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The squeezed middleThe pressure on ordinary workers in America and Britain$
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Sophia Parker

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781447308942

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447308942.001.0001

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date: 20 August 2017

How US politics is undermining the American Dream, and what it means for the UK

How US politics is undermining the American Dream, and what it means for the UK

Chapter:
(p.142) (p.143) 3.2 How US politics is undermining the American Dream, and what it means for the UK
Source:
The squeezed middle
Author(s):

Jacob S. Hacker

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447308942.003.0011

The final chapter argues that it is not economics alone that has caused the middle income squeeze, but also economic policy. A positive example of this can be seen in the way that Britain’s more generous regime of tax credits and benefits helped to stem the sharp rises in inequality of the 1980s during the 1990s and early 2000s. More worryingly, in the US, the ongoing Bush tax cuts deprive the Federal government of trillions of dollars each year, at the same time that deep cuts are being made to vital public services. The chapter argues that the American political system is now deeply skewed in favour of business and wealthy, well-networked individuals. Many of the organisations that once represented middle class households on economic issues - particularly unions - have declined, leaving many people without a voice in the political process.

Keywords:   Tax credits, Benefits, Inequality, Cuts, Public services, Political participation, American Dream

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