Democracy is the ability to participate freely and equally in the political and economic affairs of the country. Americans have relied on philosophical pragmatism and on the impulse of political progressivism to express those creedal democratic values. Achieving Democracy argues that, in the last 30 years, however, by focusing on free markets and small government, America has since lost its grasp on these crucial democratic values. Economically, the vast majority of Americans have been made worse off due to a historically unprecedented redistribution of wealth from the lower and middle classes to the top one percent. Politically, partisan gridlock has hampered efforts to seek fairer taxes, responsive and effective regulation, reliable health care, and better education, among other needs. Achieving Democracy critiques the history of the last 30 years of neoliberal government in the United States, and enables an understanding of the dynamic and changing nature of contemporary government and the future of the regulatory state. Sidney A. Shapiro and Joseph P.
Tomain demonstrate how lessons from the past can be applied today to regain essential democratic losses within the successful framework of a progressive government to ultimately construct a good society for all citizens.
Sidney A. Shapiro is Professor of Law at Wake Forest University School of Law. Before beginning his teaching career, he served as an attorney with the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Professor Shapiro is a founding member and now Vice-President of the Center for Progressive Reform (CPR), a nonprofit research and educational organization of sixty scholars dedicated to protecting health, safety, and the environment through analysis and commentary. He has been a consultant to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS), and he has testified in Congress on regulatory policy and process issues. He is the co-author of The People's Agents and the Battle to Protect the American Public and co-author of Risk Regulation at Risk: Restoring a Pragmatic Approach. Joseph P. Tomain is Dean Emeritus and the Wilbert & Helen Ziegler Professor of Law at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. He has held positions as Visiting Environmental Scholar at Lewis & Clark Law School; a Distinguished Visiting Energy Professor at the Vermont Law School; a Visiting Scholar in the Program of Liberal Studies at the University of Notre Dame; a Visiting Fellow at the Harris Manchester College, Oxford University; and a Fulbright Senior Specialist in law in Cambodia. Dean Tomain serves on a number of civic organizations including Chair of the Board of the Knowledge Works Education Foundation; founder and principal of the Justice Institute for the Legal Profession; Board Member of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation.
Introduction ; Part I: Democracy, Progressivism, and Pragmatism ; Chapter 1: Pragmatism and Government Regulation ; Chapter 2: History Lessons ; Chapter 3: Public Ambivalence About Government ; Part II: The Failure of Neoliberalism ; Chapter 4: Government and Markets ; Chapter 5: Why Government Fails ; Part III: Pragmatic Regulation ; Chapter 6: A Return to Pragmatism ; Chapter 7: Policy, Politics and Institutions ; Part IV: The Progressive Future of Regulation ; Chapter 8: Let Government Govern ; Index