A Student's Reading of The Politics of Rich and Poor
Often times, a political analyst/scientist will write a book on the politics and economics of the time. This writer may also create a work which emanates views contrary to the opinion of the governing body. Rarely, however, does one find an analyst who will clearly undermine his own political party by, in effect, saying, 'I told you so.' Kevin Phillips, editor-publisher of The American Political Report, columnist for the Los Angeles Times, and chief political analyst for the 1968 Republican presidential campaign, describes in his book, The Politics of Rich and Poor: Wealth and the American Electorate in the Regan Aftermath, the consequences of the decisions made by the United States government while under the presidency of Republican Ronald Regan. Phillips' theme of the widening gap between the upper twenty percent of the population, in respect to annual income in actual dollars, with the lower twenty percent of the population coincides with the belief of the typical American avarice, during the eighties, leading the country on a rollercoaster ride of economic instability and shaky ground.
These ideas remain constant and prevalant throughout the seven chapters. His views, though somewhat repetitive in the text, strike the reader with astonishment, especially when considering Phillips' Republican party affiliation.
With his thesis in mind, Phillips discusses three major factors that escalate and at the same time submerge the state of the economy in America. These factors include: the sudden shift in tax rates, the diminishing 'global wealth' of America, and the inability of the government under Regan to satisfy a 'happy medium' for economic growth. All of these factors support Phillips' theme and prove his argument of an up and down cycle of economic stability.
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