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RECLAIM AMERICAN DEMOCRACY:
ECONOMIC SOLUTIONS TO DYSFUNCTIONAL POLITICS
by WERNER NEFF
Is America failing its democracy?
Poverty is on the rise, the minimum wage is kept low, and welfare programs now
exceed 200. The working poor are a social problem created by politics and
institutional poverty traps. Low minimum wages paid by some businesses do not allow
for even a most basic lifestyle and as a result, food stamps, free medical services
and other social programs become necessary to cover the gap. Half of the Federal
budget supports the poor and the elderly all over the country. Americans subsidize
this insufficient minimum wage with their taxes and thus indirectly support the
bottom line of companies that underpay their employees. The minimum wage must be
substantially increased to bring back a free market economy and reduce the need for
social benefits and programs.
Democratic principles are distorted. The political system allows the economic elite
and big corporations to influence legislation in such a way that economic rules are
bent in their favor and higher profits flow into their pockets. Campaign financing
laws favor special interests at the expense of the American people at large.
Too many Americans are blinded by dreams of success and vote against their real
interests and values. That is the American voting paradox, institutionally supported
by gerrymandering and voting restrictions that favor the well-to-do and the
libertarian ideology espoused by many of them.
This book discusses economic solutions to dysfunctional politics and calls for
action to help Americans reclaim democracy to defend their real interests.