Paul Pierson is John Gross Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. He is co-author, with Jacob Hacker, of Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer — And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class.
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.