Tuesday, January 11, 2011
But as Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson argue persuasively in "Winner-Take-All Politics," labor has long been the largest organized, sophisticated, and funded group advocating for working-class interests in the political system. But they're in decline -- and they're in decline even as business groups double down on their efforts to affect political outcomes.
If you even vaguely believe in the importance of interest groups in the political system, you should consider this a very big deal. But, again, it's not at all clear what can be done about it. My depressing answer is that it's so hard to imagine a successor to organized labor that perhaps the only plausible response is to also reduce the political power of business groups, perhaps through something like the Fair Elections Now Act (which would presumably reduce the political power of all groups, while increasing the political power of voters and small donors). But maybe other people have better thoughts on this.
Only labor can replace labor, Ezra.