The One Percent Solution

The One Percent Solution

How Corporations Are Remaking America One State at A Time

Book - 2017
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In the aftermath of the 2010 Citizens United decision, it's become commonplace to note the growing political dominance of a small segment of the economic elite. But what exactly are those members of the elite doing with their newfound influence? The One Percent Solution provides an answer to this question for the first time. Gordon Lafer's book is a comprehensive account of legislation promoted by the nation's biggest corporate lobbies across all fifty state legislatures and encompassing a wide range of labor and economic policies.In an era of growing economic insecurity, it turns out that one of the main reasons life is becoming harder for American workers is a relentless--and concerted--offensive by the country's best-funded and most powerful political forces: corporate lobbies empowered by the Supreme Court to influence legislative outcomes with an endless supply of cash. These actors have successfully championed hundreds of new laws that lower wages, eliminate paid sick leave, undo the right to sue over job discrimination, and cut essential public services.Lafer shows how corporate strategies have been shaped by twenty-first-century conditions--including globalization, economic decline, and the populism reflected in both the Trump and Sanders campaigns of 2016. Perhaps most important, Lafer shows that the corporate legislative agenda has come to endanger the scope of democracy itself. For anyone who wants to know what to expect from corporate-backed Republican leadership in Washington, D.C., there is no better guide than this record of what the same set of actors has been doing in the state legislatures under its control.

Publisher: Ithaca : ILR Press, an imprint of Cornell University Press, 2017.
ISBN: 9781501703065
Characteristics: x, 259 pages : illustrations, map ; 24 cm


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Jul 14, 2018

This book should be required reading for every citizen.

It's well-researched, well written, and makes it clear why corporations spend so much money at state and local levels on opposing legislation that has an effect on them—even when that effect is not obvious. Behind every ad campaign at the state level, look for a corporation promoting its bottom line in some way.

The section on anti-union activities is especially enlightening. Why would a corporation fund campaigns that attack public-employee unions and pensions? Because corporations have all but eliminated employee unions and pensions, and they want to lower the bar for labor, so that they can get employees at a lower cost. As long as public employees have bargaining power and pensions, they represent a threat to corporate labor practices.


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