The Investment Theory of Party Competition and the Logic of Money-Driven Political Systems
Thomas Ferguson breaks completely with traditional voter centered accounts of party politics. In its place he outlines an "investment approach," in which powerful investors, not unorganized voters, dominate campaigns and elections. Because businesses "invest" in political parties and their candidates, changes in industrial structures—between large firms and sectors—can alter the agenda of party politics and the shape of public policy.
Golden Rule presents revised versions of widely read essays in which Ferguson advanced and tested his theory, including his seminal study of the role played by capital intensive multinationals and international financiers in the New Deal. The chapter "Studies in Money Driven Politics" brings this aspect of American politics into better focus, along with other studies of Federal Reserve policy making and campaign finance in the 1936 election. Ferguson analyzes how a changing world economy and other social developments broke up the New Deal system in our own time, through careful studies of the 1988 and 1992 elections. The essay on 1992 contains an extended analysis of the emergence of the Clinton coalition and Ross Perot's dramatic independent insurgency. A postscript on the 1994 elections demonstrates the controlling impact of money on several key campaigns.
This controversial work by a theorist of money and politics in the U.S. relates to issues in campaign finance reform, PACs, policymaking, public financing, and how today's elections work.
Handwriting on the Wall
1: Party Realignment and American Industrial Structure: The Investment
Theory of Political Parties in Historical Perspective
2: From 'Normalcy' to New Deal: Industrial Structure, Party Competition,
and American Public Policy in the Great Depression
3: Monetary Policy, Loan Liquidation, and Industrial Conflict: The Federal
Reserve and the Open Market Operations of 1932
Thomas Ferguson, Gerald Epstein.
4: Industrial Structure and Party Competition in the New Deal: A
5: By Invitation Only: Party Competition and Industrial Structure in the
6: 'Real Change'? 'Organized Capitalism,' Fiscal Policy, and the 1992
Conclusion. Money and Destiny in Advanced Capitalism: Paying the Piper,
Calling the Tune
Appendix: Deduced and Abandoned: Rational Expectations, the Investment
Theory of Political Parties, and the Myth of the Median Voter