Are the poor represented in government? - New York News

Are the poor represented in government?

Updated:

By: Mercedes White, Deseret News

In his 2010 New York Times column Paul Krugman, an American economist and Nobel Prize winner, made an observation about some of the differences between the rich and the poor when it comes to electoral politics:

“You see, the rich are different from you and me: they have more influence. It's partly a matter of campaign contributions, but it's also a matter of social pressure, since politicians spend a lot of time hanging out with the wealthy. So when the rich face the prospect of paying an extra 3 or 4 percent of their income in taxes, politicians feel their pain - feel it much more acutely, it's clear, than they feel the pain of families who are losing their jobs, their houses, and their hopes.”

Many agree with Krugman's assessment. In his 2008 book Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age,Larry Bartels, Vanderbilt University professor of political science, shows how elected officials respond to the views of their affluent constituents, but ignore the views of poor people. Specifically, Bartels found that Republican presidents produce much less income growth for middle-class and working-poor families than for affluent families, contributing to growing income inequality. Bartel argues that tax cuts for the wealthy combined with erosion of the minimum wage are examples of policies that created more income inequality.

But a new study from Yale University provides evidence that Krugman and Bartels' have it all wrong. Authors of the study, Eric Brunner, Stephen L. Ross and Ebonya Washington, use data to show that less income does not mean less representation. Three specific findings emerged from their study.

1. The opinions of high- and low-income voters are highly correlated; the legislator's vote often reflects the desire of both.

2. Differences in representation by income vary by a legislator's party affiliation. Republicans more often vote the will of higher income constituents over lower income constituents; Democratic legislators do the reverse.

3. Differences in representation by income are largely explained by the correlation between constituent income and party affiliation.

Original post

Copyright 2013 Deseret Digital Media, Inc.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Astorino blasts Cuomo over Moreland Commission

    Astorino blasts Cuomo over Moreland Commission

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 6:54 PM EDT2014-07-30 22:54:36 GMT
    In 2013, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo created a state panel to investigate public corruption, called the Moreland Commission. But the governor is accused of interfering with investigations and compromising the commission's work. Republican Astorino, who is running against Cuomo, claimed Cuomo didn't hand over evidence to State Police. Astorino wants a special prosecutor to find out if any state and federal laws were broken.
    In 2013, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo created a state panel to investigate public corruption, called the Moreland Commission. But the governor is accused of interfering with investigations and compromising the commission's work. Republican Astorino, who is running against Cuomo, claimed Cuomo didn't hand over evidence to State Police. Astorino wants a special prosecutor to find out if any state and federal laws were broken.
  • WTC shipwreck mystery solved

    WTC shipwreck mystery solved

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 6:08 PM EDT2014-07-30 22:08:14 GMT
    Archeologists say they've solved a mystery that started with the rebuilding at ground zero. During the excavation at the World Trade Center Site, workers uncovered part of an old ship. No one knew where it came from. Now after years of study, researchers believe the sloop dates back to 1773, built from wood harvested from Pennsylvania, the same kind used to build Independence Hall.
    Archeologists say they've solved a mystery that started with the rebuilding at ground zero. During the excavation at the World Trade Center Site, workers uncovered part of an old ship. No one knew where it came from. Now after years of study, researchers believe the sloop dates back to 1773, built from wood harvested from Pennsylvania, the same kind used to build Independence Hall.
  • NYC subway report card

    NYC subway report card

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:09 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:09:16 GMT
    "A mixed bag": That's how the Straphangers Campaign characterizes New York City subways; some good parts and some bad. For example, the C train breaks down most often, not surprising since the line has 50-year-old cars. But C trains were also the cleanest in the transit system.Straphangers said the worst subway trains were the IRT's No. 2.
    "A mixed bag": That's how the Straphangers Campaign characterizes New York City subways; some good parts and some bad. For example, the C train breaks down most often, not surprising since the line has 50-year-old cars. But C trains were also the cleanest in the transit system.Straphangers said the worst subway trains were the IRT's No. 2.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices