Red State, Blue State 2012 Links

Last week was “Red State, Blue State” (“What’s the Matter with Kansas?” week in The Politics of Inequality class. Here are a few readings/listenings that bring things up to the present day:

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Assorted politics of inequality links

My ‘Politics of Inequality’ (PO4730) class has been talking about a variety of things in the past five weeks that have found recent expression on the web.

My Lords Reform Proposal: Abstention Voting for ‘Experts’

I have a post up on the Oxford/Cambridge Politics In Spires group blog where I propose a way of reforming the House of Lords.

In brief, the idea is that abstentions should count as ‘votes’ for an Appointments Commission list. The result, I think, would be a chamber that was directly elected, broadly representative, deliberative and populated with ‘experts’, as well as clearly subordinate to the House of Commons. What’s not to like?

See Getting the House in Order: brainstorming a novel approach to Lords reform for more details.

Update (2012/06/08)

I now have a related post on this at LibDemVoice. Commenters seem opposed, but not for good reasons.

Inequality podcasts

In case the library is getting you down but you still want to think about the politics of inequality, some podcasts:

  • BBC Analysis programme on “Profits before pay” (mp3 from 20 February 12). Includes discussions of inequality trends and their economic and political causes.
  • BBC Analysis programme on “Capitalists against the Super Rich” (mp3 from 23 January 12). Includes discussions of political responses to the financial crisis and inequality.
  • BBC Analysis programme on “Neue Labour” (mp3 from 2 March 12). Includes discussion of how different patterns of training and employment have implications for inequality and industry.
  • There are actually lots of interesting BBC Analysis programmes.
  • This American Life episode 459 on “What Kind of Country?“. Includes interesting story on a Colorado town’s refusal to pay (more) taxes.