Political Monopolies in American Cities

Political Monopolies in American Cities

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Around the same time that Richard J. Daley governed Chicago, greasing the wheels of his notorious political machine during a tenure that lasted from 1955 to his death in 1976, Anthony a€œDutcha€ Hamanna€™s a€œreforma€ government centralized authority to similar effect in San Jose. In light of their equally exclusive governing arrangementsa€”a similarity that seems to defy their reputationsa€”Jessica Trounstine asks whether so-called bosses and reformers are more alike than we might have realized. Situating her in-depth studies of Chicago and San Jose in the broad context of data drawn from more than 240 cities over the course of a century, she finds that the answera€”a resounding yesa€”illuminates the nature of political power. Both political machines and reform governments, she reveals, bias the system in favor of incumbents, effectively establishing monopolies that free governing coalitions from dependence on the support of their broader communities. Ironically, Trounstine goes on to show, the resulting loss of democratic responsiveness eventually mobilizes residents to vote monopolistic regimes out of office. Envisioning an alternative future for American cities, Trounstine concludes by suggesting solutions designed to free urban politics from this damaging cycle.After excluding the fifteen places that were annexed to other cities on the list, such as Brooklyn, New York, I was left with a ... ask persons to report income prior to the 1950 census and federal poverty guidelines were not established until 1964.

Title:Political Monopolies in American Cities
Author:Jessica Trounstine
Publisher:University of Chicago Press - 2009-05-15


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