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Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Party Competition and the Logic of Money-Driven Political Systems
"To discover who rules, follow the gold." This is the argument of Golden Rule, a provocative, pungent history of modern American politics. Although the role big money plays in defining political outcomes has long been obvious to ordinary Americans, most pundits and scholars have virtually dismissed this assumption. Even in light of skyrocketing campaign costs, the belief t ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published June 15th 1995 by University of Chicago Press
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This book is excellent - a real wake up call to the realities of modern American politics. The premise of the Golden Rule is simple - he who has the gold makes the rules. It's not a new idea but what Ferguson does here is apply it to the US political economy. What emerges is a clear picture of how, in a money-driven political economy (as we have in the US), competing money interests drive policy. Ferguson shows how the New Deal was only possible because oil interests, capital intensive industry ...more
Dec 04, 2009 Adam rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who seeks to understand the world
Recommended to Adam by: Blase Masserant
A disclaimer: I only read the first chapter, the conclusion, the postscript, and the appendix of this book. These are the parts that focus on the theory itself in idealized and theoretical terms. The rest of the book, chapters 2-6, I chose to skip due to time constraints, and consists of historical applications of the theory. For someone interested in the history of the New Deal, the 1988 and 1992 elections (the latter being apparently of interest to modern politics, since the 2008 election was ...more
This is one of the most well researched and scientifically based political science books out there. Instead of trying to look at how relationships or groups or whatever else affect politics it focuses on something much more measurable: money. This book is a bit of an eye opener in the way it traces the business alliances supporting each party through different parts of history. It divides the two political parties into two parties supported by businesses who have differently aligned interests: o ...more
This is one of the best political books I've ever read. Noam Chomsky referred me to this book and it didn't disappoint. Ferguson traces businesses shaping US elections throughout history and does so with incredible wit along with thorough research and advanced statistical metholodogy. The eye-opening chapter on the Jefferson vs. Hamilton battle (which Ferguson expertly paints as a battle over protectionist agrarian Jeffersonians vs. internationalist banker hamiltonians) is well worth a read. How ...more