American insecurity : why our economic fears lead to by Adam Seth Levine PDF

By Adam Seth Levine

ISBN-10: 0691162964

ISBN-13: 9780691162966

Americans this present day face no scarcity of threats to their monetary future health, akin to task and retirement lack of confidence, well-being care expenses, and spiraling university institution. whereas one could anticipate that those issues may inspire humans to turn into extra politically working on the problems, this usually does not ensue, and the ensuing inactiveness consists of outcomes for political debates and public coverage. relocating past formerly studied limitations to political association, American Insecurity sheds mild at the public's state of no activity over monetary insecurities by means of exhibiting that the rhetoric surrounding those concerns is really self-undermining. by means of their nature, the very arguments meant to mobilize individuals--asking them to dedicate funds or time to politics--remind electorate in their monetary fears and private constraints, resulting in undermobilization and nonparticipation.

Adam Seth Levine explains why the set of people that turn into politically lively on monetary lack of confidence matters is as a result relatively slender. while funds is required, purely those that care concerning the concerns yet are usually not for my part affected get involved. while time is required, participation is restricted to these now not individually affected or those who find themselves individually affected yet outdoors of the hard work strength with time to spare. The latter explains why it truly is quite effortless to mobilize retirees on subject matters that mirror own monetary issues, reminiscent of Social safeguard and Medicare. usually, besides the fact that, while political illustration calls for a wide crew to make their case, fiscal lack of confidence threats are uniquely disadvantaged.

Scrutinizing the principles of political habit, American Insecurity bargains a brand new point of view on collective participation.

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Example text

I am delighted that my book has found a home there as well. My thinking on this topic has also benefited tremendously from the conversations and feedback I received from a wonderful group of friends in graduate school at the University of Michigan: Yanna Krupnikov, Shanna Kirschner, Carolina de Miguel, Spencer Piston, Gisela Sin, Kharis Templeman, Emily Pape, Ella Gao, Pam McCann, and Alex von Hagen-Jamar. Yanna, Shanna, Carolina, and I were all part of a group that regularly met to comment on each other’s work.

32 This is precisely why issue importance is thought to be so critical. If organizations can activate people’s issue concerns, as well as convince them that an opportunity for change actually exists,33 then people are more likely to act. Past work thus paints a rich picture of the barriers to collective action on broad-based issues such as those related to economic insecurity. Everything in this book rests upon that important foundation. But this suite of factors—a lack of organizations mobilizing people, a lack of resources on the part of potential group members, and a lack of motivation—would not appear to fully explain the barriers to collective action in the four examples earlier in the chapter.

And it requires such action even though the rewards are uncertain and, if ultimately successful, the benefit is often a public good that all citizens would enjoy regardless of whether they personally contributed to the group’s success. After all, everyone can benefit when consumer protection legislation is enacted, when the water and air are cleaner, and when the government is less corrupt. 22 The barriers to collective action are clearly formidable. What factors help overcome them? One of the most important is organizational.

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American insecurity : why our economic fears lead to political inaction by Adam Seth Levine

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