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Uniting AmericaRestoring the Vital Center to American Democracy$
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Norton Garfinkle and Daniel Yankelovich

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780300108569

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300108569.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

Nurturing Economic Growth and the Values of American Democracy

Nurturing Economic Growth and the Values of American Democracy

Chapter:
(p.31) Chapter 2 Nurturing Economic Growth and the Values of American Democracy
Source:
Uniting America
Author(s):
Norton Garfinkle
Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300108569.003.0003

Economic growth and democratic values are intertwined. Economic life and the pursuit of wealth must complement the core values essential to maintaining a healthy civic society. However, this perspective appears to be taken for granted in the anti-tax ideology that has recently dominated economic policymaking in the United States. This chapter examines the middle-ground consensus that characterized U.S. economic policy through most of the period after World War II and argues that this long-standing centrist consensus has been discarded in recent economic policymaking. Such policies, particularly the steep tax cuts based on supply-side economics, may ultimately prevent the American middle class from fulfilling its twin role as the consumer engine of economic growth and a key component of democracy. The chapter suggests that current economic policy seems to be moving toward a “winner-take-all” society marked by ever-growing income inequality. It argues that we need to find a middle course, based on a more equitable approach to taxation in combination with effective non-bureaucratic government action, to sustain economic growth and the middle class.

Keywords:   economic policy, middle class, economic growth, democracy, income inequality, taxation, anti-tax ideology, supply-side economics, tax cuts, United States

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