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American InsecurityWhy Our Economic Fears Lead to Political Inaction$
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Adam Seth Levine

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691162966

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691162966.001.0001

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Financial Threats and Self-Undermining Rhetoric

Financial Threats and Self-Undermining Rhetoric

(p.1) 1 Financial Threats and Self-Undermining Rhetoric
American Insecurity

Adam Seth Levine

Princeton University Press

This chapter provides an overview of the book's main themes. This book examines the political consequences of threats to Americans' financial well-being and in particular why they might not motivate people to become politically active even though we have good reason to expect that they would. Such threats are collectively referred to as American insecurity—or, in some cases, simply economic insecurity. The book focuses primarily on four threats: involuntary job loss, health care costs, retirement, and higher education costs. These four by no means capture the full range of financial threats that Americans face, but they turn out to be particularly illuminating cases. Relative to many other issues that are often grouped under the label of “economic insecurity,” explaining political inaction on these four issues turns out to require a new theoretical approach.

Keywords:   financial insecurity, financial well-being, political behavior, political participation, job loss, health care costs, retirement, education costs, American insecurity

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