Billionaire Democracy: The Hijacking of the American Political System by George R. TylerBillionaire Democracy: The Hijacking of the American Political System by George R. Tyler

Billionaire Democracy: The Hijacking of the American Political System

byGeorge R. Tyler

Paperback | January 30, 2018

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This isn’t your America. No matter who the president is.

We’re told that when we vote, when we elect representatives, we’re gaining a voice in government and the policies it implements. But if that’s true, why don’t American politics actually translate our preferences into higher-living standards for the majority of us?

The answer is that, in America, the wealthy few have built a system that works in their favor, while maintaining the illusion of democracy. The reality is that the quality of democracy in the United States is lower than in any other rich democracy, on a par with nations such as Brazil or Turkey.

In the US, voters have little influence on eventual policy outcomes engineered by lawmakers. Political scientists call it theincome biasand attribute it to the power of wealthy donors who favor wage suppression and cuts to important government programs such as public education and consumer protection. It causes American lawmakers to compete to satisfy preferences of donors from the top one percent instead of the middle class.

It’s also why our economy has been misfiring for most Americans for a generation, wages stagnating and opportunity dwindling. The election of Donald Trump shocked the world, but for many Americans, it came as a stark reflection of mounting frustrations with our current system and anger at the status quo. We need to find a way to fix the way our government serves us.

The only realistic pathway to improve middle-class economics is for Congress and the Supreme Court to raise the quality of American democracy. InBillionaire Democracy: The Hijacking of the American Political System, economist George R. Tyler lays out the fundamental problems plaguing our democracy. He explains how the American democratic system is rigged and how it has eroded the middle class, providing an unflinching and honest comparison of the US government to peer democracies abroad. He also breaks down where we fall short and how other rich democracies avoid the income bias created by the overwhelming role of money in US politics. Finally, Tyler outlines practical campaign finance reforms we can adopt when we finally focus on improving the political responsiveness of our government.

It’s time for the people of this nation to demand a government that properly serves us, the American people.
George Tyleris an economist who has extensive private- and public-sector exposure to international issues and foreign economics and political systems. Author ofWhat Went Wronghe worked in the United States Senate for 18 years. Tyler served as senior economist to former Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey and to Sen. Lloyd M. Bentsen (D-T...
Title:Billionaire Democracy: The Hijacking of the American Political SystemFormat:PaperbackDimensions:242 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:January 30, 2018Publisher:BenBella Books, Inc.Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1942952929

ISBN - 13:9781942952923


Table of Contents



Introduction: Removing the Dead Hand of Pay-to-Play


Section 1

America is a Low-Quality Democracy


Chapter 1: Faux Democracy: America's Decline to History's Dismal Default Setting

Chapter 2: Documenting Low-Quality American Democracy: The Income Bias and International Evidence

Chapter 3: TheBuckleyEra: Constitutionally Shielding Vote Buying

Chapter 4: The Donor Class Buys Itself a Political Party


Section 2

Reducing the Role of Money to Improve the Quality of American Democracy


Chapter 5: The Roberts Republicans: A Partisan Court of Sumner Darwinians

Chapter 6: Rejection of Political Equality by the Constitution

Chapter 7: Political Bribery Decriminalized: Vote Buying as “Free Speech

Chapter 8: TheBuckleyEra: Cynicism and Diminished Faith in Democracy

Chapter 9: International Dismay with the Variant of Capitalism Produced by Low-Quality American Democracy


Section 3

 Achieving Political Equality  


Chapter 10: Other Wealthy Democracies Corral Oligarchs

Chapter 11: Recriminalizing Vote Buying

Chapter 12: Rehabilitating America's Flawed Democracy: A Framework for Ending Vote Buying    


Section 4

Original Intent to Prevent Fake News


Chapter 13: Original Intent: A Fact-Based Media

Chapter 14: Fake News Exacerbates Political Polarization, Tribalism, and the Income Bias

Chapter 15: Closing the “Hate Factories: Avoiding the Farce Feared by Madison 

Chapter 16: Epilogue





Editorial Reviews

“The economic inequalities of our era are bad enough in themselves. Far worse is their distorting effect on America's political processes. Everyone knows about these problems. George Tyler offers clear, original, and inventive solutions.”—James Fallows, The Atlantic  “George Tyler’s Billionaire Democracy is a profound, clearly and provocatively written indictment of the American political system by an insider who has seen up close how it works. This book is a must-read for all sentient American citizens.”—Clyde Prestowitz, author of The Betrayal of American Prosperity and president of the Economic Strategy Institute  “A powerful critique of America’s dysfunctional democracy. Tyler vividly illustrates how government policy is bent to serve the needs of the wealthy few and shows that only fundamental political reforms can make America truly democratic.”—Martin Gilens, author of Affluence & Influence: Economic Inequality and Political Power in America