on how to save the middle class
So there is this great arc to the middle class, away from gilded age to middle-class society and then back to the new gilded age, which is now what we're living in. And there are really two puzzles about that. One of them is a political puzzle, which is why instead of leaning against these trends, politics has actually reinforced them. Why it is that U.S. politics moved left in the age of a relatively middle-class society, and moved right as society got more unequal?
A naïve view of politics would say that, “Gee, when a few people are winning a lot and most people are lagging behind, people ought to be voting for more social insurance and more progressive taxation, not less.” And we have some understanding of why that doesn’t happen. It has to do with the role of money, organization and all of these other things that affect politics. That story also helps us understand why politics gets so nasty.