Jacob Hacker

Jacob S. Hacker is Stanley Resor Professor of Political Science at Yale University, is the author, with Paul Pierson, of Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer -- and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class (2010).

Recent Articles

Piketty’s Triumph

Three expert takes on Capital in the Twenty-First Century, French economist Thomas Piketty's data-driven magnum opus on inequality.

 

 

 

Powell's Diagnosis—And Ours

Why is the American political system so weakly responsive to the policy preferences of the majority of Americans?

This piece is part of the Prospect's series on progressives' strategy over the next 40 years. To read the introduction, click here.

The Powell Memo is remembered today as a blueprint for business counter-mobilization. So it’s easy to forget that one of Lewis Powell’s principal goals—and, it seems, achievements—was to wake up business leaders to the nature of the challenges they faced: the hostility in some campus quarters, the strength of foes like Ralph Nader, and, above all, the weakness of corporate political organization. Before he could get business leaders to act on his prescriptions, Powell had to convince them of his diagnosis.

Reclaiming Middle-Class America

If progressives want a winning theme that the right can't match, this is it.

"Middle class" is more than an income category. It's an image of a certain kind of society--a nation in which the gains of prosperity are broadly shared and those who work hard have a good shot at upward mobility and the security of a basic safety net.

The Stalemate State

Those who argue that gridlock is a good check on partisanship haven't examined its policy consequences.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

The political gridlock that marked most of the 1980s and 1990s is back -- and it's about to get worse. After the November midterm elections, not even timidly liberal initiatives will be able to overcome the omnipresent filibuster. If the Republicans manage to take the Senate, conservative legislation will be confronted by filibusters from the Democratic side of the aisle as well as the obstacle of a veto from President Barack Obama.

Health Reform 2.0

If reform is to succeed, progressives will have to fight for a stronger government role, including a public option.

Marchers demand the public option in health-care reform. (Flickr/Steve Rhodes)

Sen. Tom Harkin put the point well when he described the health bill as a "starter home." What Harkin neglected to mention is that the home isn't built yet, and the construction zone is in the path of a hurricane -- the fast-approaching storm of runaway health costs and hard-core conservative opposition.

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