In 2008, the collapse of the US financial system plunged the economy into the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Between 2008 and 2009, the U.S. labor market lost 8.4 million jobs – 6.1% of all payroll employment – and the average household brought in roughly $5,000 less in 2009 than it did in the year 2000. Since then, the wealth gap has only gotten worse: the top 10 percent now averages nearly nine times as much income as the bottom 90 percent.
It should be no surprise, then, that Americans feel disenchanted. From Occupy Wall Street and more recent racial and economic movements to the left and right populisms of the 2016 election, Americans across the ideological spectrum are increasingly concerned by the concentration of both private and public power. Are our post-election politics on the precipice of change?
According to Democracy Against Domination, a new book by New America fellow K. Sabeel Rahman, today’s inequality crisis will only be solved with a complete overhaul of how we govern the modern economy. New forms of democratic action – strategies that tap into contemporary labor and racial justice movements – will be necessary to counteract both the legacies of the New Deal era and the problems of corporate power, too-big-to-fail finance, and political dysfunction today.
On the evening following Election Day, join New America NYC to evaluate the economic policies of the past eight years and what the next Administration can do to turn today’s “New Gilded Age” into a more responsive, inclusive economy.
K. Sabeel Rahman @ksabeelrahman
Assistant Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School
Fellow, New America
Author, Democracy Against Domination
Dorian Warren @dorianwarren
Fellow, Roosevelt Institute
Keesha Gaskins @keeshagaskins
Director, Democratic Practice Program, Rockefeller Brothers Fund
Daniel Altschuler @altochulo
Managing Director, Make the Road Action
Director of Civic Engagement and Research, Make the Road New York