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The Cash Ceiling$
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Nicholas Carnes

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691182001

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691182001.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 18 August 2019

Government by the Privileged

Government by the Privileged

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 Government by the Privileged
Source:
The Cash Ceiling
Author(s):

Nicholas Carnes

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691182001.003.0001

This chapter opens the discussion on why working-class Americans—people employed in manual labor, service industry, or clerical jobs—almost never go on to hold political office in the United States. It suggests that the economic gulf between politicians and the people they represent—a so-called government by the privileged or white-collar government—has serious consequences for the American democratic process. Although journalists and scholars have always had hunches about what keeps working-class Americans out of office, to date there has been almost no actual research on why the United States is governed by the privileged or what reformers might do about it. This book tries to change that. It argues that workers are less likely to hold office not because they are unqualified or because voters prefer more affluent candidates, but because workers are simply less likely to run for public office in the first place.

Keywords:   working-class Americans, American politics, American workers, U.S. politics, political office, public office

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