us_politics   1511

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Political Hobbyism: A Theory of Mass Behavior
"For many citizens, participation in politics is not motivated by civic duty or selfinterest, but by hobbyism: the objective is self-gratification. I offer a theory of political hobbyism, situate the theory in existing literature, and define and distinguish the hobbyist motivation from its alternatives. I argue that the prevalence of political hobbyism depends on historical conditions related to the nature of leisure time, the openness of the political process to mass participation, and the level of perceived threat. I articulate an empirical research agenda, highlighting how poli-hobbyism can help explain characteristics of participants, forms of participation, rates of participation, and the nature of partisanship. Political hobbyism presents serious problems for a functioning democracy, including participants confusing high stakes for low stakes, participation too focused on the gratifying aspects of politics, and unnecessarily potent partisan rivalries."
to:NB  political_science  us_politics  our_decrepit_institutions  re:democratic_cognition 
29 days ago by cshalizi
Saez and Zucman on Warren tax plan
-- a favorable evaluation by Krugman here
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/28/opinion/elizabeth-warren-tax-plan.html

-- a more cautious evaluation by Noah Smith here
https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-01-29/u-s-economy-populist-plans-to-soak-the-rich-could-backfire

-- a critical take by Mankiw here
http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2019/01/who-is-prototypical-rich-person.html

and the Saez-Zucman op-ed in the times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/22/opinion/ocasio-cortez-taxes.html

and Zucman's paper on questions of tax evasion and avoidance here
http://gabriel-zucman.eu/files/AJZ2018b.pdf

-- Smith's caution is based on allusion to institutional economic thinking, lack of empirical support and overt populist dog-whistle rhetoric.
wealth  income  inequality  public_policy  united_states_of_america  us_politics  us_elections 
7 weeks ago by rvenkat
Billionaires and Stealth Politics, Page, Seawright, Lacombe
"In 2016, when millions of Americans voted for Donald Trump, many believed his claims that personal wealth would free him from wealthy donors and allow him to “drain the swamp.” But then Trump appointed several billionaires and multimillionaires to high-level positions and pursued billionaire-friendly policies, such as cutting corporate income taxes. Why the change from his fiery campaign rhetoric and promises to the working class? This should not be surprising, argue Benjamin I. Page, Jason Seawright, and Matthew J. Lacombe: As the gap between the wealthiest and the rest of us has widened, the few who hold one billion dollars or more in net worth have begun to play a more and more active part in politics—with serious consequences for democracy in the United States.
"Page, Seawright, and Lacombe argue that while political contributions offer a window onto billionaires’ influence, especially on economic policy, they do not present a full picture of policy preferences and political actions. That is because on some of the most important issues, including taxation, immigration, and Social Security, billionaires have chosen to engage in “stealth politics.” They try hard to influence public policy, making large contributions to political parties and policy-focused causes, leading policy-advocacy organizations, holding political fundraisers, and bundling others’ contributions—all while rarely talking about public policy to the media. This means that their influence is not only unequal but also largely unaccountable to and unchallengeable by the American people. Stealth politics makes it difficult for ordinary citizens to know what billionaires are doing or mobilize against it. The book closes with remedies citizens can pursue if they wish to make wealthy Americans more politically accountable, such as public financing of political campaigns and easier voting procedures, and notes the broader types of reforms, such as a more progressive income tax system, that would be needed to increase political equality and reinvigorate majoritarian democracy in the United States."
 
to:NB  books:noted  us_politics  our_decrepit_institutions  corruption  inequality 
10 weeks ago by cshalizi
Youth-Parent Socialization Panel Study, 1965-1997: Four Waves Combined
"The Youth-Parent Socialization Panel Study is a series of surveys designed to assess political continuity and change across time for biologically-related generations and to gauge the impact of life-stage events and historical trends on the behaviors and attitudes of respondents. A national sample of high school seniors and their parents was first surveyed in 1965. Subsequent surveys of the same individuals were conducted in 1973, 1982, and 1997. This data collection combines all four waves of youth data for the study. The general objective of the data collection was to study the dynamics of political attitudes and behaviors by obtaining data on the same individuals as they aged from approximately 18 years of age in 1965 to 50 years of age in 1997. Especially when combined with other elements of the study as released in other ICPSR collections in the Youth Studies Series, this data collection facilitates the analysis of generational, life cycle, and historical effects and political influences on relationships within the family. This data collection also has several distinctive properties. First, it is a longitudinal study of a particular cohort, a national sample from the graduating high school class of 1965. Second, it captures the respondents at key points in their life stages -- at ages 18, 26, 35, and 50. Third, the dataset contains many replicated measures over time as well as some measures unique to each data point. Fourth, there is detailed information about the respondents' life histories. Background variables include age, sex, religious orientation, level of religious participation, marital status, ethnicity, educational status and background, place of residence, family income, and employment status."

