Michael Tanner on Income Inequality and Democracy

Read the article Here.
Michael Tanner, senior fellow at the Cato Institute seeks to mitigate all of the concern over income inequality and clarify facts about income inequality in the article “Five Myths about Economic Inequality”. Tanner’s fifth and final percieved myth he addresses is directly related to the discussion about income inequality and democracy. In Tanner’s fifth myth that income inequality distorts political processes as Madland would argue, Tanner makes the argument that that big government is what exacerbates income inequality and government involvement is the cause of cronyism, not simply income inequality itself.

“It may be reasonable to say, therefore, that far from being the enemy of inequality, big government can actually be an engine, or at least an accomplice, to greater inequality. It is not that inequality tilts the political playing field so much as it is that government provides the mechanism through which inequality can flourish.”

“Moreover, while many wealthy individuals are politically active, that activism is often offset by groups that represent lower-income individuals, or groups whose politics cut across the socioeconomic spectrum. For example, 14 of the top 25 spenders during the 2012 election were unions, which ostensibly advocate for the working class.”

The study of election spending can be found Here.

David Madland on Income Inequality and Democracy

Read the article Here.

David Madland, senior fellow at the Center for American progress advocates for a strong middle class in his piece “Symposium First Principles: Arguing the Economy-Growth and the middle Class”. Madland speaks directly to the question of whether income inequality poses a threat to democracy in the section titled “Good Governance”. Madland makes the claim that income inequality and the consequent shrinking of the middle class increase corruption and reduce efficacy and democracy in Government.

“A strong middle class, as thinkers from Aristotle to James Madison to modern political scientists have noted, fosters better governance by helping ensure government is well-run, increasing citizen participation, minimizing factional fighting, and promoting policies for the benefit of all of society rather than special interests. In contrast, economic inequality and a weak middle class make the political system imbalanced and depress the political participation of the non-wealthy, reducing voting, discussion, and interest in public policy.”

“..economic inequality has a harmful effect on bureaucratic quality, government stability, and democratic accountability. Moreover, actual corruption in government becomes much more common without a strong middle class. In short, a weak middle class hollows out governing practices and institutions, so that the bureaucracy no longer delivers for its citizens.”

Want to read more about Madland’s ideas? Here are the articles he references,
Solt
Chong&Gradstein

It’s time to meet the scholars!

It’s time to meet the scholars who will debate the question: Is Growing Income Inequality a threat to our Democracy? On October 25th!
Our next scholar, arguing that growing income inequality is not a threat to our democracy is Michael Tanner, a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington D.C.

Tanner has written extensively on a variety of domestic policies with a particular emphasis on poverty and social welfare policy. His writings have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Wall Street Journal. He writes a weekly column for National Review Online and appears regularly on network and cable news programs.

It’s time to meet the scholars!

It’s time to meet the scholars who will debate the question: Is Growing Income Inequality a threat to our Democracy? On October 25th!
Our first scholar, arguing that growing income inequality is a threat to our democracy, is David Madland, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress in Washington D.C.

Madland has written extensively about the economy and American politics on a range of topics, including economic inequality. He has appeared frequently on television shows, including “PBS NewsHour” and CNN’s “Crossfire” and he has been cited in such publications as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post.

Is Growing Income Inequality a threat to our Democracy?

The Janus Forum is pleased to announce our first debate of the year on the topic of income inequality. David Madland, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and Michael Tanner, a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute will be debating whether growing income inequality is a threat to our democracy. The debate will take place on October 25th in 107 Ifshin Hall at 3:00 pm with a reception to follow in the atrium, hope to see you there!

Income Inequality among Asian Americans

This year the Janus Forum plans to focus our discussions on income inequality and the scale in which it exists across different cross sections of society. A recently released film has sparked discussion around income inequality among Asian Americans specifically. In a recent study included in the New York times it’s been found that income inequality among Asian-Americans has doubled in the last 50 years, read more <a href="http://This year the Janus Forum plans to focus our discussions on income inequality and the scale in which it exists across different cross sections of society. A recently released film has sparked discussion around income inequality among Asian Americans specifically. In a recent study included in the New York times it's been found that income inequality among Asian-Americans has doubled in the last 50 years, read more here

The Gender Pay Gap

Gender is one of the many contributing factors to the income inequality that plagues the U.S. The gender pay gap is a controversial subject with many different opinions and studies pointing to different reasons as to why women earn almost a quarter less than men. In light of the clear disparity, U.K companies employing more than 250 people on staff are required by law to report on their gender pay gap. Below is the findings from the staff of the Economist Newspaper in the U.K.
The findings show that while women and men make up about even portions of the total staff, women are primarily in the lowet tier positions while men occupy managerial and executive positions. In summarizing their findings the Economist group explains that top positions have much less turnover and become a lot less diverse then entry positions with quick turnover.
Read for yourself here!
https://www.economistgroup.com/pdfs/Gender_Pay_Gap_Report_2018_Final.pdf

Income Inequality

“Among lower- and middle-income households, white families have four times as much wealth as black families and three times as much as Hispanic families.”

The Janus Forum at UVM focuses on constructive discussion aimed towards solving critical problems in society. Income inequality in the U.S is an important part of this discussion on improvement as well as a contentious subject. In light of this, and the steady incline in income inequality that has taken place over the past 40 years, the Janus Forum has decided to focus on income inequality for the upcoming year. The Janus Forum will be hosting events such as debates and panel discussions related to this topic, more specific topics and dates to come!

Want to do some reading on the subject? Check out this 2017 research from the Pew Research Center on Income Inequality below!
“How wealth inequality has changed in the U.S. since the Great Recession, by race, ethnicity and income” -Rakesh Kochhar

https://www.google.com/amp/www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/11/01/how-wealth-inequality-has-changed-in-the-u-s-since-the-great-recession-by-race-ethnicity-and-income/%3famp=1

Civil Disobediende on College Campuses: Is it justified? If so, when?

When is civil disobedience justified on college campuses?
This questions continues to be asked when reflecting on events like the occupation of Waterman at UVM organized by Nonames for Justice as well as the protests over controversial speakers at Middlebury, UConn, the University of Michigan and Columbia. The Janus Forum Welcomed scholars David Shih and Jonathan Rauch to discuss the topic of Free Speech on College Campuses this past February and this past April members from UVM’s Lawrence Debate Union along with Dr Thomas Streeter and Dr. Winnie Looby participated in a public debate to answer the question of if and when civil disobedience on college campuses is justified. Here is a noteworthy moment from the discussion:

“College campuses are often seen as preparation for real-world activism. Because of this idea, it’s important that we are reflective and responsible with the ways we choose to engage in activism, and that we promote discussions on how to respectfully and effectively address systemic issues”

What are your thoughts?

Civil Disobedience on Campus: When is it justified?

The Lawrence Debate Union at UVM is sponsoring a debate on when civil disobedience is justified featuring Dr. Winnie Looby and Dr. Thomas Streeter. Dr. Winnie Looby is a faculty member assigned to the Center on Disability and Community Inclusion in the College of Education and Social Services at UVM. Looby’s scholarly work focuses on Interdisciplinary Collaboration, Disability Studies, Early Childhood Special Education, Technology in Education, and Family-School Partnerships. Dr Thomas Streeter is a professor in the Sociology Department at UVM. Streeter’s scholarly work has a focus on media, culture, the internet, media law and policy. Interested in watching the debate? Come to the Memorial Lounge from 6:30 to 8:00 on Tuesday, April 24.

LDU-Poster-civil disob – 04-24-18