The One Percent Solution: How Corporations Are Remaking America One State at a Time

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Product Details
$29.95  $27.85
ILR Press
Publish Date
6.3 X 9.1 X 1.2 inches | 1.3 pounds

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About the Author

Gordon Lafer is Associate Professor at the Labor Education and Research Center at the University of Oregon. He is the author of The One Percent Solution: How Corporations Are Remaking America One State at a Time and The Job Training Charade, both from Cornell. He has served as Senior Policy Advisor for the U.S. Congress and has been called to testify as an expert witness before multiple state legislatures.


[T]he good news is that much of the conservative and corporate agenda recounted by The One Percent Solution is highly unpopular. Large majorities of adults, even Republicans, support efforts to take care of the environment, bolster social programs for families and children, improve our nation's infrastructure, and expand labor rights, even union rights. The bad news is that opponents to the right-wing, business-friendly troika have been slow to mobilize counterweights of their own. The One Percent Solution should thus be a wake-up call to anyone concerned about the economic well-being of working Americans.

-- "Dissent"

Gordon Lafer's The One Percent Solution seeks to explain several puzzling aspects of American politics today. Why do people of modest means who depend on government-funded health care and Social Security or other supplements to their income continue to vote for candidates who promise to privatize or get rid of those very programs. Why do pepole who are poor vote for politicians who promise to cut corporate taxes?... [Lafer] meticulously demonstrates how the Koch brothers and the Suprme Court's Citizen's United decision of 2010 have influenced elections and public policy in the states.

-- "The New York Review of Books"

Lafer (Univ. of Oregon) focuses interdisciplinary attention on the strategies and tactics of a handful of registered nationwide lobbyists (American Legislative Exchange Council, Americans for Prosperity, the US Chamber of Commerce, and the National Federation of Independent Business), which submitted "model legislation" to state legislators. He critiques the policies these groups espoused regarding minimum wages, union memberships, employee rights, government funding, and public education. The author presents evidence of economic impact from these state laws, which contrast greatly from the original proclamations of how these changes should improve a state's economy. Lafer examines tactics lobbyists used to weaken state funding for auditing and enforcing payroll regulations and promoting charter schools and voucher programs, irrespective of the actual results from those reforms. The voluminous resources listed in the notes are accurate and very accessible.

-- "Choice"