Sean McElwee

To Influence Policy, You Have to Be More than Rich

It’s a common refrain — politicians don’t listen to everyday Americans. But is that really true? And if so, whom do they listen to? Last year, two political scientists, Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page, attempted to answer that question in a bombshell paper that suggested “America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened.”… Read more »

Social Class: The Next Affirmative Action?

The Supreme Court is set to decide soon on Fischer v University of Texas. The court will likely focus on whether the university has reached a “critical mass” of minority students (enough that minority students no longer feel isolated), the test put forward in the seminal affirmative action case, Grutter v Bollinger. Many observers believe… Read more »

The Republican Party and the Defense Budget Problem

Republicans have long complained about the fiscal profligacy of the Democratic party, and it’s about time someone had the cojones to challenge the GOPs sacrosanct white elephant: defense spending. Because large corporations like Lockheed Martin can funnel millions into political campaigns, veterans and soldiers (and their families) create a massive voting block, and national defense… Read more »