Why is it that most politicians in America are so much better off than the people who elect them— and does the social class divide between citizens and their representatives matter? With White-Collar Government, Nicholas Carnes answers this question with a resounding yes. Legislators’ socioeconomic backgrounds, have a profound impact on both how they view the issues and the choices they make in office. Scant representation from among the working class almost guarantees that the policymaking process will be skewed toward outcomes that favor the upper class. It matters that the wealthiest Americans set the tax rates for the wealthy, that white-collar professionals choose the minimum wage for blue-collar workers, and that people who have always had health insurance decide whether or not to help those without. And while there is no one cause for this crisis of representation, Carnes shows that the problem does not stem from a lack of qualified candidates from among the working class. The solution, he argues, must involve a variety of changes, from the equalization of campaign funding to a shift in the types of candidates the parties support. Carnes will be in the store for a discussion and signing.