American Insecurity: Why Our Economic Fears Lead to by Adam Seth Levine

By Adam Seth Levine

Americans this present day face no scarcity of threats to their monetary health and wellbeing, akin to activity and retirement lack of confidence, well-being care expenses, and spiraling university university. whereas one may anticipate that those matters may encourage humans to develop into extra politically working on the problems, this frequently does not take place, and the ensuing inactivity includes outcomes for political debates and public coverage. relocating past formerly studied obstacles to political association, American Insecurity sheds mild at the public's inactivity over financial insecurities through displaying that the rhetoric surrounding those matters is admittedly self-undermining. through their nature, the very arguments meant to mobilize individuals--asking them to dedicate funds or time to politics--remind electorate in their financial fears and private constraints, resulting in undermobilization and nonparticipation.

Adam Seth Levine explains why the set of people that turn into politically energetic on monetary lack of confidence concerns is hence particularly slender. whilst cash is required, in simple terms those that care concerning the matters yet are usually not in my view affected get entangled. whilst time is required, participation is proscribed to these now not in my view affected or those who find themselves in my view affected yet outdoor of the hard work strength with time to spare. The latter explains why it really is fairly effortless to mobilize retirees on themes that replicate own monetary issues, similar to Social protection and Medicare. often, besides the fact that, while political illustration calls for a wide staff to make their case, financial lack of confidence threats are uniquely disadvantaged.

Scrutinizing the rules of political habit, American Insecurity deals a brand new viewpoint on collective participation.

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Extra info for American Insecurity: Why Our Economic Fears Lead to Political Inaction

Sample text

In the end, the ad likely led people to pay more, rather than less, attention to her past. Another example comes from Richard Nixon, when he uttered the words “I am not a crook” the year before resigning the White House amid the Watergate break-in scandal. Here again the purpose was to alter the public’s evaluation of him, but the rhetoric arguably had the opposite effect by first leading people to think about him as a crook. In both of these cases, political rhetoric was designed to achieve a single goal: change people’s attitudes about a candidate and an officeholder, respectively.

His influence on this book is extensive: he read parts of the manuscript, forwarded relevant articles, debated arguments, answered methodological questions, and generally served as one of the best advocates I could hope for. Apart from this book, and on a deeper level, I am forever thankful to have someone so smart and caring to share my life with. AMERICAN INSECURITY 1 Financial Threats and Self-Undermining Rhetoric Job loss. Concerns about job security. Skyrocketing health care bills. Inadequate retirement savings.

When money is needed, only those who care about the issues but are not personally affected become involved. When time is needed, participation is limited to those not personally affected or those who are personally affected but outside of the labor force with time to spare. The latter explains why it is relatively easy to mobilize retirees on topics that reflect personal financial concerns, such as Social Security and Medicare. In general, however, when political representation requires a large group to make their case, economic insecurity threats are uniquely disadvantaged.

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