actions of both parties, Califano makes the urgent case that we do not need to agree, but we do need to trust each other and be worthy of that trust, in order to bring back systems of government that protect freedom and promote fairness. The longer we wait to fix these problems, the more dangerous our situation will become. Our Damaged Democracy is the rallying cry we need to get our country back on track.

Forging Rivals


Author: Reuel Schiller
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107012260
Category: History
Page: 336
View: 620

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Forging Rivals tells the story of the rise and fall of postwar liberalism, vividly recounting the attempts of working people, labor lawyers, and civil rights litigators to create a legal system that promoted both economic opportunity and racial egalitarianism.

The Imprint of Congress


Author: David R. Mayhew
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300227949
Category: Political Science
Page: 160
View: 3930

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What kind of job has America's routinely disparaged legislative body actually done? In The Imprint of Congress, the distinguished congressional scholar David R. Mayhew gives us an insightful historical analysis of the U.S. Congress’s performance from the late eighteenth century to today, exploring what its lasting imprint has been on American politics and society. Mayhew suggests that Congress has balanced the presidency in a surprising variety of ways, and in doing so, it has contributed to the legitimacy of a governing system faced by an often fractious public.