Who Does the Political Class Listen To?
Demos has produced a very important document about our austerity crisis. I don't think its conclusions will surprise many of you, but it certainly should be eye-opening to general public. It discusses the well-known fact that austerity is counter-productive in an economic down turn and that unemployment remains our greatest barrier to a full recovery. And it lays out the time-line of the politicians' obsessive focus on deficits at exactly the wrong moment.
But this is where it gets really interesting:
The “donor class”—the segment of the population that donates to political campaigns—is disproportionately comprised of affluent Americans. Of those that contribute more than $200 to a campaign (the point at which detailed disclosure is mandatory), 85 percent have annual household incomes of $100,000 or more.17 An annual income of $100,000 puts a household in the richest 20 percent of income earners.