--- Used in Rochon's book about value change, in a way which would make it a good case study for propensity-score matching (which Rochon did _not_ do, confounding his inferences). Query, can I get access via CMU, or are we not part of the consortium?
data_sets  us_politics  public_opinion  to_teach:undergrad-ADA 
10 weeks ago by cshalizi
Conservative not republican paradox party identification and ideology among african americans | American government, politics and policy | Cambridge University Press
"Conservative but Not Republican provides a clear and comprehensive framework for understanding the formation and structure of ideological self-identification and its relationship to party identification in the United States. Exploring why the increase in Black conservatives has not met with a corresponding rise in the number of Black Republicans, the book bridges the literature from a number of different research areas to paint a detailed portrait of African-American ideological self-identification. It also provides insight into a contemporary electoral puzzle facing party strategists, while addressing gaps in the current literature on public opinion and voting behavior. Further, it offers original research from previously untapped data. The book is primarily designed for political science, but is also relevant to African-American studies, communication studies, and psychology. Including easy-to-read tables and figures, it is accessible not only to academic audiences but also to journalists and practitioners."
to:NB  us_politics  the_american_dilemma 
december 2018 by cshalizi
The Origins and Consequences of Affective Polarization in the United States | Annual Review of Political Science
"While previously polarization was primarily seen only in issue-based terms, a new type of division has emerged in the mass public in recent years: Ordinary Americans increasingly dislike and distrust those from the other party. Democrats and Republicans both say that the other party’s members are hypocritical, selfish, and closed-minded, and they are unwilling to socialize across party lines. This phenomenon of animosity between the parties is known as affective polarization. We trace its origins to the power of partisanship as a social identity, and explain the factors that intensify partisan animus. We also explore the consequences of affective polarization, highlighting how partisan affect influences attitudes and behaviors well outside the political sphere. Finally, we discuss strategies that might mitigate partisan discord and conclude with suggestions for future work."
to:NB  us_politics  partisanship  whats_gone_wrong_with_america  via:henry_farrell  identity_group_formation 
december 2018 by cshalizi
White Identity Politics by Ashley Jardina
Amidst discontent over America's growing diversity, many white Americans now view the political world through the lens of a racial identity. Whiteness was once thought to be invisible because of whites' dominant position and ability to claim the mainstream, but today a large portion of whites actively identify with their racial group and support policies and candidates that they view as protecting whites' power and status. In White Identity Politics, Ashley Jardina offers a landmark analysis of emerging patterns of white identity and collective political behavior, drawing on sweeping data. Where past research on whites' racial attitudes emphasized out-group hostility, Jardina brings into focus the significance of in-group identity and favoritism. White Identity Politics shows that disaffected whites are not just found among the working class; they make up a broad proportion of the American public - with profound implications for political behavior and the future of racial conflict in America.

-- too simplistic; and I am guilty of judging the book by the publisher's description.
us_elections  us_politics  caste_system  political_psychology  political_science  book  via:nyhan 
december 2018 by rvenkat
The Policy State — Karen Orren, Stephen Skowronek | Harvard University Press
"Policy is government’s ready response to changing times, the key to its successful adaptation. It tackles problems as they arise, from foreign relations and economic affairs to race relations and family affairs. Karen Orren and Stephen Skowronek take a closer look at this well-known reality of modern governance. In The Policy State they point out that policy is not the only way in which America was governed historically, and they describe the transformation that occurred as policy took over more and more of the work of government, emerging as the raison d’être of the state’s operation.
"Rather than analyze individual policies to document this change, Orren and Skowronek examine policy’s effect on legal rights and the formal structure of policy-making authority. Rights and structure are the principal elements of government that historically constrained policy and protected other forms of rule. The authors assess the emergence of a new “policy state,” in which rights and structure shed their distinctive characteristics and take on the attributes of policy.
"Orren and Skowronek address the political controversies swirling around American government as a consequence of policy’s expanded domain. On the one hand, the policy state has rendered government more flexible, responsive, and inclusive. On the other, it has mangled government’s form, polarized its politics, and sowed deep distrust of its institutions. The policy state frames an American predicament: policy has eroded the foundations of government, even as the policy imperative pushes us ever forward, into an uncertain future."
to:NB  books:noted  us_politics  regulation  public_policy  our_decrepit_institutions 
december 2018 by cshalizi

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