Title

Wealth Concentration, Racial Subordination, and Political Corruption

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date

6-2017

Editor(s)

Jack Knight & Melissa Schwartzberg

ISBN

9781479849291

Publisher

NYU Press

Language

en-US

Abstract

Jeffrey Winters writes that “Wealth concentration is the single most enduring economic pattern across all polities from Mesopotamia to the present— interrupted only rarely and for brief intervals.” His important chapter centers on “wealth defense,” which refers to measures taken, mainly by or for the most wealthy, to maintain their exceptional wealth. As Winters’ view of American public policy appears sound to me, I propose to abdicate the role of philosophical critic and instead explore further applications of his wealth defense thesis in American history. If my comments seem at any point to disagree with Professor Winters, I think they may be regarded as friendly amendments. I focus on slavery, labor unions, and the corrupting role of wealth in democratic politics.

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